Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 73.19
Liaison Ryan Todd
Submission Date April 30, 2024

STARS v2.2

California State University, Sacramento
EN-11: Inter-Campus Collaboration

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Is the institution currently a member of a national or international higher education sustainability network?:
Yes

The name of the national or international sustainability network(s):

Second Nature Climate Leadership Network


United Nations Sustainable Development Network


Better Climate Challenge


Does the institution actively participate in a regional, state/provincial, or local higher education sustainability network?:
Yes

The name of the regional, state/provincial or local sustainability network(s):

CRRA - Zero Waste Campus Council


CRCRC - Building Decarbonization Working Group


California Alliance for Community Composting 


CSU Sustainability Affinity Group


CSU Energy Utility Manager Group


Has the institution presented at a higher education sustainability conference during the previous year?:
Yes

A list or brief description of the conference(s) and presentation(s):

California Resource Recovery Association-46th Annual Conference & Tradeshow: The California Resource Recovery Association organizes one of the most comprehensive and informative conferences dedicated to recycling and sustainable materials management in California and beyond. A member of our team presented in a workshop at the conference on how to manage and reuse “miscellaneous” waste in a college campus setting. *“Miscellaneous” waste is all the extra stuff that ends up in the landfill.*


California Higher Education Conference: This 4-day conference, a joint endeavor of The California State University, the California Community Colleges, and the University of California, convenes administrative leaders and professionals from the three segments of California public higher education, to encourage the exchange of ideas and practices, which help improve administrative performance, service, and outcomes. During the 2023 CHEC conference, our team presented two opportunities. Sacramento State was selected as a recipient of an award at the California Higher Education Conference for the innovative project of rolling out building-level water metering that wirelessly transmits data to the campus's public-facing dashboard in real time. In addition to the benefit of being able to track water usage effortlessly, the project was implemented at 10% of the cost of traditional metering, which saved the campus hundreds of thousands of dollars through the avoided cost of drilling, trenching, and demolition associated with the installation of conventional meters. On the last day of the conference, a member of our team led a zero-waste workshop in which it was presented Sacramento State’s efforts on reusing surplus and proper campus assets management.


USF Patel College of Global Sustainability 2023 Conference: The University of South Florida’s Patel College of Global Sustainability (PCGS) commemorated a decade of pioneering sustainable solutions with a three-day 10th anniversary celebration filled with inspiration, collaboration, and recognition of the need for global impact. The event centered on a sustainability conference that reflected PCGS’s decade-long journey in shaping leaders for a sustainable tomorrow. On the climate panel of the conference, a member of Sacramento State's sustainability team presented the steps the campus is taking for climate mitigation and adaptation. USF Patel College of Global Sustainability 2023 Conference: The University of South Florida’s Patel College of Global Sustainability (PCGS) commemorated a decade of pioneering sustainable solutions with a three-day 10th anniversary celebration filled with inspiration, collaboration, and recognition of the need for global impact. The event centered on a sustainability conference that reflected PCGS’s decade-long journey in shaping leaders for a sustainable tomorrow. On the climate panel of the conference, a member of Sacramento State's sustainability team presented the steps the campus is taking for climate mitigation and adaptation.


WOHESC: Through participating in the Department of Energy’s Better Climate Challenge, California State University, Sacramento was selected to partner in delivering key decarbonization strategies at the Washington Oregon Higher Education Sustainability Conference. Collaboration across higher education partners allows different universities to share lessons learned from different energy reduction projects and decarbonization strategies to stretch limited resources further to support educational programs and offer unique opportunities for multi-disciplinary approaches to research and learning.


California Sustainable Facilities Forum: The Forum is designed for public and private sector professionals engaged in facility project design, decarbonization, water conservation, electric vehicle and electric vehicle infrastructure, and meeting management and execution of projects in their respective areas. Sacramento State Office of Sustainability and the Grounds and Landscaping team presented the campus roadmap to zero waste, including campus partnerships, on-campus composting operations, and SB1383 compliance plans. 


California Green Schools & Higher Education Summit: The Summit is designed for public and private sector professionals engaged in facility project design, decarbonization, water conservation, electric vehicle and electric vehicle infrastructure, school and higher education facilities, and programs to facilitate the execution of projects in their respective areas. Sacramento State Office of Sustainability presented on the campus strategies and programs to achieve zero waste including campus partnerships and on-campus composting operations as well as SB1383 compliance plans. Auxiliaries Organization Association


Has the institution submitted a case study during the previous year to an external higher education sustainability resource center or awards program?:
Yes

A list or brief description of the sustainability resource center or awards program and submission(s):

2023 California Green Schools & Higher Education Summit awarded Sacramento State, the University of the Year award for demonstrating their leadership and commitment to sustainability and innovation in waste reduction: In response to this policy, CSU Sacramento's Office of Sustainability embarked on a mission to find an innovative and cost-effective solution to address the use of single-use plastic water bottles on campus. Their solution, the Water Hydration Stations, exemplifies sustainability efficiency. By strategically deploying mobile hydration stations with filtration systems at university events, CSU Sacramento provides clean drinking water while effectively replacing countless single-use plastic bottles with an eco-friendly alternative. This initiative not only aligns with the CSU Single-Use Plastics policy but also echoes the institution's broader commitment to achieving zero waste by 2030. The impact of this endeavor is far-reaching. It benefits the entire campus community, including students, faculty, and staff, while also extending its positive influence on the surrounding community and the local municipality. By eliminating the need for 1,000 plastic water bottles per station, per event, CSU Sacramento is making measurable strides in reducing plastic waste.


