Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 73.17
Liaison Emily Vollmer
Submission Date May 16, 2024

STARS v2.2

Virginia Tech
EN-11: Inter-Campus Collaboration

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Emily Vollmer
Sustainability Coordinator
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Is the institution currently a member of a national or international higher education sustainability network?:

The name of the national or international sustainability network(s):
From AASHE.org: "AASHE is the leading association for the advancement of sustainability in higher education. We serve a full range of higher education faculty, administrators, staff and students who are change agents and drivers of sustainability innovation. Established in 2005, AASHE is comprised of over 900 members across 48 U.S. states, 1 U.S. Territory, 9 Canadian provinces and 20 countries"

Does the institution actively participate in a regional, state/provincial, or local higher education sustainability network?:

The name of the regional, state/provincial or local sustainability network(s):
VASHE Professional Network: Virginia Association for Sustainability in Higher Education

The VASHE Professional Network is a network of sustainability professionals working in institutions of higher education across the Commonwealth of Virginia. Participants communicate via an email listserv, quarterly conference calls and an annual in-person day-long meeting.

Mission: VASHE seeks to provide professionals with opportunities to network, share best practices, resources and lessons learned, and collaborate across a wide range of sustainability initiatives in higher education.

Members of VASHE put together a video on the benefits of participating in such an organization to be presented at the Environment Virginia Symposium in March 2021. Virginia Tech's portion of that video can be found at this link: https://youtu.be/v1jyzy9l_R4. The full video discussing many of the benefits with speakers from multiple representatives of different universities can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQYXAIsQoFU&feature=youtu.be

SCSN: Southeast Campus Sustainability Network
The Southeast Campus Sustainability Network (SCSN) is a network for the primary sustainability "coordinators" from colleges and universities in the South/Southeastern U.S. from Maryland to Texas. The group operates under a democratic, shared governance model and holds a monthly conference call to collaborate and share best practices. The annual regional gathering (held since 2013) is an opportunity to meet in person to advance sustainability leadership in the southeast via facilitated discussions, best practice sharing, collaboration, and networking.

By group consensus, registration for the annual meeting is limited to the full-time campus employee ("Director"/"Coordinator"/"Manager" - not restricted by title) tasked with primary oversight of sustainability operations at any 4-year higher education institution in the Southeastern US.

Has the institution presented at a higher education sustainability conference during the previous year?:

A list or brief description of the conference(s) and presentation(s):
Virginia Tech contributed knowledge of LEED building strategies to the US Green Building Council (USGBC) Virginia LEED Higher Education Showcase on September 15, 2021. The campus sustainability manager, campus energy manager, associate director of capital construction, and planning & operations director for residence life gave a
presentation to the group on the recently renovated LEED Gold O’Shaughnessy Hall. They detailed their successes, challenges, and lessons learned in waste reduction and building energy efficiency during the renovation process so that other campuses could learn from their experience.

Has the institution submitted a case study during the previous year to an external higher education sustainability resource center or awards program?:

A list or brief description of the sustainability resource center or awards program and submission(s):
We submitted a study of our Green Request for Proposal program to the Governor's Environmental Excellence Award program reviewing the impact that our financial program has had on our students' ability to have an environmental impact on our campus.

Has the institution had employees or students serving on a board or committee of a sustainability network or conference during the previous three years?:

A list or brief description of the board or committee appointment(s):
Dr. Bruce Hull, professor - President of the Board of Directors - Climate Solutions University
Emily Vollmer, Sustainability Coordinator - Board of Directors - Sustainable Blacksburg

Does the institution have an ongoing mentoring relationship with another institution through which it assists the institution with its sustainability reporting and/or the development of its sustainability program?:

A brief description of the mentoring relationship and activities:
Virginia Tech has partnered with Radford University to exchange ideas and develop curriculum with the Office of Sustainability for our student sustainability internship programs. Both schools meet often to discuss projects, curriculum, partnerships, and professional development opportunities.

Virginia Tech has partnerships with two universities in Brazil: the Federal University of Lavras and the University of Campinas. This partnership is meant to help understand how governments and academic sectors across countries in Latin America can cooperate to come up with solutions to address climate change in the region. Other goals include exchanging knowledge and experience and giving students a chance to learn about different aspects of forestry in the two countries. More information can be found in the following articles:
- https://vtnews.vt.edu/articles/2020/06/cnre-brazil-forestry-collaboration.html
- https://vtnews.vt.edu/articles/2020/06/cnre-cop25-conference.html?utm_source=cmpgn_news&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=vtUnirelNewsDailyCMP_DM389655

Has the institution had employees or students serving as peer reviewers of another institution’s sustainability data and/or STARS submission during the previous three years?:

A brief description of the peer review activities:
Peer reviewed Northern Arizona University in early 2021.

A brief description of other inter-campus collaborative efforts around sustainability during the previous year :
VASHE Meetups at Conferences (specifically Environment Virginia Symposium)
VASHE Virtual Summmer Conference 2020 (July 23)
Quarterly VASHE conference calls
ACC Sports Sustainability monthly team calls
ACC Sports Sustainability conference in June 2023

Website URL where information about the institution’s inter-campus collaborations is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about 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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.