Overall Rating Expired
Overall Score Expired
Liaison Jenny McNamara
Submission Date Feb. 11, 2011
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.0

Portland State University
ER-4: Sustainability Outreach and Publications

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Expired Heather Spalding
Sustainability Leadership and Outreach Coordinator
PSU
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a central sustainability website that consolidates information about the institution's sustainability efforts?:
Yes

A brief description of the central sustainability website that consolidates information about the institution's sustainability efforts:

PSU has two sustainability websites: http://ecowiki.pdx.edu and http://www.pdx.edu/sustainability. We'll discuss both of these sites below.

PSU's main sustainability webpage is managed jointly by the Institute for Sustainable Solutions and the Campus Sustainability Office (CSO).

The site has a "green campus" section that discusses topics including campus operations, green buildings, recycling, and our Climate Action Plan. The "Research and Education" section of the site explains how we are infusing sustainability into the curriculum at PSU, provides information about the Miller Challenge Grant, funding opportunities, and information about sustainability faculty. The site also features a sustainability events calendar and a campus sustainability news section.

The PSU EcoWiki (ecowiki.pdx.edu):
The EcoWiki was created via collaboration between students and PSU's Institute for Sustainable Solutions to meet campus networking needs as identified at a series of student forums during spring 2008. It was launched with the goal of creating a central online networking hub for the PSU sustainability community.

In addition to news and events, PSU EcoWiki includes current information about topics such as campus news, student groups, green teams, academics, departments. Opportunities such as green jobs, internships, scholarships and volunteer positions are provided to engage interested students in hands-on learning experiences and build resumes.

Each student who registers for EcoWiki has the opportunity to show a picture and brief bio on the front page of the site. They can also comment on other articles and connect with other users.

Each term, student volunteers and staff compile and publish a listing of all sustainability-related classes offered at PSU. This information is then sent to the campus community.

Seasonal campaigns and projects are highlighted on the home page. PSU Recycles! posted all of its updates and results from the 2009 RecycleMania competition for the campus community. Through PSU EcoWiki, the Campus Sustainability Office and Facilities and Planning were also able to collect resource conservation ideas from the community as we developed our climate action plan. The site is heavily trafficked and popular in the student community.

PSU EcoWiki has been featured in a wide variety of media including The Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s bulletin, The Daily Vanguard, The Oregonian, and the PSU website. PSU EcoWiki was also featured on the campus TV network and has provided an example for other universities around the region who hope to expand their online presence. The Wiki format of the site enables any registered user to add content, post to forums, add events, and comment on articles easily. The site is powered by open source software that is editable by any member of the community.


The website URL for the central sustainability website that consolidates information about the institution's sustainability efforts:
Does the institution have a sustainability newsletter?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability newsletter:

The weekly EcoWiki Bulletin is distributed through the Sustainability Leadership Center to over 4,000 people each week.

The bulletin is sent out on Wednesdays and includes the following information:

1) Introduction/personalized greeting
2) Campus sustainability news (i.e. student projects, university partnerships, new LEED buildings, grants, energy efficiency upgrades, awards, etc)
3) Other sustainability news (ex: Portland, region, businesses, new product innovations, gardening tips, national news, etc)
4) Campus sustainability events happening during the coming week
5) Opportunities. These include on and off campus student volunteer, internship, travel, grant, and job opportunities that relate to sustainability. Also included are opportunities for staff, faculty, and community members.

The Campus Sustainability Office also publishes a quarterly "Waste Watcher". This newsletter is printed and distributed to all campus departments.


The website URL for the sustainability newsletter:
Does the institution have a vehicle to publish and disseminate student research on sustainability?:
Yes

A brief description of the vehicle to publish and disseminate student research on sustainability:

The EcoWiki is the best place for students to publish their research. The Sustainability Leadership Center has issued a request for research papers and projects, and many students have published their work. We are just getting started with this project but plan to have it more solidified soon. We would be interested to see other schools' vehicles in order to improve our process.


The website URL for the vehicle to publish and disseminate student research on sustainability:
Does the institution have building signage that highlights green building features?:
Yes

A brief description of building signage that highlights green building features :

Here are some of the sustainability areas with signage. We have received funding from Facilities and Planning to install campus tour signage. Sustainability stops will be green.

Engineering Building

Epler Hall
One of the goals of Epler was to make stormwater management interesting and engaging for the public. As a result, the system was designed to be visible and interactive. The "show" starts when it begins to rain. Rain falling on the roof is directed to several river-rock "splash boxes" in the public plaza. From there, water travels through channels between the brick pavers in the plaza to several planter boxes. The water is filtered as it passes through the planters before entering a large underground storage tank. The water from this tank is then treated with UV light before returning to the surface for use in the public toilets and irrigation. Epler's stormwater harvesting system was awarded a $15,000 Emerging Technology Grant from the City of Portland Office of Sustainable Development's G/Rated Program. It reduces the building's need for municipally-treated potable water by approximately 110,000 gallons annually, saving PSU roughly $1,000 each year.

