Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 65.01
Liaison Paul Mathisen
Submission Date May 23, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Worcester Polytechnic Institute
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Liz Tomaszewski
Facilities Systems Manager/Sustainability Coordinator
Facilities Department
"---" 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:

It is stated in the strategic plan that the principles of sustainability, including ecological stewardship, social justice, and economic security, will guide the approach to achieving the goals of the strategic plan in academics, research, campus operations, and community engagement.


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:
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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)? :
No

A copy of the climate action plan:
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The website URL where the climate action plan is publicly available:
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Does the institution have other published plans that address sustainability or include measurable sustainability objectives (e.g. campus master plan, physical campus plan, diversity plan, human resources plan)? :
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?:
Yes

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

1) Increased visibility and financial support for the global project centers by FY14 and ongoing; 2) Achieving social justice and meet basic human needs in sustainable global development through integration with academic programs by FY15 and ongoing; 3) The role of sustainability is explicit in WPI's Statement of Values for Undergraduate Education and Learning Outcomes by FY14/15; 4) Track the activities that address social justice and basic human needs in sustainable global development by FY15 and ongoing; 5) Track and coordinate sustainability content of IQPs, MQPs, GPS, and Humanities and Arts requirements, by FY14/FY15 and ongoing; 6) Formalize and highlight the significance of sustainability issues in the Great Problems Seminars, with consideration to the completion of the GPS by all students, by FY14 and ongoing; 7) Define the role of sustainability in the disciplines for all undergraduate and graduate academic majors, by FY14/FY15 and ongoing; 8) Assist students in incorporating sustainability into their majors, by FY14/FY15 and ongoing; 9) Create a major energy project center with substantial external collaborators, FY14; 10) Establish a project center dedicated to supporting student projects that address on-campus sustainability, FY14; 11) Define and document the sustainability component of each student's education, FY14/FY15 and ongoing; 12) Track and report faculty expertise and interests in sustainability, FY14/FY15 and ongoing.


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

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

1) WPI is recognized for its contributions in one or more areas of sustainability research, by FY14 and ongoing; 2) All of WPI's sustainability-related research work is visible and accessible via the web, by FY14 and ongoing; 3) Appoint a coordinator for sustainability related research, FY14; 4) Identify and establish one or more major center(s) in area(s) of WPI's current strengths in sustainability; 5) Establish a lecture series to address sustainability-related topics, by FY14 and ongoing; 6) Initiate a series of sustainability conferences in areas of WPI's research strength, by FY15 and ongoing.


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:

Objectives: 1) At least 50% of the campus community is engaged in sustainability efforts, by FY15 and ongoing; 2) Sustainability-related project centers involve both the WPI campus and local communities, by FY15 and ongoing; 3) Implement a sustainability training and education program for students/faculty/staff (i.e., new staff, faculty, and student orientation program), by FY16 and ongoing; 4) Incorporate sustainability targets into key student/staff/faculty roles, by FY16 and ongoing; 5) Development a mechanism for engaging all constituents in sustainability planning activities on campus and beyond, by FY15 and ongoing; 6) Develop award/recognition program to support on-campus and off-campus sustainability efforts, by AY14 and ongoing;


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:

1) Sustainability-related project centers involve both the WPI campus and local communities, by FY15 and ongoing; 2) WPI's expertise is available via projects and other mechanisms to assist community, governments, and non-profit groups, by FY15 and ongoing; 3) Development a mechanism for engaging all constituents in sustainability planning activities on campus and beyond, by FY15 and ongoing; 4) Develop award/recognition program to support on-campus and off-campus sustainability efforts, by AY14 and ongoing; 5) Develop a transportation plan for the WPI community to decrease reliance on single-occupancy vehicles, by AY14 and ongoing.


