Sustainability Action Plan

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Available Now: UM Sustainability Action Plan - 2019

The Sustainability Action Plan is a road map to monitor and improve UM sustainability performance. Based on our STARS Silver rating, the report establishes a series of goals for 2019, year of our next application to the STARS program. Most of our goals are either in the process of being implemented or already implemented. Feel free to consult the Plan, see how it can apply to your area of expertise, how you can get engaged.
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University of Miami has earned a STARS Silver rating in recognition of its sustainability achievements from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).

The University of Miami’s STARS report can be viewed on the STARS website.

The STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System) rating is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance and encourage sustainability in all aspects of higher education.

UM’s rating comes as a result of the University’s dedication to engaging students, faculty and staff in various sustainability programs and policies, according to Teddy Lhoutellier, UM’s sustainability manager. The UM community’s collective efforts have led to improved energy conservation, waste diversion and public engagement.

“We can define sustainability in a pluralistic and inclusive way, encompassing human and ecological health, social justice, secure livelihoods, and a better world for all generations,” Lhoutellier said. ”STARS attempts to translate this broad view of sustainability to measurable objectives at the campus level. Thus, we are very proud to have achieved a silver rating. It will help us build our new Sustainability Action Plan for our next application in 2019.”

Among the University’s most significant achievements was the 2015 debut of the Patricia Louise Frost Music Studios, the first higher education building in the region to achieve LEED Platinum certification. With a 70 KW solar system, electro-chromatic windows and a rainwater harvesting system for irrigating the landscape and flushing the toilets, the Frost Studios serve as a benchmark and illustrate the University’s commitment to environmental responsibility in all areas of construction.

With more than 800 participants on six continents, AASHE’s STARS program is the most widely recognized framework in the world for publicly reporting comprehensive information related to a college or university’s sustainability performance. Participants report achievements in four overall areas: academics; engagement; operations; and planning and administration.

The University of Miami’s STARS report can be viewed on the STARS website.

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In 2005 the University launched Green U, under the direction of Alan J Fish (The Vice President of Business Services at the time) in order to officially categorize and direct the numerous sustainability efforts of the University. Green U’s first aim was to make UM: “a community leader in the acquisition of environmentally responsible products and the practice of ecologically sound maintenance and operations procedures.”

The American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) is a project developed by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), to which the University belongs. The commitment provides a framework and support for America’s colleges and universities to become Carbon neutral. As a member of the elite Leadership Circle, President Shalala is one of the original signatories.

The University of Miami is recognized for preparing students to be environmental thinkers and responsible citizens of the world… Now we are making a commitment to a sustainable future by broadening our approach to educating students on environmental sustainability and by fostering a culture of environmental awareness at the University.” - President Shalala on her historic signing (April 18th, 2007)

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Sustainability Interim Report

Download the 2014 Sustainability report
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2009 CLIMATE ACTION PLAN

The University of Miami’s 2009 Climate Action Plan was a proposal of logical steps to fulfill long-term goals of greenhouse gas emission reductions. Future scenarios, accomplishments, recommendations, and all important interim steps were detailed in this Report.

The categories of green house gas sources were analyzed given three general categories:
Scope 1, Direct Sources (produced on campus):
- “Including (but not limited to): production of electricity, heat, or steam; transportation, materials, products, waste, and community members; and fugitive emissions (from unintentional leaks).”
Scope 2, Indirect Sources (produced off campus but imported on):
- “Includes GHG emissions from imports of electricity, heat or steam – generally those associated with the generation of imported sources of energy.”
Scope 3, Indirect sources (produced off campus but related to institution):
- “These result from the institution’s activities, but occur from sources owned or controlled by another company. Includes: business travel, outsourced activities and contracts, emissions from waste generated by the institution when the GHG emissions occur at a facility controlled by another company, e.g. methane emissions from land-filled waste, and the commuting habits of community members.” WBCSD/WRI, http://www.wbcsd.org/web/publications/ghg-protocol.pdf

An important part of this report was to get an idea of Greenhouse gas emissions for the entire university. Below is the information from our 2004-2007 baseline Green House Gases Inventory by emissions types.

The initial goal for the University of Miami is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 20 % of 2005 levels by the year 2020.This reduction should occur despite growth in the university’s built environment. This graph outlines the emission reduction goals of the university compared to the projected increase in gross square footage.