Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 54.15
Liaison Leslie North
Submission Date March 3, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Western Kentucky University
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.75 / 4.00 Christian Ryan
Sustainability Coordinator
WKU
"---" 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:

The WKU Strategic Plan, the Challenging the Spirit Action Plan 2012/2013 - 2017/2018, includes the following objectives that address and advance sustainability. Each objective has goals and measurable outcomes.
OBJECTIVE 1.3
REINFORCE A GLOBAL CONTEXT FOR TEACHING
AND LEARNING.
OBJECTIVE 2.1
ENHANCE THE DIVERSITY AND INTERNATIONAL
PROFILE OF FACULTY, STAFF, AND STUDENT
POPULATIONS.
OBJECTIVE 2.3
MAKE A COLLEGE EDUCATION MORE
ECONOMICALLY AFFORDABLE FOR STUDENTS
FROM DIVERSE GROUPS.
OBJECTIVE 3.2
ENRICH THE CULTURAL MILIEU AND QUALITY OF
LIFE IN THE REGION.
OBJECTIVE 4.4
ENHANCE EFFICIENCY AND SUSTAINABILITY IN
CAMPUS SERVICES AND OPERATIONS


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)? :
No

A copy of the sustainability plan:
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The website URL where the sustainability plan is publicly available:
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Does the institution have a published climate action plan (apart from what is reported above)? :
No

A copy of the climate action plan:
---

The website URL where the climate action plan is publicly available:
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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):

WKU's Master Plan
Department of Facilities Management's Continuous Improvement Plan
WKU Tree Care Plan
WKU Stormwater Quality Management Plan


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:

The WKU Strategic Plan includes the development and implementation of the Colonnade Program, a general education model that is now the core academic program at WKU. The sustainability objectives are learning outcomes that include the ability of students to think critically, solve problems, and communicate effectively. Through Colonnade courses, students are encouraged to explore the connections among different areas of study in order to understand their roles as students and citizens.
Specifically,the Strategic Plan Targets:
1. Develop and increase to 2,000 annual enrollment in Colonnade
Program Connections courses
The connections courses are unique to WKU, and Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) are as follows:
Social to Cultural
• Analyze the development of self in relation to others an society.
• Examine diverse values that form civically engaged and informed members of society.
• Evaluate solutions to real-world social and cultural problems.
Local to Global
• Analyze issues on local and global scales.
• Examine the local and global interrelationships of one or more issues.
• Evaluate the consequences of decision-making on local and global scales.
Systems
• Analyze how systems evolve.
• Compare the study of individual components to the analysis of entire systems.
• Evaluate how system-level thinking informs decision-making, public policy, and/or the sustainability of the system itself.
More information can be found at:
https://www.wku.edu/colonnade/goalsandoutcomes.php


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:

Objectives, strategies and timeframes for research 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.

However, the WKU Strategic Plan and supporting Colonnade Program includes objectives for student learning outcomes related to research at the basic level. Specifically, all WKU graduates should be able to:
- Demonstrate an understanding of the methods of science inquiry and Conduct a hands-on project using scientific principles.
- Apply knowledge, theories, and research methods, including ethical conduct, to analyze problems pertinent to at least one area of the social and behavioral sciences.
For more information:
https://www.wku.edu/colonnade/goalsandoutcomes.php

The WKU Strategic Plan also includes goals and objectives for research activity:
OBJECTIVE 1.4
PROMOTE RESEARCH, CREATIVE AND SCHOLARLY
ACTIVITY BY FACULTY AND STUDENTS.
Targets
1. Increase by 75% the number of graduate student practica, theses
and dissertations
2. Increase by 25% the number of completed Honors Capstone
Experience/Thesis (CE/T) projects
3. Increase by 50% involvement of students and faculty
presentations during Reach Week activities
Additional Research Support Targets include:
1. Increase total annual extramural federal research and
development expenditures by 60%
2. Increase annual budgeted research and creative activity
expenditures by 35%


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:

Measurable objectives included in the Tree Care Plan, Stormwater Plan, Strategic Plan and DFM Continuous Improvement Plan:
number of, and attendance for, sustainability outreach and engagement activities.
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.


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 WKU Strategic Plan includes OBJECTIVE 3.2 ENRICH THE CULTURAL MILIEU AND QUALITY OF LIFE IN THE REGION
Targets
1. Increase by 10% the number of regional stewardship projects coordinated through the ALIVE Center and Institute for Citizenship and Social Responsibility
2. Increase annual attendance at arts and cultural events by 10%
Strategies include:
Expand the impact of Public Achievement and $100 Solution programs across the region
Expand university/community partnerships that address regional stewardship priorities
Support continued improvement of public transit services through collaborative efforts with the City of Bowling Green


