Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 53.97
Liaison Dennis Carlberg
Submission Date Aug. 2, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Boston University
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Lisa Tornatore
Sustainability Director
sustainability@BU
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have one or more active student groups focused on sustainability?:
Yes

A brief description of active student groups focused on sustainability:

Boston University currently has 25 campus community groups, all student-governed, related to sustainability.

Some of which to highlight are:

The Environmental Student Organization (ESO) strives to raise environmental awareness and create beneficial environmental change on campus as well as in the surrounding Boston community through outreach campaigns and community service. http://www.bu.edu/sustainability/what-you-can-do/join-a-club/eso/

The BU Energy Club is a broad-based group consisting of graduates, undergrads, alumni and professors that serves as a link between scientists and engineers, entrepreneurs and business-persons, and aspiring policy-makers & government officials at Boston University and other schools in the Greater Boston Area. They aim to synthesize energy-related ideas from a multi-disciplinary stream of educational and professional sources to advance understanding of energy and it’s role within society, industry, technology, and policy through empirical, objective energy-related education and outreach. http://www.bu.edu/sustainability/what-you-can-do/join-a-club/bu-energy-club/

Global Brigades is a national non-profit with a chapter at BU. Through international service trips, the organization empowers university volunteers and under-resourced communities to work together to "resolve global health and economic disparities and inspire all involved to collaboratively work towards an equal world." http://www.bu.edu/sustainability/what-you-can-do/join-a-club/global-brigades/

A student-run organization, the Student Government Department of Environmental Affairs is responsible for advocating on all student issues of environmental safety and sustainability on BU’s campus. The department works with administration and other student organizations to improve university sustainability policies. In addition, this department works to ensure that Student Government functions in a sustainable manner, and conducts all business with environmental awareness and responsibility. http://www.bu.edu/sustainability/what-you-can-do/join-a-club/student-government-environmental-affairs/

The names of the other student groups focused on sustainability are:

Branch Out [http://www.bu.edu/sustainability/what-you-can-do/join-a-club/branch-out/]

BU Beekeeping [http://www.bu.edu/sustainability/what-you-can-do/join-a-club/bu-beekeepers-club/]

Engineers without Borders (EWB) [http://www.bu.edu/sustainability/what-you-can-do/join-a-club/engineers-without-borders]

BU Environmental and Energy Law Society (EELS) [http://www.bu.edu/sustainability/what-you-can-do/join-a-club/bu-environmental-law-society/]

FeelGood BU [http://www.bu.edu/sustainability/what-you-can-do/join-a-club/feelgood-bu/]

Boston University Geological Society (BUGS) [http://www.bu.edu/earth/education/undergraduate/bu-geological-society/]

Global Environmental Brigades (GEB) [http://www.bu.edu/sustainability/what-you-can-do/join-a-club/global-environmental-brigades/]

BU's Global Water Brigades (GWB) [http://www.bu.edu/sustainability/what-you-can-do/join-a-club/global-water-brigades/]

BU’s Marine Science Association (MSA) [http://www.bu.edu/sustainability/what-you-can-do/join-a-club/marine-science-association/]

BU's Net Impact Grad [http://www.bu.edu/sustainability/what-you-can-do/join-a-club/net-impact/]

BU Net Impact Undergrad Chapter [http://www.bu.edu/sustainability/what-you-can-do/join-a-club/net-impact-undergrad/]

BU Outing Club (BUOC) [http://www.bu.edu/sustainability/what-you-can-do/join-a-club/bu-outing-club/]

The Public Interest Project [http://www.bu.edu/sustainability/what-you-can-do/join-a-club/public-interest-project/]

Student Food Rescue [http://www.bu.edu/sustainability/what-you-can-do/join-a-club/sedgreen/]

Students for a Just and Stable Future (SJSF) [http://www.bu.edu/sustainability/what-you-can-do/join-a-club/students-for-a-just-and-stable-future/]

thECOlogy [https://sites.google.com/site/busththecology/]


The website URL where information about the student groups is available (optional):
Does the institution have gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and/or urban agriculture projects where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems?:
Yes

A brief description of the gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and/or urban agriculture projects:

The Boston University Greenhouse sits atop the Stone Science Center at the College of Arts and Sciences where it has been utilized and enjoyed in various capacities since the building's construction in 1930. The space is currently shared between the Environmental Student Organization (ESO), and a few faculty members of the Earth and Environment Department who incorporate hands-on greenhouse research into their coursework.

Plants are grown in a wide variety of containers, including a 4'x12' raised bed. Plants such as tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, corn, sunflowers, carrots, radishes, peppers, and various kinds of lettuce and herbs are grown and managed collectively by students during periodic workdays, with a schedule for regular weeding and watering. Several worm compost bins provide a nutritious and renewable soil amendment to supplement purchased organic potting soils and fertilizers. The Greenhouse also houses a small library and serves as a meeting place for other green groups on campus.


The website URL where information about the gardens, farms or agriculture projects is available (optional):
Does the institution have student-run enterprises that include sustainability as part of their mission statements or stated purposes (e.g. cafés through which students gain sustainable business skills)?:
Yes

A brief description of the student-run enterprises:

sustainability@BU interns manage the Sustainability Help Desk, which promotes sustainability on campus and gives out free reusable bottles, mugs, and LED light bulbs to individuals who join the sustainability@BU challenge. At least once a week, the Sustainability Help Desk gives students and staff an opportunity to learn about daily sustainable habits and University sustainability resources. It operates at high-traffic student areas in the George Sherman Union.

