Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 50.85
Liaison Elissa Brown
Submission Date Feb. 8, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Whitman College
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
2.00 / 4.00 Brandon Bishop
Campus Sustainability Coordinator
Physical Plant
"---" 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? :
No

A brief description of how the institution’s strategic plan or equivalent guiding document addresses sustainability:
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A copy of the strategic plan:
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The website URL where the strategic plan is publicly available:
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Does the institution have a published sustainability plan (apart from what is reported above)? :
No

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

A list of other published plans that address sustainability, including public website URLs (if available):
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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:

Climate change is arguably the defining issue of our time, and will soon be addressed in past tense, making it a critical course of study. To pursue climate neutrality without utilizing the core purpose of the institution, education, would be severely lacking. The risks of a changed climate need to be understood by all to motivate adoption of best means for mitigating these risks by reducing our impact and adapting to changes.
Goal: Integrate climate action and learning together to create positive behavior change that reduces emissions among students, staff, and faculty alike, as well as campus visitors. In effect, evolve the campus into a “living laboratory” of sustainability.
Objectives:

The working group is not recommending specific objectives for Curriculum and Research at this time. The Working Group encourages the faculty to determine how best to integrate these issues into the academic program.


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:

See Above


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Campus Engagement?:
Yes

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

Human behavior change is critical to creating a campus culture aware of our climate impacts. As an institution of learning, teaching is our primary purpose, both in and out of the classroom, for students, staff, faculty, and visitors alike. By committing to become climate neutral, Whitman has demonstrated leadership, but we must also work to expand the reach of our efforts. The following recommendations are broken down by target audience. The following efforts rarely stand alone and instead are extensions of efforts in the previous categories.
Goal: Become a shining light of sustainability and climate action in the region.
Objectives:
● Retool the Green Leaders club into EcoReps run by the Campus Sustainability Coordinator to educate campus residents about their environmental impact and initiate behavior change. Implement a sustainability pledge or dorm certification process.
● Renew sustainability in new student orientation and campus welcome to establish culture of accountability.
● Continue to coordinate with student groups to cooperate on campus events and efforts.
● Initiate energy conservation competitions between residence halls after the installation of building sub-metering and dashboard technology. Compete each semester in alignment with Campus Sustainability Day and Earth Week.
● Connect students with parents and alumni working in the fields of sustainability, renewable energy, climate change, environmental protection, and more.
● Establish volunteer sustainability leaders in campus offices and departments to bring about peer-to-peer sustainability education.
● Offer sustainability-related workshops for campus employees.
● Leverage building sub-metering for conservation competitions between campus offices and departments.
● Expand education of parents, prospective students, and alumni or Whitman’s sustainability initiatives.
● Find direct, meaningful ways for donors to the College to contribute to emissions reductions measures
● Invite parents and alumni to sustainability programming or to be guest speakers, etc.
● Continue to collaborate and build relationships with neighbor institutions and organizations. Leverage these relationships for friendly competition, collective action, and cross-pollination of ideas.
● Invite community members and organizations to connect with students, demonstrate their work or research on campus as guests, and collaborate for mutual benefit.
● Expand outreach of campus initiatives into off-campus partnerships and education.


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Public Engagement?:
Yes

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

Human behavior change is critical to creating a campus culture aware of our climate impacts. As an institution of learning, teaching is our primary purpose, both in and out of the classroom, for students, staff, faculty, and visitors alike. By committing to become climate neutral, Whitman has demonstrated leadership, but we must also work to expand the reach of our efforts. The following recommendations are broken down by target audience. The following efforts rarely stand alone and instead are extensions of efforts in the previous categories.
Goal: Become a shining light of sustainability and climate action in the region.
Objectives:
● Retool the Green Leaders club into EcoReps run by the Campus Sustainability Coordinator to educate campus residents about their environmental impact and initiate behavior change. Implement a sustainability pledge or dorm certification process.
● Renew sustainability in new student orientation and campus welcome to establish culture of accountability.
● Continue to coordinate with student groups to cooperate on campus events and efforts.
● Initiate energy conservation competitions between residence halls after the installation of building sub-metering and dashboard technology. Compete each semester in alignment with Campus Sustainability Day and Earth Week.
● Connect students with parents and alumni working in the fields of sustainability, renewable energy, climate change, environmental protection, and more.
● Establish volunteer sustainability leaders in campus offices and departments to bring about peer-to-peer sustainability education.
● Offer sustainability-related workshops for campus employees.
● Leverage building sub-metering for conservation competitions between campus offices and departments.
● Expand education of parents, prospective students, and alumni or Whitman’s sustainability initiatives.
● Find direct, meaningful ways for donors to the College to contribute to emissions reductions measures
● Invite parents and alumni to sustainability programming or to be guest speakers, etc.
● Continue to collaborate and build relationships with neighbor institutions and organizations. Leverage these relationships for friendly competition, collective action, and cross-pollination of ideas.
● Invite community members and organizations to connect with students, demonstrate their work or research on campus as guests, and collaborate for mutual benefit.
● Expand outreach of campus initiatives into off-campus partnerships and education.


