Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 66.38
Liaison Olivia Shehan
Submission Date Nov. 13, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Wellesley College
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
3.75 / 4.00 Dorothea Von Herder
Sustainability Coordinator
Facilties
"---" 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:

Since February 2015, the Advisory Committee on Environmental Sustainability has solicited ideas from the college community (at an IdeaFest held in February), worked closely with key stakeholders across campus, and researched relevant sustainability initiatives and policies at peer institutions. The result of this work is a sustainability plan that is organized into eight sectors: Academic & Co-curricular, Buildings & Water, Climate & Energy, Food & Dining, Landscape & Watershed, Purchasing & Waste and Transportation. Each sector outlines what Wellesley has accomplished in the past and explains strategies and targets for advancing sustainability at Wellesley over the next ten years. The strategic summary was approved by the Board of Trustees in April, 2016.


A copy of the strategic plan:
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):
Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Curriculum?:
Yes

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

Main Issues/Primary Goals
1. Support sustainability across the curriculum
2. Increase hands ­on learning and research opportunities in sustainability
3. Introduce incoming students to sustainability at Wellesley
4. Assess sustainability awareness among the entire Wellesley community

See Sustainability Plan document for details.


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

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

Primary Goals related to research:
1. Increase hands-on learning and research opportunities for students related to
sustainability
2. To implement metering for primary utilities at the building-level for 80 percent of
campus within five years and ensure the resulting data are available for facilities
management, academic research, and educational purposes
3. To encourage community engagement with the landscape through research

See Sustainability Plan document for more.


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:

Primary Goals:
1. Use the campus as a living laboratory.
2. Data on energy, water, and waste should be collected on at least a building-by-building basis to better support institutional decision making, promote community engagement, and provide data sets for analysis and research.

More info can be found in the Sustainability Plan document.


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:

See Sustainability Plan AC1.6: The Center of Environment - Sustainability hub for research and collaboration

The idea for the Center for the Environment was developed in 2013, architectural phase started in April 2016 and construction began in December 2017. The Center would promote collaborative research and teaching across Wellesley as well as Babson and Olin College. In addition, the Center would promote alumni involvement and outreach to increase student engagement in sustainability. The transdisciplinary center would be housed within the Science Center, in part to further the integration of the sciences with the rest of the liberal arts. The specific goals for the Center included (Wellesley Center for the Environment Working Group, 2013).

A few of the public engagement goals of the future Center are:

● Bringing in environmental practitioners from around the world who can contribute to the curriculum. The Center would also connect with local environmental practitioners who can engage students in real-world issues, comment on student work, and host student internships.
● Providing consistent programming to enhance student leadership and communication skills. Programs and events might involve invited speakers as well as workshops and student-led symposia.


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:

Wellesley’s comprehensive and forward-looking Sustainability Plan and a set of five guiding principles serve as our compass as we seek to advance environmental sustainability and achieve carbon neutrality.
A multipart energy initiative announced on October 29, 2018 will enable us to lower the College’s electricity use, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and annual utility costs, ensure a dependable electricity supply, and position the College to expand its renewable energy use in the future. At Wellesley, we know an ecologically diverse, energy efficient, and healthy campus benefits our community—and we know each student will carry that model with her as she goes on to make a difference in the world.

Main Issues/Primary Goals
● To reduce the college’s greenhouse gas emissions from on-campus activities by 37
percent by 2026 and 44 percent by 2036 from a 2010 baseline and to undertake long-term planning to achieve carbon neutrality.

● To improve the energy efficiency of buildings through the implementation of the Green
Building Standards (adopted in 2014) for major construction and renovation and the
expansion of the current Green Revolving Fund to further support improvements in other
buildings (which could help address deferred maintenance issues).


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:

Main Issues / Goals:
1) To improve the energy efficiency of buildings through the implementation of the Green
Building Standards (adopted in 2014) for major construction and renovation and the
expansion of the current Green Revolving Fund to further support improvements in other
buildings (which could help address deferred maintenance issues).
2) To implement metering for primary utilities at the building-level for 80 percent of
campus within five years and ensure the resulting data are available for facilities
management, academic research, and educational purposes.

