Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 77.56
Liaison John Pumilio
Submission Date Oct. 11, 2022

STARS v2.2

Colgate University
EN-5: Outreach Campaign

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 John Pumilio
Director of Sustainability
Sustainability Office
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Has the institution held a sustainability-related outreach campaign during the previous three years that was directed at students and yielded measurable, positive results in advancing sustainability?:
Yes

Has the institution held a sustainability-related outreach campaign during the previous three years that was directed at employees and yielded measurable, positive results in advancing sustainability?:
Yes

Name of the campaign:
Waste Minimization and Recycling

A brief description of the campaign:

Colgate's Office of Sustainability provides education on waste minimization and recycling to campus community members throughout the year. The campaign focuses on how students and staff can minimize landfill waste and reduce, reuse, recycle, and compost. With programs such as Race to Zero Waste (formerly RecycleMania), Green Living, and Green Office programs, and through activities planned and implemented by an on-campus composting program led by the student Compost Club, the office has improved behaviors across the campus. Colgate's recycling guidance is available at: https://www.colgate.edu/about/campus-services-and-resources/waste-minimization-and-recycling.

In 2021, the university committed to Zero Plastic Waste as part of our newly approved Third-Century Sustainability Plan. One of our initial projects was to expand the use of reusable eco-containers in our main dining hall. We were especially focused on rolling this out during COVID when our students were in quarantine during their first two weeks on campus at the start of each semester in the fall of 2020 and again in the spring of 2021.

In the fall of 2020, students received their meals in paper bags and disposable containers. This, of course, resulted in a lot of unnecessary waste. In the spring of 2021, we introduced an expanded eco-container program where students came out of quarantine at designed times to pick up their meals at our main dining hall. Upon entry, they were given a reusable container and they placed their meal into the container. When they returned for their next meal, they brought back their dirty container for cleaning and picked up a clean container. This resulted in significantly reduced waste and we measured the results by comparing the two quarantine periods. See below.

The Office of Sustainability also runs an employee Sustainability Passport Program and offered a new series on Sustainability at Home during COVID. Over the past few years, Office staff gave over a dozen presentations to employees in different departments on Colgate's recycling and waste management program. Besides these targeted presentations, communication on proper recycling was directed specifically to employees through the Office's newsletter.


A brief description of the measured positive impact(s) of the campaign:

Landfill totals comparing fall 2020 vs spring 2021 quarantine

Fall Quarantine: 8 Day Comparison (2nd week)
August 28 - Sept 4 (2020)
Landfill: 18.99 tons
AVG/Day: 2.37 tons/day

Spring Quarantine: 6 Day Comparison (2nd week)
January 27 - Feb 1 (2021)
Landfill: 9.54 tons
AVG/Day: 1.59 tons/day

We normalized the data as much as possible so we could see the impact that reusable containers had on our volume of landfill waste.


Name of the campaign (2nd campaign):
Electricity Conservation and Efficiency

A brief description of the campaign (2nd campaign):

Colgate's Office of Sustainability provides education and social-marketing strategies to reduce electricity consumption on campus. During spring semester 2021, we continued conducting Colgate-specific residential competitions, the largest being Colgate Unplugged. The competitions serve as a fun and competitive way to encourage energy conservation and sustainable behavior. We use peer-to-peer education, prompts on light switches, real-time energy use data, and tabling events to reduce wasted electricity.

Eleven (11) residence halls were targeted during the Colgate Unplugged competition:
Andrews Hall
Bryan Complex
Burke Hall
Curtis Hall
118 Broad Street
Drake Hall
East Hall
Gate House
Pinchin Hall
Stillman Hall
West Hall

Again, the Office of Sustainability runs an employee Sustainability Passport Program and offered a new series on Sustainability at Home during COVID. Over the past few years, Office staff gave over a dozen presentations to employees in different departments on ways to conserve energy at home and at work. Besides these targeted presentations, communication on energy conservation and management was directed specifically to employees through the Office's newsletter.


A brief description of the measured positive impact(s) of the campaign (2nd campaign):

The results of Colgate Unplugged are captured when we compare electricity consumption pre-competition vs. post-competition.

Normal Operations:
Fall Semester (September - November) 2020
Total Electricity Consumption for 11 Residence Halls: 678,240 kWh

Colgate Unplugged Campaign:
Spring Semester (February - April) 2021
Total Electricity Consumption for 11 Residence Halls: 479,480 kWh

Total Reduction in 11 residence halls: 198,760 kWh


A brief description of other sustainability-related outreach campaigns:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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