Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 53.57
Liaison Noah Upchurch
Submission Date March 3, 2023

STARS v2.2

Catawba College
PRE-2: Points of Distinction

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

Name of the institution’s featured sustainability program, initiative, or accomplishment:
On-Campus Solar & Geothermal Energy Projects

A brief description of the institution’s featured program, initiative, or accomplishment:

Catawba College has made great progress in lowering its Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by adding photovoltaic (PV) and solar hot water systems, and geothermal water-based heating and cooling systems to its campus. Nine campus buildings have roof-mounted PV and/or solar hot water systems and one campus parking lot has PV canopies, all of which were installed in 2015. In total, Catawba's campus is home to nearly one megawatt of PV systems.

The College also has an extensive system of geothermal wells that are used for heating and cooling many of the campus buildings. Water from the geothermal system that heats and cools the Hayes Field House is captured in a 20,000-gallon storage tank and used to irrigate all of the College’s athletic fields (approximately 30 acres).

Which of the following impact areas does the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment most closely relate to?:
Air & Climate

Website URL where more information about the accomplishment may be found:
STARS credit in which the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment is reported (if applicable):
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory; OP-6: Clean & Renewable Energy; OP-21: Water Use

A photograph or document associated with the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment:
Name of a second highlighted sustainability program/initiative/accomplishment:
AASHE Award-Winning Equity, Diversity, Justice, Inclusion Task Force

A brief description of the second program/initiative/accomplishment:

During the 2021-22 academic year, AASHE awarded Catawba College its inaugural and international Racial Equity and Sustainability Collaborations award for the work of the Equity, Diversity, Justice, and Inclusion (EDJI) Task Force led by co-chairs Dr. Mercedes Quesada-Embid and Dr. ChaMarra Saner. The EDJI Task Force was formed to build a campus community where all members thrive by working to cultivate critical conversations and practices that close opportunity gaps and promote equity, diversity, justice, and inclusion on our campus and in the larger community.

The College is very proud of the work done by the EDJI Task Force under the leadership of Drs. Quesada-Embid and Saner and is honored that the work was selected for recognition by AASHE. We believe this award recognizes our commitment to making our campus community stronger by prioritizing diversity and recognizing that more work needs to be done to achieve a more equitable and less discriminatory community at our institution.

In addition to the link to the AASHE press release below, Catawba College's documentation of the award can be accessed at: https://catawba.edu/news/all-news/archives/catawba-college-receives-international-sustainabil/

Which impact areas does the second program/initiative/accomplishment most closely relate to?:
Campus Engagement
Diversity & Affordability

Website URL where more information about the second program/initiative/accomplishment may be found:
STARS credit in which the second program/initiative/accomplishment is reported (if applicable):
PA-5: Diversity and Equity Coordination, IN-9: Diversity and Equity Recognition

A photograph or document associated with the second program/initiative/accomplishment:
Name of a third highlighted program/initiative/accomplishment:
Catawba College Financial Support for Environmental Work, Center for the Environment & Stanback Ecological Preserve

A brief description of the third program/initiative/accomplishment:

Catawba College has received substantial financial support for its environmental work. 2021 and 2022, the College received $242 million in anonymous endowment gifts with a goal of the College becoming the leading small college for the environment in the southeastern United States. One-third of the earnings on these endowment gifts support the College's Department of Environment & Sustainability and its Center for the Environment.

Catawba College also has two features that we believe make us unique among small colleges: the Center for the Environment and the 189-acre Fred Stanback Jr. Ecological Preserve. The building for the Center for the Environment is set between the Preserve and the main campus grounds and provides a spectacular, tree-house-like setting for our Environment & Sustainability Program as well as for the Center's operations.

The Center for the Environment provides environmental and sustainability programming for the College and the surrounding community while also hosting regional and national conferences such as the National Environmental Youth Summit. The Center also acts as a coordinator for programs like the North Carolina Green Schools Program while hosting other environmental education groups in its space. The Center is a frequent convener of state and regional groups that work on policy issues. The Center recently hired a new executive director who is charged with giving the Center more of a national role in environmental policy issues.

The Preserve is a living-learning laboratory for our students and features:

- 189 acres of wetland environment inside the Salisbury, North Carolina city limits;
- Diverse bird populations of raptors, songbirds, waterfowl, herons, woodpeckers, and more;
- Aquatic mammals such as beavers, minks, and otters;
- Gray foxes, coyotes, raccoons, opossums, squirrels, and deer; and
- An impressive reptile and amphibian presence including the mole salamander and vulnerable eastern box turtle.

Overall, the Center for the Environment and the Stanback Preserve combine to make Catawba College a unique environmental and sustainability leader among small colleges.

The attached photos are current pictures of the Center of the Environment Building and images of the Preserve from 1994, before the restoration of the wetland environment was completed. For an aerial tour of the Preserve now, please visit:

Which impact areas does the third program/initiative/accomplishment most closely relate to?:
Campus Engagement
Public Engagement

Website URL where more information about the third program/initiative/accomplishment may be found:
STARS credit in which the third program/initiative/accomplishment is reported (if applicable):
EN-2: Student Orientation, EN-3: Student Life, EN-4: Outreach Materials & Pubs, EN-10: Community Partnerships, EN-11: Inter-Campus Collab, EN-14: Participation in Public Policy, OP-9: Landscape Mgt, OP-10: Biodiversity, OP-22: Rainwater Mgt

A photograph or document associated with the third program/initiative/accomplishment:

Additional information about the College's Stanback Ecological Preserve can be found at https://catawba.edu/preserve/.

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.