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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 Gold
Overall Score 67.20
Liaison Suzanne Hansen
Submission Date May 31, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Macalester College
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.50 / 4.00 Suzanne Savanick Hansen
Sustainability Manager
Macalester Sustainbility Office
"---" 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:

The strategic plan includes the following language as a strategic priority:

"Emphasize our urban location, and our historical commitments to sustainability, by focusing on the global city as a means to explore the intersections among such topics as the environment, science, technology, economics, and social justice."


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)? :
Yes

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

Sustainable Landscaping Master Plan


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:

The Sustainability Plan includes the following goal for advancing sustainability in the curriculum: increase the number of students exposed to sustainability through academic work.


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:

The Sustainability Plan includes the following goal for advancing sustainability in Research plans: Increase the amount of faculty research on sustainability issues.


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:

The Sustainability Plan includes the following strategy for advancing campus engagement around sustainability: Incorporate sustainability into student learning outside the classroom.


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:

The Sustainability Plan includes the following strategies for advancing public engagement around sustainability:
1. Create diverse opportunities for the campus community to be involved in efforts to foster ownership of sustainability processes in all aspects of college life and operations. Connect Macalester community members with sustainability opportunities in the community and connect community members with sustainability opportunities and events on campus.
2. Provide students with information about sustainability career options by connecting alumni with Macalester’s sustainability programs and goals.


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:

To ensure our efforts to achieve climate neutrality by 2025 are on track, we’ve set
benchmarks, as follows (which is part of our sustainability plan):
2015 – 17.5 percent reduction from 2007-2008 levels
2020 – 35 percent reduction from 2007-2008 levels
2025 – 52 percent reduction from 2007-2008 levels, 48 percent would be offset or
obtained from off-site renewable energy


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:

The Sustainability Plan includes the following strategies for advancing sustainability in buildings:
1) Implement a Green Building Policy: all new construction or major renovations must meet the Minnesota B3 guidelines or be designed to at least a LEED silver standard.
2) Systematically share information and gather feedback about major infrastructure projects with the Macalester community.
3) Analyze the effectiveness of current green building metrics for campus buildings.
4) Investigate LEED for existing 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:

The Sustainability Plan includes the following strategies for advancing sustainability in energy:
1) Implement energy efficiency projects with a five-year or better financial payback and projects with longer paybacks where practical. Annually review energy efficiency options.
2) Develop a mechanism to track cost savings from energy projects in order to fund later projects.
3) Investigate new ways to form partnerships (with other school, community groups, utilities, etc) to generate, own, and reap financial benefit from clean energy generation
4) Investigate installing solar panels when renovating buildings
5) Investigate renewable energy opportunities and implement renewable energy programs as they become practical
6) Investigate systems to individually monitor energy usage for buildings
7) Investigate creating an energy-efficiency maintenance position
8) Investigate opportunities for energy savings through behavior change, information feedback loops, and outreach.
9) Eliminate fuel oil usage by switching to natural gas by 2015.
10) Install solar panels on Markim Hall
11) Install on-site energy systems as these projects become financially practical
12) Research carbon-neutral, renewable fuel sources such as biogas with the goal of switching to a carbon-neutral fuel at Macalester College by 2025.


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:

The Real Food Campus Commitment pledges Macalester to purchase 30% Real Food by 2020. Real Food is defined as ecologically sound, fair, humane and community based and is assessed using the Real Food Calculator. The Macalester Sustainability Office is currently developing a real food action plan to layout benchmarks for this goal. Strategies for reaching 30 percent Real Food include, shifting conventionally produced products to locally produced products, reducing conventional purchases, and continuing to implement Bon Appetit's sustainability benchmarks.


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:

The Sustainability Plan includes the following strategies for advancing sustainability in grounds and landscaping:
1) Implement the Sustainable Landscaping Master Plan
2) Review the de-icing products the college uses to find options that require the least energy to produce and have the least harmful environmental impact
3) Implement the Integrated Pest Management Plan
4) Develop a record-keeping and information sharing system for data about fertilizer, biodiversity, and water use.


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:

The Sustainability Plan includes the following strategies for advancing sustainability in purchasing:
1) Explore opportunities for coordinated purchasing/investment with the goal of improving the sustainability of supply chains that Macalester uses while improving access for others to those supply chains.
2) Develop implementation plan for the Responsible Purchasing Policy


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:

The Sustainability Plan includes the following strategies for advancing sustainability in transportation:
Macalester College will promote reductions in airline emissions through voluntary means, such as using technology to reduce the need for travel, and will offset the rest of the travel emissions. The College will reduce emissions from airline travel 10% from 2008 levels by 2025.


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:

The Sustainability Plan states that Macalester College is committed to reaching zero waste by 2020 and reducing toxicity of waste.


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:

The Sustainability Plan states our goal to reduce the amount and improve the efficiency of potable water us on campus.


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:
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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:

A draft new sustainability plan includes this goal: Explicitly link well-being and sustainability efforts at the college. Foster more leadership support and engagement in well-being initiatives for staff and faculty by aligning with Macalester’s sustainability goals, thus aligning with Macalester’s organizational mission and culture. Some possible ideas/suggestions, subject to review and support from functional areas most closely aligned with each one include:

Create a wellness advisory committee.
Support a tobacco-free campus.
Promote mental wellness through workshops on healthy sleep, self-care, helping a friend in distress, mindful living, resilience.
Promote physical wellness through activity classes, Wellness 5K, walking programs, introduction to the Fitness Center.
Include healthy choices in vending machines, healthy sleep aids at point of sale (eye masks, ear plugs, noise machines, blackout shades, SAD lights)
Ensure adequate financing for health promotion and well-being initiatives.
Investigate opportunities to optionally track non-vehicular commute miles to campus and offer incentives


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)? :
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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):

Sustainability is the continuous effort to meet the needs of the present generation without
compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs by working toward a
healthy environment, social justice, and a strong economy. At Macalester, sustainability is
infused throughout our core values of academic excellence, internationalism,
multiculturalism, and service to society.


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