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 University Strategic Plan includes metrics regarding energy use and solid waste reduction. These efforts reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants.
OBJECTIVE 4.4 ENHANCE EFFICIENCY AND SUSTAINABILITY IN CAMPUS SERVICES AND OPERATIONS
Targets
1. Decrease energy usage per square foot by 12%
2. Increase the percentage of solid waste recycled or diverted
by 150%
3. Increase the percentage of surplus materials re-used by 35%
Strategies
Fully implement the Campus Energy Policy
Utilize effective conservation measures to control operating costs, preserve physical assets, and promote sustainability
Build and renovate to LEED standards in all construction projects
Implement sustainability best practices in campus operations
Utilize campus infrastructure, facilities and operations as teaching and learning laboratories
Adopt a purchasing policy that ensures new equipment meets efficiency guidelines

The Department of Facilities Management Continuous Improvement Plan includes goals for reduction of solid waste, energy use, and identification of other actions that may help to reduce out carbon footprint.
The WKU tree care plan describes our commitment to maintaining WKU's main campus as an arboretum.


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 campus Master Plan includes the commitment to LEED certification in new construction and renovation, as well as the protection and preservation of the campus forest, which is a certified arboretum.

The University Strategic Plan includes metrics regarding energy use and solid waste reduction. These efforts include building construction and operation:
OBJECTIVE 4.4 ENHANCE EFFICIENCY AND SUSTAINABILITY IN CAMPUS SERVICES AND OPERATIONS
Strategies
Fully implement the Campus Energy Policy
Utilize effective conservation measures to control operating costs, preserve physical assets, and promote sustainability
Build and renovate to LEED standards in all construction projects
Implement sustainability best practices in campus operations
Utilize campus infrastructure, facilities and operations as teaching and learning laboratories


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 University Strategic Plan includes metrics regarding energy use.
OBJECTIVE 4.4 ENHANCE EFFICIENCY AND SUSTAINABILITY IN CAMPUS SERVICES AND OPERATIONS
Targets
1. Decrease energy usage per square foot by 12%
Strategies
Fully implement the Campus Energy Policy
Utilize effective conservation measures to control operating costs, preserve physical assets, and promote sustainability
Build and renovate to LEED standards in all construction projects
Implement sustainability best practices in campus operations
Adopt a purchasing policy that ensures new equipment meets efficiency guidelines


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:

Measurable objectives for advancing sustainability in dining services exist in the service contract. These include: increased local sourcing (from 2% baseline), decreased food waste in the landfill, and elimination of disposable take out containers. From FY 2014 to FY 2015, local food purchases have been increased by an estimated 5%.


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:

WKU has a tree care plan that supports our arboretum and Tree Campus third party certifications. The Tree Care Plan can be viewed here:
https://www.wku.edu/sustainability/documents/wku_tree_care_plan.pdf
Specific goals outlined in the plan, such as creating an inventory of campus trees, are in progress or have been met.

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
Each measure includes measurable reporting outcomes. More information can be found here:
http://www.wku.edu/ehs/stormwater/stormwater.php


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 various institutional plans above cover such objectives as purchasing Energy Star, EPEAT, supporting minority and locally businesses, building materials and furnishings to meet LEED commitments, and native species for gardens.

The general purchasing policy contains guidelines for Socially Responsible Purchasing as well as information on computer purchasing.
https://www.wku.edu/finadmin/purchasing/

Efficiency in equipment objectives are included in the WKU Energy Policy:
http://www.wku.edu/facilities/energy_policy.pdf


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:

Transportation related objectives include reduced permit sales, increased shuttle and public transportation use, and increased cycling.
The WKU Campus Master Plan includes objectives and goals for transportation:
To meet the shifting demand for services, the principle strategy will be to enhance transit services in the Bowling Green community to maintain access to campus while supporting sustainability goals and minimizing capital costs.
Plans for Parking and Transportation include:
• Expand park and ride service from existing parking lots in the Bowling Green
community to campus for commuting students
• Expand access to transit services from campus to the Bowling Green community
to support employment, commerce, and leisure opportunities for on-campus residents.
• Improve multi-modal access to campus to reduce parking demand and traffic
congestion
More information can be found in the Campus Master Plan:
https://www.wku.edu/pdc/documents/campus_master_plan_082411.pdf


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:

Objectives in the various institutional plans described above include source reduction, waste diversion, and surplus re-use, with an overall four year goal of 150% waste diversion.


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:

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
Each measure includes measurable reporting outcomes. More information can be found here:
http://www.wku.edu/ehs/stormwater/stormwater.php


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:

Included in the WKU Strategic Plan are the following goals:
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


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:

none


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:

The WKU Employee Wellness program has established objectives regarding 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.
Objectives and goals are measured through participation in wellness programs and activities (self-reported by employees), accident rates, absenteeism, and other such metrics.
The plan is not public, but information can be found at:
http://www.wku.edu/benefits/healthfitness/
http://www.wku.edu/benefits/healthfitness/


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)? :
Yes

The formal statement in support of sustainability:

Western Kentucky University includes in its Statement of Purpose:
"The University encourages engaged research and public service in support of economic development, quality of life, and improvement of education at all levels. WKU faculty contribute to the identification and solution of key social, economic, scientific, health, and environmental problems."


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

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


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

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