UD SUSTAINABLE OPERATIONS
In our 2020 AASHE STARS Report, we reported for four subcategories within the overarching ‘Transportation’ category, and although transportation is not part of our seven E.C.O. Wheel categories, it has important implications for finance, waste, energy, JEDI, and education, and it is part of our Sustainability Plan. In AASHE STARS, the University of Delaware scored the following for the four Transportation subcategories:
- OP-15: Campus Fleet: 1.00 / 1.00.
- OP-16: Student Commute Modal Split: 1.72 / 2.00.
- OP-17: Employee Commute Modal Split: 0.62 / 2.00.
- OP-18: Support for Sustainable Transportation: 1.20 / 2.00.
FROM THE SUSTAINABILITY PLAN
About Electric Vehicles: As the market and demand for electric vehicles (EVs) continue to grow, UD will inevitably have to provide the proper infrastructure to support electric transportation. EVs provide a more environmentally friendly alternative to diesel and gas-fueled transportation that will help the UD decrease its carbon emissions.
Current State of Electric Vehicles: The University of Delaware has only 16 charging stations of which 9 are available to the public. The University is lacking in EV infrastructure and will not be able to keep up with the inevitable rise in demand for EV charging services as more people purchase electric vehicles. Additionally, academic institutions are starting to electrify their own transportation and busing systems through federal grants from the Department of Energy and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). The Delaware Authority of Regional Transit (DART) started electrifying their transportation through an FTA “Low or No Emissions” grant in 2017 (Delaware Business Now, 2017). UD is behind local and national efforts to electrify transportation.
About Bicycling & Pedestrian Travel: Biking and walking are sustainable forms of transportation that ultimately reduce carbon emissions and can lead to health benefits, decreased traffic congestion, and fewer vehicle-related deaths. Having the proper infrastructure to accommodate biking and on-foot travel is the key to encouraging more people to engage in sustainable travel.
Current State of Bicycling & Pedestrian Travel: UD has bike racks at most campus buildings and a relationship with the community-based bike shop called the Newark Bike Project. However, neither UD nor the City of Newark have a bikeshare program. A cooperative committee is actively examining the issue. Additionally, unlike other major universities, UD does not have a bicycle-friendliness rating from the League of American Bicyclists (LAB). LAB ranked Delaware 6th in bicycle friendless amongst 50 states and gave the City of Newark a Bronze ranking that is expected to increase to Silver by 2022. UD earning a LAB ranking of Silver would give us half a credit in the AASHE STARS Report’s “Sustainable Transportation” category.
- Develop a Sustainability Campus Master Plan.
- Develop a Transportation Master Plan.
- Develop a Blue Hen Sustainability Fund to provide a revolving fund for UD sustainability project.
- Engage a consultant to plan an electric vehicle transition.
- Make a commitment to purchasing 100% electric vehicles by 2030.
- Promote a bicycle-friendly community (bikeshare, bicycle lanes, LAB designation).