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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 58.11
Liaison Jennifer Kleindienst
Submission Date Dec. 1, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Wesleyan University
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Jennifer Kleindienst
Sustainability Coordinator
Finance and Administration
"---" 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? :
No

A brief description of how the institution’s strategic plan or equivalent guiding document addresses sustainability:

Wesleyan's strategic plan includes high-level goals on financial sustainability and some lower-level goals and strategies aimed at increasing diversity and building more sustainable buildings. Social and environmental sustainability are not mentioned at a high level.

Wesleyan is working on a current update to its strategic plan that will include sustainability at a high level.


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):

The 2003 Campus Master Plan addresses sustainability at a low level.


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:

Courses adopt projects that use the campus or community as a living laboratory
Courses adopt projects that engage students in regional, national, or global sustainability work
Raise money to hire visiting faculty, post-doctoral scholars, and new endowed, full- time, tenure-track sustainability- focused faculty
Hire one full-time faculty member with an environmental engineering and design focus
Organize at least one workshop to promote sustainability integration into existing courses
Develop a formal definition of sustainability in the curriculum and identify courses that meet the definition
Develop a sustainability studies course cluster in WesMaps
Develop new sustainability courses within each division, including in departments not currently offering these courses


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:

Create faculty- student partnerships to research underrepresented identities and the environment


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:

Develop and pilot a basic Green Office Certification Program to administrative offices
Include a statement of Wesleyan’s priority of sustainability in job postings
Install new sustainability initiatives signage
Publicize information on student participation in campus sustainability efforts
Publicize Wesleyan’s STARS ratings and reports and make them accessible
Feature sustainability topics in campus and external print, digital, and social media
Integrate the Eco Facilitators program and Residential Life
Expand Green Team
Incorporate sustainability into Wesleyan Student Assembly Student Budgetary Committee (SBC) funding awards
Conduct annual in-service workshops for Residential Life student staff
Develop and pilot sustainability workshops and trainings for students, faculty, and staff
Integrate sustainability, equity, and inclusion into First Year Matters
Establish a series of annual interactive programs
Connect all sustainability-related student groups with faculty or staff members
Investigate methods of assessing sustainability literacy
Provide students with resources to promote effective sustainable change
Establish student sustainability project support system
Develop a SAGES mission statement
Recruit new SAGES members
Increase involvement of SAGES members
Increase knowledge and skills of SAGES members
Wesleyan recognizes the commitment of SAGES members
Create a user- friendly Green Fund application form and funding process and update projects archive
Increase number and diversity of viable applications to the Green Fund
Adapt the Green Office Certification for academic offices and pilot in one location
Expand the Green Office Certification program to at least five academic departments
Get buy-in from faculty to manage class documents electronically


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:

Establish a series of annual interactive programs
Develop ways to engage with the Middletown and larger community on sustainability
Update this Sustainability Action Plan with extensive community involvement


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:

Submit greenhouse gas reports to ACUPCC
Complete ACUPCC progress reports
Develop a method of incorporating the Social Cost of Carbon into projects
Publicize and create a carbon footprint analysis for different modes of travel
Promote video conferencing as an alternative to air travel
Prioritize ground travel for trips under 350 miles in the University Travel Policy


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:

Develop a “cheat sheet” for project managers to evaluate projects
Incorporate further prioritization related to fire/life safety, energy, and infrastructure in the Major Maintenance process
Develop a building education program
Develop an automated evaluation process for constituents upon completion of project work


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:

Set temperature of non-EMS buildings to established summer and winter ranges
Develop and implement a marketing and engagement strategy for the Energy Conservation Policy
Develop and install default wallpaper for all classroom computers to remind users to turn off projectors
Communicate new Crash Plan backup schedule to employees
Create a new student energy reduction initiative (in wood frames and program houses) using social marketing
Launch social marketing campaign to reduce open windows in winter
Evaluate feasibility of real-time energy meters for wood frame houses
Reduce water heating demand in student housing
Publicize energy-related information and accomplishments to the campus community
Develop a Utilities website
Provide access to energy data via the Utilities website
Install Network Thermostats in remaining wood frame houses
Remove window air conditioner units annually from applicable buildings
Make building envelope improvements in additional wood frame houses
Install a PV system at Long Lane
Analyze the Center for the Arts as a potential location for geothermal
Investigate the feasibility of a “solar rover” to power events
Pilot one campus building with B100 bioheat made from used cooking oils


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:

Expand Real Food Challenge to a second Bon Appétit eatery
Introduce an outreach program to reduce meat consumption in Usdan Marketplace
Develop a marketing strategy for existing sustainable food purchases
Conduct waste audits in Usdan and Summerfields
Develop a social marketing strategy to reduce food waste
Expand “In Balance” portion control education program Pilot use of smaller serving utensils at one Marketplace station
Expand “Taste, Don’t Waste” program to the vegan and sandwich sides stations at Marketplace
Reduce portion sizes at catered events
Educate catering customers on portion sizes and effective ordering strategies
Develop social marketing strategy to reduce dishware theft
Strengthen reusable mug programs at Usdan Café and Pi Café
Encourage Eco-to-Go use at outdoor events
Expand participation in Eco-to-Go
Research impacts of disposable and reusable dinnerware
Provide all first-year students with a free reusable mug
Reduce use of disposable to-go containers at Usdan and Summerfields
Install an on-campus composting or anaerobic digestion system to accommodate all food waste
Expand front-of-the-house food waste collection to all catered events
Increase collection rates of post-consumer food waste
Develop and launch a social marketing plan to increase residential composting participation


