Sustainability
Where Passion Meets Grit

Commitments

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Lehigh students, faculty, and staff are the makers of tomorrow and are built to tackle tomorrow’s challenges.  As an institution, we recognize problems as opportunities and create valuable solutions. In this vein, Lehigh has made a number of commitments to implement changes that impact the campus community and the broader world. These commitments help bolster Lehigh’s reputation of being one of the most innovative and forward thinking universities in the nation.  

At a Glance

Campus Commitment BTN

Campus Master Plan

Campus Master Plan
A 2012 document that describes the University's physical footprint as a manifestation of its expanding intellectual footprint.

A campus master plan is a physical manifestation of a university's strategic plan. It is a road map for the future of a campus, and becomes a crucial tool in confirming that short-term projects are working in conjunction with long-term plans and goals. Without it, each decision made about a campus' facilities -- from new buildings to renovations to infrastructure improvements -- is made in isolation, without a bigger vision in mind. To read more about Lehigh's ambitious 2012 Campus Master Plan, please view the: Campus Master Plan Summary or the full Campus Master Plan.

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Climate Commitment

Climate Commitment
A 2009 document that pledges to make environmental sustainability and climate change an institutional priority.

The Lehigh University Climate Commitment creates institutional policies and procedures to manage the development and implementation of a university-wide plan that affirms Lehigh’s commitment to protect and improve the environment through its teaching, research, faculty, student and staff service, and administrative operations.  Through the Climate Commitment, Lehigh pledges to make environmental issues part of its overall mission.

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Diversity Commitments

Diversity Commitment

A series of commitments including The Principles of Our Equitable Community, a list of nine core principles that serve as the foundation of our university community.

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Energy Policy

Energy Policy

A 2014 Energy Policy document that outlines how Lehigh will reduce energy consumption and energy-related greenhouse gas emissions on its campuses through infrastructural and technical strategies as well as everyday efforts of students, faculty, staff, and university visitors (the “university community”).

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Strategic Plan

Strategic Plan
A 2009 document that calls for the transformation of the University through the advancement of its intellectual footprint.

The Strategic Plan provides opportunities for all faculty, staff, and students to capitalize on their strengths and maximize their skills. The plan is thus about people and culture, and enhancing our roles and work to amplify our mission of teaching, research, and service. We will transform our campus culture as we reshape our university's identity. 

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Campus Sustainability Plan 2020

Campus Sustainability Plan 2020
A 2016 document that advances the integration of environmental stewardship, social equity, and economic responsibility into our intellectual footprint.

In April 2012, Lehigh University adopted its first Campus Sustainability Plan.  In May 2016, Lehigh adopted its Campus Sustainability Plan 2020 to advance the integration of environmental stewardship, social equity, and economic responsibility into our intellectual footprint.  Lehigh’s Sustainability Plan is an interdisciplinary and interdepartmental effort that establishes a long-term vision for sustainability with meaningful short and intermediate-term goals. The plan builds upon our past accomplishments and continues to support the university’s goal of integrating sustainability into our administrative, academic and operational processes.

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Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS)

STARS
A self reporting and rating system about the University's sustainability performance.

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a self-reporting tracking and rating system for sustainability performance at colleges and universities.  Colleges and universities reporting to STARS can earn credits and points to achieve bronze, silver, gold, or platinum rating by demonstrating efforts in sustainability in four major categories: Academics, Engagement, Operations, and Planning & Administration.  Lehigh submitted its fourth report to STARS in May 2018, and received a silver rating.

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Highlights From Lehigh's 2018 STARS Report:
Academic Experience

Academic Experience - Faculty, staff, and students utilize the campus as a living laboratory to identify opportunities and apply innovative approaches to reach ambitious goals.  Lehigh is also actively coordinating and integrating sustainability education and communication in the classroom.

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Engagement

Engagement - Students seek to enrich their academic experience by deepening their understanding of current topics while also embodying this knowledge in their daily life. Lehigh identifies sustainability issues as highly relevant in today’s society and promotes learning opportunities through a series of co-curricular activities.

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Operations

Operations - Lehigh can positively impact the campus environment as well as the surrounding community by managing relevant aspects of institutional operations.

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Planning & Administration

Planning & Administration - By dedicating full time staff members to developing sustainable governance goals, we foster diversity and equity in an inclusive community, where all students and faculty can participate in a governance body.

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View Lehigh's Full 2018 STARS Report Here.