Overall Rating Platinum - expired
Overall Score 88.14
Liaison Tonie Miyamoto
Submission Date Dec. 6, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Colorado State University
EN-11: Inter-Campus Collaboration

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Stacey Baumgarn
Campus Energy Coordinator
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Is the institution an active member of a national or international sustainability network?:

The name of the national or international sustainability network(s):

CSU is a member of Future Earth, a global platform for international scientific collaboration, providing the knowledge required for societies in the world to face risks posed by global environmental change and to seize opportunities in a transition to global sustainability. The governance structure of Future Earth embraces the concepts of co-design and co-production of science with relevant stakeholders across a wide range of sectors. The Governing Council and its subsidiary bodies are representatives from a range of communities (academia, founders, governments, international, organizations and science assessments, development groups, business and industry, civil society and the media). The work of these bodies is supported by the Future Earth Secretariat that coordinates the scientific projects and performs the day-to-day management of Future Earth, ensuring coordination across themes, projects, regions and committees, and liaising with key actors. The Secretariat comprises five global hubs which function as a single entity, located in Canada (Montreal), France (Paris), Japan (Tokyo), Sweden (Stockholm) and the United States (Colorado). CSU and the University of Colorado are part of the U.S. hub.

CSU is also a member of AASHE and has a representative on the STARS Advisory Panel.

CSU is also a member of the Nitrogen Footprint Network. The N-Print project provides an individual and institution level nitrogen footprint calculator and is an internationally supported project that is made up of researchers from the US and the Netherlands. The goal of this project is to “educate the general public about the causes and effects of nitrogen pollution and how we can each have an impact on nitrogen pollution through our everyday choices”. The broad goal of the project is to reduce global nitrogen pollution. CSU is one of the 8 institutions in the US that has completed the nitrogen footprint assessment. For more information: http://www.n-print.org/.

A representative from CSU serves as the Communications Chair of the University Council for the Association for Commuter Transportation to help promote sustainable transportation at universities. This association specializes in transportation issues for universities and college campuses and works to address and share information related to universities, including public-private partnerships, land use, parking management, alternative commute strategies, transit services, and community involvement. For more information: https://www.actweb.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=1

Additionally, a representative from CSU served on a multi-disciplinary team tasked with developing walking goals to promote health and sustainability in northern Colorado at a conference for the Walkability Action Institute (WAI) in Georgia in April 2019.

Other non-higher education specific programs sustainability networks that CSU is a member of include: the Post Landfill Action Network, the United States Green Building Council, and the International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories (I2SL).

Is the institution an active member of a regional, state/provincial or local sustainability network?:

The name of the regional, state/provincial or local sustainability network(s):

CSU is a member of the Colorado School of Public Health, the first and only accredited school of public health in the Rocky Mountain Region, attracting top tier faculty and students from across the country, and providing a vital contribution towards ensuring our region’s health and well-being. Collaboratively formed in 2008 by the University of Colorado, Colorado State University, and the University of Northern Colorado, the Colorado School of Public Health provides training, innovative research, and community service to actively address public health issues including chronic disease, access to healthcare, environmental threats, emerging infectious diseases, and costly injuries.

ANGLES is a newer network of institutions working on leadership training for graduate students in sustainability – CSU had joined as part of our Sustainability Leadership Fellows program and one of our staff members, Aleta Weller, sits on the steering committee. The network spans US and Canada with 14 member institutions: Brown, University of Maine, University of Minnesota, Stanford, UC Santa Cruz, Duke, UC Santa Barbara, McGill, SESYNC, ASU, University of British Columbia, etc. The Goal of ANGLES is to leverage our collective resources/expertise to help member institutions streamline/avoid reinventing the wheel to get more graduate students trained in skills necessary to be leaders in their fields, and also to help new/emerging programs at universities get off the ground with fewer inputs/resources required, share best practices, etc. http://anglesnetwork.com/

CSU is also a member of the CO_CUS (Colorado College & University Sustainability Group). CSU hosted a training session for members of this group in Fall 2018 on the utilization of SIMAP to complete greenhouse gas inventories. This tool is a carbon and nitrogen-accounting platform to track, analyze, and improve campus-wide sustainability.

