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14.01.01 – Campus Sustainability

Section: Campus Sustainability

Area: Sustainability - General

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Universities are charged with educating the next generation of decision makers and finding solutions to complex issues through research. The University of Houston commits to defining sustainability, measuring sustainability performance, and translating these measurements into a comprehensive strategy for university sustainability improvements.


This policy outlines the framework for sustainability at the University of Houston and defines the roles and responsibilities of the Campus Sustainability Committee (CSC). The mission of the CSC is to foster a culture of sustainability that guides scholarship and operations, advances social and environmental excellence and positions University of Houston as a Top 50 public university.


A. AVC/AVP: Assistant Vice Chancellor/Assistant Vice President

B. Sr. AVC/AVP: Senior Associate Vice Chancellor/Associate Vice President

C. Campus Master Plan: A long-term planning document that guides the future growth and development of the campus.

D. AASHE: Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.

E. STARS: Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating System, which is sponsored by AASHE.

F. Facilities/Construction Management (F/CM): A department of the Administration and Finance (A&F) division that includes Facilities Services, Facilities Planning & Construction, and Facilities Business Operations & Compliance.

G. Facilities Planning: A unit within the Facilities/Construction Management Department.

H. Office of Sustainability: A group within Facilities Planning.

I. Sustainability Coordinator: An employee of Facilities Planning.

J. University Architect: An employee of Facilities Planning.

K. Gap Analysis: A study of the University of Houston STARS report completed by the Office of Sustainability and Campus Sustainability Committee. The analysis identifies unearned credits and key strategies to improve underperforming areas.

L. LEED: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. A broadly accepted rating system that measures performance in new construction, renovation, building operations and maintenance.

M. Quorum: 51% representation of the CSC Membership.


A. The CSC will collectively establish university sustainability goals across the five major sustainability categories established in STARS:

1. Academics, which includes 11 metrics in Curriculum and Research;

2. Engagement, which includes 15 metrics that reflect Campus and Public Engagement;

3. Operations, which incorporates 22 metrics across Air & Climate, Buildings, Energy, Food & Dining, Grounds, Purchasing, Transportation, Waste and Water;

4. Planning & Administration, which uses 15 metrics to assess Sustainability Coordination & Planning, Diversity and Affordability, Investment & Finance, and Well-being & Work;

5. Innovation & Leadership, which recognizes innovative or exemplary performance in a broad range of areas, including Dining, Green Cleaning, Green Labs and many other programs.

B. CSC Membership

1. The CSC will consist of the following representatives:

a. Senior AVC/AVP of Facilities/Construction Management

b. AVC/AVP of Facilities Planning

c. AVP of Facilities Services

d. University Architect

e. Representative appointed by University Advancement

f. Representative appointed by Athletics

g. Representative appointed by Auxiliary Services

h. Representative appointed by the Division of Research

i. Representative appointed by Human Resources

j. Representative appointed by the Office of the Provost

k. Representative appointed by the Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Services

l. Representative appointed by the Division of Energy and Innovation

m. Representative appointed by University Marketing and Communications

n. Representative appointed by Faculty Senate*

o. Representative appointed by Staff Council*

p. Representative appointed by Student Government Association*

*Serves a one-year appointment. Schedule of attendance is based on the UH Fiscal Year. Renewal appointments are acceptable.

2. Supporting Ex-Officio committee members:

a. Sustainability Coordinator – Facilities Planning

3. The chair will be the AVC/AVP of Facilities Planning.

C. CSC Meeting Criteria

1. The CSC will meet quarterly.

2. Committee members will serve three-year terms, except Faculty Senate, Staff Council and Student Government representatives, who will serve one-year terms.

3. If a member is absent for two or more meetings during a fiscal year, the CSC chair may ask the department or organization to provide a replacement representative.

4. A committee member may delegate a representative from the same department or organization to attend a meeting in the member's absence.


A. The CSC will use STARS as the framework for evaluating and tracking University sustainability initiatives.

B. The Office of Sustainability will analyze the STARS report and identify strengths and weaknesses in each STARS sustainability category. The analysis will include benchmarking against "Top 50" public universities that participate in STARS.

C. Committee members will perform similar "gap analyses" to understand their department's sustainability strengths and weaknesses and identify specific opportunities for improvement.

D. The CSC will discuss and agree on sustainability initiatives recommended by committee members and their respective departments. The CSC will consider initiatives in the context of state, city and campus sustainability priorities, including LEED construction, renovation, operations and maintenance goals.

E. Committee members will be responsible for championing approved STARS sustainability goals and initiatives for their respective departments.

F. Committee members will be responsible for regularly tracking and reporting on approved sustainability goals and initiatives for their respective departments.

G. Committee members will use the STARS online tool for reporting sustainability metrics on an interim and triennial basis.

H. The Office of Sustainability will coordinate and review draft STARS credit reports prepared by committee members prior to submittal to AASHE. STARS reports will be submitted every three years.

I. The Office of Sustainability and the committee member from Marketing and Communications will collaborate to publicize information about campus sustainability initiatives and triennial STARS ratings on behalf of the CSC.

J. The CSC may also review and advise on campus sustainability policies or other strategic plan and administrative documents relating to sustainability. 


Issued: 01/13/2010
Last Reviewed/Revised: 03/24/2023
Responsible Office(s): Facilities/Construction Management