Overall Rating Expired
Overall Score Expired
Liaison Nathan King
Submission Date Feb. 16, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Western Colorado University
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Expired Nathan King
Sustainability Coordinator
Facilities Services
"---" 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 No
+ Date Revised: March 3, 2016
No
Research (or other scholarship) No
+ Date Revised: March 3, 2016
No
Campus Engagement No
+ Date Revised: March 3, 2016
No
Public Engagement No
+ Date Revised: March 3, 2016
No
Air and Climate Yes Yes
Buildings Yes Yes
Dining Services/Food Yes Yes
Energy Yes Yes
Grounds --- ---
Purchasing Yes No
Transportation --- ---
Waste Yes Yes
Water --- ---
Diversity and Affordability No
+ Date Revised: March 3, 2016
---
Health, Wellbeing and Work --- ---
Investment --- ---
Other --- ---

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

The Center for Environment and Sustainability has plans to grow its offerings


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

n/a - in progress


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

The Center for Environment and Sustainability


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

The Master in Environmental Management, within the Center for Environment and Sustainability, has plans to launch a grant program aimed at people seeking funds to conduct sustainability research, attend conference, etc.


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

n/a


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

Center for Environment and Sustainability


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

Each year the Director of the Leadership, Engagement, and Development office works with her undergrad and grad Sustainability Coordinators to determine campus sustainability advancement and engagement goals for the year. As the initiatives depend on students' interests and talents, plans tend to run the course of the academic year.

The campus Sustainability Coordinator, a .75 position out of Facility Services puts out a monthly Sustainability Newsletter.


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

n/a


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

Director of the Leadership, Engagement, and Development

Facility Services Sustainability Coordinator


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

Annual conferences engage the broader community, including the Headwaters Conference and the Colorado Water Workshop. Each year they take on different issues focused on sustainability.


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

n/a


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

The Center for Environment and Sustainability


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

We track our progress as outlines in our ACUPCC plan.


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

President’s Climate Commitment Action Plan
Western State College of Colorado
September 2009

Introduction
As expressed in its institutional mission, Western State College of Colorado graduates “citizens prepared to assume constructive roles in local, national, and global communities.” In June of 2007, in an action consistent with Western’s mission, President Jay Helman signed the President’s Climate Commitment (PCC). The PCC commits Western to becoming a “carbon neutral” campus. Inspired by Western students who encouraged signing of the PCC, this commitment challenges Western to examine how citizens “assume constructive roles” in the context of climate change. In signing the PCC, the President recognized that our “local” choices in powering and educating our campus community obligate us to “global communities” facing the consequences of our carbon emissions.
At Western, a college high in the Rocky Mountains, our obligation to the climate crisis is elevated for regionally unique reasons. Gunnison’s cold weather and remote location currently create the demand for unsustainable levels of fossil fuels to heat homes and transport food, staples and luxuries. Climate change could hinder this region’s distinctive mountain economy. Colorado College’s 2006 State of the Rockies Report Card predicts that, if carbon emissions are not reduced dramatically, Gunnison County could lose 43 percent of its snowpack this century. Gunnison offers unique opportunities for potential climate solutions with renewable energy resources of sun, biomass and wind. And finally, faculty and community expertise on energy efficiencies and student enthusiasm for implementing local and global solutions emerge from this exceptional place.
Western’s 2004-2009 Academic Strategic Plan recognizes the importance of the College being “a leader in resource efficiency” and its role in exemplifying and providing solutions for the “often competing forces of economic development and environmental stewardship.” As a regional educational provider, Western can model the importance of generating financial savings from natural resource savings. Furthermore, the PCC promises to spark interdisciplinary, hands-on learning opportunities for students and pedagogical innovation for faculty.
An ad hoc President’s Climate Committee was formed in July of 2007 and charged with three tasks: recommend two tangible actions from the Presidents’ Climate Commitment to the cabinet for possible implementation by 2009; conduct a baseline survey of Western’s greenhouse gas emissions; and develop a draft PCC Action Plan for cabinet and campus community consideration. Committee membership included three faculty, two students, the director of residence life, associate vice presidents of academic affairs and student affairs, the facilities operation manager, and the campus controller. The Committee completed its work in January 2009 when it submitted a draft PCC Action Plan to the president.
During the spring of 2009, the College’s newly formed Sustainability Action Committee (SAC) sought broader campus input on the draft Action Plan and then prepared recommendations for the cabinet.
This Action Plan includes a survey of greenhouse gas emissions from 1998 through 2007, possible mitigation and educational strategies to achieve carbon neutrality by an ambitious and realistic timeline, and a financial analysis of the costs and benefits of different mitigation strategies. This plan is consistent with Western’s Environmental Charter, 2004-2009 Academic Strategic Plan, and role and mission.

