Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 51.83
Liaison Leslie North
Submission Date Jan. 9, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Western Kentucky University
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Christian Ryan
Sustainability Coordinator
WKU
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have current and formal plans to advance sustainability in the following areas? Do the plans include measurable objectives?:
Current and Formal Plans (Yes or No) Measurable Objectives (Yes or No)
Curriculum Yes Yes
Research (or other scholarship) Yes Yes
Campus Engagement Yes Yes
Public Engagement No
+ Date Revised: Jan. 21, 2015
Yes
Air and Climate No No
Buildings Yes Yes
Dining Services/Food No
+ Date Revised: Jan. 21, 2015
Yes
Energy Yes Yes
Grounds Yes Yes
Purchasing Yes Yes
Transportation Yes Yes
Waste Yes Yes
Water Yes
+ Date Revised: Jan. 21, 2015
Yes
+ Date Revised: Jan. 21, 2015
Diversity and Affordability Yes Yes
Health, Wellbeing and Work Yes Yes
Investment No No
Other --- ---

A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Curriculum:

In 2010, WKU President and Board of Regents passed a "Resolution for Sustainability in the Curriculum", adopting education for sustainability as a university core value to be reflected in the Strategic Plan and integrated into Strategic Goals.


The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Curriculum plan(s):

While the Strategic Plan does not explicitly include education for sustainability in academic areas, there are goals and strategies that support this activity, such as increasing regional stewardship projects through service learning that emphasizes social responsibility and civic engagement, increasing the number of STEM degrees conferred, and using a global context for teaching and learning.


Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Curriculum plan(s):

University-wide: all university stakeholders are accountable for supporting the Strategic Plan and realizing the goals and objectives stated within.


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Research (or other scholarship):

Plans to advance sustainability in research are encouraged by the President and the Office of Research but created and implemented at the college and department level. The MA in Social Responsibility and Sustainable Communities includes community based research methods, Ogden College of Science has a plan to increase student research in sustainability, the MBA sustainability program includes student research component, the Honors College collaborates with the Office of Sustainability to engage students in sustainability research, and the Office of Sustainability has a stated goal to promote and advance the use of campus as a living laboratory.


The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Research plan(s):

Objectives, strategies and timeframes are developed at the college or department level. Student and faculty sustainability research projects are archived in the WKU Library (TopSCHOLAR) and also on the Office of Sustainability website.


Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Research plan(s):

University-wide - see description above.


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance Campus Engagement around sustainability:

While not a formal "plan", the WKU Office of Sustainability was created with campus engagement around sustainability as a primary function. As such, the Office conducts a variety of sustainability awareness and engagement activities. The Office physical space serves as a living laboratory for student engagement and research.
The mission of the Office of Sustainability, campus engagement around sustainability, supports elements of the WKU Strategic Plan, Master Plan, and Quality Enhancement Plan. For example, WKU's Quality Enhancement Plan, "Engaging Students for Success in a Global Society", is linked to three student learning outcomes that are closely related to sustainability:
Outcome 1. Students will demonstrate their capacity to apply knowledge and training to address relevant issues in community or society.
Outcome 2. Students will demonstrate respect for diversity of peoples, ideas and cultures.
Outcome 3. Students will demonstrate awareness of their opportunities as responsible citizens living and working in a global society.

http://www.wku.edu/academicaffairs/documents/part_v.pdf

+ Date Revised: Jan. 21, 2015

The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Campus Engagement plan:

Measurable objectives include:
number of, and attendance for, sustainability workshops, activities and events.
number of research projects, thesis, class projects, and other academic activities that focus on sustainability issues or topics.
number of interdisciplinary collaborations focused on sustainability objectives.

+ Date Revised: Jan. 21, 2015

Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Campus Engagement plan(s):

The Office of Sustainability and partners campus-wide.

+ Date Revised: Jan. 21, 2015

A brief description of the plan(s) to advance Public Engagement around sustainability:

The WKU Strategic Plan, "Challenging the Spirit" Strategic Goal #3 is "Improve Quality of LIfe for our Communities".
While not a formalized plan, the WKU Office of Sustainability was created with community engagement around sustainability as a primary function. As such, the Office conducts a variety of sustainability awareness and engagement activities for the community, and acts as a clearinghouse for information. The Sustainability Coordinator regularly conducts community talks and works with local farmers on creating a more sustainable food system. The physical Office is a best practice demonstration home for community homeowners and includes a community garden. Additionally, the WKU Green Tour is offered to faculty, students, staff, and visitors by request.

