Overall Rating Expired
Overall Score Expired
Liaison Dennis Cochrane
Submission Date March 19, 2013
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.2

Virginia Tech
ER-4: Sustainability Outreach and Publications

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Expired Dennis Cochrane
Sustainability Program Manager
Facilities Services, Office of Energy and Sustainability
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Does the institution have a central sustainability website that consolidates information about the institution's sustainability efforts?:
Yes

A brief description of the central sustainability website that consolidates information about the institution's sustainability efforts:

The Office of Energy and Sustainability (OES) website is the central website for sustainability at Virginia Tech. The OES website highlights university sustainability initiatives (such as green building standards, energy efficiency efforts, recycling, and stormwater management) and student-led sustainability initiatives (such as Earth Week, ECO Olympics, and Ytoss). The website highlights past sustainability events and also promotes upcoming events. Official reports and policy documents are also included on the website, such as the Virginia Tech Climate Action Commitment and accompanying Sustainability Plan (VTCAC&SP), the VTCAC&SP Status Report, the Annual Report on Campus Sustainability, and the Blacksburg Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory. The website also highlights Virginia Tech’s accomplishments and awards to date.


The website URL for the central sustainability website that consolidates information about the institution's sustainability efforts:
Does the institution have a sustainability newsletter?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability newsletter:

In the summer of 2011, Virginia Tech’s Office of Energy and Sustainability (OES) released its first “Virginia Tech Sustainability Newsletter.” The newsletter provides an overview of the history of sustainability on campus, recent university achievements, sustainability tips, and contact information for sustainability-related personnel throughout campus.


The website URL for the sustainability newsletter:
Does the institution have a vehicle to publish and disseminate student research on sustainability?:
Yes

A brief description of the vehicle to publish and disseminate student research on sustainability:

The Virginia Tech News website is the comprehensive database for news articles from the university. The website allows students, faculty, staff, and the community to subscribe to specific News feed categories via email, cell phone, or other devices compatible with RSS feeds. The categories are divided by topic (such as Diversity, Energy, or Environment), or by designated College (such as the College of Natural Resources and Environment or the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences). Many of these categories within the News feed contain sustainability-related news and research.

A Campus Sustainability news feed was added to the Virginia Tech News RSS feeds. The Campus Sustainability news feed consolidates sustainability-related news articles into an easily accessible news feed. To view the Campus Sustainability news feed, please see http://www.vtnews.vt.edu/feeds/campus-sustainability.html

Additionally, there is a designated Research category that allows users to view the most recently published research by students, faculty, and staff. Many of these articles pertain to sustainability, and the Research category can be searched to specifically find sustainability-related research articles. To view the Research News Feed on the VT News website, please see http://www.vtnews.vt.edu/feeds/research.html

To view the entire VT News Feed list, please see: http://www.vtnews.vt.edu/feeds/index.html


The website URL for the vehicle to publish and disseminate student research on sustainability:
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Does the institution have building signage that highlights green building features?:
Yes

A brief description of building signage that highlights green building features :

The Henderson Hall Renovation and the Theatre 101 Addition project was Virginia Tech’s first project to receive LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. The project received the LEED Gold rating and earned Innovation credits for interpretive building signage that was created by students. The LEED interpretive signage is placed in locations appropriate for highlighting the particular feature described including; material usage, energy efficiency, indoor air quality, water conservation, sustainable land use and design innovation. In addition, the lobby holds a sign describing LEED with a floor plan to show where each of the interpretive signs are located.

To view additional signage that is included in the new Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Sciences Building II please see: http://www.facilities.vt.edu/documents/sustainability/unlinked/06232011-2/ICTAS%20II%20Hallway%20Signs%20BOLD.PDF

To view building signage that highlights the green cleaning “JanPak Clean Zone” designation please see:
http://facilities.vt.edu/documents/sustainability/unlinked/clean_zone.PDF


The website URL for building signage that highlights green building features :
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Does the institution have food service area signage and/or brochures that include information about sustainable food systems?:
Yes

A brief description of food service area signage and/or brochures that include information about sustainable food systems:

Virginia Tech’s Dining Services promotes information about local and sustainable foods. The Farms & Fields Project, Dining Services’ exclusively local, sustainable, and organic venue, includes sustainability labels placed above each menu item describing the local and/or sustainable features of the food. Information binders are often available at Farms & Fields for additional information.

