Overall Rating Reporter
Overall Score
Liaison Phil Valko
Submission Date March 6, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Washington University in St. Louis
EN-4: Outreach Materials and Publications

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Reporter Clara Steyer
Sustainability Coordinator
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

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 (optional):

The sustainability website features information on sustainable operations, research, teaching, partners, and initiatives at the university. It also includes links to important documents such as the 2015-2020 Strategic Plan for Sustainability Operations, the 2014 Energy & Emissions Study, and the 2009 Greenhouse Gas Inventory. Visitors to the site can learn how to get involved and read about news and events.
The website is maintained and new content is added on a weekly basis.


The website URL for the central sustainability website:
Does the institution have a sustainability newsletter?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability newsletter:

The Office of Sustainability newsletter is a bi-weekly email featuring news stories, events, and opportunities related to campus and community sustainability efforts. It is coordinated by the Office of Sustainability and is sent to over 3,800 students, staff, faculty, and community members.


The website URL for the sustainability newsletter:
Does the institution have social media platforms (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, interactive blogs) that focus specifically on campus sustainability?:
Yes

A brief description of the social media platforms that focus on sustainability:

The Office of Sustainability has a dedicated Facebook page that focuses on sustainability news, updates, and events on campus, as well as regional and national news stories. The Office of Sustainability works closely with green student groups to promote the work that they are doing and their upcoming events. With over 1,100 followers and regular postings, this page is the go-to resource for sustainability news and events on campus.

The Office of Sustainability also has a Twitter account with over 1,000 followers. Tweets correspond with bi-weekly newsletter stories, and occasionally some additional event and informational contents.

An Instagram account was launched in the fall of 2017 and is building its base of followers. Several campaigns are underway, with weekly posts about Green Monday, sustainability tips for everyday life and student intern profiles.


The website URL of the primary social media platform focused on sustainability:
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 the regular coverage of sustainability in the main student newspaper:

N/A


The website URL for regular coverage of sustainability in the main student newspaper:
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Does the institution produce a vehicle to publish and disseminate student research on sustainability?:
No

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

N/A


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 :

LEED buildings on campus feature certification plaques and often an overview of the building's green attributes. For example, the recently-renovated Bryan Hall will include a permanent signage in the building highlighting the various sustainability features and metrics of the project, including facts about water and energy usage, materials, volatil organic compounds, and more. Another example is Brauer Hall, built in 2010, which has digital signage that highlights green building features. It cycles through the features using a Lucid dashboard framework.

At the beginning of 2018, a 65' by 35' multi touch interactive screen was installed by the entrance of the new Whisper cafe (in the Olin Library), prime location for students on campus. This "sustainability dashboard" will feature a "building energy dashboard", showing in real time the energy consumption of each building on campus. People will be able to click on individual buildings on a map and see the different sources of energy they use, as well as their consumption at different times of the day, or during the past month or year. The dashboard will also include some details about sustainability features of each building (link below).


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

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

Washington University Dining Services publishes and distributes broadly, at the beginning of each school year, a "Guide to Campus Dining". The guide (15 pages brochure) includes education information about nutrition, local food procurement (showcasing local vendors and farmers as part of the Farm to Fork program), sustainability commitment (guidelines on sourcing sustainable and third party verified food), and "the culture of sustainability " (highlights programs to reduce waste such as Eco-To-Go, Bottomless Mug program, etc). Link to the guide: https://diningservices.wustl.edu/dining-guide/

In addition, the Office of Sustainability has coordinated with 3 of its dining providers to post on Social Medias the weekly Green Monday options available on campus (includes a picture of the meal and location it can be found).

Many events and programs throughout the year are also the opportunity for Dining Services and the Office of Sustainability to communicate about sustainable food systems with additional signage and brochures: Food Week, Eat Local Challenge, Farm Awareness Week, Earth Week, Harvest festival, and more.


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

A brief description of the signage on the grounds about sustainable groundskeeping and/or landscaping strategies employed:

Snow Way Hill has a mixture of native and adaptive plantings. There is a sign at the bottom of the hill highlighting these features.

Signs to identify significant trees as part of a Campus Tree Walk are under development. The Tree Walk is part of the Arboretum Status through he Morton Arboretum.


The website URL for the signage on the grounds about sustainable groundskeeping and/or landscaping strategies employed:
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Does the institution produce a sustainability walking map or tour?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability walking map or tour:

A GIS-based sustainability map is being unveiled in March 2018. Layers show sustainability-related infrastructure (like water bottle filling stations and bike racks), as well as self-guided tour of 20 sustainability highlights on the Danforth campus.

