Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 45.51
Liaison Mat Thijssen
Submission Date Nov. 6, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

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

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.80 / 4.00 Mat Thijssen
Sustainability Manager
Sustainability Office
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Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Air & Climate?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Air & Climate:

In 2017, the Sustainability Office worked with a GEOG 452 student group to develop a survey to measure emissions from air travel across the Faculty of Environment. Students collaborated on survey design, developed methodologies using ICAO standards, and promoted the survey among staff and faculty members within Environment, then created a final report.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Buildings?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Buildings:

In 2017/18, in collaboration with a private developer, the Faculty of Environment entered into agreement to lease space in the new evolv1 building, a net-positive energy and emissions building, on the University’s North Campus. The Faculty will utilize this space as a green economy hub for new green-focused entrepreneurial ventures, as well as utilize the building as a living lab for students and visitors. In addition, the building will also be utilized as a case study in the emerging Architectural Engineering program.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Energy?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Energy:

In 2017, the Sustainability Office worked with a GEOG 452 student group to develop a plug load audit of equipment within the Environment 1 building. Students used portable power meters to identify the electrical draw of various devices throughout the building, such as computers, fridges, coffee makers, printers, lamps, and more. They developed an inventory of devices and a report on the anticipated annual energy draw based on interviews with space occupants, as well as recommendations to reduce electricity consumption.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Food & Dining?:
No

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Food & Dining:
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Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Grounds?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Grounds:

The University of Waterloo has an ongoing program, with funding received from multiple sources, to protect and restore its campus woodlot. Students conduct species inventories, invasive species assessments, remediation plans, and other monitoring for the site. In addition, the Sustainability Office is working with classes who utilize on-site resources such as the woodlot and Laurel Creek for their training in order to begin amalgamating various class projects into an overall campus-wide biodiversity assessment and monitoring project.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Purchasing?:
No

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Purchasing:
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Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Transportation?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Transportation:

In 2017, the Sustainability Office worked with a student group completing their capstone project through the Environment and Business 402 class. In this 8-month project, students sorted through annual travel survey data and other files to correlate with local municipal infrastructure such as walking, cycling, and transit amenities and infrastructure. The group used GIS systems to identify areas where there were gaps in service that meant employees were unable to utilize more sustainable modes of transportation to campus, as well as opportunity areas where there was strong infrastructure in place that was being underutilized.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Waste?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Waste:

Throughout 2016 and 2017, the Sustainability Office worked with PLAN 350 to provide an applied learning opportunity as part of this research methods course. Students across multiple years conducted qualitative analysis of the University’s waste management systems by interviewing and observing users of the waste system across campus to uncover barriers to recycling, composting, and effective sorting. The findings were presented in-class and have been utilized in the design of Waterloo’s future waste management infrastructure.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Water?:
No

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Water:
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Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Coordination & Planning?:
No

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Coordination & Planning:
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Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Diversity & Affordability?:
No

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Diversity & Affordability:
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Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Investment & Finance?:
No

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Investment & Finance:
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Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Public Engagement?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Public Engagement:

Waterloo’s Environment and Business 402 capstone project matches students for an 8-month applied learning project with multiple businesses within Waterloo Region and beyond to help them solve sustainability challenges. This program has launched projects across the public, private, and civil society sectors for multiple years, all with a focus on consulting-type deliverables that will help the client partner organization advance one or more aspects of their corporate sustainability efforts.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Wellbeing & Work?:
No

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Wellbeing & Work:
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Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to other areas (e.g. arts & culture or technology)?:
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A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to other areas:
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The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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