Sustainability 101: Commitment to Sustainability

Purpose      

To provide an introduction to the policies, plans and agreements that specify UAA's commitment to sustainability.

Definitions

Sustainability: Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs—UN World Commission on Environment and Development (et al)

Policy

General

UAA is committed to assure the long-term health and vitality of our cultural, economic, environmental and social systems in our city, state, the nation and the world through our own actions as well as through ensuring our graduates are citizens capable of meeting this challenge.

Commitments

University of Alaska Anchorage has entered into the following agreements demonstrating its commitment to sustainability.

Talloires Declaration
University of Alaska Anchorage signed the Talloires Declaration in 2004 committing itself to the concepts of sustainability, environmental literacy, and outreach of these principles to as broad an audience as possible.  More specifically, the Talloires Declaration requires:  

  1. Increase awareness of environmentally sustainable development
  2. Create an institutional culture of sustainability
  3. Educate for environmentally responsible citizenship
  4. Foster environmental literacy for all
  5. Practice institutional ecology
  6. Involve all stakeholders
  7. Collaborate for interdisciplinary approaches
  8. Enhance capacity of primary and secondary schools
  9. Broaden service and outreach nationally and internationally
  10. Maintain the movement

American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC)
In 2007, UAA signed the ACUPCC which requires that we work toward carbon neutrality as quickly as possible. More specifically, the ACUPCC requirements are:

  1. Initiate the development of a comprehensive plan to achieve climate neutrality as soon as possible.
  2. Initiate two or more of the following tangible actions to reduce greenhouse gases while the more comprehensive plan is being developed.
  3. LEED silver buildings
  4. Green star appliance purchasing policy
  5. Offset greenhouse gases emitted by travel
  6. Promote public transportation
  7. Obtain15% of electricity consumption from renewable sources.
  8. Calculate carbon baseline within one year of signing.
  9. Develop a climate action plan within two years of signing.
  10. Develop a sustainability plan within four years of signing.              
A comprehensive description of these agreements is available at www.uaa.alaska.edu/sustainability
Internal Plans and Policy

The University has also implemented several internal policies committing the institution to sustainability.

Strategic Plan 2017 www.uaa.alaska.edu/strategicplan/
The Strategic Plan envisions UAA as "a university of first choice distinguished for its commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility" and listing sustainability and stewardship as two of its core values.

Facilities Master Plan www.uaa.alaska.edu/masterplan/
The Facilities Master Plan envisions a pedestrian, bicycle, and transit-friendly campus with fewer parking lots. It advocates construction of taller buildings built to accommodate change and to as high a LEED standard as is economically feasible, with an emphasis on reducing impact on our natural environment. This plan also emphasizes use of life-cycle costs in preference to initial capital costs to assess the value of systems and materials.

Academic Plan
www.uaa.alaska.edu/academicaffairs/academic-plan-final.cfm
Our Academic Plan requires accountability, ". . . for good stewardship of the resources entrusted to us, and for accountability to the public for the performance of our missions." The purpose of the plan includes the statement, ". . . to use our resources to serve society, most especially to assure a socially, environmentally, and economically sustainable future."

Energy Policy
www.uaa.alaska.edu/chancellor/upload/UAA_energy_policy_dec2007.pdf
Finally, our Energy Policy commits UAA to responsible energy and resource management as a part of an overall environmental strategy. This policy is helping us take steps to minimize energy use, minimize energy costs, reduce the environmental impact of harmful emissions and limit the depletion of non-renewable resources. The energy policy states that it "is just one part of a comprehensive sustainability program, including new building designs and retrofits, designed to reduce UAA's carbon footprint."

Effective: 2/16/2011