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UH Hilo Sustainability Blog

UH Hilo Sustainability Policy

Tuesday, January 26, 2016, 8:22pm by

In order to meet the targets set forth in the UH System Sustainability Policy, each campus has been tasked with developing a Sustainability Plan that addresses needs in each of the following areas: Operations, Curriculum, Research and Scholarship, Campus and Community, and Cultural Connections. Below are the concrete steps (shown as bullet points) UH Hilo is taking in each of these areas.

(Italicized text is taken directly from the UH System Sustainability Policy for reference)

Operations
    The University is committed to continuous improvement in reducing its negative environmental impact and becoming ecologically restorative in buildings, climate, food systems, energy, grounds, purchasing, transportation, waste and water.

 

Section I: Energy

  1. Prepare a carbon neutral implementation master plan (need consultant) to include
  2. reliable alternative energy feasibility study (on-going with first project), energy storage (on-going with first project), & possible energy conservation measures (some already identified by draft EPC RFP, some by in-house staff)
  3. Hire an Energy Manager (on-going, position established, position description approved)
  4. Maintain, manage & expand existing PV systems (currently about 500 kw on campus & 88 kw off campus)
  5. Implement in-house light bulbs & light fixtures conversion (on-going, over 300 bulbs replaced & over 500 fixtures converted)
  6. Maintain the Energy Reinvestment Project Account and funding program (currently about $400,000 savings annually)
  7. Implement energy conservation projects with GRL (on-going with first project), with Energy Performance Contract (on-hold pending SPO short list), with operational & CIP funds (on-going)
  8. Establish a sub-metering/data logger network to continuously monitor, report, adjust equipment for optimum operation (on-going, about 100 sub-meter installed)
  9. Maintain the Energy Usage (kbtu/sf) by Building annual Report (on-going in UHH OFPC web site)
  10. Establish a plug-load management system (on-going with a pilot project)
  11. Improve energy management systems on campus (on-going) & establish a single campus wide energy management system (to be implemented).
  12. Engage Hawaii Energy on energy rebate (on-going)
  13. Change language of standard design A/E contract to include energy conservation, Hawaii Energy Rebate, LEED, etc. (done, continue improving)

Section 2: Food Systems

  1. Continue & expand ‚ÄúLocal First‚ÄĚ food services program

Section 3: Transportation

  1. Continue & expand EV charge stations on main campus & off-campus sites
  2. Continue & improve car pool & fuel efficiency parking policies
  3. Continue & expand existing campus bike share program, including securing funding for bicycle maintenance and supplies

Section 4: Water

  1. Establish water conservation management system (to be implemented)
  2. Explore solar hot water heating options for campus buildings
  3. Continue to repair water leaks and convert to low-flow fixtures as feasible

Section 5: Grounds

  1. Examine existing sustainability measures for grounds keeping and explore opportunities for improvement
  2. Continue and expand the green waste operations on campus
  3. Continue to operate new and all buildings following the LEEDS “Green Cleaning Policy”
  4. Continue to operate new and all buildings following the LEEDS “Low Environmental Impact Pest Management Policy”

Section 6: Purchasing

  1. Continue to follow EPA guidelines with the purchase of products made from post-consumer recycled goods
  2. Continue to follow the EPA guidelines for purchasing new vehicles with higher fuel efficiencies and options for use of alternative energy
  3. Examine ways to increase the sustainability requirements in purchasing and language for new and renewal contracts with campus vendors

Section 7: Waste

  1. Expand existing pilot composting plan & zero waste program to develop a comprehensive campus composting plan to divert compostable waste (paper, cardboard, food) to UH Hilo farm or other appropriate locations for composting
  2. Seek funding for industrial paper shredder to bring paper-recycling in-house.
  3. Establish and maintain a highly visible, effective, and efficient integrated recycling system around campus (on-going, clear categorization of trash through signs)

Section 8: Curriculum

    The University will encourage, facilitate and support curriculum development that advances the principles of sustainability and enables cross-campus collaborations that integrate teaching and research with solutions at the campus and community levels. 

  1. Establish an ‚ÄėS-designation‚Äô for appropriate existing and new courses that will appear on students‚Äô transcripts
  2. Establish a certificate in Sustainability
  3. Secure funding for faculty and students to attend workshops and conferences on sustainability curriculum development
  4. Examine classroom and laboratory practices to determine if there are areas that be improved in terms of sustainability  

 

  • The development of appropriate new courses and programs related to sustainability that articulate across campuses.
  • The integration of sustainability principles into existing curricula where appropriate.
  • The development of campus and community based sites for laboratory or field-based learning related to sustainability, including engagement by students in the University‚Äôs operational improvements in sustainability.
  • The incorporation of sustainability practices and learning into student life and other co-curricular activities.
  • The development of professional development opportunities for faculty and students related to curriculum development and delivery in sustainability.

