An Introduction to Campus Environmental Sustainability Indicators

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					         An Introduction to Campus
        Environmental Sustainability

      Northeast Campus Sustainability Consortium
               Indicators Working Group
                    Gioia Thompson, University of Vermont (Chair)
                    Connie Leach Bisson, Middlebury College
                    Mary Jensen, Keene State College
                    Ramsay Huntley, Tufts University
                    Melissa Garcia Lamarca, Concordia University
                    Keisha Payson, Bowdoin College
                    Julie Newman, Yale University
                    Intern: Heather Leibowitz, UVM ’05

Created for Campus Consortium for Environmental Excellence, September 2005
Environmental Indicators in the
   Context of Sustainability
          Sustainability is:
             "..development that meets the needs of the
            present without compromising the ability of
            future generations to meet their own needs"
                         World Commission on the
                         Environment and Development, 1987

          Question: How will our communities
                         and economic
            systems             survive into
            the future?
   Sustainability in Higher
 Education/Campus Greening
• Ensure that critical activities are ecologically
  sound, socially just, and economically viable
• Emphasize these concepts in curriculum,
  research, outreach
• Prepare students to contribute as working
• Support surrounding community
• Create institution that functions as
  sustainable community
Greening Campus Operations
• Land use
• Transportation, parking, fleet
• Landscaping
• Water use
• Food
• Purchasing
• Hazardous waste
• Solid waste management
• Energy use and sources
Sample Assessment Resources
• Campus Consortium for Environmental
  Excellence C/U Self Tracking Tool
• Sierra Youth Coalition’s Campus Sustainability
  Assessment Framework
• Good Company’s Sustainable Pathways Toolkit
• Campus Sustainability Assessment Project
• Clean Air-Cool Planet greenhouse gas inventory
       Types of Reports
• Comprehensive sustainability assessments
• Environmental reports
• Other reports
  – Individual building performance report
  – Ecological footprint analysis
  – Greenhouse gas inventories
Sample Comprehensive Reports
• University of Florida: qualitative, covers
  research, education, operations, outreach,
  personnel, policies and practices
• Michigan State University: 16 social,
  economic, environmental indicators; 76
  graphs and tables                            Social/community
• Concordia University (Montreal) multi-
  stakeholder process, 171 indicators on
  social, economic, environmental impact,
  100+ students involved
Sample Environmental Reports
• Bowdoin College
   – Environmental Impact Audit, December 2000
• Middlebury College
   – Climate Neutral Working Group report
• Tufts University
   – Tufts Climate Initiative website, activities
• University of Vermont
   – Tracking UVM: Environmental Report Card
• Yale University
   – Yale University Environment Report: 1997-1998
     through 2003-2004
          Example: Tracking UVM:
  Environmental Report Card 1990-2000
• Land, water, energy, air,
  waste indicators 1990-2000
• Best management practices,
  community comments, next
• Audience: students, staff,
  faculty, trustees, legislature,
• Excerpted, adapted for            University of Vermont
                                    Environmental Council
  educational projects              December 2002

• Key findings: energy use,
  solid waste up despite best
       Using Your Indicators
•   Track management practices in operations
•   Strategic planning
•   Master planning
•   Compliance assessment
•   Comparison with other institutions
•   Campus, community stakeholder
    education and engagement
     Sample Educational Uses
  Ex: To promote awareness in residence

• Electricity use reduction competition—Oberlin
• % of trash that could have been recycled
  (EcoRep waste sort results) —Vermont
• Total recycled / resident student, and
  Total trash / resident student—Recyclemania
    Considerations: Purpose
• Academics: engage intellectual resources
  of faculty and students in sustainability
• Campus education: awareness,
  understanding, motivation, behavior change
• Decision-making: support clear decisions,
  set priorities, engage stakeholders
• Visibility: create pressure on institution
  from internal and external sources
Considerations: Constraints

• Money: financial, in-kind,
  investments in data systems

• Time: data and labor availability,
  reporting schedules

• Relevance: quality of data, culture,
  pressing issues, collaborations
Considerations: Potential Pitfalls
• Coordinator
  – Burnout
  – Time sink
  – Data don’t exist in form they ―should‖
  – Danger of poor interactions with stakeholders
• Institution
  – Reluctance to look bad
  – Perceived confidentiality issues
  – Difficulty in comparing school to school
  – Danger of drawing the wrong conclusions
        Start with key environmental
                 • Solid waste & recycling, composting
                   – Tangible, measurable, understandable
                 • Energy—heating, electricity,
                   transportation, and associated
                   – Collectively largest financial and
                     environmental impact
                 • Water—water use and wastewater
Available from           treatment
                   – Significance depends on region
Measuring Now, and Maybe Later
Sample energy and waste measures:
• Probably measuring now
  –   kWh, Btus, square feet
  –   Tons waste to landfill, recycling (?)
  –   Number of students, faculty, staff
  –   Financial data
• Might want to measure
  –   Greenhouse gas emissions
  –   Energy sources
  –   How much of trash could have been recycled
  –   Construction and demolition waste
                What’s Next
•   Creative educational uses of indicators
•   Focus on key indicators (depth) and/or …
•   Expansion to larger numbers of indicators
•   Perhaps formal reporting systems as part of
    Environmental Management Systems, ISO
• Suites of Indicators
• Integrate into campus reporting systems
    Suites of Energy Indicators
• Energy use from heating, electricity,
  transportation combined into one unit (terajoules
  or BTUs) shows relative environmental
  impacts—often heating and electricity about the
  same, transportation much lower
• Cost of energy use from heating, electricity,
  transportation shows relative costs, return on
  investment—electricity usually highest
• Greenhouse gas emissions from energy uses
  show climate change impacts
Sample: Energy Indicators Suite
                  FY05 Energy Dollars                                              FY05 Energy Usage
                    (Does not include w ater)                                        (Water Not Included)

