Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 63.30
Liaison Dennis Cochrane
Submission Date March 19, 2013
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.2

Virginia Tech
PAE-20: Inter-Campus Collaboration on Sustainability

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Dennis Cochrane
Director, Office of Sustainability
Division of Campus Planning, Infrastructure and Facilities
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Does the institution collaborate with other colleges and universities to support and help build the campus sustainability community?:

A brief summary of papers, guides, presentations, and other resources the institution has developed to share their sustainability experience with other institutions:

Guides & Presentations:

1. A team of interns in the Office of Energy & Sustainability (OES) built a web based, Best Practices Toolkit that focuses on sustainable game day operations and zero waste stadiums. It was developed in collaboration with a hand selected panel of technical experts and representatives from the US EPA, College and Universities Recycling Coalition (CURC), and AASHE. This “Technical Experts Panel” (TEP) was co-facilitated by Virginia Tech and Ohio State and has representatives from the following colleges and universities: UC Boulder, Penn State, Wake Forest, and Stanford. The toolkit features case studies on each of the TEP schools’ nationally renowned programs, best practices in the 10 areas of sustainability in game day program logistics, and the top 10 quick fixes for jump starting a program from scratch. To view the Toolkit, please see: http://curc3r.org/images/pdfs/collegiate_football_smm_guide_final.pdf

2. “Greening Virginia State Government”:
Hosted by the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality this state-wide webinar featured the three state agencies and institutions that finished first, second, and third in the Governor’s “Green Commonwealth Challenge” which were DEQ, the Department of Corrections, and Virginia Tech respectively. The Webinar was held on July, 29, 2010.

The names of local, state, regional, national, and other campus sustainability organizations or consortia in which the institution participates and/or is a member:


1. Community Housing Partners / CREATES:
CREATES (an acronym for Construction, Retrofitting, and Energy-Efficiency Assessment Training and Employment System) is a collaborative partnership between Community Housing Partners, Virginia Tech, NewVA Corridor Technology Council, New River Community College, Wytheville Community College, Virginia Western Community College, New River/Mount Rogers Workforce Investment Board, and the Western Virginia Workforce Development Board. Administered by Community Housing Partners (CHP) Corporation, CREATES is a regional energy training partnership program formulated out of a $3.8 million U.S. Department of Labor grant to teach workers the skills required in energy efficiency and renewable energy industries. With the benefit of federal funds, New River, Wytheville and Virginia Western community colleges are providing free energy-efficiency and renewable-energy related industry training in a 21-county region throughout Western Virginia. The grant enabled New River Center for Energy Research and Training (NRCERT) in Christiansburg to establish an energy efficiency assessment training program. The program partners also include the Virginia Workforce Network and the Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council.

Virginia Tech and CHP have been working in direct partnership for the last year on convening regional industry stakeholders to provide input on the training programs and curriculum. The goal of this effort is to assess whether the training currently meets the regional employment needs and demands of industry as well as contribute to the development and continued improvement of academic and training programs. Virginia Tech has provided academic expertise and resources to the curriculum and overall economic development goals of the grant program, and will continue to engage industry on curriculum and economic development within the region past the grant term (ends January 2012).

For more information about Community Housing Partners, please see: http://www.communityhousingpartners.org/

2. The Community Alliance for Energy Efficiency (cafe2):
Community Housing Partners (see Local #1) has recently started its newest division, entitled The Community Alliance for Energy Efficiency (cafe2). Working under a US DOE Better Buildings Grant, cafe2 will work with homeowners in Roanoke City and the Town of Blacksburg to perform home energy assessments and complete energy efficiency upgrades. Through the use of a variety of program incentives and collaborations with its partner organizations (including Virginia Tech, New River Community College, Wytheville Community College, and Virginia Western Community College), cafe2 will oversee the process by which homeowners can reduce their monthly utility expenditures while making their homes safer and more comfortable. For more information about cafe2’s program please see: http://www.communityhousingpartners.org/


1. Virginia Sustainability in Higher Education Consortium:
This consortium was created for sustainability offices and personnel located at colleges and universities in the Commonwealth of Virginia for the purpose of exchanging ideas, asking questions, seeking best practices, and intercampus collaboration.

