Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 74.42
Liaison Dave Cano
Submission Date Feb. 1, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Western University
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Connor Donald
Sustainability Coordinator
Facilities Management
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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?:
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 Air & Climate:
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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:

Western was founded in 1878 and spans over 450 hectares of land. We take pride in our landscape and beautiful buildings. We strive to incorporate sustainability into the maintenance of our green spaces, as well as into the planning and design process of new buildings and renovations. This includes promoting energy conservation in the operation of facilities, provision of facilities and land to support alternate transportation arrangements, and the protection of natural and wetland areas throughout the campus. Building designs will recognize the use of buildings as learning tools and offer examples of sustainable designs for our students.

LEED BUILDINGS:
Western will put forth its best efforts to undertake building design and construction projects in line with LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards. Western has a number of certified buildings:
Claudette MacKay Lassonde Pavillion - LEED® Gold (2010)
McIntosh Gallery - LEED® Silver (2012)
Stevenson Hall and Lawson Hall - LEED® Silver (2014)
WINDEEE - LEED® Silver (2014)
Ontario Hall Residence - LEED® Silver (2015)
Western Centre for Public Health & Family Medicine - LEED® Silver (2015)
The Collider - LEED® Silver (2015)
Ivey Business School - LEED® Gold (2015)
Physics and Astronomy Building - LEED® Certified (2015)
Music Building - LEED® Gold (2017)
Delaware Hall Residence - LEED® Silver (2017)

Additionally, Western is in the process of certifying the following buildings:
Western Interdisciplinary Research Building (WIRB) - Targeting LEED® Gold status
Western University Engineering Building (WUEB) - Targeting LEED® Platinum status


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:

Energy Dashboard:
Western Environmental System (WES) is the single most significant tool in energy consumption on campus. It is an advanced HVAC system that can remotely control campus air systems allowing the Facilities Management department to schedule the shutdown of service to areas of non-occupancy (ie: evenings and weekends).
A large majority of buildings on campus (50+) are supported by the system and each new building is added as they go online. Retrofitting of older buildings will be a gradual upgrade. There is also an energy dashboard that allows you to monitor the energy use of your campus building -or the use of any building across campus – utilizing the Real-Time Energy Dashboard. By logging on to energy.uwo.ca, users can view campus wide energy demand at that time, as well as a building-by-building breakdown showcasing energy use across most of the university’s facilities. Clicking on an icon gives users an up-close look at that particular building’s electricity use.


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

Fair Trade Campus:
In November 2015, Western received its designation as a Fair Trade Campus Designation. Fair Trade Western’s goals on campus and in the London community are:
 Raise awareness about Fair Trade
 Increase the availability of Fair Trade products
 Increase the visibility of Fair Trade products where they are sold

We are constantly working to encourage people to purchase Fair Trade products and take simple actions that can make a difference. We do this through a variety of events, some of which are fundraisers, including:

 Fair Trade Campus Week – a campus wide week-long “celebration” of Fair Trade
 Fair Trade bake sales
 Scare Them Fair – a Halloween event that promotes the purchasing of Fair Trade chocolate for Halloween
 My Fair Valentine – before Valentine’s Day every year we sell Fair Trade chocolate candy grams

Fair Trade Certified products (including coffee, tea and chocolate) are currently available in many locations across campus, including;
 The Wave and Spoke Tavern
 Western Film
 Grocery Checkout
 Hospitality Services
 locations providing Fire Roasted FT coffee;
 All Residence Operations
 Quotes Cafe in Weldon Library
 Talbot College
 Western Student Recreation Centre
 Natural Science
 Lucy's Café in Somerville House
 North Campus Building
 Law/Chambers Café
 Great Hall Catering


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:

Students and volunteers for the Sherwood Fox Arboretum (all natural space on campus) are continuously monitoring and recording the state of biodiversity on campus. Archives can be found on campus in the Herbarium main office.

Additionally, summer students who work on the Grounds/Landscaping crew are taught the value and importance of native plants in a training presentation and are encouraged to collect data through observation throughout their work term.


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:

Solar EV charging station
Interdisciplinary Consulting Project ENVRSUST 9200X:
As a member of a Consulting Team Group, students undertook a consulting project for a 'real world' client, related to the field of environment and/or sustainability. Students completed several assignments which reflected the life of an environmental consultant, such as writing a project proposal, budgeting and tracking hours spent on client related work; they prepared invoicing and time-planning project tasks - which all contributed to final project reports. Final project findings were presented to all clients in a formal 'conference type’ day.