See the strategic sustainability plan for more information.


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:

See the strategic sustainability plan section "Air & Climate: https://www.wellesley.edu/about/sustainability/sustainabilityplan

Main Goals:
1) To reduce the college’s greenhouse gas emissions from on-campus activities by 37
percent by 2026 and 44 percent by 2036 from a 2010 baseline and to undertake long term planning to achieve carbon neutrality.

2) To improve the energy efficiency of buildings through the implementation of the Green Building Standards (adopted in 2014) for major construction and renovation and the expansion of the current Green Revolving Fund to further support improvements in other buildings (which could help address deferred maintenance issues).

Objectives have been delivered by the adoption of Climate neutrality announcement:
https://www.wellesley.edu/news/2018/stories/node/159866


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:

See the strategic sustainability plan section "Food & Dining: https://www.wellesley.edu/about/sustainability/sustainabilityplan

Main goals:
Reduce the College’s footprint by:
1. creating a multi­stakeholder Food Committee to implement the goals of this Sustainability Plan,
2. creating a better system for collecting more food-related data and information,
3. increasing sustainable food and utensil purchases, and
4. decreasing overall food and utensil purchases and waste generation

Delivered items on FD2.2, FD3.3, FD3.4, and FD4.2
-Created a baseline of current food purchases based on categories such as local, organic, and Fair Trade (RFC started in 2015-2018).
-Promoted vegetarian diet/reduced meat products consumption through educational outreach programs (meatless Mondays)
-Advertised local and sustainable main dishes in dining halls on a regular basis
-Educate students during orientation week about proper food disposal in dining halls


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:

Primary Goals:
● To establish a more ecologically sustainable campus landscape through both design and maintenance, building on the 1998 Campus Landscape plans and updates.
● To encourage community engagement with the landscape through research (the campus is a living laboratory), additional signage (to educate people about the campus), and support for pedestrians and bicyclists.

See the sustainability plan for more information.


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:

See section "Purchasing and Waste" in Strategic Sustainability Plan: https://www.wellesley.edu/sites/default/files/assets/departments/about/files/sustainabilityplan.pdf

Delivered on:
-PWM1.3 Educate Campus on College's green purchasing strategies
- PMW1.4 Paperless events and reduced paper use in classrooms, reading hand-outs etc.
-PMW1.5a Increase post-consumer recycled content of purchased paper: 75% of paper purchases should have at least 30% recycled content.


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:

See section "Transportation" in Strategic Sustainability Plans Transportation goals: https://www.wellesley.edu/sites/default/files/assets/departments/about/files/sustainabilityplan.pdf

Main Goals:
1.Introduce systematic tracking of college-funded travel type (air, rail, auto) and associated miles and investigate carbon offsets.
2.Increase the efficiency of the Wellesley Motor Pool fleet with new purchases and replacements.
3.Reduce single-occupant personal vehicle use for commuting from 80% to 60% of trips by 2020
(207,600 miles or 114 MT eCO2).

Delivered on goals TR2.3 and TR2.7and TR3.4.
- Administered college-wide transportation survey of faculty/staff in 2016
- Improved walking and biking on campus by enlarging inventory of bike share by 30% from 20 to 30 bikes.
-Re-evaluated bus contract and switched to smaller buses adjusting to actual ridership. Traction of ridership from and to campus.


