Strategic Goals: Sustainability - West Chester University

Sustainability represents our commitment to responsibly use WCU environmental, social, and economic resources effectively and in innovative ways to support an enduring, healthy and safe university.

Goals, Outcomes & Initiatives

Goal S1: Strategically infuse and integrate sustainability education and practices across the University’s curricular, co-curricular, and operational pursuits.

  • Outcome S1-1: Complete an assessment and update of West Chester University’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) in Year 1 to document accomplishments, identify challenges, and set Year 2 & 3 priority policies, initiatives, and next steps consistent with the goals of the Climate Action Plan and attainment of AASHE STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System) Silver status.
    • Initiative S1-1-1: Publication and release of an update to WCU’s Climate Action Plan to identify specific and measurable steps to make additional significant reductions in carbon emissions.
      Identification of path to attainment of STARS Silver status by WCU’s Spring 2020 submission.
    • Initiative S1-2-2: Increase in on- and off-campus publicity and recognition of related WCU accomplishments to date: signage and programming denoting those accomplishments; poster campaigns denoting same; communications from the President’s Office touting WCU’s role as a leader in sustainability.
  • Outcome S1 - 2: Continuation and growth of sustainability workshops for students, faculty, and staff to develop leadership skills and curricular and campus resources that will help create a culture of sustainability on campus, drive implementation of other sustainability initiatives, and impact communities in the region, the Commonwealth, the nation and beyond.
    • Initiative S1-2-1: Increase the number of participants (faculty, staff, students) participating in workshops, pursuing Green Office Certifications (staff), and leading student initiatives (student).
  • Outcome S1 - 3: Develop/Implement Zero Waste Campus* Guidelines to promote reduction, reuse, and recycling of material and energy resources.
    • Initiative S1-3-1: Development and publication of WCU Zero Waste Guidelines (Year 1) which will include plans for incremental reductions in Years 2 & 3 of total tons of solid waste generated on campus (e.g., paper/printer usage, surplus property programs, etc.)
    • Initiative S1-3-2: Year 2 - Implementation of and marketing for student-led/research-driven programs for, e.g., reducing food insecurity while reducing food waste on campus; composting; advocating for more local food; ‘no plastic straws’ and ‘ban plastic bags’ campaigns. Year 3: Increase the number of student participants.

Goal S2: Promote the social wellbeing of students, faculty, and staff in equitable ways to support health, intellectual growth, and success.

  • Outcome S2-1: Complete development and implementation of a University-wide Wellness Network** committed to assessing and addressing the health and wellness needs of students at West Chester University.
    • Initiative S2-1-1: Completion of collection of baseline and follow-up data following launch of the Wellness Network during Year 1.
    • Initiative S2-1-2: Increased number of participants from Year 1 baseline by 10% in Years 2 and 3 in relevant programs, events, educational services, e.g.: “Well Week” activities; free nutritional counseling and physical activity assessment; sexual harassment/assault prevention training; the value of diversity and inclusion workshops; alumni mentoring programs; and initiatives to support students with financial need.
    • Initiative S2-1-3: Each year, increase the number of low-income, under-resourced, and “unaccompanied” students served by WCU’s Promise Program and state-level PA Promise that are aimed at giving social, financial and technological (i.e., sustainable) support to underrepresented groups.
  • Outcome S2-2: Promote a culture of sustainability at WCU that challenges and broadens our understanding of relationships interconnecting all earth’s systems, linked to the communities and ecosystems in Southeast PA and beyond.
    • Initiative S2-2-1: Produce 10 or more Student Sustainability Peer Educators*** via a Peer Educator program in Year 1 (with increases in both Years 2 & 3).
    • Initiative S2-2-2: Track and increase (by 10% each year) in the number of students, faculty and staff using active modes of transportation and engaging in outdoor experiential education opportunities**** and recreational activities with an emphasis on uses for the Gordon Natural Area (GNA) and WCU Gardens areas.
    • Initiative S2-2-3: Expose 500 students to carbon footprint education in Year 1, with year to year increases (Years 2 & 3)

Goal S3: Improve financial and technological productivity, efficiency, and effectiveness through innovative systems, processes, and behaviors.

  • Outcome S3-1: Development of guidelines and recommendations for information services and technologies to reduce energy and resource consumption on campus.
    • Initiative S3-1-1: Research and develop mechanisms to reliably track or estimate energy utilization attributable to Information Technology. Begin to establish baselines.
    • Initiative S3-1-2: With a baseline established in Year 1, by Year 2 achieve a ten percent reduction in energy utilization by implementing more modern and sustainable electronic methods for business processes and procedures around the University.
    • Initiative S3-1-3: By Year 2, repair or recycling of all electronic hardware, devices, and e-consumables on campus via E-stewards and/or R2-certification.
    • Initiative S3-1-4: Decrease printed page counts on campus by emphasizing paperless workflows in administrative and academic activities. For example, increase the number of multi-function printers that include scanning as an alternative to copying and faxing.
  • Outcome S3-2: Development of guidelines and recommendations that promotes the use of intelligent building systems and other technologies to ensure new building design and construction and existing building renovations meet high standards of sustainable energy and resources use.
    • Initiative S3-2-1: Use LEED standards to identify and address opportunities in all new construction and design for energy/resource reduction.
    • Initiative S3-2-2: Continue WCU’s commitment to GESA* and purchase of RECs.**
    • Initiative S3-2-3: Install metering, produce publications, marketing material, and communications from the President’s Office, for monitoring, assessment, for touting our accomplishments and aspirations.

* A Zero Waste Campus is defined as one that consistently diverts more than 90% of material from landfills and/or incinerators.

** This will be achieved by focusing on “Dimensions of Wellness” ( as an organizational model that includes Living Well, Identity and Cultural Wellness, Violence Prevention, Mental Wellbeing, and ATOD (alcohol, tobacco and other drugs prevention/awareness).

*** Sustainability Peer Educators educate students about solid waste and recycling, energy conservation and renewable energy, active and shared modes of transportation and carbon reduction, including education on the social justice implications of certain populations being disproportionately affected by pollution and climate change.

**** WCU is currently the only higher education institution in the state recognized as a Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics Partner (based on the minimum impact standards of our Outdoor Adventure Pursuits program).

* Guaranteed Energy Saving opportunities (

** Renewable Energy Certificates (

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