Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 57.78
Liaison Rose Armour
Submission Date May 6, 2021
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

American University of Sharjah
EN-5: Outreach Campaign

Status Score Responsible Party
4.00 / 4.00 Julia Carlow
Sustainability Project Coordinator
Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Has the institution held at least one sustainability-related outreach campaign during the previous three years that was directed at students and yielded measurable, positive results in advancing sustainability? :
Yes

Has the institution held at least one sustainability-related outreach campaign during the previous three years that was directed at employees and yielded measurable, positive results in advancing sustainability?:
Yes

Name of the campaign:
AUS Single Use Plastic Ban

A brief description of the campaign, including how students and/or employees were engaged:

AUS acknowledges the enormous environmental cost of petroleum-based single-use plastics, and the pervasive negative impact these materials have at a local, regional and global level. Banning single-use plastics from the AUS campus, wherever practical, is an important way in which AUS can significantly reduce its waste contribution and improve its environmental credentials. To eliminate all single-use plastic at once would have been unrealistic. Hence the campaign aimed to eliminate single-use plastics in a phased approach, as outlined below.

In the first phase of the ban, which came into effect in January 2020, we banned petroleum-based single-use plastic items where an environmentally friendly alternative exists in the market that does not compromise the health and safety of the AUS community. Items include plastic cups, Styrofoam cups, Styrofoam take-away containers, plastic shopping bags and plastic water containers holding less than 500 ml of water. AUS Sustainability worked closely with all campus food outlets and vendors to ensure that items such as coffee lids, iced drink cups, salad bowls, straws and cutlery (among others) were replaced with the more environmentally friendly plant-based and biodegradable material, PLA (Poly Lactic Acid). Where possible, other single-use plastic items such as plates, shopping bags, take-away containers, drink stirrers and drink stoppers were substituted with items made from paper, wood, cornstarch and sugarcane-based alternatives. Where possible, single-use plastics containing juice and soda drinks were substituted with aluminum containers (which can be recycled almost infinitely without loss of quality). Single-use plastic 500ml water bottles and generic food wrappers were exempt from the first phase of the ban. The 500ml single-use plastic bottles will however be included in the second phase of the ban, likely to come into effect once campus reopens post covid-19.

During February 2020, AUS Sustainability ran a series of student meet & greets in all 4 colleges as well as the central student center, where students could pick up reusable water bottles and shopping bags for free and learn about the single use plastic ban. AUS Sustainability also distributed reusable water bottles to all faculty and included an information package about the single use plastic ban and the changes to campus operations. Furthermore, AUS Sustainability organized a series of meetings with the AUS events team, the Office of Enrollment management and the college administrators to educate them about the new procedures when hosting events on / off campus with regards to single-use plastics. Lastly, AUS Sustainability worked with the COO team to host their annual staff gathering as a plastic free event and used this opportunity to further explain the implications of the single use plastic ban to all staff employees.

https://www.aus.edu/media/news/aus-leads-fight-on-plastic


A brief description of the measured positive impact(s) of the campaign:

The single use plastic ban came into effect at the end of January 2020. By end of February 2020, our main vendor Sharjah Coop reported savings of over 20,000 plastic bags in just one month. Unfortunately the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic forced the university to shut down campus life in mid March, hence we are lacking reliable data from march onwards.


The website URL where information about the campaign is available:
Name of the campaign (2nd campaign):
Campus Residents E-Waste Collection Drive

A brief description of the campaign, including how students and/or employees were engaged (2nd campaign):

In December 2020, AUS Sustainability hosted an ewaste and battery recycling day for all campus faculty and staff residents. The event was announced via email and social media and organized on cooperation with local waste management company Bee'ah.


A brief description of the measured positive impact(s) of the campaign (2nd campaign):

In just half a day, the AUS campus resident community collected over 100kg of ewaste for recycling successfully diverting the ewaste from going into the landfill.


The website URL where information about the campaign is available (2nd campaign):
A brief description of other sustainability-related outreach campaigns, including measured positive impacts:
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The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

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