One of the topics that was undertaken by a group from this MES course was a feasibility study on solar powered charging stations (electric vehicle, equipment). Students were asked to develop a feasibility study, including a business case, for installing electric vehicle charging stations across main campus. It was thought that due to increasing electricity costs, the feasibility of solar powered charging stations needed to be explored at Western as a strategy for supporting our community and a low carbon economy in Ontario. The study was required to help meet Western’s goals of reducing our environmental footprint while enhancing services on main campus; all while aligning with the suggested measures that the Government of Ontario set forth in its 2016 Ontario Climate Change Action Plan.


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:

Waste Audit
As part of the MES program, students assisted the sustainability coordinator and the sustainability manager with an annual waste audit. In accordance with O.Reg 102/94 and 103/94 the institution must conduct an annual waste audit to measure the contamination in all streams. In accordance with these regulations, the institution also puts together a waste audit report, and a waste reduction action plan. This type of experiential learning is coordinated and continued on an annual basis, helping the students witness the reality of the waste that is created and consumed on campus.


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?:
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 Coordination & Planning:

MES Sustainability Coordinator Position:
Every year, MES students are hired to complete placements in various positions across campus. Typically, students are hired in the faculty of science, and other departments on campus including: hospitality services, residence operations and facilities management. The majority of the placement is project-based, with incumbents managing one or two major projects throughout the summer term, while maintaining other important day-to-day activities. Students hired in this most recent year were responsible for the following:

- determining a long-term vision for waste management at Western, mid and short-term objectives, and communications and marketing strategies attached to those objectives, in an attempt to enhance waste reduction and recycling at Western.
- address these four areas (waste, water, energy and GHG emissions) in order to reduce energy consumption, water use and develop an engagement campaign for staff, students and faculty pertaining to behavior change.
- working with countless stakeholders on campus to obtain data for the AASHE STARS submission. This included identifying gaps in sustainability performance, and preparing a report for internal staff about the future of sustainability at Western University.
-performing walkthroughs on several buildings on campus to document locations, quantity and asses the urgency of the replacement of ultra-freezers. These ultra freezers help with the storage of biological and chemical samples from researchers throughout campus. However, they are turned on at all times and work to maintain sub-zero temperatures of -80C; many of these units are old and energy intensive. The students were asked to talk to researchers, investigate alternative options and participate in the development of a business case for the purchase and install of new ultra freezers on campus.
- identifying all vending machines on campus, which area they belong to and what characteristics they have; identify alternatives, if need be to reduce their energy consumption.
- helping with the operation and enhancement of the Green Office program, updating Green Boards and signage around campus, completing and publishing Western’s annual waste audit, and generating content for social media.

Students have also helped with the following in recent years:
- GHG Inventory
- Annual Report for hospitality sustainability
- Shut the Sash Campaign for labs on campus
-embedding sustainability into orientation week on campus


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:

Western Serves (WS)
Community engagement is a priority for Western University. We understand that Western is part of a larger community within the city of London, Ontario. Therefore, we have developed programs that help get our students engaged in community service, while at the same time helping raise awareness on critical sustainability issues, such as the environment, social justice, poverty, hunger and more.

Western Serves provides ongoing and project-based support to nonprofit organizations in the London community, raising awareness of the social issues they tackle, and helping ensure organizations have the means to fulfill their respective mission statements. Over the past years, students have been able to develop: awareness campaigns for Epilepsy, run charity events to support research initiatives, perform sustainability assessments and help install solar panels for low-income housing initiatives, organize symposiums and events that raise awareness on social justice issues, and more.

This past year, Western organized the first ever Orientation Serves, where more than 2,000 first year students were engaged in service with the community as part of their O-week events.


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

Wellness Education Centre
The Wellness Education Centre (WEC) offers all Western students a safe, comfortable environment to get connected with the wellness resources available at Western and in the London community. Students, staff and faculty have the opportunity to unwind and get support for achieving healthy lifestyles. The WEC focuses on 6 broad areas of wellness, including Mental, Physical, Academic & Career, Environmental, Financial and Social.

Some of the services reference by the WEC include: FRESH (peer nutrition education program created by and for Western students), Academic Counsellors in all faculties and within the Student Experience portfolio, EnviroWestern (on-campus club that provides action and advocacy for environmental issues), among many others.


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)?:
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 other areas:

The Indigenous Food and Medicine Garden, provides an educational opportunity to all members of the Western community and surrounding area. This garden was created by graduate student Andrew Judge and is currently managed by the Student Development Center and Indigenous Services. The garden provides a unique learning opportunity for students enrolled in First Nations Studies, as well as work-study students. The Indigenous Food and Medicine Garden is an outdoor space that fosters a welcoming and inclusive community on-campus and promotes Indigenous presence, Indigenous Knowledge exchanges, and community involvement while engaging people in growing Indigenous organic and sustainable foods and plants for future generations.

Please see more at: http://indigenous.uwo.ca/about%20is/indigenous_food_and_medicine_garden.html


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
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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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.