Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 60.78
Liaison Jessica Bowen
Submission Date March 4, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Aquinas College
EN-5: Outreach Campaign

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Jessica Eimer Bowen
Director of Sustainability
Center for 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:
Zero Waste Initiative

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

As a part of the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment, Aquinas College committed to becoming a zero waste to landfill campus by 2020. The Center for Sustainability and Students Striving for Sustainability (S3) partnered in 2012 to improve the waste diversion infrastructure across campus. Composting and recycling already existed campus wide, so efforts were focused on adding special collections (styrofoam, e-waste, batteries, ink cartridges, and goodwill bins) in every campus building. All trashcans have also been removed from classrooms (with the exception of a few rooms like art studios), to encourage personal responsibility for waste and get us closer to our zero waste goals. More importantly, we focused on achieving zero waste at all major events (using our zero waste team) and educating and training. All staff and faculty have had small, hands-on sorting trainings, and all incoming students received the same training at orientation (except in a "waste relay" style). Campus competitions and the zero waste guru network are other important components of our strategy.


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

The college has been aggressively working on the zero waste initiative. We removed several trash dumpsters, saving the college $2,000 per month in operations. The college’s diversion rate has improved from 45% to almost 70%, while simultaneously decreasing our total waste.


The website URL where information about the campaign is available:
Name of the campaign (2nd campaign):
Tip the scale

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

The college also hosts several other competitions throughout the year. The "Tip the Scale" competition is held between our largest residence halls in September. The Waste competition is held again between the houses on campus in February. The Great Guru Garbage Games, another waste competition, is held campus wide each February.


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

Most buildings see measurable improvements in their waste diversion rates during the competitions.


The website URL where information about the campaign is available (2nd campaign):
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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:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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