Timeline and goals
The goal of carbon neutrality is an ambitious one for Western. For the purpose of Western’s plan, carbon neutrality is defined as having reduced or offset all direct and indirect emissions generated by electricity and natural gas use by the College’s physical plant and combustion of fossil fuels by institution-owned/controlled vehicles. During the first five years of the plan, we will create an institutional structure to implement education and mitigation principles, measure our progress toward reducing CO2 emissions, and we will adapt our plan as new technologies and opportunities avail themselves. Our targets are a reduction of 20 percent from campus 2006 CO2 emissions by 2020, a 50 percent reduction by 2035, and carbon neutrality by 2050. Our baseline data suggest that without action, we will continue to release more than 11,000 tons of carbon each year. Realistic progress will only be achieved through the creation of a campus culture that values the endeavor and through commitment to education and mitigation principles underlying a successful transformation.

Campus emissions

A requisite first step toward carbon neutrality is developing a baseline inventory of greenhouse gas emissions. The PCC encourages campuses to use a tool called the Clean Air Cool Planet Campus Carbon Calculator, which is consistent with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG) used internationally by businesses and governments to set baseline calculations for their endeavors. Signatories of the commitment are expected to provide baseline data for GHG emissions from direct emissions generated by electricity and natural gas use by the institution and mobile combustion of fossil fuels by institution-owned/controlled vehicles. Additional data for indirect sources of emissions that are a consequence of the activities of the institution, but not sources owned or controlled by the institution, are encouraged where possible (e.g., food transport, air travel, etc.). While only one year of baseline data is required, the College has created a baseline inventory from 1998 through 2006. Such a baseline allows comparison of Western’s emissions prior to a major change in 1999 to our boiler systems, which use natural gas to heat buildings and water on the campus. Data on actual electricity and natural gas use were gathered for each of the eight years while information on travel emissions was collected for 2006 only and projected to be similar through the period of our survey.
Our baseline clearly illustrates that the most significant contributors toward Western’s greenhouse gas emissions are electricity and natural gas use. Natural gas and electricity account for more than 99 percent of our emissions and over 11,000 tons of CO2 released each year (see figures). The number one priority for Western is to create mitigation measures which reduce or replace electricity and natural gas use in our buildings.
We examined our overall energy use on campus from 1998-2006. Our use of natural gas has declined with our boiler renovations while electricity use has increased by an average of 3% per year. Projections of future CO2 emissions suggest that we may produce between 11,000 (0% increase) and 35,000 (2.5% annual increase) tons of CO2 per year without mitigation measures.
Critical to successful reduction of CO2 emissions is our commitment to implement mitigation and education principles targeted at increasing our efficiency and decreasing our dependence on electricity and natural gas in our buildings.

Mitigation Principles

Western State College of Colorado is committed to reducing the use of energy and resources associated with greenhouse gas emissions through conservation and efficiency activities and exploring alternative sources for our energy needs. We recognize that a major source of energy use at our institution involves our buildings. As such, we are committed to applying environmental stewardship principles to emphasize energy conservation and efficiency in building renovations and new facilities.

• Reducing carbon emissions associated with electricity and natural gas use will have fiscal benefits given rising energy costs. At Western, we project that our energy budget will increase by greater than $1,000,000 (see Financing section on page 4) within the next 15 years without increased efficiency and energy conservation measures. During the next 5 years, the College will incorporate into the engineering of all renovation and new construction projects measures that will lower our emissions and generate a projected savings in budgeted utility costs. To the extent possible, new initiatives supporting the reduction of energy use shall be funded through multi-year savings from programs that promote reduced energy use and increased energy efficiency in current practices.

• Simultaneously, it is important to also realize the educational value in symbolic acts—those that may not realize direct financial benefits—in fostering cultural change.

• Successful reduction of carbon emissions requires active and regular monitoring of energy use related to emissions. In order to achieve this goal, we will improve equipment and monitoring capacities and create an organizational structure (see Implementation and Tracking section on page 6) that encourages active and regular monitoring of energy use and carbon uptake on the Western campus. Individuals within the organization will synthesize, analyze, and update energy use and carbon emission data and provide recommendations to the cabinet for Western’s next steps towards carbon neutrality.

• Where possible, we will work to ensure that campus units or groups using energy can be assessed for their usage and rewarded for their energy and financial savings.

• We will explore, advocate, and purchase regionally appropriate and fiscally feasible alternative energy sources as they become available.

• Achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 may require expenditure of funds to purchase carbon offsets. However, we believe that direct carbon reduction activities, which are fiscally more responsible than offsets and are important for nurturing a campus and community culture of energy conservation and efficiency, should be our first focus. If we do engage in future offset projects, we encourage developing relationships that allow our students opportunities to engage in education, research, and monitoring in ecosystems in which our carbon offsets are implemented.

An example scenario demonstrating these principles can be found in the Appendix. Envisioned is that these types of “low hanging fruit” will be investigated and implemented during the first 5 years of Western’s plan. In addition to beginning these first steps, implementation of the educational and community outreach principles below is critical to the success of the mitigation measures necessary to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

Educational and Community Outreach Principles

Western State College of Colorado is committed to cultivating a living and learning culture by demonstrating and providing choices for practicing a sustainable lifestyle. The educational vision will be accomplished through student empowerment, learning opportunities, community outreach, infrastructure, and campus communications.

