Overall Rating Reporter
Overall Score
Liaison Chelsea Hamilton
Submission Date March 5, 2021

STARS v2.2

Vanderbilt University
PRE-2: Points of Distinction

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

Name of the institution’s featured sustainability program, initiative, or accomplishment:
Carbon Neutrality: Vanderbilt will power its campus entirely through renewable energy and commits to carbon neutrality by 2050.

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?:
Air & Climate
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):
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A photograph or document associated with the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment:
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Name of a second highlighted sustainability program/initiative/accomplishment:
Zero Waste: Vanderbilt will achieve Zero Waste by 2030.

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
Supporting Actions:
• 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?:
Waste

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):
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A photograph or document associated with the second program/initiative/accomplishment:
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Name of a third highlighted program/initiative/accomplishment:
Large Scale Renewable Energy Agreement

A brief description of the third program/initiative/accomplishment:

Vanderbilt University and the city of Nashville, Tennessee, have announced a Green Invest partnership with the Tennessee Valley Authority and Nashville Electric Service—a collaboration that will allow the region to take a bold step forward in expanding availability and access to renewable energy at a critical time in global efforts to address the threat of climate change.

Through this new partnership, Vanderbilt is tackling climate change head-on by working towards its goal of powering its campus entirely through renewable energy and committing to carbon neutrality.

The renewable power will come from two solar farms to be built in Bedford County and Tullahoma, Tennessee, by Nashville-based Silicon Ranch Corporation, the U.S. solar platform for Shell and one of the largest independent solar power producers in the country.

Vanderbilt will reach its renewable energy goal just over four years after the university made its initial commitment in 2019. Vanderbilt’s initial partnership, announced in January 2020, will mitigate approximately 70 percent by fall 2022 of the university’s greenhouse gas emissions related to indirect emissions from purchased electricity. The second Green Invest project will supply enough renewable energy to offset the remaining 30 percent of the university’s annual indirect greenhouse gas emissions from purchased electricity by fall 2023. The agreement is also anticipated to provide hundreds of new jobs during the construction of the solar project as well as unique educational and research opportunities for the Vanderbilt community with both solar farm locations within close proximity to the Nashville area.


Which impact areas does the third program/initiative/accomplishment most closely relate to?:
Energy

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):
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A photograph or document associated with the third program/initiative/accomplishment:
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