Shattuck Hall
PSU Project Manager: Jennifer Sharp, Facilities and Planning
Design: SRG Partnership
Construction Management/General Contractor: Howard S. Wright Construction Company
Funding: $13.7 million in State Authorized Deferred Maintenance Funding

The renovation and upgrade of seismic, heating and cooling, electrical, plumbing and communications systems in Shattuck Hall have been completed and the 95 year old building that originally served as an elementary school is now home to ten general classrooms, the Department of Architecture, a computer lab, wood and metal shops, a fine-art foundry, and the Campus Public Safety Office (CPSO). The very successful deferred maintenance project is an inspiration for future PSU and State of Oregon projects, especially with its potential for achieving Gold LEED Certification from the US Green Building Council. Fitting features for Shattuck Hall, also the home of PSU’s Department of Architecture, include spaces where the inner-workings of building systems are visible by design giving students actual working examples of innovative construction elements and remodeled components.

Campus Loop
PSU Project Manager: Mark Fujii, Facilities and Planning
Design: Winzler and Kelly
Construction Management/General Contractor: Fortis Construction
Funding: $17.5 million in State Economic Stimulus Funds

Building upon the work completed in Phase I, Phase II of the Campus Steam & Chilled Water Loop will further expand and connect partially networked and stand-alone heating and cooling systems into centralized plants and add emergency power backup for essential operations. The project is scheduled for completion by end of August 2010.
- Science 2 to Millar Library and Millar Library to the East and to the West Heating Plants: replacement of and addition of new runs to connecting the campus buildings to the network of steam, condensate return and chilled water piping.
- Science 2 to Cramer Hall: installation of chilled water piping to connect the two central cooling plants housed in Science 2 and Cramer Hall.
- Peter W. Stott Center to Shattuck Hall: construction of a new tunnel completing the steam and chilled water loop that connects the core buildings surrounding the South Park Blocks. The construction of this tunnel will also serve as a future distribution point the inclusion of campus buildings on the eastside of SW Broadway Avenue.
- Science 2: installation of a new chiller and cooling tower that will add capacity to allow for future planned buildings and expansions.
- Cramer Hall and University Service Building: installation of backup generators in each building to provide emergency power to the campus buildings where uninterrupted service is essential.

Each of these installation areas also has an educational sign to show the location of campus loop infrastructure, its cost, and what the end results of upgrades will be.

Science Building 2
PSU Project Manager: Mark Fujii, Facilities and Planning
Design: IDC Architects (Division of CH2M Hill)
Construction Management/General Contractor: Hoffman Construction
Funding: $26.3 million in State Deferred Maintenance Funds and $19 million in State General Funds, Bonds, Federal Funds, and Economic Stimulus Funds.

This project is a combination of Science 2 building infrastructure upgrades and the expansion and modernization of labs and teaching space resulting in the Science and Research Teaching Center. Included in the infrastructure improvements are seismic and code upgrades, electrical, plumbing and HVAC upgrades. Included in the modernization improvements are expansions and remodeling of labs and teaching space, and the addition of a new hazardous waste handling facility. Completion of the project is targeted for May of 2011.

There are multiple locations for finding green building features information. We are working to consolidate this information so it is more accessible to students, staff, faculty, and the community.

http://www.pdx.edu/recreation/sustainability-0
http://www.pdx.edu/sustainability/greening-our-campus
http://www.fap.pdx.edu/AECS/index.php
http://www.pdx.edu/sites/www.pdx.edu.recreation/files/media_assets/PSU%20asrc%202009.10.05.Brochure.pdf
http://ecowiki.pdx.edu/around-campus.html


The website URL for building signage that highlights green building features :
Does the institution have food service area signage and/or brochures that include information about sustainable food systems?:
Yes

A brief description of food service area signage and/or brochures that include information about sustainable food systems:

The Viking Court in our student union features signage that indicates whether each item for sale is organically or conventionally grown. Local products are listed as such, and we have brands that are well known for their sustainability efforts. All utensils, napkins, plates and coffee cups offered through Dining Services are compostable and labeled as such. Although we still have a long way to go in the Food Court with offering sustainable foods, progress is being made.

Victors at Ondine is Campus Dining Services' first zero-waste lunch option for students. The Court features trayless dining and plates that encourage smaller portions as well as a compost drop off for residents who have signed a composting contract. Victors purchases a variety of sustainably-produced foods.

PSU Recycles! and Campus Dining Services also opened our first post-consumer composting station in the food court in spring 2010 (may not be relevant for this STARS reporting cycle, but I am including it as a record). The station displays signage allow food court patrons to learn how to compost food scraps! Student volunteers record data and answer questions at the court a few times a week.


The website URL for food service area signage and/or brochures that include information about sustainable food systems:
Does the institution have signage on the grounds about sustainable grounds-keeping strategies employed?:
No

A brief description of signage on the grounds about sustainable grounds-keeping strategies employed:

We have limited signage about sustainable grounds-keeping except for in our garden areas. Our general landscaping areas (ex: the Park Blocks) do not have signage yet.

