Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 83.37
Liaison Ruairi O'Mahony
Submission Date Feb. 11, 2022

STARS v2.2

University of Massachusetts Lowell
IN-48: Innovation B

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.50 / 0.50 Ruairi O'Mahony
Executive Director
Rist Institute for Sustainability and Energy
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Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
UMass Lowell Greener Giveaways Guide

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:

UMass Lowell Sustainability and University Relations identified an opportunity to improve and revive the giveaway infrastructure among departments at the university. Unfortunately, many giveaways featured at campus engagement events were disposable, plastic items that typically end up in the trash. The Greener Giveaways Guide is a joint publication of the Office of Sustainability and University Relations designed as a resource for campus community members to find more sustainable, ethical, and useful options for giveaway items. The Greener Giveaways Guide UMass Lowell partners with Post-Landfill Action Network to use their “Hierarchal Ethical Guide to Swag” as a basis for the Greener Giveaways Guide.

Within the guide, there is a SWAG Hierarchy that consists of an upside-down triangle to emulate the importance of using the top “Swag” giveaways first because of their sustainable, ethical, and useful values; whilst the bottom of the graphic consists of the worst “Swag” giveaways possible because of their low sustainable, ethical, and useful values. UMass Lowell’s partnership with the Post-Landfill Action Network provides the UMass Lowell campus community discounts to some sustainably sourced vendors. In addition to purchasing recommendations, UMass Lowell has expanded its local partnerships to be recommended to departments for campus gifts and giveaways for events. The implementation of the Greener Giveaways Guide has been led by campus administration by featuring UMass Lowell co-branded local honey and UMass Lowell hockey tickets as the featured and highly anticipated gift at the Chancellor’s holiday reception for faculty and staff. Focusing on consumable products, engaging local businesses and providing experiences have been well received by the campus community and local partners.


A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :
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The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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