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  • AASHE-STARS

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 48.07
Liaison Kathy Johnson
Submission Date April 21, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Black Hills State University
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.50 / 4.00 Katie Greer
Sustainability Coordinator
Facilities Services
"---" 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:

One of the goals from the campus-wide strategic plan is to focus on sustainability and enhancing campus beautification. Strategies include increasing energy efficiency and renewable energy, reducing campus waste of consumables, and expanding sustainability programming for local youth.


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)? :
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)? :
Yes

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

BHSU Tree Care Plan http://www.bhsu.edu/StudentLife/GoGreen/TreeCampusUSA.aspx
The purpose of our tree care plan is to identify the policies, procedures, and practices that are used in establishing, protecting, maintaining, and removing trees on the Black Hills State University and BHSU-Rapid City campuses. The overall goal is to ensure a safe, attractive, and sustainable campus.
The Campus Master Plan includes ideas to increase daylighting to reducing lighting and to bring more visibility of the outdoors in campus buildings, reminding campus users of the unique environment we live in.


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:

Sustainability Master program goal: Establish and enroll 20 students in the Sustainability Master program.
Climate Action Plan: Develop a coalition of faculty by 2017 to work to incorporate sustainability across disciplines throughout campus with the intent to increase sustainability as a learning objective in more undergraduate classes.

Strategic Plan: Align degree programs with high priority, academic values including social responsibility, active and authentic learning, sustainability, diversity, critical thinking, and ethical behavior.


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:

In the Strategic Plan for Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity at Black Hills State University, sustainability in our vision, "As a public institution of higher learning, Black Hills State University will continue to be a primary source of cultural enrichment,
economic development and scientific progress leading to a sustainable future for the people of South Dakota, our region and the world." Sustainability is also listed as a core value. "Sustainability: Black Hills State University will foster a culture of sustainability by developing a sustainable university enterprise, employing and showcasing sustainable practices and growing research that contributes to a sustainable future." http://www.bhsu.edu/Portals/0/research/Research-Council/Strategic-Plan.pdf


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:

Climate Action Plan: Continue to increase awareness of the sustainability program on campus through events, social media, Sustainability Day, Earth Day, summer camps, outreach material and publications, and other programming. Establish a place on campus for a permanent sustainability display and utilize BHSU Marketing’s video production abilities to reach more people. Impact will be measured through increase in points earned in STARS engagement.


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:

Climate Action Plan: Continue to increase community involvement by working with local partners such as the City of Spearfish, Spearfish Chamber of Commerce, Hills Horizon, Spearfish Bicycle Cooperative, Northern Hills Master Gardeners, Dakota Rural Action, Project Learning Tree, Leave No Trace South Dakota, the Scouting programs, area schools and day cares, local businesses, and other interested organizations, to provide events, workshops, educational opportunities, and debates to develop awareness of sustainability issues on campus and in our greater community and to encourage BHSU students to becomes involved citizens of their communities after graduation. Impact will be measured by increase in STARS public engagement credits.


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:

Climate Action Plan: Expand the use of renewable energy by installing a solar array on campus of at least 20-50 kW capacity by 2020. In addition to providing green power the campus, the solar array will be visible, accessible, and provide educational opportunities to students and the greater community on renewable energy technology.
This will impact BHSU's Carbon Footprint: Scope 2 (purchased electricity), currently 7,018.0 MTCO2e / year.
Climate Action Plan: Develop a coalition of faculty by 2017 to work to incorporate sustainability across disciplines throughout campus with the intent to increase sustainability as a learning objective in more undergraduate classes.


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:

Campus Master Plan: On the E.Y. Berry Library expansion: "An expansion project may be an opportunity to consider re-cladding the existing building. Ideally, the building’s new exterior would have a glassy façade that could afford library users views of the enhanced campus quad and vistas to mountains beyond. This is an important consideration, one which can link the experience of the campus to its broader setting. This is a noteworthy concept, given the Black Hills setting is a recognizably remarkable and unique landscape that gives BHSU an exceptional sense of place. Outward connections are not realized by the existing building, which is internally focused and simply lacks sufficient windows. Expanding glazed areas also will have the added benefit of sustainability. Taking advantage of daylight reduces energy consumption."
On the two themes underlying the Campus Master Plan, "The second theme stems from an underlying focus on sustainable development, which is advanced by the University’s stance as signatory to the Presidents Climate Commitment. Proposals include recycling of building fabric and reuse of existing space as a means of lessening the University’s impact on the environment. Proposals for both buildings and landscapes incorporate green design initiatives to contain energy use and emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG). Site developments will encourage pedestrian movement to lessen dependency on vehicular movement. All capital developments will mitigate GHG reductions and manage the effects in the surrounding environment of run-off water across the site."


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:

Climate Action Plan: Continue to increase campus energy efficiency by following through with previous and future energy audit recommendations, especially areas where electricity or heating demands can be significantly reduced. Ensure that efficiency measures are well maintained and continue to work properly to save fiscal resources. Complete an upgrade of the building automation system by 2018.


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:

Climate Action Plan: Continue to grow the campus vegetable garden by working to increase the produce amount, number of containers in the container garden, and/or volunteers each year. BHSU will continue to search for funds for a strawbale greenhouse to extend the growing season.


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

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

Campus Tree Care Plan:
1000 Trees in Five Years
Storm Atlas in October 2013 caused the loss of over 200 trees on our 123-acre campus. BHSU’s strategic plan indicates not only would we replace the trees lost, but we would plant at least 200 trees per year for the next five years. When planting, we want to increase habitat diversity with a combination of shrubs and trees and other native species. This will be accomplished over time by strategically planting a diverse set of species that are the best fit for our area. Grounds Staff are ensuring proper care and growth of each new tree.


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

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Purchasing and the published plans in which each objective is included:
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Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Transportation?:
Yes

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

Climate Action Plan: Reduce emissions from transportation between the Spearfish campus and the BHSU-Rapid City campus by implementing a pilot transportation program. Feasibility of an electric or hybrid vehicle or regular bus route will be analyzed in 2015 with a goal for implementation by 2017.


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:

Climate Action Plan: Grow recycling program by continuing to increase the amount of recycling bins across campus and find outlets to recycle new materials such as magazines, newspapers, cell phones, and plastic bags with the goal to increase recycling from 40 tons in 2014 to 50 tons per year by 2018.


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:

Climate Action Plan: Develop a comprehensive campus wide landscape management plan by 2018 with a goal to create an Integrated Pest Management plan, reduce diesel and gasoline by 10% or more, and identify a conservative watering and mowing schedule.


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:

Strategic Plan:
-Increase the diversity of the student population primarily in the areas of international, Native, Hispanic, African-American, and male students.
-Expand culturally diverse opportunities and programs across campus
which foster awareness, open dialogue and critical thinking.
-Develop collaborative partnerships with Tribal Nations, Tribal Colleges and Universities, and other entities.
-Create additional support services for students in areas of greatest need.


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

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Investment & Finance and the published plans in which each objective is included:
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Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Wellbeing & Work?:
No

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

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

The Climate Action Plan sets a goal for professional development of University staff: By 2017, offer training and/or other professional development opportunities in sustainability for all staff at least once per year.


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:

One of BHSU's four core values is "Authenticity: Leading with integrity and sustainable best practices; honoring our heritage, celebrating our diversity, serving our community and thriving in the Spirit of the Black Hills."


The institution’s definition of sustainability (e.g. as included in a published statement or plan):
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Is the institution an endorser or signatory of the following? :
Yes or No
The Earth Charter 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 Yes
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:

BHSU has committed to climate neutrality by the year 2050.


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.