University of Nebraska at Omaha's Sustainability Master Plan

 

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Sustainability Master Plan for the entire UNO campus, released in Nov. 2014

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University of Nebraska at Omaha Sustainability Master Plan • November 2014

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Wait! Before you print this document… The University of Nebraska at Omaha Sustainability Master Plan has been created with hyperlinked text for easy navigation while viewing in a PDF reader on a computer, tablet, or smart phone. Each page has a table of contents at the bottom with a clickable link to the Table of Contents. The sections listed in the Table of Contents are also clickable text. Using these links, any section of the Plan can be reached within two clicks. This feature is added to eliminate the need for scrolling and to make the electronic version easier to use and navigate than a printed copy. Try it out! Table of Contents

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“The University of Nebraska at Omaha has developed substantial capacity in academics, operations, and outreach relevant to sustainability without any central coordination, and has the opportunity to do much more. Progress in this area enhances the efficiency of our campus operations, better prepares our students to address the problems of tomorrow, and establishes UNO as a responsible and respected leader in academia and the community.” - Excerpt from Campus Priorities: Charting a Clear Vision for 20/20 UNO Sustainability Master Plan Table of Contents 3

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Section Page Acknowledgements.............................................................................................................................5 Executive Summary............................................................................................................................7 Introduction & Plan Overview............................................................................................................15 A Day in the Life of a UNO Student in 2025.....................................................................................25 Overarching Strategies........................................................................................................................27 Campus Planning & Mobility.............................................................................................................33 Energy, Buildings, & Emissions.........................................................................................................51 Water & Sustainable Sites...................................................................................................................65 Materials, Waste, & Recycling...........................................................................................................73 Campus Culture..................................................................................................................................86 Community Engagement....................................................................................................................96 Academics & Research.......................................................................................................................102 Appendix I: Results of Three Surveys................................................................................................109 Appendix II: Peer Review Results......................................................................................................112 Appendix III: Results of Listening Sessions.......................................................................................115 Click the page number to jump to the corresponding section of the document. 4 Table of Contents UNO Sustainability Master Plan

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Acknowledgements This project would not have been possible without the support of many individuals who devoted their time and input to the creation of this 2014 Sustainability Master Plan. James Taylor, Research Coordinator, Peter Kiewit Institute Olivia Whittaker, Former Chair, Student Government Sustainability Committee Steve Rodie, Professor, Biology and Director, Center for Urban Sustainability SMP Project Liaisons Daniel Shipp, Associate Vice Chancellor/Dean of Students, Student Affairs Angela Eikenberry, Associate Professor, Public Administration Jonna Holland, Associate Professor, Marketing and Management Patrick Wheeler, Environmental Advocate / Sustainability Champion, Environmental Health & Safety Raechel Meyer, Graphic Designer, Student Affairs SMP Steering Committee Marcia Adler, Director, Health Services John Amend, Assistant Vice Chancellor & Director, Facilities Management and Planning Ethan Anderson, Assistant Athletic Director, Athletics Tessa Barney, Director of Development, University of Nebraska Foundation Jessie Combs, Senior Accountant, Controller Mary Ferdig, President and CEO, Sustainability Leadership Institute Timothy Hemsath, Research Fellow, Center for Urban Sustainability Elizabeth Kraemer, Director, Alumni Programs, Alumni Association Kathleen Lyons, Director, UNO Student Community Leadership and Service Harmon Maher, Professor, Geography/Geology Emily Poeschl, Associate Director, Marketing, University Communications Scott Snyder, Associate Vice Chancellor for Research, Office of Research and Creative Activity and Interim Executive Director, Peter Kiewit Institute Additional UNO Community Members The following individuals also played an important role in the development of this Plan. John Christensen, Chancellor BJ Reed, Senior Vice Chancellor, Academic & Student Affairs Bill Conley, Vice Chancellor, Business & Finance Pelema Morrice, FormerAssociateVice Chancellor for Enrollment Management John Fiene, Associate Vice Chancellor, Information Services Deborah Smith-Howell, Associate Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs, Dean of Graduate Studies Sara Woods, Executive Associate to Senior Vice Chancellor for Community Engagement, Community Engagement Center Paul Barnes, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Academic & Student Affairs Malisa Lee, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management John Bartle, Dean, College of Public Affairs and Community Service David Boocker, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences Hesham Ali, Dean, College of Information Science & Technology Nancy Edick, Dean, College of Education Louis Pol, Dean, College of Business Administration Tom Gouttierre, Dean/Senior Officer for Global Engagement, International Studies and Programs Gail Baker, Dean, College of Communication, Fine Arts and Media Steve Shorb, Dean, Criss Library Lee Denker, President and CEO, Alumni Association UNO Sustainability Master Plan Table of Contents ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 5

