Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 78.07
Liaison Kate Witte
Submission Date March 4, 2021

STARS v2.2

Keene State College
EN-5: Outreach Campaign

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Caitlin Holden
Sustainability Engagement Coordinator
"---" 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?:

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?:

Name of the campaign:
Continual waste reduction campaigns, including participation in RecycleMania 2020

A brief description of the campaign:
The Office of Sustainability intends for all outreach campaigns to meet the needs of the entire campus community, including students, staff, and faculty. The Office of Sustainability launched RecycleMania in February 2020, which is an 8-week waste-reduction campaign, managed by the EPA. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, this was shortened to a 5-week campaign for many colleges and universities, including KSC. This campaign was aimed at the entire campus community, but a particular focus was paid to engaging students. The Eco-Reps tabled weekly in the Student Center (which is also heavily used by faculty and staff), and also did extensive peer-to-peer outreach in the campus residence halls. Additionally, The Office of Sustainability and our student educators, the Eco-Reps and ROCKS students, regularly conduct waste audits. Due to COVID-19, the waste audits have been put on hold. Finally, the Eco-Reps have held an ongoing campaign, titled the Single-Use Switch, which began in Fall 2019. This campaign was both a policy change and education campaign to reduce the use of single use plastics on campus. It began as a "Ban the Bottle" campaign that was documented in the KSC AASHE STARS 2017 report, and has expanded to include single use plastic bags and beyond.

A brief description of the measured positive impact(s) of the campaign:
Our final diversion rate for the 2020 RecyleMania campaign was 54.002%, which is an improvement from our 2019 diversion rate by over 3%. Our participation in Recyclemania was the latest in a series of ongoing educational and outreach campaigns aimed at increasing awareness of correct compost and waste management practices. Over the last several years, the KSC Office of Sustainability has engaged in a wide range of educational campaigns with the goal of teaching our campus community better waste management practices. KSC has a goal of a 50% waste diversion rate by the end of 2020, and to qualify as a zero-waste campus by 2030. The programming that our office does, including the programming that our student employees do, is all working towards this larger goal. During the Single-Use Switch campaign, the Eco-Reps successfully lobbied with KSC administration to remove all single-use plastic bags from all dining/retail locations on campus, and were also in the process of removing single-use plastic straws and cutlery (or switching to compostable options). Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, this effort has been put on hold for the time being.

Name of the campaign (2nd campaign):
Compost expansion/education and the Climate Action Leaders

A brief description of the campaign (2nd campaign):
In 2018, the campus compost program was expanded to include the Dining Commons. The Office of Sustainability and student employees implemented an educational campaign in the Dining Commons that was aimed at all members of the campus community, including staff, faculty, and students. This campaign included in-person, face-to-face education, on the newly expanded composting program. As all members of the campus community use the Dining Commons, this was a campaign that impacted all stakeholder groups in the KSC community. The Office of Sustainability provided extensive training for all Dining Commons staff, so that they would be prepared to correctly and effectively manage the new composting protocols. In Spring 2020, we also launched the Recyclemania campaign, which was also geared toward the entire campus community. Additionally, in Fall 2020, the Office of Sustainability launched the Climate Action Leaders program, a cross-sectional group of students, staff and faculty who will complement the already existing Eco-Reps program. The Climate Action Leaders are peer-to-peer educators who will continue to spread the sustainability message on campus.

A brief description of the measured positive impact(s) of the campaign (2nd campaign):
As proof of our success in striving towards our ambitious waste reduction goals, KSC was the recipient of the 2019 EPA Food Recovery Challenge Award. This is a national award granted by the EPA to the institution that has seen the most growth in food waste prevention or diversion. This is the direct result of the hard work of the Office of Sustainability, both in terms of compost infrastructure expansion and our education and outreach programs. Additionally, the successful launch of the Climate Action Leaders program points to the growing need and interest for employee-focused, sustainability-oriented education and outreach opportunities.

A brief description of other sustainability-related outreach campaigns:
In the Spring of 2020, at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Office of Sustainability conducted an outreach campaign aimed at the entire campus community, in the form of a photography contest. The theme of the contest was "finding beauty in a broken world", and encouraged participants to get outside and manage stress by enjoying the beauty of nature. The photo contest was very successful, and we received over 100 photos from dozens of campus community members. In Fall 2020, we turned the winning photos into a calendar, that was sold online as a fundraiser for student-focused programs.

Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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.