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

STARS v2.2

University of Denver
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Chad King
Sustainability Coordinator
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have an active student group focused on sustainability?:

Name and a brief description of the active student groups focused on sustainability:
The Sustainability Committee, known as SusCom for short, is dedicated to motivating and activating the student body toward a more sustainable lifestyle by providing funding for various sustainability- and environmentally-related causes and projects across campus and the community.

DU Backpacking Club is a student organization geared toward giving DU community members memorable backcountry experiences while equipping them with the skills and knowledge necessary to create those experiences for themselves. DUBC holds sustainability as one of our utmost priorities, and we implement and teach the Leave No Trace principles throughout all of our trips. We are always looking for ways to become even more sustainable, including a current initiative of making 100 percent of our trips zero waste.

Divest DU is a student activist organization aiming to push the University of Denver to become fossil free by campaigning for DU to divest (“un-invest”) its endowment from companies profiting off of the extraction and burning of fossil fuels. Our goal is to hold the University of Denver accountable to its mission of being "a private university dedicated to the public good" through the lens of climate justice.

The DU Pollination Association is dedicated to improving on-campus biodiversity by supporting pollinator health by implementing sustainable solutions. Some of the major club activities are garden work days in the Bridge Community Garden located on campus, informative club meetings, creating and maintaining partnerships with pollinator-positive community groups in the greater Denver-Metro area, and much more.

Food Recovery Network (FRN) is a national nonprofit that unites students at colleges and universities to fight food waste and hunger by recovering perishable food that would otherwise go to waste from their campus dining halls and donating it to those in need. Our goal is to change the norm from food waste to food recovery in the United States. FRN at DU is dedicated to helping the University of Denver achieve its goal of being a zero-waste institution by 2035.

Does the institution have a garden, farm, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery program, or an urban agriculture project where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems?:

A brief description of the gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and/or urban agriculture projects:
"The University of Denver manages the Bridge Community Garden on-campus. The community garden began in the spring of 2009. Garden plots are available to student, faculty, and staff. This is a partnership with Denver Urban Gardens. Two students are hired out of the Biology Department to manage operations and rentals at the Garden. Students from the Center for Sustainability plan large-scale workdays during the fall and spring quarters, which opens the garden up to all.

CSA programs began being offered in 2017, include the Ela Family Farm providing fruit shares for pickup through the Center for Sustainability to anyone in the DU community who wants to participate. The GrowHaus provides food boxes that contain a mix of produce and prepared food, with proceeds funding food justice efforts in north Denver. Students oversee the operations of both food distribution projects.

The Center for Sustainability manages the ELC Garden, which is a small garden on the east side of campus dedicated to forming global connections with international students over food and gardening. Students manage the planning, planting and maintenance of the garden, and plan workdays in the fall and spring that are open to the whole campus."

Does the institution have a student-run enterprise that includes sustainability as part of its mission statement or stated purpose?:

A brief description of the student-run enterprises:
Beans is a student-run coffee shop operating in two building oncampus, serving students, faculty and staff on campus. Sustainability is important to their approach: the café uses corn-based, compostable plastics, compostable paper cups for coffee, and recycled napkins and cardboard for coffee cup sleeves. Additionally, the Korbel location for Beans was named the Social Good Cafe, and profits from this location benefit the RAH, which provides employment and education opportunities to refugees in Denver.

The DU Bike Shop is a student-run enterprise managed out of the Center for Sustainability. The Bike Shop provides bike repairs where labor is free and students only pay for the cost of parts. Students manage all inventory, intake, repairs, and finances for the Bike Shop.

The DU Gear Garage is a student run enterprise managed out of the Center for Sustainability. This program offers low-cost outdoor gear rentals to students and staff for backpacking, snowshoeing, camping, and other outdoor activities. Students manage all inventory, finances, budget, and rentals, and use money from rentals to repair or purchase additional inventory.

Does the institution have a sustainable investment fund, green revolving fund, or sustainable microfinance initiative through which students can develop socially, environmentally and fiscally responsible investment and financial skills?:

A brief description of the sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives:

Has the institution hosted a conference, speaker series, symposium, or similar event focused on sustainability during the previous three years that had students as the intended audience?:

A brief description of the conferences, speaker series, symposia, or similar events focused on sustainability:
Every year the Center for Sustainability hosts the Sustainability Conference, which aims to bring together all students, faculty, and staff working on sustainability for the opportunity to network, collaborate, and coordinate efforts across all student groups, departments, and areas of interest.

Has the institution hosted a cultural arts event, installation, or performance focused on sustainability with the previous three years that had students as the intended audience?:

A brief description of the cultural arts events, installations, or performances focused on sustainability:
At least once per year, the Center for Sustainability Energy Team hosts an Open Mic Night which aims to create community, bring students together to celebrate their talents and their friends, and to learn about sustainability in a fun and light-hearted atmosphere. Information about sustainability, opportunities, programs, and trivia are sprinkled throughout the night, so students learn and build community at the same time.

Does the institution have a wilderness or outdoors program that follow Leave No Trace principles?:

A brief description of the wilderness or outdoors programs that follow Leave No Trace principles:
The Environmental Sustainability Living and Learning Community takes students out on frequent outdoor adventures, and every outing following Leave No Trace principles.

The DU Alpine Club takes students on a variety of trips and each one follows LNT principles.

The DU Gear Garage gives students information about LNT whenever students rent gear for the weekend. They also host periodic workshops about LNT and what that means in Colorado.

DU Backpacking club emphasizes LNT principles on each of their trips, which happen nearly every weekend during the fall and spring quarters.

Has the institution had a sustainability-focused theme chosen for a themed semester, year, or first-year experience during the previous three years?:

A brief description of the sustainability-focused themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences:
There are several first-year seminar courses focusing on sustainability topics, including food, waste, permaculture, and carbon footprints. There is also an Environmental Sustainability Living and Learning Community that engages student in an immersive year of study and action around sustainability.

Does the institution have a program through which students can learn sustainable life skills?:

A brief description of the programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills:
The Environmental Sustainability Living and Learning Community offers the opportunity for not only academic study, but application in life skills by engaging students in service learning activities that include participation in food purchasing initiatives, best practices in waste minimization, and participation in energy conservation.

The Renter Efficiency Program for Students (REPS) offers free home energy assessments for students living off campus. Trained student auditors visit students' homes and take them through basic behavioral changes and small upgrades that will save energy and money.

Does the institution offer sustainability-focused student employment opportunities?:

A brief description of the sustainability-focused student employment opportunities offered by the institution:
The DU Center for Sustainability employs 40-50 undergraduate student interns and as many as 10 graduate fellows to lead a peer-to-peer education program that runs 25 distinct programs and offers personal, professional, and leadership development opportunities.

Does the institution have a graduation pledge through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions?:

A brief description of the graduation pledge(s):

A brief description of other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives that do not fall into one of the above categories:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about 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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.