Comprehensive Sustainability Plan

It’s essential that UVM contribute to the growing efforts at colleges and universities to develop sustainable solutions.

The University of Vermont has a history of sustainability leadership in higher education and global recognition. The university built a reputation on environmental research and innovative ideas addressing sustainability problems. As the national discourse on sustainability and climate change intensifies, leaders across the country are being urged to do more. It’s essential that UVM contribute to the growing efforts at colleges and universities to develop sustainable solutions.

Comprehensive Sustainability Plan (CSP) will focus and engage the campus community and generate interest among internal and external stakeholders. Most importantly, a CSP will outline short- and long-term goals that are achievable and within the financial capacity of the institution. The development of a CSP Work Group will guide the development of themes and focus areas and increase campus engagement. In 2022, the Office of Sustainability, led by its director, will develop this plan with broad input from members of our community. Many of the country’s leading institutions have Sustainability Plans and Climate Action Plans. The development of UVM’s comprehensive plan will allow UVM to step forward, amplify the work we already do and announce renewed commitment to a healthy environment and healthy societies.

Comprehensive Sustainability Working Group

As a first step to develop a final document, the Office of Sustainability will convene a Comprehensive Sustainability Working Group (CSWG). The group's first task will be to further develop and recommend themes and topic areas that could be included in the CSP. In the coming months, the Office of Sustainability, led by its director, will develop this plan with broad input from members of our community. 

Summer 2022 Update: This summer the CSWG met to define main topic areas and themes, and began to set goals for each. Subject matter experts gave input on feasibility and financial implications. The plan is organized around the four main topic areas identified in the bulleted list below.

The University also retained VEIC, a local sustainable energy company, to develop financial modeling for the CSP. In addition, RMF Engineering is developing a plan for greenhouse gas reductions in University buildings. Both of these firms have experience with university campuses and their work will be central to the development of goals that are achievable and within the financial capacity of the institution.

  • Decarbonization
  • Governance and People
  • Operations
  • Research and Learning

CSP Timetable

 

Objective:

Develop a plan to guide sustainability at the University of Vermont with short- and long-term goals.

Key Results:

  • Identification of three themes to communicate goals of the plan to stakeholders
  • Identification of six to seven areas of focus (e.g. waste, energy, buildings, etc.)
  • Creation of feasible and measurable goals for each area of focus
  • Completion by fall semester 2022