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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.

Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 68.76
Liaison Kimberly Williams
Submission Date Feb. 27, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

George Washington University
EN-10: Inter-Campus Collaboration

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Meghan Chapple
Director of Sustainability, Senior Advisor on University Sustainability Initiatives
Office of Sustainability
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Does the institution collaborate with other colleges and universities to support and help build the campus sustainability community?:

A brief summary of papers, guides, presentations, and other resources the institution has developed to share their sustainability experience with other institutions:

GW has presented and/or co-presented at the AASHE conference, Second Nature Summit, National Council on Science and Environment, and the Smart & Sustainable Campuses Conference on topics including collaborations with other universities, water sustainability strategy, ecosystem services strategy, the pan-university sustainability minor, and the Capital Partners Solar Project.

GW has also published its strategic plans on campus sustainability including the overarching GW Ecosystems Enhancement Strategy as well as the GW Climate Action Plan and GWater Plan. These plans are customized for GW's urban setting and access to Washington, D.C. These are available publicly so that other universities - especially those in urban settings - can use them as a blueprint for their own planning purposes as appropriate.

The names of local, state/provincial, regional, national, or international campus sustainability organizations or consortia in which the institution participates and/or is a member:

Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education
American College and University President's Climate Commitment
District of Columbia College and University Sustainability Pledge Working Group
National Council on Science and the Environment
Council of Environmental Deans and Directors
Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences

A brief summary of additional ways the institution collaborates with other campuses to advance sustainability :

GW collaborates with area campus partners on sustainability through a group called "Metro DC Sustainability" that includes representatives from American, Georgetown, University of the District of Columbia, George Mason, and Johns Hopkins, among others. GW has hosted meetings for the group.

In addition, GW joined and helped to lead the charge on the DC Mayor's College and University Sustainability Pledge which was signed by all District-schools in February 2012. The District of Columbia Mayor’s College and University Sustainability Pledge (CUSP) invites the District’s institutions of higher education to commit to pursuing sustainability as engaged participants in the Mayor’s ambitious goal of making the District of Columbia the most sustainable city in America. The CUSP recognizes the critical leadership role of the District’s colleges and universities in advancing sustainability on campus and in the community.

In 2013 a city-wide Washington, D.C., collegiate team – Catholic University (CUA), George Washington University (GWU) and American University (AU) – competed as Team Capitol DC in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon for the first time. Together, students and faculty mentors from the three universities harnessed the talents from each school’s premier programs (CUA’s School of Architecture and Planning; GWU’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Landscape Design Program and Interior Design Program; and AU’s School of Communication) to design, build and communicate about a sustainable home that produces as much energy as it uses. Team Capitol DC placed in the top ten in the Solar Decathlon.

Most recently, in 2014 GW partnered with American University and the George Washington University Hospital on a collaborative purchase for renewable energy providing the institutions with 50% of the their electricity needs through solar power for the next 20 years. This collaborative approach provides a model for other universities and large institutions to work together to demand, create, and purchase renewable energy at a large scale.

In 2012, GW Sustainability faculty began to work together with colleagues at University College London to create a research and education network. In Fall 2013, faculty from UCL and GW held a virtual workshop to explore areas of research and teaching synergy. Several areas were identified for future collaboration, include: urban planning and design, water, urban infrastructure, smart cities/big data, and STEM/public policy. Some 25 GW and UCL faculty attended the workshop. Dr. Julie Ryan (GW) and Dr. Sarah Bell (UCL) have since collaborated on a teaching project. Each of their classes had enrollments of 30 students. Drs. Ryan and Bell created ten teams of six students each (three each from the two institutions). The project assignment was to develop a detailed systems engineering analysis of a given situation that include: home gardens, community gardens, urban agriculture, home energy consumption, domestic water systems, etc. In addition, Dr. Melissa Keeley (GW) and Dr. Sarah Bell (UCL) have begun collaborative research on comparing storm water plans for London, DC and Philadelphia. The results of their research will be published soon. Our goals is to expand that network and to focus on the challenges capital cities face in implementing sustainability.

The website URL where information about cross-campus collaboration 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.