PSU Sustainability has coordinated with a capstone class to create a learning gardens map. This map is made available at our tabling and orientations sessions so students can take a self-guided walking tour.The brochure includes "quick facts" about each garden on campus. These quick facts provide a brief description of the sustainable landscaping PSU uses.

The inside of the brochure features a campus map with identification of garden areas. Each garden coordinator/manager's contact information is recorded so the brochure reader can find out how to become engaged in the garden projects.


The website URL for signage on the grounds about sustainable grounds-keeping strategies employed:
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Does the institution have a sustainability walking map or tour?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability walking map or tour:

The sustainability walking tour has 26 sites on campus as well as a campus map with numbers indicating the locations of each stop. Stops include student projects, our water bottle refilling stations, gardens, LEED certified buildings, stormwater mitigation features, and transportation information. People who want to take the self-guided tour can download the pdf from our website or sign up for a sustainability tour through Campus Visits and Orientations or by contacting the sustainability staff.

One of PSU's student ambassadors recently made a short video about our tour: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUTF7MJdnmI


The website URL of the sustainability walking map or tour:
Does the institution have a guide for commuters about how to use alternative methods of transportation?:
Yes

A brief description of the guide for commuters about how to use alternative methods of transportation:

Information packets are part of new student orientation process. Contains university specific information, Kit includes. where to find bike parking, buying transit passes, bike/transit map of city, how to take bike on transit, neighborhood specific maps, streetcar, information about PSU bike hub. Generally available at orientation.


The website URL for the guide for commuters about how to use alternative methods of transportation:
Does the institution have a guide for green living and incorporating sustainability into the residential experience?:
No

A brief description of the guide for green living and incorporating sustainability into the residential experience:

Great idea! This is something we are creating.


The website URL for the guide for green living and incorporating sustainability into the residential experience:
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Does the institution have regular coverage of sustainability in the main student newspaper (either through a regular column or a reporter assigned to the sustainability beat)?:
Yes

A brief description of regular coverage of sustainability in the main student newspaper, either through a regular column or a reporter assigned to the sustainability beat:

PSU’s student newspaper began featuring a weekly “Sustainability Beat” during 2008-09. A Sustainability reporter was assigned to collect information from around the campus that pertained to student, faculty and staff initiatives. The Vanguard also published its annual “Sustainability Issue” in spring of 2009. The paper features sustainability articles regularly.


The website URL for regular coverage of sustainability in the main student newspaper, either through a regular column or a reporter assigned to the sustainability beat:
Does the institution produce another sustainability publication or outreach material not covered above? (1st material):
Yes

A brief description of this material:

The EcoWiki Bulletin is sent weekly and serves this function.


The website URL for this material:
Does the institution produce another sustainability publication or outreach material not covered above? (2nd material):
Yes

A brief description of this material:

PSU manages a variety of active Facebook accounts including pages for these organizations:

Sustainability Leadership Center
Center for Sustainable Processes and Practices
PSU Recycles!
Environmental Club
Bicycle Advocacy Collective
PSU Earth Week Task Force


The website URL for this material:
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Does the institution produce another sustainability publication or outreach material not covered above? (3rd material):
Yes

A brief description of this material:

PSU Sustainability manages two active Twitter accounts for the PSU EcoWiki and the Institute for Sustainable Solutions


The website URL for this material:
Does the institution produce another sustainability publication or outreach material not covered above? (4th material):
Yes

A brief description of this material:

PSU created and promotes a sustainability pledge for the campus.


The website URL for this material:
Does the institution produce another sustainability publication or outreach material not covered above? (5th material):
Yes

A brief description of this material:

PSU Sustainability offers the Graduation Sustainability Pledge for all graduates of PSU. Starting on August 15th, 2009, all graduates have been given the opportunity to take a sustainability pledge stating

"I pledge to explore and take into account the social and environmental consequences of any job I consider and will try to improve these aspects of any organizations for which I work.”

At summer commencement 2009, the 249 out of 500 graduates who signed the pledge received a business card-sized confirmation to keep in their wallets as a reminder of their commitment. In June 2010, an estimated 3,000 graduates took the pledge.

They received a green ribbon for their graduation gowns. The ribbons made a distinct impact on the look and feel of graduation.


The website URL for this material:
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Does the institution produce another sustainability publication or outreach material not covered above? (6th material):
Yes

A brief description of this material:

The Institute for Sustainable Solutions publishes the Solutions Journal through our Director, Robert Costanza.


The website URL for this material:
Does the institution produce another sustainability publication or outreach material not covered above? (7th material):
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A brief description of this material:

Ooligan Press has distributed "Rethinking Paper and Ink" about sustainable publishing. Ooligan Press is


The website URL for this material:
Does the institution produce another sustainability publication or outreach material not covered above? (8th material):
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A brief description of this material:
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The website URL for this material:
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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.