Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 66.74
Liaison Cathy Liebowitz
Submission Date March 30, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Emerson College
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Amy Elvidge
Sustainability Coordinator
Campus Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Air & Climate?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Air & Climate:

Students are included on the Sustainability Committee and Climate Commitment Task Force. Students are encouraged to collaborate with staff and faculty on resiliency planning for climate change as well as mitigation strategies on all three of our campuses.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Buildings?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Buildings:

Students enrolled in environmental studies minor courses are presented with building resource consumption data associated with our campuses and are encouraged to carry out projects that look to improve the environmental footprint of our buildings. Projects from Spring 2016 include recycling management, compost management, electricity consumption behavior and infrastructure, and a feasibility study for integrating solar panels and wind turbines onto our campus.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Energy?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Energy:

See above. Specific projects include an energy challenge 'blackout' event and a Green Room Certification program with a focus on minimizing energy use.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Food & Dining?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Food & Dining:

Students enrolled in environmental studies minor courses are encouraged to carry out projects that look to improve the environmental footprint of our food and dining system. Projects from Spring 2016 include waste minimization through promoting reusable containers and mugs, compost management, food donation to nearby shelters, plant-based diet promotion (e.g. Meatless Mondays, Vegan Food Fest), and local agriculture promotion (e.g. host a sustainable farmer or fisherman in the dining hall). In addition, the Eco Rep student employees focus on food & dining sustainability through tabling, informative demonstrations, film screenings and campaigns.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Grounds?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Grounds:

We do not have grounds to maintain; however, multiple courses focus on soil and water pollution. One course (SC220) partners with the city of Acton, MA to mobilize support for passing a ban on certain pesticides that harm the waterways there.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Purchasing?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Purchasing:

Performing arts and environmental studies courses encourage students to re-examine design practices for student productions and operations in the arts. Students may choose to focus on 'greening' discrete aspects of the production design, such as costumes, lighting and set design. As a result, the School of Performing Arts has shifted to purchase reusable and/or second hand sets, costumes and equipment, as well as repurpose these materials. See attached.

Additionally, student course projects often investigate purchasing practices for our dining center. The course SC 220 in particular encourages students to analyze current purchasing trends for dining services and identify potential improvements to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. Many of the recommendations are on replacing animal products with plant-based products or buying local seasonal produce. Students are exposed to the costs associated with environmentally-motivated purchasing decisions and their implications on other funding pools (e.g. student scholarships).


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Transportation?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Transportation:

Every two years the College disseminates a transportation survey for students, staff and faculty. The results are compared over time and are shared with the Emerson community. Students are provided with information on living near public transportation lines and safe bike paths.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Waste?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Waste:

Students enrolled in environmental studies minor courses are presented with waste diversion data associated with our Boston campus and are encouraged to carry out projects that look to improve our waste management. Projects from Spring 2016 include recycling management, compost management, promotion of reusables (containers and mugs), recycling demos, recycling competitions, and campaigns. Students are invited to participate in a yearly waste audit to find key agitators and brainstorm solutions to increasing our diversion rate.

In addition, a staff and faculty initiative to reduce waste in administrative buildings through switching to hand dryers was just approved. 32 energy-efficient Dyson Airblade hand dryers will be installed in high use multi user bathrooms in February 2017.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Water?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Water:

The Eco Rep student team promotes the Green Room Certification Program. Applicants are asked to improve behavior in relation to resource management, with one of the sections being dedicated to sustainable water use.

In addition, plastic water bottles are banned for sale on campus and student groups such as Student Government Administration and Earth Emerson pass out stainless steel water bottles during orientation each year.

Emerson’s LEED campus buildings reduce aggregate water consumption by at least 20% from the baseline--as campus square footage increases, water consumption decreases.
Hands-free sink faucet, dual-flush and sensor based toilets, and water efficient shower heads prevent excess water usage. Piano Row (150 Boylston) and the Colonial Building (100 Boylston) have rain water capture systems that provides non-potable water for campus, which is used for dorm bathroom toilets. Tray-less dining in Emerson’s Dining Hall saves thousands of gallons of water each week. Reusable bottle-friendly Hydration stations throughout campus eliminate waste associated with disposable bottles and highlight Boston’s excellent public tap water.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Coordination & Planning?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Coordination & Planning:

Students are included on the Sustainability Committee and Climate Commitment Task Force. Students are encouraged to collaborate with staff and faculty on resiliency planning for climate change as well as mitigation strategies on all three of our campuses.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Diversity & Affordability?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Diversity & Affordability:

The Office of Academic Engagement and Community Action (AECA) promotes civic engagement in the form of service learning through curricular and co-curricular activities. The AECA works closely with community partners to identify, understand, and address community needs, help re-frame real-world social justice issues, and discover how Emerson can best contribute its strengths toward the public good while practicing its core values such as teaching excellence, intercultural competence, and ethical engagement.

Additionally, the Elma Lewis Center initiates and coordinates civic engagement activities and programs for the College, supports Emerson’s community and school partnerships, fosters discourse on issues of social consequence, and promotes the expansion of service learning, civic leadership, and engaged scholarship at the College and beyond.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Investment & Finance?:
No

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Investment & Finance:
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Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Public Engagement?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Public Engagement:

The Office of Academic Engagement and Community Action (AECA) promotes civic engagement in the form of service learning through curricular and co-curricular activities. The AECA works closely with community partners to identify, understand, and address community needs, help re-frame real-world social justice issues, and discover how Emerson can best contribute its strengths toward the public good while practicing its core values such as teaching excellence, intercultural competence, and ethical engagement.

Additionally, the Elma Lewis Center initiates and coordinates civic engagement activities and programs for the College, supports Emerson’s community and school partnerships, fosters discourse on issues of social consequence, and promotes the expansion of service learning, civic leadership, and engaged scholarship at the College and beyond.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Wellbeing & Work?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Wellbeing & Work:

The Center for Health and Wellness supports the health and wellness of each student, enhancing the learning environment of Emerson College through a range of services and programs. The Center for Health and Wellness believes that good health is essential for academic achievement. The Center's mission is to provide quality accessible health care for students, sponsor programs that promote healthy choices, and enhance our campus community. The Center provides a range of health and wellness services and programs to meet the needs of Emerson College students.

Additionally, Emerson College Counseling and Psychological Services (ECAPS) provides services to both undergraduate and graduate students and is accredited by the International Association of Counseling Services. Senior staff members consult regularly with the Residence Life staff and other College personnel regarding their questions and concerns about student behavior. Senior staff and trainees also provide outreach programming for students and staff members on a variety of topics (e.g., stress management, relationships, and computer addiction). ECAPS offers brief individual psychotherapy, crisis intervention, and the option of group therapy.

The Human Resources Department promotes happy, healthy and productive work life balance, as well as financial fitness and intellectual wellness through the Wellness at Emerson initiative. The Department hosts various Wellness offerings such as nutrition counseling and plant based diet promotion workshops, walking programs, meditation and yoga, home buying seminars, and credit seminars.
http://www.emerson.edu/human-resources/benefits/wellness-emerson


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to other areas (e.g. arts & culture or technology)?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to other areas:

The Green Gala is a annual event hosted by Emerson College that promotes young professional talent dedicated to environmental awareness. The Gala is an entirely student run event that features performing arts, visual arts, media arts, culinary arts and fashion. Performances and entered pieces are judged by a panel of judges from across the fields of television, film, fine arts, nonprofits, and government and category winners are awarded with a $1,000 cash prize. The Gala celebrates the nexus of young artistic expression and climate change and is hosted in the historic Paramount Theatre each April in honor of earth day.


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

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