Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 53.67
Liaison Stephen Ellis
Submission Date Oct. 7, 2021

STARS v2.2

Boston University
EN-3: Student Life

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

Does the institution have an active student group focused on sustainability?:

Name and a brief description of the active student groups focused on sustainability:

Boston University currently has 29 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.

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.

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."

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.

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

Branch Out

BU Beekeeping

Engineers without Borders (EWB)

BU Environmental and Energy Law Society (EELS)

FeelGood BU

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

Global Environmental Brigades (GEB)

BU's Global Water Brigades (GWB)

BU’s Marine Science Association (MSA)

Climate Advocacy Research and Education (CARE)

Sustainable Ocean's Alliance

Veg Club

Urban Planning Association

Epsilon ETA [https://www.facebook.com/EpsilonEtaBU/]

See more here: http://www.bu.edu/sustainability/take-action/student-groups/

Does the institution have a garden, farm, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery program, or an urban agriculture project where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems?:

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.

Does the institution have a student-run enterprise that includes sustainability as part of its mission statement or stated purpose?:

A brief description of the student-run enterprises:

BU Sustainability 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 app 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 Community Service Center (CSC) provides students with various student-led programs that helps enhance their leadership skills. One example is the Student Food Rescue program. Student Food Rescue gives BU Students the opportunity to learn, engage, and act towards achieving a more food just society. Volunteers go on weekly food routes where they transport donated food from grocery stores, bakeries, and farmers markets, and deliver them to our roster of community partners that include food pantries, homeless shelters, and low-income housing units. More information located at: https://www.bu.edu/csc/opportunities/programs/

Does the institution have a sustainable investment fund, green revolving fund, or sustainable microfinance initiative through which students can develop socially, environmentally and fiscally responsible investment and financial skills?:

A brief description of the sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives:

The BU MIINT (The MBA Impact Investing Network and Training) Program aids in thoroughly guiding students through an 8 step investment process: Investment Thesis + Sourcing Strategy, Final Sourcing List, Impact Analysis, Company Form, Due Diligence Plan, Investment Memo and Presentation Draft, Final Investment Memo, Final Investment Presentation. The program strives to replicate the operations of an early-stage venture capital fund by giving students the opportunity to work with a company of their choice as long as it meets the given criteria. As part of the criteria, students must choose a sustainability-related sector- Education, Public Safety, Financial Inclusion, Healthcare, Environment - that overall encompasses their project. Supplemental information available here: http://www.themiint.org/participants

Has the institution hosted a conference, speaker series, symposium, or similar event focused on sustainability during the previous three years that had students as the intended audience?:

A brief description of the conferences, speaker series, symposia, or similar events focused on sustainability:

BU hosts many sustainable events on campus throughout the year. 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 and 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
Carbon Free Boston
Sustainable Sunday
Planting in the Spirit
Earth Day, Israel, Africa, and how to Win the Climate Battle
Energy Club Conference: Grid Transformation
Earth Day Clean Up on the Charles River
Gladeside Urban Wild Clean-Up

More information located at: https://www.bu.edu/sustainability/what-you-can-do/events/

Has the institution hosted a cultural arts event, installation, or performance focused on sustainability with the previous three years that had students as the intended audience?:

A brief description of the cultural arts events, installations, or performances focused on sustainability:

From April 27th through 29th, 2019, 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. More information located at: https://dailyfreepress.com/2018/05/01/green-your-wardrobe-questions-consumer-behavior-teaches-sewing-skills/

Does the institution have a wilderness or outdoors program that follow Leave No Trace principles?:

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. Its mission is to promote an appreciation for the natural environment through outdoor recreational activities. More information located at: https://www.buoutingclub.com/.

BU Fitness and Recreation Center and the BU Sailing Pavilion offer a course (PDP OE 101 Introduction to Outdoor Adventures) which provides an overview of the Leave No Trace principles to members of BUOC where they dive into the principle to understand "what does it mean [and] how does it show up?"
More information located at: http://www.bu.edu/fitrec/files/2020/04/Syllabus-for-PDP-OE-101-Introduction-to-the-Outdoors.pdf

Has the institution had a sustainability-focused theme chosen for a themed semester, year, or first-year experience during the previous three years?:

A brief description of the sustainability-focused 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. More information located at: https://www.bu.edu/csc/opportunities/programs/fysop/

Does the institution have a program through which students can learn sustainable life skills?:

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. More information located at: https://www.bu.edu/sustainability/what-you-can-do/green-teams/earth-house/

Does the institution offer sustainability-focused student employment opportunities?:

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

BU Sustainability employs students from Boston University to develop, promote and implement sustainable practices throughout the University. The student interns work with the Associate Vice President for University Sustainability, Sustainability Director, Assistant Director of Communications, Engagement Manager, Zero Waste Manager, Sustainability Director for Dining Services, and Data Manager and also collaborate with different organizations on campus throughout the year. Ranging from graphic design and metrics management to outreach and certification coordination, BU Sustainability offers its interns professional experience and responsibilities in sustainable development. More information located at: https://www.bu.edu/sustainability/jobs-internships/

The Community Service Center, through its First-Year Student Outreach Project and Alternative Service Break programs offering environmental and justice themes, hires students as service and trip coordinators. More information located at: https://www.bu.edu/csc/opportunities/programs/fysop/

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. More information located at: http://www.bu.edu/sustainability/take-action/student-groups/

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. More information located at: http://www.bu.edu/sustainability/what-you-can-do/green-teams/earth-house/

The Scarlet Squad involves students who help educate their peers on waste sorting practices during the mover-in periods. More information located at: https://www.bu.edu/reslife/info-for-students/scarlet-squad/

Does the institution have a graduation pledge through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions?:

A brief description of the graduation pledge(s):

A brief description of other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives that do not fall into one of the above categories:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

This represents FY2019 BU Metrics.

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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.