 

Section 9: Research and Scholarship

    The University will encourage, facilitate and support basic and applied research initiatives that advance the principles of sustainability and enable cross-campus collaborations that integrate teaching and research with solutions at the campus, community and global levels. 

  1. Survey all faculty at UH Hilo to determine the ongoing and proposed research relating to sustainability that is taking place on our campus
  2. Organize and host a UH Hilo Sustainability Forum, where interested staff, faculty, and students from UH Hilo and Hawaii Community College and local organizations can present their sustainability projects and research and create opportunities for collaboration
  3. Generate a Request for Proposals (and secure associated funding), to address areas of need on the UH Hilo campus (energy usage, behavioral change, etc.) that could be addressed with innovative research projects conducted by UH Hilo faculty and students
  4. Establish fund to support student / faculty led sustainability projects, modeled after the UH Hilo diversity committee. (Student referendum required if student fees to be used to support this project fund)

Specific goals include:

    a.    Establish metrics to monitor and promote increased research and scholarship in sustainability at all levels.

    b.    Professional development and collaboration opportunities for faculty and students in sustainability scholarship.

Section 10: Campus and Community Engagement

    The University is committed to the engagement of students, faculty, staff and the local community across disciplines to prioritize and implement sustainable practices. The classroom, the campus and the community comprise an interconnected educational environment.

 

  1. Organize and host a UH Hilo Sustainability Forum, where interested staff, faculty, and students from UH Hilo and Hawaii Community College and local organizations can present their sustainability projects and research and create opportunities for collaboration
  2. Survey ALEX, PIPES, other internship programs on campus, and local organizations to determine if any sustainability-related internships already exist. Generate new opportunities through outreach and promote them.
  3. Develop grade-appropriate and Hawaii-based sustainability presentations (climate change and other human impacts on our forests, coral reefs, etc.) and give them at local elementary, middle, and high schools.
  4. Develop funding opportunities for sustainability efforts, modeled after the UH President Ľs Green Initiative Awards.
  5. Establish a sustainability coordinator position for the UH Hilo campus, to provide ‚Äėinstitutional memory‚Äô between volunteers, and handle outreach, online, print, & in-person.
  6. Integrate a sustainability focus in to orientation and new-student programs (overview of campus recycling, composting). Measure recycling efforts by entering classes.
  7. Develop an engaging, interactive, user-friendly Sustainability website maintained and consistently updated with accomplishments, progress, efforts and happenings within and surrounding our campus community (on-going, got access from Brennan to edit content 10/9)
  8. Develop a plan to promote the campus sustainability efforts and establish a strong presence campus/system-wide. Seek out, collaborate, participate in community events to establish and gain awareness within our community as well as far-reaching communities. (on-going, zero-waste student surveys, newspapers and blog, education of categorization of recycling)
  9. Support and help run the annual UH Hilo/Hawaii Community College Earth Day Fair


    Specific goals include:

¬†¬†¬†¬†a.¬†¬†¬†The development of mutually beneficial partnerships with community organizations, non-profit organizations, the private sector, and other colleges and universities in Hawai‚Äėi and beyond to advance sustainability initiatives.

    b.    The creation of internship opportunities for students with external partners and collaborators.

¬†¬†¬†¬†c. ¬†¬†¬†Supporting sustainability and related science education initiatives in Hawai‚Äėi’s public schools.

¬†¬†¬†¬†d.¬†¬†¬†¬†Incorporating sustainability initiatives into the priorities of the University of Hawai‚Äėi and University of Hawai‚Äėi Foundation for philanthropy.

Section 11: Cultural Connections

¬†¬†¬†¬†Recognizing the unique and respected Hawaiian host culture, the geographic remoteness of the islands and the rich diversity of cultures in Hawai‚Äėi, the University will create a sustainable living and learning environment that honors its cultural foundation and addresses the challenges and opportunities of its location. The University will proactively form working relationships with external partners to understand community, workforce and business needs to bring higher education, research and service outreach value to the community, and to help shape economic structures, employment opportunities and integrated, 21st¬†century sustainable solutions for Hawai‚Äėi, the region and beyond.¬†¬†

  1. Reach out to the Hawaiian Studies Program, Kipuka Native Hawaiian Student Center, and other groups to better understand how we can Incorporate native sustainable practices into campus efforts
  2. Develop grade-appropriate and Hawaii-based sustainability presentations (climate change and other human impacts on our forests, coral reefs, etc.) and give them at local elementary, middle, and high schools.
  3. Organize and host a UH Hilo Sustainability Forum, where interested staff, faculty, and students from UH Hilo and Hawaii Community College and local organizations can present their sustainability projects and research and create opportunities for collaboration

These cultural connections shall:

¬†¬†¬†¬†a.¬†¬†¬†¬†Embrace the culture, wisdom and fundamental values of the indigenous people of Hawai‚Äėi to advance sustainability.

    b.    Cultivate an inclusive University community with varied characteristics, ideas, cultures and world-views through which our students, faculty and staff celebrate difference and respect tradition and wisdom.

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