2. Environment Virginia Symposium:
Over the past 22 years, the Environment Virginia Symposium has provided the Commonwealth of Virginia with a forum for the exchange of information, technology, and ideas pertaining to Virginia's environment. The aim of this annual symposium has been to support a cooperative approach to identifying and addressing our environmental challenges and opportunities. Held annually at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Virginia, the symposium is hosted by the Commonwealth of Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources and the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, VA. Attendees include representatives from virtually all state agencies and educational institutions, including Virginia Tech. For additional information, please see: www.vmi.edu/environmentva

3. Virginia Sustainable Building Network (VSBN):
Virginia Tech participates in a number of VSBN events. One example is the “2008 Commonwealth of Virginia Energy and Sustainability Conference (COVES).” Additionally, Virginia Tech hosted the Third Annual “Greening Virginia Universities and Colleges Conference” on October 24, 2008, which was held in conjunction with Sustainability Week 2008. Conference attendees included representatives from higher education from throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. For more information about VSBN, please see: http://www.vsbn.org/


1. Virginia Tech is a member of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) and OES staff consistently attends AASHE conferences. Members from OES are also active participants on the Green Schools Listserv.

2. Virginia Tech is a member of the Society for College and University Planners (SCUP).

3. Virginia Tech is a member of the Association of Higher Education Facilities Officers (Formally the Association for Physical Plant Administrators).

4. Virginia Tech is a member of the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) which offers resources regarding campus sustainability and also sponsors the Smart & Sustainable Campuses Conference.

5. Through the Virginia Tech Expertise Database (VTED) Virginia Tech researchers participate in Community of Science, Inc. (COS). COS is an online tool that brings together a network of over 400,000 scientists, 800 universities, leading R&D corporations, and government agencies to help them collaborate with colleagues, promote their research, and find funding opportunities. For more information, please see: http://www.research.vt.edu/vted/?mod=home&action=morevted

A brief summary of additional ways the institution collaborates with other campuses to advance sustainability :

1. Research Partnerships:

Virginia Tech partners with a variety of institutions on sustainability-related research efforts. Examples of such partnerships include the following:

Defense Coastal/Estuarine Research Program - Based at the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina and lead by the Research Triangle Institute, the program includes researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Institute of Marine Sciences, North Carolina State University, University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Duke University, Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences, Virginia Tech, University of South Carolina, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Center for Coastal Fisheries and Habitat Research, Beaufort, NC, U. S. Geological Survey (Raleigh, NC, office), Atmospheric Research and Analysis, Inc., and Porter Scientific Inc.

The Center for Advanced Forestry Systems - The center bridges top forestry research programs with industry members to solve complex, industry-wide problems. University partners are Virginia Tech, North Carolina State University, University of Georgia, University of Florida, Purdue, University of Washington, Oregon State University, University of Idaho, and University of Maine.

The Center for Energy Harvesting Materials and Systems - The center brings together industries in a consortium to support research at Virginia Tech, Clemson University, and the University of Texas at Dallas in energy harvesting from various environmental sources such as light, temperature gradient, wind, and vibrations at nano and macro scales. Virginia Tech is the lead institution.

Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resource Management Collaborative Research Support Program - SANREM CRSP is sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development's Economic Growth, Agriculture, and Trade Bureau and managed by the Office of International Research, Education, and Development at Virginia Tech. The objective is to support sustainable agriculture and natural resource management decision makers in developing countries by providing access to appropriate data, knowledge, tools, and methods of analysis; and by enhancing their capacity to make better decisions to improve livelihoods and the sustainability of natural resources.

The Integrated Pest Management Collaborative Research Support Program - The IPM CRSP is one of nine CRSPs set up to leverage the expertise found at American land grant universities in developing countries around the world. IPM is a systems approach to reducing damage caused by pests to an acceptable level without harming the environment. IPM includes the adoption of pest-resistant varieties of crops; biological and physical control methods; environmental modification; biopesticides; and when absolutely necessary, non-residual, environmentally-friendly and low mammalian-toxic chemical pesticides. The IPM CRSP is managed by the Office of International Research, Education, and Development at Virginia Tech. Partner universities are Clemson University, Florida A&M, Fort Valley State University. Kansas State University, Michigan State University, North Carolina A&T, North Carolina State University, Ohio State University, Oregon State University, Pennsylvania State University, Purdue, Tennessee State University, Texas A&M, University of Arizona, University of California at Davis, University of California at Riverside, University of Florida, University of Georgia, University of Minnesota, University of Wisconsin, Virginia State University, and Washington State University

For a complete list of Virginia Tech’s research partnerships, please see: http://www.research.vt.edu/university-partnerships

The website URL where information about cross-campus collaboration is available:

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.