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:

See section "Transportation" in Strategic Sustainability Plans Transportation goals: https://www.wellesley.edu/sites/default/files/assets/departments/about/files/sustainabilityplan.pdf

Primary Goals for Waste Reduction
1. Develop management strategies for college activities and operations that encourage materials re-use and waste reduction.
- Increase awareness of the specialty recycling services for e-waste and batteries provided through the library. (2 years)
- Review campus policy with respect to storing and re-using furnishings (2 years)
- Create a campus re-use store. (10 years)
- Establish a protocol for what constitutes a zero-waste event on campus. (2 years)
- Phase out plastic bags at all retail operations on campus. (2 years)
- Expand composting to all dining halls, dormitory kitchens, and other food vendors on campus (5 years)
2. Systematize waste management to ensure that sustainability is tracked and factored into all waste management decisions.
- A comprehensive review of waste management and recycling practices (2 years)
- Regular and publicly reported statistics on waste and recycling collection on campus (2 years)
- Review the college’s single-stream recycling policy (2 years)
- Develop a uniform system for waste management labeling and communication. Standards should be established during Phase I; implementation will take place in Phase II and III (as waste receptacles are replaced)

Delivered on:
PWM1.10 Expanded the number of offices participating in the Sustainability Office Program: 25% (Phase 1) - 160 workspaces certified
PWM1.11 Made use of recycled content paper turned used paper into scratch pads for distribution on campus.
PMW1.13 Undertook a review of the sustainability of current cleaning supplies purchased on campus.
PWM 2.1 Recycled all landscape waste to provide mulch and loam
PMW2.2 Donate books retired from the library
PMW2.2 Refurbish and donate computers at end-of-life
PWM2.9 Expand composting to all dining halls, dormitory kitchens, and other food vendors on campus,


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:

Main Issues / Goals:
1. To improve the sustainability of campus water consumption by carefully managing our
aquifer, reducing potable water consumption to 50 percent below the 1999 baseline by
2026, and eliminating the purchase of bottled water.
2. Campus-wide metering of potable and non-potable water use to provide data for reduction of potable and non-potable water use.
3. Use of data on potable water to increase awareness of water as a valuable resource and educate on water conservation principles.
4. Pursue strategies that will increase the quality of the college’s potable water.
5. Pursue strategies that will affect water loss and address water damage in college infrastructure.

See sustainability plan for more information.


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:

http://web.wellesley.edu/DeanStudent/Diversity/attachments/CoreCommittee5-19.pdf

1. Diversity and Inclusion Education – develop campus-wide multicultural capacity among students and within the Division of Student Life through programs of multicultural education and structured dialogues that enable all students to engage one another around issues of diversity and inclusion and deepen their competency in addressing issues of identity, culture, and community.

2. Affirmation and Collaboration – develop a vibrant and inclusive sense of community on campus by affirming social identities through the support of particular cultural communities, while at the same time, building stronger connections across differences through programs which foster mutual understanding and collaboration among all students and student organizations.

3. Student Success – work in partnership with faculty and student life staff to ensure that all Wellesley students reach their full potential through a vibrant educational experience that includes academic excellence, leadership development, interpersonal engagement and individual fulfillment.

4. Leadership Development – enable students to develop the knowledge, experiences and skills necessary to lead in an increasingly interconnected and interdependent world by bringing people together with different histories, cultural legacies, and values in a manner that recognizes and addresses the tensions stemming from different social identities and builds community through the development of shared principles.


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:
---

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:

See Sustainability Strategic Plan Section Landscape and Water (LW2.3) and (LW2.9) that pertain to the subject of the campus community and wellbeing.

"The Wellesley College campus was not designed to create efficiency and convenience, but to be a place where people move through the landscape, experience natural surroundings, and meander in a way that promotes physical and emotional health."

According to (LW2.3), the following actions were taken to connect the community with the nature for increasing wellbeing of students, faculty, and staff such as:
1. Place logs or boulders—materials already located on campus land—strategically so they can be used as outdoor seats (in keeping with Olmstedian design).
----Placed boulder seats into the Walkable labyrinth in the Botanical Gardens in 2017

2. Placed 4 comfortable Adirondack chairs on Wellesley's common green spaces (lawn in front of Waban Lake) made from sustainable recyclable materials in 2016.

3. Place bird boxes, sundials, mounted weatherproof binoculars, or other unintrusive, naturally interesting items in the landscape to attract attention to the environment. -----placed bird boxes at the edible Eco-gardens, sundial at the Observatory.

