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 Master Plan
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.
The Lehigh Univerity 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.
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.
Energy and Water Conservation Policy
A 2014 Energy and Water Conservation 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”).
Sustainable & Healthful Food Purchasing Policy
A 2021 Sustainable and Healthful Food Purchasing Policy written to establish a common interpretation of what Sustainable Procurement encompasses within Lehigh University and to ensure University personnel consider social and environmental responsibility as factors in their purchasing decisions.
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.
Sustainability Strategic Plan 2030
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. In early 2020, Lehigh University released a 2019 Progress Report which is a snapshot of the progress that has been made toward Lehigh's sustainability goals, as outlined in the Campus Sustainability Plan 2020. Lehigh’s Sustainability Strategic Plan 2030, released in October 2020, is an interdisciplinary and interdepartmental effort that establishes a long-term vision for sustainability with meaningful short and intermediate-term goals. The plan builds on a legacy of integrating financially prudent, just, and verdant practices into our administrative, academic, and operational processes.
- Climate Action
- Educational Experience
- Campus Operations
- Culture & Engagement
- Health & Wellness
- Focused Leadership
Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS)
The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating SystemTM (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 seventh report to STARS in February 2021, and received a gold rating for the first time. Click here to download a copy of the data submitted.
Summary of Lehigh's 2019-2020 STARS Report
Percentage of STARS Points for 2019-2020
Score Summary for 2019-2020
Highlights From Lehigh's 2019-2020 STARS Report
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.
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.
Operations - Lehigh can positively impact the campus environment as well as the surrounding community by managing relevant aspects of institutional operations.
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.