Sustainability Plan

The VCU Office of Sustainability is excited to announce the publication of it's first ever Sustainability Plan! This Plan is intended to serve as a road map to achieving sustainability goals at VCU over the next three to five years. Each Sustainability Committee Sub-Committee (Operations, Community Engagement, Planning and Administration, and Academics) drafted goals, action items, and timelines specific to their focus that were incorporated into this Plan. As a living document, the Sustainability Plan is flexible and is designed to be adaptable to changes in the Univiersity's climate.   

VCU Sustainability Plan


In 2017 the Office of Sustainability completed a Progress Report to update the community on the completed goals of the Sustainability Plan. Below is a link to download the Progress Report. 

Sustainability Plan Progress Report



Presidents Climate Commitment

In April 2008, then-VCU President Eugene P. Trani signed the American Colleges and Universities Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), joining more than 650 college and university presidents in addressing global warming by committing to initiatives that neutralize greenhouse gases emitted on their campuses as a precursor to developing an institutional climate action plan for becoming carbon-neutral and having no net GHG emissions, a goal VCU is striving to reach by 2050. Visit ACUPCC for more information.

Climate Action Plan

In response to signing onto the ACUPCC, VCU drafted its first Climate Action Plan in 2010.  The ACUPCC recommends that a Climate Action Plan should typically institute such polices and standards as:

  • Adopting green architectural and construction standards (LEED) for all new buildings;
  • Requiring ENERGY STAR certification for appliances and products purchased by the university;
  • Encouraging the use of public or alternate transportation to reduce commuter driving by faculty, staff and students;
  • Conserving water and maintaining its quality;
  • Minimizing waste generated on campus and conducting comprehensive recycling of existing waste;
  • Expanding research in areas that will lead to climate neutrality;
  • Making climate neutrality and sustainability a part of the curriculum and other educational experiences for all students; and
  • Modeling sustainability to surrounding local communities.

For more information, see VCU's full Climate Action Plan.

GHG emission summaries

In response to signing onto the ACUPCC, VCU has completed comprehensive GHG inventories every year since 2008.  Please note: the 2008 GHG inventory serves as the baseline to reducing GHG emissions.  You can view our GHG inventories below:

STARS Reports

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating SYSTEM (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.  STARS is designed to:

  • Provide a framework for understanding sustainability in all sectors of higher education.
  • Enable meaningful comparisons over time and across institutions using a common set of measurements developed with broad participation from the international campus sustainability community.
  • Create incentives for continual improvement toward sustainability.
  • Facilitate information sharing about higher education sustainability practices and performance.
  • Build a stronger, more diverse campus sustainability community.

VCU completed our first STARS submission in July 2012.

VCU completed our second STARS submission in July 2015, using version 2.0.

VCU completed our third, and most recent, STARS submission in March 2018, using version 2.1.