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:

Pilot 100% organic lawn care practices on one athletics field test plot
Expand existing no mow landscape areas
Seasonally raise mowing heights (non-athletic) campus-wide
Plant 5–10 (3-inch-diameter or greater) trees annually
Develop a plan to replace gasoline powered equipment with sustainable alternatives
Pilot ice melt variations
Pilot replacement of watered landscapes with native and drought-tolerant plants
Develop rainwater collection standards
Install a water catchment system at Long Lane Farm
Create a campus wide tree map
Identify and install landscaped social spaces and seating
Develop a grounds education program
Promote education for sustainable design and engage students to work on projects on campus
Identify and install landscaped social spaces and seating


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:

Synchronize large purchases with the Purchasing Office
Advertise pre-negotiated sustainable products
Centralize office purchasing
Reach out to departments not using recycled paper to change purchasing habits
Seek preferred pricing for environmentally preferable office supplies
Limit office supply purchases to environmentally preferable list
Research the feasibility of conducting a life-cycle analysis of Wesleyan’s purchases
Evaluate ionized water “blue cleaning” as an alternative to chemical cleaning products
Incorporate sustainable cleaning product purchases into the next custodial contract
Expand the Code of Ethics to include minimum standards for social and environmental responsibility
Seek procurement relationships with businesses that meet the Code of Ethics
Include historically underrepresented businesses in a vendor show
Twenty percent of businesses working with Wesleyan are historically underrepresented
Conduct annual purchasing sustainability presentations at Administrative Assistants’ meetings
Develop user information on sustainable purchasing
Create and promote a sustainable office supplies kit


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:

Review and prioritize recommendations from the Comprehensive Parking Study (completed in 2011)
Execute an employee commuting survey (on current and potential use of carpooling, public transportation, and parking)
Execute a student travel survey (include questions on current and potential use of The Ride, public transportation, shuttles, and parking)
Develop and pilot a communications strategy and programming to reduce single-occupancy vehicle commuting
Explore the feasibility of a work from home program
Identify and promote a carpooling app for Wesleyan
Identify and promote a carpooling app for Wesleyan
Create covered bicycle parking at Hall Atwater
Incorporate campus bicycle rack locations into campus map
Develop travel guidelines
Publicize and create a carbon footprint analysis for different modes of travel
Promote video conferencing as an alternative to air travel
Prioritize ground travel for trips under 350 miles in the University Travel Policy


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:

Replace paper towel dispensers with high-efficiency hand dryers in academic and administrative locations that have justification for replacement
Transition Admission wait-list notifications to online format
Get buy-in from departments and offices to opt out of individual office trash collection
Eliminate individual office waste and recycling liners for buildings with centralized trash stations
Create shared office supply locations in three pilot offices
Default to double-sided printing
Develop and pilot a social marketing strategy to reduce vandalism
Develop a program to encourage students to bring less to campus
Discourage individual mailings for campus-wide events
Research the environmental impact of replacing kiosks and bulletin boards with electronic units
Increase use of the Wesleyan Freecycle listserv
Promote Big Brothers/Big Sisters collection bins
Increase donations to the Waste Not program
Develop a social marketing strategy for recycling programs
Increase the placement of BigBelly waste stations on campus
Consolidate woodframe trash, recycling, and food waste collection in the Fountain/Pine neighborhood
Expand move-in cardboard collection to all students
Install an on-campus composting or anaerobic digestion system to accommodate all food waste
Expand front-of-the-house food waste collection to all catered events
Increase collection rates of post-consumer food waste
Develop and launch a social marketing plan to increase residential composting participation


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:

Identify and map water fountain and bottle filling station locations
Install water bottle filling stations in high-traffic locations
Conduct an audit on water conservation measures


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:

Include historically underrepresented businesses in a vendor show
Twenty percent of businesses working with Wesleyan are historically underrepresented
Increase donations to the Waste Not program
Increase number and diversity of viable applications to the Green Fund
Involve the Sustainability Office and Office of Equity & Inclusion in the next Strategic Planning process
Involve the Sustainability Office and Office of Equity & Inclusion in the next Master Planning process
Create faculty- student partnerships to research underrepresented identities and the environment


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:

Evaluate investment manager candidates with respect to environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues


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:

Expand communication on healthy extracurricular activities
Increase access to healthy extracurricular activities
Enhance wellness programs
Increase focus on healthy eating
Update the cross-country track signage
Provide more outdoor spaces
Publicize existing walking trail routes
Promote the Middletown Riverfront as a recreational opportunity and natural resource
Build a fitness trail


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)? :
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):
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Is the institution an endorser or signatory of the following? :
Yes or No
The Earth Charter ---
The Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI) ---
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) ---
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.