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

STARS v2.1

Washington University in St. Louis
PA-1: Sustainability Coordination

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Reporter Phil Valko
Assistant Vice Chancellor for Sustainability
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have at least one sustainability committee?:

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

Leaders from the Office of Sustainability, Facilities, Environmental Studies Program, and the WashU Climate Change Program coordinate university-wide operational and academic strategic planning through a network of stakeholder groups. In combination, stakeholder groups encompass faculty, staff, students, consultants, and community partners.

The committees and working groups that come together regularly to meet on specific priorities include:
* Dining
* Energy and Emissions
* Campus Mobility
* Green Labs
* Environmental Justice
* Climate Change
* Green Building
* Waste Diversion and Minimization

At the School of Medicine, the Sustainability Action Team (SAT) meets quarterly to provide education on how individuals can reduce their resource use (energy, water, paper, etc.), enhance understanding around individual actions to reach sustainability goals, and encourage participation in sustainability programs across the campus and community. The SAT has 3 working groups focusing on: Green Labs, Waste Diversion, and Event Planning.

Members of each committee, including affiliations and role (e.g. staff, student, or faculty):

The various stakeholder groups and committees include upwards of forty members. The following list represents a few of the guiding members.

Chair: Henry S. Webber, Executive Vice Chancellor for Administration
-Melissa Hopkins, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Medical School Facilities
-Jim Stueber, Senior Director, Medical School Facilities Engineering
-J.D. Long, Associate Vice Chancellor, Facilities Planning and Management, Danforth Campus
-Ed Barry, Director, Utilities Operations, Danforth Campus
-Jamie Kolker, Campus Architect and Planner
-Phil Valko, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Sustainability

The Sustainability Action Team leaders include the following:
-Melissa Hopkins, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Medical School Facilities
-Jim Stueber, Senior Director, Medical School Facilities Engineering
-Phil Valko, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Sustainability, Danforth Campus
-Cassandra Hage, Assistant Director of Sustainability, Danforth Campus
-Alicia Hubert, Sustainability Coordinator, Facilities, School of Medicine Campus
-The SAT has a mailing list of ~1,300 people with 50-100 active members attending quarterly meetings.

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

A brief description of each sustainability office:

The Office of Sustainability (OOS) leads Washington University in St. Louis’ efforts to transform our campuses into living laboratories that connect teaching and research directly to sustainable campus operations. OOS leads institutional sustainability goal-setting and works closely with departments throughout the institution to achieve the goals. OOS serves as a clearinghouse for new and innovative ideas and a guiding force for sustainability-related initiatives on campus.

The Office currently consists of five full-time staff members. The 2015-2020 Strategic Plan for Sustainable Operations guides the work of the office. The Plan contains specific goals, strategies, and metrics for each of the eight areas outlined in the plan (Energy & Emissions, Buildings, Community, Food, Landscape, Transportation, Waste, and Water). Progress against these goals is tracked on an ongoing basis.

Additionally, 23 student interns are employed by the office and handle specific projects and programs. The interns are also focused on the goals in the Plan, and are grouped into teams related to the eight strategic areas. The intern program has grown by 7 students over the last year and is a robust part of the sustainability office workforce. Interns represent 1.25 FTE in the figure below.

In addition to the five OOS staff, the School of Medicine's Operations and Facilities Management Department hosts a Sustainability Coordinator who closely coordinates with the OOS, along with one part time student intern.

Three staff are included as additional FTEs that do not work within the Office of Sustainabiltiy, but have job descriptions that allocate a specific portion of their time for sustainability work: Alternative Transportation Coordiantor (.5 FTE out of Parking & Transporation), Event Planner (grant-funded support for Climate Summit, .5 FTE), and the Sustainable Design and Construction Project Manager out of the Facilities Planning & Management Dept. (1 FTE)

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

Does the institution have at least one sustainability officer?:

Name and title of each sustainability officer:
Phil Valko, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Sustainability

Does the institution have a mechanism for broad sustainability coordination for the entire institution (e.g. a campus-wide committee or an officer/office responsible for the entire campus)?:

