Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 55.44
Liaison Bradley Flamm
Submission Date March 4, 2022

STARS v2.2

West Chester University of Pennsylvania
PRE-2: Points of Distinction

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete N/A Bradley Flamm
Director of Sustainability
Office of the President
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name of the institution’s featured sustainability program, initiative, or accomplishment:
The Brandywine Project for Sustainability Education

A brief description of the institution’s featured program, initiative, or accomplishment:

What began as a sustainability-in-the-curriculum initiative in 2016, West Chester University's Brandywine Project for Sustainability Education has grown to include Faculty, Staff, and Student workshops designed to introduce our community to environmental, social, and economic sustainability and engage them in WCU initiatives to achieve our Climate Action Plan goals in collaborative ways. Four bi-annual Workshops for faculty from West Chester University (and nearby colleges and universities) have been held (the most recent in January 2022), eight Staff Workshops, and five Student Workshops (the latter organized and implemented by a student organization named Students for Sustainable Action). The Brandywine Project has influenced other efforts on campus by, for example, lending the "Brandywine b" logo to student research projects highlighted in each semester's Research Day activities. The program, which started as a "Sustainability Across the Curriculum" initiative, has expanded to include "Sustainability Across the Campus and for the University Community" effort.


Which of the following impact areas does the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment most closely relate to?:
Curriculum
Research
Campus Engagement
Coordination & Planning

Website URL where more information about the accomplishment may be found:
STARS credit in which the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment is reported (if applicable):
AC-7

A photograph or document associated with the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment:
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Name of a second highlighted sustainability program/initiative/accomplishment:
West Chester University's Geo-Exchange Heating and Cooling System

A brief description of the second program/initiative/accomplishment:

WCU’s Geo-Exchange System heats and cools eighteen buildings on campus, representing more than half of all building space. Between 2008 and 2021, it reduced the university's energy costs by millions of dollars and on-campus fossil fuel carbon emissions by two-thirds. By seizing an opportunity to replace, rather than refresh, an aging district hot water heating system powered by a coal- and heating oil-fired boiler, WCU was able to decommission the plant (which had been a major point source of air pollutant emissions in Chester County, PA) and eliminate coal from its energy sources. The system maintains healthy and comfortable indoor environments on campus for learning, research, administration, and campus operations and serves as a teaching and research resource for students, faculty, staff, and community neighbors.


Which impact areas does the second program/initiative/accomplishment most closely relate to?:
Research
Buildings
Energy
Coordination & Planning

Website URL where more information about the second program/initiative/accomplishment may be found:
STARS credit in which the second program/initiative/accomplishment is reported (if applicable):
---

A photograph or document associated with the second program/initiative/accomplishment:
Name of a third highlighted program/initiative/accomplishment:
West Chester University Campus Gardens

A brief description of the third program/initiative/accomplishment:

West Chester University's four campus gardens -- three vegetable gardens on North and South campus and at the president's residence, Tanglewood, along with the new Natural Pigments and Dyes Garden -- link the university's educational mission to sustainability, research, and social equity efforts. Food is grown organically, faculty use the gardens to extend the classroom outdoors, produce is donated to WCU's Resource Pantry and Chester County Food Banks and is sometimes used in the Nutrition lab for hands-on demonstrations, and research is conducted. In the past two years, the gardens have also been connected to the Ram Chefs initiative, a program to teach cooking and independence skills to young adults with disabilities and their caregivers.


Which impact areas does the third program/initiative/accomplishment most closely relate to?:
Campus Engagement
Public Engagement
Food & Dining
Grounds

Website URL where more information about the third program/initiative/accomplishment may be found:
STARS credit in which the third program/initiative/accomplishment is reported (if applicable):
AC-8

A photograph or document associated with the third program/initiative/accomplishment:

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.