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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 67.81
Liaison Kelly Wellman
Submission Date Dec. 6, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Texas A&M University
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.50 / 4.00 Kelly Wellman
Sustainability Officer
Office of 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:

Texas A&M University 2015 - 2020 Strategic Plan includes sustainability at a high level. GOAL 3: Place the needs of the public good at the forefront of our mission as evidenced by:
1. Graduating a large number of students who share the University’s commitment to serve the public good.
2. Increasing the number of graduating students who identify as African-American or
Hispanic.
3. Graduating more than 25% of our students who are first generation college attenders or whose family income is below the State poverty level.
4. Graduating students with a low student debt burden.
5. Translating rapidly our scholarly and creative works to serve and improve society's
natural environment, economic environment, and human condition.
6. Exercising responsible stewardship of the State’s resources.


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)? :
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):

Campus environments are continually evolving with new physical growth in support of a university’s mission as defined by their history and traditions. A Campus Master Plan provides a framework or “road map” for the future. It is a tool to better inform built environment decisions that align strategic planning priorities with anticipated growth, while preserving heritage spaces and buildings.

Since the adoption of the Campus Master Plan in 2004, Texas A&M University’s (TAMU) commitment to creating new spaces for learning, living, and research has been evident in the development of the built environment throughout the historic core, West Campus infrastructure, and student-athlete facilities. The framework for this growth was an essential component of the long-range plan.

In August 2015 TAMU embarked on an update to the current Campus Master Plan. It serves as a framework to better inform built environment decisions that align TAMU’s strategic planning priorities in support of the university’s mission, Vision 2020, and academic plan. The focus is on the following six areas:

Campus Development Plan
Mobility and Safety
Sustainability and Wellness
Heritage Conservation
Wayfinding and Signage
Campus Guidelines

Underlying goals and objectives of the six focus areas are enhancement of the student experience, campus connectivity (physical connections and interdisciplinary connections of the academic community), and an integrated vision of the campus landscape and its facilities.

The planning firm Ayers Saint Gross lead the Campus Master Plan Update planning effort.The 2017 Campus Master Plan can be reviewed at https://campusplan.tamu.edu/files/presentations/2017CampusMasterPlan.pdf.


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 Plan can be viewed here: http://sustainability.tamu.edu/Data/Sites/1/downloads/masterplandocument.pdf

Measurable Objectives can be found in the Education & Research section of the above link. They are also listed below.

- Develop a comprehensive list of sustainability focused and related courses by Department and publish on website. Identify any gaps and work to fill areas of importance.
- Develop undergraduate and graduate degree programs on sustainability.


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 Plan can be viewed here: http://sustainability.tamu.edu/Data/Sites/1/downloads/masterplandocument.pdf

Measurable Objectives can be found in the Education & Research section of the above link. They are also listed below.

- Continue the efforts of the Smart Energy Campus Initiative (SECI) with research in the five areas of interest:  solar generation, use of electric vehicles, use of alternative technologies for assuring continuous electricity supply, optimization of energy uses in clusters of buildings, and energy efficient computational resources


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 Plan can be viewed here: http://sustainability.tamu.edu/Data/Sites/1/downloads/masterplandocument.pdf

Measurable Objectives can be found in the Education & Research section of the above link. They are also listed below.

- Develop a peer‐to‐peer outreach program and designate student educators
- Incorporate sustainability into Fish Camp and New Student/Transfer Student Orientation Programs
- Continue and build upon existing outreach campaigns.  Measure results through participation and/or surveys. Consider campaigns around national environmental and sustainability awareness days such as Earth Day, Pollution Prevention Week, Texas Recycles Day, and Earth Hour.


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

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Public Engagement 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 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 Plan can be viewed here: http://sustainability.tamu.edu/Data/Sites/1/downloads/masterplandocument.pdf

Measurable Objectives can be found in the Management of Climate Change section of the above link. They are also listed below.

- Review existing Baseline Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventory and update projections according to expected reductions from the Texas A&M Sustainability Plan.
- Develop greenhouse gas emission reduction goals and document in a Climate Action Plan (CAP) with key strategies and associated reductions.
- Track progress and report on greenhouse gas emissions. Ensure identification of progress in other applicable Sustainability Master Plan areas, such as energy, green building, alternative transportation, etc.

