|Submission Date||July 22, 2014|
Western Michigan University
PA-2: Sustainability Planning
Office for Sustainability
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)|
|Research (or other scholarship)||No||No|
|Air and Climate||Yes||Yes|
|Diversity and Affordability||Yes||Yes|
|Health, Wellbeing and Work||Yes||Yes|
A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Curriculum:
Academic Affairs Strategic Plan, 2012.
The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Curriculum plan(s):
The faculty will continually examine curricula and course content, including general education, to ensure that the following skills, knowledge, and attitudes are integrated into undergraduate education: 1) Global understanding and sensitivity; 2) Communication skills; 3) Critical thinking; 4) Environmental sustainability; 5) Diversity and inclusion; 6) Civic and social responsibility; 7) Health and wellness; 8) Quantitative and reasoning skills; 9) Artistic literacy; and, 10) Information literacy.
Performance Metrics - develop a sustainability literacy assessment; support the Sustainability Across Research & Teaching Initiative.
Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Curriculum plan(s):
A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Research (or other scholarship):
Office for the Vice President of Research has Research Discovery Plans. Sustainability has been listed as on of the six Discovery Focus Areas for WMU. The Board of Trustees has been briefed but the plan has not been formally adopted.
The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Research plan(s):
Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Research plan(s):
Office of the Vice President for Research.
A brief description of the plan(s) to advance Campus Engagement around sustainability:
Office for Sustainability Mission, Goals, and Operation:
The mission of the Office for Sustainability is to guide and assist the Western Michigan University community in fulfilling and growing its sustainability commitments. Through building a diverse and flourishing learning community around sustainability, we will continually explore and develop new opportunities to create a culture of sustainability and improve quality of life for all.
Make Western Michigan University a national higher education sustainability leader
Identify and help implement innovative and cost-effective strategies for reducing WMU’s ecocultural wake, which span all of our policies, programs, and activities
Facilitate interdisciplinary and cross-college collaboration, research, and inquiry around sustainability
Encourage and support weaving sustainability and climate change education into existing curriculum
Assist in the development and implementation of new undergraduate and graduate sustainability courses, certificates, and degree programs
Support active learning and real-world problem solving through student sustainability research, internships, and co-curricular activities
Graduate knowledgeable, open-minded, well-prepared, and engaged planetary stewards
Serve as a resource and advocate for sustainability on campus and in the community, region, and state
Collaborate with all Offices and Colleges across campus to secure resources for these efforts
Report regularly and transparently on both our achievements and shortcomings in these endeavors
The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Campus Engagement plan:
Office for Sustainability 2-year objective:
Accelerate academic initiatives including graduate programming, undergraduate general education, sustainability course updates, and a faculty fellows program; contribute to the STARS report and strategic plan implementation.
Advance development through increasing collaborative grant proposals to both foundations and federal agencies.
Report on campus sustainability indicators including Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Solid Waste Reduction; develop new indicators (e.g., stormwater treatment) as well as a robust indicators on the academic side.
Redevelop the Gibbs House property and re-establish programming; increase Sustainability Studio programming.
Refine the Wesustain Internship and integrate the Waste Reduction and Recycling Strategic Plan and operations.
Conduct annual student research and grant programming, sustainability events, and first year seminar outreach/education.
Refine President’s Universitywide Sustainability Committee annual schedule and subcommittee structure.
Improve Office for Sustainability internal procedures (e.g., budget and annual planning and reporting, strategic communications).
Maintain ongoing responsibilities, track indicators, and document campuswide progress toward climate neutrality.
Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Campus Engagement plan(s):
The Office for Sustainability
A brief description of the plan(s) to advance Public Engagement around sustainability:
WMU is signatory to the Southwest Michigan Regional Sustainability Covenant. The Covenant is a joint initiative of several organizations in the Southwest Michigan Regional area that are committed to promoting the development of a sustainable infrastructure by the interconnection of economic, social and environmental sustainability principles throughout the region and within their respective community and organizations.
Related Office for Sustainability 2-year objective:
Maintain or advance existing community and campus collaborations (Deep Green Building/Living Building Challenge, tours, Sustainable Communities Initiative, non-motorized transportation, Kalamazoo Mayor's Office, Nature Center, SW Michigan Sustainable Business Forum, SW Michigan Regional Sustainability Covenant).
The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Public Engagement plan(s):
Generate a regional and community sustainability vision statement, goals and objectives.
Establish a "blue print for sustainability" to include the identification of sustainability indicators, methods for monitoring progress, reporting successes, and development and sharing of best practices to assure continuous improvement.
Assessing sustainability in a manner that allows each member organization to develop methodologies, systems, policies and programs that follow the above blueprint.
Share sustainability successes on a regular basis for the mutual benefit of participating organizations and to bring consistency and accountability to sustainability assessment.
