Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 88.13
Liaison Tonie Miyamoto
Submission Date Nov. 7, 2022

STARS v2.2

Colorado State University
EN-11: Inter-Campus Collaboration

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Kirstie Tedrick
Sustainability Coordinator
Housing & Dining Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Is the institution currently a member of a national or international higher education sustainability network?:

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

CSU is a member of the Youth Environmental Alliance in Higher Education (YEAH) Network. Two CSU faculty, in the Ecosystem Science and Sustainability Department and Natural Resource Ecology Lab, are steering committee members and numerous CSU undergraduate and graduate students are current fellows. The YEAH Network is funded through the NSF, with a CSU professor serving as the lead PI and steering member for the network. YEAH connects institutions and universities from around the U.S. and internationally to equip students with the skills necessary to become leaders in climate solutions and action. They aim to provide students experience working in collaborative and transdisciplinary approaches to global environmental sustainability problems. Through virtual classrooms, students are connected to peers and researchers around the world to develop policy-navigation and engagement skills to utilize during their time at school and after graduation. Notably, the YEAH Network prepares and facilitates student participation at UN Climate Talks. In 2021, a group of students, graduate and undergraduate, accompanied CSU professors and led discussions on youth climate action at COP26.

The International Secretariat for the Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative (GSBI) is housed at CSU's School of Global Environmental Sustainability. GSBI is a volunteer scientific network consisting of about 4000 scientists from around the world, working with other partners such as UN FAO and the UN Convention on Biological Diversity. GSBI researchers and partners collaborate to investigate soil biodiversity loss due to climate change, land use loss, and current policies protecting soil diversity. Additionally, GSBI works on outreach and education relating to soil diversity and hosts the Global Soil Biodiversity Observation Network. The Director of SoGES and distinguished CSU researcher, Diana Wall, is the Science Chair for GSBI.

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, University of Colorado, and George Mason University are part of the U.S. hub.

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 was part of the first cohort of universities to complete a Nitrogen Footprint. For more information: http://www.n-print.org/.

CSU has two representatives, Aaron Fodge and Erika Benti who serves on the Finance Committee 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

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

Does the institution actively participate in a regional, state/provincial, or local higher education sustainability network?:

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

The Colorado Energy Research Collaboratory (CERC) is a partnership between CSU, University of Colorado Boulder, National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Colorado School of Mines. The goals of the Collaboratory include: engaging in sustainable energy research, commercializing and expanding of renewable energy innovations, providing job training for the clean energy industry, and partnering with government agencies, industry, and foundations to increase clean energy usage in the US. CERC conducts ground-breaking research in clean energy fields, such as EVs and blockchain or transactive energy. They also host webinars, workshops, and other events to advance sustainable energy. CERC recognizes that inter-campus and inter-institutional research and collaboration is fundamental to clean energy research that is applicable to Colorado and international energy issues.

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 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 and 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 emerging programs at universities get off the ground with fewer inputs and resources required, share best practices, etc. http://anglesnetwork.com/

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/about/program-partners

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

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

KuoRay Mao, Lou Swanson, and Pete Taylor of CSU's Sociology Department presented virtually at the 2020 International Forum on the Theory & Practices of Poverty Alleviation and Ecological Revitalization in the Yellow River Basin. The Forum was held in Shandong, China hosted by the Beijing Forestry University, Institute of Ecological Civilization, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), and Shandong Academy of Social Sciences and co-organized by the Institute for Eco-civilization of Beijing Forestry University (BJFU) and the Institute for Ecological Protection and High Quality Development of Yellow River Basin Research, BJFU. The CSU presenters engaged in a variety of topics, such as the importance of interdisciplinary research in ecological sciences and rural community involvement, socio-political basis for water management, and a case study on Colorado River conservation.

On July 27, 2022 a CSU faculty member gave a panel presentation at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and Chinese Academy of Sciences collaborative multi-day workshop "China - U.S. Scientific Engagement on Sustainability: Sustainability and Biodiversity.' Diana Wall, Director of SoGES and distinguished CSU professor, spoke on a panel for Biodiversity and Health about the relationship between soil biodiversity, sustainability, and health.