Further, The Energy Action Plan 2020 plan can be viewed here: https://utilities.tamu.edu/energy-action-plan-2020/


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 Plan can be viewed here: http://sustainability.tamu.edu/Data/Sites/1/downloads/masterplandocument.pdf

Measurable Objectives can be found in the Use of Green Building Practices section of the above link. They are also listed below.

- Evaluate and prepare a list of green building practices to be incorporated into building renovations.
- Develop and implement preventative maintenance program for buildings
- Ensure architects and engineers are familiar with this Sustainability Plan, and buildings designed to this Plan will meet or exceed the Plans requirements.  Using ASHRAE 90.1 and/or 189.1 (dependent on building type) as a comparative base requirement metric, establish goals to exceed these defined metrics by a factor of 30%.
- Prior to and throughout the construction phase of the project, maintain a goal of 30% of key construction personnel (Managers, Superintendents, Lead Estimators and Project Engineers) to have documented industry sustainability training in construction means and methods, including procurement of sustainable materials to the largest extent possible. **
- Monitor, measure and publish results for future consideration of building design and renovation.


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 Plan can be viewed here: http://sustainability.tamu.edu/Data/Sites/1/downloads/masterplandocument.pdf

Measurable Objectives can be found in the Optimization of Energy Use section of the above link. They are also listed below.
- Develop and publish an energy policy that sets a campus goal, outlines programs, establish building system design standards, and mandates participation.
- Implement campus‐wide Energy Stewardship Program and continue efforts to secure associated grant funding.
- Continue retro‐commissioning program to identify and upgrade inefficient buildings with the potential for energy improvements.
- Complete lighting retrofit project in 32 buildings.
- Evaluate results of parking lot lighting program upgrade and consider future expansion.
- Establish and implement campus data center efficiency standards.
- Continue efforts to reduce energy consumption during unoccupied periods by turning off campus air handler units.
- Develop and implement an outreach and education program building off of successful Residence Hall Challenge.
- Complete energy consumption reduction identified and approved in 24 facilities on campus with $15 million budget.
- Complete Combined Heat and Power Upgrade project.
- Replace older chillers with high efficiency chillers.
- Improve plant controls and operating efficiency through Plant Optimization Program.
- Evaluate potential for on‐site renewable energy production.
- Identify and acquire grant funding to support development of renewable energy sources.

In addition, The Energy Action Plan 2020 plan can be viewed here: https://utilities.tamu.edu/energy-action-plan-2020/


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 Plan can be viewed here: http://sustainability.tamu.edu/Data/Sites/1/downloads/masterplandocument.pdf

Measurable Objectives can be found in the Sustainable Food & Dining section of the above link. They are also listed below.
- Identify opportunities to develop new or expanded programs to increase purchases of locally grown and/or organic foods; evaluate and develop a list of criteria to be used to define sustainably produced dining products.
- Collaborate with local growers and producers to develop appropriate agreements and infrastructure to facilitate local food purchases.
- Enhance and formalize the community garden on campus and coordinate with other local efforts in Bryan and College Station.
- Develop a student farm program to supply cafeterias.
- Increase number of water bottle filing stations on campus to increase the use of reusable water bottles.
- Develop and implement plan to reduce cafeteria waste from trays, plates and utensils.
- Develop and implement composting plan for pre‐consumer food scraps at all Cafeterias. Consider adding post‐consumer food scraps in future.
- Provide students with access to educational materials to support their food choices.
- Increase the amount of vegetarian options on dining hall menus.


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 Plan can be viewed here: http://sustainability.tamu.edu/Data/Sites/1/downloads/masterplandocument.pdf

Measurable Objectives can be found in the Sustainable Land Use section of the above link. They are also listed below.
- Identify sustainability goals to integrate into the Campus Long Range Plan, such as developing the "Green Reserve" concept, student farm, or others.
- Establish and implement a policy and plan for sustainable land use including management of green spaces, invasive species management, construction impacts, and native plants.
- Implement a policy of Integrated Pest Management and provide necessary training for grounds maintenance staff.


