Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 65.84
Liaison Morgan Hartman
Submission Date Dec. 12, 2022

STARS v2.2

University of Nebraska - Lincoln
EN-4: Outreach Materials and Publications

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Morgan Hartman
Recycling Coordinator
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a central sustainability website that consolidates information about the institution’s sustainability efforts?:

Website URL for the central sustainability website:
Does the institution have a sustainability newsletter or social media platform that focuses specifically on campus sustainability?:

A brief description of the sustainability newsletter or social media platform:
Starting in April 2017, the Office of Sustainability released its inaugural monthly newsletter called "The Sustainability Scoop". The newsletter covers the four main pillars of sustainability at UNL: academics, engagement, facilities, and operations. The newsletter also features an individual highlight of a student, alumni, faculty, or staff who is doing something inspiring or innovative in the field of sustainability. The newsletter encourages individuals to get involved and attend sustainability-related events on campus and in the community.

Besides the newsletter, the Office of Sustainability operates social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. On those platforms, the Office of Sustainability "spotlights"/features individuals, groups, or organizations that are connected to sustainability. The office also posts easy tips to promote sustainability in daily life, and educational posts centered on monthly themes. For example, in November and December, the Office of Sustainability focused on various waste management practices. The office also posts about upcoming events. Here is a link to the Office of Sustainability Instagram account: https://www.instagram.com/unl_os/. All social media accounts are under the name UNL_OS.

The Office of Sustainability collaborated with UNL's Communication and Marketing team to develop a strategic communication plan that outlines the office's key messages while connecting them to the larger UNL branding messages. The key messages for the OS include: 1. sustainability is the smart choice, 2. UNL is committed to sustainability, 3. you can make a difference, 4. We are UNL's sustainability hub. These messages are utilized and integrated throughout the monthly newsletter and various social media platforms.

Does the institution have signage that highlights sustainability features on campus?:

A brief description of the signage that highlights sustainability features on campus:
The "Smart Choice" campaign seeks to educate the campus community to all the sustainable features of the University. The signage employs positive feedback strategies to show students, faculty, and staff how their university is working to enhance campus sustainability. Smart Choice also shows the community how their actions are helping and reinforces good habits.

Smart Choice has been incorporated into a number of campus sustainability projects including the All in the Hall Recycling Program, Turn Off the Lights campaign, Office of Sustainability marketing items, and the Sustainability on Wheels Program.

The All in the Hall Recycling Program: The All in the Hall Recycling Program, recently approved as the campus-wide recycling standard is designed to make recycling easier and more efficient at UNL through the implementation of a standardized recycling operation, including alignment of containers, labels, messaging, and collection processes. The standardized waste stations being utilized contain custom graphics that incorporate Smart Choice messaging. Additional graphics, including digital signage displayed in pilot project buildings, further encourage UNL community members to make the Smart Choice to Recycle Right.

Turn Off the Lights campaign: Stickers on light switches in buildings across campus encourage the UNL community to make the Smart Choice and turn off the lights when leaving a room. Select stickers include the Smart Choice language, others do not.

Office of Sustainability marketing items: Marketing items used by the Office of Sustainability as giveaway items during campus events include Smart Choice messaging. Items include reusable water bottles, tote bags, stickers, and buttons.

Sustainability on Wheels: Sustainability on Wheels brings a traveling sustainability exhibition to each academic college on campus. The events, geared toward faculty and staff, connects the UNL community with experts on campus representing departments such as Waste Management and Recycling, Custodial Services, Utility Services, and more. During the events, experts share their departmental efforts to support sustainability on campus and faculty and staff can pledge to related action items to further support sustainability in their individual campus lives. Smart Choice messaging is incorporated into the events during a photo booth session for participants.

Does the institution provide a sustainability walking map or tour?:

A brief description of the sustainability walking map or tour:
The Office of Sustainability created a Green Map that lists all the bottle-filling stations on campus to help UNL community members find the nearest bottle-filling station and encourage students, faculty, and staff to refill instead of buying a plastic water bottle from the vending machine.


Another map to note is the Post-Construction StormWater Controls map. This map shows all the different types of stormwater control on City and East Campus. It is meant to help spread understanding regarding keeping campus stormwater clean and steps individuals can take to prevent pollution. The map can be viewed at: https://sustainability.unl.edu/

Does the institution produce a guide for green living and/or incorporating sustainability into the residential experience?:

A brief description of the guide for green living and/or incorporating sustainability into the residential experience:
University Housing and University Dining Services implemented new sustainability practices that worked to reduce paper consumption when communicating with students. The new practices include moving promotional messaging from table tents onto digital signs. The policy went into effect in 2016. Digital signs are used to communicate with students.

A strategic communications plan to install digital signs was developed in 2014 and the first phase of installation in dining centers was completed in 2015. Phase two of the project identified additional key locations and installation took place throughout the 2016 academic year.

Housing has over 70 digital signs including one in every residence hall's main lobby.

Dining centers have digital screens rather than printing information on paper. For example, NetNutrition is employed which allows food allergen information to be displayed providing a more streamlined way for students to understand what is in the items.

Dining Services has made a concerted effort in recent years to introduce more sustainable practices in its day-to-day operations. Some of the main initiatives can be found here >> https://dining.unl.edu/sustainability

One key highlight is that Dining Services has installed Liquid Food Composter (Bio-Digester) in four of their five dining centers. All food scraps now go into the digester and not to the landfill. The Dining director provides tours to students who want to learn more about the dining hall composting.

Biodigester website with info: https://dining.unl.edu/sustainability/biodigester

University Housing also supported sustainability efforts during both spring and fall move-outs for the 20-21 school year. University Housing has partnered with Goodwill, UNL Environmental Health and Safety (EHS), and the Student Affairs Huskers Helping Huskers Pantry+ to collect items as students leave their residence hall rooms. During our Spring 2021 move out we collected over 10,642 pounds of items for Goodwill. Students see information in residence halls near the end of each semester on how they can support sustainability efforts as they move out of the residence halls. For both move outs in the 2021 school year housing partnered with ASUN Environmental Leadership program to collect furniture that would be thrown away in the dumpster and given to local nonprofits.

The primary contribution is ensuring that unwanted electronics are collected for recycling rather than disposed as municipal waste.

A brief description of other comprehensive sustainability outreach materials and publications not covered above:

The office of Sustainability has also created an infographic that describes the journey of waste at UNL.


A brief description of other comprehensive sustainability outreach materials and publications not covered above:

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.