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 College must periodically report on GHG reduction progress to verify that methods are indeed working as expected and to determine whether efforts must be expedited. The Sustainability Coordinator will write annual progress reports detailing updates on the objectives in this Plan. GHG inventorying should be done every few years to quantify progress. This should become simpler, as many objectives include data collection; a prime example is the building sub-metering proposal. Each new inventory should use the most current Clean Air - Cool Planet (CACP) Carbon Calculator, although this is likely to create some drift in results. Version 6.9 was used for the baseline 2013 GHG inventory. Should the calculator become defunct, its successor or the alternative recommended by AASHE and peers shall be used instead.
Not all of the mitigation strategies recommended can be tracked by the CACP calculator currently, which is no doubt problematic, but the calculator is periodically updated. Additionally, some metrics can be difficult to establish, but will become easier with time and effort. A best attempt is necessary to determine these GHG reductions as an external calculation to the CACP calculator. Should some of the strategies still be difficult or impossible to calculate mitigation from, this should be noted in the GHG inventory updates.

Approved for FY2017 is the purchase of Renewable Energy Credits to offset 100% of forecasted electricity.

1. Offset natural gas and electricity GHG emissions by 2020, cutting net emissions in half;
2. Continuously improve campus facilities via efficiency upgrades and maximizing solar collection to minimize gross emissions;
3. Develop better means for measuring and tracking Scope III emissions from sources such as commutes and paid travel;
4. Minimize Scope III emissions;
5. Offset Scope III emissions to achieve climate neutrality by 2050.
6. Continue to refine and re-evaluate carbon mitigation and offset goals and strategies via CAP updates


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:

Campus operations makes up the single largest source of Whitman’s emissions, totaling 54.5% of gross emissions based on the 2013 GHG inventory. Contributing sources include purchased electricity, on-campus stationary sources (the steam plant), electricity transmission and distribution losses, wastewater, and refrigerant fugitive emissions. Operations contributed 6,788.5 metric tons CO2e to the College’s GHG footprint in total. The task force recommends the College prioritizes emissions reductions over the purchase of offsets as a more genuine and confirmable means of GHG mitigation. The primary recommendations are improving energy efficiency and greatly expanding College-owned renewable energy generation. The biggest challenge to reducing operational emissions is any potential growth to campus.
Goal: Minimize energy consumption of campus buildings


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Energy?:
Yes

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

Standardize building efficiency measures for new construction and retrofits, including the adoption of resource conservation technologies such as LED lighting, daylight harvesting, low-flow faucets, dual-flush toilets, etc. As recommended by PAE, this proposal would cost an estimated $43 million by 2050.
● Set universal heating and cooling set points for campus buildings, with some exceptions - Penrose Library, Baker Ferguson Fitness Center, etc. The Department of Energy recommends a heating setpoint of 68F and a cooling set point of 78F. Pair with an energy conservation campaign to build building occupant buy-in.
Install utility sub-metering and building dashboard systems into residence halls, and then roll out to all other campus buildings. Piloted by Olin Hall, residence halls will follow. Standard Plumbing Heating Control’s proposal for the residence halls and library cost an estimated $150,563.
Sub-meter all utilities on all major campus buildings and tie into publicly-accessible building dashboard interfaces both onsite and online to provide better operational data and means for decision-making, as well as leverage for occupant behavior change.
Increase purchase of renewable energy credits to 100% of our electricity consumption and then purchase GHG offsets related to natural gas emissions mitigation for campus natural gas usage
Pursue engineering studies for campus solar productivity no later than 2020. PAE’s proposed solar power plan for campus would cost $9 million prior to incentives.
● Install solar thermal collectors on campus buildings to augment heat and hot water
Continue to explore wind and solar power production on campus agricultural holdings in partnership with power companies
● Develop strategies for continuously funding renewable energy projects on campus
● Based on engineering studies of campus solar productivity, establish a goal for percentage of power from solar or total solar nameplate capacity.


