|Submission Date||March 5, 2020|
PRE-2: Points of Distinction
Sustainability Outreach Coordinator
Sustainability and Environmental Management Office
Name of the institution’s featured sustainability program, initiative, or accomplishment:
A brief description of the institution’s featured program, initiative, or accomplishment:
Vanderbilt University unveiled a comprehensive long-term strategy to significantly reduce its environmental footprint in part by powering its campus entirely through renewable energy, putting the university on track to be carbon neutral by 2050.
While achieving the balance of carbon neutrality has become a sustainability standard at many American universities, Vanderbilt leaders today said they plan to go a step further and produce more renewable energy than consumed. Considerations for the renewable energy surplus include feeding energy back to the power grid or storing for use during high-demand seasons or emergencies.
The university plans to meet its 2050 commitment by:
• Investing in on-site clean energy
• Investing in off-site large-scale renewable energy
• Increasing green spaces across campus such as more pedestrian-friendly walkways and parks
• Reducing energy consumption and waste
• Decreasing the university’s carbon footprint from transportation and commuting
• Investing in sustainable infrastructure
Which of the following impact areas does the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment most closely relate to?:
Wellbeing & Work
Website URL where more information about the accomplishment may be found:
STARS credit in which the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment is reported (if applicable):
A photograph or document associated with the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment:
Name of a second highlighted sustainability program/initiative/accomplishment:
A brief description of the second program/initiative/accomplishment:
Vanderbilt has announced its commitment to achieving zero waste by the year 2030 as part of the university’s comprehensive long-term strategy to significantly reduce its environmental footprint and drive positive change in the world.
Vanderbilt has already reached a 47% diversion rate, but the Zero Waste Master Plan will accelerate the university’s efforts to reach a 90% diversion rate in over the next decade.
Once the Zero Waste Study was completed, the Zero Waste Advisory Committee outlined two specific goals for the university and two supporting actions:
• Goal 1: Achieve zero waste, a 90% diversion rate, by 2030
• Goal 2: Reduce the amount of waste generated on campus by 30% by 2030
• End institutional single-use plastic bottle purchases by 2025, except in laboratories
• Expand food waste collection to include all dining areas and residential halls by 2025
Which impact areas does the second program/initiative/accomplishment most closely relate to?:
Website URL where more information about the second program/initiative/accomplishment may be found:
STARS credit in which the second program/initiative/accomplishment is reported (if applicable):
A photograph or document associated with the second program/initiative/accomplishment:
Name of a third highlighted program/initiative/accomplishment:
A brief description of the third program/initiative/accomplishment:
Vanderbilt University has entered into an agreement with the Tennessee Valley Authority and Nashville Electric Service through TVA’s new Green Invest program to procure off-site large-scale renewable energy to help mitigate the campus’ greenhouse gas emissions. Vanderbilt is the first customer to partner with a local power company on this type of agreement in the seven-state TVA region. The 20-year agreement will support Vanderbilt’s goal to power its campus entirely through renewable energy and become carbon neutral by the year 2050.
The agreement is the result of two years of intensive effort through The Large-Scale Renewable Energy Study by Vanderbilt to identify the best renewable energy strategy for the university on the basis of key criteria that include financial, social and environmental benefits and risk mitigation.
The new solar farm will supply up to 35 megawatts (MWAC) of renewable energy, an amount sufficient to offset approximately 70 percent of Vanderbilt’s annual indirect greenhouse gas emissions from purchased electricity.
Which impact areas does the third program/initiative/accomplishment most closely relate to?:
Website URL where more information about the third program/initiative/accomplishment may be found:
STARS credit in which the third program/initiative/accomplishment is reported (if applicable):
A photograph or document associated with the third program/initiative/accomplishment:
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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.