Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 46.13
Liaison Traci Knabenshue
Submission Date March 3, 2021

STARS v2.2

West Virginia University
PRE-2: Points of Distinction

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete N/A Traci Knabenshue
Sustainability Direcor
Auxiliary and Business Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name of the institution’s featured sustainability program, initiative, or accomplishment:
Tree Campus USA Designation

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

WVU became a Tree Campus USA as designated by the Arbor Day Foundation in 2018. The recent history behind tree care and management is that WVU employed a long-term arborist, but upon his retirement in 2015, attention to tree care lapsed. In addition, the emergence of invasive pests like the Emerald Ash Borer wiped out significant numbers of canopy trees. A Tree Campus Committee was formed to re-commit to tree care in 2017 and has amassed several accomplishments in a brief time. The committee completed an inventory of every tree in landscaped areas of the Morgantown campus and made it known to Facilities Management that we needed to rehire the retired arborist's position, which it did. The committee has also been successful in receiving grants to plant more trees than it removes to increase tree canopy on campus. Students complete service by planting. Species are chosen to diversify existing species on campus and provide living teaching resources for faculty. Current activities include updating construction guidelines to protect trees during projects and to develop a dual-purpose education and funding program in cooperation with Wood Technologies students to make products from removed trees and sell them to fund tree activities.


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

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):
OP-9

A photograph or document associated with the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment:
Name of a second highlighted sustainability program/initiative/accomplishment:
WVU researchers expose Volkswagon's diesel emission scandal

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

WVU researchers who test emissions on diesel-powered cars discovered that Volkswagon had installed a device in their vehicles sold in America that would fool emissions tests making them appear to be more environmentally-friendly and fuel efficient than their competitors. The German car company has since admitted to cheating the emissions tests in the United States. As a result from this discovered scandal U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer approved a $14.7 billion settlement with Volkswagon to compensate car owners and address environmental harm. In Addition the vehicle industry acknowledged that new testing technologies that represent an on-road condition is needed to make sure vehicles are fully compliant with all federal emissions levels.


Which impact areas does the second program/initiative/accomplishment most closely relate to?:
Research
Public Engagement
Air & Climate

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:
Research on Rare Earth Minerals

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

The West Virginia Water Research Institute at West Virginia University has been awarded continued funding from the US Department of Energy building on previous work to extract rare earth elements from acid mine drainage (AMD). A pilot scale treatment plant has been built in Mt. Storm, West Virginia to test the technical and economic feasibility of scaling-up the technology to commercialize the separation and extraction process. Rare earth elements are used in many different technology products, from TV displays to fiber optics to LED light bulbs to medical testing machines. Right now, these elements come from conventional mining
methods that disturb lands, with China being the largest producer and the United States importing about 92% of that material. Extracting rare earths from AMD would reduce the environmental impact from coal mining, reduce domestic dependence on imports of the elements, and incentivize remediation of AMD by making it a revenue stream rather than a liability.


Which impact areas does the third program/initiative/accomplishment most closely relate to?:
Research
Waste
Water

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):
Included in Research Inventory for AC-9

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.