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-2: Sustainability Planning

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 a published strategic plan or equivalent guiding document that includes sustainability at a high level? :
Yes

A brief description of how the institution’s strategic plan or equivalent guiding document addresses sustainability:

WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY'S STRATEGIC PRIORITIES

Washington University in St. Louis has identified five strategic priority areas, including "Energy, Environment, and Sustainability." Major initiatives in this area include extensive research and teaching in the University's seven academics schools, international partnerships through the McDonnell Academy Global Energy and Environmental Partnership, significant campus sustainability work, and domestic partnerships at the local, state, and national levels.

In addition, the University's other four Strategic Priorities have important overlaps and collaboration points with the work in Energy, Environment, and Sustainability:

-Advancing Human Health
-Diversity and Inclusion
-Global Engagement
-Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Strategic Priorities are adopted at the highest level of the institution. Measurable objectives and specific strategies are provided in detail by the Strategic Plan for Sustainable Operations (see below).


A copy of the strategic plan:
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The website URL where the strategic plan is publicly available:
Does the institution have a published sustainability plan (apart from what is reported above)? :
Yes

A copy of the sustainability plan:
The website URL where the sustainability plan is publicly available:
Does the institution have a published climate action plan (apart from what is reported above)? :
Yes

A copy of the climate action plan:
The website URL where the climate action plan is publicly available:
Does the institution have other published plans that address sustainability or include measurable sustainability objectives (e.g. campus master plan, physical campus plan, diversity plan, human resources plan)? :
Yes

A list of other published plans that address sustainability, including public website URLs (if available):

WashU School of Medicine Strategic Plan for Sustainable Operations: https://facilities.med.wustl.edu/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/WUSM-Sustainability-Plan.pdf

Diversity & Inclusion Report: https://diversity.wustl.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Diversity-and-Inclusion-Report-2015-1.pdf

HR, Student Health and Dining Services have signed on to meet specific goals set by the Partnership for a Healthier America by the end of 2017. This information is available here: http://ahealthieramerica.org/our-partners/#Washington%20University%20in%20St.%20Louis,6264,partner%20hide.

School of Engineering:
https://engineering.wustl.edu/our-school/strategicplan/Pages/default.aspx


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Curriculum?:
No

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Curriculum and the published plans in which each objective is included:
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Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Research?:
No

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Research and the published plans in which each objective is included:

Check with U


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Campus Engagement?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Campus Engagement and the published plans in which each objective is included:

The following measurable goals are found in the Community Section of the Strategic Plan for Sustainable Operations, under the goal of "Fostering a University Culture in Which Sustainability is a Defining Element of Institutional Identity and Daily Practice"

-Increased number of students and volunteer hours leveraged annually, aligned structure and content of the programs (Ongoing)
-Increased percentage of campus community aware of “Less is More”, measured through literacy assessment (2017)
-100% participation in Green Cup among campus residential halls (Ongoing)
-Increased number of student groups, departments, and schools that participate, and number of events (Ongoing)
-All new employees reached through orientation program (Ongoing)
-Increase diversion rate at events at campus events (Ongoing)
-Certify 100 Green Offices (2017)
- Relaunch an institution wide Green Labs program (2017)
- Collaborate with Student Union's Green Events commission to institutionalize green practices into student events (Ongoing)


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Public Engagement?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Public Engagement and the published plans in which each objective is included:

The following measurable goals are found in the Community Section of the Strategic Plan for Sustainable Operations, under the goal of "Fostering a University Culture in Which Sustainability is a Defining Element of Institutional Identity and Daily Practice"

-Host 3 events in cities around the US to connect sustainability alum and develop a deep sustainability network
-Create strong collaborations that produce results
- Continue to release Office of Sustainability newsletter and increase subscribers by 10%
- Host an annual speaker who addresses the intersection of social justice, public health and sustainability.
- Partner with existing WashU College Prep and youth mentorship programs to expose traditionally underrepresented students to the broad range of sustainability fields and career opportunities.


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Air & Climate?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Air & Climate and the published plans in which each objective is included:

The objectives below are included in the Strategic Plan for Sustainable Operations, within the Energy and Emissions section; the goals are supported by the Energy and Emissions Case Study report.

The objective is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels (253,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalent by 2020, including all growth on the Danforth and School of Medicine campuses.

-Develop a robust scope 3 greenhouse gas inventory
-Publish and annually update a financial modeling guideline, including guidance on life-cycle cost analyses, utility escalators, and the social cost of carbon.
-Prioritize projects that yield larger carbon reduction over projects that yield larger Btu reduction when evaluating projects with similar NPVs


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Buildings?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Buildings and the published plans in which each objective is included:

The following measurable goals are found in the Buildings Section of the Strategic Plan for Sustainable Operations, under the goal of "Serve as a Leader in Green Building Design and Operation.

