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Administration, Development, and Planning


The University of Kansas seeks to take the cultural, economic, environmental and social impacts of decisions into account in a way that will balance the collective relationship between the campus community and our physical resources and will make the campus wholly sustainable.


Goal 1:  Integrate environmental, economic, and social sustainability in ongoing administrative, developmental, and institutional planning decisions

Objective 1.1:  Measure and report on progress towards sustainability goals

Campus leaders need access to sustainability data in order to make informed decisions.

Strategy 1.1.1:  Utilize KU STARS data to benchmark and measure progress toward sustainability goals for all aspects of campus activity -- including administration, operations, education, research, and campus life.

Strategy 1.1.2:  Publically link to KU's STARS report in order to provide access to all members of the community.

Strategy 1.1.3:  Continue to produce a publically available annual report on progress towards sustainability goals.


Objective 1.2: Integrate tenets of sustainability into all operational and physical development standards and plans

Creating a more sustainable campus will require a significant cultural change that supports new approaches to planning and operations.

Strategy 1.2.1:  Continue to prioritize sustainability as part of the KU Strategic Plan, Bold Aspirations.

Strategy 1.2.2:  Require all new and existing standards, plans, and policies to include an assessment of environmental, economic, and social impacts. Establish a regular review process to incorporate these elements

Strategy 1.2.3:  Identify opportunities to incorporate and consider sustainability on a larger systemic scale when approaching major campus development and organizational structure.


Objective 1.3:  Use sustainability as the foundation for setting budgets and evaluating financial expenditures

Current budgeting decisions do not always account for external costs and long-term impacts.  A shift in our financial planning will allow the University to better prepare for a more sustainable future.

Strategy 1.3.1:  Employ life-cycle analysis to evaluate the costs and benefits over the entire life of campus projects to move beyond short-term payback considerations

Strategy 1.3.2:  Employ “Triple Bottom Line” analysis to evaluate the environmental, economic, and social impacts of each project

Strategy 1.3.3:  Adopt realistic budgets for ongoing maintenance needs; increase maintenance budgets to keep pace with campus growth and development


Objective 1.4:  Create awareness of what sustainability means to lead to more informed decisions at all levels

A broad understanding of sustainability and how it applies to all aspects of campus administration, operations, and education will help campus leaders make informed decisions.

Strategy 1.4.1:  Require ongoing sustainability education for decision-makers, including senior administration, deans, and directors

Strategy 1.4.2:  Work with Human Resources to develop an informational session on sustainability at KU, available to faculty and staff online and face-to-face. 

Strategy 1.4.3:  Develop workshops focused on sustainability in the workplace for faculty and staff at all levels

Strategy 1.4.4:  Work with operations staff to ensure they are up-to-date on sustainability-related building policies


Goal 2:  Establish a work environment that supports professional and personal wellbeing

Objective 2.1:  Include a sustainability focus in recruiting and human resource management efforts at the campus and departmental levels

Emphasizing sustainability in the hiring process and in employee training will demonstrate to new and current faculty and staff that the university is committed to sustainable practices.

Strategy 2.1.1:  Maintain standards for sustainability in all job descriptions

Strategy 2.1.2:  Provide ongoing training for sustainability policies and initiatives

Strategy 2.1.3:  Implement fair wage standards that provide adequate resources for individuals to make sustainable choices about employment and have access to sustainable options outside of work

Strategy 2.1.4:  Continue the Ombudsman Program and other services to help provide equitable resolution to conflict encompassing a range of concerns related to social equity, employment and personal values


Objective 2.2:  Enhance resources that support employee mental and physical health

University employees are our greatest resource, and being attentive to their personal needs helps creates a healthy work environment.

Strategy 2.2.1:  Regularly assess employee satisfaction in reference to position responsibilities as well as sense of safety, access to services and support, and inclusion to the campus community.

Strategy 2.2.2: Review employee satisfaction assessments and develop and implement programs and initiatives that address emerging concerns.

Strategy 2.2.3:  Support employee wellness with options for individual choice and with resources and programs made available as institutional policy

Strategy 2.2.4: Assess issues of hunger and poverty amongst faculty and staff and promote resources available to help them meet their needs.


Goal 3:  Highlight, communicate and celebrate our sustainability efforts

Objective 3.1:  Engage students, faculty and staff in our current campus sustainability efforts

Engaging the campus community in our current sustainability efforts will help us to create a more sustainable campus culture.

Strategy 3.1.1:  Develop a sustainability “branding” campaign and communication strategy to increase visibility and cohesion of sustainability initiatives

Strategy 3.1.2:  Share real time, monthly and yearly information about energy and water usage, purchasing, waste and recycling generation and greenhouse gas emissions for buildings and the overall campus

Strategy 3.1.3:  Use instructive elements such as interpretive signage and interactive displays to inform the campus community about sustainable features and current efforts

Strategy 3.1.4:  Continue to promote the Sustainability Leadership Awards and expand to include a Green Office award and recognition in other categories as opportunities emerge

Strategy 3.1.5:  Recognize and promote individual and departmental sustainability efforts throughout the year by highlighting in social media, the Center website and other communications

Strategy 3.1.6:  Reexamine current and explore new employee engagement opportunities and programs in order maintain interest and relevance.

Strategy 3.1.7:  Incentivize participation in the Green Office Program


Objective 3.2:  Feature sustainability topics in campus print and digital and social media outlets

Communicating our current progress and celebrating our achievements not only motivates individuals on campus to participate in sustainability initiatives, but can serve as a recruiting mechanism for attracting new students, faculty, and donors with an interest in sustainability.

Strategy 3.2.1:  Expand efforts to feature stories about sustainability initiatives in internal and external University news and media.

Strategy 3.2.2:  Prioritize sustainability content in KU press releases

            Strategy 3.2.3:  Work with the KU Alumni and Endowment Associations to encourage                      coverage of sustainability efforts in their publications

Coronavirus Update

KU Recycling and KU Surplus have resumed services. As part of our efforts to reduce an on-campus presence and promote social distancing, we will continue to limit special collections that are not mission critical. For updated information on KU's response to COVID-19, visit protect.ku.edu

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