At the 2022 University Surplus Property Association annual conference, CSU Surplus Property Manager, Jake Drenth, gave two presentations: "Surplus: Back to Basics" on an overview of reuse, recycling, and sustainability networks within higher education and "Covering the Cost of Recycling E-Waste: Advanced Recovery Fees vs Post Recovery Fees" which was focused on the pro's and con's of how to pay for recycling e-waste. The conference and organization focuses on end-of-life equipment within higher education with a focus on reuse and recycling.

Has the institution submitted a case study during the previous year to an external higher education sustainability resource center or awards program?:

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

As part of the Bicycle Friendly University designation, CSU submitted a case-study on a educational programs, events, and resources that are offered to students at the beginning of each year to the League of American Bicyclist resource website. Some programs discussed include a one-hour online transportation education module that includes videos and additional online content introducing them to transportation options on campus. Events such as the annual We Ride event, which employees give out free helmets, lights, and this year, u-locks, while talking to students about all the upcoming free bike education opportunities they have at CSU. This program also have demonstrations such as, the proper use of a u-lock, teach them how to load their bicycle on the bus, introduce them to our on-campus bike shop, The Spoke, and let them chat with CSU Police about how to avoid a ticket and stay safe on the road. https://bikeleague.org/content/bicycle-friendly-universities-go-back-school

In 2022, two of our Parking and Transportation Services Employees presented CSU's Vision Zero case study (as part of the Vision Zero Network https://visionzeronetwork.org/resources/) with the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) and the City of Boulder in early August of this year. This was presented at the Association for Commuter Transportation International Conference. https://conference.actweb.org/

The College of Business' Impact MBA is a sub-grantee to the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment (CDPHE) for an EPA Pollution Prevention Grant. Through this grant, students conduct pollution prevention-focused work with Colorado businesses and write a case study for distribution through CDPHE and EPA about the pollution prevention initiatives that were conducted. In 2021, 6 students created case studies for the EPA and CDPHE. Read more about the grant and partnership here: https://biz.source.colostate.edu/epa-grant-to-help-impact-mba-students-champion-green-business-innovations/.

Has the institution had employees or students 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 representatives on the STARS Steering Committee and AASHE Advisory Council. Tonie Miyamoto 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. Carol Dollard serves on the AASHE Advisory Council, providing guidance on AASHE policy and programs.

CSU's Surplus Property Manager, Jake Drenth, has served as the Vice President of the University Surplus Association for 4 years. https://universitysurplus.org/index.php/about-us/board-of-directors

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:

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. We have a group that is working from the system level to connect Pueblo, Fort Collins, Global and the System office around sustainability initiatives. The Systemwide Sustainability Group meets monthly to discuss how we can coordinate and support each other – especially around reporting. The group is chaired by Jocelyn Hittle, Associate Vice Chancellor for the SPUR Campus and Special Projects.

A sustainability professional at CSU collaborates regularly with a sustainability colleague at the University of Queensland. This relationship has been ongoing monthly for nearly two years. They share reporting tips for STARS, GHG reporting and discuss the value of other reporting tools/metrics.

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 employees or students serving as peer reviewers of another institution’s sustainability data 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.

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.

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

Website URL where information about the institution’s inter-campus collaborations is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Additional awards:
CSU recently won awards for the Moby GeoExchange project. Through ENR Mountain States, the project won the following awards: Best Project, Project of the Year, Best Project Excellence in Safety, and Best Project Excellence in Sustainability. ENR communicates cutting edge construction and engineering topics and issues, with areas devoted to sustainability. Private industry and public or higher education institutions may collaborate and receive recognition through ENR. The project was completed in 2020, helping CSU get closer to the 2030 goal of 100% renewable electricity. This new heating and cooling system allows Moby Arena to be taken off the former steam heating and cooling system with minimal alterations to existing structures. An extensive underground system of pipes utilizes subsurface temperature stability to heat and cool the Arena throughout the year while the intramural fields remain usable to the CSU community.

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.