Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 74.20
Liaison Juanita Van Norman
Submission Date Aug. 5, 2022

STARS v2.2

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

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Christie Nairn
Director
Office of Sustainability
"---" 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?:
Yes

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

In June of 2021, a Graduate Student in the Department of Environment and Geography created a campus-wide survey about values and attitudes toward Canada Geese and Population Management on the University of Manitoba, Fort Garry Campus. The Fort Garry campus has a large population of Canada Geese that remain on campus from early spring to late fall each year. The geese have been known to be aggressive to students who walk in their path or nearby them. The survey was designed to give students, faculty, and staff a space to voice their opinions on the geese and their concerns on their presence on campus.


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

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Public 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 Air & Climate?:
No

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

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

A student in the Faculty of Architecture at the UM conducted a study titled, ‘Biological Architectures: Regenerative Urban Design in Winter Climates’. The thesis explores and uncovers the importance of sustainability in architecture as an essential design strategy in response to global concerns with anthropogenic climate change and other human impacts on the earth. It unfolds the applications of several design processes that are systemic and dynamic which aid in the transition to a more resilient and sustainable urban model, especially in winter cities like Winnipeg. Through principles such as biocentrism and regenerative design, the uses of renewable biomaterials and the consideration of biological architectures, many trajectories can help shape a more sustainable, equitable future for the environments we live in.


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:

A group of three students created an energy management project to assess the university’s energy use titled, ‘Sustainable Energy Management for University of Manitoba’s Fort Garry Campus Project’. Energy usage information was collected on 15 buildings across campus. Students also chose three other Canadian Universities and researched their sustainable energy management approaches. From both the on-campus building audit and literature review of other universities, a list of suggestions to improve energy use was presented to the Office of Sustainability. Suggestions include renewable resource utilization, energy-efficient lighting, washroom upgrades, retrofitting wireless temperature/airflow control, education, and the implementation of the institutional sustainability strategy.


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:

In 2019, a student conducted a research study titled, ‘Pembina Hall Food Waste Study’. This study observed post-consumer food waste being produced at the largest residence building on campus, housing 360 students. The Meal Plan Coordinator of Aramark Dining Services provided preliminary information regarding food portioning and allocation of food for different mealtimes. Data was collected three times a day after breakfast, lunch, and dinner services for a week period. Results showed that 35% of the food from a single plate is being wasted every day. The project helped to bring awareness to post-consumer food waste at the University and support the establishment of a campus-wide compost program for the University.


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:

An undergraduate student completed a campus greenspace survey of the University of Manitoba for their honours thesis project in April 2019. The survey focused on determining how greenspaces are currently perceived and used on campus, and how they can be improved in the future. Results from the survey showed that greenspaces were primarily used for commuting and social activities on campus. As well, the survey showed that students had strong feelings about improving the cleanliness of greenspaces. The survey results are being used to inform University of Manitoba sustainability policymakers and campus landscape planners.


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:

In March 2020, a student sustainability ambassador created a research paper on sustainable procurement guidelines for the University of Manitoba. The paper examined the University’s current purchasing policy and guidelines and made recommendations on how to lower the environmental impacts of procurement. The guidelines created in the paper can be applied to items ranging from paper, cleaning materials, furniture, electronics, and more. Recommendations from the paper include purchasing items that are biodegradable, designed for disassembly, minimize the use of non-renewable materials, have minimum packaging, produced locally, and have been ethically sourced.


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:

In 2020, a Master of Science, Transportation Engineering student installed active transportation (AT) pedestrian and bicycle counters on campus. The counters were rotated between five main campus entry points throughout the academic year. They then compared this data with manual counts from video footage and daily weather data to establish seasonal commuting patterns to campus. Their research and ongoing data monitoring contribute to active transportation route enhancement planning on campus.


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:

In 2020, a student Sustainability Ambassador (volunteer) organized a three-weeklong waste audit of the largest library on the Fort Garry campus. The student worked with approximately 25 volunteers for the duration of the audit. The purpose of the audit was to learn more about the waste behaviours of the UM community as it related to available bin infrastructure. The audit was planned to have three phases. The first would be evaluating waste with bin infrastructure as-is. The next phase added the addition of updated signage about all waste bins to educate students on how to throw out waste appropriately. The last phase was intended to trial new hallway bin infrastructure in addition to the updated signage. This last phase was halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic and was never able to resume. The audit found that there is an average of 15% contamination rate of recycling in landfill, and an average of 61% contamination of landfill in recycling streams. The most common contamination was coffee cups in recycling bins.


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:

Two undergraduate honours students conducted research on greenhouse gas science in Lake Winnipeg. Both students worked on the MV Namao, the research vessel for the Lake Winnipeg Research Consortium. The first student’s work focused on estimating levels of methane by collecting discrete samples of the gas from water, finding that Lake Winnipeg is a net source of methane to the atmosphere. The second student researched the balance between respiration (carbon release) and primary production (carbon fixation), finding that Lake Winnipeg was a net source of CO2 to the atmosphere.


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

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Coordination & Planning:
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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 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?:
No

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

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

In December of 2021, a graduate student created a literature review on the effects of climate anxiety for the University of Manitoba Sustainability Strategy Implementation course in the Clayton H. Riddell Faculty of Environment, Earth, and Resources. The goal of the literature review was to understand key components of climate anxiety, with the goal of creating mental health recourses for University of Manitoba students who may be experiencing climate anxiety, or looking to learn more about it. The resources created through this project can be found online on the Office of Sustainability website for students to read.


Website URL where information about the institution’s living laboratory program is available:
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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.