The BUild Lab: IDG Capital Student Innovation Center is an on-campus collaboration space and information center. Students and alumni are encouraged to use the BUild Lab co-working space for new ventures (i.e. mid-sized innovation-focused events) and collaborative projects. More information located at: http://www.bu.edu/innovate/build-your-idea/build-lab/


The website URL where information about the student-run enterprises is available (optional):
Does the institution have sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives through which students can develop socially, environmentally and fiscally responsible investment and financial skills?:
No

A brief description of the sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives:
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The website URL where information about the sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives is available (optional):
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Does the institution have conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience?:
Yes

A brief description of the conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability:

Throughout the year BU hosts many sustainable events on campus; these include guest speakers discussing issues ranging from environmental policy and renewable energy to global climate change. The annual sustainability@BU Festival and Earth Day celebrations showcase sustainability-related student organizations as well as local groups not affiliated with BU that are actively promoting a broad range of sustainable activities. The following is a list of some of the events held on campus that engage the Boston University community:

Earth Week+
Earth Day Festival (Charles River Campus & Medical Campus)
sustainability@BU Festival (Charles River Campus & Medical Campus)
CAP Public Forum
Internal Carbon Fund Forum


The website URL where information about the conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability is available (optional):
Does the institution have cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience?:
Yes

A brief description of the cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability:

From April 27th through 29th, BU Arts Initiative held a program called "Green Your Wardrobe" which was in support of Fashion Revolution Week, an annual global initiative to mark the Rana Plaza factory disaster in Bangladesh. The BU student community were engaged in ways that informed them who to make sustainable and informed choices about fashion.

A few examples of engagement during the three-day program included: learning to sew a button or fix a tear on your favorite pair of jeans, creating accessories with textile waste, and viewing a film screening on the human and environmental costs of clothing.


The website URL where information about the cultural arts events, installations or performances is available (optional):
Does the institution have wilderness or outdoors programs (e.g. that organize hiking, backpacking, kayaking, or other outings for students) that follow Leave No Trace principles?:
Yes

A brief description of the wilderness or outdoors programs that follow Leave No Trace principles:

The BU Outing Club (BUOC) is a student-led organization that plans dozens of outdoor events throughout the year including hiking, biking, backpacking, cross-country skiing, canoeing and more. Their mission is to promote an appreciation for the natural environment through outdoor recreational activities.


The website URL where information about the wilderness or outdoors programs is available (optional):
Does the institution have sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences (e.g. choosing a sustainability-related book for common reading)?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences:

The First-Year Student Outreach Project (FYSOP) offers incoming Boston University students a unique opportunity to get settled in their new community by performing a week of community service before classes begin. A focus on the environment is one of the service options available to applicants of the program. Students in the environment FYSOP group explore how environmental degradation impacts people and communities, and then use what they have learned to take positive actions through community service in the Boston community. The program aims to educate first-years and staff about the environment & justice and to empower them to enact meaningful change.


The website URL where information about the sustainability-related themes is available (optional):
Does the institution have programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills?:
Yes

A brief description of the programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills:

In the first BU Living Learning Community, Earth House, the very act of day-to-day living is the focus of inquiry and the physical Earth House facility is the shared focal object of examination. All of the things that students and teachers normally think of as being means to an end of education – eating, commuting, showering – are inverted and transformed in Earth House to become primary topics of inquiry. As mundane as these daily activities may seem, they are actually the basis for the survival of our civilization and define our relationship with our fellow humans and our planet.


The website URL where information about the sustainable life skills programs is available (optional):
Does the institution offer sustainability-focused student employment opportunities?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability-focused student employment opportunities offered by the institution:

sustainability@BU employs students from Boston University to develop, promote and implement sustainable practices throughout the University. The student interns work with the Sustainability Director, Assitant Director, and Data Manager and collaborate with different organizations on campus throughout the year. Ranging from graphic design and metrics management to outreach and certification coordination, sustainability@BU offers its interns professional experience and responsibilities in sustainable development.

The Community Service Center, through its First-Year Student Outreach Project and Alternative Service Break programs offering environmental and justice themes, hire students as service and trip coordinators.

Branch Out, a BU organization that connects students with opportunities to learn about and be stewards of Boston’s urban ecosystem, employs a student to be their program manager.

The Resident Assistant of the Earth House, a BU specialty community residence, is hired by the University to support its residents who share a passion for the environment and an interest in exploring areas such as climate change, biodiversity, renewable energy, and environmental policy, as well as to promote sustainability and sustainable actions on campus.

The Green Teams involve students who help educate their peers on waste sorting practices.


The website URL where information about the student employment opportunities is available:
Does the institution have graduation pledges through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions?:
No

A brief description of the graduation pledges:
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The website URL where information about the graduation pledges is available (optional):
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Does the institution have other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives?:
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A brief description of the other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives:
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The website URL where information about other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives is available (optional):
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Estimated percentage of students (full-time and part-time) that participate annually in sustainability-focused co-curricular education and outreach programs (0-100):
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.