Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 71.94
Liaison Dennis Cochrane
Submission Date Dec. 19, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Virginia Tech
EN-5: Outreach Campaign

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Karlee Siepierski
Campus Sustainability Planner
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

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

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

Name of the campaign:
Turn Down for Watt 2016

A brief description of the campaign, including how students and/or employees were engaged:

Turn Down for Watt is an annual energy reduction competition for the residence halls and Oak Lane Greek Community on campus. Each residence hall building spends three weeks making changes in their behavior to reduce their energy usage in their rooms, shared kitchens and study lounges, bathrooms, and hallways in an effort to win the competition. This event takes place in October and November every year, and has been going strong since 2014.

Each year, the Office of Sustainability's Energy Intern Team partners with the Residence Hall Federation to plan events during the competition, engage students living in residence halls, and communicate weekly competition results to the entire campus community. Examples of events for the 2016 Turn Down for Watt competition include:
- a series of two "Green Talks" focused on campus energy reduction and sustainable choices
- Partnership with web-based app Stridekick for a "Step it Up" fitness competition https://stridekick.com/
- Green Tailgating (in partnership with the Recycling Intern Team)

The Residence Hall Federation also urges individual residence halls, Resident Advisers, and hall councils to plan their own events to promote the competition and make residents aware of sustainable behavior changes they can achieve.

The 2016 competition divided residence halls into the following groups:
Small halls: Cochrane, Campbell, Vawter, Newman, Johnston, Hillcrest
Medium halls: Payne, New Residence Hall East, Peddrew-Yates, Slusher, Oak Lane, New Hall West, Harper, Barringer, Miles, Eggleston, O'Shaughnessy
Large Halls: VTCC, Pritchard, Ambler Johnston, Lee

At the end of the competition, an awards ceremony was held to announce the winners from each group. Each winner received $800.00 to be used for hall events or upgrades, and the overall winner received a plaque and the beloved "Green Man" statue made from 100% recycled materials.


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

In 2016, the competition took place from October 17th to November 4th. In partnership with Virginia Tech Electric Service, we collected 3 weeks of baseline energy meter data prior to the competition for each residence hall. We then averaged the baseline data, and compared each week's energy data to the baseline to find a reduction percentage.

The winners were:
Johnson hall, reducing their energy use 21% overall
Miles Hall, reducing their energy use 17% overall
Pritchard Hall, reducing their energy use 13% overall

In total, seven residence halls reduced their energy between 1% - 9%, six halls reduced their energy between 10% - 19%, and two halls reduced their energy by 20% and above.


The website URL where information about the campaign is available:
Name of the campaign (2nd campaign):
Zero Waste Efforts at Staff Appreciation events 2015 & 2016

A brief description of the campaign, including how students and/or employees were engaged (2nd campaign):

Each year, Virginia Tech celebrates the hard work and dedication of its more than 3,500 staff, non-student wage employees, and emergency hires. Staff Appreciation Day was started in 1993 and continues to be held each May on the Wednesday following the university's commencement ceremonies. This day gives staff an opportunity to tour campus facilities, view demonstrations, compete in friendly competition, and enjoy the company of fellow employees. The event is hosted by the President's Office and the Department of Human Resources. The event offers a wide range of activities which include campus tours, bingo, stress-relieving massages, team competitions, and more.

In 2015 and 2016, both staff appreciation days were zero waste. Employees engaged with staff from Dining Services and various waste stations that outlined the zero waste events.


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

During the 2015 Staff Appreciation Day event, 2,500lbs of food waste was composted, and 130lbs of material was recycled through single stream recycling.

During the 2016 Staff Appreciation Day event, no specific statistics were collected. However, this event was certified zero waste.


The website URL where information about the campaign is available (2nd campaign):
A brief description of other sustainability-related outreach campaigns, including measured positive impacts:
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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:

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.