Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 86.01
Liaison Patrick McKee
Submission Date March 6, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Connecticut
EN-11: Inter-Campus Collaboration

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Richard Miller
Office of Envirnmental Policy
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Is the institution an active member of a national or international sustainability network?:

The name of the national or international sustainability network(s):

- AASHE: Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education
- Second Nature and President’s Climate/Carbon Commitment (formerly ACUPCC)
- Second Nature University Climate Change Coalition (UC3)
- Tree Campus USA
- We Are Still In - US Multi-Sector Climate Action Coalition
- Bee Campus USA
- UN's Annual Climate Summit & Conference of the Parties (UN Observer Organization) (Attended COP21, 22, 23, 24, 25)

Is the institution an active member of a regional, state/provincial or local sustainability network?:

The name of the regional, state/provincial or local sustainability network(s):

- CT DEEP's GreenCircle
- CT Regional Climate and Stormwater Corps - SustainableCT
- Joshua's Trust (Eastern CT land trust)
- CT Chapter, Sierra Club
- CT Audubon Society
- CT Campus Sustainability Coalition
- NECSC: Northeast Campus Sustainability Consortium
- New England Council Environment Committee
- Connecticut Institute for Resilience & Climate Adaptation (CIRCA)
- Sustainable CT
- Connecticut GreenerGov Steering Committee on State Sustainability

Has the institution presented at a sustainability conference during the previous year? :

A list or brief description of the conference(s) and presentation(s):

- AASHE Conference & Expo 2019 - EcoCoin Program, and panel on The State of Sustainability in Higher Ed.
- CT GreenerGov Steering Committee on State Sustainability - Presented Water Efficiency Best Practices to selected sustainability officers at all State Agencies

Has the institution submitted a case study during the previous year to a sustainability awards program that is inclusive of multiple campuses? :

A list or brief description of the awards program(s) and submission(s):

The University of Connecticut annually submits a case study that is representative of its multiple campuses to the UI GreenMetric World University Ranking system. Data on a variety of topics, such as setting and infrastructure, energy and climate change, waste, water, transportation and education is submitted and scored against more than 700 other universities worldwide. For this case study, evidence of renewable energy production, green building implementation, organic and inorganic waste treatment, environment/sustainability focused courses offered, and more was gathered to show a comprehensive look at UConn’s efforts towards sustainability. After submission of the case study, UConn was globally ranked #11.

Has the institution had staff, students or faculty serving on a board or committee of a sustainability network or conference during the previous three years? :

A list or brief description of the board or committee appointment(s):

- NECSC: Northeast Campus Sustainability Consortium; OS Director Rich Miller is on the Steering Committee
- AASHE: OS Director Rich Miller serves on the Board of Directors and wa Chair from (2018-2029)
- Jim O'Donnell, Prof. of Marine Sciences, is an appointed member of the CT Governor's Committee on Climate Change
- UConn EPAC: Environmental Policy Advisory Council is chaired by OS Director Miller
- Connecticut GreenerGov Steering Committee on State Sustainability, OS Director Rich Miller serves as UConn's Staff Sustainability Officer
- The President’s Working Group on Climate Change was formed in fall 2019. It has 15 members who will represent various groups and colleges across campus, including six undergraduate students, one graduate student and eight faculty members. There are also four ex-officio members, all of whom are staff from various departments around campus. Harry Zehner, Natalie Roach, Jon Ursillo are three members of this group who are also interns at the Office of Sustainability. Rich Miller, the OS Director, is also a member.
-The Trustees, Administration, Faculty and Students (TAFS) Committee under the UConn Board of Trustees designated climate change action at UConn as their main focus for the 2019-2020 school year. Rich Miller
-The UConn Reads Book Committee chose Climate Change & Human Rights as their book focus for this community-wide reading effort. The Steering Committee for UConn Reads comprises staff, faculty, and student representatives from across the University community. Lauren Pawlowski, an OS intern, is one of the members of the 2019-2020

Does the institution have an ongoing mentoring relationship with another institution through which it assists the institution with its sustainability reporting and/or the development of its sustainability program?:

A brief description of the mentoring relationship and activities:

In 2019, UConn collaborated with Colorado State University, Clark College, and Michigan Tech through the UNFCCC Research and Independent NGOs (RINGO) organization, to educate students planning to attend the UN COP through programs at each respective university. The partnership resulted in a for credit course coordinated through CSU which educated students on the background of COP, a panel presentation on U.S. universities' climate action and an informational booth at the COP. This collaboration enabled each university to enhance their programs focused on climate change policy and climate justice and provided a valuable networking opportunity for students attending the COP.

Additionally, UConn will be serving as a mentor to Eastern Kentucky University in their next completion of STARS. UConn's Sustainability Program Manager founded EKU's sustainability program before joining UConn in 2018, and has maintained relationships with EKU leadership who is actively working to fill the vacant Sustainability Manager role.

Has the institution had staff, faculty, or students serving as peer reviewers of another institution’s sustainability data (e.g. GHG emissions or course inventory) and/or STARS submission during the previous three years?:

A brief description of the peer review activities:

UConn’s Office of Sustainability employs student interns that conduct gap analyses for various surveys the university participates in annually. The gap analysis process includes reviewing data, initiatives, and programs from top-performing schools and determining how those fields compare with UConn’s efforts towards sustainability. If there are questions about data, initiatives or programs, student interns will contact the sustainability offices of the respective schools for more information and tips on how to implement them at UConn. This dialogue has resulted in good information exchanges and UConn interns have served as mentors for their peers at other institutions about some of UConn's best practices and exemplary programs. For example, OS interns have advised student peers from Penn State about how to implement an EcoCoin program in the student bookstore; and from U. of Cincinnati about how to implement an EcoMadness energy and water competition in the dorms.

Has the institution participated in other collaborative efforts around sustainability during the previous year, e.g. joint planning or resource sharing with other institutions? :

A brief description of other collaborative efforts around sustainability during the previous year:

For five years, UConn has been sending a cohort of exceptional students to the UNFCCC COP events around the world. For COP25, UConn, Second Nature, and other US Universities collaborated in hosting a Higher Education Networking Event at the We Are Still in Pavilion at the main venue in Madrid, Spain. The students met with like-minded students and discussed ideas and opinions about current events surrounding climate and sustainability, as well as ways our universities have been working to address those issues, especially through research, education, outreach, advocacy, and leading by example to reduce carbon footprints and advance green technologies.

At COP 25, UConn worked with Colorado State University, Clark University, and Michigan Tech to conduct a panel presentation and expo booth at the COP venue highlighting the activities on climate action amongst U.S. colleges and universities in spite of the U.S.'s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
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.