Has the institution presented at a sustainability conference during the previous year? :

A list or brief description of the conference(s) and presentation(s):

Representatives from CSU have presented at several conferences in the last two years. Note that some of these conferences (like AASHE) were completely focused on sustainability while others were more broadly focused with sustainability tracks.

Just a few presentations that were at higher education specific sustainability conferences include:
- AASHE Conference 2019 – “Campus Composting: How to Start, Evolve, and Overcome Challenges”. Part of a 60 minute intercampus presentation with Princeton University, Western Michigan State, St. John’s University and Fort Lewis College.
- AASHE Conference 2018: Event 0355 – “Getting to 100% Renewable Electricity”
- AASHE 2018: Event 0148 – “ISSP Networking Session: Do You Have All It Takes to Be an Effective Sustainability Professional?”. CSU had a representative on the panel.
- AASHE 2017: Event 2197: “Promoting Sustainability Through Partnerships – A Collection of Case Studies”

Presentations outside higher education that were sustainability focused include:
- League of American Bicyclists National Bike Summit (Washington D.C.) – March 2019 – presented various transportation/sustainability initiatives to peer-universities.
- 2019 Rocky Mountain Green – April 2019 - “Implementing Enhanced and Monitoring-Based Commissioning as per LEED V4 on Multiple New Construction Projects at Colorado State University”. Conference is an annual event of the Colorado Chapter of the United States Green Buildings Council. Presentation was a partnership between CSU and a higher Education Account Executive with McKinstry.
- 2019 Rocky Mountain Green – April 2019 - “Arc vs. BREEAM In-Use A Feasibility Study”. Presented with two members of the Institute for the Built Environment.
- 2019 Rocky Mountain Green – Local Edition – April 2019 - “Twenty Years of Lessons Learned How LEED Makes a Real World Difference at CSU”.
- APPA 2019 Annual Meeting & Exhibition – July 2019 – “The STARS Framework & Facilities – Better Together”
- APPA Rocky Mountain 2018 – September 2018 – “Getting to 100% Renewable Electricity”. Presented with a representative from the University of Denver.

Has the institution submitted a case study during the previous year to a sustainability awards program that is inclusive of multiple campuses? :

A list or brief description of the awards program(s) and submission(s):

In 2018, CSU submitted a case study for the APPA Facilities Manager Magazine (2018 Practicing Campus Sustainability Edition) on CSU’s implementation of all-gender restrooms and the Physical and Virtual Inclusive Campus Policy. CSU had two case studies published in APPA's 2018 ebook "Sustainability Case Studies: Best Practices In Campus Life"

Has the institution had staff, students or faculty serving on a board or committee of a sustainability network or conference during the previous three years? :

A list or brief description of the board or committee appointment(s):

CSU has a representative on the STARS Advisory Committee. Carol Dollard is an active member of the STARS Steering Committee. This committee works with staff to develop, revise and approve changes to the STARS scoring system.

CSU also has a representative on the Colorado Chapter of I2SL (International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories). Stacey Baumgarn serves as a member of the board for the Colorado chapter. For more information: https://www.i2sl.org/globalcommunity/chapters/colorado.html

CSU has a representative on the ANGLES steering committee, Aleta Weller from the School of Global Environmental Sustainability. http://anglesnetwork.com/

CSU is a member of the Nitrogen Footprint Network. Faculty member Jill Baron and the students in ESS 440 class have now completed two nitrogen footprints for CSU. Faculty member Jill Baron and former student Jacob Kimiecik wrote an article (published in April 2017 issue of Sustainability) titled “Adding a Nitrogen Footprint to Colorado State University’s Sustainability Plan”. These two individuals are also cited as two of the 11 authors in a second article in the same issue titled “The Nitrogen Footprint Tool Network: A Multi-Institution Program To Reduce Nitrogen Pollution”.

