Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 65.95
Liaison Susan Powers
Submission Date Feb. 12, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Clarkson University
IN-2: Innovation 2

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Susan Powers
Director of the Institute for a Sustainable Environment
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Title or keywords related to the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Reusable To-Go Boxes Charge to Generate Sustainability Funds and Reduce Waste

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:

In January of 2015 Clarkson began charging consumers $0.50 for the use of a disposable to-go box in all campus dining halls. Aramark, our food provider, simultaneously provided all students with one free reusable to-go box. The practice stemmed fro two separate student-led Sustainability Fund projects that investigated options for reducing the waste associated with dining services. The first group identified the Ozzi Machines as one option for organizing such a massive shift in the culture of eating on the run and convenient disposal of containers. The initial voluntary and no-cost implementation of re-useable to-go boxes had very limited success and change in behavior. The second project related the issue to environmental economics and the need to impose a price on materials that are interpreted as being free, but that have both real internal and external costs.

A brief description of any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation (if not reported above):

This project reduced disposable to-go box usage by approximately 37,000 boxes per month (down to ~1,500 disposable boxes per month). It has saved approximately 2-3 hours a day of custodial labor by eliminating an estimated 60 trash bags a day.

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise:
Which of the following STARS subcategories does the innovation most closely relate to? (Select all that apply up to a maximum of five):
Yes or No
Curriculum No
Research No
Campus Engagement Yes
Public Engagement No
Air & Climate No
Buildings No
Dining Services Yes
Energy No
Grounds No
Purchasing Yes
Transportation No
Waste Yes
Water No
Coordination, Planning & Governance No
Diversity & Affordability No
Health, Wellbeing & Work No
Investment No

Other topic(s) that the innovation relates to that are not listed above:

The website URL where information about the innovation is available:
Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

see also the rotating feature videos at http://www.clarkson.edu/green/index.html

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.