Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 53.79
Liaison Leslie North
Submission Date March 5, 2020

STARS v2.2

Western Kentucky University
EN-11: Inter-Campus Collaboration

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.50 / 3.00 Leslie North
Director of Sustainability
Geography and Geology
"---" 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):

The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education

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):

The sustainability coordinators in the state of Kentucky have an informal network where we share ideas and resources and tour each others campuses to learn what is working what is working at their university. The group also meets annually each summer for a sustainability retreat and information sharing event.

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):

Beth Gafford, Director of Resource Conservation, presented a joint presentation at the 2019 AASHE Conference on Western Kentucky University's composting program.

Courtney Martin and Beth Gafford presented an hour long presentation at SRAPPA outlining sustainability best practices in 2019.

Courtney Martin, WKU graduate, presented an hour solo presentation on 'Fix it Fest' and other cross departmental repair/up-cycling initiatives at AASHE in 2018.

Courtney Martin and Beth Gafford presented a poster outlining the Stadium Recycling Program at AASHE in 2018.

Alexis Corbin, 2018 graduate of WKU, presented a poster on 'Farmer Fridays', the partnership between the Office of Sustainability and local farmers in Bowling Green and surrounding communities.

Cara Walters, 2018 graduate, presented a poster on her work in the creation of a Sustainability Values, Awareness, and Behaviors survey.

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):

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):

The Chief Facilities Officer serves on the BOD of Operation PRIDE, a regional organization focused on beautification and green space projects.

Beth Gafford is serving on the Operation PRIDE 'Clean the Green' Committee and the Environmental Education working group.

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:

WKU serves as a model for other institutions in various ways. Our Facilities Management services are provided by Sodexo, and we provide mentorship to other Sodexo served campuses in areas of energy conservation and efficiency, sustainable grounds-keeping, and green cleaning. Representatives from these campuses often visit to see and learn about best practices. Additionally, we are regularly contacted by peer institutions seeking to learn more about such things as our food waste composting program (now included in a published "how-to" guide) and initiatives such as the "Conservation Vacation".

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:

A brief description of other inter-campus collaborative efforts around sustainability during the previous year :

In 2019, WKU hosted University of Louisville, University of Kentucky and the City of Lexington to tour WKU's composting operation. This tour led to UK creating their own food waste composting operation. WKU also prioritizes transferring surplus assets to other government institutions. WKU has donated hundreds of items to municipalities and k-12 schools.

In the summer of 2016, WKU began discussion with University of Louisville, University of Kentucky, Berea College, and Centre College, as well as representatives from clean energy business and non-profit organizations, on the possibility of a collaborative power purchase agreement. This discussion is ongoing, and we are currently investigating the feasibility and implications of such a project. The most current meet-up of the aforementioned institutions took place in August 2019.

Although not local, WKU has a partnership with the University of Akureyri in Iceland and is a member of the University of the Arctic to assist in the enhancement of global networks for information/teaching, research, and student exchange related to climate change.

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