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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 51.16
Liaison Juliana Goodlaw-Morris
Submission Date June 30, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

California State University, San Marcos
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.75 / 4.00 Juliana Goodlaw-Morris
Sustainability Manager
Safety, Risk and Sustainability
"---" 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:

Cal State San Marcos adopted its strategic plan in March of 2014.

Within the strategic plan, the following is stated:

Strategic Priority 3: Campus Climate
Recognizing that our ability to excel is a function of our of ability to work together as a team, California State University San Marcos promotes a climate of camaraderie, mutual respect, and trust for all members of the university through support, effective
communication, and sustained professional development.

Objective 3.3: Demonstrate commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainability


A copy of the strategic plan:
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:
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)? :
Yes

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

https://www.csusm.edu/sustainability/docs/SustainabilityMasterPlan.pdf#page=17

Through CSUSM's Extended Learning programming offer classes and certifications in sustainability such as Veterans Sustainable Agriculture Training, Environmental Leadership Academy, and Water Resources Management Certification.

Through CSUSM's Division of Community Engagement, identify opportunities for student civic engagement, faculty research and scholarship, community leadership development and meaningful community partnerships centered around sustainability.


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:

https://www.csusm.edu/sustainability/docs/SustainabilityMasterPlan.pdf#page=17

Through CSUSM's Division of Community Engagement, identify opportunities for student civic engagement, faculty research and scholarship, community leadership development and meaningful community partnerships centered around sustainability.


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:

https://www.csusm.edu/sustainability/docs/SustainabilityMasterPlan.pdf

1. Through CSUSM's Division of Community Engagement, identify opportunities for student civic engagement, faculty research and scholarship, community leadership development and meaningful community partnerships centered around sustainability.
2. Have outreach programs to educate on campus housing, auxiliary departments and the community about the plan and to engage them in its success.


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:

https://www.csusm.edu/sustainability/docs/SustainabilityMasterPlan.pdf#page=17

Through CSUSM's Division of Community Engagement, identify opportunities for student civic engagement, faculty research and scholarship, community leadership development and meaningful community partnerships centered around sustainability.


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:

http://www.csusm.edu/sustainability/docs/SustainabilityMasterPlan.pdf

Reduce emissions by 2020 per AB 32, a State of California legislative bill that requires state entities to adopt a greenhouse gas emissions limit equivalent to 1990 levels emissions.


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:

https://www.csusm.edu/sustainability/docs/SustainabilityMasterPlan.pdf#page=4

All new construction shall meet the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold standards set forth by the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED certified buildings have specific and determined standards with third-party verification to be considered “green” or environmentally friendly.

Campus energy standards should also meet or exceed the California State University system’s energy standards (exceed California Title 24 by 26 percent), which are the strongest energy standards in the country.

Projects of limited-scope and small-scope construction that do not qualify for LEED certification shall conform to campus sustainable design standards.

Require the design and construction teams to take a holistic approach to the design and construction of new facilities. Consultants are to provide life cycle cost analysis reviews to ensure the most sustainable systems for buildings. This ensures the highest quality learning and working environment possible, utilizing the most up-to-date technology and design techniques while reducing the cost of ownership and environmental impact to a minimum.
• Adhere to the Green Cleaning standards in building maintenance where available so that green cleaning products are used in all CSUSM owned and occupied buildings. Reduce the use of chemicals in the cleaning maintenance process.
• Monitor the energy, water and waste from the moment the facility is completed to ensure that it is efficient, comfortable and maintains its level of sustainability in perpetuity.
• All construction and renovation projects shall achieve the goals set forth in other sections of this plan for water management, energy conservation, environmental health, waste management, transportation, procurement and land management.


