Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 69.70
Liaison Kevin Kirsche
Submission Date June 22, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of Georgia
PRE-2: Points of Distinction

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete N/A Kevin Kirsche
Director of Sustainability
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name of the institution’s featured sustainability program, initiative, or accomplishment:
Electric Bus Fleet

A brief description of the institution’s featured program, initiative, or accomplishment:

The University of Georgia operates one of the largest electric campus transit fleets in the country, with 33 electric buses providing fare-free transportation and zero tail-pipe emissions. The 40-foot electric buses emit no direct pollution and have lower operating costs than existing diesel buses, providing valuable opportunities for experiential learning and research. In 2019, UGA purchased 20 Proterra Electric buses as a part of the University’s strategic plan to advance campus sustainability. UGA received a competitive grant from the Georgia State Road and Tollway Authority (SRTA) for $10 million, which was matched with $7.5 million from UGA Auxiliary Services. The University of Georgia was subsequently awarded $7.46 million under the Federal Transit Administration’s Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program to purchase an additional 13 electric buses. Approximate energy costs for the new zero-emission buses total less than $10 per bus per day, while the current diesel buses cost approximately $100 per bus per day. Yearly maintenance costs will decrease from $22,000 to roughly $7,500 per bus. While off-site electricity production contributes to greenhouse gas emissions, each electric bus represents a 70+% reduction in emsissions versus the diesel bus it displaced.


Which of the following impact areas does the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment most closely relate to?:
Air & Climate
Energy
Transportation

Website URL where more information about the accomplishment may be found:
STARS credit in which the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment is reported (if applicable):
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A photograph or document associated with the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment:
Name of a second highlighted sustainability program/initiative/accomplishment:
Campus Sustainability Grants

A brief description of the second program/initiative/accomplishment:

Drawn from the Student Green Fee, grants up to $5,000 are available to current UGA students who wish to initiate projects that advance sustainability through education, research, service, and campus operations. Successful projects address UGA's strategic priorities and integrate social, environmental, and economic solutions to help ensure that all people can thrive, both now and in the future. Grants are awarded based on merit, positive impact, implementation feasibility, and available funding. To date, the Office of Sustainability has awarded $370,000 to fund 101 student-initiated projects on campus and in the local community. Some recently implemented projects include the UGA Swap Shop, a free campus thrift store to promote circular materials management; the Post Graduate Resource Library to reduce barriers to advanced education, particularly for first-generation students; Project Red to provide free menstrual products in all-gender restrooms on campus; installation of bird-resistant window film to reduce bird-window collisions; and Farm to Campus Markets to increase students' access to fresh, local, and affordable produce.


Which impact areas does the second program/initiative/accomplishment most closely relate to?:
Research
Campus Engagement
Public Engagement

Website URL where more information about the second program/initiative/accomplishment may be found:
STARS credit in which the second program/initiative/accomplishment is reported (if applicable):
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A photograph or document associated with the second program/initiative/accomplishment:
Name of a third highlighted program/initiative/accomplishment:
UGArden Student Community Farm

A brief description of the third program/initiative/accomplishment:

UGArden, UGA's student-run community farm, provides immersive experiences for students to grow, harvest, and distribute wholesome produce to address food insecurity in Athens, GA. The mission of UGArden is to build a community of students centered on a sustainable food system. The goals of UGArden are: 1) to teach students to grow food using organic practices through experiential learning; 2) to share healthy, sustainably grown food with members of the local community who are facing food insecurity; 3) to provide an opportunity for engagement, service and experimentation; and 4) to foster an entrepreneurial spirit. UGArden serves as the hub of community food systems initiatives at UGA, providing physical space and integrated operations to support Campus Kitchen at UGA, Grow It Know It, Concrete Jungle, and others. Students at UGArden grow and dontate more than 11,000 pounds of wholesome fresh produce annually. A large portion of the produce grown at UGArden is distributed to families in need within the community through partner organizations, Campus Kitchen and the Athens Community Council on Aging. Produce is also shared through a middle school outreach program - Grow it, Know it - to teach young gardeners how to grow, prepare, and eat healthy food.


Which impact areas does the third program/initiative/accomplishment most closely relate to?:
Campus Engagement
Food & Dining
Waste

Website URL where more information about the third program/initiative/accomplishment may be found:
STARS credit in which the third program/initiative/accomplishment is reported (if applicable):
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A photograph or document associated with the third program/initiative/accomplishment:

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