Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 58.21
Liaison Julie Hopper
Submission Date July 29, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of Southern California
EN-11: Inter-Campus Collaboration

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Elias Platte-Bermeo
Sustainability Program Assistant
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Is the institution currently a member of a national or international higher education sustainability network?:

The name of the national or international sustainability network(s):

The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) membership organization that empowers higher education faculty, administrators, staff and students to be effective change agents and drivers of sustainability innovation.

AASHE enables its nearly 1,000 members to translate information into action by offering essential resources and professional development to a diverse, engaged community of sustainability leaders. AASHE works with and for higher education to ensure that the world’s future leaders are motivated and equipped to solve sustainability challenges.

Does the institution actively participate in a regional, state/provincial, or local higher education sustainability network?:

The name of the regional, state/provincial or local sustainability network(s):

1) The Southern California (SoCal) Sustainability Officers Network is convened several times throughout the year to discuss campus sustainability challenges, share insights, and promote collaboration across private colleges, California Community Colleges, California State Universities, and the University of California system.

2) The California Higher Education Sustainability Conference (CHESC) highlights cutting-edge research, as well as case studies with proven successes in curriculum development, operational programs, and community partnerships. This event is jointly organized by independent / private colleges, California Community Colleges, California State Universities, and the University of California, and creates the opportunity for dialogue across institutions.

Has the institution presented at a higher education sustainability conference during the previous year?:

A list or brief description of the conference(s) and presentation(s):

Staff from LA Memorial Coliseum presented on zero-waste practices at the LA Coliseum as part of "The Road to LA 2028: Olympic Opportunities"

Website: https://nlintheusa.com/la2028/
Recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKGidnPXIaA&feature=youtu.be&t=1779

Has the institution submitted a case study during the previous year to an external higher education sustainability resource center or awards program?:

A list or brief description of the sustainability resource center or awards program and submission(s):

A case study was submitted to the National Wildlife Federation’s Campus Race to Zero Waste (formerly Recyclemania) for its 2020 Case Study Challenge. The case study documented the expansion of USC's Zero Waste Initiative, detailing its growth from the Zero Waste Program at the LA Memorial Coliseum during football season, to the Galen Center for the men's basketball season. The case study demonstrated what the expanded effort entailed spanning two sports venues and involving numerous university entities including: the LA Coliseum and Galen Center Venue Operations teams, USC Athletics, the Office of Sustainability, University Communications, USC's waste hauler partner(s), USC Facilities Management and Auxiliary Services, Legends and Aramark Concessionaires, and third party program service providers and sponsors. The case study also demonstrated lessons learned, best practices, and future goals for continued growth. The case study was published in the Campus Race to Zero Waste archive, where it serves as a resource for other universities interested in pursuing zero waste.

Has the institution had employees or students serving on a board or committee of a sustainability network or conference during the previous three years?:

A list or brief description of the board or committee appointment(s):

A USC student, Tianna Shaw-Wakeman, is serving on Mayor Garcetti’s Youth Climate Action Council (2020 – 2021).
Website: https://www.lamayor.org/AboutMYCCA

Three USC staff - Joshua Sierra, Jose Eskenazi, and Nichelle Mitchell-Huizar - serve on the PAC 12’s Sustainability Working Group, where member universities provide representatives from their sustainability and athletics teams to share best practices and receive guidance.
Website: https://pac-12.com/team-green/sustainability-working-group

Three USC staff - Joshua Sierra, Gina Whisenant, and Nichelle Mitchell-Huizar - are members of the Zero Waste Campus Council, a group of sustainability-focused stakeholders from universities across the nation, reviewing zero waste initiatives on campus."

Does the institution have an ongoing mentoring relationship with another institution through which it assists the institution with its sustainability reporting and/or the development of its sustainability program?:

A brief description of the mentoring relationship and activities:

Representatives from USC have presented at UCLA and various other universities on the operational specifics of the LA Memorial Coliseum's award-winning zero-waste program. Staff at USC have consulted with staff at these universities on how to develop zero-waste programs at athletic venues.

USC participates in the Southern California Sustainability Officers Network which promotes co-mentorship between university sustainability teams. Through the network, USC has co-mentored the Los Angeles Community College District as both institutions worked to strengthen their sustainability programs and put forth aggressive sustainability commitments.

In 2019, USC collaborated with Los Angeles Trade Tech college to provide students with an understanding of the importance of benchmarking and the sustainable/green building industry. Staff from USC's Facilities Planning and Management (FPM) team provided students with annual energy and water use data for over 100 buildings, in addition to providing other relevant building information like square footage and building types. Students were able to import data into the Energy Star Portfolio Manager account so that USC could comply with the City of Los Angeles Existing Building Energy and Water Efficiency (EBEWE) ordinance. Additionally, FPM staff attended the college and gave a lecture to help educate students on the importance of energy savings through benchmarking and to address what USC is doing for future sustainability plans.

Has the institution had employees or students serving as peer reviewers of another institution’s sustainability data and/or STARS submission during the previous three years?:

A brief description of the peer review activities:

A brief description of other inter-campus collaborative efforts around sustainability during the previous year :

USC's Office of Sustainability intends to participate in the 2022 inaugural AASHE STARS Summit in partnership with GreenerU. USC will discuss the process of going from "zero to one hundred" in conducting a large institution's first ever STARS report.

USC is part of the Ivy Plus Sustainability and Listening Post Consortium which is made up of sustainability officers from the Ivy League universities and additional peer universities committed to best-practice sharing and the ongoing exchange of campus sustainability solutions common to all of its member campuses. The participating institutions agree that a unified effort to respond to climate change is essential. The Ivy Plus/Listening Post group is faced with the opportunity and responsibility to develop cutting-edge model operations, engage top scholars, and educate the future leaders on issues of sustainable development and climate change. The group was initially convened in 2007 and continues to meet on an annual basis. Website: https://sustainability.yale.edu/priorities-progress/leadership/leadership-through-partnership

USC is involved with the Green Sports Alliance: https://greensportsalliance.org/about/

Website URL where information about the institution’s inter-campus collaborations is available:

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.