Log In
  • 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 53.23
Liaison Ryan Kmetz
Submission Date Dec. 14, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

St. Lawrence University
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.50 / 4.00
"---" 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:

St. Lawrence University inspires students and prepares them to be critical and creative thinkers, to find a compass for their lives and careers, and to pursue knowledge and understanding for the benefit of themselves, humanity, and the planet. Through its focus on active engagement with ideas in and beyond the classroom, a St. Lawrence education leads students to make connections that transform lives and communities, from the local to the global.
This Strategic Map is a vision for the coming decade to help guide us as we build on our tradition of innovation to deepen and multiply the kinds of critical connections that make the liberal arts so transformative. It is an institutional agenda for all of St. Lawrence that will evolve as we work and learn from it. The details will be charted in supporting documents and a range of initiatives in the curriculum, admissions, communications, and facilities. Successful implementation of these and other initiatives will require that we redouble our commitments to sustainability and democratic participation while nurturing in all Laurentians a spirit of collective responsibility for the present and future of the University. Our continued careful financial planning, combined with a new, ambitious fundraising initiative, will help make the map’s vision a reality.


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)? :
No

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)? :
Yes

A copy of the climate action plan:
---

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):

St. Lawrence University Facilities Master Plan: http://www.stlawu.edu/sites/default/files/resource/executive_summary.pdf
St. Lawrence University Strategic Map: http://www.stlawu.edu/sites/default/files/resource/strategic_map.pdf
St. Lawrence University Presidential Commission on Diversity: http://www.stlawu.edu/president/presidential-commission-diversity-report
St. Lawrence University Environmental Health and Safety Policies : http://www.stlawu.edu/environmental-health-and-safety/environmental-health-and-safety-policies
St. Lawrence University Purchasing Small Business & MWBE Program : http://www.stlawu.edu/business/small-business-mwbe-program
St. Lawrence University 17-18 Climate Action Work Plan: https://www.stlawu.edu/green/data-and-reports


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 University Climate Action Work Plan lists the following:
- Develop teaching units on carbon neutrality in concert with interested professors
relevant existing courses and provide resources and encouragement for the addition of carbon neutrality education into other areas of the curriculum (e.g. fine arts and statistics); and
-Fund summer research fellowships


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:
---

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 process of getting the University to climate neutrality must be inclusive and in order for that to be successful, every step in that process must be communicated well and clearly to the community, both within and outside of the campus. One sample of sustainability objectives includes using the campus as a laboratory:
T
he University's Climate Action Work Plan states, the University will leverage our diverse campus to increase opportunities to expand utilization of the University’s lands and assets as a sustainability laboratory. Through coordination, the University could use academic activities to enhance the use of campus operations as examples and projects in courses and research. Furthermore, we could use student and faculty research and teaching activities to inform and support the development of sustainable operations on campus. This goal strives to provide support to faculty and students to initiate collaboration with administration to use the University as a resource for hands-on-learning. Some previous successful examples include: the energy class performing life cycle analysis studies on University heating options, GIS courses mapping infrastructure, and environmental studies courses conduction timber inventories for carbon sequestration. CCSCN and the Office of Sustainability will pursue the following specific action items:
A. Total campus population that participates in campus laboratory opportunities (This includes students, faculty, and staff who currently use the campus as a laboratory
B. The number and description of new uses of campus as a laboratory
i.Number of academic departments involved
ii. Number of Administrative/Auxiliary departments supporting/collaborating
C. Utilization of existing spaces to encourage these opportunities
i. Number, location, and GSF utilized
D. Sustainability Program: Continue on improving the transition of the sustainability semester into a year-long program
i. Number of elective courses that bring non-program students from campus out to the site
ii. Count and use of the site by the First Year Program (FYP) and other courses
o Use of Ecological Sustainability Landscape site for FYP and additional courses
o Use of Wachmeister Field Station


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 entire master planning process is collaborative process that solicits input, stimulates discussion and creates a sense of ownership of the master plan by St. Lawrence University, the community and region. This effort requires input from the St. Lawrence administration, faculty, staff, students and alumni; Village of Canton, Town of Canton, and St. Lawrence County stakeholders, and others on a regular basis and in a variety of formats (e.g., public information meetings, input sessions, workshops, and interactive internet websites).

As part of our Master Plan and Climate Action Plan the University tracks the following measurable objectives including:
A. Number of University representatives participating in county, local, and state working groups (e.g. the Village of Canton's sustainability committee)
B. Number of University representatives who plan or host seminars for the annual Associated Colleges of the St. Lawrence Valley Sustainability Day (i.e. The event, which is free and open to the public, aims to create a culture of sustainability at the four colleges – Clarkson University, St. Lawrence University, SUNY Canton and SUNY Potsdam – in partnership with surrounding communities.)


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:

The Climate Action Plan outlines the Universities commitment to towards net-zero green house gas emissions by the year 2040.


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 Climate Action Plan to prioritizes the following methods to achieve GHG emissions reductions:

• Energy conservation through behavioral change.
• Increased building and operational efficiency (based on Energy Use Intensity).
• Switching to renewable, non-fossil fuel energy.
• GHG emissions offsetting.


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 Climate Action Plan prioritizes the following methods to achieve GHG emissions reductions:

• Energy conservation through behavioral change.
• Increased building and operational efficiency (based on Energy Use Intensity).
• Switching to renewable, non-fossil fuel energy.
• GHG emissions offsetting.