• Student Empowerment: Western will encourage and facilitate the civic engagement of students through service, educational, and outreach efforts that promote sustainable practices within the College community.

• Learning Opportunities: Western will provide students, staff, and faculty with learning options to deliver sustainability education and promote ecological awareness.

• Community Outreach: Western will provide a campus model of sustainability and convene public environmental events that inspire and assist others in achieving carbon neutrality.

• Infrastructure: Western will utilize the architecture and physical infrastructure of the campus (academic and residence buildings and our inter-building spaces) to assist with the facilitation of sustainability education and cultural change.

• Communication: The College's pledge to the President's Climate Commitment will be explicit in official internal and external College communications. Progress toward our goals will be publicly available.

These educational and community outreach principles are key to the change in culture needed for Western to fulfill its commitment to carbon neutrality.

Financing

College facilities managers acknowledge that investments in improving energy efficiency of aging building systems are often cost effective and offer attractive rates of return. However, they may be unable or at least reluctant to implement energy saving measures because of a lack of adequate funds to support the needed capital improvements. Even if capital investments can be recovered quickly from projected savings in energy costs, it is often difficult to borrow against such future operating cost savings to finance such investments.
Additional financial roadblocks to energy efficiency investments may result from the separation between building occupants and those paying the energy cost. Most occupants of educational facilities are not aware of energy use and do not pay energy bills.
Despite the challenges and roadblocks mentioned above, it is imperative that we seek fiscal solutions to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and energy costs. Unless mitigation efforts are undertaken, the College can expect a minimum of 97% increase in utility costs by 2020 over 2007 costs resulting in a projected increase of over $1,000,000 additional dollars per year being spent on utilities. This projection was calculated using a rolling average to project estimated energy costs through year 2020. The average increase in unit costs from years 1998 through 2007 was added to year 2007 energy costs to estimate year 2008 costs. Each subsequent year was calculated in the same way resulting in the graphical estimate in the figure to the right.
Western will explore establishing a capital fund for energy-saving and emission reduction projects and/or a revolving fund for such projects to help finance the capital costs of efficiency improvements.
An imperative step in the institution’s progress toward carbon neutrality is to monitor energy usage for each building. While our ability to monitor natural gas at a building level is possible, we cannot currently measure residence halls or building use of electricity. The mitigation principles include the importance of individual units or groups using energy to be assessed for their usage or rewarded for their savings. Smith, Seckman and Reid, an electrical engineering firm, estimated in 2008 the cost of installing individual electric meters in each campus building to be $86,000. The current and planned renovation projects on campus provide an opportunity to include these meters as part of the project and thus further reduce the cost of equipping the remaining buildings.
In addition to the above, being able to monitor energy usage within buildings is a necessary first step to entering into a performance contract. Energy service companies (ESCos) implement energy efficiency improvements on a performance-contracting basis, facilitate financing and guarantee financial savings against a projected utility cost model. Performance contracting is an alternative financing strategy that allows educational facilities to finance energy-efficiency projects. Performance contracting uses projected energy savings from installed efficiency measures to pay for the project, including energy-saving equipment, installation, and maintenance services. The distinguishing characteristics of an energy performance contract include:

• Only one contractor is made accountable for design, purchase, installation, maintenance, operation of the equipment and any necessary training.

• The contractor may provide services that facilitate College financing to implement energy conservation measures.

• Payments by the College to the energy service contractor are made after project completion and the amount is contingent upon savings achieved against a projected utility cost model.

• The contractor assumes the technical risk of energy savings performance.

• Energy-efficiency specialists can select state-of-the-art energy-efficiency technologies.

In 1996, Western entered into a performance contract to install individual boilers in each of its auxiliary buildings and provide energy-saving lighting retrofits in all buildings. The predicted average annual energy savings were $296,825, maintenance savings averaged $206,350 and the net annual savings after lease payments were factored in were projected to be $22,268. The contract guaranteed annual energy savings of 772,576 CCF of natural gas and 2,102,002 KWH of electricity. Critical to our future success is exploring new energy performance contracts.
Smaller steps also need to be taken and some can be implemented quickly. A $500,000 revolving fund could provide funding for various energy-saving measures which would “pay back” the fund through cost savings. Along with the energy efficiency fund, we will seek endowed gifts and grants for sustainability initiatives to help reduce overall general fund energy expenditures. Grants will be explored annually by the Office of Sponsored Programs.