According to (LW2.9) the following actions were taken for enlisting students to help in experiencing the Wellesley landscape:
-------------The Office of Sustainability bike share interns organized group bike rides to the Natick Farmers market and adjacent forests.

https://www.mapmyride.com/us/wellesley-ma/


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:
---

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)? :
---

The formal statement in support of sustainability:
---

The institution’s definition of sustainability (e.g. as included in a published statement or plan):

https://www.wellesley.edu/about/sustainability/guidingprinciples

Disciplined Thinking
Wellesley College develops knowledge about sustainability through research and education to be tested and shared at the local and global level.

As Wellesley College considers sustainability to be a key component of a liberal arts education, to reach this goal we will:
Encourage research on sustainability-related issues across the humanities, sciences, and social sciences
Educate our community by offering a wide range of courses related to sustainability, and diverse opportunities for relevant experiential learning
Engage the entire Wellesley community in testing ideas, adaptively managing campus resources, and sharing resulting knowledge beyond the College

+
Diversity and Inclusion
Wellesley College commits to the inclusion of all groups within our community — no matter their socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, religion, nationality, physical ability, or any of the other categories that can be used to divide people — when addressing sustainability issues and in implementing sustainable practices. The institution recognizes that equitable and conscientious progress can only be made when all voices are able to speak and be heard.

To ensure the inclusion and equity of all groups of people in discussions and decisions about sustainability issues, Wellesley College will:
Communicate consistently and transparently about all decisions reached to achieve sustainability goals
Solicit and incorporate the perspectives and concerns of all campus constituencies into sustainability decisions
Provide opportunities and resources for the exploration of sustainability goals such that all are encouraged and able to participate; these include but are not limited to academic lectures and open forums about sustainability
Continue to adapt these Sustainability Guiding Principles as campus cultures change and new issues arise

+
Leadership
Wellesley College is a campus community that offers students experiences to develop their leadership skills in sustainability and to take action locally, regionally, and globally on pressing sustainability issues.

Wellesley College ensures student leadership through actions that:
Maintain our robust sustainability program for students to take leadership roles under mentorship from inside and outside the institution
Offer opportunities to develop solutions to sustainability problems by using the campus as a living laboratory and by providing avenues for community service both locally and globally
Work with the College leadership to allocate and maintain resources for these programs to flourish
Connect the environmental issues we face with concepts of social justice, inspiring our campus community to commit to bettering the campus and the world
Require the college to be a leader by enacting with transparency and accountability the Sustainability Plan adopted by the Trustees in 2016

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Landscape
Wellesley College preserves, manages, and regenerates the campus landscape to build community, promote well-being and intellectually engage with the natural environment.
As this landscape is central to our identity and part of the unique founding principles of the College, the College seeks to:
Minimize impacts on the land by leaving natural forms and patterns intact, and protecting and restoring the hills, meadows, and forest
Provide transparent management approaches to the community
Use the landscape for interdisciplinary collaborations, research, and teaching to explore questions of sustainable land and water, and biodiversity and restoration management
Engage physically, spiritually, and intellectually with the natural environment to build a sense of place, connectedness with nature and committed community
Promote physical and mental health by encouraging the use of and interaction with the landscape

+
Act Locally, Think Globally
Wellesley College’s community makes a difference in the world by being mindful of our impact on the greater global community while minimizing our overall “footprint” and maximizing our “handprint.”
So that the Wellesley community continues striving to be a local and global leader in sustainability, we will:
Promote waste reduction, energy efficiency, reduction of consumption, renewable energy, and responsible consumer choice
Use sustainable practices in our physical infrastructure and landscape
Partner with local, regional, and global stakeholders in advancing sustainability efforts
Encourage our community and leadership to consistently operate with an awareness of the social, economic, environmental, and health-related impacts of our actions or inactions on the local and global community and the future generations.


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) ---

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

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

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.