Year after year, Texas A&M University is nationally recognized for its sustainability efforts. From include solar-powered trash compactors, a community garden, a ride-sharing service and university vehicles that run on recycled cooking oil to more than 140 campus locations that collect and recycle 750 tons of material each year, the Aggies are committed to living green. However, the University wanted to build on their success and take their sustainability to the next level.
Texas A&M called on Gresham Smith to develop a comprehensive sustainability master plan. In partnership with public relations firm HCK2, we conducted research and a gap analysis before developing a master plan and an associated marketing plan. By creating an action plan to walk the talk, our team helped enhance the University’s existing sustainability programs and inspired additional innovative sustainability initiatives.
square feet of building space
tons of recycled material anually
Building a Solid FoundationBefore developing the sustainability master plan, our team researched 10 peer universities to learn about best practices, including innovative sustainability initiatives and management and reporting techniques. We also interviewed Texas A&M staff, faculty and students to learn more about the campus’ sustainability programs. After building a solid foundation for strategy and planning, we identified key components for the master plan and set sustainability goals with associated metrics.
12 Core Components
- Climate Change Management
- Purchasing Sustainable Goods and Services
- Energy Use Optimization
- Sustainable Food and Dining
- Water Resources Management
- Waste Management
- Sustainable Land Use
- Use of Green Building Practices
- Utilization of Alternative Transportation and Fuels
- Monitoring of Social and Economic Factors
- Education and Research
- Management and Funding Support
Putting the Plan into ActionFollowing our research and planning, we developed a sustainability definition for the University, as well as an associated logo and tagline. However, we knew that the success of the plan depended on active participation across the University and from surrounding community partners. Our team worked with Texas A&M to develop and education and outreach program, which included public relations, advertising, events, direct mail and interactive marketing.
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