+ Date Revised: Jan. 21, 2015

The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Public Engagement plan(s):

While not a formalized plan, measurable objectives and outcomes do exist. For example the Office of Sustainability has built a number of community partnerships to advance public engagement around sustainability. These include partners in local sustainability business that showcase their products on campus, local farmers and producers for who we feature products on campus or invite to campus events, frequent collaborations with local media, such as television and radio to talk about sustainability topics on campus and in community, and others.

+ Date Revised: Jan. 21, 2015

Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Public Engagement plan(s):

WKU Office of Sustainability.


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Air and Climate:

Currently in development.


The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Air and Climate plan(s):
---

Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Air and Climate plan(s):
---

A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Buildings:

In 2009, WKU made a commitment to build and renovate to LEED standards in all new construction. Since then, we have built or renovated four new buildings that are LEED certified.


The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Buildings plan(s):

The objective is LEED certification.


Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Buildings plan(s):

University-wide. Planning, Design and Construction.


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Dining Services/Food:

WKU Dining Services has expressed and demonstrated a commitment to support and advance WKU's commitment to sustainability through a variety of initiatives including food waste composting (pre and post consumer), local and Kentucky Proud sourcing, and waste reduction.


The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Dining Services/Food plan(s):

While there is no formal plan, measurable objectives for advancing sustainability in dining services do exist. These include: increased local sourcing (from 2% baseline), decreased food waste in the landfill, and elimination of disposable take out containers.

+ Date Revised: Jan. 21, 2015

Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Dining Services/Food plan(s):

WKU Dining Services.


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Energy:

In 2009, WKU adopted a comprehensive and progressive Energy Policy to ensure responsible use of energy. Additionally, the Strategic Plan includes a 12% decrease in energy use from 2013 to 2017.


The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Energy plan(s):

WKU has decreased energy use by 25% since 2009 and has already met the 12% reduction goal stated in the Strategic Plan. Strategies are comprehensive included efficiency and conservation initiatives.


Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Energy plan(s):

Department of Facilities Management, but really University-wide.


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Grounds:

WKU has adopted sustainable grounds management policies and procedures, with intent to increase native species, reduce turf, reduce irrigation, and eliminate use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. Additionally, WKU has just applied for Arboretum certification for main campus.


The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Grounds plan(s):

Increased number of native species, decreased water, fertilizer and pesticide use.


Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Grounds plan(s):

Department of Facilities Management.


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Purchasing:

The WKU Purchasing Policy includes Socially Responsible Purchasing as a strategy.
"In the process of conducting business, the University will incorporate socially responsible purchasing. To the extent permitted by applicable law the University will be supportive of programs and activities that promote the ability of minority, woman and disabled business owners to compete equally for the opportunity to provide goods and services to the University. The University will also actively pursue products, services and activities that promote sustainability of our planet. The University will consider and pursue the safety of individuals and of our environment while conducting all purchasing activities."


The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Purchasing plan(s):

Objectives are to increase purchasing from minority owned businesses and of products, services and activities that promote sustainability.


Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Purchasing plan(s):

Finance and Administration.


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Transportation:

WKU Parking and Transportation has developed an entire car-free campaign, seeking to reduce stress on parking, traffic, and environmental and health impacts. The plan includes car-sharing, ride-sharing, subsidized public transportation, university shuttle services, and bike-friendly strategies.


The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Transportation plan(s):

Reduced permit sales, increased shuttle and public transportation use, and increased cycling.


Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Transportation plan(s):

Parking and Transportation Services.


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Waste:

The WKU Recycling and Surplus department exists to reduce waste through upstream reduction, re-use, and recycling on campus, through education and awareness, as well as operational changes. Waste diversion and surplus reuse are included in the University Strategic Plan, with waste diversion goal of 150% from 2013 to 2017.


The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Waste plan(s):

Objectives include source reduction, waste diversion, and surplus re-use, with an overall four year goal of 150% waste diversion.


Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Waste plan(s):

WKU Recycling and Surplus.


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Water:

Stormwater Quality Management Plan
Western Kentucky University developed its Stormwater Quality Management Plan in May of 2010. The plan allows WKU to meet its commitment to environmental stewardship and to obtain coverage under the Phase II Stormwater General Permit under the Clean Water Act. The Storm Water Quality Management Plan is designed to prevent and reduce stormwater pollution. It addresses six minimum control measures:
1. Public Education & Outreach
2. Public Involvement and Participation
3. Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
4. Construction Site Stormwater Run-off Control
5. Post-Construction Stormwater Management
6. Pollution Prevention / Good Housekeeping

http://www.wku.edu/ehs/stormwater/stormwater.php

+ Date Revised: Jan. 21, 2015

The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Water plan(s):

Each year, WKU is required to submit information regarding the success and support of this program, including how many public education and outreach activities were offered and attended, reports of illicit discharges, oversight and reporting on construction activities and runoff control, and pollution prevention activities.

+ Date Revised: Jan. 21, 2015

Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Water plan(s):

WKU Environment, Health and Safety oversees plan, but responsibility for ensuring we are following stormwater quality protocols is university-wide.

+ Date Revised: Jan. 21, 2015

A brief description of the plan(s) to advance Diversity and Affordability:

The WKU Strategic Plan includes the following goal:
Promote a Dynamic and Diverse University Community, with the objective to "make a college education more economically affordable for students from diverse groups".


The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Diversity and Affordability plan(s):

Strategies:
Allocate existing scholarship dollars for maximum impact
Increase work-study opportunities for both Pell-eligible and non- Pell-eligible students
Implement need-based programs for first-generation students and other targeted groups
Improve placement and advising of students needing developmental/supplemental coursework in math
Expand Summer Term offerings by increasing opportunities for faculty to teach in summer and by providing scholarships for students taking two courses
Explore scheduling options intended to reduce students’ time to degree
Match WKU scholarship dollars 1:1 with philanthropic support
Objectives:
Increase by 70% the number of first-time, full-time undergraduates receiving institutional grant aid
Decrease by 2% the average total credits to degree, including developmental and transfer hours
Decrease by 3% the average time to degree of the FTFTB cohort


Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Diversity and Affordability plan(s):

University-wide.


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Health, Wellbeing and Work:

The Employee Wellness Program enhances the personal and professional lives of WKU employees by providing educational opportunities, programs, and services that promote and support healthy lifestyle behaviors.
The WKU Health Education and Promotion Program provides health education and promotional programming to students.
Both programs partner with a variety of other stakeholders to educate students and faculty on a variety of health and wellness topics, including:
stress and time management, sleep management, healthy relationships, sexual health, men's and women's health, cold and flu prevention, cancer, nutrition, exercise, mental health issues, and healthy body image/eating disorders.
The programs incorporate theory and an evidence based approach including multi-level prevention strategies such as research and data management, advocating for health environmental changes, providing free HIV testing and prevention counseling services, online alcohol and marijuana self-assessments, quit tobacco services, health communication campaigns/publications and more.
A newly unveiled program for WKU employees emphasizes preventative care, and includes programs that provide resources and incentives for healthy eating, stress management, exercise, smoking cessation, and general well-being.

+ Date Revised: Jan. 21, 2015

The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Health, Wellbeing and Work plan(s):

Objectives are reduced sick leave and accidents, and improved faculty, staff, and student health and well-being. This includes preventative health plans, an on-campus clinic, incentives for physical activity and other healthy lifestyle activities, and reduced insurance rates for participation in such programs.


Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Health, Wellbeing and Work plan(s):

WKU Health Services


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Investment:

none


The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Investment plan(s):

none


Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Investment plan(s):

none


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in other areas:
---

The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the other plan(s):
---

Accountable parties, offices or departments for the other plan(s):
---

The institution’s definition of sustainability:

Sustainability is defined by WKU as any action or decision that simultaneously considers social well-being, economic prosperity, and ecological health.


Does the institution’s strategic plan or equivalent guiding document include sustainability at a high level?:
Yes

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

See above descriptions.


The website URL where information about the institution’s sustainability planning is available:

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.