Implementation structure for tracking progress and updating

Western’s Sustainability Action Committee (SAC) serves to implement, assess, and modify the Environmental Charter, the President’s Climate Commitment, and future campus sustainability initiatives. Membership of the committee includes the vice presidents for student affairs, finance and administration, and academic affairs or their respective designees; a representative appointed from the faculty senate; a representative appointed from the chairs and directors; a student appointed by SGA, a student appointed by the Western Sustainability Coalition, the director of facilities, and any sustainability coordinator(s) as might be appointed by the president. Annually, a member of the committee is appointed chair by the president. The SAC annually researches best practices from other higher education institutions and private sector organizations committed to carbon neutrality. The committee synthesizes, analyzes, and updates data and proposes new goals and recommendations to the cabinet and campus community as appropriate, but no less often than every five years. The committee is responsible for coordinating sustainability projects and collaborating with students, faculty, and staff.

Appendix
Case Study
Residence Halls—from a drain on resources to a showcase for living and learning

The following case study provides an illustration of how the guiding principles are used to achieve carbon emission reduction goals. In this example, we focus on a 20% reduction by 2020 in one residence hall complex. The guiding principles are shown in bold italics.
As outlined below, student-driven research and other learning opportunities can provide the necessary baseline information and ongoing monitoring to inform and direct cost-effective actions to reach carbon reduction goals. These actions are based on the commitment to energy efficiency and conservation that will provide energy savings to fund larger projects in the years to come. If the institution also has the ability to accurately monitor electrical and gas use, we can provide incentive-based opportunities for group units (e.g., residence halls) to lower energy usage. Such strategies have proven highly effective at other campuses, resulting in significant CO2 reductions and associated cost savings.

Western State College of Colorado is committed to cultivating a living and learning culture by demonstrating and providing choices for practicing a sustainable lifestyle. The educational vision will be accomplished through student empowerment, learning opportunities, community outreach, infrastructure, and campus communications.

Student Empowerment: Western will encourage and facilitate the civic engagement of students through service, educational, and outreach efforts that promote sustainable practices within the College community.

Learning Opportunities: Western will provide students, staff, and faculty with learning options to deliver sustainability education and promote ecological awareness.

Student empowerment and integrating course work with the climate commitment have already provided important baseline information. Based on the campus inventory of carbon emissions, greater than 95% of the College’s emissions come from building heating (41%) and electricity (58%). Student research (e.g., freshman Environmental Biology courses, upper-level ENVS courses, and independent projects) has further shown that residence halls are contributing over 80% of total campus emissions related to heating, with per-square-foot, -heating-related emissions more than two times that of other buildings (Figure 1). For example, student monitoring of campus natural gas use in the fall of 2007 calculated 813 tons of monthly carbon emitted from campus buildings with over 650 tons coming just from residence halls. Complexes like Mears (184 tons/month) and Shavano (169 tons/month), combined, were contributing greater than 20% of the total campus carbon emissions related to natural gas use.


Figure 1. Average monthly carbon emissions related to heating per square foot for campus buildings in fall 2007. Kelley Hall was under renovation during this period, and the building data are excluded from this comparison (ENVS 301 project – Kissel, et al.).

At Western, we are committed to applying environmental stewardship principles to emphasize energy conservation and efficiency in building renovations and new facilities.

Successful reduction of carbon emissions requires active and regular monitoring of energy use related to emissions.

The guiding principle of emphasizing energy efficiency and conservation is an important starting point for most reduction strategies. For Mears complex, which annually emits 1,546 tons of carbon from natural gas heating and lighting, achieving a 20% reduction by 2020 would mean reducing annual carbon emissions by 309 tons. This goal can be achieved by simple energy efficiency and conservation actions which are intertwined with student research and monitoring, as well as changes in student behavior through incentive and education programs. Follow-up student research in Mears complex suggests that windows may account for 25% of heating losses, and common areas may account for 60% of electricity used for lighting. A 75% reduction in electricity usage (through both conservation and efficiency actions) can be achieved over a six to eight-year period by reducing the number of lights in use by a quarter, the wattage of lights in use by a quarter (e.g., from 32 watt to 24 watt), and by reducing the amount of time lights are on (through motion detectors and changes in student and staff behavior). These actions would equate to a reduction in carbon emissions of 52 tons in six to eight years and a total savings of $25,000 (based on a 4% annual increase in electric prices). Simultaneous with the electrical reduction, a conservation action--such as resetting and reprogramming the thermostats in the complex to a three-degree difference--could reduce annual natural gas emissions by as much as 15% or 222 tons.

Reducing carbon emissions associated with electricity and natural gas use will have fiscal benefits given rising energy costs.

Given rising energy costs, reducing carbon emissions associated with electricity and natural gas use will have fiscal benefits. In this example, the energy savings resulting from electrical and natural gas reductions could fund replacement of single-paned, inefficient windows with energy-efficient, double-paned windows. Window upgrades of this sort can reduce natural gas use by 25% or 314 tons. In Mears complex, this action could reduce its total emissions by 588 tons or 38% by 2020, well above the 20% goal.

We will explore, advocate, and purchase regionally appropriate and fiscally feasible alternative energy sources as they become available.

