Metrics & Audits
Sustainability requires that we measure and monitor our performance to improve in each of the environmental focus areas. Many different metrics can be used to assess the University.
The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) has created a self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance called Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS). Loyola submitted our application to receive a STARS rating in early 2013. Loyola was awarded a Gold rating in 2014. See the full report: 2014 LUC STARS Gold Report.
In addition, the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities has collaborated with other Catholic groups to produce a guide for integrating sustainability into higher education, while grounding this process in the Catholic mission and identity. The result is the Sustainability and Catholic Higher Education: A Toolkit for Mission Integration.
Greenhouse Gas Inventories
Loyola tracks our GHG as a part of the Climate Commitment, a program of Second Nature. In December 2012, Loyola completed Greenhouse Gas Inventories for 2008 and 2011 (Fiscal Year), and has updated inventories each year since. Loyola is committed to reducing its carbon footprint to address climate change, one of the most important issues of our time. Download full copies of the Greenhouse Gas Inventory and Narrative reports.
In February, 2012, we surveyed Loyola faculty and staff on alternative transportation with the MPC Commuter Options Survey administered by the Metropolitan Planning Council. They found that 64% of LSC employees live within a five mile radius of that campus, and nearly 60% use an alternative to driving alone when commuting to work. A 2013 Loyola Commuter Survey of faculty and staff was conducted by MPC, showing a 6.2% reduction in single occupancy vehicle driving as the primary commuting mode.
2012 Pre-Survey Primary Commute Mode
2013 Post Survey Primary Commute Mode
In May and June of 2012, the Office of Sustainability distributed a survey through the Pulse Survey on the broader topics of sustainability to help assess knowledge and understanding at Loyola. The environmental focus areas addressed in this survey include energy, waste, water, transportation, food, biodiversity and climate change. Survey results will help inform the strategic planning process in the Fall of 2012 through Spring 2013. The Pulse Summary and the Pulse Full Report are available.
Electric and Natural Gas Use Intensity
In addition, many internal metrics are regularly tracked to enable Loyola to react to problem areas and display our successes back to the University. This graph shows the reduction in electric and natural gas energy use on the Lake Shore Campus from 2001 to 2010, with projections for 2014 of a 70% overall reduction.
Waste Diversion, Compost and Recycling
The following graph displays the total rate of recycling on the Water Tower and Lake Shore Campuses combined. In the past 5 years, we have achieved a consistent improvement in the percentage of our waste stream that is diverted from the landfill. See the detailed charts (Recycling Results Poster) tracking waste diversion since our recycling program started in 2008.
Local and Sustainable Food Procurement
The Chicagoland Network for Sustainability in Higher Education produced the 2013 Local and Sustainable Food Report, defining and documenting local and sustainable food.
Read the report here: 2014 Chicagoland Network for Sustainability in Higher Education Report
The percentage of food that Aramark purchases campus wide that is considered local is over 38–30.5%. This number is made up of 9.8% of locally grown/raised foods, 12.1% of locally produced and 8.6% locally processed foods. Their goal is to increase the totals by 5% per year. In 2013, Aramark opened Engrained Café in the School of Environmental Sustainability, a sustainable café on campus. As of September 2013, the café purchased over 80% local produce, 100% of local fish, eggs, cheese, chicken, and pork, 100% locally processed baked goods and coffee service.