                   1%3%           8%
       18%                                             #2                          1% 4%
                                                                          18%                                               #2
                                                12%                                                         21%
                                                       #6                                                                   #6
                                                       Natural Gas                                                          Natural Gas
                                                       Electricity                                                          Electricity
                                                       Steam                                                                Steam
                                                       Propane          37%                                                 Propane

                    FY05 Emissions

                                                                                    FY01        FY02              FY03    FY04        FY05       est.
             7%   2%0%                                 electricity
                                                 46%                 Degree Days    5,804       4,829             6,252   5,627       5,889     5,680
                                                       #6 fuel
                                                       Natural gas   Cooling
                                                       #2 fuel       Degree Days     699           705             892     786            683    753
   34%                                                 propane       Campus Sq.     3,583       3,627             3,764   3,791       3,810     3,874
                                                                     Footage         ,911        ,511              ,705    ,451        ,664      ,801
Integrating Indicators into Planning,
   Reporting, Surveying Systems

• Campus Master Plan: impervious surfaces
• Transportation Plan: single occupancy vehicle rate,
  commuter choice options
• Utilities Plan: emissions, greenhouse gases
• Contracts: recycled content in copier paper, local
  food served by dining services
• Reports: Env Health & Safety: IAQ complaints
• Surveys: awareness, attitudes (Student
  Government, Statistics classes)
1.   Organizations
2.   Reports
3.   Tools
4.   Articles
5.   Miscellaneous slides

   Campus Consortium for Environmental Excellence
   Education for Sustainability-West
   University Leaders for a Sustainable Future
   National Wildlife Federation
   Clean Air-Cool Planet
Campus Consortium for
Environmental Excellence (C2E2)
•   College & University Sector Program
•   See also:
    •   Environmental Management Systems (EMS) 32
        institutions involved
    •   EPA Best Management Practices (BMP)
   Comprehensive
       University of Florida
       Michigan State
       Concordia University (Montreal)
   Environmental
       Bowdoin College
       Tufts University
       Yale University
University of Florida
University of Florida Sustainability Task Force –
  Final Report (2002)
   Qualitatively focused report looking at a wide range
    of indicators for a sustainable institution:
     Research
     Education
     Campus Operations (including: Land Management &
        Biodiversity, Buildings, Energy and Resource Use,
        Transportation, Waste Management, etc.)
       Community Outreach and Integration
       Campus Community: Personnel
       Organizational Policies and Practices
Michigan State University
   Campus Sustainability Report (2003)
       Extensive report including 76 representational
        graphs and tables
       Social, Economic, and Environmental Indicators
        (16 total)
       Findings provide data on a wide range of campus
        issues – from intramural sports to research
        funding to air emissions
Concordia University
Concordia University

            171 Indicators organized in 10 areas
Materials              Energy              Air     Land                  Water
Buildings              Sources             Indoo r Managed Green Space   Consumption
Paper                  Managemen t         Outdoor Natural Areas         Managemen t
Food                   Inten sity of Use           Inten sity of Use     Storm and Wastewater
Hazardous materials
Solid Waste

People Subsystem
Governance     Knowledge Economy and                  Health and Well-Being     Community
Policy         Training   Individual                  Recreation                Involvement
Implementation Research   Institutional               Food                      Diversity
Monitoring     Curriculum                             Safety                    Services
                                                      Health Services
Concordia University
                 Sample Health & Wellbeing Indicators
                                                                          BENCHMARK         GOAL
      HW-12   Mental         Total number of CCMs divided                  X CCMs/        X CCMs/
              Health         by the total number of certified                 FTE            FTE
              Care           FTE mental health care                       professional   professional
              Practitioner   professionals on-campus in
                             assessment year
                             (psychiatrists, psychologists,
                             counselors, etc.).
      HW-13   Retention      Measure annual retention                     At least 85%      100%
              Rate           rates of staff, students and
                             faculty and average them
                             based on the total FTE
                             populations of each group.
      HW-14   Spiritual      Total number of CCMs                                           100%
              Services       practicing a spiritual discipline
                             who are serviced by spirituality
                             outlets available on-campus
                             (with care taken not to double
                             count individuals using more
                             than one service) divided by
                             the total number of CCMs;
                             multiply by 100.
      HW-15   Mental         Total annual number of people                                  Zero
              Illness        reporting depression,
                             alcohol/drug abuse, etc.,
                             divided by the total campus
                             headcount; multiply by 100.
      HW-16   Student        Total annual number of                                       Zero per
              Suicide        student suicides, divided by                                   1000
              Rate           the total headcount of                                       students.
                             students; multiply by 1000.
Tufts Climate Initiative (TCI)
   Tufts University has committed to reducing GHG
    emissions by 7% below 1990 levels by 2012 – this
    translates to a real reduction of about 30%.
   Carbon is the key metric for measuring the impact of
    construction, transportation, energy efficiency,
    personal action, and clean electricity.
   TCI’s work is funded by grants. University dollars
    fund efficiency and other investments.
   TCI’s focus is on efficiency, new construction,
    electricity procurement, and personal action.
                                                     Tufts University Carbon Inventory
                                                                Emissions Target                                                                     Carbon emissions
                                                                                                                                                     updated annually
Emission Releases (MTCE)

