Overall Rating Reporter
Overall Score
Liaison Phil Valko
Submission Date March 6, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Washington University in St. Louis
IN-27: Innovation D

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Reporter Cassandra Hage
Sustainability Manager
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Leadership in Establishing Regional Targets for Sustainability Metrics

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:

Beginning in Spring 2015, Washington University joined forces with five other regional higher education institutions, as well as several non profit organizations and the metropolitan planning organization, East-West Gateway Council of Governments, to develop sustainability targets and metrics for the St. Louis region. The effort aims to build on the regional sustainability plan, OneSTL, which was released in December 2013. While an important framework plan, OneSTL lacks the targets that are so critical for guiding sustainability efforts. For example, the plan identifies the importance of decreasing carbon emissions; however, it does not specify by how much or by when emissions will be reduced.

Each of the partner entities in this effort historically coordinated separate annual events -- including conferences, workshops, and symposia -- resulting in competition for sponsors, participants, speakers, and calendar time. The current effort was envisioned to combine resources to create a process and an annual event that will truly move the needle for sustainability planning and implementation in the region.

Shortly after the planning process began, WashU took a leadership role in curating an event that would be more than a typical conference. A plan was put into place to work with content experts in seven category areas to conduct preliminary research around key indicators and targets for regional sustainability. The planning process will culminate in a one-day conference (open to the public) followed by day-long, in-depth working sessions in which experts and regional leaders will determine targets for the region.

Planning for the process and the event has been an ongoing effort throughout the report year (FY2016). Working committees have been meeting at least monthly to research and draft content that will guide the working sessions. The event takes place April 5-6, 2017.

The outcomes of the planning process and event, influenced by WashU's leadership and support as the main financial contributor, have the potential to change the way St. Louis prioritizes sustainability and creates policies and coalitions to achieves goals and targets.


Which of the following impact areas does the innovation most closely relate to? (select up to three):
Public Engagement
Coordination & Planning

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :
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The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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