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-5: Outreach Campaign

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Reporter Clara Steyer
Sustainability Coordinator
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:
Green Cup

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

Description:
Green Cup is a four-week energy use reduction competition between residential colleges, on-campus apartments, and fraternity houses to encourage energy conservation. Teams compete based on a point system and winners in each league are awarded prizes at the end of February. Standings are published on a weekly basis along with the energy usage data of each residential colleges. On the main campus, teams are led by the EcoReps.

Student engagement:
Aside from the kickoff and award ceremonies, each residential college also organizes its own kickoff event, which is the opportunity to engage with all the residents. Attendance to these events is a way to earn points. Points can also be earned by taking the sustainability pledge or responding to "green theme quizzes" that are sent out every week of the competition (4 total). The Office of Sustainability also owns 3 "greenman" suits, that can be borrowed by the students during the competition. Wearing the greenman suit around campus is an easy and fun way to engage with other students on campus, and also a way to earn points for your team!

Aside from the point system, EcoReps are deeply involved prior and during the competition to spur a culture of sustainability in their residential colleges. They put up signs by the light switches and in the laundry rooms, distribute educational materials and also offer the opportunity to swap old incandescent light bulbs to new LED bulbs.


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

Method:
Electrical energy use from lights, dryers, laptops, chargers, refrigerators, microwaves, TVs, and other electrical devices is measured over the four-week competition period and compared to a baseline.

Results:
In 2016, students reduced their electricity usage by more than 160,000 kwh in one month, equivalent to the annual usage of 15 U.S. homes.
In 2017, some Residential Colleges were able to reduce their electrical consumption by 20% with simple adjustments to everyday habits. The 2017 Green Cup saved nearly 100 metric tons of CO2 in a single month, which is the equivalent of taking 20 cars off the road for an entire year.


The website URL where information about the campaign is available:
Name of the campaign (2nd campaign):
RecycleMania and Recycling Geniuses

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

RecycleMania is an eight-week benchmarking competition between hundreds of colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada to see who can divert the most trash from landfill. Participants report the amount of recycling, composting, and trash collected each week of the competition.


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

In 2015, WashU attained a 44.65% diversion rate, meaning just over 1 million pounds of materials were recycled or composted compared to the 2.4 million pounds of total waste collected. This placed WashU 54th out of 398 colleges. WashU did especially well in the electronics waste category, ranking 16th in the nation.

In 2016, we discovered a significant number of recycling loads being rejected from the recycling center due to contamination, so numbers and rankings were significantly worse than the previous year. A targeted marketing and outreach plan ensued over the following year, including the Recycling Genius training (train the trainer program), tabling and office presentations, training for kitchen and custodial staff, signage updates, and media coverage. In 2017, diversion rates had been restored and rejected loads reduced to a minimum.


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:

Active Transportation Challenge:
Active Transportation Month takes place each April and October and includes events like commuter fairs and free bike tune-ups, along with the seminal Active Transportation Challenge. The events are intended to provide resources and encouragement for individuals interested in kicking the car habit and to promote alternative means of transportation to, from, and around Washington University's campuses. The Active Transportation Challenge offers teams a chance to try alternative means of transportation, track their progress in calories-burned and CO2-saved, and benchmark against other teams.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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