-Require new buildings and major renovations to achieve a LEED Silver minimum
-Pursue LEED Building Operations and Maintenance certification for at least one project on each campus
-Ensure that all new construction is at least 30% better and all major renovation is at least 20% better than ASHRAE 90.1-2010 energy efficiency standard.
-Establish EUI (Energy Use Intensity) targets for various space types for new construction, major renovations, and ongoing building operations.
-Develop a standard LEED checklist of point categories that WashU always pursues, with WashU-specific guidance, to serve as a resource for design teams
-Publish and annually update a financial modeling guideline, including guidance on life-cycle cost analyses, utility escalators, and the social cost of carbon.
-Develop a material red list and other material guidelines for construction and operations and maintenance.
-Develop design guidance for adaptation, preparedness, and campus resilience in the face of a changing climate.


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Energy?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Energy and the published plans in which each objective is included:

The following measurable objectives and strategies are found in the Energy and Emissions Section of the Strategic Plan for Sustainable Operations, under the goal of "Chart a path Toward Carbon Neutrality Without Purchasing Renewable Energy Credits."

-Establish EUI (Energy Use Intensity) targets for various space types for new construction, major renovations, and ongoing building operations.
-Convene a cross-campus energy conservation team that meets no less than bi-monthly
-Conduct third-party energy audits to benchmark against peer group at least biennially
-Participate in national and regional energy benchmarking programs by reporting building energy use to Energy Star Portfolio Manager at least annually
-Improve efficiency of existing buildings by retro-commissioning existing buildings, giving priority to buildings with the highest EUIs.
-Ensure that all new construction is at least 30% better and all major renovation is at least 20% better than ASHRAE 90.1-2010 energy efficiency standard.
-Continue to enhance staff knowledge and skills for energy management
-Foster a culture of energy awareness and conservation though programs such as the annual Green Cup energy reduction competition.
-Explore next generation and low carbon campus energy systems


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Food & Dining?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Food & Dining and the published plans in which each objective is included:

The following measurable goals are found in the Food Section of the Strategic Plan for Sustainable Operations, under the strategy of "Support a Food System that Advances Environmental and Public Health While Supporting a Strong Local Economy."

-Spend 20% of food costs locally by 2017 and 22% by 2020
-Purchase produce from local farms
-Purchase meat, fish, dairy, and animal products from local farms
-Purchase locally prepared and locally processed foods
-Expand relationships with local producers through programs such as Guaranteed Cash Guaranteed Crops and no interest loan programs
-Purchase seafood that is Monterey Bay recommended or Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified
-Purchase beef that is grass-fed
-Purchase cage-free eggs
-Purchase milk that is organically produced
-Purchase produce that is organically grown
-Purchase produce that is non-GMO
-Purchase coffee that meets or exceeds Fair Trade or Rainforest Alliance Certification
- Host and expand participation in education and outreach campaigns including Food Week, a week long program of campus wide educational events


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Grounds?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Grounds and the published plans in which each objective is included:

The following measurable goals are found in the Landscape Section of the Strategic Plan for Sustainable Operations, under the goal of "Foster Human and Environmental Health Through Low Impact, Resilient Landscapes that Provide an Array of Ecosystem Services."

-Replace 10% of turf area with native, adaptive, and performative landscape by 2020, relative to a 2010 baseline.
-Pursue SITES certification for a landscape project by 2018
-Update current landscape guidelines and plant material standards to reflect sustainable landscape objectives with an emphasis on native and adaptive species that support resilient campus ecology in the face of a changing climate
-Develop non-plant material guidelines, including a red list of items not to be used
-Develop guidelines for Best Maintenance Practices (BMP) and Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
-Incorporate Campus Tree Framework Plan into comprehensive sustainable landscape guidelines
-Establish biodiversity goals and metrics for the university
-Increase permeable space by replacing surface parking lots in the East End of the Danforth Campus with an underground garage capped with a large green roof and open green spaces


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Purchasing?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Purchasing and the published plans in which each objective is included:

The following are included in the Sustainable Plan for Strategic Operations, under a variety of sections within the plan.

-By 2016, Purchase cage-free eggs.
-By 2017, Purchase produce that is non-GMO.
-By 2016, Use only cleaning products that are Green Seal Certified, biodegradable, and non-toxic where possible.
- Assess waste streams on campus to identify key target areas for waste reduction.
- Create campus-wide purchasing standards to reduce landfill-only materials and overall tonnage of materials coming into the university.