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 Plan can be viewed here: http://sustainability.tamu.edu/Data/Sites/1/downloads/masterplandocument.pdf

Measurable Objectives can be found in the Purchasing of Sustainable Goods & Services section of the above link. They are also listed below.
- Review existing Green Purchasing Guidelines and develop and implement a University‐wide "Green Purchasing" policy.
- Require the purchase of 30% post‐consumer recycled content paper and paper products, at a minimum.
- Increase the purchase of EPEAT‐certified (Gold or Silver) computer work stations to 50% of new purchases.
- Require purchase of Energy Star/energy efficiency products through development of standardized specifications or as outlined in the energy policy.
- Increase the use of green cleaning products by expanding upon the successes of current practices and including requirements for Green Seal or EcoLogo products.
- Develop and implement a Vendor Code of Conduct outlining Texas A&M's expectations.
- Review chemical purchases and determine if there are opportunities to reduce the toxicity, quantity and/or variety of chemicals purchased.
- Develop and implement specifications for fuels and equipment purchases with a focus on reducing emissions.
- Evaluate opportunities to increase green purchasing and availability of sustainably produced products; post sustainably produced products information on the Campus Store website to increase education of both current and former students of the availability of sustainably produced Texas A&M products.
- Promote the use of sustainably produced products through training and educational programs


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 Plan can be viewed here: http://sustainability.tamu.edu/Data/Sites/1/downloads/masterplandocument.pdf

Measurable Objectives can be found in the Utilization of Alternative Transportation and Fuels section of the above link. They are also listed below.

- Expand on existing alternative fuel fleet program by developing and implementing  a plan for choosing alternative fuel and/or low‐emitting vehicles when replacing outdated fleet. Consider purchasing policies and/or specifications.
- Evaluate fleet and replacement program for age of vehicle, emissions and vehicle needs by job activities.  Consider conducting a fleet specific emission inventory.
- Implement fleet inspection and vehicle preventative maintenance program.
- Implement fleet policies and associated education program including no idling policies and preventative maintenance tracking programs.
- Evaluate expanding the use of Biodiesel in fleet vehicles.
- Conduct a survey of the participants transportation decisions. Use information to build a commute solutions campaign and align transportation alternatives.
- Provide and promote alternative transportation networking resources.
- Develop and implement incentives to increase use of alternative transportation, including carpooling, bicycling and public transit, etc.
- Develop and implement a reporting, tracking and award system for participants using an alternative mode of transportation.
- Develop a bicycle plan and associated bicycle maps to increase use of bicycles as transportation to campus. Consider bicycle storage, shower and lockers. Coordinate with local municipalities on bike lanes.
- Develop a bicycle sharing program to encourage use of bicycles on campus.
- Evaluate the potential for a Zip Car program at Texas A&M.
- Implement the elimination of traffic in the heart of campus as outlined in the Campus Master Plan.


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 Plan can be viewed here: http://sustainability.tamu.edu/Data/Sites/1/downloads/masterplandocument.pdf

Measurable Objectives can be found in the Waste Management section of the above link. They are also listed below.
- Develop recycling strategies and goals which include recycling services in all campus buildings, accompanying educational materials, signage and staffing.
- Conduct a waste management audit and identify opportunities to reduce, reuse and recycle. This should include waste streams such as landscaping, construction debris, chemicals, and building and vehicle maintenance wastes.  
- Enhance athletic event recycling program. Encourage student involvement and leadership in the program.
- Expand existing program with Twin City Missions and Salvation Army to reduce student waste generation in the move‐in and move‐Out process at dorms. Develop Aggie Swap Store as a sustainability enterprise.
- Develop and implement a policy to increase recycling of university's electronic waste.
- Provide resources and outreach to increase recycling of students' electronic 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 Plan can be viewed here: http://sustainability.tamu.edu/Data/Sites/1/downloads/masterplandocument.pdf

Measurable Objectives can be found in the Management of Water Resources section of the above link. They are also listed below.
- Install at least one water consumption meter to evaluate usage.
- Document water conserving equipment replacement policy and report and monitor results.
- Develop and implement a water conservation plan for campus buildings focusing on cost‐effective methods.
- Evaluate implementing additional landscape level water conservation practices, such as xeriscaping, rainwater harvesting and recycled water, to reduce the use of potable water.
- Update Storm Water Management Plan with a focus on continual improvement of storm water best management practices.
- Increase the use of low‐impact development (LID) methods on campus either through development of a policy or inclusion in the Storm Water Management Plan.


