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

STARS v2.1

Virginia Tech
EN-10: Community Partnerships

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Dennis Cochrane
Sustainability Program Manager
Facilities Services, Office of Energy and Sustainability
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Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability :
Sustainability Week

Does the institution provide financial or material support for the partnership? :
Yes

Which of the following best describes the partnership timeframe?:
Multi-year or ongoing

Which of the following best describes the partnership’s sustainability focus?:
The partnership simultaneously supports social equity and wellbeing, economic prosperity, and ecological health

Are underrepresented groups and/or vulnerable populations engaged as equal partners in strategic planning, decision-making, implementation and review? (Yes, No, or Not Sure):
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability, including website URL (if available) and information to support each affirmative response above:

The Sustainability Week Program. Virginia Tech, the Town of Blacksburg, and the local citizens group Sustainable Blacksburg collaborated to form a “Green Partnership” in 2007 with the goal to advance sustainability in our community. Sustainability Week was established as a way to provide students and community members with practical ways to live a more sustainability lifestyle through education, events and activities, tours, fairs, and workshops. It is currently held during the third week in September near the start of the fall semester.

Virginia Tech, the Town of Blacksburg, and the local citizens group Sustainable Blacksburg collaborated to form a “Green Partnership” in 2007 with the goal to advance sustainability in our community. Sustainability Week 2007 was launched in October with 30 events and activities. We had 6 featured speakers to include L. Preston Bryant, Jr., the Secretary of Natural Resources form the Commonwealth of Virginia and Rebecca Flora, the President Elect of the U.S. Green Building Council and Virginia Tech alum. Sustainability Week 2007 far exceed expectations and it was noted that it served as an ideal Town-Gown program to advance sustainability. The partnership’s mission is “Celebrate-Educate-Motivate” and is designed to guide events to highlight innovative ideas and practices while providing the community with practical steps to integrate sustainability into their everyday lives. They achieve this by establishing a core planning team that is composed of members from every part of the community, from university and high school students to professionals and professors. Drawing upon volunteers from different sectors such as local government, nonprofits, and local schools helps to provide a unique outlook on sustainability. The volunteers work together to create events that focus on fostering a sustainable future through energy, transportation, housing, consumption, disposal, food, and land use. Some examples of these events include home energy conservation workshops, environmental films, tours of homes that feature sustainable architecture, and presentations on recycling and incorporating sustainability into every aspect of one’s life. Over the course of the past decade, this program has featured over 200 events and it has become a tradition and an integral part of our community. The Sustainability Week Partnership believes they have succeeded in accelerating the University’s and Town’s commitment to pursuing sustainability.

http://facilities.vt.edu/sustainability/sustainability-programs/sustainability-week.html

Sustainability Week 2007 received a 2008 Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award, and was recognized at the national level in 2013 with the Best of Green Schools Collaboration Award: http://centerforgreenschools.org/center-green-schools-usgbc-announces-best-green-schools-2013-list-118.

Sustainability Week 2016 marked the 10th anniversary of our successful program and included a celebration ceremony featuring remarks provided by Virginia Tech President Timothy Sands, Town Councilman John Bush representing Mayor Ron Rordam of the Town of Blacksburg, and Montgomery County Supervisor and Sustainable Blacksburg President April DeMotts. For demonstrating a culture of sustainability for a decade, the Sustainability Week Program received a 2018 Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award in the Sustainability Program Category.


Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (2nd partnership):
The Community Housing Partners

Does the institution provide financial or material support for the partnership? (2nd partnership):
Yes

Which of the following best describes the partnership timeframe? (2nd partnership):
Multi-year or ongoing

Which of the following best describes the partnership’s sustainability focus? (2nd partnership):
The partnership simultaneously supports social equity and wellbeing, economic prosperity, and ecological health

Are underrepresented groups and/or vulnerable populations engaged as equal partners in strategic planning, decision-making, implementation and review? (2nd partnership) (Yes, No, or Not Sure):
Not Sure

A brief description of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability, including website URL (if available) and information to support each affirmative response above (2nd partnership):

CHP is a successful non-profit organization dedicated to planning, developing and managing affordable housing with sustainability (people, planet, profit) as its principal objective. http://www.communityhousingpartners.org


Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (3rd partnership):
Catawba Sustainabilty Center

Does the institution provide financial or material support for the partnership? (3rd partnership):
Yes

Which of the following best describes the partnership timeframe? (3rd partnership):
Multi-year or ongoing

Which of the following best describes the partnership’s sustainability focus? (3rd partnership):
The partnership simultaneously supports social equity and wellbeing, economic prosperity, and ecological health

Are underrepresented groups and/or vulnerable populations engaged as equal partners in strategic planning, decision-making, implementation and review? (3rd partnership) (Yes, No, or Unknown):
Not Sure

A brief description of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability, including website URL (if available) and information to support each affirmative response above (3rd partnership):

CSC serves as a living laboratory for the research and demonstration of sustainable practices in land management, agriculture, energy production, and economics. http://www.cpe.vt.edu/sustainable/


A brief description of the institution’s other community partnerships to advance sustainability:
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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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