Sustainability Planning

For details about this credit, including the criteria, reporting timeframe, applicability, scoring, and more, please review the full credit language.

Frequently Asked Questions

What types of plans count for this credit?

Institutions should reference “current and formal plans to advance sustainability,” such as strategic plans, campus master plans, sustainability plans, etc. Informal or planned initiatives (i.e. current practices in the absence of a formal plan) do not count. Additionally, drafts or unpublished plans cannot be claimed in this credit.

What is the difference between a plan and a policy?

In general, plans outline measurable objectives that the institution commits to doing in the future (e.g. reduce GHG emissions by 50% by 2030). In contrast,  policies or guidelines outline standards, mandates and recommendations that the institution is currently requiring or recommending (e.g. a stated preference for ENERGY STAR or EPEAT registered products). Note: Published policies or guidelines are covered under Sustainable Procurement (OP-11).

What specific information is required to earn points for this credit?

In order to earn points, each descriptive response under “Measurable Sustainability Objectives” must include:

  • At least one measurable objective related to the specific area (e.g. Curriculum).
  • The name of the plan where the measurable objective(s) can be found, as well as the URL if available.

See the Example Responses below for guidance.

Templates & Tools

Example Responses

  • Creighton University – Lists detailed measurable objectives and cites the page number where the objectives can be found in formal plans.
  • Lehigh University – Clear and concise targets with formal plans cited in the sections.
  • McGill University – Detailed measurable objectives with formal plans cited in the sections. Engaged campus community in planning process.  
  • Humber College – Clear and concise targets with formal plans cited in the sections.
  • University of California, Santa Barbara – Detailed measurable objectives that include short-, medium-, and long-term goals.  

Common Issues Identified During Review

  • Institutions should reference measurable objectives in “current and formal plans to advance sustainability”, such as strategic plans, campus master plans, sustainability plans, etc. Informal initiatives, planned activities, or objectives from draft plans do not count.
  • Responses under Measurable Sustainability Objectives should include detail on the actual objective or target, and must cite the name of the plan or include a link to the plan where it is found. Simply referencing an external document or indicating that “measurable objectives under this area exist” is not sufficient.

Additional Resources

How can we improve our performance on this credit?

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