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 Plan can be viewed here: http://sustainability.tamu.edu/Data/Sites/1/downloads/masterplandocument.pdf

Measurable Objectives can be found in the Improving Social & Economic section of the above link. They are also listed below.

Be an invaluable asset in the community through economic and social sustainability programs by December 31, 2015.

Implement or expand on existing partnership networks to  engage local communities, students and former students  to identify, develop and track initiatives.

Engage with existing Texas A&M networks to expand opportunities for students to engage in volunteerism.

Continue to expand on existing  Career Center resources available for students interested in pursuing sustainability related jobs, including a green career section of the recruiting website.  Provide information on green careers and associated degrees.

Engage the study abroad programs to consider a green passport program and/or sustainable travel programs.

Develop a social networking sustainability website.

Accountability: Establish structures, processes, and policies that hold all units accountable, and reward units and individuals for demonstrating their current standing, plans and progress in creating an environment where the diversity of individual identities and ideas are treated equitably in a climate that fosters success and achievement by all.

Develop accountability structures and processes for monitoring and evaluating progress.

Establish baseline comparisons in representation and in climate; representation to involve presenting gender, race/ethnicity, and national origin diversity of students, staff and faculty in respect to peers and aspirant peers, national averages or appropriate pools of applicants; merit funding allocation pool to be distributed to units that excel in areas of the plan.

Update FY12 baseline comparisons in representation and in climate; study equity issues and internal intervention strategies pertaining to climate and equity (particularly retention, salary, and satisfaction); merit funding allocation pool to be distributed to units that excel in areas of the plan.

Update previous year comparisons in representation and in climate; progress against comparators and major efforts to address problems to be identified; merit funding allocation pool to be distributed to units that excel in areas of the plan.

Climate: Promote a positive and supportive climate by identifying aspects in the climate of individual units and the University which foster and/or impede a working and learning environment that fully recognizes, values, and integrates diversity in the pursuit of academic excellence.

Conduct climate assessments of the following units repeated in three‐year cycles: graduate students, faculty, staff, administrators and undergraduate students.

Evaluate the effectiveness to date of implemented climate programs and interventions and self report to the Council on Climate and Diversity.

Develop a plan to improve the improve the unit's climate for diversity.

Evaluate actions taken to clearly communicate commitment to diversity in media.

Faculty, students and staff attend a required insensitivity educational program.

Offer diversity‐related faculty development workshops.

Establish a comprehensive staff diversity education plan.

Review and enhance guidelines for student organization diversity‐related education.

Develop a plan to offer workshop and classroom experiences to
enhance skills with conflict management and difficult dialogues.

Equity: Integrate into the mission and goals for the University and units assurance that students, staff, and faculty (tenure and non‐tenure track), regardless of identity, are all treated equitably.

Plan and design a University‐wide equity study.

Report on equity study results and recommendations to the President and Provost.

Develop plans to eliminate systemic inequities by units.


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 Plan can be viewed here: http://sustainability.tamu.edu/Data/Sites/1/downloads/masterplandocument.pdf

Measurable Objectives can be found in the Management and Funding Support section of the above link. They are also listed below.

- Evaluate endowment information for Texas A&M and incorporate sustainability elements where feasible.


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)?:
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)? :
---

The formal statement in support of sustainability:
---

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

Texas A&M University defines “sustainability” as the efficient, deliberate and responsible
preservation of environmental, social and economic resources to protect our earth for future generations of Texas Aggies, the Texas A&M University community and beyond.


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) No

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:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Texas A&M hired Ayers Saint Gross to update the Campus Sustainability Master Plan. The update launched in April 2016 and is expected to be completed by May 2018.

The 2012 and 2014 Biennial Reports that update progress on our existing Sustainability Master Plan can be seen here: http://sustainability.tamu.edu/documents.aspx
The 2016 Sustainability Highlight report can be found at http://sustainability.tamu.edu/Data/Sites/1/downloads/2016SustainabilityHighlightReport.pdf.

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.