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  • AASHE-STARS

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 53.62
Liaison Michael Kensler
Submission Date Jan. 11, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Auburn University
EN-4: Outreach Materials and Publications

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Jennifer Morse
Administrator: Outreach and Communications
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution produce the following outreach materials and/or publications that foster sustainability learning and knowledge? :
Yes or No
A central sustainability website that consolidates information about the institution’s sustainability efforts Yes
A sustainability newsletter Yes
Social media platforms that focus specifically on campus sustainability Yes
A vehicle to publish and disseminate student research on sustainability No
Building signage that highlights green building features Yes
Food service area signage and/or brochures that include information about sustainable food systems Yes
Signage on the grounds about sustainable groundskeeping and/or landscaping strategies employed Yes
A sustainability walking map or tour Yes
A guide for commuters about how to use alternative methods of transportation Yes
Navigation and educational tools for bicyclists and pedestrians Yes
A guide for green living and incorporating sustainability into the residential experience Yes
Regular coverage of sustainability in the main student newspaper, either through a regular column or a reporter assigned to the sustainability beat Yes
Other sustainability publications or outreach materials not covered above Yes

A brief description of the central sustainability website:

The Office of Sustainability website provides an overview of sustainability at Auburn University. At this site visitors can learn about Auburn's commitment to sustainability, view a calendar of events, learn about projects, initiatives, and campus activities. The LEARN tab has resources for working and living at AU, general sustainability, local resources, and resources related to academics. The ENGAGE tab has a summary of offices around campus where one can get involved, student groups, and other opportunities. The PRACTICES tab connects visitor to the universities sustainability policies and plans, operations. Visitors are invited to contact the Office of Sustainability for formal and informal sustainability training and education programs, and to join our newsletter.


The website URL for the central sustainability website:
A brief description of the sustainability newsletter:

Auburn University's Office of Sustainability produces a monthly newsletter/ digest, Auburn Sustainability News. The newsletter highlights the latest news in operations and academics at Auburn University, and upcoming events.


The website URL for the sustainability newsletter:
A brief description of the social media platforms that focus specifically on campus sustainability:

Followers are educated and informed of events and educated through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Offices with a majority of sustainability messaging include: the Office of Sustainability, Waste Reduction and Recycling Department, AU Health and Wellness, and Healthy Tigers, in addition to numerous student organizations.


The website URL of the primary social media platform that focuses on sustainability:
A brief description of the vehicle to publish and disseminate student research on sustainability:
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The website URL for the vehicle to publish and disseminate student research on sustainability:
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A brief description of building signage that highlights green building features :

The Miller Gorrie Center (houses the McWhorter School of Building Science) was the first LEED Gold certified building in Alabama. A series of internal signs highlight the sustainability features within the building.


The website URL for building signage that highlights green building features :
A brief description of food service area signage and/or brochures that include information about sustainable food systems:

Tiger Dining promotes sustainable practices and linkages to sustainable food systems in such areas as organic, locally grown foods, capturing used cooking oils for biofuel, distributing excess food to a local food bank, and other relevant information.They have a series of 'Meet the Farmer' displays in the Plains 2 Plate venue. Some contract dining venues promote their sustainability initiatives.


The website URL for food service area signage and/or brochures that include information about sustainable food systems:
A brief description of signage on the grounds about sustainable groundskeeping and/or landscaping strategies:

The university has a self-guided signage-based Water Tour in the Arboretum to educate the public on best practices for handling storm water in the landscape, and shows examples of practices used in Auburn's landscaping. In addition, in the research park area there are interpretive signs pointing out native grass landscaping.


The website URL for signage on the grounds about sustainable groundskeeping and/or landscaping strategies:
A brief description of the sustainability walking map or tour:

In an effort to educate the public on best practices for handling stormwater in the landscape, the Auburn University arboretum has installed an 11-stop stormwater tour. The tour takes participants through the arboretum landscape while highlighting features that deal with stormwater management, such as using pervious surfaces. Some of the stops describe water capture, and some are about controlling the flow of water. The stormwater tour also highlights the arboretum's use of cisterns in the landscape, as the facility has a 1,700-gallon, above-ground tank and a 1,400-gallon, below-ground tank to capture stormwater. The tour educates the public on methods that slow, trap and channel water in a landscape through the use of features such as swales, rain gardens and dry stream beds. Examples are also provided of how stormwater, when not properly managed, is destructive.


The website URL of the sustainability walking map or tour:
A brief description of the guide for commuters about how to use alternative methods of transportation:

There is an Auburn Sustainable Transportation Guide on the Office of Sustainability website that has information on how to get to the region, from major cities near Auburn to Auburn, and how to get around Auburn. There is additional information on the Living @AU and Working@AU webpages. Parking services also has links to the different forms of alternative transportation.


The website URL for the guide for commuters about how to use alternative methods of transportation:
A brief description of the navigation and educational tools for bicyclists and pedestrians:

The Bicycling Basics brochure produced by Parking Services covers the rules of the road, how to register your bike, a map of approved biking sidewalks on campus, bicycle repair station locations, how to put your bike on the Tiger Transit, and resources both on and off campus. In addition, there are signs indicating where biking is allowed along the approved sidewalks on campus.


The website URL for navigation and educational tools for bicyclists and pedestrians:
A brief description of the guide for green living and incorporating sustainability into the residential experience:

The Office of Sustainability has both a Sustainable Student Packing Guide and a Living @AU webpage linked to the Housing website. The Office of Sustainability and Waste Reduction and Recycling Departments do outreach in the residence halls as well as distribute educational materials during summer orientation sessions. During orientation students can pick up the packing guide, the action guide, and the transportation guide.


The website URL for the guide for green living and incorporating sustainability into the residential experience:
A brief description of regular coverage of sustainability in the main student newspaper, either through a regular column or a reporter assigned to the sustainability beat:

The Office of Sustainability meets monthly with a student reporter with The Plainsman student newspaper assigned to the Office. There is a designated section in the newspaper with the heading "Sustainability." The Plainsman uses 'sustainability' as a tag word so visitors can search their online database for sustainability stories.


The website URL for regular coverage of sustainability in the main student newspaper, either through a regular column or a reporter assigned to the sustainability beat:
A brief description of another sustainability publication or outreach material not covered above (1st material):

Campus Conversations:

Each month the Office of Sustainability hosts a structured conversation on a specific sustainability-related topic. Topics may focus on campus-specific issues or they may be regional, national, or global in scale.

The format of Campus Conversations is to introduce a topic through prepared comments by someone with topical expertise, and then engage people in attendance to have small group and large group conversations around thoughtful questions related to that topic. The intent is to more fully involve everyone in attendance to explore important and timely questions, and to trigger thoughtful conversations that continue and spread beyond the confines of each gathering.

Campus Conversations has covered such topics as electronic waste, sustainability and Auburn University values, the role of higher education in creating engaged citizens, stream restoration initiatives on campus, and world hunger.

Campus conversations are open to all.


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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.