Campus-wide energy savings can help fund replacement of fossil fuels with alternative energy sources. If the guiding principles of emphasizing energy efficiency and conservation—in tandem with incentive-based reductions—were applied to all residence halls, total annual carbon reductions from residence halls could be as much as 2,940 tons or 26% of the campus total. These changes could result in energy savings of about $350,000 annually (calculated without annual energy-price increases). Such savings could be used to fund larger renovations, incorporating passive solar and alternative energy technologies like solar and wind. By 2035, additional improvements and renovations could result in our achieving 50% reductions in emissions. Such additional reductions could result from LEED Gold or similar renovations, resulting in an additional 40% reduction in energy use.

Achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 will likely require expenditure of funds to purchase carbon offsets.

We believe that direct carbon-reduction activities--which are fiscally more responsible than carbon offsets and are important for nurturing a campus and community culture of energy conservation and efficiency--are our first priority. However, our final goal of carbon neutrality by 2050 will likely occur with either offsets or significant changes in the availability of renewable resources. If we do engage in future offset projects, we encourage the development of relationships that allow our students opportunities to engage in education, research, and monitoring of ecosystems in which our carbon offsets are implemented.

Conclusion

Through simple, cost-effective strategies, we can significantly reduce campus carbon emissions. In addition, residence halls like Mears and Shavano could transition from a drain in energy resources to living and learning laboratories that showcase Western’s commitments to environmental stewardship, active student involvement and learning in daily lives, and providing leadership for the community at large.


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

President's Office
Sustainability Action Committee


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

We have policies in place that any renovations and new structures will meet LEED standards.


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

as needed


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

CFO/VP of Facilities


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

Sodexo, our on-campus contracted food services provider uses Sustainability Management and Reporting Tool (SMART) to track such things as organic and inorganic waste, energy, water, etc. Examples of achieved goals include all whole eggs being cage-free and 100% sustainably-harvested fish.


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

The "Better Tomorrow" plan outlines their sustainability blueprint for the future. As well, they abide by industry experts to help in decision-making, such as the Marine Stewardship Council.


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

Jon Coady, Sodexo's GM of Dining Services at Western.


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

as aligned with the ACUPCC. Also, there is a voluntary students renewable energy fund to decrease carbon emissions and increase alternative energy on campus.


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

as aligned with the ACUPCC (see above)


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

Sustainability Action Committee
Office of the President


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

n/a


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

n/a


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

n/a


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

Focus on environmentally and socially responsible purchasing (a bill that passed Students Government and the President's Office); as more good and practices become available, Western is expected to stay in-line

Also, Colorado Green Purchasing guidelines to which Western subscribes.


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

Western State College of Colorado
Environmentally & Socially Responsible Purchasing (ESRP) Plan

Background
Western State College is committed to the stewardship of the environment and to reducing the College’s dependence on nonrenewable energy. This Environmentally and Socially Responsible Purchasing Plan (ESRP) fortifies the college’s commitment to sustainability. The goal of this plan is to reduce the unfavorable environmental and social impacts of our purchasing decisions by buying goods and services from manufacturers and vendors who share our commitment to the environment. Environmentally preferable purchasing is the method whereby environmental and social considerations are given equal weight to the price, availability, and performance criteria that colleges and universities use to make purchasing decisions1.
The products purchased by Western State should embody the following principles:
• High content from post-consumer recycled materials
• Low embodied energy (consumed to extract, manufacture, distribute and dispose)
• Recyclable, compostable and biodegradable
• Non-toxic
• Energy efficient
• Durable and/or repairable
• Produced in a manner that demonstrates environmental, social, and ethical values2
• Minimal packaging (packaging should also abide by the above principles)
• Afterlife reuse/regeneration potential through the company (carpeting, furniture, etc.)

Plan
An ESRP Committee shall be formed and meet throughout the year to oversee and ensure the continued implementation of this plan. The plan as follows contains immediate actions, as well as suggestions for future purchasing considerations to be discussed by the ESRP Committee.

Energy
Immediate Actions (2011-2012)
• All desktop computers, notebooks and monitors purchased must meet the highest Energy Star rating and/or minimum standard of EPEAT Bronze, Silver, or gold, as published in the IEEE 1680 standard, clause 1.4, for the Environmental Assessment of Personal Computer Products.
• Copiers and printers purchased shall be compatible with the use of recycled content and remanufactured products, in conjunction with double-sided printing capabilities.
• All printers with double sided printing capabilities are defaulted to print on both sides.
• Remanufactured toner cartridges should be used in all copiers and printers whenever feasible.
• All energy using products purchased by WSC shall meet the U.S. EPA Energy Star* certification when available and practicable. When Energy Star labels are not available, all purchasing units shall choose energy products that are in the upper 25% of energy efficiency as designated by the Federal Energy Management Program.
• When replacing vehicles, WSC shall consider less-polluting alternatives to diesel such as compressed natural gas, bio-based fuels, hybrids, electric batteries, and fuel cells, as available.
• WSC shall replace inefficient interior lighting with energy efficient equipment and motion-sensor systems.
• WSC shall replace inefficient exterior lighting with energy-efficient equipment. Exterior lighting shall be minimized where possible to avoid unnecessary lighting of architectural and landscape features while providing adequate illumination for safety and accessibility.
• WSC shall replace inefficient exterior lighting with energy-efficient equipment. Exterior lighting shall be minimized where possible to avoid unnecessary lighting of architectural and landscape features while providing adequate illumination for safety and accessibility.
Within Three Years (by 2014)
Where applicable, energy-efficient equipment shall be purchased with the most up-to-date energy efficiency functions. This includes, but is not limited to, high efficiency space heating systems and high efficiency space cooling equipment.

