Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 70.76
Liaison Richard Johnson
Submission Date Oct. 13, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Rice University
EN-4: Outreach Materials and Publications

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Amy Griffiths
Sustainability Intern
CEVE
"---" 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 (optional):

Rice’s central sustainability website is maintained by the Administrative Center for Sustainability and Energy Management (ACSEM). The website provides information regarding sustainability initiatives on campus, teaching and research opportunities involving sustainability, student involvement in environmental change, and relevant news articles and resources. Specifically, the website provides data and information regarding Rice’s climate commitment and greenhouse gas emissions, green building design, energy and water conservation, green cleaning, sustainability policies and transportation options, among other topics.


The website URL for the central sustainability website:
Does the institution have a sustainability newsletter?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability newsletter:

Rice University Administrative Center for Sustainability and Energy Management publishes a new monthly "Sustainability at Rice" newsletter. The newsletter contains various columns including a "Sustainability Spotlight" where a student is recognized for his or her efforts to promote sustainability on campus.


The website URL for the sustainability newsletter:
Does the institution have social media platforms (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, interactive blogs) that focus specifically on campus sustainability?:
Yes

A brief description of the social media platforms that focus on sustainability:

Rice University has a “Sustainability at Rice University” Facebook page to inform students of and promote sustainability-related events on campus. The Facebook page also shares facts and pictures relevant to the sustainable initiatives on campus. In addition to the Facebook page, there is a Twitter account (@SustainableRice) that is regularly updated with initiatives and events around campus that either promote or demonstrate sustainability and its importance. Moreover, Rice has a Instagram account (@SustainableRice) which recognizes students for their efforts to promote sustainability on campus and highlights various sustainability events around campus.


The website URL of the primary social media platform focused on sustainability:
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?:
No

A brief description of the regular coverage of sustainability in the main student newspaper:

Although not a specific column or beat, the Rice student newspaper does regularly cover sustainability-related issues.


The website URL for regular coverage of sustainability in the main student newspaper:
Does the institution produce 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:

1. Rice Undergraduate Research Symposium:
The annual Rice Undergraduate Research Symposium (RURS) enables Rice undergraduate students in all disciplines to share their research and design projects with the broader Rice and Houston community. Monetary prizes are awarded to students, and are determined by faculty, graduate student, and community judges. Specific prizes are awarded to students whose research focuses on sustainability and the environment through the Center for Energy and Environmental Research in the Human Sciences (CENHS) as well as The Shell Center for Sustainability.
The CENHS prize “recognizes an outstanding project that seeks to promote a deeper and broader understanding of environmental issues through interdisciplinary approaches and/or improvement of the sustainability of the community.”
The Shell Center for Sustainability award “recognizes outstanding, multidisciplinary research projects that consider long-term sustainable development in the Houston region and/or Gulf Coast.”

2. The Greene Prize Competition:
The Green Prize Competition was established in the 1990s to encourage undergraduate students to submit original environmental work so as to reach and educate a wider audience regarding important environmental issues. The submissions range from research and policy oriented papers to creative writing stories regarding sustainability and the environment. Past winners have written papers about “Moving Beyond Peak Oil: An Examination of how to Narrativize Oil as a Political Practice”, "New Eden", and "A Cautionary Tale: Protecting the World’s Tropical Wildlife."


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?:
No

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

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

Rice University Housing and Dining provides signage in dining areas (serveries) to indicate food and beverage items were procured from the Rice University Farmers' Market or from other local sources. These items are also regularly announced and profiled on Rice Housing and Dining's social media platforms. The dining.rice.edu web site provides daily information about menu items at all serveries, and includes notation for vegan, vegetarian, gluten, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, fish, milk, and egg content.

Additionally, Rice University hosts a weekly farmer's market. The Rice University Farmers Market supports activities, goods and services that promote community education about the benefits of eating fresh, locally produced food. The market has its own Weekly Newsletter and Facebook page that update individuals on information regarding vendors and special events. Around campus, there are fliers up that discuss the market and inform students of special events at the market., The booths at the market have signs that highlight some of the great features of that vendor and discuss how the goods sold at the booth meet sustainability criteria. (A picture of one of these signs is included in Optional Fields)


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 groundskeeping and/or landscaping strategies employed?:
No

A brief description of the signage on the grounds about sustainable groundskeeping and/or landscaping strategies employed:
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The website URL for the signage on the grounds about sustainable groundskeeping and/or landscaping strategies employed:
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Does the institution produce a sustainability walking map or tour?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability walking map or tour:

The Rice Director of Sustainability gives periodic sustainability walking tours, especially for the sustainable design class in the school of architecture. The tours range in size from full classes to interested individuals and occur approximately once every month. The tour introduces sustainability initiatives on campus, and highlights topics such as the green buildings at Rice, Rice’s co-generational power plant, the geothermal demonstration installation at Rice's South Plant, the green roofs, porous pavement, and other strategies for water retention as well as mitigation strategies implemented on Rice’s campus.

As part of the tour, the director sometimes distributes a walking tour map, which provides a campus-level view of sustainability features.


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

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

Rice’s transportation website details alternative options for all students, and specifically focuses on commuters. The information provided includes how to use the Zipcar and Metro services, as well as live coverage of the current bus routes on campus, and a carpool contact list for students and faculty who live off-campus.


The website URL for the guide for commuters about how to use more sustainable methods of transportation:
Does the institution produce navigation and educational tools for bicyclists and pedestrians (e.g. covering routes, inter-modal connections, policies, services, and safety)? :
Yes

A brief description of the navigation and educational tools for bicyclists and pedestrians:

Rice has a webpage dedicated to “Bikes at Rice” that offers information on riding responsibly both on and off-campus, registering bicycles with the Rice University Police Department (RUPD), respecting pedestrians, and following protocol for if a bicycle is stolen. The webpage also offers relevant links for bicyclists such as the Houston Bicycle Club and Bike Houston, both of which offer bicyclists information pertaining to safety and event opportunities.


The website URL for navigation and educational tools for bicyclists and pedestrians:
Does the institution produce a guide for green living and/or incorporating sustainability into the residential experience?:
Yes

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

In 2015 and 2015, every incoming first year student receives a publication called First Look that includes information created by the sustainability office about campus sustainability initiatives, opportunities, communications channels, and green living at Rice. Further, as part of orientation, some of the residential colleges include green living features in their publications.


The website URL for the guide for green living and incorporating sustainability into the residential experience:
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Does the institution produce other sustainability outreach materials or publications not covered above?:
Yes

A brief description of these materials or publications:

The Shell Center for Sustainability at Rice University is an interdisciplinary program of research, outreach and education that addresses actions that can be taken to ensure the sustainable development of living standards, interpreted broadly, to encompass all factors affecting quality of life, including environmental resources. The Shell Center for Sustainability produces an annual report describing its research and outreach for the year. The Shell Center offers an online library of its most recent annual reports.
The Center for Energy and Environmental Research in the Human Sciences at Rice (CENHS) creates "Cultures of Energy Podcasts." There were 50 episodes of these podcasts as of the end of 2016, all available to the public, covering topics ranging from the Clean Power Plan to diet soda.


The website URL for these materials or publications:
Additional documentation to support 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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.