Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 45.77
Liaison Holli Fajack
Submission Date July 6, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

California State University, Long Beach
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Holli Fajack
Sustainability Coordinator
Physical Planning and Facilities Management
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Air & Climate?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Air & Climate:

Students are recruited and selected by the Office of Sustainability to assist with data collection and analysis for the annual campus greenhouse gas inventory. Students are responsible for gathering raw data from the appropriate campus contacts, cleaning up and synthesizing the data and reporting it back to the Sustainability staff. The effort of these students has been integral to the timely completion of the 2013 and 2015 greenhouse gas emissions inventories and reports.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Buildings?:
No

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Buildings:

N/A


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Energy?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Energy:

In the spring of 2015 and fall of 2016, students in the ESP/GEOG 392: Climate Action and Sustainability at CSULB course worked with the Campus Energy and Utility Manager to survey campus buildings with the goal of identifying conditions that may be contributing to energy wasting. Students would patrol the campus during the evening and note lights left on in unoccupied rooms, the functionality of occupancy sensors, as well as windows and doors propped open during the daytime. These students analyzed their survey data and made energy saving recommendations to the Energy Manager. In addition to this survey, the students also received training on the use and applications of the Energy Star Portfolio Manager and conducted sample building assessments.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Food & Dining?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Food & Dining:

In the spring of 2015, graduate students in the MBA program completed an in-depth analysis with the goal of assessing the percentage of sustainable food purchases at California State University Long Beach (CSULB). A secondary objective of the project was to create an initial marketing plan to create awareness among students about CSULB's 20% "Real Food" by 2020 goal (as outlined in the California State University Sustainability Policy adopted in 2014), as well as the role that our campus dining services provider (The 49er Shops) and the Real Food Challenge (RFC) play in this sustainability goal. To do this, the team analyzed the food purchases made by 49er Shops during the 2013-14 academic year for one of their campus restaurants and residential dining facilities to determine where the campus stands based on the Real Food calculator's criteria. The calculator allowed the research team to compute the percentage of foods that were sustainable. The team produced a final report including recommendations, which was presented to the CEO of the 49er Shops and shared with other campus sustainability constituents.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Grounds?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Grounds:

Students from the ESP/GEOG 392: Climate Action and Sustainability at CSULB course have worked with Landscaping and Grounds staff over the past three semesters on the Plant Identification and Landscape Best Management Practices project, which involves photographing all of the different plant types on campus and researching best management practices for each of them in order to and create a comprehensive catalog of all plant types. The immediate goal of the project is to create a helpful educational/training guide for staff that will serve as a reference for the best management practices and needs of each plant type. The longer term goal is to support the campus' transition to more drought tolerant landscaping, which supports campus water conservation goals.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Purchasing?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Purchasing:

Students from the ESP/GEOG 392: Climate Action and Sustainability at CSULB course have worked with the Director of Procurement each semester since spring 2016 to research how procurement affects the campus's efforts toward reaching the commitment of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2030. The first cohort of students researched current policy and contract requirements related to the purchase of products made with or containing recycled content. They found that the policy in place was written in 2006 and that the language was vague with regard to recycled product purchasing standards or goals. They also found that there was no specific campus policy in place to ensure that sustainable products were actually being purchased. The students also researched the various factors that contribute to faculty and staff buying decisions, including their interest in or biases against "green products." Specifically, the students researched green cleaning products and then organized an experiment: a blind test in which custodial staff tested conventional and green cleaning products and decided which products they preferred (the green cleaning products were favored).

The second cohort of students in the Fall of 2016 focused on establishing a strong basis upon which to implement a policy related to electronic product purchasing. Currently, the University has no written policy in regards to electronic devices pertaining to compliance with Energy Star products or products registered with the Electronic Product Assessment Tool (EPEAT). EPEAT currently tracks more than 4,400 products from more than 60 manufacturers and the system addresses the full product lifecycle, from design and production to energy use and recycling. The goal for the students was the research the EPEAT standards and understand how developing a purchasing policy that required this certification can help the University not only address our goal for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions but also save money through energy reduction.