Dining Services also provides sustainability-related signage when they have special events. The “Plant the Seed Display” is used to promote Dining Services’ sustainability initiatives during events such as the twice-annual tradition of having a local special meal and new student orientation. Additionally, signs are displayed whenever Dining Services serves local Homestead Creamery Ice Cream. Table cards are also utilized on occasion to highlight sustainable food items and promote sustainability.

To view the Farms & Fields Project signage, the Homestead Creamery Ice Cream signage, and the “Plant the Seed Display” please see:
http://www.facilities.vt.edu/documents/sustainability/unlinked/06242011/dining.asp


The website URL for food service area signage and/or brochures that include information about sustainable food systems:
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Does the institution have signage on the grounds about sustainable grounds-keeping strategies employed?:
Yes

A brief description of signage on the grounds about sustainable grounds-keeping strategies employed:

The Office of University Planning created the Meadow Grass interpretive signage to highlight Virginia Tech’s sustainable grounds-keeping strategies. The Meadow Grass interpretive signage includes a description of sustainable grounds-keeping strategies in 18 locations around campus. For examples of the signage, a map of campus meadows, and photos of the actual signage in the meadows please see the URL listed below.


The website URL for signage on the grounds about sustainable grounds-keeping strategies employed:
Does the institution have a sustainability walking map or tour?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability walking map or tour:

In the spring of 2010, graduate students from the Department of Building Construction in course BC 5144: Sustainable Civil Infrastructure Systems created the “Blacksburg Sustainable Infrastructures Tour” brochure. The students researched sustainable infrastructure at Virginia Tech and within the Town of Blacksburg and conducted a limited set of interviews with Town of Blacksburg personnel to identify sites of interest for sustainability within walking distance of the campus. They then created a map and brochure that would serve as a resource for persons interested in sustainable infrastructure. After the brochure was created, it was provided to students as well as to the Energy and Sustainability Committee as a reference.


The website URL of the sustainability walking map or tour:
Does the institution have a guide for commuters about how to use alternative methods of transportation?:
Yes

A brief description of the guide for commuters about how to use alternative methods of transportation:

The Alternative Transportation website (a division of the Transportation and Campus Services Department) serves as the comprehensive resource for commuters to find and use alternative methods of transportation. The website features alternative transportation options such as the U Car Share program, the Commuter Alternatives Program (which includes Carpool programs and the Bike, Bus, & Walk program), the Ridesharing program, Vanpooling, Flexible Work Options, and Discounted Smart Way bus passes.


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Does the institution have a guide for green living and incorporating sustainability into the residential experience?:
No

A brief description of the guide for green living and incorporating sustainability into the residential experience:
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Does the institution have regular coverage of sustainability in the main student newspaper (either through a regular column or a reporter assigned to the sustainability beat)?:
No

A brief description of regular coverage of sustainability in the main student newspaper, either through a regular column or a reporter assigned to the sustainability beat:
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Does the institution produce another sustainability publication or outreach material not covered above? (1st material):
Yes

A brief description of this material:

An additional program that provides outreach materials that foster sustainability learning and knowledge for employees is the Spring Physical Activity Challenge and Walking Program, created by Hokie Wellness.

The Spring Physical Activity Challenge and Walking Program, is a 16 week challenge to eat healthier, be physically activity, improve flexibility and strength, and increase water consumption. This program promotes initiatives which focus on the physical, emotional, social, and financial well-being of all University employees. The Spring Physical Activity Challenge and Walking Program includes walking maps of campus, the Huckleberry Trail (located on the edge of campus), and other trails within the area. The program also offers tools for employees to track their physical activities, nutrition, and overall wellness.

For more information about the Hokie Wellness Spring Physical Activity Challenge and Walking Program please see: http://hokiewellness.hr.vt.edu/PhysicalHealth/ExerciseFitness/WorkplaceWalkingChallenge.aspx

Hokie Wellness consists of representation from Virginia Tech Work/Life Resources, the ADA office, the Women’s Center, Employee Benefits, Health and Wellness and Employee Relations. Hokie Wellness works to provide related programming and information which will enhance employee health and productivity.

For more information about Hokie Wellness please see:
http://www.hokiewellness.hr.vt.edu/


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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.