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Food & Dining?:
Yes

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

Develop a food waste compost system


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

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Grounds 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 Purchasing?:
Yes

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

Establish sustainable purchasing criteria and a universal process


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Transportation?:
Yes

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

Goal: Minimize vehicle-miles travelled to campus during commutes. These emissions are excluded from the neutrality definition.
Objectives:

Immediate:
● Continue to support the revitalized Bike Share program run by the Sustainability Coordinator in cooperation with Penrose Library and the Outdoor Program Bike Shop.
Short-term:
● Increase bicycle parking and bike safety on campus. Offer bike registration with Walla Walla Police Department on campus. Increase secure parking for staff and faculty bike commuters.
● Align support for active commuting with campus wellness programming.
● Utilize a more efficient rideshare social network, such as ZimRide, to assist carpooling both for daily commutes and for longer distance travel.
● Provide an EV charging station in a visible location on campus to incentivize use of EVs. Seek partnerships with the City of Walla Walla and PacificPower to accomplish this.
● Continue to explore a car-share program for students, staff, and faculty to reduce car ownership and support active commuting. ZipCar is one such example.
Goal: Minimize emissions of vehicles on campus
Objectives:
Immediate:
● Institute a no idling policy on campus, excepting warming up vehicles in winter for snow, ice, and condensation removal.
Long-term:
● Switch campus vehicles to less carbon-intensive fuels as appropriate by vehicle task - biodiesel blends for diesel mowers, tractors, etc., hybrid or EV drivetrains for light duty sedans, EVs for campus golf carts and side-by-sides, compressed natural gas (CNG) for maintenance trucks, etc. Select vehicles based on replacement needs.
● Consider producing biodiesel onsite through an academic pursuit, providing hands-on experience with the technology to students.
Goal: Minimize emissions from paid campus travel
Immediate:
● By July 1, be capable of tracking air travel via dollars and ground travel via miles with the intent of of reducing unnecessary flights and eventually offsetting remaining flights.
● Encourage departments and offices to thoroughly consider the necessity and utility of all travel, and support efforts to teleconference instead
● Strongly discourage flights to Portland and Seattle and instead encourage driving, especially carpooling or renting a hybrid from Enterprise. A single-occupancy vehicle getting 25mpg matches the GHG emissions of flying to Seattle from Walla Walla and greatly reduces the emissions of flights to Portland from Walla Walla via Seattle. To carpool or increase fuel efficiency of the car would reduce GHG emissions even further.
Short-term:
● Create an educational program for staff and faculty about direct flights to reduce the number of layovers, and improve data collection of flights. Takeoff is the most intensive part of flight, making direct flights much more efficient choices. Third party software solutions exist.


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Waste?:
Yes

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

Goal: Minimize landfill-bound waste from the College
Objectives:
Immediate:
● Reduce printing across campus by continuing to transition to digital distribution
● Communicate clearly to students what they do and do not need before move-in
● Continue to strengthen the campus recycling program
● Create an independent solid waste management plan to guide waste reduction efforts even further
Short-term:
● Organize a campus rummage sale in alignment with spring move-out and coordinate with Physical Plant surplus sale
● Create a sustainable events guide in cooperation with Conferences and Events
● Establish sustainable purchasing criteria and a universal process
● Develop a food waste compost system
● Expand programmatic support of reusable containers on campus in coordination with Bon Appetit, such as rolling out a reusable to-go box system
● Continue to work with Bon Appetit to increase the presence of locally-produced food in the dining halls and campus catering.
● Participate in the Real Food Challenge to publicly commit to increasing local food consumption
● Continue to increase recycled content, especially from post-consumer waste (PCW), in purchased products such as paper towels, toilet paper, printer paper, recycling bins, bin liner bags, etc.
● Create a preferred office supplies list
● Require all wood and paper products are FSC-certified


