Overall Rating Bronze
Overall Score 34.71
Liaison Kristina Bryan
Submission Date March 2, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Saint Louis University
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.60 / 4.00 Amy Hargis
Project Analyst
Sustainability & Benchmarking
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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:

Spencer Ruggles, Masters student in the Center for Sustainability and Graduate Assistant in the Department of Sustainability & Benchmarking serves as a member of the Climate Action Plan strategic action team. Spencer assisted with the FY17 greenhouse gas inventory.


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

Nick McCreary, now a former graduate student in the Center for Sustainability and Sustainability Coordinator/Graduate Assistant in the Office of Sustainability, executed an energy competition among all of the campus residence halls. This energy competition focused on student behaviors in the residences halls, with each team competing head to head in a bracket-style competition. Not only did Nick learn about student behaviors, but the challenges in collecting energy data and the analysis of the data. This project resulted in net savings in the fall of 2016.


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:

1) Fresh Gatherings Café in Saint Louis University's Doisy College of Health Sciences is operated by the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics. Their mission is to be a leader in sustainable food service while providing exceptional education-based experiences. They are committed to supporting local farmers in the community who use sustainable farming practices. The menu explores new flavors and emphasizes local products sourced at the peak of freshness, serving them when they taste best. As part of Fresh Gatherings' commitment to sustainability, they operate an organic farm on campus with a comprehensive composting program. By integrating the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics undergraduate and graduate student practicum experiences and dietetic internship rotations in the café with chefs committed to sustainable food systems, they create an environment that fosters unique experiences for student development and professional growth.

2) Campus Kitchen is an on-campus student service program that is a member of the nonprofit organization, The Campus Kitchens Project. At a Campus Kitchen, students use on-campus kitchen space and donated food from their cafeterias to prepare and deliver nourishing meals to their communities.


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:

SLU has been a member of Tree Campus USA since 2012, and annually, several students volunteer to be members of the campus Tree Advisory Team. Part of the work for the Advisory Team includes providing important input into the care and improvement of the campus landscape with a primary focus on the health and maintenance of the campus tree population. This team also shapes policy and guidelines for tree care and gathers research and information on how to sustain the health our campus' "urban forest."


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

In the fall of 2018, Spencer Ruggles, a graduate assistant in the Department of Sustainability and Benchmarking assisted in the creation of the second campus-wide transportation survey. The survey asked questions about transportation methods used by students, faculty, and staff and helped the University gain insight into commuting patterns.


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:

Aramark, the University's dining service provider, hired a student to plan and implement a campus pre-consumer composting program. As a result, the University put the plan in place, implemented, and continued to improve the program today. The Department of Sustainability and Benchmarking also oversaw a waste intern during the summer of 2018 who focused on performing waste audits and served as a liaison between SLU and the waste hauler.


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

In the Masters of Sustainability course, 506 Environmental Aspects,a core requirement in the M.S. in Sustainability, students apply classroom knowledge to develop a real-world, professional environmental assessment. The projects focus on sustainability assessments for campus as well as other organizations in the local community. At a minimum the projects must (1) define a vision for sustainability that fits the organizational mission and context, (2) identify key sustainability issues for the organization in the areas of energy, water, waste, transportation, etc., and (3) develop a set of recommendations that that includes the basic steps of how sustainability should be implemented at the organization. The environmental assessment projects must also include a cost/benefit analysis of recommendations and any economic, social, and environmental metrics that can be used to evaluate goal achievement.


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:

Tommy Lucas, a Graduate Assistant in the Division of Enrollment and Retention, assessed campus diversity following the structure of the Prestigious Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award. As a result of this project, SLU was awarded the 2016 HEED award.
https://www.slu.edu/news/2016/september/university-receives-heed-recognition.php


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?:
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 Public Engagement:
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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:

SLU Wellness, Campus Recreation, Student Government, Aramark, Sustainability, HR, Faculty from Public Health, and others from around campus have collaborated around the Partnership for a Healthier America Initiative. Through this initiative, the group has identified over 20 guidelines that incorporate wellbeing, sustainability and learning for students, faculty and staff on campus. Some of these initiatives include reducing waste in the residence hall cafeterias, creating a marked walking path along campus, using preserved green space for an outdoor rec area, and more. Some of this content has been incuded in the U101 curriculum- a class for first year students. In addition, a group on campus is working on alternative transportation systems, and have thought about having a class work on a bikeshare program.


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)?:
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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:
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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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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.