Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 68.47
Liaison Ryan Todd
Submission Date March 1, 2021

STARS v2.2

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

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Kristina Cullen
Sustainability Analyst
Facilities Management—Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Campus Engagement?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Campus Engagement:

Sac State is currently working on the living building challenge: a project where students from multiple disciplines work to create a building that gives off more energy than it takes. This project is combining the efforts of 4 different departments: construction management, mechanical engineering, interior design, and environmental studies. Once completed, this building will serve as a way for different groups on campus to continue researching and educating about sustainability.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Public Engagement?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Public Engagement:

Students and faculty from the Sustainability program give walking tours to highlight the different sustainable features of campus. These tours include a look into the BAC Yard (Bioconversion and Agriculture Collaborative), which is home to many sustainability driven projects. Students learn about our Aquaponics system and are shown the differences between the three different types of composting which take place in the BAC Yard. They are also given a peek into the process of pollination from our on campus beehives, as well as a look into how honey is created.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Air & Climate?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Air & Climate:

As a celebration of Earth day 2019, President Nelsen worked with Associated Students Incorporated (ASI) to conduct a Student Climate Change Summit. This Summit invited students to break out into discussion groups to come up with different solutions to the climate change crisis, ranging in topics from community health and resiliency to green jobs. The different ideas formed by the students contribute to Sac State's effort of reaching carbon neutrality by 2040.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Buildings?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Buildings:

In fall 2019 the Ernest E. Tschannen Science Complex was constructed, becoming the most sustainable building on campus. Some of the sustainable features of this building are: a living roof, usage of recycled wood from fallen campus trees, large windows for natural light accessibility, and energy efficient fume hoods. These features, along with many more, are notated with building-wide signage, allowing students to learn more about the sustainability practices on campus. Additonally, a interactive guided tour is offered to engage students in the sustainable attributes of the building.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Energy?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Energy:

As a collaboration with the sustainability department, a group of mechanical engineering students worked to build a solar and wind turbine to power light in our BAC Yard facility. This project was affiliated with a class on campus which has generated many sustainability related projects, as seniors in the Mechanical Engineering program get to make whatever device they are interested in.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Food & Dining?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Food & Dining:

The Farm-to-Fork Dinner on the bridge is an event hosted by students to help students and to engage with the community. The produce used to create the multi-course dinner is grown in a student run garden in the BAC Yard, while the herbs are grown in our aquaponics system. The meal itself is also cooked by students under supervision of a chef. The goal of this dinner is to celebrate sustainable eating, and to promote students helping students. The proceeds from the tickets sold are donated to a different cause each year. Some past proceeds have gone to the ASI food pantry which provides fruits and vegetables to students on campus who can't afford it and the CAMP program which supports students with a migrant or seasonal farm worker background.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Grounds?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Grounds:

Student interns work the extensive composting program through the Sustainability department. Among our 3 different types of composting is Windrow composting: a method which composts green waste and campus leaves. This compost is then put back to use through volunteers, staff, and students to tend to campus gardens and trees. A portion of this compost is also donated to community members.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Purchasing?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Purchasing:

In a student driven initiative, stores on campus have shifted to only selling green books used for student testing. Faculty changed their syllabi to specify this change. Green books are made of recycled materials, making them more eco-friendly than blue books.


IIs the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Transportation?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Transportation:

In the 2019 Spring semester, Sac State was home to Ollie: an electric, 3D printed, driver-less shuttle to get students around campus. the "Ollie experiment" was conducted for 3 months and researched by students to discover it's impact and student receptiveness. This research is going to be utilized to work on future green transportation initiatives on campus.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Waste?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Waste:

One of composting programs is thermal composting, which aims to capture post consumer food waste. Students collect food waste and coffee grounds from on campus eateries and coffee houses to compost. This mixture is mixed with leaves to create compost, some of which is then put back onto campus to fertilize the plants and trees. The rest of the compost is donated to businesses, schools, and members of the community.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Water?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Water:

Students in collaboration with the sustainability team conducted a faucet study to determine the effectiveness of automatic water faucets. The study concluded that automatic water faucets with a 0.35 gpm aerator are the most sustainable water faucet, reducing water by 54%. In response to this study, Sac State replaced traditional water faucets campus wide with automatic ones.
https://www.csus.edu/experience/innovation-creativity/sustainability/_internal/_documents/ir-faucet.pdf


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Coordination & Planning?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Coordination & Planning:

The Planning, Construction and Design department employs student assistants who work on planning and coordination such as sustainable design attributes and LEED Gold building certification requirements as found in our new science complex.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Diversity & Affordability?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Diversity & Affordability:

The Associated Students Inc. or ASI is an organization to assist and advocate for students at Sac State. ASI is home to the food pantry, a place on campus where students in financial hardship can get food and toiletries for free. Another service they offer is the Pop-Up pantry, a bi-monthly program where students can pick up fresh fruits and vegetables, some of which are grown on campus.
https://asi.csus.edu/asi-food-pantry


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Investment & Finance?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Investment & Finance:

Sustainability has partnered with the business department to give students a better understanding of how sustainability, finance, and business are correlated. The sustainability department will give walking tours of campus and the BAC Yard to students to teach them about the different efforts that go into a sustainable campus as well as an understanding of how that relates to financial decisions.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Wellbeing & Work?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Wellbeing & Work:

Nutrition services offered at Student Health and Counseling Services include individual counseling and group classes. Among the services provided are:
•Individual Nutrition Counseling
•Diet Analysis
•WIN (Healthy Eating Program)
•Cooking Demonstrations
•Interactive Educational Presentations
•Information and Resources on Healthy Eating
https://shcssacstate.org/wellness-promotion/nutrition-services


Website URL where information about the institution’s living laboratory program is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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