Draft recommendations published

View the ONE VCU Sustainability draft recommendations here

Developing the

ONE VCU Sustainability Plan logo

A roadmap for achieving meaningful and impactful environmental sustainability goals at VCU and VCU Health

The United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development defines sustainability as “the ability to serve the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” As a nationally prominent institution known for shaping and impacting human health, VCU’s role in developing sustainable solutions is vital and affects not only the natural environment, but human health, health equity and economic vitality. 

The development of our first ONE VCU Sustainability Plan will identify a path forward for VCU and VCU Health to interconnect these complex issues in order to sustainably deliver on our mission as well as support the well-being of future generations. Our charge is to create a plan that reflects our aspiration, while recognizing the scale of our challenges. 

This website will continue to be updated throughout the process to capture information about the process, our progress and opportunities for engagement. 

Guiding principles

The guiding principles below, developed by the ONE VCU Sustainability Plan team, serve as a framework guiding the process for developing the ONE VCU Sustainability Plan. As the plan progresses, these guiding principles are subject to change. 

  • Collaborative. Inclusive engagement from the VCU and VCU Health communities.
  • Strategic. Align goals with Quest 2028.
  • Evidence-based. Research, data and science driven priorities and recommendations.  
  • Local and global impact. Carefully consider how our plan impacts our mission, local communities, the nation and the world.
  • Meaningful and achievable. Prioritized initiatives and commitments based on impact and feasibility.
  • Transparent. Communicate openly and often through communications and engagement opportunities.

If you have feedback about these guiding principles, other aspects of the project, or sustainability as a whole at VCU, we'd love to hear from you.

We want to hear from you!

While the ONE VCU Sustainability Plan draft recommendations have been published, we will continue to seek feedback about how the university and health system can continue to prioritize sustainable action in operations, administration, research and academics. 

Learn more and share your feedback

Blog posts

Celebrating Earth Month

April 12, 2024

The first Earth Day in the U.S. was held in 1970 and mobilized 20 million Americans to demonstrate and advocate for environmental and public health protections that year. Over the past 54 years, Earth Day has grown into “Earth Month,” and throughout the month of April, people around the world can participate in environmentally-friendly activities and actions. Read more.

Yellow flowers in the foreground

Seeking feedback on the ONE VCU Sustainability Plan draft recommendations

February 20, 2024

We’re seeking feedback from the VCU community and the public on our draft recommendations that will form the foundation of the ONE VCU Sustainability Plan. Learn more and share your feedback.

James River with trees growing in the middle of the river

Synthetic fibers in the fashion industry: Unraveling environmental impact and the shift toward sustainable clothing

December 7, 2023

In a world where trends change faster than the seasons, fast fashion has become a dominant force in the global clothing industry. It offers consumers the latest styles at affordable prices, but there's a hidden cost that extends far beyond our wardrobes. Read more.

Clothing hanging on hangers on a rack

Current sustainability achievements and initiatives

STARS Gold Rating

In 2021, VCU received a STARS Gold Rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. STARS measures sustainability achievements in academics, engagement, operations, planning and administration, and innovation and leadership. 

STARS Gold seal

22 LEED certified buildings

VCU and VCU Health have 22 LEED certified buildings, an independent verification of a building’s green features, allowing for the design, construction, operations and maintenance of resource-efficient, high-performing, healthy and cost-effective buildings.

Facade of ICA at night

Alternative Transportation Program

The alternative transportation program is designed to reduce single-occupancy vehicles use on campus, decrease the demand for parking, and increase savings for students, employees and the environment. Highlights include RamBikes; unlimited local transportation access via GRTC; and more.

Bikes in front a wall with drawings