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Erin Owen, Director, University Communications Hank Robinson, Director, Institutional Effectiveness Lanyce Keel, Executive Director, Information Services, IS-Academic Partnerships for Instruction Lori Byrne, Senior Vice President of Development, University of Nebraska Foundation Alan Kolak, Professor, Biology John McCarty, Professor, Biology LaReesa Wolfenbarger, Associate Professor, Biology John Stansbury, Associate Professor, Civil Engineering Moe Alahmad, Associate Professor, Architectural Engineering Shannon Bartelt-Hunt, Assistant Professor, Civil Engineering Jeremy White, Instructor, Biology Jason Coleman, Assistant Professor, Health, Physical Education, and Recreation Lisa Scherer, Associate Professor, Psychology and President, Faculty Senate Neal Topp, Administrative Fellow, Academic & Student Affairs Dan Gilbert, Assistant to the Senior Vice Chancellor, Academic and Student Affairs Heike Langdon, Manager of Possibilities, Community Engagement Center Andrew Buker, Director, Technical Services, IS-Information Tech Infrastructure Rick Yoder, Chief Sustainability Officer, College of Business Administration Jean Waters, Senior Community Service Associate, Nebraska Business Development Center Joe Kaminski, Director, Campus Recreation Bill Pickett, Director, Milo Bail Student Center Trenton Frederickson, Associate Director, University Housing Adam Wick, Scott Campus Resident Manager Jonathan Orlich, Property Manager for College Park Communities, Scott Housing Manager Denise Wieczorek, Business Manager, Maverick Village Ken Hultman, Manager, Accounting Services/Procurement Larry Morgan, Assistant Director, Facilities Management and Planning - Maintenance, Operations and Utilities George Killian, Assistant Director, Facilities Management and Planning - Plan, Design & Construction Steven Geiken, Business Manager, Facilities Management and Planning Stan Schleifer, Director, Support Services and Risk Management Jim Ecker, Parking/Transit Manager, Parking and Transit Operations Brian Barry, Parking Enforcement, Parking and Transit Operations Robyn Long, Special Projects Associate, Community Engagement Center Paul Sather, Director of Service Learning Academy David Nielson, Director of Operations, College of Business Administration Dave Daniels, Assistant Director for Strength Conditioning, Health and Wellness Programs David Meradith, Chief Engineer, Maintenance and Operations Lowell Neuhaus, Manager, Landscape Services Jordan Koch, Student Body President/Regent Harris Ramm, Green Basis President Andrew White, Student Government And the hundreds (yes, hundreds) of others with whom the Planning Team met. 6 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Table of Contents UNO Sustainability Master Plan

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Executive Summary UNO Sustainability Master Plan Table of Contents EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 7