                           20,000                                                                                                                    ( )



                                    1988   1990   1992   1994   1996   1998   2000   2002   2004   2006   2008    2010   2012

                                                                                                                            Electricity Use on the Medford Campus

                                             A focus on improving                                                35,000,000
                                             electrical efficiency                                               30,000,000
                                             has leveled electricity

                                             and decreased                                                       15,000,000
                                             emissions on the                                                    10,000,000
                                             main campus.                                                                   0
                                                                                                                            1990          1998      1999   2000   2001   2002   2003
University of Vermont
Report Card Results 1990-2000
More               Little change or   Less
sustainable:       inadequate         sustainable:
+ Energy sources   data:
+ Radioactive                         -Commuting miles
                   ~ Land use
waste                                 -CO2 emissions
                   ~ Air pollution
+ Water use          from heating     -Energy use
+ Storm water      ~ Recycling
                   ~ Hazardous        -Trash generation
   College Consortium of Environmental Excellence (and
       Colleges & Universities Self Tracking Tool
   Environmental Protection Agency
       Sector Programs: College & University Sector
   Sierra Youth Coalition
       Campus Sustainability Assessment Framework
   Good Company
       Sustainable Pathways Toolkit
   Campus Sustainability Assessment Project CSAP
       Online Database
C2E2/EPA Colleges & Universities
Self Tracking Tool
   Colleges and Universities Self Tracking Tool,
    developed by EPA College and University
    Sector’s Performance Measurement Workgroup
    online tool to collect and analyze data on
    campus environmental impacts.

   Tracks and benchmarks environmental
    indicators against aggregated data from other
    schools of similar size and type.
Good Company’s Sustainable
Pathways Toolkit
   Assessment tool for university and college
    customers: 20 core indicators and 10
    supplementary, each with performance
    benchmark. (ex. UNC-Greensboro)
   Compact and focused still with some depth of
    sustainability issues and coverage of human and
    ecosystem dimensions.
   Involves limited consultation of and involvement
    of campus community.
The Campus Sustainability
Assessment Project (CSAP)
The Campus Sustainability Assessment Database is
an extensive, searchable record of CSA projects
throughout the United States, Canada, and several
other countries. It contains information on over 1,100
projects and assessments of all types.
Campus Sustainability
Assessment Framework (CSAF)
                     ECOSYSTE M                          A sustainable campus
                                                         community acts upon its
                        LAND                             local and global
       WATER                            MATERIALS        responsibilities to protect
                                                         and enhance the health and
 AIR                 PEOPLE                     ENERGY
                                                         well being of humans and
                                                         ecosystems. It actively
                                                         engages the knowledge of
          KNOWLEDGE              COMMUNITY
                                                         the university community to
                                                         address the ecological and
        HEALTH &
       WELL -BEING
                                   GOVERNANCE            social challenges that we
                      ECONOM Y
                                                         face now and in the future.
                      & WEALTH

                                                         Sierra Youth Coalition
Greenhouse Gas Calculators
   Tufts Climate Initiative used own spreadsheet in 1999,
    prior to World Resources Institute (WRI) method
   WRI tool is used by Regional Greenhouse Gas
    Initiative (RGGI), often used for businesses:
   Ralph Torrie software through ICLEI often used for
   Clean Air–Cool Planet calculator for higher education:
   DOE software:
 4. Articles
•Cole, Lindsay (2003). ‘Assessing Sustainability of
       Canadian University Campuses: Development of a
       Campus Sustainability Assessment Framework.’
       Victoria, Canada: Royal Roads University.
•Graedel, T.E. (2002) ‘Quantitative sustainability in a
       college or university setting’ in International Journal
       of Sustainability in Higher Education Vol.3 No.4,
•Shriberg, Michael (2002). ‘Institutional assessment tools
       for sustainability in higher education: strengths,
       weaknesses and implications for practice and
       theory’ in Higher Education Policy 15, p 153-167.
5. Miscellaneous
   Ecological Footprint
   Sustainable Development
   Sustainable Community Indicators
   Benchmarks
   NEG/ECP climate pledge
   Global Reporting