Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 60.76
Liaison Brad Spanbauer
Submission Date March 4, 2022

STARS v2.2

University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Brad Spanbauer
Campus Sustainability Officer
Campus Sustainability Office
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a published plan or plans that include measurable sustainability objectives that address sustainability in curriculum and/or research?:

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives related to academics and the plan(s) in which they are published:
UW Oshkosh seeks to educate all students in sustainability through the curriculum, especially the general education program called the "University Studies Program" (USP), which incorporates three "signature questions":
1) How do people understand and create a more sustainable world?
2) How do people understand and engage in community life?
3) How do people understand and bridge cultural differences?

The sustainability question states: "Knowledge of Sustainability and Its Applications is the ability to understand local and global earth systems; the qualities of ecological integrity and the means to restore and preserve it; and the interconnection of ecological integrity, social justice and economic well-being."


Plan URL: https://www.uwosh.edu/sustainability/what-we-do/campus-sustainability-plan/

Learning outcomes of the general education program at UW Oshkosh (The University Studies Program) are as follows (http://usp.uwosh.edu/about-usp/essential-learning-outcomes/):
-Responsibility, as Individuals and Communities
-Knowledge of Sustainability and Its Applications
-Civic Learning—local and global
-Intercultural Knowledge and Competence
-Ethical reasoning and action
-Foundations and skills for lifelong learning developed through real-world challenges and active involvement with diverse communities

The first cohort of students began in the USP in the fall 2013. The first complete full-cycle (four years) assessment tests to measure sustainability learning outcomes will occur in 2017. From that time on, all students will take assessment tests as freshman and then again as seniors.

Does the institution have a published plan or plans that include measurable sustainability objectives that address student, employee, or community engagement for sustainability?:

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives related to engagement and the plan(s) in which they are published:
UW Oshkosh seeks to engage all members of the campus community in sustainability understanding and action through a wide range of curricular and co-curricular activities.

Residence Life/Student Affairs
-To increase student understanding of sustainability across campus and connect sustainability knowledge to experiences outside of the classroom.

All governance groups and the administration have endorsed the plan.

Sustainability plan URL: https://www.uwosh.edu/sustainability/what-we-do/campus-sustainability-plan/

-Develop a sustainability pledge
-Have a campus-wide Sustainability Calendar that is easily accessible on and off campus
-Use major events (e.g., sports, graduation, homecoming, public lectures) to highlight sustainable practices
-Partner with facilities to develop waste management strategic programming that diverts waste generated during move-in/move-out days
-Develop materials and programs so that sustainability is a key component of first year experience and orientation.
-Expand and develop new programming with CAs in Residence Life building on the work of the Eco-Reps and Sustainability Advisers before them especially for the Green Rooms and Green Lifestyles programs, which target behavior change as it relates to resource use, waste reduction, landfill diversion, alternative transportation, and awareness of issues and campus events.
Sustainability Leadership Program
-Identify study abroad experiences related to sustainability and ensure learning outcomes reflect measurable gains in sustainability literacy
-Develop new study abroad courses focused on sustainability.
-Expand the Green Office program to all campus offices by 2018 which targets behavior change as it relates to resource use, waste reduction, landfill diversion, alternative transportation, and awareness of issues and campus events.

Track the following over the next five years:
-Residence hall rooms certified
-Students in residence halls signing green lifestyles
-Students from larger student body signing sustainability pledge
-Waste/goods collected during move in and move out
-Incoming freshman engaged during orientation
-Sustainability tours for incoming freshman during orientation
-Relevant study abroad offerings
-Student participants of relevant study abroad offerings
-Offices certified as Green Offices
-Signatures from Green Offices

Does the institution have a published plan or plans that include measurable sustainability objectives that address sustainability in operations?:

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives related to operations and the plan(s) in which they are published:
-Collect and disseminate data and information on campus energy use to enable better assessment and increase awareness in the campus community - Have all data obtainable through Johnson Controls Metasys® system by the end of 2016.
-Reduce energy consumption by establishing policies and educating the community about standards that encourage behavior change.
-Reduce energy consumption through the performance of renovations, upgrades and retrofits to existing building inventory.
-Coordinate efforts to reduce peak electrical demand energy use.
-Encourage energy conservation practices with incentives.
-Maximize building operational energy efficiency

URL: https://www.uwosh.edu/sustainability/what-we-do/campus-sustainability-plan/

-Add buildings to Metasys® on a continuing basis until all buildings and systems are accounted for.
-Measure energy consumption by: square feet/building, total square feet of campus, total campus per capita, per capita by building
-Total green energy generated
-Total green energy purchased
-Energy saved through performance upgrades
-Track behavior change programs.
-Track hourly energy use
-Track energy efficiency programs and assess performance.

Does the institution have a published plan or plans that include measurable sustainability objectives that address diversity, equity, and inclusion; sustainable investment/finance; or wellbeing?:

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives related to administration and the plan(s) in which they are published:
Administration: Managing Sustainability
The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh has made considerable progress toward building a sustainability infrastructure in the administration and organization of the university. One goal in the original Campus Sustainability Plan was to establish an organization capable of supporting campus sustainability initiatives as soon as feasible. Toward this goal, UWO formed a Campus Sustainability Council and hired a Director of Sustainability. The council meets regularly (bi-weekly), and the Campus Sustainability Director has been funded full-time since 2008. The new plan will build upon these accomplishments, both of which will continue to be cornerstones of UWO’s new plan for organizational and administrative capacity development and governance. Two unmet recommendations from the first plan will be carried forward to the new plan: designation of sustainability responsibilities for administrators and establishing a sustainability endowment fund. Moving forward, the broad administrative objective in the new plan is to institutionalize sustainability across campus through a shared vision and strategic planning. Goals toward this end will be to integrate sustainability into UWO's strategic planning process, which includes Key Operational Plans and Master Planning. ​Sustainability plan citations
Administration Goals
Objective: ​To institutionalize sustainability through a shared vision and mission for true sustainability across campus.
● Develop a shared vision of sustainability, that pervades institutional administration and decision making at all levels
● Identify and adopt best management practices for sustainability governance, including:
○ Open and transparent flow of information
○ Administration/decision makers/governance willing to wrestle with the hard questions
and tradeoffs of sustainability and to justify decisions in terms of sustainability
○ Mechanisms to ensure that sustainability is considered in campus decision-making
○ Clarify roles of different university constituents in sustainability governance (Campus
Sustainability Director, Vice Chancellors, Campus Sustainability Council, Oshkosh
Student Association)
● Fulfill sustainability-related commitments made in the past (ACUPCC, Fair Trade, Earth
Charter), and develop concrete plans to realize these commitments
● Promote the UW Oshkosh campus as a living laboratory by providing administrative oversight
for the seamless interaction of operations, teaching, research, and outreach
● Engage with nationally recognized sustainability assessment mechanisms ​such as​ the AASHE
STARS program or the Sustainable Endowment Institute
● Develop a permanent office for the Campus Sustainability Initiative, including:
○ A physical space sufficient to meet present and projected needs
○ Staff sufficient to meet present and projected needs
○ Administrative support sufficient to meet present and projected needs.
● Revise and update CSC bylaws to:
○ Reflect shared vision of sustainability
○ Broaden membership (athletics, faculty development, Foundation, IMC)
○ Clarify role of the CSC
● Institutionalize roles for sustainability governance by having CSC bylaws approved by administration and all 4 governance groups (Faculty, Academic Staff, Classified Staff, Oshkosh Student Association)
● Develop, enhance, and institutionalize opportunities to involve students in the governance and administration of university sustainability initiatives
● Designate sustainability responsibilities for Administrators to institutionalize the university’s commitment to sustainability. (from 2008 Plan, Organization)
● Update the Sustainability Director's job description to reflect responsibilities consistent with the new Campus Sustainability Plan.
● Establish a sustainability endowment fund.
● Establish policies for sustainable investing consistent with the strategic plan and mission of the

Does the institution have a published strategic plan or equivalent guiding document that includes sustainability at a high level? :

The institution’s highest guiding document (upload):

Website URL where the institution’s highest guiding document is publicly available:
Which of the following best describes the inclusion of sustainability in the highest guiding document?:
Major theme

The institution's sustainability plan (upload):

Website URL where the institution's sustainability plan is publicly available:
Does the institution have a formal statement in support of sustainability endorsed by its governing body?:

The formal statement in support of sustainability:
The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh provides a high-quality liberal education to all of its students in order to prepare them to become successful leaders in an increasingly diverse and global society. Our dedicated faculty and staff are committed to innovative teaching, research, economic development, entrepreneurship and community engagement to create a more sustainable future for Wisconsin and beyond. High quality academic programs in nursing, education, business, social sciences, natural sciences, humanities, fine and performing arts, engineering technology, information technology, health sciences and applied and liberal studies—all delivered in an innovative and inclusive learning environment—lead to degrees at the associate, baccalaureate, master’s and professional doctorate levels.

The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh will be a research-enhanced comprehensive university built upon the ideals of a liberal education, inclusive excellence and shared governance that reinforces a nationally recognized emphasis on sustainability.


The institution’s definition of sustainability:
Sustainability is a societal condition wherein people live quality lives, meeting their needs in ways that permit other people to do the same now and into the distant future. Sustainable communities are nurturing places where people prosper and cultures thrive; they maintain capital stocks including environmental services; they are characterized by a diversity of ideas, economic activities, and landscapes; and they seek social justice and equity, while maintaining freedom and opportunities for citizens.

The sustainability path involves the merging of the historically distinct and often conflicting goals of development and conservation, which requires that societies work to:

-create opportunities where people may realize their full potentials, find productive livelihoods, and prosper;
-protect and enhance human health and encourage wellness;
-restore and preserve nature's life-support systems and evolutionary potential;
-derive benefits from natural capital without diminishing stocks for future generations;
achieve social justice;
-design livable, resilient and secure communities.

The path to sustainability occurs through the process of establishing appropriate institutions, policies, strategies, and technologies in a just transition that moves society toward the proper state.

Sustainability is also the emerging science that seeks to understand the issues at the interface between society and nature and to find solutions to the associated problems so that people may thrive into the distant future. Sustainability science employs transdisciplinary, multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary thinking in addressing the complex interactions between natural and human systems.

Is the institution an endorser or signatory of the following?:
Yes or No
The Earth Charter Yes
The Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI) No
ISCN-GULF Sustainable Campus Charter No
Pan-Canadian Protocol for Sustainability ---
SDG Accord ---
Second Nature’s Carbon Commitment (formerly known as the ACUPCC), Resilience Commitment, and/or integrated Climate Commitment Yes
The Talloires Declaration (TD) No
UN Global Compact No
Other multi-dimensional sustainability commitments (please specify below) Yes

A brief description of the institution’s formal sustainability commitments, including the specific initiatives selected above:
Signing and ratifying the Earth Charter was a turning point in the university's history turning the campus to sustainability.
The climate commitment has been crucial to implementing performance contracts that have led to significant energy savings, green buildings, on-campus renewable energy generation, and the purchasing of RECs.

Other: Worker's Rights Consortium

Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainability planning efforts is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.