Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 75.14
Liaison Kylee Singh
Submission Date July 10, 2023

STARS v2.2

California Polytechnic State University
EN-4: Outreach Materials and Publications

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Kylee Singh
Sustainability Coordinator
Energy Utilities and Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a central sustainability website that consolidates information about the institution’s sustainability efforts?:

Website URL for the central sustainability website:
Does the institution have a sustainability newsletter or social media platform that focuses specifically on campus sustainability?:

A brief description of the sustainability newsletter or social media platform:

Energy, Utilities, and Sustainability staff send out a monthly newsletter to students, staff, and faculty. The purpose the newsletter is to provide event details for the campus community to engage in sustainability opportunities locally and nationally.
Sign up here to receive our newsletter:

Does the institution have signage that highlights sustainability features on campus?:

A brief description of the signage that highlights sustainability features on campus:

All LEED certified buildings on campus are marked accordingly and various sustainability related efforts are often accompanied by signage. Recent examples include lawn removal signs in response to water conservation efforts and zero waste signage for zero waste stations and events.

Does the institution provide a sustainability walking map or tour?:

A brief description of the sustainability walking map or tour:

VG’s LEED Tour outline:
• What is LEED? Why is it important? What does title 24 do for CA?
o LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. Available for virtually all building types, LEED provides a framework for healthy, efficient, and cost-saving green buildings. LEED certification is a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement and leadership.
o The LEED framework informs all building types including new construction, interiors, operations and maintenance, and core and shell. Unsure of which rating system to use? Learn more about how to select the appropriate LEED rating system.
o California is often the nation’s leader in environmentally conscious legislation. Therefore, it is unsurprising that the state’s regulations for buildings — California Building Standards Code, or Title 24 — includes the first state-mandated green building code in the nation. Part 11 of Title 24 is the California Green Building Standards Code, better known as CalGreen.
o The code is so progressive that it possesses numerous similarities to the most widely used green building rating system in the world: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). This might be a reason why California had the most LEED-certified projects in 2020, more than four times that of the next three states combined.
• The 35,400-square-foot facility was built to help create an environment of community and interaction with large, comfortable seating areas, outdoor fireplaces and game tables. However, operating the dining facility during a pandemic has resulted in major changes to the planned practices and protocols.

• Sustainable Sites credit- 23/26 points achieved
o LEED focus on high density and access to services
o Bike racks, parking access, bus access
o Open space and habitat protection/ infill
o Storm water control and heat island reduction with roof and non roof surfaces
• Water Efficiency- 5/10 points achieved
o Water efficient landscaping and water use reduction
• Energy and Atmosphere- 21/35 points achieved
o Most points earned here are because part of the solar farm energy was allocated to this project. This creates a 35% savings in electricity- 7/7 points
o Energy performance optimization is also a major point earner 12/19 and this is through
o To help gain LEED certification Vista Grande taps into the existing campus solar farm system, saving 35% in energy costs.

• Material and Resources- 4/14 points
o Over 80% of all construction waste was recycled and diverted away from the landfill
• Indoor Enviro Quality- 9/15 points
o Low emitting materials and systems controllability
o Most of the regularly occupied spaces have access to natural daylight and views through low-e window units.
• Innovative Design- 3/6 points
o The Campus Dining registered dietitian’s office is located near Vista Grande’s main entrance. Supporting students with nutritional health as well as providing help in managing specific dietary considerations is paramount for Campus Dining. Positioning the dietitian near the grand foyer ensures students know that help is available and easily accessible.
o The main staircase prominently features a 9-foot by 14-foot living wall by Habitat Horticulture, which designs, installs and carefully maintains distinctive living walls. A 2008 graduate of Cal Poly, David Brenner holds a degree in environmental horticulture sciences, with a minor in psychology. The company plans to donate a large living wall to advance the study of living wall research, development and design in the William and Linda Frost Center for Research and Innovation.
o Design for zero waste dining:
 Zero waste stations strategically placed throughout the building
 Intent to do plated dining throughout the building with large dish room to handle reusable- COVID disrupted this intent
 REUSABLE TUMBLER PROGRAM- Currently in 2nd year of our Validfill reusable tumbler program. This program saves tens of thousands of single-use cups from the landfill each year.
 PLASTIC WATER BOTTLE PHASE-OUT- On track to comply with the CSU mandate that bans single-use water bottles by 2023. This is visible in the market
 REUSABLE TAKEOUT CONTAINERS - Exclusive reusable to-go container program at Vista Grande Express
 Back of the house food scrap composting program- Every year, 230 tons of food scraps and coffee grounds are locally composted into nutrient-rich soil.
 In the last five years, Dining has worked directly with suppliers to turn 27 thousand gallons of recovered cooking oil into biodiesel, soap or a supplement for animal feed.

Does the institution produce a guide for green living and/or incorporating sustainability into the residential experience?:

A brief description of the guide for green living and/or incorporating sustainability into the residential experience:

Developed by Cal Poly Honors in cooperation with Facilities Management & Development Energy, Utilities, and Sustainability. Cal Poly is committed to achieving carbon neutrality and climate resilience by 2050. For Earth Day 2016, President Armstrong signed the Second Nature Climate Leadership Commitment, making Cal Poly a Charter Signatory to the largest climate change initiative in higher education. The Green Living Guide is intended to provide students with a road map for how to live more sustainably on and off campus.


A brief description of other comprehensive sustainability outreach materials and publications not covered above:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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.