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

Accomplishments include:
* Completion and campus roll out of the updated 5 year Strategic Plan for Sustainable Operations
* 2019 update to the University's greenhouse gas reduction strategy, including a number of new carbon reduction initiatives
* A peer to peer education program, The Green Ambassador program launched in 2013 with 33 students. Since then they have introduced 1,700 incoming freshmen to campus sustainability
* In partnership with the Environmental Studies Program, the International Center for Energy, Environment and Sustainability, and others, The Office of Sustainability developed a student intern program that provides professional development and social programming for participating programs hosting interns in Energy, Environment and Sustainability. The current cohort is including 23 student workers during the academic year and 5-7 over the summer.
* Staff have championed a broad range of efforts, including creating zero-waste events, promoting Green Office program, and driving progress throughout the 8 areas of the strategic plan.
*The office works closely with campus dining partners to increase the overall percentage of locally sourced food options.
* Continue to aggressively pursue waste reduction and diversion. Recent initiatives include front and back of house compost collection in most dining areas across campus, a "straws upon request" policy that effectively removes straws from dining spaces, and defaulting to reusable dishes in dining areas where reusable dishes are offered.
* Reduce irrigation water use by pursuing landscape projects that utilize native and drought tolerant plantings, efficient irrigation systems, and rainwater harvesting.
*Completion and roll out of the Sustainable Operations Strategic Plan for the School of Medicine (2019)
*Within the last three years, all new major construction projects, including a major expansion of the main academic campus, have achieved high levels of LEED certification (10 new buildings (6 Platinum and 3 Gold, 1 Silver), and remains a focal point of the approach to new building design and construction.
*December 2019 completion of six solar installations totaling 1.9 megawatts, which brings the the total onsite solar-generating capacity to 2.5 megawatts.
*2019 re-launch of a Green Labs program
*Numerous enhancements in transportation infrastructure including a high-traffic bike/pedestrian bridge that connects a popular off campus residential area with main campus, improving the safety for cyclists and pedestrians, as well as increasing an already well-developed network of designated bike and pedestrian paths throughout campus.
*The newly developed "East End" of the main campus includes an underground parking garage with a multiple-acre green roof. Water is treated onsite where possible in a network of rain gardens and bioretention areas.
*Extensive partnerships in the St. Louis region to advance climate action

Job title of the sustainability officer position:
Assistant Vice Chancellor for Sustainability

Job description for the sustainability officer position:

Job description for the sustainability officer position:

As Assistant Vice Chancellor for Sustainability, Phil works with senior administrators, faculty, staff and students to incorporate and implement sustainable practices into the university’s strategic planning, operations, and resource management. Additionally, the assistant vice chancellor leads cross-sector partnership engagement in the St. Louis region and beyond to accelerate the adoption of sustainable practice.

Job title of the sustainability officer position (2nd position):
Assistant Director of Sustainability

Job description for the sustainability officer position (2nd position):

Job description for the sustainability officer position (2nd position):

The Assistant Director provides key management support to the Assistant Vice Chancellor of Sustainability and plays a key role in advancing the office’s vision of stewarding a culture of sustainability at Washington University across all institute functions.

This position oversees department operations to ensure high quality programs, services, and communications for all campus and community stakeholders; efficient administrative processes; and the operationalization and evaluation of initiatives and programs. Key responsibilities include: lead strategic projects and initiatives, provide sustainability training and consultation to the campus community, foster student leadership development, and oversee department operations.

Job title of the sustainability officer position (3rd position):
Sustainability Coordinator

Job description for the sustainability officer position (3rd position):

Job description for the sustainability officer position (3rd position):

* Coordinate elements of the University’s alternative transportation programs in close partnership with the Department of Parking and Transportation, including bi-annual Active Transportation Month, campus outreach, bicycle and pedestrian education and trainings, data collection, and reporting.
* Coordinate elements of the University’s sustainable dining programs in close partnership with Dining Services and dining contractors, including ongoing planning and implementation of outreach and education initiatives; sourcing local and environmentally preferable food; waste and energy reduction/diversion; and data collection and reporting. Facilitate quarterly planning meetings with Dining Services partners. Develop and promote food-related events and activities throughout the year. Partner with Human Resources to promote and expand Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program and School of Medicine farmers’ market.
* Supervise intern teams working in the areas of alternative transportation, food, and marketing/communications. Assign and guide weekly responsibilities, provide professional development opportunities, and conduct semester reviews.
* Manage Office of Sustainability marketing and communications. Develop marketing/communications materials with Office of Sustainability staff and other campus partners, including newsletters, social media posts, website, marketing materials for events, year-end report, and others. Attend tabling events and coordinate presentations to further promote programs and events.
* Expand existing and develop new outreach programs and initiatives, including the Green Office program, Less is More campaign, Green Cup, Share Our Stuff, community donation efforts, and others. Provide planning and execution support for special events, conferences, and programs hosted by Office of Sustainability and campus partners.
*Attending quarterly STL-HESC meetings to foster regional higher education partnerships.
*Serve as an Office of Sustainability representative to student groups; establish meeting schedules, support agenda development; attend meetings, provide guidance and direction, and enlist student support for university sustainability initiatives. Develop new partnerships with students that will increase student participation in and understanding of sustainability programs. Help align and expand peer-to-peer education efforts, including WashU Green Ambassadors (WUGA) and Eco Reps residential programs.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

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