Subject:    Sustainable Construction and College Operations
Guideline/Procedure for AR#: 3.09.001
Date Effective: 11/03/2009


To ensure that all current and proposed construction, renovation, maintenance, and operations support district-wide sustainability goals.


I.   Green Building Design

      New Buildings

  1. ACC will design and build all new buildings to a minimum standard equivalent to a LEED™ “Silver” rating or higher, whenever possible within the constraints of program needs and standard budget parameters.

  1. The measures required by this Policy Guideline will be incorporated into all new building projects submitted for budget approval after September 1, 2009.

      Building Renovations

  1. Any significant renovation projects involving existing buildings will also apply sustainability principles to the systems, components and portions of the building being renovated.  At Budget Approval, all renovation projects should include a listing of sustainable measures under consideration.

  1. Renovation of buildings that require 100% replacement of mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems and replacement of over 50% of all non-shell areas (interior walls, doors, floor coverings and ceiling systems) should at a minimum comply with an equivalent to a LEED™ “certified” rating whenever possible within the constraints of program needs and standard budget parameters.  

    3.       The green building requirements provided above will apply to the listed categories of renovations, receiving budget approval after September 1, 2009.


    1.    ACC will work with regulatory agencies and other entities to speed the development, approval, and implementation of products and technologies that improve energy efficiency and support sustainable design, construction, and operating practices.

    2.       ACC will incorporate the Green Building Design policy into existing facilities-related training programs, with the aim of promoting and maintaining the goals of the policy.

II.  Clean Energy Standard

  1. ACC will implement a district-wide portfolio approach to reduce consumption of non-renewable energy.  The portfolio will include a combination of energy efficiency projects, the incorporation of local renewable power measures for existing and new facilities and other energy measures with equivalent demonstrable effect on the environment and reduction in fossil fuel usage.  The appropriate mix of measures to be adopted within the portfolio will be determined under each of the individual campus master plans.

  1. ACC will strive to achieve procuring 20 percent of its electricity needs from renewable sources by 2020.

  1. With a goal of reducing district-wide non-renewable energy consumption, ACC will develop a strategic plan for implementing energy efficiency projects for existing buildings and infrastructure to include operational changes and the integration of best practices.  ACC will monitor industry progress in energy retrofits and implement appropriate technical improvements as they become available.  As with renewable energy projects, ACC will develop funding sources and establish a program for financing retrofit projects.  The initial goal for energy efficiency retrofit projects will be to reduce district-wide growth-adjusted energy consumption by 10 percent or more by 2015 from the year 2010 base consumption level.  ACC will strive to achieve even greater savings as additional potential is identified and funding becomes available.

  1. ACC will continuously evaluate the feasibility of other energy-saving measures with equivalent demonstrable effect on the environment and reduction in fossil fuel usage.

  1. ACC will develop a variety of funding sources and financing alternatives for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and clean energy projects that will enable ACC to be flexible in addressing its energy needs.

III. Climate Protection Practices

  1. With an overall goal of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions while maintaining enrollment accessibility for every eligible student, promoting community service and operating campus facilities more efficiently, by 2011 ACC will develop a plan to make appropriate reductions in GHG emissions to achieve climate neutrality and will implement that plan.

IV. Sustainable Transportation Practices

    Metrics and Benchmarking

  1.  In implementing a most efficient and effective economic and environmental strategy for ACC fleets, ACC shall implement practicable and cost-effective measures, including, but not necessarily limited to, the purchase of the cleanest and most efficient vehicles and replacement tires, the use of alternative fuels, and other conservation measures.

  1. ACC will strive to increase the number of low (PZEV) or zero-emission vehicles (ZEV) to 10% of total fleet by the year 2020 and/or to convert campus vehicles to 50% non-petroleum fuel by the year 2020.

  1.  ACC will work with regulatory agencies and other entities (e.g., regional transit agencies, air quality management districts) to speed the development, approval, and implementation of programs and technologies that support the goals of sustainable transportation as related to the increased use of biodiesel or other alternative fuel sources.  

    Transportation Programs

  1.  ACC  will continue to facilitate the sharing of best practices within ACC and among other educational institutions. 

    2.       ACC will implement a transportation demand management program encouraging the use of modes of transportation other than single occupant vehicles.  The program will be updated to reflect new opportunities. 

    3.       ACC will develop a mechanism for ongoing involvement of students in efforts toward achieving sustainable campus transportation. 

    4.       By September 1, 2009, ACC will implement a pre-tax transit pass program to facilitate the purchase of transit passes by ACC employees, or will establish a transit pass program for employees.  

    5.       ACC will strive to locate campuses and to plan the development of campuses to be easily accessible by transit, bicycle and pedestrian modes of transportation. 

    6.       ACC will pursue the introduction of ride-share programs at each campus for all eligible program participants, where available.  

    7.       ACC will engage in advocacy efforts with local transit districts to improve routes in order to better serve student and staff ridership.

    8.       ACC will use and expand existing technological infrastructure, including video/audio conferencing and virtual class capability to reduce staff and student travel between campuses and unnecessary commuting when feasible. 

    9.       ACC will develop policies regarding employee teleworking and alternative work schedules.

V.   Sustainable Operations and Maintenance

  1. For existing buildings, ACC will explore the development of a standard methodology for sustainable practices and standards for facilities management.

