Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 69.79
Liaison Megan Litke
Submission Date March 6, 2020

STARS v2.2

American University
EN-5: Outreach Campaign

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Courtney Stoner
Sustainability Analyst
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

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

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

Name of the campaign:

A brief description of the campaign:
In 2019, student interns from the Office of Sustainability and Zero Waste promoted the #ForkPlastic campaign throughout campus in an effort to reduce the use of single-use plastics, such as utensils, bottles, and bags. We encouraged and engaged with other students, staff, and faculty on ways to reduce single-use plastic waste through tabling events and social media.

Each participant signed a pledge saying, "I will use reusable forks, knives, and spoons instead of plastic utensils." We had 512 people sign this pledge.


A brief description of the measured positive impact(s) of the campaign:
Student interns were able to connect and engage with other students, staff, and faculty on campus about the importance of reducing plastic waste.

If everyone who signed our pledge (512 students, staff, faculty) used their new reusable utensils for each meal for one year, we would keep more than 57,000 plastic utensils from landfills.

The Office of Sustainability received positive feedback from participants after the end of the campaign. Participants reported a behavior change - they began to carry the reusable utensil sets around in place of taking single-use plastic ones.

Name of the campaign (2nd campaign):
Green Office Program

A brief description of the campaign (2nd campaign):
The Green Office program harnesses the power of collective action by engaging faculty and staff throughout the university in sustainability initiatives. The Green Office program encourages sustainable behavior and office policy changes. The program has periodically been updated to reflect changing needs and utilize new engagement strategies. The Office of Sustainability runs this program, and consistently reaches out to new offices on campus to get involved. The Communications and Outreach Manager goes to different offices on campus to give presentations on how offices can get involved.


A brief description of the measured positive impact(s) of the campaign (2nd campaign):
Since 2011, nearly fifty campus offices and more than 600 staff and faculty have participated in the Green Office program. As a result of the Green Office program, more staff are engaged in resource management and occupant behavior and have a greater understanding of AU's sustainability goals, leading to a more pervasive culture of sustainability. Networking and understanding of the green office program have also inspired departments across campus to host zero waste events. Results were measured in number of employees engaged in the program. Green Office certifications expire and need to be renewed each year, to ensure that all new staff are included in the program and offices receive up-to-date information.

The checklist items in the Green Office program complement other campus sustainability initiatives. For example, purchasing FSC certified paper and EPEAT/Energy Star electronics are checklist items that contribute towards sustainable electronics and paper spend.

A brief description of other sustainability-related outreach campaigns:
The Office of Sustainability partners with AHealthyU, the staff wellness department, to promote Bike to Work Day each year in May.

Each year the Office of Sustainability and Facilities Management partners with Athletics for a Sustainability Awareness/Zero Waste Men's Basketball game.

An Energy Competition was done in October 2017 for academic and residence hall, encouraging everyone on campus to reduce energy use.

Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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