Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 69.06
Liaison Margaret Bounds
Submission Date June 18, 2021

STARS v2.2

Connecticut College
EN-5: Outreach Campaign

Status Score Responsible Party
4.00 / 4.00 Margaret Bounds
Assistant Director of Sustainability
Office of Sustainability
"---" 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:
Pass on Plastic

A brief description of the campaign:

The goal of this campaign was to raise awareness about plastic waste, reduce the amount of single-use plastic used on campus, eliminate plastic straws from campus and build momentum towards a campus bottled-water ban. Events were held throughout the 2018-2019 academic year for students, faculty and staff.

One event was a challenge during Campus Sustainability Week to carry all the plastic trash you created for one week. Participants signed a pledge to carry their plastic waste that was then hung in the student center. All the plastic waste was collected at the end of the week and sorted and displayed to show what types of plastic waste are being created on campus.

For the month of October 2018, students from the Office of Sustainability sat in the grab 'n go dining area during the month to talk to students about bottled water and encourage them to use a reusable bottle and new filling station instead of taking the free bottled water.

Other events included a talk about recycling from a representative from the Southeastern Connecticut Resource Recovery Authority, a screening of the film Plastic Ocean, a series of trivia nights at the campus pub, and a plastic-bag collection and "plarn" knitting event.

During the academic year a Bottled Water Task force made up of students, faculty and staff began meeting to work on plans to reduce and eventually eliminate bottled water from campus.

A presentation about the goals of the campaign was given to a Faculty and Staff Meeting, which is a monthly meeting that brings together all faculty and staff for important updates and discussions.


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

Dining agreed to stop providing bottled water in the grab 'n go dining area after the successful implementation of a filling station. They also removed bottled water from field trip and summer research bagged lunches. Together, these represented a decrease of approximately 10,000 bottles of water from campus.

The Student Government Association allocated funds to purchase a mobile outdoor water bottle filling station that can be used at events. The outdoor filling station was first used at an annual outdoor concert called Floralia and replaced the purchase of 1,300 bottles of water.

Dining replaced plastic straws in their to-go shop with paper straws and sip lids. One of the three coffee shops on campus also stopped using plastic straws.

Admissions stopped offering bottled water during panel events on their welcome and visit days.

A bottled water ban was eventually adopted by the college in September 2020 (it will go into effect in August 2021).


Name of the campaign (2nd campaign):
Putting the Liberal Arts into Climate Action

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

This campaign was focused on increasing awareness about the severity of climate change, making concrete progress towards emissions reductions on campus and pushing the College to adopt a new, more ambitious, emissions reduction goal. Events and programs were held throughout the 2019-2020 academic year targeting students, faculty and staff.

The campaign kicked off with a series of events during Campus Sustainability Week including: a Meatless Monday in the main dining hall, the Climate Ribbon Project, a presentation titled Conn's Climate Climate going over our progress towards emissions reductions and how we track our energy data, a talk by David Wallace-Wells, author of The Uninhabitable Earth, and a day-long symposium called Resilience in the Face of Climate Change.

An event called Heating Your Room for Camels was held in February 2020 to educate students, faculty and staff about how the heating system works on campus, how they can better control the temperature in their room or office, and tips and things to avoid (like opening windows while the heat was on).

A Carbon Footprint Dinner was held in February 2020 to raise awareness about the climate impact of our food choices. All foods were labeled with their carbon footprints and serving sizes were adjusted to demonstrate that for the same amount of carbon an attendee could choose a full sized veggie burger, a 2 oz chicken sandwich, or a meatball sized beef slider. For dessert they could choose a full sized serving of local ice cream or a mini strawberry shortcake with strawberries from South America.

An electricity use competition was planned for the residence halls to begin in March 2020, but was cancelled when the college closed due to Covid-19.

A presentation about the goals of the campaign was given to a Faculty and Staff Meeting, which is a monthly meeting that brings together all faculty and staff for important updates and discussions. The Environmental Model Committee worked throughout the year to develop strategies to reduce our carbon emissions in each of the three scopes and made a formal proposal to the President to set a new emissions reduction goal.


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

The College adopted a new goal to reduce carbon emissions by 45% by 2030 after the proposal by the Environmental Model Committee.

Dining agreed to continue offering plant-forward meals for Meatless Monday after a successful pilot during Campus Sustainability Week.

Results from the Sustainability Literacy Survey in 2019 and 2020 show that the campaign increased knowledge about climate change and energy use on campus across all groups.


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