City of Richmond & VCU Sustainability Plan Shared Goals

The City of Richmond and VCU both have Sustainability Plans, which seek to improve sustainability within VCU and Richmond. Since VCU is such a big part of Richmond, both plans have similar focus areas and goals. Below are summaries of the shared goals and areas where VCU and Richmond can support each other to further the sustainability goals of the community.


Click on the links below to download each of the plans. 

City of Richmond Sustainability Plan 

VCU Sustainability Plan

Water Conservation and Stormwater Management

Virginia Commonwealth University

Goal 7.1, Reduce Water Consumption

Upgrade water fixtures in all areas where appropriate to conserve water by end of FY20. In partnership with the Planning and Administration subcommittee develop and implement education programs for faculty, staff and students to increase water conservation by end of FY16.

Goal 8.1, Reduce water requiring treatment

Through a feasibility study, develop a stormwater management plan that reduces the impact on the James River watershed. Investigate increased use of native plants and sustainable grounds management where feasible. 


Richmond City

Goal 3.1, Use stormwater BMPs in new construction, project work, and maintenance of outdoor environment 

Use stormwater BMPs in new construction, project work, and maintenance of outdoor environment While the City and other entities have already recognized the importance of using best management practices to reduce stormwater runoff, the City and other commercial and institutional entities should build on its stormwater management plan to adopt formal policies that require the use of stormwater BMPs (such as Low-Impact Development) in all operations and construction projects, including those done internally and through contracted work. 

Through this initiative, the City of Richmond would establish requirements for new development in the city, through permitting or other regulations, requiring a certain percentage of surface area be green space or permeable...The City’s Department of Planning and Development Review should implement a requirement through the Development Review process that requires any new development to include a certain percentage of the surface area be permeable, or alternatively caps the percentage of impermeable surface area. The regulation of impermeable surface area can be handled in various ways – through both zoning and permitting. Zoning regulations can be updated to change the requirements for parking spaces/parking area, setbacks, size of streets, sidewalk requirements, etc. to minimize the amount of paved land. It will be essential to link any land use requirements to overall planning goals for impermeable cover throughout the city. This should be a low-cost measure for the City. It will require staff time on the part of the Planning Commission and or Planning and Development Review department to evaluate and update regulations, get them adopted formally by the City, and to educate the community on the changes made.

Alternative Fueled Vehicles

Virginia Commonwealth University

Goal 14.6, Reduce unnecessary vehicle usage at VCU university-wide

Continue to work to infuse alternative fuel vehicles into the university fleet


Richmond City

Goal 2.1, Adopt a green fleet policy

Adopt a green fleet policy The City should adopt a policy that leads to increased use of alternative fueled vehicles, such as electric vehicles or compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles. In addition to promoting a cleaner environment and contributing to RVAgreen’s transportation and environmental goals, this initiative will set a positive example for the greater Richmond community to follow. In addition, implementation of this measure will lead to promotion of alternative fueled vehicles and associated infrastructure driving sustainable economic growth for the region

Energy Conservation

Virginia Commonwealth University

Goal 9.3, Reduce energy use and increase energy efficiency

Evaluate new technologies and methodologies for reducing energy consumption and build them into the plan as practical


Richmond City

Goal 2.1, Reduce energy consumption in City government operations

In order to promote a truly sustainable city, the entire Richmond community must be engaged in citywide energy conservation initiatives. Within the city, commercial/ industrial and residential buildings and facilities consume energy and contribute heavily to Richmond’s community wide greenhouse gas emissions. Upgrades in building energy efficiency represent a way to reduce overall energy use and reliance on energy infrastructure, while also greatly reducing greenhouse gas emissions and saving the consumer money on utility costs. These upgrades often require an upfront investment that can sometimes deter potential projects, but often have short-term simple paybacks

Solid Waste Management

Virginia Commonwealth University

Goal 11.1, Reduce solid waste generation

Reduce solid waste by 3% each year and increase waste diversion by 3% each calendar year from 2016 - 2020, using the 2014 diversion rate as a baseline 

Goal 12.1, Increase waste diversion rate

Increase diversion rate by encouraging reuse over resale, resale over recycling and recycling over landfill disposal. Look at the feasibility of diverting pre- and post- consumer waste from dining area


Richmond City

Goal 3.3, Improve the City’s solid waste system

To improve solid waste system and increase recycling rates through Expanding recycling service to commercial and multifamily sectors, Adopt a City procurement policy that emphasizes material reduction and the Pay as you Throw program to incentive recycling and disincentives for trash 


Single-Occupancy Vehicles

Virginia Commonwealth University

Goal 13.1, Reduce single-occupancy vehicle usage

Develop university-wide policies to reduce parking demand and single occupant vehicle usage.


Richmond City

Objective 1-2, Transportation

Reduce citywide vehicle-miles-traveled (VMT) per capita

Manage parking supply to encourage alternate modes of transportation


Alternative Transportation

Virginia Commonwealth University

Goal 13.2, Reduce single-occupancy vehicle usage

Fully implement a bike share program, university-wide

Goal 13.3, Reduce single-occupancy vehicle usage

Develop parking policies that balance the parking demand throughout the campus, maximizing parking in underutilized facilities through better aligned parking facilities with transit options

Goal 13.4, Reduce single-occupancy vehicle usage

Promote safe corridors for alternative modes of transportation including but not limited to cyclists and pedestrians, further reducing single occupancy vehicle travel

Goal 13.5, Reduce single-occupancy vehicle usage

Promote and expand VCU’s transit network by strengthening existing partnership with GRTC as well as better integrating systems considering pending implementation of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)

Goal 13.6, Reduce single-occupancy vehicle usage

Strengthen and expand bicycle infrastructure for bike commuters, including additional bike racks, bike lockers, and bike shelters

Goal 14.1, Reduce unnecessary vehicle usage at VCU university-wide

Develop university-wide policies to promote the use of alternative transportation methods through intra-campus travel


Richmond City

Objective 2-3, Transportation

Manage parking supply to encourage alternate modes of transportation

Make Richmond a bike and pedestrian friendly city


Food Access and Security

Virginia Commonwealth University

Goal 17.2, Increase student and community engagement

Promote local and sustainable food options available within Richmond to the VCU community


Richmond City

Goal 1.3, Make local, healthy, and sustainable food accessible and affordable

The City created Richmond Grows Gardens, a community garden program, to enable the public to use vacant City-owned parcels for the development of community gardens

The City created a Food Policy Task Force, a broad-based group of professionals and community members, to further its urban agriculture efforts. Among other initiatives, the Task Force will conduct a food assessment of the community


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