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Work underway to meet Sustainability Action Plan goals

In February of 2020, Boise State President Marlene Tromp created the Sustainability Governance Council. The council provides guidance and makes recommendations to university leadership regarding campus sustainability priorities. Since its creation, the council and its subcommittees, composed of faculty, staff and students, collected university data to submit their first report to the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System. The university received a silver rating in recognition of its sustainability achievements. The university will submit its next STARS report in 2024.

Based on the findings of the report, the Sustainability Governance Council worked to create a campus-wide sustainability action plan that prioritizes long-term goals and immediate objectives in the areas of academics and research, engagement, the built environment, transportation, waste management and events, and funding opportunities. This action plan is meant to guide the university as it works to meet the sustainability goals outlined for each working group, and the overarching goal of striving for carbon neutrality by no later than 2050.

Work is underway to meet the objectives of the plan in a number of areas across campus. In honor of Earth Week 2023, the working groups have provided updates on the important work underway in their respective areas. This work is ongoing and plan targets will evolve as metrics are defined and data collection improves.

Governance Council Updates

  • Academics and Research: The School of the Environment was created and two degree programs are pending; work is underway to create a sustainability pathway through University Foundations; Any lab on campus will soon be able to become “Green Labs Certified”
  • Built environment: The new residence hall is planned to be built to meet or exceed LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver designation; increased interest in geothermal energy use on campus with a strengthening of the partnership with the City of Boise; reworking and publishing of university design standards to include sustainability requirements from the design phase of all projects
  • Transportation: The university fleet has been reduced by roughly 20% since 2013; older, less efficient vehicles have been replaced by more efficient models; the fleet group is on track to meet or succeed target of a 30% electric fleet by 2030
  • Waste and events: A food digester in place at South Fork Market and ramping up to be in use at full capacity of 25 pounds/hour; Increased partnership with dining vendor, Chartwells, to measure waste reduction goals

Earth Week Events

A number of events have been planned on campus to celebrate Earth Week 2023. Visit the Campus Sustainability website for more information.

Arbor Day Celebration: 2-3 p.m., April 17, South Side of Driscoll Hall

Celebrate Boise State’s Tree Campus Higher Education Designation on campus and plant trees in honor of Arbor Day. Meet on the south side of Driscoll hall to celebrate Arbor Day with community partners, plant two trees and gain a better understanding of Boise State’s commitment to trees on campus. This event is open to the public.

Campus Sustainability Tour: 3-4 p.m., April 18, Meet at SUB Starbucks

The Sustainability Tour will explore the Boise State bee hives, solar panels, green energy sources and other sustainable features on campus. The tour will last approximately one hour. Signup in advance. This event is open to the public.

Boise State Earth Week: Discussing Solutions: 6-7:30 p.m., April 19, CI+D on the second floor of the library

This event will feature talks from Dr. Ethan Sims, St. Luke’s physician and founder of Idaho Clinicians for Climate and Health, and Jen Pierce, Boise State professor and founder of iCLEER (Idaho Climate Literacy Education, Engagement and Research), as well as student speakers. Appetizers will be provided. Please RSVP in advance. This event is open to the public.

Boise State Earth Week: Solving for Sustainability: 12-3:30 p.m., April 21, CI+D on the second floor of the library

This interactive event will allow students to connect with clubs and organizations on campus while exploring solution-focused approaches to environmental issues. This event is only open to the Boise State community.