Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 67.15
Liaison Andrea Trimble
Submission Date March 4, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of Virginia
EN-5: Outreach Campaign

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Dana Schroeder
Sustainability Outreach and Engagement Specialist
Office for Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Has the institution held a sustainability-related outreach campaign during the previous three years that was directed at students and yielded measurable, positive results in advancing sustainability?:

Has the institution held a sustainability-related outreach campaign during the previous three years that was directed at employees and yielded measurable, positive results in advancing sustainability?:

Name of the campaign:
Dorm Energy Race

A brief description of the campaign:

Each October our Eco-leaders host the Dorm Energy Race, a 2-week campaign where residential spaces compete against one another to decrease their energy usage. Eco-leaders use multiple outreach methods including chalking, tabling outside dorms, knocking our residents doors, and putting interactive signage in the common spaces to share energy saving best practices. The winning dorm receives a celebration with succulents and local donuts on behalf of the Office for Sustainability.


A brief description of the measured positive impact(s) of the campaign:

The Eco-leaders and the Office for Sustainability work closely with the Facilities Management Systems Control team to review data trends in energy usage during the two-week window. Over the years, we've been reviewing trends to best understand which outreach practices are most successful. Our students have learned that a combination of online reminders and in-person engagement seems to provide the best outcome. During our 2019 Dorm Energy Race campaign, we saw a 30% usage decrease in the winning dorm, a 20% decrease in the second-place dorm, and a 18% decrease in the third-place dorm.

Name of the campaign (2nd campaign):
Annual UVA Saves Hour

A brief description of the campaign (2nd campaign):

UVA Saves Hour is a test of a state-wide program to reduce electricity demand during peak periods in summer months. Our goal is to save 5.28 megawatts of electricity throughout the one hour test, the equivalent of 176 American households for an average day (EIA.gov). If you will be on Grounds, we need your help to reach our goal.
--If you are still working from home or will be away from your office on Thursday the 25th, please try to coordinate with colleagues who are on Grounds to power down or unplug things in your area.
--If you are able to participate, please switch off or unplug nonessential items around you by 2:00pm and keep them off until 3:00pm.

In addition to individual actions, the UVA Saves Hour Demand Response Program also relies on large-scale facilities adjustments to reduce UVA’s consumption by such a drastic amount. An email to all staff and faculty is sent out the day of UVA Saves Hour, after a number of reminders to core stakeholders in advance.

A brief description of the measured positive impact(s) of the campaign (2nd campaign):

Example results message from 2018, though we see similar load reductions year to year:

"Before setting our UVA Saves Hour goal, it was estimated that on the hottest days of the year, UVA’s anticipated energy peak would be 49,147 kW. We set a goal to be able to reduce that peak energy load to 41,000 kW or lower in the event of a grid emergency.

Due partly to the relatively cool weather on June 26th this year, the peak energy load only got up to 40,440 kW that day. However, thanks to the efforts of everyone who participated in UVA Saves Hour, we were able to decrease our energy load by an additional 2,870 kW between 2-3pm, meaning we not only met, but far exceeded our energy reduction goal during UVA Saves Hour. Thank you all for your participation."

A brief description of other sustainability-related outreach campaigns:

Laboratory Freezer Challenge
Used for the preservation of sensitive samples and reagents, freezers are a common find in laboratories but are extremely energy-intensive. UVA has participated in the International North American Laboratory Freezer Challenge since 2017, encouraging and incentivizing actions like discarding old samples, decommissioning unnecessary or outdated refrigerators and freezers, implementing inventories, performing preventative maintenance, and more.

"Shut the Sash" Fume Hood Competition
The Green Labs Program has conducted UVA's Shut the Sash each year since 2018. This friendly competition promoted safe, smart, and sustainable practices when using a fume hood. Fume hood sash sensors in PLSB in 2018 revealed a 32% improvement on average sash position after the start of the competition.

Additional documentation to support 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.