Also: https://resourcemanagement.wustl.edu/purchasing-services/environmental/environmentally-preferred-purchasing/


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Transportation?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Transportation and the published plans in which each objective is included:

The following measurable goals are found in the Transportation Section of the Strategic Plan for Sustainable Operations, under the goal of "Become a Model in the Midwest for Alternative and Low Carbon Transportation."

-Increase the number of fleet vehicles using alternative energy (biodiesel, electric, hybrid)
-Increase usage of U-Pass (free transit pass) for staff, faculty, and student commuting
-Increase membership of CarShare program and respond to demand
-Increase membership in Guaranteed Ride Home Program
-Increase and improve bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure
-Develop a comprehensive strategy for university commuter facilities
-Increase bicycle registration and number of discounted locks sold
-Achieve at least Silver level Bicycle Friendly University designation by 2017
-Explore feasibility of a “Bike Hub” for resources, enforcement and culture
-Provide personal transportation consultations to students and staff


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Waste?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Waste and the published plans in which each objective is included:

The following measurable goals are found in the Waste Section of the Strategic Plan for Sustainable Operations, under the goal of "Chart a Path Toward Zero Waste."

-Achieve a 55% waste diversion rate on the Danforth Campus (2020)
-Provide consistent color-coded waste infrastructure and signage throughout the university that aligns label colors, bag colors, and dumpster colors
-Expand waste educational outreach through Recycling Genius Program
-Expand recycling program to all laboratories
-Expand green waste station program to all major campus events with over 500 attendees
-Add soft plastic recycling in select locations, including shipping and receiving areas and central collection bins in residential areas
-Explore the feasibility of developing a material recovery facility to improve waste diversion
-Assess and upgrade kitchen back-of-the-house compost and recycling processes, infrastructure, and signage in all dining locations


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Water?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Water and the published plans in which each objective is included:

The following measurable goals are found in the Water Section of the Strategic Plan for Sustainable Operations, under the goal of "Become a Leader in Water Conservation."

-Decrease potable water use 15% by 2020
-Replace all residential shower heads with low-flow fixtures
-Enhance and develop resources to support a strong water conservation program
-Identify and implement major water conservation projects
-Evaluate water conservation projects using consistent guidelines


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Diversity & Affordability?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Diversity & Affordability and the published plans in which each objective is included:

The objectives below are included in the Strategic Plan for Sustainable Operations.

-Recruit, hire, and support a diverse student intern and staff team in the Office of Sustainability
-Host and annual speaker who addresses the intersection of social justice, public health, and sustainability
-Host an intern position focused on environmental justice
-Host a staff/intern training at least annually on diversity and inclusion

In the Diversity and Inclusion Report:
-The university will commit increased resources to ensure that we recruit, hire, and support diverse faculty through a variety of initiatives, including pipeline work
-Each school and unit will devise a strategic plan for promoting diversity and inclusion
-The university will recognize and honor individuals and/or groups who have advanced diversity and inclusion


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Investment & Finance?:
No

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Investment & Finance and the published plans in which each objective is included:
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Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Wellbeing & Work?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Wellbeing & Work and the published plans in which each objective is included:

These objectives are listed in the Strategic Plan for Sustainable Operations:

- Collaborate with existing campus wide wellness program to promote goals around active transportation and healthy food choices through a campus CSA program

- Certify 100 Offices in the Green Office program by 2017.

Additional information can also be found at: https://wellnessconnection.wustl.edu/about/


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address other areas (e.g. arts and culture or technology)?:
No

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address other areas and the published plans in which each objective is included:
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Does the institution have a formal statement in support of sustainability endorsed by its governing body (e.g. a mission statement that specifically includes sustainability and is endorsed by the Board of Trustees)? :
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The formal statement in support of sustainability:
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The institution’s definition of sustainability (e.g. as included in a published statement or plan):

Development which meets the needs of current generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.


Is the institution an endorser or signatory of the following? :
Yes or No
The Earth Charter ---
The Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI) ---
ISCN-GULF Sustainable Campus Charter ---
Second Nature’s Carbon Commitment (formerly known as the ACUPCC), Resilience Commitment, and/or integrated Climate Commitment ---
The Talloires Declaration (TD) ---
UN Global Compact ---
Other multi-dimensional sustainability commitments (please specify below) Yes

A brief description of the institution’s formal sustainability commitments, including the specific initiatives selected above:

Other multi-dimensional sustainability commitments: UC3


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.