  1. For existing buildings, ACC will develop a plan to operate and maintain all buildings at a minimum standard equivalent to a LEED™ “Certified” rating.

  1. ACC will work closely with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) to address the needs and concerns of each campus in the further development of the LEED™ rating system.  As information and requirements are determined from the USGBC’s rating system; ACC will update this guideline as appropriate.

  1. ACC will phase in green housekeeping practice to meet LEED™ Green Cleaning Guidelines.

VI. Recycling and Waste Management

  1. In response to the City of Austin’s goal of “zero waste by 2040”, ACC voluntarily adopts the following waste diversion goals:

    A.  50% by September 1, 2020

    B.  7%% by September 1, 2030

    C.  Ultimate goal of zero waste by 2040

  1. ACC will develop a district-wide waste management plan by September 1, 2009.

  1. Waste reduction and recycling elements shall be integrated in Green Building Design and Sustainable Operation implementation goals and into campus operations as they are developed.

  1. ACC will work to develop funding sources for financing waste reduction projects.

VII. Environmental Preferable Purchasing Practices

      Sustainable Economy

  1. ACC will utilize its purchasing power and academic excellence to advance the development of sustainable technologies by pressing markets to continually improve resource productivity.  

    2.       For products and services that do not currently offer environmentally preferable alternatives, ACC will work with its existing and potential suppliers to develop options.  

    3.       “Cradle to cradle” is the preferred purchasing standard and is defined as accountable, responsible, and environmentally preferable supply chain management from material extraction, production, marketing, sale, use, disposal, collection, re-use and the web of closed loop cycles and processes.  

    4.       ACC will continue to transition all locations toward electronic and paperless processes and utilize web-based catalogs and programs.  

    5.       ACC will incorporate the credit requirements set forth by LEED™ (Leadership in Energy an Environmental Design) into product and service sourcing and procurement.

    6.       ACC will evaluate total cost of ownership including purchase price, operating cost, maintenance, collection and disposal, and recycling costs when selecting suppliers.

    Energy and Water

  1. For product categories that have ENERGY STAR© rated products available, ACC will focus its procurement efforts only on products with an ENERGY STAR© rating.  

    2.       For all electronic equipment, the supplier will deliver the items to ACC with energy efficiency and conservation features enabled.  

    3.       ACC shall establish an ongoing partnership with the ENERGY STAR© Program administered by the EPA, and continually press the market for greater energy efficiency for the products and services regularly purchased by ACC.  

    4.       For products and services requiring the use of water, ACC will give preference to technologies that ensure the efficient use of water resources.  

    Recycled Content

    1.       ACC will phase out the use of virgin paper and adopt a minimum standard of 30% Post Consumer Waste (PCW) recycled content paper for all office supplies.  

    2.       For uncut paper uses, including but not limited to janitorial supplies, ACC will adopt a standard of 100% PCW recycled content paper.  

    3.       ACC will utilize its strategic purchasing program to negotiate better pricing for commodities with recycled content as compared to commodities without recycled content.  

    4.       ACC will continually work towards increasing the procurement of products with high recycled content.  

    5.     Outside suppliers and consultants shall be encouraged to print proposals and reports on both sides, using recycled content paper or provided electronically.

    Reduction of Hazardous Electronic Waste

    1.       ACC will recycle all electronic waste in a responsible manner.

    Environmentally Responsible Packaging

    1.     Packaging for electronics products should be designed, produced, and managed in an environmentally sustainable manner.  

    2.     ACC will specify that all packing materials abide by at least one of, and preferably all of, the criteria listed below:  

            A.    Made from 100% post-consumer recycled materials and be recyclable, reusable, or  

            B.    Be non-toxic,

            C.    Be biodegradable,

            D.    Be produced with the minimum of resources and sized as small as possible, while still maintaining product protection during shipping.  Where feasible, packaging materials should be eliminated, if unnecessary.

    3.       ACC will work with its suppliers to ensure effective waste management and recycling programs are in place for all business operations.

    Effective Recycling and Manufacturer Take-Backs 

    1.       ACC will work to incorporate effective end-of-life recycling programs into each commodity as applicable.  

    2.       ACC will work with its suppliers to establish, re-use or recycling “take-backs” at no extra cost to ACC, and in compliance with environmental standards that abide by Federal, State, and local legislation regarding waste disposal.

    Supply Chain Environmental Responsibility 

    1.       ACC will encourage suppliers to demonstrate environmental stewardship through their Environmental Management Programs.

    Training and Annual Plan and Report 

    1.       ACC will incorporate the Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Policy into existing strategic sourcing and other training programs, with the aim of promoting and maintaining the goals of the policy.  ACC shall provide training seminars, supplier fairs, and workshops on purchasing environmentally preferred products and establish educational programs and materials for faculty, staff, and students.  

    2.       An annual plan and report shall be completed by the purchasing department to define their environmental purchasing plan and report their efforts.  

    3.       ACC will develop a program for sharing of best practices.  Such programs will include the orientation and training of College employees and students in all relevant aspects of sustainability. 

    4.       ACC will incorporate these Sustainable Operations Policy Guidelines into existing facilities-related training programs, with the aim of promoting and maintaining the goals of the Policy.


President/CEO:   Stephen B. Kinslow Date:  11/03/09