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Introduction The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) unquestionably values sustainability and sees it as a means by which UNO can achieve its goals of placing students first, being academically excellent, and engaging with the community. Sustainability is not a new objective at UNO. Over the past several years, the university has built a solid foundation with respect to sustainability. This Plan is designed to build on these existing successes. Sustainability presents a tremendous opportunity for UNO to conserve energy and resources while reducing long-term costs, attracting and preparing students, and improving the University’s connection to the community. The cost of higher education is growing, but by working to achieve the vision and goals outlined in this Plan, UNO can take meaningful strides in tempering those costs. UNO’s peers are also prioritizing sustainability at their campuses. From a group of 17 peer institutions, 14 are members of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (as is UNO). Of those 14 AASHE members, three have achieved a gold Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS) rating, three a silver rating, and three a bronze – the same distinction UNO recently earned in spring of 2014. Additionally, six of the peer institutions are on the Princeton Review’s 2014 list of Green Universities. Many of UNO’s peers have also adopted their own sustainability and climate action plans. The presidents at nine of UNO’s 17 peer institutions have signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), a first step of which is creating a climate action plan. The presidents of over 680 institutions of higher learning have signed the APUCCC. The higher education arena is on the forefront of sustainability, and UNO is poised to be a leader. Sustainability Defined: Using resources wisely and engaging in actions that 1. are environmentally friendly, socially responsible, and financially feasible, and 2. benefit present and future generations. Students and employees alike understand and agree that sustainability is important to UNO’s success. In surveys, 95% of employees and 87% of students indicated that it’s important to them that UNO is committed to sustainability and takes active steps to be more sustainable. Furthermore, in conversations with groups from across the UNO community, it was very clear that sustainability efforts have a very direct, positive impact on UNO’s students. It is this understanding and imperative that drives the university’s motivation for future efforts, and the strategies outlined in this Sustainability Master Plan (Plan) chart the course for ensuring students are at the center of and benefit from the work. The objectives of this Plan are threefold: 1. Vision. Articulate UNO’s sustainability vision 2. Integration. Identify a path to integrate sustainability into UNO’s everyday practices 3. Focus. Establish a focus on high, medium, and low priorities that lead toward the vision 8 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Table of Contents UNO Sustainability Master Plan

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Also gleaned from the Discovery process were six key findings. Figure 1: UNO’s Glacier Creek Preserve, a restored tallgrass prairie in northwest Douglas County, provided a unique and inspirational setting for the leadership immersion in March 2014 (photo credit: UNO). This Plan reflects information collected through interviews, meetings with committees, councils, and task forces from across campus, site visits, focus groups, steering committee meetings, a leadership immersion, a Dream + Design Charette, three surveys, extensive research, review of several existing UNO strategic planning documents, and analysis of many UNO datasets, all of which occurred during February through September of 2014. The information obtained through this process (known as Discovery) was used to establish the strategic directions outlined in each of eight areas: • Overarching Strategies • Energy, Buildings, & Emissions • Water & Sustainable Sites • Materials, Waste, & Recycling • Campus Planning & Mobility • Campus Culture • Community Engagement • Academics & Research To provide context for goals and recommendations, the Plan also discusses the progress of UNO’s peers in higher education. Key Findings 1. Stakeholders understand and agree that sustainability is important to the university 2. Stakeholders feel sustainability is important because: a. of its beneficial impact on student attraction, retention, and preparation b. it is a financially responsible approach to managing (and not wasting) resources c. it can and should set UNO apart as a leader d. of an ethical and moral obligation to protect the environment e. of the positive impact it can have on the people of the campus and local community 3. Significant and noteworthy accomplishments have been achieved, but awareness and knowledge of those efforts is limited 4. A solid coordination model is important to future success 5. The operational actions that occur can benefit UNO’s education and research efforts 6. There are varying levels of understanding of the concept of sustainability and what all is encompassed UNO Sustainability Master Plan Table of Contents EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 9

