Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 58.79
Liaison Chad King
Submission Date June 9, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of Denver
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
4.00 / 4.00 Chad King
Sustainability Coordinator
Sustainbility
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Campus Engagement?:
No

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Campus Engagement:
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Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Public Engagement?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Public Engagement:

The DU Grand Challenges Urban Sustainability Cohort has drawn together a cohort of faculty, staff and students focusing on public engagement around challenges facing the region. This work has drawn community partners to campus to engage around topics including transportation, sustainability education, voice in decision making for urban planning, and green space planning.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Air & Climate?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Air & Climate:

Student interns from the Center for Sustainability are active in efforts to review, analyze and decrease our carbon footprint, reducing climate impacts. This includes research on commuting, travel, and associated carbon offsets.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Buildings?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Buildings:

Student in the college of business have been involved in new building construction, through interviews, tours, and class projects, learning more about sustainable building practices such as Cross Laminated Timber. Business, engineering, geography and environmental science courses take advantage of campus sustainability tours to learn more about the application of the principles taught in classes.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Energy?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Energy:

Students and faculty have been involved in planning and implementing a solar photovoltaic array on campus, with classes evaluating financial structures, students proposing funding mechanisms, and touring installation sites. Business, engineering, geography and environmental science courses take advantage of campus sustainability tours to learn more about the application of the principles taught in classes.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Food & Dining?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Food & Dining:

The Real Food Challenge has linked food services, the curriculum, and student projects, as students have become involved in completing audits of purchasing by our food service provider, leading to a baseline value for the amount of real food served on campus.
Community and permaculture gardens on campus have also linked the local production of food and courses, successfully integrating students and the community, and involving students in projects such as rates of insect biodiversity in permaculture plantings compared to the rest of campus.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Grounds?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Grounds:

The arboretum exists to curate and maintain a recognized collection of woody plants (trees, shrubs and groundcovers) that enhance the campus environment, provide research and educational opportunities and promote sustainability. The arboretum is used in botany and ecology classes for plant identification and assessment of the value added by these trees to ecosystem function, adaptability, and resilience on campus. The community garden has been used in class projects. Campus biodiversity monitoring utilizing the iNaturalist app has drawn students and courses into active citizen science.
Insect ecology course used gardens for research into insect biodiversity.
Introduction to biology courses focused on food systems incorporated student projects in garden development.
Gardens were used in class demonstrations of soil microorganism biodiversity.
Grounds projects have included grass plantings to test for the ability to reduce irrigation rates. Changes in irrigation approaches have led to dramatic reduction in water use for irrigation.
Utilization of gardens has led to a plan for more alternative plantings and a strategy for adding gardens to campus.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Purchasing?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Purchasing:

Student interns, classes, and organizations are working with community organizations and staff on campus to support diverse, local procurement especially in food and catering.


IIs the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Transportation?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Transportation:

Campus commuting practices have been an area of study at the University. Geography classes focused on sustainable transportation have examined student transportation behavior. Launch of the campus shuttle was linked to student and course research to better understand use, efficacy, and best practices.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Waste?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Waste:

Student interest has led to student led projects focused on was diversion and minimization, and education on these topics. This has included writing classes and individual projects, and has led to zero waste hockey games that successfully diverted nearly 70% of all waste from the landfill, as well as numerous surveys about student understanding. Interns continue to manage and report on zero waste efforts at sports and performance events, in specific buildings, and in work with on campus vendors.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Water?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Water:

The Solar Decathlon house, a renovation of an existing house on the DU campus was designed to a net zero electricity standard and focused on water conservation as well.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Coordination & Planning?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Coordination & Planning:

Students are actively involved in the Sustainability Council and on the Sustainability Committee of the Undergraduate student government


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Diversity & Affordability?:
No

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Diversity & Affordability:
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Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Investment & Finance?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Investment & Finance:

Students in the Reiman School of Finance manage the Reiman fund, part of the University endowment. The fund management includes evaluation of CSR and SRI impacts on fund returns.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Wellbeing & Work?:
No

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Wellbeing & Work:
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Website URL where information about the institution’s living laboratory program 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.