Build a sustainability constituency within each member organization and throughout the Southwest Michigan Region through education, community outreach and sharing of best practices.
Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Public Engagement plan(s):
Office for Sustainability
A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Air and Climate:
2012 Western Michigan University Climate Action Plan
The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Air and Climate plan(s):
Net-zero carbon by 2065 with interim milestones.
Recommended Strategies for Accomplishing Reductions
General Energy Demand Reduction
Stationary Combustion (Power Plant)
Alternative Energy Supplies—Distributed
Air Travel, Including Study Abroad
Solid Waste and Wastewater
Negative Contributions to GHG Emissions
Trajectory for GHG Reductions
Financing the Recommendations
Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Air and Climate plan(s):
Office for Sustainability
A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Buildings:
Facility Life Cycle Design Guidelines
WMU designs facilities to minimize environmental impact and requires Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for all major projects.
When applied to design and construction of facilities and landscapes, this translates into the allocation and application of resources such that energy consumption is minimized, construction and demolition wastes are recycled to the greatest extent possible, landscaping uses native species, and stormwater runoff is captured and treated before entering the watershed. A healthy indoor environment is produced, by employing such strategies as natural daylighting, low off-gassing materials, and fresh air regulators, materials, finishes, and equipment, and mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems are chosen with total Life Cycle Costs taken into considerations, and not just the initial cost of purchase and installation.
The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Buildings plan(s):
Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Buildings plan(s):
A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Dining Services/Food:
Dining Services participates in the WMU sustainability initiative to reduce waste, conserve vital resources, and protect the campus environment.
Locally Sourced foods WMU Dining Service is committed to serving products grown and/or processed in the Great Lakes states (Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio and Wisconsin). Items that are grown and/or processed in this region are labeled with our Locally Sourced logo in the dining halls.
WMU Dining Service is trayless in all six of our dining halls. The trayless initiative began in 2008. Based on food waste audits conducted in 2008, food waste was reduced by up to 30% when trays were removed. In addition to reducing food waste, there are also environmental savings that result from the decreased dish washing volume when trays are no longer used. Fewer cleaning chemicals are used, less energy is consumed to run dish machines, and their is less water waste. WMU students are applauded for their leadership in the national move to trayless dining and their immediate acceptance of this service style.
WMU Dining Services introduced the Wesustain EcoMug as an eco-friendly alternative to disposable packaging. The insulated travel cup can be used at any Dining Services Campus Café for fountain beverages, coffee, tea and cappaccino drinks. In addition to getting a discount on the price of drink refills, the reusable Wesustain EcoMug helps to reduce unnecessary landfill waste normally generated by styrofoam and paper cups.
Dining Services replaced table napkins with new Tork Xpress napkin dispensing systems. To minimize waste and reduce the environmental impact, the new dispensers.
WMU Dining Services has collaborated with local farmers from Bear Foot Farm Natural Meats & Fresh Produce in Paw Paw, MI to create a Food Diversion Initiative (FDI).
The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Dining Services/Food plan(s):
Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Dining Services/Food plan(s):
WMU Dining Services
A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Energy:
2012 Climate Action Plan; a campus energy management strategic plan is in development.
The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Energy plan(s):
Climate Neutrality by 2065
General Energy Demand Reduction - continue general energy demand use strategies; conduct a campus wide energy audit; follow facilities life cycle design guidelines; enforce Green Grid and Energy Star purchasing policies.
Stationary Combustion - replace current co-generation natural gas power plant in 30 years; continue process efficiency efforts for remaining operational life.
Purchased Electricity - connect the Parkview Campus to the WMU power plant.
Alternative Energy Supplies - install distributed alternative energy infrastructure = 9% electricity demand from solar PV by 2065.
Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Energy plan(s):
Office for Sustainability
A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Grounds:
Facilities Management Landscape Services Master Plan - December 2011.
The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Grounds plan(s):
The Landscape Services Master Plan guides future landscape planning and design. The Master Plan aims to identify specific recommendations for principles of land use, access, image, and environment and to provide direction to better maintain, preserve, and enhance University facilities. The plan puts a strong focus on increasing environmental stewardship and sustainability on campus.
