Indiana State University Sustainable Campus Initiative

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Type: Policy

Status: Ongoing

Source File:


Indiana State University (ISU) recognizes its vulnerability to the impacts of climate change as well as the need to reduce the use of fossil fuels and our carbon footprint. This University also recognizes that state institutions like (ISU) are major consumers of energy and natural resources, and should recognize the need to reduce the use of non-renewable resources and to increase energy efficiency. ISU recognizes its obligation to be wise stewards of scarce resources, and to promote the continued economic and ecological viability of the State.

In September of 2007, President Benjamin solidified ISU’s interest in becoming a sustainable campus by signing the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment. As part of ISU’s commitment to sustainability, plans are underway to develop a comprehensive and compliant Sustainability Program.

The Sustainability Program will be consistent with the requirements of the President’s Climate Commitment, including:

  • Hosting a forum on sustainability to include campus and community leaders, politicians, other local universities.
  • The establishment of the overall coordinating structure including the formation of a council, steering committee, task force, or focus group to help the Sustainability Office communicate with campus, both inviting input and publishing goals and accomplishments.
  • Initiating the development of a comprehensive plan to achieve climate neutrality as soon as possible.
  • The creation of institutional structures to guide the development and implementation of the neutrality plan.
  • The completion of a comprehensive inventory of all greenhouse gas emissions (including emissions from electricity, heating, commuting, and air travel). Updates to the inventory will be completed every other year thereafter.
  • Completing a 10-year historic emission inventory for ISU’s campus, including remote properties.
  • Development of a target date for achieving climate neutrality.
  • Defining targets for goals and actions that will lead to climate neutrality.
  • Develop actions to make climate neutrality and sustainability a part of the curriculum at ISU.
  • Expand research or other efforts necessary to achieve climate neutrality.
  • Development of mechanisms for tracking progress on goals and actions.

ISU will initiate two or more of the following tangible actions to reduce greenhouse gases while the more comprehensive plan is being developed.

  • 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.
  • Adopt an energy-efficient appliance purchasing policy requiring the purchase of Energy Star certified products in all areas for which such ratings exist.
  • Establish a policy of offsetting all greenhouse gas emissions generated by air travel paid for by our institution.
  • Encourage use of and provide access to public transportation for all faculty, staff, students and visitors at our institution.
  • Within one year of signing this document, begin purchasing or producing at least 15% of our institution’s electricity consumption from renewable sources.
  • Provide a societal role in sustainability by supporting climate and sustainability shareholder proposals at companies where our institution’s endowment is invested.
  • Participation in Waste Minimization efforts.

ISU’s Department of Facilities Management will continue to provide leadership as campus sustainability efforts move forward. Working with key ISU leadership, we will continually share insights and help determine processes that will engage faculty, students, staff and our community in sustainability efforts across the campus.

ISU will also consider ways to develop partnerships and funding to support the educational, research, and public service missions of higher education as they relate to sustainability. ISU’s hallmark strengths in teaching, applied research, and community service advocate for a special role for ISU in sustaining the continued economic and ecological viability of the state – not only through best institutional practices, but through applied research, education, and service.