Does the institution have an ongoing mentoring relationship with another institution through which it assists the institution with its sustainability reporting and/or the development of its sustainability program?:

A brief description of the mentoring relationship and activities:

A Cadet from the United States Air Force Academy reached out in 2019 to seek mentoring and guidance from CSU on starting some student-led sustainability initiatives at the Academy. Via phone calls and emails, CSU has provided some mentoring and coaching on where to start, potential resources, and how to measure success. This is an ongoing, open dialogue.

The CSU System has sought ongoing mentoring from CSU on how to apply the sustainability success at CSU to CSU Denver Initiatives, CSU Pueblo, and CSU Global. In November 2018, representatives from CSU participated in an intra-state exchange at CSU Pueblo. This day-long visit, tour and presentation to students in a class about Green Building was a peer-to-peer networking and sharing event. CSU Fort Collins is further down the sustainability path than CSU Pueblo. However, that campus has made significant investments in renewable energy and has a lot of potential for more. Our visit focused around discussions and tours with the Director of Facilities, and two faculty members – one that serves as a key campus sustainability champion.

As the first STARS Platinum institution we are contacted regularly (at least once a week) by other institutions for information on specific sustainability programs, STARS reporting, and general sustainability insight.

Has the institution had staff, faculty, or students serving as peer reviewers of another institution’s sustainability data (e.g. GHG emissions or course inventory) and/or STARS submission during the previous three years?:

A brief description of the peer review activities:

As the first Platinum ranked university, CSU receives numerous calls and emails from other universities and we often share knowledge and brainstorm together. We make it a priority to reply to every inquiry (often multiple per week), and answer frequent questions about specific credits and/or review credits or sections of credits for other institutions.

At the 2019 AASHE Conference Carol Dollard, CSU's Energy Manager, taught a GHG accounting session and staffed a table in the expo hall for a couple hours to offer peer review of GHG inventories and answer related questions. Carol has had several follow-ups since the conference from multiple institutions.

In February 2019, CSU planned, coordinated, and hosted a SIMAP Workshop for members of the Colorado College & University Sustainability group. We had 11 in-person participants and nine participants joined via Blue Jeans (including one person from Wisconsin). The workshop was geared toward those with questions and interest in using the SIMAP tool for GHG inventory (or completing the Nitrogen Footprint).

The Institute for the Built Environment (IBE) is a center on the CSU campus that helps CSU, other campuses, and private companies with LEED and other green building certification reporting. The program helps train students in the LEED process and provides a LEED reporting service to a variety of both public and private customers. IBE has worked with the University of Wyoming to obtain LEED Gold ratings for both the Berry Center and the Visual Arts building at the University of Wyoming.

Has the institution participated in other collaborative efforts around sustainability during the previous year, e.g. joint planning or resource sharing with other institutions? :

A brief description of other collaborative efforts around sustainability during the previous year:

CSU is a member of the Colorado Energy Research Collaboratory, which aims to secure a sustainable and resilient energy future. This is a partnership between CSU, the Colorado School of Mines, the University of Colorado Boulder and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The Collaboratory brings together broad and deep capabilities in researching developing and commercializing energy technologies. For more information: https://www.coloradocollaboratory.org/about-the-collaboratory/research-institutions/

CSU has partnered with the University of Arizona’s Southwest Climate Adaptation Science Center (SW CASC) and five other universities in the Southwestern US to “encourage, facilitate, and participate in cooperative efforts to develop the scientific tools and information needed to assist resource managers to respond to climate change”. More information: https://www.swcasc.arizona.edu/program-partners

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Additional awards:
In 2019, CSU was given an Award of Excellence for Environmental Graphics from UCDA (University and College Design Association) for a submission on sustainable graphics for a new dining facility on campus (graphics featured reclaimed materials, LED lights, and sustainability messaging).

In the awards category, CSU was ranked Number 4 on the “Top 10 Environmentally Friendly Colleges of 2019” List by College Magazine.

In 2016, CSU was the recipient of the APPA Sustainability Award for the Rocky Mountain Region. APPA is the organization of Facilities Managers in higher education. APPA's Sustainability Award in Facilities Management is designed to recognize and advance sustainability excellence in educational facilities. This award recognizes the facilities management department that has integrated sustainable policies and practices throughout all facets of the organization and embedded them within the educational institution.

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.