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:
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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:
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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:

The investment and Finance objectives are not published within the Climate Action Plan of the institution. This policy is a trustee level policy. The institution employs sustainability objectives within the investment process. This objectives are held at the CFO and Trustee level. At this time the institution has substantially decreased holdings in certain asset classes that are considered unsustainable. This has resulted in a decrease in which the endowment contains roughly a 1% investment in fossil fuels. There is continued dedication to mitigate asset holdings that are consider outside of institutional values. While the Board has implemented internal actions they have also provide a process for community members to challenge certain investments. That is governed by the following divestment policy:
The purpose of Whitman College Endowment is to support the funding of the College in
perpetuity. Over time it is possible for the Endowment to hold an investment whose
business activities present a serious threat to basic values considered non-negotiable bythe Whitman community. Instances so extreme that they shock the conscience, such as genocide, ethnic cleansing, unjustified disregard of profound environmental
degradation and other wide-scale acts of injustice, may call for an extraordinary
response. It is in this context that the Board of Whitman College sets forth the basis on
which it will consider divestment from endowment portfolio investments that associate
it with such above-described heinous activities.
The Board will consider proposals for divesting the Endowment portfolio of an
investment if all of the following conditions are met:
1. Such investment supports activities that materially contribute to conditions that
shock the conscience.
2. The proposed divestment is likely to have significant financial, reputational, or other
adverse impacts on the target of the divestment that may influence its behavior or the
behavior of other similarly situated entities. In this regard, Whitman will take into
account the actions of other like-minded institutions.
3. The proposed divestment (or decision not to divest) will be generally understood by
and acceptable to the greater Whitman community, based on the Board’s best
understanding of the community’s opinion.
In taking such action the Board shall first refer requests for divestment to its Executive
Committee, and consider information provided by the Investment Committee regarding
the potential impact of the proposed divestment on the College’s Endowment. It shall
carefully balance the reasons advanced to divest against its moral, legal, and fiduciary
responsibilities, keeping in mind that:
a. The purpose of the Endowment is to support the College’s mission through prudent
investments and judicious expenditures for the benefit of current and future
generations of Whitman students; and
b. The Endowment is carefully invested to produce the maximum long-term returns to
the College, consistent with the risks that the Board deems appropriate; and that
c. The College’s investment in the offending company may be bundled in an investment
vehicle that cannot be divided. In such a case, the value of the investment vehicle to the endowment must be analyzed and balanced against the advantages of divesting.

A decision to divest is committed exclusively to the discretion of the Board. In making
such a determination, the Board shall consider its full range of moral, legal, and fiduciary,responsibilities to the College and to current and future generations of students. Because the decision to divest is an extraordinary one, a divestment decision shall require a two-thirds vote of approval by the full Board.


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:
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Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address other areas (e.g. arts and culture or technology)?:
No

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address other areas and the published plans in which each objective is included:
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Does the institution have a formal statement in support of sustainability endorsed by its governing body (e.g. a mission statement that specifically includes sustainability and is endorsed by the Board of Trustees)? :
Yes

The formal statement in support of sustainability:

Climate Action Plan was approved by the Board of Trustees


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

Whitman College Environmental Principles

Recognizing the impact Whitman College has on the environment and the leadership role Whitman College plays as an institution of higher learning, the college affirms the following environmental principles and standards, which shall be consulted to explore the practical ways Whitman College can promote an environmentally conscious campus.

To reduce the amount of non-recyclable materials, to reuse materials when possible, and utilize recycled materials.
To consider the eco-friendliest science and technology available to decrease our environmental impact.
To continue to build an energy-efficient campus in the 21st century.
To patronize companies that are active in their defense of the environment from further degradation.
To encourage individuals’ environmental accountability through programs of environmental education.
To consider environmentally friendly options when they exist and are practical in decisions regarding developmental projects.
To further the use of reused materials, recyclable materials, and the Internet for campus communications.
To encourage and request food service to make environmentally friendly decisions in purchasing food and supplies, reducing waste, and reusing materials.
To maintain campus grounds through the employment of bio-friendly substances and services.
To strive to improve upon current practices so we may harmonize the trends of the industrial world with the natural environment.


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

A brief description of the institution’s formal sustainability commitments, including the specific initiatives selected above:
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The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.