- Provide Educational Opportunity
- Improve Public Relations
- Promote Professional Development
- Encourage Educational Opportunities
- Create a Campus Image
- Create a Sense of Place
- Plan a Four Season Campus
- Develop Landscape Features
- Develop Campus Edges and Entrances
- Protect the Valleys
- Increase Environmental Stewardship
- Restore Ecosystem Health, Structure, and Function
- Increase Awareness Concerning Road Salt
- Manage Campus Woodlots
- Implement Storm Water BMPs
- Reduce Pesticide and Fertilizer Usage
- Increase Sustainability of Campus Landscape
- Promote Safety and Enhance Community
- Improve Visibility
- Retain Integrity of Open Spaces
- Create Community Destinations
Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Grounds plan(s):
A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Purchasing:
Energy Star purchasing policy - all products, appliances, and equipment purchased by WMU shall be Energy Star qualified wherever practical and/or possible
The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Purchasing plan(s):
Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Purchasing plan(s):
A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Transportation:
Campus Master Plan 2001; 2008-2009 update
The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Transportation plan(s):
The University is committed to promoting increased bicycle use – as well as encouraging walking and improving transit service – to reduce vehicular congestion, parking demand, and the land and financial resources devoted to roadways and parking.
Plan Alternate Forms of Transportation:
-Place greater emphasis on safe and efficient transit, bicycle, and pedestrian circulation on and off campus.
-Plan for and promote the use of non-traditional, environmentally sustainable vehicles and transit systems.
Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Transportation plan(s):
A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Waste:
Solid Waste Reduction Strategic Plan
The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Waste plan(s):
Elements of our solid waste reduction program and plans have been implemented during the past 2 years including: the transfer of recycling collection from the Office for Sustainability to Building and Custodial Services; research-based signage improvements; research-based combined waste and recycling unit design and installation both indoors and outdoors; reductions of in-room (office and classroom) individual waste and recycling containers paired with combined waste/recycling units that serve multiple offices/classrooms.
Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Waste plan(s):
Office for Sustainability and Facilities Management.
A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Water:
Facilities Management Landscape Services Master Plan - December 2011
The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Water plan(s):
Install and implement green infrastructure (rain gardens, green roofs, etc.)
Create and/or maintain permanent 25-foot-wide buffer zones around all detention basins, retention ponds, and waterways when possible.
Reduce pesticide and fertilizer use
Increase educational signage
Use Integrated Pest Management (IMP) principles to develop BMPs for fertilizer and pesticide usage.
Continue to research and implement safer alternatives (all natural herbicides, compost tea.)
Reduce overall water usage (addition of native plants, reduction in grass cover, etc.)
Continue to investigate and implement the use of alternate water sources. (Example: substitute captured rain water for municipal water.)
Return storm water runoff to pre-development volume, quality, timing
Filter storm water passing through campus.
Manage invasive plants and use native plantings where feasible/appropriate.
Preserve existing natural sites and restore damaged sites to provide wildlife habitat and promote biodiversity.
Increase awareness of negative impacts of road salt on water bodies, vegetation, etc.
Expand the use of all eco-friendly tools and products for de-icing to minimize the use of road salt. Beet juice is one option currently being used on campus.
Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Water plan(s):
A brief description of the plan(s) to advance Diversity and Affordability:
Diversity and Multiculturalism Action Plan - approved in 2006 and reaffirmed by President John Dunn in 2007
The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Diversity and Affordability plan(s):
For long-term assessment at the institutional level, the following should assess progress toward six broad diversity and multiculturalism goals:
1. Positive changes in student, faculty, staff, and administrator perceptions of the WMU climate and their experiences.
2. Increased diversity in the composition of the WMU student, faculty, staff, and administrator populations as well as the multicultural programs, services, policies, practices, and outreach efforts.
3. Measurements of persistence (graduation) among diverse groups of students.
4. Positive institutional changes to the decision-making processes, personnel, budget, and plans put in place to address the needs and interests of all those recruited.
Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Diversity and Affordability plan(s):
Office of Diversity and Inclusion
A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Health, Wellbeing and Work:
University Strategic Plan.
The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Health, Wellbeing and Work plan(s):
WMU’s Department of Human Resources is leading a campus-wide wellness initiative to develop and implement a program to improve and maintain employee health and manage healthcare costs. The department is sponsoring healthcare and other benefit programs to increase awareness, and also maximize employee health and wellness. This programming is being conducted in compliance with healthcare reform and other applicable laws.
- Bystander intervention program - H.E.R.O.E.S
- Drug, alcohol, and crime prevention
- Disaster training exercises
- OUCH training - to understand and reduce stereotypical comments
- Implement use of 4 passenger vehicle - enhance mobility of qualified students
- Research to improve the current emergency notification system
Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Health, Wellbeing and Work plan(s):
Department of Human Resources.
A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Investment:
The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Investment plan(s):
Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Investment plan(s):
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:
Does the institution’s strategic plan or equivalent guiding document include sustainability at a high level?:
A brief description of how the institution’s strategic plan or equivalent guiding document addresses sustainability:
Elements of sustainable culture are present in all of WMUs strategic planning Goals, but particularly in Goal #5 - Advance social, economic, and environmental sustainability practices and policies.
WMU supports a culture of sustainability by modeling practices and policies that result in increased flexibility to respond to economic, environmental, and social challenges.
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.