Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 76.81
Liaison Aaron Durnbaugh
Submission Date March 6, 2020

STARS v2.2

Loyola University Chicago
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Aaron Durnbaugh
Director of Sustainability
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Campus Engagement?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Campus Engagement:

Student efforts have focused on the specific intersection of buildings impact on biodiversity. This has led to modified building operations reducing the number of migratory birds injuring or killing themselves by crashing into our buildings. As part of a class, a petition urged retrofits to building windows and modified operational procedures.

A group of students in the STEP-Climate course explored the impact of diet on carbon footprint and then engaged fellow students with meat alternatives. They also developed student government legislation for sustainable food certification in Loyola Dining.

A number of computer science students have formed a student org that has conducted 'Hack-a-thons' analyzing operational data for trends and sustainability opportunities.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Public Engagement?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Public Engagement:

The student newspaper, The Phoenix, has a regular sustainability section highlighting projects and current issues in sustainability. http://loyolaphoenix.com/?s=sustainability shows these articles.

A group in the STEP-Climate class engaged the public around climate resilience to inquire what steps members of the Loyola community would be willing to take (reduce showers during storms, avoid laundry, reduce energy use during peaks, etc.) and what was preferred media triggers for this change (social media, email, etc...).


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Air & Climate?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Air & Climate:

Students have assisted with every Greenhouse Gas Inventory since 2011. Specific outcomes include public presentations on total emissions, research into on-site renewables, off-site carbon offsets, air travel alternatives and other student-led research.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Buildings?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Buildings:

An energy related course looked at indoor air quality through monitoring in 2017 and 2018. Students calculated emissions through PM tracking software.

Mentioned below but, students have also conducted waste bin audits and water fixture audits that became resources to our Facilities Department. Students were able to run calculations on how these changes might save resources.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Energy?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Energy:

Students are involved in a variety of energy projects from energy tracking, monitoring and competitions to renewable energy projects including exercise equipment and wind and wave power feasibility. A current initiative is advancing large scale photovoltaic implementation on facility rooftops. In summer of 2016, four students conducted room-level energy audits for over 2 million square feet of facilities to inform an Energy Master Plan. More recently, students have conducted inventories for external lighting retrofits and open windows during heating season.

A 2019 and 2020 Solutions to Environmental Problems course addressed Biogas and explored the feasibility of an anerobic digester to utilize food waste and generate fertilizer and biogas.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Food & Dining?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Food & Dining:

Solutions to Environmental Problems - Food course has partnered with Aramark Dining to track local purchasing, explore certification for on-campus food production and organized the Loyola Farmer's Market (now in its 9th season).


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Grounds?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Grounds:

Students have mapped trees and calculated carbon sequestration, edible landscaping, and native landscaping. They have evaluated stormwater performance of the landscape and irrigation water consumption. A restoration course designed, lobbied for funding and, funded by facilities, installed 1,600 native plugs in fall of 2019.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Purchasing?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Purchasing:

Student projects have looked at the purchasing of sustainable certified office supplies and information technology equipment. The outcome was a green IT policy and a modified vendor RFP process. A course in the School of Communications in spring of 2019 addressed sustainable digital media and explored the impact of Loyola's digital footprint including data centers, purchased devices, and the overall cultural impact of digital data and archiving practices.


IIs the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Transportation?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Transportation:

Student projects include evaluating the impacts of idling shuttle buses, starting and running the on-campus bike shop and rental program, ChainLinks, and a series of transportation workshops on safe bike commuting and public transit utilization. A student project in spring of 2019 developed a new set of signs to promote alternative transportation methods including biking, transit and ride-sharing.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Waste?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Waste:

Students work closely with Facilities and Residence Life to support recycling and composting programs on campus. They provide presentations to student groups and conduct outreach through the dining halls. Worm composting and landscape composting programs are both run by students as is an end of year green move out program, Think Green and Give. Assessments at the room and building level have helped identify waste streams and opportunities for reduction and diversion.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Water?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Water:

Students have tracked water consumption at Loyola for the last few years and suggested recommendations to facilities and residence life.
In 2012, a campaign regarding water access and privatization inspired the University to install over 70 water bottle refill stations, a successful campus-wide resolution to ban the sale of bottled water and the University to phase out the sale in all dining services, catering and vending services.
A group of student in Engineering have been working in 2019 and 2020 on a web application that is tied to real-time water metering in a residence hall to suggest water conservation actions.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Coordination & Planning?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Coordination & Planning:

The United Student Government Association (now Student Government of Loyola Chicago) added a Chief Sustainability Officer in 2012 and a sustainability fund (The Green Initiative Fund) was passed by the student body in 12-13 and implemented in 2013.
For this year's STARS submission two graduate students supported the data collection.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Diversity & Affordability?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Diversity & Affordability:

Students have led the way in increasing diversity resources on campus including Alternative Break Immersions, Social Justice Dinners and a concerted effort around undocumented students access to education. One other outcome is the 'Unity in Diversity' Fund to support diversity and social justice initiatives.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Investment & Finance?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Investment & Finance:

A current DivestLoyola campaign led by the Student Environmental Alliance is advocating for the university to address its endowment. This effort, as well as a complimentary effort by faculty, led to the adoptions of a set of Responsible and Sustainable Investing Principles in the official Investment Policy and Guidelines.
The university has taken a number of shareholder actions regarding issues of sustainability, namely mountaintop removal mining, coal power plants, fracking, water access and human rights.
There is a LoyolaFund of $1M overseen by Loyola students that is currently exploring sustainable investment opportunities (but hasn't taken action yet).


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Wellbeing & Work?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Wellbeing & Work:

Student activities have focused on encouraging healthy living through active transportation and food choices. Other initiatives from nursing students led to walking challenges, outreach around substance abuse and regular outreach to surrounding communities at our seasonal farmers market.


Website URL where information about the institution’s living laboratory program is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.