Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 50.14
Liaison Jessa Gagne
Submission Date April 22, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Stonehill College
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Jessa Gagne
Energy Manager
Operations & Finance
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Is the institution utilizing the campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in the following areas?:
Yes or No
Air & Climate Yes
Buildings Yes
Dining Services/Food Yes
Energy Yes
Grounds Yes
Purchasing Yes
Transportation ---
Waste Yes
Water Yes
Coordination, Planning & Governance Yes
Diversity & Affordability ---
Health, Wellbeing & Work ---
Investment ---
Public Engagement Yes
Other ---

A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Air & Climate and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

By working with the energy manager of Stonehill College, student interns are provided with meaningful hands on learning of how the systems within a building work and how to increase efficiency as well as sustainability of those systems e.g. HVAC systems. Additionally, the energy manager works with students in the various learning communities courses to identify issues related to air and climate, and assist them with the development of a solution or action plan. One specific project included conducing greenhouse gas emissions inventories for 4 local religious organizations. Once the inventories were complete, the students created climate action plans with specific actions the organizations could take in order to reduce their carbon footprints.

+ Date Revised: May 24, 2016

A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Buildings and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

By working with the energy manager of Stonehill College student interns are provided with meaningful hands on learning of how the energy usage of a building is calculated and how to increase efficiency as well as sustainability of that buildings energy usage.

One specific project student interns have worked on is Energy Star certification for the various buildings on campus. This work includes data collection of each building's total square footage, percentage of air conditioned space, number of computers, operating hours, energy and water consumption, and other building characteristics. Each subsequent intern updates this information, including the energy and water consumption metrics. They are also responsible for preparing the necessary paperwork for submitting for Energy Star certification. The Department of Energy suspended certification of college and university buildings for 2014. The sustainability interns will officially apply for certification when it is reinstated.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Dining Services/Food and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

Stonehill College partnered with Sodexo, the food provider of the college, in an effort to learn how food is purchased, sourced, and served. Students utilized this information to calculate the total amount of "real food" purchases.

The Compost Team is a student led group formed in the Fall of 2011 to focus on advocating and educating the Stonehill community about reducing the waste of organic material on campus through composting. Composting in the commercial food preparation areas and dining facilities has been highly successful. In 2013, improved sorting and composting stations were added to the dining facilities to keep up with the ongoing educational needs of the community.

The Compost Team has served to educate the campus on how to compost through classes, posters and incentives. Composting in the Roche Dining Commons began on September 5, 2012, and was subsequently implemented at the Holy Cross Center cafeteria. All compost collected is delivered to The Farm at Stonehill where it is used to feed the soil and grow crops that are later harvested and donated.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Energy and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

By working with the energy manager of Stonehill College student interns are provided with meaningful hands on learning of how the systems within a building work and how to increase efficiency as well as sustainability of those systems. Student interns have assisted with building the databases for new buildings to be added to the campus energy management system. One recent project at the Roche Dining Commons reduced natural gas usage by 8% and electrical usage by 19%.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Grounds and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

The farm manager works with students to identify and implement numerous grounds related projects each year. Recently a permaculture garden was designed and installed by students with the assistance of the farm manager. The purpose of the permaculture garden is to educate the community about "planting with a purpose." One example of this is planting fruit trees which provide shade for shade tollerant plants and provide a trunk for vine plants to grow on. The plants used in the garden were all selected by the students and have practical benefits along with aesthetic satisfaction.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Purchasing and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

The student led group Food Truth was born from a student project in a course taught by the farm manager and encompasses all aspects surrounding the food system, which includes production, purchasing, menu planning, composting and waste disposal. Food Truth also serves as an umbrella group, combining the smaller student groups Real Food, Compost Team, and No To-Go.

The Food Truth group works to educate our community on "real food," which is defined as local, organic, or socially just sourced food. One accomplishment of their efforts was the signing of the Real Food Challenge by the President of the college in 2014, which committed Stonehill to increasing its percentage of "real food" to at least 20% by 2020.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Transportation and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

In 2015, Students for Environmental Action (SEA) developed a bicycle share program that allows students to rent a bicycle, which enables them to traverse the campus and nearby businesses in a more sustainable manner. The bicycle share program provides another form of transportation that reduces emissions, and does not require the use of fossil fuels, creating a more sustainable Stonehill. The program began in the Spring 2016 semester.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Waste and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

Stonehill's waste system has been used as a learning tool for many classes and has been the topic of many class projects including some that led to increases in the efficiency of the waste stream and introduction of composting.

Additionally, Stonehill College participates in Recyclemania each spring. During the 2013 Recyclemania competition, Stonehill ranked 187 out of 273 schools that participated and had a 22.6% recycle rate. Students, faculty and staff worked to increase marketing of recycling in 2014 and switched to single stream recycling. The recults of which were evident in the 2014 competition where Stonehill recycled 29.3% of all its waste.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Water and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

Stonehill College utilizes the water meters on campus as a tool to learn how students use water within the dorms and to promote water conservation by holding campus wide water conservation competitions.

Twice per year Residence Life, in conjunction with the Environmental Stewarship Council, hosts a “Stop the Drop” campaign. This contest is conducted between all the residence halls on campus to determine which hall is able to decrease its water use the most, by percent, from the prior month. In the fall of 2014, the Holy Cross Center decreased its water usage by a remarkable 16%, and overall consumption in the residence halls dropped by almost 35,000 gallons during the month of October.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Coordination, Planning & Governance and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

The Student Government Association for Stonehill College has created positions within the association that has the sole purpose of making more sustainable events.

“Think Outside the Bottle” is a campaign led by the student led Activism Club to educate the Stonehill Community about issues concerning the privatization of water, water justice and the reduction of bottled water use on campus. Activism Club secured over 1,250 student and faculty signatures for their proposal to reduce and phase out unnecessary college budget spending on bottled water. The proposal and signatures were submitted to the President of the College and subsequently passes as a campus wide resolution. The passing of Activism’s proposal means the college began the process of phasing out budget spending on bottled water at major events. In addition, fifteen bottle fillers were installed on existing water fountains, and six brand motion sensor Hydroburst bottle fillers or “hydration stations” that dispense cool, filtered water, have been installed in various buildings around campus.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Diversity & Affordability and the positive outcomes associated with the work:
---

A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Health, Wellbeing & Work and the positive outcomes associated with the work:
---

A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Investment and the positive outcomes associated with the work:
---

A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Public Engagement and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

The students of Stonehill College hold events on campus that encourage students and faculty on becoming more sustainable. The semi-annual Sustainability Fair showcases the ways that everyone is able to contribute to sustainability on campus. The event is organized by the SGA programming committee and is held on the quad in the fall and spring each year to help voice environmental and social justice issues on campus. Many student groups, as well as The Farm, Sodexo and off-campus groups and vendors, set up informative and interactive table displays while a band entertains entirely through peddle power.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory in Other areas and the positive outcomes associated with the work:
---

The website URL where information about the institution’s campus as a living laboratory program or projects is available:

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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.