The California Higher Education Conference awarded two efficiency awards to Sacramento State during the 2023 conference for the following projects: Water Meter Project: In late 2018 the Sac State Sustainability team determined a need for more accurate and less labor-intensive building-level water data. The meters that were in place were manually read analog units and many buildings had no meters at all. An engineering study was commissioned to determine the cost of installing smart meters campus-wide, and the study determined the estimated cost for the project would be $2.2 Million, with an average cost of $50,000 per installed meter. The high cost was largely due to the need for a new conduit to provide network cable and power at each site. The Sustainability team did not proceed with the project due to the high installation cost. In late 2022 a cheaper alternative was found. Metron Farnier offers water meters that use a cellular signal and long-term battery pack to provide daily building-level water meter data. The units require no new conduit, network cable, or power to be run to the sites. After an initial pilot project to confirm campus-wide viability and IRT approval, the campus decided to move forward with campus-wide deployment of the units. 60 units were ordered at a cost of $800-$3,800 depending on the size. The upfront cost also included a 10-year cellular package and there are no monthly or annual maintenance fees. A Job Order Contract was leveraged for the physical installation of the units. To date, more than 40 units have been installed and integrated into the campus Energy Information System and Dashboard. After installation, the average cost of each site (meter and installation) was $6,800. The campus now has the water data we need at an 86% decrease over the initial cost estimates. Following the completion of the remaining 20 water meters, the same process will occur with gas meters, as Metron Farnier also has a gas meter option. Hornet Reuse: In 2019, Sac State committed to achieving zero waste by 2030. The Office of Sustainability has been working to reduce campus waste and increase efficiency through various programs. During student move-in and move-out events, efforts were made to reduce wastage by exploring alternative options, such as renting storage units or converting large closets into small campus stores. Unfortunately, due to space constraints, these options were not practical. Additionally, Campus Surplus was not being utilized to its full potential, as many office items were being unnecessarily discarded, and new furniture was being purchased. To address these issues and create a sense of community between students, faculty, and staff at Sac State, Hornet Reuse was developed. Hornet Reuse is an innovative mobile app that connects students, faculty, and staff for the exchange of items. The app has not only facilitated a culture of reusing and repurposing but has also led to significant cost savings through the better utilization of the campus surplus. During the first three months, the app saved $150,000 through prudent furniture acquisition. This is a testament to the fiscal prudence the app encourages. Additionally, the app's potential to save up to $30,000 for an office of four employees when furnishing a space underscores its value in promoting efficient resource utilization. Hornet Reuse has also contributed to a remarkable 3% increase in waste diversion, effectively diverting valuable resources from landfills and reducing carbon emissions associated with production and disposal. This achievement aligns perfectly with campus sustainability objectives and sets a positive example for other institutions seeking to enhance their environmental stewardship. Furthermore, the app's role in fostering social equity and genuine connections within the Sac State community cannot be overlooked. By encouraging collaborative consumption and sharing, Hornet Reuse creates a platform for individuals to engage with each other, reinforcing a sense of unity and community engagement. In summary, Hornet Reuse is an innovative solution to modern consumption challenges. Its multifaceted impacts encompass waste reduction, financial savings, carbon footprint reduction, and community building. The initiative's success illuminates a promising path toward a future where sustainable resource management and vibrant community interaction go hand in hand.


UI GreenMetric awarded Sacramento State as the 2023 Most Sustainably Improved University. In recognition of the campus's dedication to sustainability and significant improvements during the 2022 reporting period.


Has the institution had employees or students serving on a board or committee of a sustainability network or conference during the previous three years?:
Yes

A list or brief description of the board or committee appointment(s):

Sustainability Officers Affinity Group and Energy Utility Managers Group with other CSUs to discuss and share insight on topics relating to sustainability.


CRRA Zero Waste Campus Council Chair


CRCRC BDWG Organizer/Facilitator


Does the institution have an ongoing mentoring relationship with another institution through which it assists the institution with its sustainability reporting and/or the development of its sustainability program?:
Yes

A brief description of the mentoring relationship and activities:

Sac State has worked with other CSUs and UC's to help them implement new sustainability features and to expand existing programs, most notably composting methods. Waste Reduction in Dining Facilities Series: Sacramento State took the lead to create and lead the first of the Waste Reduction in Dining Facilities Series for all the CSUs and their food vendors. During this training we discussed relevant California policy, the implementation and compliance for the CSU Single Use Plastic policy, and different strategies to get dining facilities closer to the sustainability goals.


Has the institution had employees or students serving as peer reviewers of another institution’s sustainability data and/or STARS submission during the previous three years?:
No

A brief description of the peer review activities:
---

A brief description of other inter-campus collaborative efforts around sustainability during the previous year :

After Sacramento State's pilot project of Hornet Reuse in 2022 the campus identified key areas where campuses can work together to make the program better. For the last year (2023) California State University Sacramento and California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo have been working together to build a reuse app for their students that is safe, easy, and convenient with the purpose of reducing waste while building community by reducing inequities. Both campuses are also working on creating a similar system for campus surplus exchanges hoping to be able to reuse materials within the sister's campuses instead of disposing of those.


Website URL where information about the institution’s inter-campus collaborations is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

CRRA Zero Waste Campus Council: https://www.crra.com/zwcc-technical-council California Green Schools & Higher Education Summit: https://www.green-technology.org/gcshes-leadership-awards/ CHEC: https://www.calstate.edu/uknowledgeshare/conferences/Pages/2023-conference.aspx


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.