Customized sustainability tours are given several times a year for local school groups, visitors from peer institutions, donors and alumni. An in-depth sustainability tour is usually part of Staff Day festivities.


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

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

All new faculty and staff receive a guide on alternative methods of transportation, entitled "You Can Get There - Pick your Mix". It showcases options ranging from the university-sponsored Metro pass to the Enterprise CarShare program, perks for occasional drivers, and amenities for bicyclists. A presentation about sustainable methods of transportation available at the University is also given to all new employee orientations. Guides for using alternative transportation between campuses, around St. Louis, and beyond the region are available for public use on the sustainability website and broadly distributed at events, during presentations and available in key campus areas.

Last fall, Parking and Transportation Services have also started a communication campaign featuring alternative commuters from the university community (https://parking.wustl.edu/commute-options/in-the-zone/).


The website URL for the guide for commuters about how to use more sustainable methods of transportation:
Does the institution produce navigation and educational tools for bicyclists and pedestrians (e.g. covering routes, inter-modal connections, policies, services, and safety)? :
Yes

A brief description of the navigation and educational tools for bicyclists and pedestrians:

The Office of Sustainability issues an Alternative Transportation map to incoming students at Move-In, as well as to staff at orientation training. The map denotes MetroLink stops, MetroBus stops, Campus Circulator stops, bike routes (designated and shared), bike Fixit stations, bike racks (covered, large, and small capacity), and buildings with showers. The map also includes tips for a safe commute, instructions for properly locking bikes, suggested biking gear and routine maintenance, bike registration information, and multi-modal travel information.

This map is paired with many other handouts materials: regional bike maps, smart cycling Quick Guide, bus line maps and schedules, neighborhood guides, and more, which are broadly distributed at events during the school year.

The Office of Sustainability's website also features a new page called "Resources for Bikers" that compiles all practical information and resources for bike commuters, such as amenities on WashU campuses but also beyond campus, along with a set of bike safety videos. The page also offers visitors the opportunity to purchase a discounted bike helmet though an online paypal account.

On campus, “Courtesy is Contagious” is a communication campaign that aims to help bicyclists and pedestrians have a more enjoyable, low-stress, and safe commute. Led by the Parking & Transportation department, the campaign promotes ways for WashU community members to positively interact with cyclists and pedestrians while out and about, which includes being alert and courteous when sharing paths and roads. At the beginning of each school year, a variety of signs are being installed in strategic areas. People can read safety tips and messages like “Pedestrians: Bikes may pass on the left. Be courteous and move to the right.”


The website URL for navigation and educational tools for bicyclists and pedestrians:
Does the institution produce a guide for green living and/or incorporating sustainability into the residential experience?:
Yes

A brief description of the guide for green living and incorporating sustainability into the residential experience:

The Office of Sustainability provides new students with a toolkit designed to remind us of simple, everyday actions we can take to reduce our impact on the environment. The toolkit, part of the Washington University “Less is More” campaign, addresses the concept of “the greenest thing you can do is consume less.” The toolkit encourages simple actions with big impact. The toolkit contains stickers for thermostats with suggested eco-friendly settings, fridge magnets reminding of phantom loads, a recycling information poster, an info card on energy saving settings for laptops and mobile devices, stickers for the restroom with water saving tips, and light switch stickers reminding users to turn the lights off when leaving the room.

A User Guide for Energy Efficient Living for off-campus living was released to occupants of a specific apartment complex that is part of the Green Rehab study. The guide will be released broadly in Fall 2018.


The website URL for the guide for green living and incorporating sustainability into the residential experience:
Does the institution produce other sustainability outreach materials or publications not covered above?:
Yes

A brief description of these materials or publications:

Campus sustainability efforts are guided by goals outlined in the university’s Strategic Plan for Sustainable Operations, that was last updated and published in 2015. The plan is available online and paper versions have been distributed to key stakeholders at the University. Last fall, the Office of Sustainability conducted a Progress Report to evaluate progresses made since the implementation of the plan, upon the 8 key areas of sustainable operations. The report will be published in the spring of 2018.

Other major outreach project for sustainability is the upcoming "Sustainability Dashboard" mentioned in the above "Green Building Signage" field. In addition to showcasing the building energy usage, the dashboard will include comprehensive information and links about sustainability-related academic and institutional programs, high level accomplishments and goals from strategic plan and also ways to get involved for students. When not in use, the dashboard is displaying rotating slides showcasing student, alumni and faculty profiles (involved with sustainability), events, and more.


The website URL for these materials or publications:
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.