Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 66.40
Liaison Parker Long
Submission Date Aug. 27, 2021

STARS v2.2

Virginia Commonwealth University
PA-1: Sustainability Coordination

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Parker Long
Sustainability Reporting and Outreach Coordinator
Facilities Management - Office of Sustainability
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Does the institution have at least one sustainability committee?:
Yes

The charter or mission statement of the committee(s) or a brief description of each committee's purview and activities:

Sustainability is the goal of maintaining a good quality of life for those who presently experience it, while expanding that quality of life to those who lack it; understanding and respecting the needs of future generations and the limits of natural systems within which quality human lives are necessarily embedded and dependent.
Sustainability includes, but is not limited to:
- The recognition of threats to the climate system inherent within the continued introduction of carbon into the atmosphere by human activity, especially through carbon-based energy production and consumption, necessitating action to reduce human carbon footprints, both at the individual, community and institutional levels.
- The identification and reduction of negative impacts from human activity upon human health (e.g., air and water pollution, other exposures to hazardous substances — both long-term and immediate, stress impacts, etc.).
- The identification and reduction of negative impacts from human activity upon ecosystem health (e.g., lost habitat, biodiversity, ecosystem function, etc.).
- The recognition of the finite nature of our resource base; necessitating the reduction, reuse and recycling of materials, the identification and development of renewable resources, and increased efficiency in our use of all resources.
- On-going dialogue among experts, lay-people, leaders and citizens for the purpose of learning more about the nature of these challenges, both from a technical and a human value-based perspective.


Members of each committee, including affiliations and role:

Mark D Wood, Faculty, Committee Co-Chair
Ching-Yu Huang, Faculty, Committee Co-Chair
Wyatt Carpenter, Office of Sustainability Staff
Daniel Albrecht-Mallinger, Faculty
Sara Barton, Office of Sustainability Staff
Beth Kreydatus, Facilities Management Staff
Andrea C. Simonelli, Faculty
Lauren Bailey, Facilities Management Staff
Katelyn Schifano, VCU Health Staff
Christopher Buchakjian, Faculty
Michael S Donnenberg, Faculty
Parker Long, Office of Sustainability Staff
Sarah K Barber, Facilities Management Staff
William R Muth, Faculty
Charles Woodson, Community Member
Mark Emery, VCU Health Staff
Margaret Lessard, VCU Health Staff
Elias Frantz, Office of Sustainability Staff
Ann Kildahl, Office of Sustainability Staff


Does the institution have at least one sustainability office that includes more than 1 full-time equivalent employee?:
Yes

A brief description of each sustainability office:

The VCU Office of Sustainability serves as mindful stewards of our diverse human and natural environments through education, innovation, collaboration and engagement. We strive to foster a multi-faceted culture of sustainability through the responsible use of resources and continuous advocacy for the Richmond community by inspiring behavior change through our own efforts.

Our office is focused on reducing university greenhouse gas emissions per our climate action plan and implementing our sustainability plan. Sustainability staff members are responsible for working with sustainability stakeholders to execute our sustainability goals and for engaging with faculty, staff, and students across the university to elevate sustainability literacy, develop new programs, and support existing ones.

The VCU Office of Sustainability offers programs focused on sustainability and environmental topics that engage with students, faculty and staff as well as community partners to give back to the VCU and Richmond community.


Full-time equivalent of people employed in the sustainability office(s):
7

Does the institution have at least one sustainability officer?:
Yes

Name and title of each sustainability officer:
Ann Kildahl, Director of Sustainability

Does the institution have a mechanism for broad sustainability coordination for the entire institution?:
Yes

A brief description of the activities and substantive accomplishments of the institution-wide coordinating body or officer during the previous three years:

During the last three years, the Director of Sustainability has managed the creation and expansion of sustainability programs within the Office of Sustainability.

These include the creation of the VCU Free Store, an on-campus resource that promotes equitable access to everyday needs like school/art supplies, electronics, home goods and more, while keeping usable goods out of our landfills.

The Director of Sustainability has also overseen the establishment of the Urban Community Forestry project. These grant funded initiatives have resulted in the planting of over 150 trees in low-income neighborhoods and at schools surrounding the VCU campus. Maintenance of trees is coordinated for the first two years after planting to ensure the newly planted trees thrive and continue to provide benefit to the community.

The Learning Garden and Community Garden program has also expanded to provide additional opportunities and resources to the university community. The Learning Garden has undergone a renovation to allow for increased yield to benefit the campus and community partners and the Community Garden renovation project has been approved by the university for construction to begin in Fall 2021.


Job title of the sustainability officer position:
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Job title of the sustainability officer position (2nd position):
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Job title of the sustainability officer position (3rd position):
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Job description for the sustainability officer position (3rd position):
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Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainability coordination is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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