Over the summers of 2004 and 2005, UTM worked on completing a Campus Sustainability Assessment (CSA), which attempts to measure the sustainability of the institution as a whole. UTM is undertaking this project as a part of the Sierra Youth Coalition's "Sustainable Campuses Project". UTM's campus sustainability assessment uses the Sierra Youth Coalition's framework, appropriately titled 'Campus Sustainability Assessment Framework'. As illustrated by the "sustainability egg" below, this framework is divided into two main sections: The People section, which considers the social and economic aspects of sustainability, and the Ecosystem section, which considers the environmental aspects of sustainability. The two sections are each divided into five sub-sections. Each sub-section is comprised of several indicators. Each indicator measures a particular aspect of sustainability. There are over 170 indicators in total.
Campus sustainability assessments aim to give a complete, holistic view of a campus' state of sustainability by considering all three aspects of sustainability: social, economic, and environmental. The data is collected through meetings with administrators, but the size and scope of the framework can be intimidating to both researchers and administrators. Most of the indicators are quantitative with a two-tiered benchmarking system (short- and long-term goals), however, so completing indicators is straightforward and the measure of sustainability is thorough. Because the CSA represents an ideal of a sustainable school, much of the data required to complete it is not initially available in administrative records. Also, the wording and definitions of the indicators are vague, adding to the difficulty of ascertaining the proper data required. Overall, the CSA's main strength is its holistic streamlined approach, but its daunting size is also the major weakness of its application.
It was decided that the Ecosystem section of the framework should be the main focus of the summer of 2004. Similar to the CSA initiative of the EFA, the CSA of 2004 was meant to assess what data were available and how well the metric performed as a measure of UTM's dynamic consumption in this time of unprecedented growth. The report can be found in the Progress Reports part of this site.
In the summer of 2005, work continued on the assessment. The main focus was to gather more data for the Ecosystem section. A detailed list of the indicators that were completed, their short-term and long-term benchmarks, and UTM's score, is given in the report found in the Progress Reports section, along with the assessment.
Please see Research for more information.