Overall Rating Reporter
Overall Score
Liaison Chelsea Hamilton
Submission Date March 5, 2020

STARS v2.2

Vanderbilt University
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Reporter Chelsea Hamilton
Sustainability Outreach Coordinator
Sustainability and Environmental Management 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?:
No

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives related to academics and the plan(s) in which they are published:
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Does the institution have a published plan or plans that include measurable sustainability objectives that address student, employee, or community engagement for sustainability?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives related to engagement and the plan(s) in which they are published:

The Vanderbilt community has been very involved in the formation of the FutureVU plan and the subsequent initiatives to come out of FutureVU. The VU community, including students, faculty, and staff, are involved in the advisory committees for the Large-Scale Renewable Energy Strategy Study, the BlueSky Visioning Strategy Study, the Zero Waste Master Plan and goal, and the carbon neutral and Net Positive + Resilience energy goals by 2050. https://www.vanderbilt.edu/sustainability/


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

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives related to operations and the plan(s) in which they are published:

As a result of FutureVU efforts, major potential opportunities to reduce Vanderbilt's carbon footprint and improve central campus land use were identified within the university's on-campus energy production, distribution and consumption infrastructure and behavior. Even though Vanderbilt converted the existing on-campus combined heat and power plant from primarily coal-fired to natural gas in 2014, substantial opportunities remain, particularly in building and central plant siting and energy efficiency. The BlueSky Energy Vision Study resulted in Vanderbilt’s goal to power its campus entirely through renewable energy and commits to carbon neutrality by 2050. Additionally, Vanderbilt has a Zero Waste goal for 2030 and recently entered an agreement with Tennessee Valley Authority and Nashville Electric Service to procure off-site large-scale renewable energy to help mitigate the campus’ greenhouse gas emissions.
Additionally, Vanderbilt announced its goal to achieve zero waste by 2030. Based on past data, the Committee recommended that the university consider the following two goals, along with two supporting actions:
1. Goal 1: Achieve Zero waste (90 percent diversion from landfill) by 2030
2. Goal 2: Achieve 30% waste generation reduction from 2017 levels by 2030
Supporting Actions:
• End institutional single-use plastic purchases by 2025, except in laboratories*; and
• Expand food waste collection to include all dining areas and residential halls by 2025.


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?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives related to administration and the plan(s) in which they are published:

Vanderbilt University embarked on a multi-year-long process to develop a comprehensive campus land use plan which will support the recently developed Academic Strategic Plan. Launched in November 2015, the aim of the plan is to articulate a comprehensive vision for the university’s footprint and to provide a basis for campus stewardship that enhances the university’s mission. Several new considerations have moved to the foreground since the last land use plan in 2001, such as diversity and inclusivity; the university’s Academic Strategic Plan; environmental sustainability and increased development and traffic around campus. The Land Use Master Plan, termed FutureVU, includes a Sustainability Plan as well as a Stormwater Plan, which will guide these efforts on campus for future years. https://www.vanderbilt.edu/futurevu/
The topic of sustainability is weaved throughout the FutureVU vision and the FutureVU Guiding Principles. As part of the FutureVU planning process, Vanderbilt, alongside Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects and Atelier Ten studied Vanderbilt’s current practices, internal stakeholder goals and objectives, peer university programs, and the local and national sustainability context.


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

The institution’s highest guiding document (upload):
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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):
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Website URL where the institution's sustainability plan is publicly available:
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Does the institution have a formal statement in support of sustainability endorsed by its governing body?:
Yes

The formal statement in support of sustainability:

On Earth Day 2019, Vanderbilt University unveiled a comprehensive long-term strategy to significantly reduce its environmental footprint. OUR GOAL: Vanderbilt will power its campus entirely through renewable energy and commits to carbon neutrality by 2050. More can be found at https://news.vanderbilt.edu/2019/04/22/vanderbilt-outlines-major-plans-to-reduce-environmental-footprint/.

Vanderbilt Environmental Commitment Statement:
Vanderbilt University is a local and global community leader committed to environmental stewardship, protecting natural resources, and enhancing quality of life while maintaining academic, medical, social, and economic productivity. Through proactive education, research, and outreach, we strive to:
• Develop and transfer knowledge, increase awareness, and promote lifelong learning about sustainability best practices for the benefit of stakeholders who comprise the Vanderbilt community (students, patients, faculty, staff, alumni, and visitors), as well as the broader Nashville, state, national, and global communities;
• Achieve the highest standards of sustainability through a process of environmental responsibility and accountability at every level of University activity; and
• Consistently implement, monitor, evaluate, and improve our process.
In 2009, the Faculty Senate requested that the Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC) developed an environmental commitment statement for the university. The EAC collaborated with more than 100 stakeholders throughout the VU community including faculty, staff and students to produce a succinct and targeted statement declaring VU’s commitment to environmental protection. The statement, after having been endorsed by over 300 members of the faculty, staff, and student bodies, was revealed publicly on Earth Day 2009, in conjunction with Vanderbilt’s baseline greenhouse gas emissions inventory.


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

A brief description of the institution’s formal sustainability commitments, including the specific initiatives selected above:
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Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainability planning efforts is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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