Baylor University Sustainability Policy

Purpose

In accordance with its Christian mission and vision, Baylor University strives to be a community that fulfills its calling as stewards of God's gift of creation.

As such, the purpose of this University-wide policy on sustainability and environmental management is to acknowledge a commitment to fostering a community that focuses on preserving natural resources, safeguarding quality of life, advancing economic vitality and preparing students for the social, environmental and economic challenges of the future. Therefore, this policy calls upon all levels and constituencies of the University to participate in a continuous and on-going effort to institute the teaching, research, and practices of sustainable environmental management and to establish an institutional culture of sustainability.

Definition

Sustainability refers to societal efforts that meet the needs of present users without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Sustainability presumes that the planet's resources are finite and should be used conservatively, wisely, and equitably. Decisions and investments aimed to promote sustainability will simultaneously advance economic vitality, ecological integrity, and social welfare.

Guiding Principles

Leadership

Through excellence in environmental education, research, outreach, stewardship, and process management, the University shall strive to position itself as the leading sustainable Christian institution by promoting and demonstrating sustainability, efficiency in environmental management, and by producing Christian leaders and informed citizens.

Modeling

The University shall strive to be a model in the application of sustainability principles to guide campus operations by:

  • Implementing an Environmental Management System (EMS)
  • Meeting and aspiring to exceed all applicable regulatory requirements
  • Preventing pollution at its source
  • Reducing emissions to the environment
  • Encouraging the use of a life-cycle assessment for products and services

Operational Improvements

The University shall undertake a continuous improvement process that seeks to meet the operational performance targets, goals, and objectives designed to achieve sustainability and environmental improvements.

Energy and Water Efficiency

The University's EMS shall include energy and water audits undertake a process in order to increase energy efficiency, reduce dependence on non-renewable energy, conserve water as a precious resource in Texas, and encourage the development of energy and excessive water use alternatives through research and innovation.

Research

The University shall:

  • Promote innovative, high-visibility research projects focused on sustainability and energy efficiency to inform campus operations as a whole as well as the broader community.
  • Promote collaborative projects that include faculty research undertaken in partnership with operations staff, students, public entities, community organizations, and industry.

Education and Outreach

The University shall promote educational and outreach activities that are linked to operational improvements and innovation principles. The University shall incorporate environmental education, management, and training into its objectives and practices.

Implementation

Administration

The University shall have sustainability goals that inform administrative policies and procedures in the areas of planning, decision-making, execution, assessment, reporting, and alignment. These policies and procedures shall rely on scientific analysis and support the efforts described in this policy and within the framework of an EMS.

Operations

The University shall develop specific sustainability objectives and targets in the areas of:

  • Athletics
  • Dining and Food Services
  • Housekeeping
  • Information Technology
  • Facility Services
  • Physical planning and development, including buildings and infrastructure
  • Purchasing
  • Transportation
  • Waste management

The University shall continually strive for environmental improvement across the entire range of its operations.

Annual Report

The Assistant Director of Sustainability and Special Projects and Director of Environmental Compliance, working with the University Sustainability Committee and EMS Team, shall prepare an annual report that shall be provided to the Executive Council for review. The final report will then be presented to the President of the University by July 1st of each year.

Accountability

As established by the Office of the President, the Assistant Director of Sustainability and Special Projects shall report to, and coordinate with, the Vice President for Information Technology and Dean of University Libraries. The Director of Environmental Compliance shall report through, and coordinate with, the office of the Executive Vice President and Provost.

The Assistant Director of Sustainability and Special Projects shall consult with the University Sustainability Committee to develop indicators and measures of success in the implementation of the principles outlined in this policy in consultation with appropriate faculty, staff, students, and experts in the broader community. In addition, the Director of Environmental Compliance will develop indicators and measures of success within the framework of an EMS.