Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 58.21
Liaison Darcy Coughlan
Submission Date Dec. 20, 2021

STARS v2.2

Coastal Carolina University
PRE-2: Points of Distinction

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete N/A Darcy Coughlan
Associate Director
Sustain Coastal
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name of the institution’s featured sustainability program, initiative, or accomplishment:
Sustainability & Coastal Resilience, B.A. & B.S.

A brief description of the institution’s featured program, initiative, or accomplishment:
At Coastal Carolina University (CCU), students can pursue either a Bachelor of Science degree or Bachelor of Arts degree in Sustainability and Coastal Resilience. Unique to this program, students apply knowledge and skills to the issues specifically facing coastal communities through coursework that focuses on coastal resiliency, a growing subfield in the sustainability profession. CCU is the first public institution in South Carolina to offer an undergraduate degree with a focus on sustainability, and the only institution in the nation to offer a degree in Sustainability and Coastal Resilience. This interdisciplinary degree program employs a transformative learning approach that empowers learners to question and change the way they see and think about the world through knowledge acquisition, practical experience in the field, reflection and observation, and the co-generation of new ideas and solutions for 21st century challenges and opportunities. Because our students work directly on local sustainability and coastal resiliency issues, they are uniquely prepared to meet the needs of companies and organizations whose day-to-day business will directly benefit from the implementation of sustainability practices that increase coastal resiliency. Our students also have the opportunity to gain real-world experience in policy development and education outreach through their engagement with the United Nations Regional Centre of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development housed at Coastal Carolina University in partnership with the National Estuarine Research Reserve. In addition to delivering the content knowledge necessary to succeed as a professional in the field of sustainability, the Sustainability and Coastal Resilience degree program delivers a curriculum specifically designed to help students develop and master competencies in systems thinking, strategic analysis, collaborative leadership and problem solving, critical thinking, and effective public communication.

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

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-3: Undergraduate Program

A photograph or document associated with the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment:

Name of a second highlighted sustainability program/initiative/accomplishment:
The United Nations Georgetown RISE Youth Corps

A brief description of the second program/initiative/accomplishment:
In January 2017, Coastal Carolina University (CCU), in partnership with the North Inlet - Winyah Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) and Georgetown County, founded Georgetown RISE - a United Nations Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE) on Education for Sustainable Development. The only RCE in the coastal Southeastern U.S., Georgetown RISE promotes science-based research and decision-making by unifying community members, educators, businesses, elected officials, and youth within the county to initiate a sustainable and resilient future for Georgetown County. The RCE network brings together multi-sectoral and interdisciplinary members who might not usually work together. As such, RCEs are uniquely placed to help create solutions to sustainability challenges through dialogue, education, and learning. In 2018, Georgetown RISE launched a local initiative to better prepare leaders of tomorrow in making smart and sustainable choices for the future. Called the UN Youth Corps Program, this program is a high impact, transformative learning program centered on giving CCU students real life skills and professional experiences surrounding issues on sustainable development in Georgetown County. The effort supports a scientific/research-based perspective, while engaging a place for productive dialogue and collaboration on sustainability, enabling a process for incubating student engagement and cultivation of professional talent, and encouraging participation and outreach related to sustainable development. Each spring and summer semester, approximately 45-50 UN Youth Corps students work at a paid internship in Georgetown County, as designated by public and private county leaders. CCU faculty oversee the internships and experiences with county officials. Students are also enrolled in a class led by CCU instructor(s) with special lectures from county leaders on sustainable development and coastal resilience. At the end of each semester, students relate their internship experiences to local, national, and international goals, and present their findings in a public forum as part of a data collection effort for county leadership and stakeholders.

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

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):
AC-5: Immersive Experience

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

Name of a third highlighted program/initiative/accomplishment:
Zero-Waste Football

A brief description of the third program/initiative/accomplishment:
When the gates opened for the 2019 football season, Chanticleer fans were introduced to a brand-new game day experience inside Brooks Stadium at Coastal Carolina University. In addition to 11,000 more seats, new luxury suites, and expanded concession offerings, every Chanticleer home football game has been transformed into a zero-waste football initiative, providing 16,000 fans with the opportunity to practice environmental stewardship by recycling and composting their waste on game days. Since then, CCU has strived for continuous improvement of zero-waste operations at our football games. At nearly every home game in the Fall 2021 season, 70 percent or more of the waste generated at Brooks Stadium was diverted from the landfill. This diversion rate is a true showcase of the success of this program, made possible by collaborative partnerships across CCU, our University’s commitment to sustainability on campus, and the behind-the-scenes work of CCU’s TD Campus and Community Sustainability Initiative (Sustain Coastal) staff and student volunteers. Through dedicated partnerships between Chanticleer Athletics and Aramark Dining Services, concessions have changed drastically. Single-use plastic packaging has evolved into compostable paper-based packaging for the most popular items (food wrappers, popcorn boxes, nacho trays), eliminating a significant amount of waste from every game. Plastic souvenir cups have also been replaced with aluminum cups that are reusable and infinitely recyclable. Not only has this prevented thousands of non-recyclable cups from going to the landfill, but fans are also offered an alternative that is highly recoverable, reusable, and now wildly popular. During each game, students and staff collect recyclables and compostable materials within the stadium from each of the 32 zero-waste stations. The remaining waste left behind in the stands is collected after each game and hand-sorted the next day by student workers and volunteers. In addition to the waste diverted from the landfill, each game also provides hands-on experiential learning opportunities for classes and individual student volunteers. Students gain invaluable insight into the scale of waste generated on campus and beyond, helping to raise awareness within the larger CCU community about sustainable practices that students and fans alike can take with them beyond game day.

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

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):
AC-8: Campus as a Living Lab; EN-5: Outreach Campaign

A photograph or document associated with the third program/initiative/accomplishment:
Data source(s) and notes about the submission:
Zero Waste Football Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AcjA9gsUdYg

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