Company leverages experience working with Higher Ed institutions on carbon emissions benchmarking to roll out portfolio of services that support campus sustainability initiatives
GUILFORD, Conn., June 29, 2016 — Sightlines, a Gordian company, and a leader in facilities intelligence and analysis for higher education institutions, today announced the launch of a new suite of services to help colleges and universities develop, execute and report on their environmental sustainability programs.
Sightlines’ sustainability solutions build on the company’s expertise in facilities benchmarking and metrics, while effectively responding to the growing emphasis placed on campus sustainability initiatives at higher education institutions.
More than 500 colleges and universities have signed the Carbon Commitment, an initiative from the non-profit organization Second Nature focused on reducing Greenhouse Gas emissions and achieving carbon neutrality.
“Whether it is the reduction of carbon footprints or the promotion of recycling and waste distribution programs, today’s higher ed institutions are placing a higher priority on the promotion of environmental sustainability on their campuses,” said Mark Schiff, president of Sightlines. “This has forced sustainability professionals to fill a number of roles at once, many of which divert their attention from their core mission of implementing initiatives. Our portfolio of sustainability solutions is designed to alleviate that burden on campus employees.”
There are three core offerings within Sightlines’ new suite of sustainability solutions:
Sustainability Benchmarking & Analysis
A Sightlines team is assigned to perform a sustainability diagnostic assessment and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) inventory of the campus. Using the highly regarded Clean Air-Cool Planet reporting standards, Sightlines collects data and then provides more than 100 metrics related to GHG emissions, energy and water use, commuting, waste and recycling, construction and more.
The Sightlines professionals engage various departments on campus to collect sustainability data, load that data into the official format for AASHE’s “STARS” reporting, then work with the campus sustainability team to prepare the final report for submission. AASHE was established in 2005 to strengthen campus sustainability efforts in North America and the association gauges these efforts using the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS), a voluntary system that allows different colleges and universities to report trends and track their sustainability efforts. Five different STARS ratings ― platinum, gold, silver, bronze and reporter ― may be awarded. In addition, STARS serves as the basis for the publicly available Princeton Review and Sierra Club college rankings.
A Sightlines team of campus facilities experts works with the sustainability professionals to lay out a strategic vision for the next five years. This service helps keep institutions focused on their sustainability mission by using credible forecasting to show the current trajectory of campus emissions, harnessing the most detailed benchmarking available to create realistic emissions reduction targets and developing mitigation strategies to achieve those specific goals. The final plan includes a timeline for each key element of the five-year plan, an assignment of a responsible person for each initiative and a formal published report that can be shared with campus executives or trustees.
“Through the completion of nearly 500 operational sustainability analyses and carbon emissions inventories, Sightlines has helped facilities leaders and sustainability professionals to properly quantify and report on their environmental stewardship,” said Schiff. “We’ve put this experience to work in the creation of these new service offerings so that institutions can achieve more consistent and accurate results, as well as free up their full-time staff to guide institutional policy and direct overall strategy.”