Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 69.13
Liaison Micah Kenfield
Submission Date March 4, 2021

STARS v2.2

Vassar College
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Micah Kenfield
Director of Sustainability
Office of Sustainability
"---" 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?:
Yes

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

The Vassar Climate Action plan outlines goals for improving sustainability in the curriculum, which include running a Sustainability Literacy test. The plan calls for expanding the number of course offered and increasing the number of students who graduate from programs that have sustainability learning outcomes.


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 Tree Care Plan requires an annual Arbor Day observance, an annual project that increases public engagement on campus, and a service learning project. In order to re-certify with the Arbor Day Foundation each year, evidence of each activity needs to be documented.

In Tree Care Plan this is covered by the following:
Goals and Targets:
c. Community Engagement: Regularly scheduled events for the wider community will educate the public about the importance of tree conservation, Vassar’s ecologically friendly efforts, and the other benefits of trees. The organized creation of volunteer opportunities for on-campus restoration efforts, including but not limited to invasive species removal, rain garden maintenance and stream clean ups, will serve to instill a conservation-ethic in the student-body. Attendance at events will be tracked, with a goal of increasing participation over time.

Service projects will be viewed mainly as a benefit to students and the community in general, with secondary benefits to grounds or infrastructure. The primary value of service projects for students and faculty is that these projects deepen social networks and strengthen commitment to the college community as a whole, as well as to practice civic engagement and responsibility. There is also learning involved in the large task of organizing, publicizing, overseeing, and follow-up on a service project. In order to identify ways to do these projects, the Tree Committee will consult with B&G and the Union once a year to explore opportunities for student/faculty service projects on campus. The Tree Committee will work to identify dedicated project organizers who can take charge of a service project and follow-up.


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:

The Climate Action Plan sets goals for energy efficiency, fuel switching, and behavior change to achieve energy reductions towards the carbon neutrality goal. Of most note is a commitment to decrease total on-campus combustion to no more than 125,000 mmbtu (relative to a 200,000 mmbtu baseline at the time of commitment) as outlined here:
https://sites.google.com/vassar.edu/cap2020/goals/energy-stationary-emissions-goals?authuser=0


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:

The 2020 Climate Action Plan integrates the UN Sustainable Development Goals as the foundation for its work, with a target of addressing all 17 through efforts conducted on campus.


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):
Website URL where the institution’s highest guiding document is publicly available:
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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?:
No

The formal statement in support of sustainability:
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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 No
The Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI) No
ISCN-GULF Sustainable Campus Charter No
Pan-Canadian Protocol for Sustainability No
SDG Accord No
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) No

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:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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