Future Considerations (by 2020)
Suppliers of electronic equipment, including but not limited to computers, monitors, printers, and copiers, shall be required to take back equipment for reuse or environmentally safe recycling when deemed appropriate by WSC.

Water
Within Three Years (by 2014)
Purchase only the most water efficient appliances available. This includes, but is not limited to: high performance fixtures like toilets, low-flow faucets and aerators; and upgraded irrigation systems.

Toxins and Pollutants
Immediate Actions (2011-2012)
• Cleaning solvents should be biodegradable, phosphate free and citrus-based where their use will not compromise quality of service.
• Industrial and institutional cleaning products that meet Green Seal certification standards or environmental preferability and performance shall be purchased and/or be required to be supplied by janitorial contractors.
• All surfactants and detergents used shall be readily biodegradable and shall not contain phosphates.
• Whenever possible, products and equipment should not contain lead or mercury. For products that contain lead or mercury, preference should be given to those products with lower quantities of these metals and to vendors with established lead and mercury recovery programs.

Within Three Years (by 2014)
When maintaining buildings and landscapes, WSC shall manage pest problems through prevention and the use of environmentally friendly products.

Future Considerations (by 2020)
Vacuum cleaners that meet the requirements of the Carpet and Rug Institute “Green Label” Testing Program – Vacuum Cleaner Criteria, are capable of capturing 96% of particulates 0.3 microns in size, and operate with a sound level less than 70dBA shall be used by in-house staff and required for janitorial contractors.

Bio-based Products
Within Three Years (by 2014)
• Bio-based plastic products that are biodegradable and compostable, such as bags, film, food and beverage containers, and cutlery, are encouraged whenever practicable.
• Compostable plastic products purchased shall meet American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards as found in ASTM D6400-04. Biodegradable plastics used as coatings on paper and other compostable substrates shall meet ASTM D6868-03 standards.
• Paper, paper products and construction products made from non-wood, plant based contents such as agricultural crops and residues are always encouraged.
Future Considerations (by 2020)
Vehicle fuels made from non-wood, plant-based contents such as vegetable oils are encouraged whenever practicable.

Forest Conservation
Immediate Actions (2011-2012)
• Ensure that all wood and wood contained within the products that WSC purchases is certified to be sustainably harvested by a comprehensive, performance based certification system. The certification system shall include independent third-party audits, with standards equivalent to, or stricter than, those of the Forest Stewardship Council certification.
• Purchase or use of previously used or salvaged wood and wood products are always encouraged.

Recycling
Immediate Actions (2011-2012)
• 100% post-consumer waste recycled paper is the standard for all applications where economic use of paper and quality of service is not compromised or the health and safety of employees prejudiced.
• The use of reclaimed stone and brick and the use of secondary or recycled aggregates will be specified whenever practicable.
• Products that are durable, long lasting, reusable or refillable are preferred.
• All surplus desktop computers, notebooks and monitors shall be disposed of through our electronics recycling program.

Within Three Years (by 2014)
All documents (by WSC and Suppliers) shall be printed and copied on both sides to reduce the use and purchase of paper, unless otherwise deemed necessary.

Future Considerations (by 2020)
When specifying asphalt concrete, aggregate base or Portland cement concrete for road construction projects, recycled, reusable or reground materials shall be used when practicable.

Packaging
Future Considerations (by 2020)
Packaging that is reusable, recyclable or compostable is preferred. Packaging should be eliminated or use the minimum amount necessary for product protection.

Green Building
Immediate Actions (2011-2012)
• Green purchasing concepts shall be integrated into architectural designs, final construction documents, and the final construction of all university buildings and renovations of property or facilities owned by the university. All buildings and renovations undertaken by the university shall follow green building practices for design, construction, and operations, where appropriate, as described in the LEED Rating System.
• When maintaining buildings, products such as paint, carpeting, adhesives, furniture and casework with the lowest amount of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), highest recycled content, and low or no formaldehyde shall be used when practicable.

Future Considerations (by 2020)
• All carpet distributors and/or manufacturers of carpet installed at the college shall have a carpet recycling plan.
• The use of chlorofluorocarbon and halon-containing refrigerants, solvents, and other products shall be phased out, and new purchases of heating/ventilating/air conditioning, refrigeration, insulation, and fire suppression systems shall not contain them.

