Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 49.22
Liaison Paul Scanlon
Submission Date March 4, 2022

STARS v2.2

Slippery Rock University
IN-47: Innovation A

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.50 / 0.50 Paul Scanlon
Special Assistant to the President
President's Office/Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
EPA Grant "Source Reduction Assistance to Western PA Manufacturers through an SRU Engineering Internship Program"

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:

This grant allows SRU to select interns to learn about new sustainable consulting opportunities in the food and beverage manufacturing industries, which are vital to Pennsylvania's economy. Considering the intersection of sustainability and DEI and the high rate of SRU students that are first generation and/or from underrepresented communities, the interns are paid a livable wage of $15/hour to help make their education more affordable.
The basic objectives of this program - minimizing food waste and improving sustainable food production practices - are extremely valuable propositions in a world in which 40% of all food produced is wasted, and in which food production is estimated to be responsible for 30% of all global greenhouse gas emissions.
Addressing these global issues - while saving money for food manufacturing companies, reducing their greenhouse gas emissions, and making better use of natural resources - represents an impressive value proposition for all involved.
Corporate America, including the food manufacturing industry, has begun to recognize the need to “go green” in a big way. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions, minimizing the waste of natural resources, and hedging against the economic impact of volatile fossil fuel prices is becoming more and more important in corporate risk management and business planning. Corporate Sustainability Officers have begun applying pressure to subcontractors (e.g., food manufacturers) in their supply chains to become more sustainable, and therefore reducing the corporation’s Scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions. This is creating exciting new job opportunities for those with green skill sets of use to the food industry, such as the ability to:
• Better understand the entire eco-agriculture food-systems network, issues and opportunities;
• Develop innovative methods of optimizing food industry processes, minimizing food waste, and improving the bottom line by implementing energy/water/waste conservation measures;
• Research the most affordable, highest/best value use of food processing byproducts and wastewater (e.g. to divert byproducts from landfills/sewage treatment plants and instead use to feed animals, and/or provide high nutrient soil amendments to local farms, etc.).
• Calculate greenhouse gas emissions reductions due to reduced energy use and waste, so the food manufacturer can meet the needs of their customers and tout their sustainability initiatives to generate good public relations.

Which of the following impact areas does the innovation most closely relate to? (select up to three):
Air & Climate

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :

The website URL where information about the innovation is available :
Additional documentation to support the submission:

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