Campus Operations Goals

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From the built environment and land stewardship to waste, water, purchasing and connections and mobility, Lehigh continues to seek and embrace new and innovative ways to operate. In doing so, Lehigh will enhance its operational efficiencies, save money and increase the overall well-being of the university and community as a whole.

Connections and Mobility

Goal 1

**Install an electric bicycle hub on Asa Packer Campus by 2022. Assess additional locations and install additional hubs through 2030, as demand increases.

Goal 2

**Transition Transportation & Parking Services, LU Facilities, Housing Services and Athletics from cars and vans to electric golf carts by 2023 and transition LUPD and Lehigh Dining by 2025.

Goal 3

Fully implement each phase of the Bicycle Master Plan by 2030.

Goal 4

Assess autonomous vehicles for campus transit by 2025.

Goal 5

Increase the number of carpool permits sold by 100% by 2025 and 175% by 2030 by adding incentives including preferred and reserved parking.

Goal 6

Install two to three electric vehicle charging stations in the Goodman Commuter Lot by 2022 and three to five electric vehicle charging stations in residential lots by 2025. Work with departments to transition vehicle fleets to electric and add supporting infrastructure by 2025. Continue to assess charging capacity and install additional stations through 2030, as needed.

Goal 7

Establish a university Flexplace and Remote work policy to be enacted by the end of the current pandemic challenge that is expected to reduce Lehigh’s environmental footprint.

Goal 8

Conduct a one-year pilot using an asset monitoring technology for Lehigh’s campus fleet vehicles by 2022 to determine the correct size of the vehicle fleet and promote financial savings.


Goal 9

Provide education around circular economy procurement to the campus community by 2023 and implement additional sustainability business requirements into the majority of request for proposal (RFP) processes by 2022. Modify contract clauses to include sustainability for projects under $1M by 2025.

Goal 10

Update the Sustainable Purchasing Policy by 2021 to include actionable category-level sustainability criteria to enhance searching and compliance analysis.

Goal 11

Establish key sustainability target goals for percentage of spending across areas/categories (construction, IT, paper, food services, janitorial, operations & maintenance, etc.) by 2025 and continue to grow those target goals and expand into other commodity areas.

Goal 12

**Fully implement and enforce the Sustainable Purchasing Policy by 2025.

Goal 13

Reference sustainable purchasing requirements in Lehigh design standards by 2022.

Goal 14

Publicly report to EcoVadis by 2030.

Goal 15

Add sustainability initiatives/environmental stewardship programs as part of the vendor evaluation criteria for all RFPs by 2025.

Surplus Property

Goal 16

Expand Asa’s Attic and the surplus property program, including moving to a larger space, enhancing e-waste breakdown and establishing campus and public hours for browsing office supplies by 2023.


Goal 17

**Conduct a waste characterization study of a few key buildings in 2021 and implement a zero-waste pilot program in those buildings in 2022. Establish a taskforce and develop a broader campus zero-waste strategy by 2024 that outlines a roadmap to a zero-waste campus by 2030.

Goal 18

Develop a comprehensive plan to make all on-campus first-year orientation activities zero waste by 2025.

Goal 19

Pilot pre-consumer composting in the University Center by 2021 and pilot post-consumer composting by 2022. Expand to other locations based on results. Develop campus-wide composting by 2030.

Goal 20

Ensure all construction jobs including minor renovations (projects between $250K and $5M, where dumpsters are provided) achieve a minimum of 65% by 2022 and 85% by 2025 construction waste recycling. All major construction projects ($5M+) must comply with the waste diversion goals of LEED Silver or equivalent, or higher.

Goal 21

By 2022, develop an incentive program at the Lehigh Bookstore to encourage customers to opt-out of single use plastic bags. Completely eliminate single use plastic bags at the Lehigh bookstore by 2025.

Goal 22

Begin utilizing Leanpath's Waste Watch production waste tracking system across campus to reduce waste by 2022.

Goal 23

By 2022, create a working group to assist in developing a policy to eliminate single-use plastic water and soda bottles across campus. Complete the policy by 2024 and implement it by 2026, upon vendor contract renewal.

Goal 24

Develop a standard to eliminate single-use plastic materials in Lehigh Dining and Catering, retail, events and meetings by 2023. Implement the standard in phases by 2025.

Goal 25

Implement convenient, reusable eco-containers in applicable retail dining locations by 2025 to reduce waste.


Goal 26

Develop a Stormwater Management Plan (SMP) by the end of 2021 that identifies green infrastructure and low-impact development (LID) projects and provides guidelines for the design team to help mitigate stormwater runoff impacts and treat rainwater as a resource rather than as a waste product. Ensure alignment of the SMP with municipal, regional and state priorities. Implement the SMP recommendations in phases by 2030.

Goal 27

**Reduce university-wide water usage by 10% by 2025 from a FY2019 baseline, including process, irrigation and potable water usage. Reassess data in 2025 and establish additional metrics for 2030.

Built Environment

Goal 28

Utilize the shared research and work space in the Health, Science and Technology Building as a pilot model and implement in future new buildings and renovations.

Goal 29

Develop living and regenerative building design guidelines for application in each stage of design by 2025.

Goal 30

Develop standards to guide best design practices and provide metrics for assessing success for constructing and operating buildings in a sustainable and energy efficient manner to assist LU Facilities in meeting sustainability-related goals, standards and commitments by the end of 2021.

Goal 31

**Establish a fundamental shift in culture to be data-driven, and to utilize a central system for collecting and analyzing real-time utility data by 2030. Install more real-time meters and sub-system meters in existing buildings and new construction. Implement a dashboard to share all metering data with the campus community by 2022. Implement fault detection and diagnostics in the central plants, and determine where else to implement it by 2025.

Goal 32

**From an operations and maintenance standpoint, perform continuous commissioning of energy used in new campus buildings and retrofits in a sustainable way - collecting data, analyzing it and acting on it.

Goal 33

Utilize the following guiding principles for all campus building projects by 2025:

  • Treat capital projects as opportunities not to replace in kind
  • Adopt life-cycle thinking
  • Collect building data and share it
  • Build capacity in the community to affect change
  • Utilize a portion of buildings as a living laboratory
Goal 34

Develop a policy of assessment of embodied carbon as it relates to existing versus new construction for capital projects by 2021. Incorporate into standard design and construction processes by 2025.

Land Stewardship

Goal 35

**Develop a Forest Stewardship Plan by 2023 and implement it in phases by 2030.

Goal 36

Transition some of the current maintained lawn landscapes on Mountaintop Campus to native meadow landscapes by 2022 and use it as a pilot for future locations on campus.

Goal 37

Incorporate standards for innovative sustainable landscape management into the next landscape management RFP by 2024.

Goal 38

**Establish a campus farm on Goodman Campus in partnership with another organization(s) by 2030. Utilize the farm for both food production and for experimenting with cutting-edge regenerative agricultural approaches.

Goal 39

Develop an Integrated Pest Management plan by 2021 and implement in 100% of eligible areas.

Goal 40

Form a committee and apply for Tree Campus USA designation by 2022. Complete a baseline campus tree inventory by 2022 and repeat the inventory every five years.

Goal 41

Define a sustainability framework to guide real estate initiatives by 2022 and implement over the years.

Goal 42

Develop sustainability initiatives within the university's faculty, staff and graduate housing portfolio in 2021 and begin implementing each year.