ACUPCC Reporting System

Implementation Profile for University of Connecticut

Submitted on May 14, 2008; last updated on May 31, 2011

Institution Information

Basic Carnegie Classification RU/VH: Research Universities (very high research activity)
Control Public
Location Storrs, CT
Community Setting Large town
USDOE Climate Zone 5
Current President or Chancellor's Name Susan Herbst
Current President or Chancellor's Title President
Main Web Site http://www.uconn.edu/
Sustainability Web Site http://www.ecohusky.uconn.edu/pcc/climatechange.html

Implementation Structure

Implementation Liaison's Name Rich Miller
Implementation Liaison's Title Director
Implementation Liaison's Department Office of Environmental Policy
Format of Structure Task Force
Number of Individuals in Structure 8
Stakeholder Groups Represented Community Leaders, Faculty, Students, Executive, Staff
Description In the spring of 2008 a CLIMATE ACTION TASK FORCE (CATF) was established (www.ecohusky.uconn.edu/pcc/catf.html: President Hogan appointed the two co-chairs, Richard Miller, Director of Environmental Policy, and Tom Callahan, AVP of Administration & Operations. The co-chairs then nominated 6 other individuals including a student and the town manager. Those 6 individuals were then appointed by the president, resulting in the eight-member CATF. The task force reported to the President and to UConn's pre-existing ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY ADVISORY COUNCIL (EPAC), a 35-member group of faculty, staff, students and an alumnus, which advises the president and provost on environmental sustainability and policy issues (visit www.ecohusky.uconn.edu/background.html for more information on the EPAC). In August, a Climate Action Plan (CAP) Project Manager was hired to help the CATF organize the university's climate action planning process. In Sept. 2008, three workgroups of the CATF were established: Transportation, Energy, and Sustainable Development. Two pre-existing workgroups of the EPAC - Recycling Workgroup and Environmental Literacy Workgroup - also addeded discussion of PCC-related items to their agendas during the 2008-2009 academic year. Therefore, a total of five workgroups were affiliated with the CATF. A faculty co-chair and a staff co-chair were appointed for each workgroup. The workgroup co-chairs, the CAP Project Manager and the CATF Co-chairs worked closely throughout the fall and spring to organize regular workgroup meetings, brainstorm strategies, and survey existing campus initiatives related to the climate action planning process. During the spring, the workgroups met to evaluate and prioritize strategies for inclusion in the final Climate Action Plan (CAP), which was drafted by the CAP Project Manager during the summer of 2009. Summaries of the CATF structure and activities of the five affiliated workgroups is available at: www.ecohusky.uconn.edu/pcc/climatechange.html. The EPAC will oversee ongoing implementation of the CAP and reporting to AASHE.

Tangible Actions

1. Establish a policy that all new campus construction will be built to at least the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED Silver standard or equivalent.

Yes: Please see UConn's Sustainable Design & Construction Policy, adopted in March 2007.
http://www.ecohusky.uconn.edu/SDCpolicy.htm

2. Adopt an energy-efficient appliance purchasing policy requiring purchase of ENERGY STAR certified products in all areas for which such ratings exist.

Yes: UConn's Purchasing Department has such a policy.

3. Establish a policy of offsetting all greenhouse gas emissions generated by air travel paid for by our institution.

No: We will evaluate this as part of the task force's and Transportation Workgroup's deliberations.

4. Encourage use of and provide access to public transportation for all faculty, staff, students and visitors at our institution.

Yes: UConn has a well-utilized fleet of 17 campus shuttle buses which are free to anyone on campus. (Students are charged a minimal semesterly fee on their fee bill.)

5. Within one year of signing this document, begin purchasing or producing at least 15% of our institution's electricity consumption from renewable sources.

No: UConn's main campus has a new, 25 MW campus cogeneration facility, natural gas-fired and 80% efficient. It is the source of all electricity at the main campus and the steam produced is used for central heating and evaporative cooling of most campus buildings. It is considered a class three renewable resource under CT's renewable portfolio standard law.

6. Establish a policy or a committee that supports climate and sustainability shareholder proposals at companies where our institution's endowment is invested.

Yes: We have met with the UConn Foundation president and vice president about this issue. UConn's Director of Environmental Policy will meet with the Foundation's investment committee to discuss further.

7. Participate in the Waste Minimization component of the national RecycleMania competition, and adopt 3 or more associated measures to reduce waste.

Yes: 2008 was the first year UConn participated in Recyclemania. During 2009, UConn participated in the waste minimization component of this contest. (Email the University's Sustainability Coordinator, jennifer.sayers@uconn.edu, for more information on campus recycling.)