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:

https://www.csusm.edu/sustainability/docs/SustainabilityMasterPlan.pdf#page=8

• Continue to find innovative ways to reduce energy consumption per square foot.
• Install automated local lighting controls in locations that currently do not have such technologies.
• Continue monitoring energy consumption by building and identify buildings with persistent substandard performance.
• Establish an aggressive outreach program to raise awareness and promote energy conservation via academic and professional training programs.
• Develop access to real-time energy performance data. Explore behavior change strategies and energy-use feedback systems to enhance energy reduction.
• Increase the supply of energy from on-campus and off-campus renewable sources.
• Evaluate and expand a portfolio of different renewable technologies such as fuel cell and solar energy systems (where possible, to act as a hedge against different climate stresses) and other emerging technologies with long-term sustainable potential.
• Evaluate and install solar hot water systems for application at multiple flat-roofed facilities.
• Reduce workstation electricity consumption.
• Evaluate campus use of fleet vehicles, equipment and other sources that may affect green house gas emissions, noise pollution and general air quality and substitute, reduce or eliminate these sources for more efficient, less polluting choices.


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:

https://www.csusm.edu/sustainability/docs/SustainabilityMasterPlan.pdf#page=13-14

Work with suppliers to increase availability of more sustainably raised and harvested meats such as poultry, fish, and beef. Use fair trade items when possible.

Keep a number of truck deliveries at a minimum through consolidation and bulk purchasing.

Annually revisit purchasing guidelines to capture best practices.

Reduce the pre-consumer and post-consumer solid waste produced in food service areas.

Increase the collection of food waste to put in campus compost.

Establish contracts with vendors for “take-back” of products or components, and for minimization of packaging where feasible.


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:

https://www.csusm.edu/sustainability/docs/SustainabilityMasterPlan.pdf#page=12

Develop and implement educational opportunities for the campus community to assist in reducing water on campus

As our campus grows, ensure our land management practices are sustainable

In the Campus Master Plan, safeguard designated natural spaces and locations that are used for campus as a living laboratory projects


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:

https://www.csusm.edu/sustainability/docs/SustainabilityMasterPlan.pdf

1. Develop procurement strategies specifying suppliers and vendors to optimize product packaging and/or food service packaging.
2. Support and emphasize a set of university-wide sustainable procurement standards for other common use commodities.
3. Assess the impacts of external deliveries to campus, and recommend changes to the current system to reduce those impacts.
5. Where applicable purchase Energy Star equipment


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:

https://www.csusm.edu/sustainability/docs/SustainabilityMasterPlan.pdf#page=5

1. Reduce emissions by 2020 per AB 32, a State of California legislative bill that requires state entities to adopt a greenhouse gas emissions limit equivalent to the statewide greenhouse gas emissions levels in 1990

This goal may be achieved by implementing strategies such as:
1. adding electric vehicle charging stations.
2. Increase the bicycle infrastructure, such as expanding bike rack locations as needed, as well as bike lockers and access to other bike amenities.
3. Increase better accessibility to campus for non-motorized commuters.
4. Explore bike and car sharing opportunities.
5. Continue to subsidize the public transportation program to help incentivize it as a more economical option.
6. Encourage carpooling and vanpooling. Work with public agencies and service providers to provide funding and programming to those who would like to participate in these forms of transportation.
7. Work with public agencies to provide better access to the campus for non-motorized vehicles and public transportation.


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:

https://www.csusm.edu/sustainability/docs/SustainabilityMasterPlan.pdf#page=12

• Accelerate Waste Minimization efforts in order to achieve Zero Waste by 2025.
• Reduce waste by utilizing sustainable appliances, such as automated hand driers and water fountains with water bottle refill stations.
• Help develop and support university administrative and purchasing policies that curtail the use of paper, increase the utilization of electronic bulletin boards for campus notifications and promotions, and encourage the increase of electronic communication and double sided printing.
• Establish a permanent central campus “office exchange” to facilitate the “reuse” of office furniture, supplies and accessories.
• Increase annual campus recycling rate average from current 70 percent to 75 percent by 2016, and then to 80 percent by 2020.
• Accelerate and expand the university’s composting program for food and
other compostables.
• Establish a Source Reduction sub-committee as part of the University Sustainability Committee to produce new and innovative ways to build a Zero Waste campus culture.
• Create awareness, interest and pride in the University’s waste diversion
program.