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Visions & Goals An extensive engagement process culminated in a set of visions and goals, which were refined and finalized at a Dream + Design Charette where key stakeholders from across the campus were present. These visions and goals serve as the light at the end of the tunnel and will guide efforts going forward. Overall Sustainability Vision: UNO integrates sustainability - concern for people, the environment, and fiscal responsibility - into everything we do. Vision statements and goals were set in each of the relevant categories. In nearly every case, a measurable metric was identified and baseline set so that future progress can be clearly measured. Energy, Buildings, & Emissions Vision: UNO uses energy efficiently and strives to have energy produced from renewable and carbon-neutral sources equal to the amount consumed. UNO uses existing, efficient building spaces to their fullest. When needed, new buildings are designed and built to the best resource conservation standards. Metric weathernormalized kBtu/ft2 metric tons of CO2 equivalent Baseline Current 2025 (FY’10) (FY’13) Goal 2050 Dream 302.3 252.3 35% carbon (FY’10) -16.5% reduction neutral 54,812 (FY‘11) 53,164 -3.0% 60% reduction (2030) carbon neutral* *includes Omaha Public Power District source reduction (coal & natural gas to renewables) Water & Sustainable Sites Vision: Water is efficiently used within buildings and prudently used in landscaping. Rainfall is managed so as to meet a portion of campus needs. Metric gallons per weighted campus user Baseline (Avg FY’ 12-13) Current (FY’13) 2025 Goal 2050 Dream 11,328 11,451 25% 50% +1.1% reduction reduction Materials, Waste, & Recycling Vision: UNO reduces, reuses, and recycles nearly all materials to the extent that very few waste products are sent to the landfill. All purchasing decisions include lifecycle cost and closed loop considerations. Metric tons of waste + recycling per weighted campus user % diverted from landfill % of purchases that are green Baseline (Avg FY’ 09-11) Current (FY’13) 2025 Goal 2050 Dream 0.176 0.173 25% 50% (-1.7%) reduction reduction 24% 23% (-4.2%) 26% (FY’13) 61% (2020) 50% zero waste 100% 10 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Table of Contents UNO Sustainability Master Plan

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Campus Planning & Mobility Vision: UNO has a sustainably designed, walkable campus with buildings and outdoor spaces that are inviting and natureinspired. The majority of people travel to campus by walking, biking, transit, or carpool. Many students live on campus, and virtual meetings/classes eliminate the need for some trips. Metric campus population per parking stall % of single occupancy vehicle commute trips Baseline Current 2025 Goal 1.84 (fall 2013) 2.24 (2020) 2.32 (2030) 64% (spring 2014) 40% 2050 Dream 5.00 20% Academics & Research Vision/Goal: All graduates, faculty, and staff are sustainability literate. Sustainability literacy is embedded in curricular and co-curricular programs, and it is realized in the (physical and virtual) classroom and through experiential learning on and off campus. UNO is nationally recognized for the advancement of sustainability research. UNO Sustainability Master Plan Table of Contents EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 11

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Goals related to Campus Culture and Community Engagement are based on the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS). STARS is a transparent, objective framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability progress. It is the most thoroughly vetted and extensively tested international sustainability framework for colleges and universities and provides an excellent way for UNO to compare itself to its peers. UNO was one of 90 schools that piloted STARS in 2008 and completed a full report in May 2014, achieving a Bronze rating. Campus Culture Vision: Sustainability is an integral part of UNO’s culture and identity. Students, faculty, staff, and administrators make decisions that are environmentally friendly, socially responsible, and financially feasible. Metric UNO Sustainability Engagement Index Campus Engagement STARS points Baseline Current 2025 Goal 52% (May 2014) 75% 8.5 of 20 (May 2014) 20 2050 Dream 95% 20 Community Engagement Vision: UNO is a model of dynamic sustainability thinking and practices for the community it serves and is a well-known and ready community resource. Metric Baseline Current 2025 Goal 2050 Dream Public Engagement STARS points 12.63 of 16.00 (May 2014) 16 (2020) 16 An additional metric will be considered as part of the university’s broader community engagement activities and tracking mechanisms. 12 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Table of Contents UNO Sustainability Master Plan

