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

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Overall Score Expired
Liaison John Pumilio
Submission Date July 23, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Colgate University
IN-4: Innovation 4

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Expired John Pumilio
Director of Sustainability
Sustainability Office
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Title or keywords related to the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
The Broad Street Challenge (Home Sustainability Audits in Greek Housing)

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:

The Broad Street Challenge: Greeks Go Green was a six-week competition that was designed and implemented by Sustainability Office student interns. The program ran throughout the fall semester of 2013 between eight of Colgate's Greek houses. Student organizers modeled the program off of the Central New York Energy Challenge for area residents. They hosted weekly meetings with each of the Sustainability Chairs of each house to focus on different areas of sustainability. Every week had a different focus area with emphasis on energy conservation and efficiency, water use, and waste management. Each focus area had an educational component followed up with a tangible action. For example, bulb swaps, utilization of power strips, composting/recycling challenges. At the end of the six week competition, the student leaders made an eco-quiz that summarized the main take away points from the competition's weekly exercises. The students were accepted into the Clinton Global Initiative for Universities and traveled to Arizona State University in Spring 2014 to share their work with peers across the country and beyond.


A brief description of any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation (if not reported above):

To evaluate a winner, the student organizers used the September utility bill as a baseline and began implementing the program at the start of the next billing cycle. The winning house, Kappa Kappa Gamma, most successfully implemented a post-consumer waste composting program, a 13% decrease in water usage, and a 7% decrease in electricity usage.

Second place went to Theta Chi who had a 30% decrease in water usage but a 0.65% increase in electricity usage. Third place went to Beta Theta Pi who reduced their water usage by 17% and began a post-consumer waste composting program.

All chapter members of the eight houses were involved in the competition, with the sustainability chairs of each house spearheading the initiatives in their house. The sustainability chairs provided their houses with weekly updates and encouraged reduced energy usage through the course of the competition.

This was an exciting new competition that involved nearly every Greek house and had social, economic, and environmental benefits for the Colgate community. We will continue to run this program in subsequent years.


A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise:
Which of the following STARS subcategories does the innovation most closely relate to? (Select all that apply up to a maximum of five):
Yes or No
Curriculum No
Research No
Campus Engagement Yes
Public Engagement Yes
Air & Climate No
Buildings No
Dining Services No
Energy Yes
Grounds No
Purchasing No
Transportation No
Waste Yes
Water Yes
Coordination, Planning & Governance No
Diversity & Affordability No
Health, Wellbeing & Work No
Investment No

Other topic(s) that the innovation relates to that are not listed above:
Community-based social marketing and fostering sustainable behavior.

The website URL where information about the innovation is available:

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.