December 5, 2011
Arizona State University released a Strategic Plan for Sustainability Practices and Operations during fall 2011 to help communicate its sustainability practices and goals, as well as encourage participation among campus community members.
The plan serves as a living document that declares the university’s vision to be a leader in sustainable higher education operations. The plan was written to have shelf life of between two to five years, lists ASU’s sustainability achievements to date and outlines short- and long-term goals and tactics to help ASU become a more sustainable place by 2035.
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“Affirming ASU’s sustainability goals in a living document gives us a solid roadmap to follow on the way to becoming more sustainable,” says Ray Jensen, associate vice president of University Business Services and University Sustainability Operations officer. “The plan’s importance reaches beyond its functionality as a blueprint as it keeps our bigger, sustainability picture in focus.”
Included in the plan are ASU’s four major sustainability goals: carbon neutrality, zero waste, active engagement and principled practice. ASU plans to achieve non-transportation carbon neutrality by 2025 and transportation carbon neutrality by 2035. By 2015, the objective is to attain zero solid waste, and zero water waste is on track to be realized by 2020.
The remaining two major goals of the sustainability plan include ASU’s commitment to achieve documented, active engagement from 60 percent of the ASU community by 2015, as well as integrate sustainability practices into 80 percent of campus operations. Engagement by ASU faculty, staff and students to help create a more sustainable campus environment is crucial. While university leadership can produce the roadmap to achieve sustainability, the more than 85,000 ASU change makers have a responsibility to participate in large and small ways to keep the sustainability strategic plan on track. For instance, stepping up individual recycling efforts like using reusable water bottles rather than choosing plastic ones can help ASU increase its landfill-aversion rates. Switching ASU printers to duplex printing mode also saved 725 trees during fiscal year 2011.
To understand more about how to boost everyday sustainability efforts at ASU and read its Strategic Plan for Sustainability Practices and Operations, visit: http://sustainability.asu.edu/about/resources/sustainabilityplan. For additional questions about ASU’s sustainability efforts, or to become more involved, contact Nick Brown, director of sustainability practices at ASU at nick.brown@asu.