Landscaping
Immediate Actions (2011-2012)
• All landscape renovations, construction, and maintenance performed by internal staff members or contractors providing landscaping services shall employ sustainable landscape management techniques for design, construction, and maintenance whenever possible. This includes, but is not limited to, integrated pest management, drip irrigation, composting, and use of mulch and compost that give preference to those produced from regionally generated plant debris and/or food waste programs.
• Landscape structures constructed of recycled content materials are encouraged. The amount of impervious surfaces in the landscape shall be limited, whenever practicable. Permeable substitutes, such as permeable asphalt or pavers, are encouraged for walkways, patios, and driveways.
• Plants should be selected to minimize waste by choosing species that are appropriate to the microclimate. Native and drought-tolerant plants that require no or minimal watering once established should be purchased1.

Glossary of Terms

Biodegradable – The ability of a substance to decompose in the natural environment into harmless raw materials. To be truly biodegradable, a substance or material should break down into carbon dioxide (a nutrient for plants), water, and naturally occurring minerals that also do not cause harm to the ecosystem. In terms of environmental benefits, a product should take months or years, and not centuries, to biodegrade.

Buyer – Anyone authorized to purchase on behalf of the organization or its subdivisions.

Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) – Any of a group of compounds that contain carbon, chlorine, fluorine, and sometimes hydrogen and have been used as refrigerants, cleaning solvents, aerosol propellants and in the manufacture of plastic foams. The uses of CFCs are being phased out because they destroy the planet's stratospheric ozone protection layer.

Compostable – A product that can be placed into a composition of decaying biodegradable materials and eventually turn into a nutrient-rich material. It is synonymous with "biodegradable,” except it is limited to solid materials. (Liquid products are not considered compostable.)

Durable – A product that remains useful and usable for a long time without noticeable deterioration in performance.

Energy efficient product – A product that is in the upper 25 percent of energy efficiency for all similar products, or that is at least 10 percent more efficient than the minimum level meeting US federal government standards.

Greenhouse gases – Any of several dozen heat-trapping trace gases in the earth's atmosphere that absorb infrared radiation. The two major greenhouse gases are water vapor and carbon dioxide; lesser greenhouse gases include methane, ozone (O3), CFCs, and nitrogen oxides.

LEED rating system – A self-assessment system developed by the US Green Building Council for rating the environmental preferability of new and existing commercial, institutional, and high-rise residential buildings. Website: www.usgbc.org

Life cycle cost – The amortized annual cost of a product or service, including capital costs, installation costs, operating costs, maintenance costs, and disposal costs discounted over the lifetime of the product or service. (Compare with Product Life cycle.)

Locally manufactured or grown – Manufactured or grown within 100 miles of Gunnison, CO.

Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) – Written or printed material about a product that includes information on the product’s physical and chemical characteristics; physical and health hazards; exposure limits; whether the product contains carcinogenic ingredients above a certain threshold; precautions for safe handling and use; control measures; emergency and first aid procedures; the date of preparation of the MSDS or the last change to it; and the name, address, and telephone number of the manufacturer.

Persistent, bioaccumulative, toxic compounds (PBTs) – Toxic chemicals that persist in the environment and increase in concentration through food chains as larger animals consume PBT laden smaller animals. They transfer rather easily among air, water, and land, and span boundaries of programs, geography, and generations. As a result, PBTs pose risks to human health and ecosystems. They are associated with a range of adverse human health effects, including effects on the nervous system, reproductive and developmental problems, cancer, and genetic impact. They include heavy metals and chemicals such as mercury, dioxins, and PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls).

Post-consumer recycled content – Percentage of a product made from materials and byproducts recovered or diverted from the solid waste stream after having completed their usefulness as consumer items and used in place of raw or virgin material.

Product life cycle – The culmination of environmental impacts for a product, including raw material acquisition, manufacturing, distribution, use, maintenance, and ultimate disposal of the product. (Compare with Life cycle Cost.)

Recyclable product – A product that after its intended end use can be diverted from the solid waste stream for use as a raw material in the manufacture of another product.

Recovered materials – Waste materials and by-products that have been recovered or diverted from the solid waste stream.

Recycled materials – Material and byproducts that have been recovered or diverted from solid waste and have been utilized in place of raw or virgin material in manufacturing a product. It is derived from post-consumer recycled materials, manufacturing waste, industrial scrap, agricultural waste, and other waste material, but does not include material or byproducts generated from, and commonly reused within, an original manufacturing process.

Refurbished product – A product that has been completely disassembled and restored to its original working order while maximizing the reuse of its original materials.

Renewable materials – Materials made from plant-based feedstock capable of regenerating in less than 200 years such as trees and agricultural products. Rapidly renewable resources, such as grain-based feedstocks, regenerate in less than two years.

Sustainable – An action is said to be sustainable if it satisfies present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

Upgradeable product – The ability to increase a product’s performance or features without replacing the product.

Virgin material – Any material occurring in its natural form. Virgin Material is used in the form of raw material in the manufacture of new products.

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) – Chemicals that readily evaporate and contribute to the formation of air pollution when released into the atmosphere. Many VOCs are classified as toxic and carcinogenic.

