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UTS 169 Sustainability Practices

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Sec. 1 Purpose

The initiatives described in this policy are intended to provide the scope, direction, and expectations underlying U. T. System’s Policy on Sustainable Practices and to identify best practices to facilitate compliance with this policy.

Sec. 2 Principles

This policy confirms The Board of Regents of The University of Texas System commitment to stewardship of the environment and promotion of the principles of energy efficiency and sustainability.

Sec. 3 Policy Statement

The U. T. System’s commitment to energy savings goals, reductions in carbon emissions, and sustainable design is evident in existing practices, and the institutions will continue to implement well-thought-out initiatives that increase efficiencies, reduce emissions, and promote sustainability practices that contribute meaningfully to the environment, while still achieving excellence in higher education. The U. T. System’s decisions and actions regarding sustainability practices will be guided by its mission statement and will be reflective of budgetary constraints and legal, regulatory, and programmatic requirements, while continuing to further the missions of the institutions.

Sec. 4 Delegation of Authority

The Board of Regents has delegated authority to the Chancellor to promulgate policy promoting sustainable practices. The Chancellor has delegated authority  (a) to the Executive Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs to implement U. T. System policy regarding sustainability, and (b) to each institutional president to further define and implement measures for sustainable practices at the respective institutions, all within budgetary constraints and legal, regulatory, and programmatic requirements.

Sec. 5 Administration

The Executive Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs, in consultation with the presidents of the institutions, shall review and make recommendations to the Chancellor regarding the sustainability policy on an ongoing basis with the goal of integrating informed and evolving practices for sustainability. U. T. System will provide means for the ongoing participation of students, faculty, and administrators in further development of the Policy on Sustainability Practices.

Sec. 6 Institutional Policy

Each institution will develop a policy on sustainability in the institution’s master plan and its operations and maintenance practices and within budgetary constraints and legal, regulatory, and programmatic requirements.

Sec. 7 Energy and Water Efficiency Practices

7.1 Each institution will update Energy and Water Management Plans to reflect energy consumption reduction goals as of FY 2011 over the baseline levels established by the Energy Utility Task Force in 2001. The institutions will report annual progress on their Energy and Water Management Plans by means of the State Energy Conservation Office (SECO) template.

7.2 Any new capital or major renovation project will apply, as a minimum, the energy efficiency design and construction principles of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Standard 90.1 or the International Energy Conservation Code as established by SECO. The institution planning and design process will include consideration of life cycle cost along with other factors in the project planning and design process, recognizing the importance of long-term operations, maintenance, total cost of ownership of U. T. System facilities, budgetary constraints, and programmatic requirements. A measurement and verification plan will be prepared prior to the completion of construction of a new building or major renovation, directed toward establishing an energy service consumption baseline during the first 12 months of occupancy. Subsequent energy consumption audits every three years will document 20% variances to the baseline levels. Institutions will require rainwater and gray water harvesting systems for non-potable use for new buildings where practical and within program budgets.

Sec. 8 Alternative Energy Practices

With a goal of reducing U. T. System’s nonrenewable energy consumption, each institution will evaluate alternative energy designs for new major capital projects.

Sec. 9 Climate Protection Practices

Institutions will pursue the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, while maintaining enrollment accessibility for every eligible student, enhancing research, promoting community service, and operating campus facilities more efficiently.

Sec. 10 Sustainable Transportation Practices

To the extent practical, each institution will encourage and develop sustainable transportation practices such as carpooling, use of public transportation, use of fuel-efficient or alternative fuel fleet vehicles, flex schedules, and telecommuting.

Sec. 11 Waste and Recycling Management

Each institution will record and monitor annual waste and recycling quantities, implement procedures to reduce campus waste, and set a goal to increase campus recycling each year.

Sec. 12 Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Practices

Institutions will encourage suppliers to demonstrate environmental stewardship. Within the parameters of reasonable business justification and applicable laws and regulations, each institution will (a) utilize its purchasing power to advance the development of sustainable technologies; (b) evaluate the total cost of ownership, including purchase prices, operating costs, maintenance, collection, recycling, and disposal; and (c) encourage environmentally preferable practices when selecting suppliers.

Sec. 13 High Performance Buildings

Each institution will strive to achieve a high performance building comparable to a U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Certified rating or higher whenever possible, excluding laboratory and acute care and patient care facilities, within the constraints of program needs and budget parameters. U. T. System recognizes and commends the early leadership and accomplishments of LEED® as a green building certification program; however, that certification currently comes with a significant cost in documentation. Therefore, U. T. System strives for a high-performance building standard comparable to LEED® for new major capital projects. Money for certification documentation is better spent obtaining more energy-efficient building systems. Further study will be conducted before similar sustainable design policies for laboratory and acute care and/or patient care facilities are adopted.

Sec. 14 Sustainability Awareness and Training

Each institution will incorporate its policy on sustainability into applicable existing training programs.

Sec. 15 Curricula Integration

The institutions will strive for excellence in sustainability education by integrating sustainability concepts into curricula, increasing faculty and student awareness of sustainability issues, and producing graduates who will carry the mission of sustainability into the state, the nation, and the world.

Sec. 16 Endowment Transparency

The University of Texas / Texas A&M Investment Management Company shall disclose to the public information as required pursuant to Section 552.0225 of the Texas Government Code regarding “Right of Access to Investment Information” (private investment information) and the Texas Public Information Act.

Sec. 17 Student Involvement

U. T. System will support student participation in sustainability decision making, including the Sustainability Steering Committee. Each institution will support student volunteer programs to increase environmental awareness.

Sec. 18 Community Outreach

Institutions will share with outside communities the knowledge generated from sustainability research, education, and practices, with the goal of promoting a global culture of sustainability.

Sec. 19 Annual Plan and Reports

Institutions will complete an annual plan and report detailing the impact of the institution’s sustainability efforts. The report should address as a minimum those items in Sections 6 through 17 above. The institutions will maintain responsibility for determining the format and data for any additional report information to be submitted in the annual reports to the presidents.


Energy and Water Management Plan (EWMP) – a comprehensive plan prepared by a state agency or institution of higher education that includes a progress report of utility energy and water use reduction measures, goals for reducing utility consumption, a strategy and implementation schedule, a description of methods of financing improvements, and an employee awareness plan as outlined in Texas Administrative Code Title 34, Chapter 34, Sections 19.13 and 19.14.

Sustainability - meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Sustainability Practices - the physical development and institutional operating practices that meet the needs of present users without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Policy Details

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Dates Amended or Reviewed