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:

1) measure GHG emissions and report Scope 1 and 2 emissions annually, by FY14 and ongoing, and 2) establish a methodology and timeline for reducing GHG emissions, by FY14/FY15;


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

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

1) In addition to new construction, all major building renovations on campus are LEED certifiable, by FY15 and ongoing; 2) Define building usage and assess building schedules to efficiently manage heating and cooling, by FY14/FY15.


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:

1) reduce utility consumption by 25% over 5 years, by FY18; 2) invest in energy programs (focus on deferred maintenance with support from utility incentives), by FY15 and ongoing; 3) Monitor energy use real-time with submetering, by FY16 and ongoing; 4) Define building usage and assess building schedules to efficiently manage heating and cooling, by FY14/FY15; 5) Increase sustainability in computing by using sustainable principles in the purchasing and operation of data centers, and through community education and awareness programs, by FY15 and ongoing.


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:

1) Develop and implement purchasing guidelines to select products manufactured, packaged, and distributed in sustainable manners, by FY15; 2) Eliminate disposable/single-use plastic water bottles from the campus by FY15


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:

1) Develop and implement purchasing guidelines to select products manufactured, packaged, and distributed in sustainable manners, and/or are made from recycled goods, by FY15; 2) to increase sustainability in computing by using sustainable principles in the purchasing and operation of data centers, and through community education and awareness programs, by FY15 and ongoing.


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:

1) Develop a transportation plan for the WPI community to decrease the reliance on single-occupancy vehicles, by AY14/ongoing


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:

1) evaluate how recycling and trash pick-up is managed, including disposal contractors and research opportunities, by FY14; 2) Improve campus recycling infrastructure by purchasing and installing user-friendly recycling containers and adding solar compactors to campus outdoor trash receptacles, by FY15; 3) Develop a marketing campaign to tell the story of recycling at WPI, by FY15; 4) Eliminate disposable/single-use plastic water bottles from the campus, by FY15; 5) Install water bottle filling stations on campus, by FY15


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

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

1) Utility consumption is reduced by 25% over 5 years, by FY18


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

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

In WPI Strategic Plan "Perhaps the single largest enabler of innovative thinking for WPI is creating an inclusive, diverse community that values difference in thought, cultural background, and perspective. As such we will redouble our efforts to recruit and retain students, faculty, and staff of diverse backgrounds. In addition, we will institute programs to help ensure that WPI is a place that appreciates difference, and work to sustain an environment where all members of our community are empowered to perform at their best."


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

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

An objective is to develop a Green Revolving Fund; this is currently in discussion and a white paper has been submitted to the President.


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

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

The Healthy Herd Wellness Rewards Program suggest the completion of a number of healthy initiatives within a year to qualify for rewards


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address other areas (e.g. arts and culture or technology)?:
Yes

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

Goal: "Through our research and scholarly activities WPI will make significant contributions to the technologies, the policies, and the attitudes that will help assure a sustainable world." Measurable: "Task: Identify and establish one (or more) major center(s) in area(s) of WPI’s current strengths in sustainability"; Measurable: "Task: Establish a lecture series to address sustainability-related topics "


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:

The 2015 WPI Strategic Plan includes the statement: WPI demonstrates its commitment to the preservation of the planet and all its life through the incorporation of the principles of sustainability throughout the institution. These principles include ecological stewardship, social justice, and economic security. By implementing the principles of the WPI Plan for Sustainability, we will advance broad sustainability goals in academics, research, campus operations, and community outreach. Further, WPI will promote a culture of sustainability that incorporates the beliefs and behaviors supported by our technical strengths and by our heritage of the application of both theory and practice to the solution of global problems.


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

"Sustainability at WPI encompasses three mutually complementary components:
Ecological Stewardship embodies the principle that human activities must respect the need to preserve our natural world.
Economic Security represents the understanding that all members of society deserve access to the means to support themselves and their families.
Social Justice represents our belief that respect for the dignity of every human being leads to the assurance of equitable rights and opportunities for everyone."


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) No

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

WPI is committed to meeting the guidelines identified in the Sustainability Plan.


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