Water efficient – A product that is in the upper 25 percent of water efficiency for all similar products, or that is at least 10 percent more efficient than the minimum level meeting US federal government standards3.

1Policy taken from: Purchasing and Business Services Manual: Green Purchasing. Arizona State University, Dec. 1, 2007. Web. 2 Feb. 2011.
2Product principles taken from: Arndt, Steven, and Michael Lizotte. Campus Sustainability Plan 2008-2012. The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, Feb. 2008. Web. 31 Jan. 2011.
3Glossary taken from: Green Purchasing Policy. Oberlin College, Nov. 2006. Web. 14 March. 2011.

List of Green Organizations

Third-party Certification and Advocacy Groups, Environmentally Preferred Vendors

Electronic Products Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) is an independent program that certifies “green” electronic equipment such as computers, monitors and laptops. See www.epeat.net.

ENERGY STAR® is a joint program of the US Department of Energy and US Environmental Protection Agency where you can find certified energy-efficient products (such as light fixtures, exit signs, appliances and office equipment). See www.energystar.gov.

Environmental Choice is Canada’s environmental product certification program. It has issued standards for over 300 product categories (such as flooring, paint, electricity, cleaners, office equipment, and paper products), many of which are sold in the U.S. and available in Colorado. See www.environmentalchoice.com/English/ECP%20Home.

Forest Stewardship Council certifies lumber and other building products made with sustainably harvested wood or that reduce wood consumption; go to www.fsc.org.

The Global Ecolabelling Network (GEN) is a non-profit association of third-party, environmental performance recognition, certification and labeling organizations founded in 1994 to improve, promote, and develop the "ecolabeling" of products and services. http://www.globalecolabelling.net/.

Green Seal is a nonprofit organization that set standards for products (such as janitorial cleaners, floor strippers, and paints) and certifies products that meet those standards. Find certified products, standards, and Choose Green Reports at www.greenseal.org.

Green-e is a labeling program established by the nonprofit organization, Center for Resource Solutions, which verifies electricity that has been generated using renewable sources such as solar and wind energy. See www.green-e.org.

Greenguard is a nonprofit organization that certifies products that impact indoor air quality. Find products (such as flooring, paints, furniture, and cleaning products) with low VOCs and other emissions. Some are certified for use near children: www.greenguard.org.

Scientific Certification Systems verifies green claims such as “biodegradable” or “contains recycled content”. SCS also oversees compliance with the California Gold Sustainable Carpet Standard and other environmental certifications; see www.scscertified.com.

Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Network is a free electronic listserv that links public and private officials charged with purchasing environmentally preferable products and services. It provides subscribers with quick access to EPP policies, specifications, vendors, and pricing and performance information. To subscribe, go to: www.nerc.org/eppnet.html.

Green Purchasing Institute provides hands-on technical support to local governments on EPP issues, including the development of environmental purchasing policies, bid specifications, contract language and outreach materials. Email: info@greenpurchasing.org.

GreenSpec Directory is a paper and online directory that lists over 2,100 environmentally preferable building products based on uniform environmental criteria. It can be found at www.buildinggreen.com.

Responsible Purchasing Network (RPN) is a member-based network of procurement stakeholders that maintains an online clearinghouse of information on EPP policies, programs, purchasing guides, reports, upcoming events and other related resources. See www.responsiblepurchasing.org.

StopWaste is a public agency in Alameda County that promotes waste prevention, recycling and EPP. It offers an EPP resource guide, model policy, and fact sheets on rechargeable batteries, remanufactured toner cartridges, recycled content recreation and transportation products, and environmentally preferable cleaning and office products. See www.stopwaste.org.

TransFair maintains a Fair Trade label issued to companies that import products such as coffee, tea, chocolate and rice that have been manufactured and sold under fair and safe working conditions. For a list of certified products, go to www.transfairusa.org1.

1State of Colorado. Department of Personnel and Administration. State Purchasing Office. Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Policy. 1 July 2010.


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

Purchasing Officer, Facility Services and all purchasers on campus


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

n/a


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

n/a


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

n/a


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

A toolkit to guide our move to zero-waste was completed in 12/15


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

n/a


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

Facility Services


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

n/a


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

n/a


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

n/a


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

Diversity is part of the strategic plan, both to boost enrollment and for the benefits of all learners. Diversity is also important to our retention efforts.

Affordability is just part of the value proposition - i.e., quality for price. We are currently the 2nd least expensive university in Colorado. As of now, it is not in a strategy document.


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

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

John Kawauchi,
Gary Pierson, VP of Student Affairs
Paul Fitzgerald


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

n/a


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

n/a


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

n/a


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

n/a


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

n/a


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

n/a


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

n/a


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

n/a


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

n/a


The institution’s definition of sustainability:

A systems thinking approach to life and decision making that attends to economics, people, and the environment, so as to thrive in perpetuity.


Does the institution’s strategic plan or equivalent guiding document include sustainability at a high level?:
No

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

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.