Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 55.87
Liaison Ian Johnson
Submission Date July 29, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Colorado College
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

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

Is the institution utilizing the campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in the following areas?:
Yes or No
Air & Climate Yes
Buildings Yes
Dining Services/Food Yes
Energy Yes
Grounds Yes
Purchasing Yes
Transportation Yes
Waste Yes
Water Yes
Coordination, Planning & Governance Yes
Diversity & Affordability Yes
Health, Wellbeing & Work Yes
Investment Yes
Public Engagement Yes
Other Yes

A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Air & Climate and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

The Office of Sustainability interns have used the campus as a living labratory for air & climate while collecting data for STARS. The intern in charge of data collection conducted an interview of the HVAC/ Central Plant Supervisor and was given a tour of the heating plant facility. Furthermore, the Office of Sustainability employs a student intern to work on the college's annual greenhouse gas inventory. The intern looks at all aspects of campus to collect data related to greenhouse gas emissions and has looked into ways of implementing more efficient recording systems.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Buildings and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

CC's Campus Energy Manager has employed several students to conduct lighting and energy audits in buildings on campus in order to locate areas to improve efficiency. Furthermore, the Office of Sustainability interns have used campus as a living labratory for buildings while collecting data for STARS. Through communication with CC's Campus Planner, interns have learned about building operation and maintenance, design and construction, and indoor air quality.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Dining Services/Food and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

In spring of 2014, students conducted a two-week long "audit" of campus dining purchases for their final project in the Environmental Ethics course. Using the framework provided by the Real Food Calculator, the students systematically analyzed the quality of the various products being purchased and generated quantitative data based on local, ecological, fair trade, and humane expenditures. In addition, the Office of Sustainability interns met with Bon Appetit staff in order to collect data for STARS.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Energy and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

The Office of Sustainability Interns have used the campus as a living laboratory for energy while collecting data for STARS. Through meeting with the College's Campus Energy Manager, interns learned the ins and outs of energy on campus and were able to evaluate the strengths of shortcomings.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Grounds and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

Students enrolled in courses such as Nature & Spirit -Science & Religion, Environmental Stewardship & Spirituality, and Conservation Biology & Spirituality have studied ecology through South Crestone Creek at CC's Baca campus. First year student orientation groups have and will continue to participate in stewardship efforts at the Baca Campus through native planting activities etc. In addition, two interns from the Office of Sustainability have been collaborating with faculty and facilities staff to improve the prioritization of sustainability in campus landscaping. By the end of the 2013-2014, these students will have proposed their plans to CC's Master Planning Committee and the Design Review Board for approval. In addition, the Office of Sustainability interns have used the campus as a living laboratory for grounds while meeting with the Grounds Crew to discuss campus landscaping.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Purchasing and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

The Office of Sustainability interns have used the campus as a living labratory for purchasing while collecting data for STARS. By communicating with members of the Purchasing Department, interns have been briefed on the purchasing policies and procedures adapted by the College and have been able to opportunities to improve.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Transportation and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

The Office of Sustainability interns have used the campus as a living labratory for transportation while collecting data for STARS. By communicating with representatives of the Transportation Department, interns have gathered insight on the campus's use of sustainable transportation and have been able to determine areas in which the campus can improve.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Waste and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

The College hired a student intern to manage the promotion and execution of the 2014 Recylemania contest, a competition which requires the College to track waste and challenges it to make measurable waste reductions. While working on the project, the student collaborated with an intern from the Office of Sustainability and the leader of ENACT to brainstorm a number of strategies for long-term waste reduction on campus. These students are proposing their suggestions to the Sustainability Council in an effort to acquire funding for project implementation. In addition, the Office of Sustainability interns have used the campus as a living labratory for waste while collecting data for STARS.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Water and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

In addition, the Office of Sustainability interns have used the campus as a living laboratory for water while collecting data for STARS.

-julian, NSO training -- also waste
-sense of place, xeriscape


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Coordination, Planning & Governance and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

The Office of Sustainability Interns used campus as a living laboratory for Coordination, Planning & Governance while collecting data for STARS.

Several students serve on the Campus Sustainability Council


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Diversity & Affordability and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

The Office of Sustainability Interns have used the campus as a living labratory for Diversity & Affordability while collecting data for STARS.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Health, Wellbeing & Work and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

The Office of Sustainability Interns have used campus as a living labratory for Health, Wellbeing & Work while collecting data for STARS.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Investment and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

The Office of Sustainability Interns used campus as a living labratory for Air & Climate while collecting data for STARS.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Public Engagement and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

The Office of Sustainability interns have used the campus as a living labratory for public engagement while collecting data for STARS.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory in Other areas and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

Student Chris Edmounds received a grant from the College to increase campus signage featuring sustainability initiatives.


The website URL where information about the institution’s campus as a living laboratory program or projects is available:
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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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.