Pacific Lutheran University
Description/achievement of initiative
The university completed STARS (Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating System) in 2010 and plans to have a resubmission ready for 2012. The university intends to reach STARS Gold, and will continue to track the progress to a sustainable campus. Yearly CO2 inventories under the ACUPCC are the primary metric for success.
The university is committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2020. In the 2011 CO2 Inventory Report, PLU committed to offsetting its air travel by 2014, and has a system in place to track air miles for such a purpose. Offsetting air travel will reduce the university's total CO2 emissions by 11%.
PLU faculty are working to integrate sustainability into the curriculum and co-curriculum in collaborative ways, progressing toward the goal of teaching every PLU student to think critically about the intersections and complexities of care for people, the planet, and prosperity. Furthermore, we are creating additional opportunities for dedicated students to engage sustainability initiatives on campus and around the world through independent projects, research with faculty and staff, and study abroad.
The Sustainability Office provides staff support for the university sustainability committee. It employs students who are encouraged to pursue individual intersections with a sustainable university. Positions are supported with training on climate comprehension and action. Resulting student projects include the implementation of a trayless dining policy to take place in the fall of 2012, which is predicted to reduce wasted food and water by over 50%. Another student project improved the convenience of recycling across campus, leading PLU to gain 15th in the international RecycleMania contest. Next year, the goal has been set to reach a 75% waste diversion rate, with a goal of becoming a waste free campus.