The University of Oregon established a comprehensive environmental policy in 1997 that identified key areas for environmental stewardship. Among these are a commitment to responsible purchasing, efficient resource usage, minimizing solid and hazardous waste production, and sustainable campus planning and design. In 2011 the Office of Sustainability, with input from the Environmental Issues Committee, reviewed and recommended major updates to the policy. We then worked with unit heads, UO Legal Counsel, Vice President for Finance and Administration, and the university senate on further refinements. The updated environmental policy, signed by President Gottfredson in April 2014, establishes the following seven guiding principles:
The University will endeavor to minimize environmental impacts associated with the construction and operation of campus buildings and grounds through careful attention to environmental performance standards in design and construction.
Work plan: Oregon Model for Sustainable Development
The University will monitor, report, and strive to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.
Work plan: Climate Action Plan
The University will support alternatives to commuting by single occupancy vehicles and encourage students, employees and guests to use alternatives that minimize environmental impact.
Work plan: Transportation Services - Strategic Plan
The University will strive to obtain “best value” by balancing, as both appropriate and permissible, life cycle costs and social and environmental impacts when purchasing goods and services. Where both appropriate and permissible, the University will write specific purchasing policies to guide decision-making on frequently purchased items.
Work plan: Purchasing
The University will establish and maintain programs that minimize solid waste (including food waste) through reduction, reuse, and recycling.
Work plan: Coming soon
The University will minimize the use of hazardous materials when possible while recognizing the necessity of some hazardous materials for research, teaching, and operations. The University supports environmentally responsible management and disposal of hazardous material.
Work plan: Management plan
The Vice President of Finance and Administration and CFO will delegate responsibility for drafting plans responding to these guidelines to the appropriate units in her portfolio. The Office of Sustainability will support this important work, report on progress, and conduct future reviews of the policy as needed.