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Strategic Plan for Office of Sustainability Practices

Mission

To provide Grand Valley administration, faculty, staff, students, and community stakeholders with the required skills and capabilities to become better stewards and responsible global citizens in the workforce, communities, and family life.

Vision

Sustainability is accepted and valued as having an integral role in fulfilling the mission of the university. This systems integration of sustainability builds the capacity to positively impact sustainability issues across complex and interrelated economic. environmental, and social framework.

Value Statement

Grand Valley State University values the guiding principles of sustainability in helping to meet the current needs of our faculty, staff, and students without compromising the needs and resources of future generations. We are committed to working with our community partners to create a sustainable future for our university, our community, and our region. We will model applied sustainability best practices in our campus operations and administration, education for sustainable development, student involvement, and community engagement by promoting social responsibility, encouraging environmental stewardship, and creating efficiencies and value for the work we perform. We will provide our students with excellence in education for sustainable development by embedding theory, systems- oriented thinking, and service learning into our curricular and extracurricular programs.

Strategic Priorities, outcomes, and key objectives

Strategic Priority Area 1: Actively engage learners at all levels.

Outcome A: Grand Valley's learning environment is personal, challenging, and transformational, supporting excellent academic programs and co-curricular opportunities.

Objective 1.A.1

Provide high impact experiential learning through the Sustainable Agriculture Project by hosting 15+ classes at the farm each year.

Baseline

As of April 2016, we have hosted 10 classes at the farm with several already scheduled for next year.

Progress

2019 Status
Substantial Progress
During the past year, the SAP facilitated hosted 522 students through class visits, supported 12 interns, and hosted/participated in 11 special events. It also continued to host volunteer hours multiple days/times per week and those were well-attended.

2018 Status
Substantial Progress
During the 2017-2018 academic school year, the SAP facilitated 28 student internships. Of those, 7 are paid farm crew positions, 5 volunteer internships, and 17 credit bearing internships, totaling 45 credit hours.

Outcome B: Grand Valley is diverse and inclusive.

Objective 1.B.1

Annually increase the number of faculty, staff, students, and community members engaged with the Seeds of Promise (www.seedsofpromise.net) sustainable neighborhood initiative as well as the amount of shared resources.

Baseline

Baseline data from 2015

Progress

2019 Status
Achieved
Due to staff changes in the Office of Sustainability Practices, this work is continuing but not directly through our office.

2018 Status
Substantial Progress
GVSU’s engagement with Seeds of Promise includes the College of Education, the College of Nursing, and other GVSU units and departments including faculty and students. Our Office is a member of the Seeds Advisory Council. In the recent past, 5 of GVSU’s colleges have been involved in Seeds of Promise programs and activities including approximately 15 faculty and over 100 students. Several GVSU graduates have become Seeds of Promise employees. New programs with the Geography and Sustainability Planning Department and WMEAC are in development.

Strategic Priority Area 2: Further develop exceptional personnel.

Strategic Priority Area 3: Ensure the alignment of institutional structures and functions.

Outcome E: Grand Valley strategically allocates its fiscal, human, and other institutional resources.

Objective 3.E.1

Complete sustainability reporting as appropriate, including AASHE STARS, the Presidents Climate Commitment, and the Talloires Declaration, and continue to improve upon our scores.

Baseline

We currently have a gold rating through AASHE STARS.

Progress

2019 Status
Substantial Progress
The AASHE STARS report was submitted in March 2019 and we received another gold rating (70.79 points). The ACUPCC reports were not filed because we are switching to another reporting platform and report our data within the AASHE STARS report. The Talloires Declaration data is also included in the AASHE STARS report.

2018 Status
Substantial Progress
The next AASHE STARS report will be submitted in March 2019 so data collection is underway. The ACUPCC reports have not been filed because we are switching to the Greenhouse Gas Protocol inventory. The Talloires Declaration has also been completed.

Strategic Priority Area 4: Enhance the institution's image and reputation.

Outcome C: Grand Valley has mutually beneficial relationships, partnerships, collaborations, and connections with local, state, national, and world communities.

Objective 4.C.1

Ensure the ongoing execution of a successful "Sustainable Development Best Practices" service agreement annually between GVSU and the City of Grand Rapids, including the City Executive Office, the Office of Energy and Sustainability, and the Grand Rapids Information Network, and accommodate new requests from the City.

Baseline

As of April 2016, we have completed 6 months of the service agreement.

Progress

2019 Status
Achieved
After careful consideration, GVSU and the City of Grand Rapids have decided not to continue with an annual service agreement, although both parties continue to work together toward creating a more sustainable future.

2018 Status
Achieved
An agreement was negotiated and and successfully implemented. The agreement was scheduled to end in June 2018 and will not be renewed.

Objective 4.C.2

Assist with the development and inventory of "Education for Sustainable Development" curriculum, programs, and activities in support of the United Nations University Regional Center of Expertise designation for Grand Rapids.

Baseline

The first report has been submitted as of January 25, 2016.

Progress

2019 Status
Substantial Progress
The annual report has been prepared and submitted.

2018 Status
Substantial Progress
The annual report has been prepared and submitted.

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