Based on the input from both of these cohorts of students, the university currently has two draft purchasing policies being reviewed by the Administration (related to electronics purchasing as well as paper products with a minimum of 30% recycled content)


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Transportation?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Transportation:

In the fall of 2016, students from BIO 459: Conservation Biology worked with the Office of Sustainability and Parking & Transportation Services to develop and conduct a survey of riders on the newly established off-campus shuttle. The goals of the project were to gather information riders' perceptions about the shuttle service including the service levels, the convenience of shuttle stop locations, and impact of the shuttle on shifting students, faculty, and staff away from less sustainable modes of transportation such as single occupant vehicles.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Waste?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Waste:

Over the course of the 2015-16 and 2016 -17 academic years, students from the ESP/GEOG 392: Climate Change and Sustainability at CSULB course worked with the Office of Sustainability on a number of data collection and assessment projects that served as a foundation for the development of the campus Zero Waste Program. Students took part in several waste characterization studies, during which several hundreds of bags of campus waste were collected, sorted, weighed and analyzed. Students also conducted field surveys to collect data about the number and locations of existing waste collection bins. Building on the efforts of previous teams, in the fall of 2016, students helped to implement a pilot zero waste program in a few discrete locations throughout campus. They conducted pre- and post-implementation user surveys helped to install the new waste collection bins and signage, monitored the bins daily to document fullness and contamination levels, and provided recommendations on the types of instructional signage to use.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Water?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Water:

Since the spring of 2016, students from the ESP/GEOG 392: Climate Change and Sustainability at CSULB course have been working with staff in the Landscaping & Grounds department in the field to audit and map the campus landscape irrigation system. Students are involved in identifying irrigation system breaks, creating a digital map of the entire irrigation system, conducting Station detail reporting, and identifying opportunities to apply low-water volume technologies. The goals of the project are to reduce wasteful water use and gather data for creating maps that will help Grounds staff effectively isolate irrigation breaks during emergencies and program irrigation systems for maximum water use efficiency.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Coordination & Planning?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Coordination & Planning:

In spring 2015, students from the REC 325: Advanced Program and Event Management course were involved in planning and coordinating our largest annual campus sustainability event, the Green Generation Mixer & Sustainability Project Showcase. Students assisted with marketing and communications, event logistics, and day-of coordination, set up and breakdown. In doing so, students gained hands-on experience with the various components that come into play when putting on a large scale event that engages students, faculty, staff and the Long Beach community.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Diversity & Affordability?:
No

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Diversity & Affordability:

N/A


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Investment & Finance?:
No

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Investment & Finance:

N/A


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Public Engagement?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Public Engagement:

Students in the ESP/GEOG 392: Climate Change and Sustainability at CSULB course developed a "Campus Sustainability Tour" as a tool for raising awareness about the campus's sustainability features and engaging the community in CSULB's sustainability programs. The students developed a walking tour "script" and a map that could be used in a self-guided way or integrated by the university's trained tour guides into the current campus tour.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Wellbeing & Work?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Wellbeing & Work:

The LifeFit Center is a fitness facility that doubles as an educational laboratory. It serves the campus in the following ways:
1. Most of the LifeFit Center staff and all of its interns are current students (mostly kinesiology students) who are participating in experiential learning by assisting at the Service Desk, teaching group fitness programming, and/or leading a small group and personal training. The students are providing health and fitness services for CSULB employees of all ages and for Long Beach community members age 49 and above.
2. The LifeFit Center also provides evening Workplace Wellness program at LifeFit that incentives employees to exercise. Employees earn points for various fitness activities and can redeem the points for LifeFit Center credit.
3.The LifeFit Center hosts all of the kinesiology weight training and social dance classes – they have about 700 students of all majors on campus come through each semester to participate in the classes.
4.The LifeFit Center hosts student and faculty research in the areas of health, fitness, and wellness. It currently has faculty and students from physical therapy, gerontology, psychology, and kinesiology conducting research within LifeFit.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to other areas (e.g. arts & culture or technology)?:
No

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to other areas:

N/A


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
---

Additional documentation to support 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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.