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Top Strategies Of the dozens of strategies included in the Sustainability Master Plan, the Planning Team identified the following recommendations as those that are most critical to UNO’s future success. Systematize & Coordinate Planning & Execution. UNO will greatly benefit from establishing a clear, systematic process for sustainability planning and execution. UNO has experienced great success with its decentralized model, but future efforts will depend in part on the extent to which the rest of campus is aware of what’s happening, feels engaged in the process, and understands how to get involved. Communication, Tracking, & Feedback. There is widespread agreement across campus that sustainability is important, but awareness of sustainability activities and issues is limited. By increasing communication efforts and consistently and transparently tracking progress and providing feedback, the entire campus will be in a better position to be actively engaged, assist with implementation, and champion future efforts. Furthermore, setting goals, agreeing to metrics, and reporting progress holds UNO accountable - just as in every other area of its strategic planning and mission fulfillment initiatives. Sustainability Coordinator. For UNO to best continue its sustainability progress and to ensure the two aforementioned strategies occur, UNO almost certainly needs a sustainability coordinator to lead its efforts. Among the group of 17 peer institutions referenced earlier, nine have a sustainability coordinator or similar position in charge of leading sustainability efforts. Institutions with sustainability coordinators are likely to achieve success when it comes to managing diverse sustainability projects that are often cross-departmental and collaborative in nature. Focus on Student Engagement. Students are at the core of UNO’s mission, and they are poised and ready to be meaningfully engaged. Efforts to reach students and involve them in all facets of the University’s sustainability initiative will pay significant dividends down the road, and their involvement will help prepare them for post-graduate life. Figure 2: Students will play a key role in advancing UNO toward even greater sustainability efforts (photo credit: UNO). Implement Environmentally Preferable Purchasing. Several facets of an excellent Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) program are in place on campus. These elements should be systematically and comprehensively implemented across campus. Source reduction is the most important and effective way to save money on material purchases and minimize the volume of materials headed to the landfill. Expand the Transit Pass Program. UNO’s transit pass program, MavRide, should be expanded to employees and opened to any student that wants to participate. Doing so is an important strategy to mitigating demand for parking. UNO Sustainability Master Plan Table of Contents EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 13

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Figure 3: Currently, 57% of UNO’s campus users travel to and from campus by single occupancy vehicle trips. By expanding MavRide, which is currently only available to 800 students for most of the year, UNO hopes to reduce single occupancy vehicle trips to 40% or less (photo credit: UNO). Focus on Residence Halls. The residence halls are significant consumers of energy and water, and many opportunities abound to reduce consumption in both cases. While UNO won’t directly financially benefit in the case of those units on Pacific Campus, reduced operating expenses of residence halls may help reduce overall costs to students. Focusing on residence halls also creates the opportunity to educate students via implicit and explicit facility systems. Sign the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). By setting a 2050 goal of climate neutrality in this Plan, UNO has already established its long term vision and met one of the major commitments of ACUPCC. By signing the agreement, UNO will solidify its commitment to sustainability and join over 680 other leading colleges and universities in working to combat climate change. Upgrade to Thin Client Computers. Speed up the transition to thin clients for desktops using the savings to invest in the next round of upgrades. To date, 1,250 desktops have been upgraded to virtual desktops, resulting in an 82% reduction in energy use and over $27,000 in annual savings. Green Loan Fund. UNO will benefit from institutionalizing its commitment to reinvesting energy savings into new efficiency projects so that it is not lost when leadership transitions occur. A hybrid model that allows for a small percentage of the fund to be used for engagement or other long- or nopayback initiatives will build engagement across campus. Sustainable Foods Planning. Build on this Plan and the current Dining Study to create a Healthy and Sustainable Foods Plan that identifies and articulates how UNO will expand its efforts to provide students, faculty, staff, and visitors with even more healthy and sustainable food options. Conclusion At its most basic level, this Plan outlines where UNO stands today with respect to sustainability (the baselines), where it plans to go in the future (2025 and 2050 goals) and what UNO should do to achieve those goals (strategies). It can and should serve as a roadmap for future efforts. The foundation of success is strong and many opportunities exist for UNO to make quick and meaningful progress toward the bold goals that have been set. UNO’s sustainability successes - in combination with this Sustainability Master Plan - place UNO near the top of the list in relationship to its peers. UNO is poised to be a sustainable university and an admired leader in the months and years to follow. 14 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Table of Contents UNO Sustainability Master Plan

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Introduction & Plan Overview UNO Sustainability Master Plan Table of Contents INTRODUCTION & PLAN OVERVIEW 15

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