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:

https://www.csusm.edu/sustainability/docs/SustainabilityMasterPlan.pdf#page=10

• Continue to improve the campus Water Management Plan.
• Expand and further develop water indicators to track and measure data on an annual basis (i.e., measuring water use by type, such as landscaping, irrigation, residential use, dining, administrative, monitoring building water usage, etc.)
• Investigate those areas of campus with high water usage and design systems to reduce that use.
• Plant appropriate drought tolerant plants (xeriscaping) and edible landscape to minimize water use.
• Investigate and use new technologies that will capture and recycle water on campus.


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:

https://www.csusm.edu/president/documents/2014/diversitystatplan012314.pdf

At CSUSM, imagining a campus community that embraces both the human aspect of diversity (inclusion of cultures, ethnicities and groups, races, religious beliefs, socio-economic backgrounds, sexual orientation and gender identity) with the diversity of our natural world (ecosystems, plants, animals) allows us to intricately connect diversity and sustainability. As CSUSM creates a community based on social justice principals and educational equity, success will be ensured when coupled with the environmental health of our natural world and economic vitality and access. CSUSM is striving to educate our students, staff and faculty on the intersectionality between ensuring a better quality of life for all, creating a just and equitable learning environment and society, all while living within the limits of our ecosystems.
Strategies to achieve diversity/sustainability inclusion:
1. Explore and assess avenues of collaboration between the Office of Diversity and the Sustainability Program
a. Co-host at least 2 events per year that bring awareness to the connections between diversity and sustainability.
b. Map overlap between diversity and sustainability and share through different communication avenues.
2. Through curriculum designation, highlight overlap between diversity/social justice courses and courses that integrate sustainability themes and concepts.
a. Develop a designation in Cougar Courses to demonstrate.
3. Work with Student, Life and Leadership to explore collaboration amongst different student clubs and groups working on issues that connect diversity and sustainability
a. Encourage multi-cultural clubs and groups and the sustainability club to host events and activities together.


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:

https://www.csusm.edu/sustainability/docs/SustainabilityMasterPlan.pdf (page 15)

Utilize the “Triple Bottom Line” Model for all Business Decisions


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:

https://www.csusm.edu/sustainability/docs/SustainabilityMasterPlan.pdf#page=6

Environmental Health and Safety:
1. Continue to upgrade plans to reduce laboratory related waste and energy use, and promote the use of safer research materials as technology allows.
• Expand the Emerald Energy Program to research labs. Reduce estimated Biological Waste (BSL-1, non-tissue) entering the landfills by 50 percent and generate about 9,500 kWh of electrical energy annually
o Figure out baseline from before Emerald Energy
o Continue chemical waste consolidation and minimization processes.

2. Develop educational and outreach information for our laboratories
o Develop a Green Labs Certification program for CSUSM’s laboratories by academic year 2016-2017
o Develop and promote signage in the Science buildings that educate users in energy conservation and include sustainable lab practices in laboratory trainings.
o Update and improve the chemical inventory system, which will promote user friendliness and provide web-based information on chemical surplus materials that will be made available to others, saving money and preventing waste.

3. Complete evaluation of the Fume hood energy management and determine whether the project can be expanded to all the laboratories by academic year 2015-16
4. Under the San Diego Regional Water Control Board’s storm water permit, known as the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4), research the feasibility of storm water reduction and the potential volume that could be collected.
a. Implement the Storm Water Management Plan, as implemented in July 2015 which is mandated by the San Diego Regional Water Control Board.


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)? :
No

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

The collective actions and efforts that create: a vibrant economy and a high quality of life, socially just communities, and environmentally sound practices to ultimately meet the needs of current and future generations.


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) Yes

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

In addition to our campus wide sustainability master plan, we are mandated by our CSU Systemwide Sustainability Policy (this is for 23 institutions).


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.