Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 82.07
Liaison Corey Hawkey
Submission Date March 1, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Arizona State University
EN-10: Community Partnerships

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Corey Hawkey
Assistant Director
University Sustainability Practices
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability :
Sustainability and Happiness Research Lab

Does the institution provide financial or material support for the partnership? :
Yes

Which of the following best describes the partnership timeframe?:
Multi-year or ongoing

Which of the following best describes the partnership’s sustainability focus?:
The partnership simultaneously supports social equity and wellbeing, economic prosperity, and ecological health

Are underrepresented groups and/or vulnerable populations engaged as equal partners in strategic planning, decision-making, implementation and review? (Yes, No, or Not Sure):
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability, including website URL (if available) and information to support each affirmative response above:

At the Happiness Lab, researchers combine knowledge, methods and practice from many fields of research (e.g., neurology, biology, contemplative practice, psychology, engineering, communication and urban planning) to develop strategies and interventions for moving toward a sustainable and happy future. Their work is both theoretical and applied, as they work closely with communities, organizations and people to co-create sustainable strategies that maximize opportunities for happiness. They seek to promote alternative pathways toward sustainability via participatory processes and a realignment of societal values to enhance overall happiness outcomes.

Their work is guided by two research questions:

1. How are sustainability and a happy future related?

2. How can we create equal opportunities for happiness through intentional design, interventions and sustainable strategies?


Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (2nd partnership):
Sustainable Purchasing Research Initiative

Does the institution provide financial or material support for the partnership? (2nd partnership):
Yes

Which of the following best describes the partnership timeframe? (2nd partnership):
Multi-year or ongoing

Which of the following best describes the partnership’s sustainability focus? (2nd partnership):
The partnership simultaneously supports social equity and wellbeing, economic prosperity, and ecological health

Are underrepresented groups and/or vulnerable populations engaged as equal partners in strategic planning, decision-making, implementation and review? (2nd partnership) (Yes, No, or Not Sure):
No

A brief description of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability, including website URL (if available) and information to support each affirmative response above (2nd partnership):

The Environmental Protection Agency is partnering with Arizona State University’s Sustainable Purchasing Research Initiative, or SPRI, on a website designed to help organizations interested in eco-friendly purchasing. Sustainablepurchasing.issuelab.org features a searchable database of research articles related to “servicizing,” a concept that is catching on worldwide and is endorsed by the United Nations Environmental Programme.

“Servicizing” promotes a more environmentally responsible way for businesses, nonprofits, governments and individuals to meet their purchasing needs. For example, instead of buying carpet, a “servicizing” approach would involve hiring a carpet leasing company to provide carpet as needed. This approach would eliminate overhead and disposal costs. Plus, the carpet leasing company would maintain control of its supply chain so that carpet that has reached the end of its “life” can be remanufactured and re-leased thus reducing waste sent to landfills.

"This new ‘servicizing’ approach offers and charges customers for the function of a product rather than the product itself,” said Lily Hsueh, an assistant professor in the ASU School of Public Affairs and researcher with the Center for Organization Research and Design. “Producers or vendors are the ‘owners’ of the products and consumers pay to be ‘users’ of the products.”

SPRI is a research initiative within ASU’s Center for Organization Research and Design (CORD).

“We are committed to helping organizations advance sustainable purchasing,” said SPRI’s lead researcher Nicole Darnall, a management and public policy professor. Earlier this year SPRI researchers examined the purchasing practices of local governments throughout the United States. The project promoted best practices using a website, video tips, social media, and webinars.

“The EPA partnership expands SPRI’s reach in an important way by highlighting the importance of service models as a means for organizations to advance sustainable purchasing,” Darnall said.

The EPA’s Office of Policy had been working on a similar website but opted to join forces with ASU because of changing administrative priorities.

“The project for us was about research — understanding the use of such a site as well as understanding environmental outcomes and financial implications of servicing approaches,” said Shari Grossarth, an environmental protection specialist at the EPA. “The whole project was about learning; SPRI’s mission is about learning and understanding, so SPRI seemed like a great home for the work.”

The SPRI website features a keyword search and allows for users to narrow searches by selecting an institution type or product category such as IT, medical or office management.

“The servicizing website is an information clearinghouse,” Darnall said. “It is relevant to anyone who is interested in the topic. It sidesteps typical approaches to information gathering, such as the random internet searches.”

The EPA contracted with Industrial Economics, a public policy consulting firm, to conduct an initial review of the literature to populate the site.

As the website continues to develop, crowd-sourced information will be provided to users. It allows anyone to share knowledge or information about servicizing or recommend other resources to be added to the database using a simple online form.


Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (3rd partnership):
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Does the institution provide financial or material support for the partnership? (3rd partnership):
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Which of the following best describes the partnership timeframe? (3rd partnership):
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Which of the following best describes the partnership’s sustainability focus? (3rd partnership):
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Are underrepresented groups and/or vulnerable populations engaged as equal partners in strategic planning, decision-making, implementation and review? (3rd partnership) (Yes, No, or Unknown):
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A brief description of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability, including website URL (if available) and information to support each affirmative response above (3rd partnership):
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A brief description of the institution’s other community partnerships to advance sustainability:
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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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