Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 62.77
Liaison Lindsay Crum
Submission Date June 29, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Yale University
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Melissa Goodall
Associate Director
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Air & Climate?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Air & Climate:

The Yale Carbon Charge Project continues to test feasibility of carbon pricing on Yale’s campus. This applied research has implications for energy policy, climate change mitigation, and environmental economics. It was conceptualized by a task force of faculty, students, and staff, and is currently being run in 300+ buildings.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Buildings?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Buildings:

First year students in the School of Architecture are required to participate in an annual building project that includes the design and building of an affordable, efficient home. Partnerships with Habitat for Humanity, Neighborhood Housing Services, Common Ground, and currently Neighborworks New Horizons, have led to a focus on affordable housing. The houses allow students the experience of working with a client and the opportunity to respond to the challenges of affordable housing and urban infill. Students have shown great enthusiasm for these projects focusing on community development and neighborhood improvement. Many of them arrive at school with a desire to include such socially responsible work in their future professional lives. Having the opportunity to participate in the design and construction of such building projects often reinforces their dedication to do so.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Energy?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Energy:

Launched in May 2009, the Prospect Street Windmill Project involved the construction and installation of ten innovative micro-wind turbines on the roof of the Becton Engineering and Applied Science Center. The Micro-Wind turbines are an integral demonstration of how Yale can meet its greenhouse gas reduction goal, test new technologies for future opportunities and enable students to explore first hand, the burgeoning technologies that will contribute to solving national energy issues and global climate change.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Food & Dining?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Food & Dining:

The Yale Sustainable Food Program (YSFP) is the steward of two multi-functional farms, one on central campus and the other situated within the Yale Landscape Lab on West Campus. On the farm, in the classroom, and around the world, the YSFP serves as a hub for diverse activities related to food, agriculture, health, and the environment. The YSFP offers a range of paid and unpaid internships, fellowships, awards, and both curricular and co-curricular experiences for Yale students at all levels of study, both during the regular academic year and over the summer. We also convene and support a range of workshops, conferences, colloquia, and guest speakers for the benefit of students and the wider Yale and New Haven community.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Grounds?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Grounds:

In the 2017-2018 academic year, a graduate student conducted a comprehensive process to explore possibilities for assessing campus biodiversity and using updated grounds practices as well as faculty and student research to set targets for improvements. In 2018-2019, faculty members from the Schools of Architecture and Forestry & Environmental Studies will receive funding to implement a set of research projects related to this document.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Purchasing?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Purchasing:

Through a course taught at the Yale School of Forestry & Enviornmental Studies, students have done various life cycles assessments for products sourced by Yale procurement. Notable examples include durable v. disposable plates and hand driers v. paper towels. Both of these have impacted best practices at the university.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Transportation?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Transportation:

Students in the Energy Scholars program have done several capstone projects, including an analysis of possible fuel types for the Yale Shuttle. This resulted in a transition from bio-diesel to CNG.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Waste?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Waste:

Students at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and Yale School of Management completed research on waste data for the university's Pay As You Throw pilot program. Through their work, key strategies for how best to move forward with the pilot were identified.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Water?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Water:

Students in a course at the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies worked to assess the biophysical threats and social impacts of climate change, including flooding, providing policy recommendations for the city's new Hazard Mitigation Plan. In addition, research conducted by FES graduate students helped to inform design standards for bioswales that will be installed around Yale's campus and in downtown New Haven to address flooding and water quality issues. In spring 2018, Yale released an updated to its Stormwater Management Plan. One of the principles of this plan is to promote University-wide participation and stewardship of stormwater management strategies using the campus as a living laboratory. The plan also provides specific recommendations for further development of Yale's campus as a living laboratory.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Coordination & Planning?:
No

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Coordination & Planning:
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Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Diversity & Affordability?:
No

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Diversity & Affordability:
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Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Investment & Finance?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Investment & Finance:

In spring 2017, a group of students from the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, School of Management, and Law School conducted research for the Yale Investments Office on a potential investment project in forestry carbon offsets.

In addition, the Carbon Offsets Task Force is a group of students, faculty, and staff formed in the spring of 2017 to recommend an actionable policy to guide the use of carbon offsets, including criteria for meaningful offsets, pace of acquisition and retirement of offsets, and a governance structure to support an ongoing carbon offsets program. Participating on the task force were student representatives of Yale College, the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, and the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. In addition, student research on carbon offset projects and verification programs contributed to the background materials for the task force.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Public Engagement?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Public Engagement:

Between 2016 and 2018, several Yale students were involved in research and public engagement activities in the development of the City of New Haven's climate action plan. The Yale Office of Sustainability hosted several students by providing a physical workspace.

In addition, in spring 2016 students in a course at the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies worked to assess the biophysical threats and social impacts of climate change, including flooding, providing policy recommendations for the city's new Hazard Mitigation Plan.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Wellbeing & Work?:
No

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Wellbeing & Work:
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Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to other areas (e.g. arts & culture or technology)?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to other areas:

For the course Practicum in Climate Change, Sustainability, and Public Health, interdisciplinary student teams work with sponsoring organizations to carry out applied research or practice projects. The course affords the opportunity to apply concepts and competencies learned in the classroom to this important area of climate change, sustainability, and public health. Particular topics addressed in recent years include tactics for food waste reduction in Yale dining spaces and the correlation between active transportation and human health.


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