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

STARS v2.2

Western Kentucky University
PA-1: Sustainability Coordination

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Cara Walters
Interim Sustainability Coordinator
WKU Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have at least one sustainability committee?:

The charter or mission statement of the committee(s) or a brief description of each committee's purview and activities:

WKU's Student Government Association created the SGA Sustainability Committee in 2015. This is an open committee, consisting of SGA and non-SGA students, as well as several faculty and staff members. The committee's primary goal is to drive sustainable policy-making that promotes sustainable practices at the university. The committee also partners with the Office of Sustainability to organize and acquire funding for the annual Earth Day festival.

WKU Sustainability Champions is an open sustainability staff committee. This group focuses on improving campus sustainability behaviors within staff settings. Staff also participate in peer-to-peer education, with the committee chair having a background in sustainability.

Members of each committee, including affiliations and role:

SGA Sustainability Committee: (names not included as they are transitional positions)
approximately 10 members

WKU Sustainability Champions
Committee Chair:

Does the institution have at least one sustainability office that includes more than 1 full-time equivalent employee?:

A brief description of each sustainability office:

WKU has one Office of Sustainability located on the main campus. It is the mission of the Office of Sustainability to promote a culture of sustainability at WKU, integrating principles of ecological integrity and social equity into academics, practices, and partnerships. Our goal is to ensure that WKU is an institution that provides innovative solutions to global challenges, prepares students as engaged and responsible citizens, and observes best practices in campus operations and services. The Office functions under the leadership of the Director of Sustainability. The Office also engages ambassadors and interns who are paid a stipend to write grants, assist in the development of an improved best-practice demonstration garden, and develop outreach materials for the Office.

The office employees one part-time graduate assistant, two part-time undergraduate students, and up to 5 student ambassadors during any academic semester.

Full-time equivalent of people employed in the sustainability office(s):

Does the institution have at least one sustainability officer?:

Name and title of each sustainability officer:
Dr. Leslie North, Director of Sustainability

Does the institution have a mechanism for broad sustainability coordination for the entire institution?:

A brief description of the activities and substantive accomplishments of the institution-wide coordinating body or officer during the previous three years:

In 2017, WKU was included in the Sierra Club list of Cool Schools, ranking 54 of 227 schools that submitted

Ogden College Hall, WKU's second LEED Gold certified, opened in January 2018. Ogden College Hall is certified as a "Well Building" from the International Well Building Institute. Ogden College Hall also won the Shaw Design People's Choice Award for integrating a "Science on Display" theme throughout the space.

The WKU Food Recovery Network was resurrected in April 2019. The chapter operates out of the Office of Sustainability Chapter and the WKU Food Pantry. The Food Recovery Network has recovery partnerships with two campus dining locations, and has also recovered food from off-campus locations, donating the food to local churches and non-profits. As of February 2020, the WKU chapter has recovered 2666 pounds of food.

The Office of Sustainability began reconstructing the office interior in June 2019. Sustainable elements were included throughout the best-practice home, including a low-flow toilet, locally-sourced and surplus furniture, and LED light fixtures. The Office's student garden is also in the process of reconstruction to include innovative growing methods for growing fruit and vegetables. The Office recently acquired a second community garden in partnership with the College Heights Foundation. In spring 2020, this garden will be planted as a sensory and herb garden. The herbs will be picked regularly and used by Aramark chefs for food served in the Fresh Food Company campus dining location.

In December 2019, WKU was recognized as the 284th World's Most Sustainable University in the University of Indonesia Green Metric World University Rankings.

Job title of the sustainability officer position:
Director of Sustainability

Job description for the sustainability officer position:

Job description for the sustainability officer position:

Serves as a liaison between students, departments, campus organizations, and faculty/staff, ensuring communication and resource coordination for sustainability programs and projects. Provides leadership for Western Kentucky University Office of Sustainability graduate and undergraduate assistants. Assists in defining sustainability goals within the WKU Office of Sustainability. Serves as an advisor for research and programs through the WKU Office of Sustainability. Assists in grant writing to support individual student projects and WKU Office of Sustainability initiatives.
Oversees annual reporting of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System (STARS) self-assessment program and assists in the compilation of university data. Controls operating budget of the WKU Office of Sustainability.


Job title of the sustainability officer position (2nd position):
Coordinator of Resource Conservation

Job description for the sustainability officer position (2nd position):
Job description for the sustainability officer position (2nd position):

Job title of the sustainability officer position (3rd position):
Dining Sustainability Coordinator

Job description for the sustainability officer position (3rd position):

Job description for the sustainability officer position (3rd position):

Sustainability Coordinator for all of dining services on the WKU campus. Position includes working with local farmers and vendors to bring in local produce to campus restaurants. Co-advisor of the Food Recovery Network and Chair of the WKU Sustainability Champions.

Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainability coordination is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

Most divisions at WKU have a direct liaison for sustainability.

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.