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 2013-2014 Climate Action Work Plan includes the reduction in dining hall waste through tray removal and pre-consumer organic waste diversion.


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 2013-2014 Climate Action Work Plan identifies the designation of parts of campus as "no mow zones" to reduce emissions, conserve fuel, and promote biodiversity of flora, fauna, and soils.


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 Climate Action Plan and the Climate Action Work Plan recognizes the importance of sustainability objectives related to procurement. St. Lawrence University has established Minority and Woman Owned Enterprise (MWBE) and Small Business procurement program to track and promote purchases with small, minority, and women-owned businesses.

The St. Lawrence University Purchasing Department collects business classification information of the suppliers providing services and goods to the University. Purchasing also takes steps to identify potential suppliers who are certified MWBEs and include them in the procurement process.

Small Business

A business, independently owned and operated, not dominant in the field of operation in which it performs and qualifies under the criteria and size standards of the Small Business Administration regulations. For more information see http://esd.ny.gov/smallbusiness.html.

Minority and Woman Owned Enterprises (MWBE)

In order to be certified in NYS as a MWBE the business must be independently owned, operated and controlled by minority and/or women members. The ownership must be real, substantial and continuing, and owner(s) must exercise the authority to control, operate, independently, the day-to-day business decisions. For more information see http://www.esd.ny.gov/

Measurable objectives include:
A) Number of vendors who qualify as MWBE
i. Percentage of MWBE purchases compared to total purchases


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 2013-2014 Climate Action Work Plan identifies the following:
- Installation of an electric vehicle charging station
-Support for electric vehicles


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 Climate Action Plan and Climate Action work plane address the reduction of waste. As a part of the University's commitment to reduce emissions we actively monitor and report our annual waste (i.e. trash, recycling, organic waste, and regulated wastes) with the goal of reducing the amount of waste generated. The University is currently focused on increasing organic waste diversion.
Some of the measurable objectives include:
A) Total quantity of organic waste diversion (tons) achieved (using 2015-16 as a baseline year)
i. Strive to Increase organic waste diversion tonnages by a minimum of 5 tons/school year
B) Number and type of engagement efforts utilized
i. Number of students who participate in compost tabling education
ii. Number of student organizations who pledge to compost .
C) Evaluate economic feasibility for adding more capacity for post-consumer collection in strategic areas (i.e. student center)
i. Number of bins purchased


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

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

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:

The Presidential Commission on Diversity released a Board of Trustees' approved statement about diversity. The statement was drawn from the Commission's report and recommendations, our de facto, Diversity Planning Document. The Commission's report provides the following excerpt: "Sustainability infuses every corner of the University's culture. There is no one structure to house the many aspects of our sustainability program, because they cannot be contained –they are spread throughout our curriculum, our co-curricular programs, our administrative functions and our daily lives in residence hall rooms, offices, dining facilities, study spaces and athletic fields. St. Lawrence has received national acclaim for its sustainability initiatives and we have the potential to obtain it with a strategic map for diversity and inclusion.

Achieving true diversity and inclusion at St Lawrence University requires change. These changes begin with language, without which we can neither plan nor measure what we set out to do. Scrutiny, assessment and rewrites on everything from our Mission Statement to Residential Life policies, from job postings to tweets, Reunion brochures, fund-raising letters, admissions materials, student organization event announcements, the athletics mission statement, and curricular offerings must highlight the embedded, cultural and longtime importance of diversity and inclusion in the history, planning and future of St. Lawrence University. "

Some measurable objectives include:
A) Number of Events sponsored/hosted by the newly hired (Jan. 2017) Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion
B) Number, type, and description of campus organizations actively offering diversity and inclusion programing


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:

The Climate Action Plan charges the University with a commitment to financial support sustainability and to aid in the finding the resources to implement it. The specifics of financing climate neutrality and the recommended mitigation strategies in this plan require on-going strategic planning and discussion. St. Lawrence is making incremental steps within the current annual capital budget process to support the advancement of the sustainability initiatives within this report and other financial options are being considered to implement both immediate and longer-term advancements towards our goal of carbon neutrality by 2040.

Beyond capital budget allocation, the most immediate source of financing will be found within each of the institutions operating budgets as we encourage all of our program and budget directors to make more sustainable choices with the funding we presently have within each of the universities budgets. Additionally, initiatives are underway within our current development structure to enhance the current giving opportunities available for “directed” giving to sustainability initiatives. Sustainability is now one of the gift designations alumni, parents and friends can support through the St. Lawrence Annual Fund. Additionally, the University should prioritize the pursuit of outside funding sources to support climate neutrality and environmental sustainability projects and initiatives.

Some of the measurable objectives include:
A) Total amount of funding allocated towards advancement of the sustainability initiatives


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:
---

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 University's Environmental Health and Safety Office maintains many policies, plans, and procedures related to preserving environmental integrity and safeguarding the health of all organisms on campus. Some examples include:
- Safe handling, disposal, and tracking of hazardous, universal, and regulated medical waste
-Hazard communications
-Chemical Hygiene Safety
-Spill prevention control and countermeasures plan
-Fire and Life Safety


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:

St. Lawrence University is a vibrant, collaborative community of learners who value thought and action. Students tap their full potential as they embrace the natural environment, engage with global challenges, and experience the relevance and adventure of a liberal arts education in a complex and changing world.


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

“Sustainability is based on a simple principle: Everything that we need for our survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment. Sustainability creates and maintains the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic and other requirements of present 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 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:
---

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
---

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.