Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 61.14
Liaison Jeff Spoelstra
Submission Date Feb. 28, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Western Michigan University
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.50 / 4.00 Jeff Spoelstra
Sustainability Coordinator
Office for 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:

Elements of sustainable culture are present in all of WMU's 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.


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:
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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):

Facilities Management has developed a strategic plan that encompasses two facets of energy management.

The first, an energy audit of campus: The goal of the energy audit was to produce the data necessary to prioritize energy conservation measures. All facilities were included in the energy audit, except in cases where buildings had identical layouts and mechanical systems. The executive summary of the energy audit is available through the link below.

https://wmich.edu/sites/default/files/attachments/u301/2014/Executive%20Summary%20-%20Phase%20I%20-%20II%20-%20III%20FINAL.pdf

https://wmich.edu/sites/default/files/attachments/u301/2014/Executive%20Summary%20-%20Phase%20IV%20FINAL.pdf

Facilities Management has also conducted an assessment of all of its existing infrastructure and utilities through in-house resources and a third party engineering firm. The assessment of each utility projects out a minimum of five years. As well as assessing existing utility infrastructure, the report also makes projections for future utility expansion. The combined infrastructure assessment report is available through the link below.

https://wmich.edu/sites/default/files/attachments/u301/2014/Utility%20Infrastructure%20Plan.pdf


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:

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.


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

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

Office for Sustainability 2-year objectives:

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 publish paper on program.

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 campus-wide progress toward climate neutrality.


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

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

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.


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 WMU Climate Action Plan linked above includes the following objectives and criteria:

Net-zero carbon by 2065 with interim milestones.

Areas:
Recommended Strategies for Accomplishing Reductions
General Energy Demand Reduction
Stationary Combustion (Power Plant)
Purchased Electricity
Alternative Energy Supplies—Distributed
Commuting
Campus Vehicles
Air Travel, Including Study Abroad
Solid Waste and Wastewater
Negative Contributions to GHG Emissions
Trajectory for GHG Reductions
Educational Efforts
Research Efforts
Community Outreach
Financing the Recommendations


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

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

http://cf.wmich.edu/campusfacilities/Green/Life%20Cycle%20Guidelines-%204.25.08.pdf

Life Cycle Costs and LEED standards are applied to all new buildings and renovations at WMU.


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

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

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.


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

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Food & Dining 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 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 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.

http://www.fm.wmich.edu/lss/

- 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


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

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Purchasing 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 Transportation?:
No

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

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.


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

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

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.


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

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

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.


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

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

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.


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?:
No

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

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.

Examples include:
- 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


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:

Objective 5.1: WMU continues to be a leader in responsible utilization of financial and human resource management, process, and deployment.

Strategies
a. Expand use of a resource‐effective integrative review processes for all programs and services.
b. Leverage multiple revenue streams to support clearly defined University goals and responsible budget forecasts.
c. Expand and improve integrated data‐driven information systems for decision‐making.
d. Promote transparency and University accountability in all institutional systems.
e. Prioritize the maximum utilization of facilities and fixed resources in campus planning and scheduling.
f. Develop proactive practices to meet the pace of change in emerging technology.


The institution’s definition of sustainability (e.g. as included in a published statement or plan):
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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 Yes
The Talloires Declaration (TD) Yes
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:
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The Sustainability plan uploaded above is from the PUSC - presidents university wide sustainability committee - and OfS - which maintains meeting minutes online to keep the school updated with the ongoing and in-progress sustainability work and plan at WMU.

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.