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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 Gold
Overall Score 68.01
Liaison Andrew Predmore
Submission Date March 2, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Indiana University Bloomington
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Andrew Predmore
Associate Director of Sustainability
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:

An intern at the IU Office of Sustainability (IUOS) completes the greenhouse gas emissions inventory, which allows us to examine progress towards reducing our emissions and helps identify areas to address.


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:

An IUOS intern works to help certify IU buildings through LEED and make better resources available. Some outcomes include:
1) Acted as liaison between the campus and third part consultants 2) Created a database for common resource needs for LEED certification 3) Published documents to IU's website and disseminated information about green building features of certified projects.


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:

Several internships through IUOS have created noticeable energy benefits. The largest and most frequent of which is the IU Energy Challenge, which is run twice annually by interns and a network of building liaisons, and encourages residence hall and academic and administrative building occupants to work together to reduce energy use. This engages RAs in residence halls, eco-reps in residence halls, the Residence Hall Association, Greek houses and their Sustainability Chairs, as well as numerous other groups and individuals on campus. In Spring 2016, interns are working towards including IU Athletics in the Energy Challenge for the first time.


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:

A class in the Geography department focused on food systems uses food purchasing information from the institution to work with the Real Food Challenge calculator and produce data for the Food Working Group. An intern also leads the annual Big Red Eats Green festival, a guide to sustainable eating, numerous Food Summits (which bring together students and food vendors to discuss sustainable food options), and changes in the language for food and beverage contract bids. An undergraduate research project in 2015-2016 produced a sustainable purchasing guide to be used by IU vendors, in consultation with a faculty member from Geography. Finally, an intern runs our campus garden. The intern coordinates with a class in the School of Public Health called "Introduction to Sustainable Gardening". The garden's produce is shared by our two main food providers on campus. The campus garden intern also coordinates student volunteer days in the garden and arranges educational events covering topics such as permaculture, canning, eating in season, and access to local foods in Bloomington.


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 past several years, student interns have mapped potential rain garden locations - even building two of them with the help of volunteers, have organized volunteer clean-up days for woodland areas on campus, and have been compiling a tree inventory to assist with tree management. The GIS tree inventory is creating data that can be used by multiple classes across campus to calculate the ecosystem services delivered by campus trees and has become a component of several IU classes. Interns and undergradaute researchers are now estimating canopy cover on campus, evaluating tree planting techniques and maintenance, and working with IU facility operations to ensure that University arborists are updating and using the GIS tree inventory.


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:

The Green Purchasing internship through IUOS has reviewed practices from other institutions, collected baseline data, analyzed purchasing of office paper and cleaning supplies, and assisted in the creation of a Green Cleaning Policy.


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:

The Bicycle Friendly Campus internship has since 2010. Some of the outcomes have included:
1) Created a Bicycle Steering committee 2) Identified future partnerships and future projects 3) Began mountain bike rental with IU Outdoor Adventures 4) Began research on a bike share program 5) Created IUBikes Twitter account and facebook page 6) Began IU Students for Bikes student group 7) Began working on a bike map app, and 8) created and posted 30 signs about bicycle safety.


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 have used waste audits as a way to engage with and learn about the campus waste system. Students have chosen to conduct waste audits in public areas, such as the lobby of Ballentine Hall ( the largest academic building on campus) with a sign reading "Waste audit in progress" and information available for curious passerbys. The intern also collaborates with eco-reps in the residence halls to help educate students during "recycling blitz" events.


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:

The Utilities Conservation program internship also contributed to the Energy Challenge, resulting in reduction of water used in both academic buildings and residence halls. Student interns also worked with landscape division to identify potential rain garden locations, and planted two so far with the help of a number of student volunteers.


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

Students are involved in all aspects of sustainability at Indiana University. The Campus Sustainability Advisory Board has a number of student representatives, who often are working with a large, broad advisory body for the first time. Most of the seven sustainability Working Groups, although mostly comprised of faculty and staff, are organized and run by student interns. Students also participate in newer initiatives related to "statewide sustainability" - the effort to bring people together and begin collaborative conversations around sustainability at all of the IU system's regional campuses.


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

In 2016-2017 the Office of Sustainability hired a Diversity and Inclusion intern. The intern brings an environmental justice voice to all working groups. The intern is also responsible for engagement with cultural centers and campus groups that have not traditionally been involved in the sustainability conversation at IU Bloomington.


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

The Hoosier to Hoosier (H2H) Community Sale is a reuse program that aims 1) to divert reusable items from the landfill during student move-out, 2) to prevent additional resource consumption by selling collected items to students and community members during move-in in order 3) to raise funds for local charities and other organizations.

The 2016 Hoosier to Hoosier sale was a partnership between the City of Bloomington, Cutters Soccer Club, and the Indiana University Office of Sustainability.

Since its inception in 2010, the Hoosier to Hoosier Community Sale has diverted more than 172 tons of material from the landfill and to the community, and has raised more than $100,000 for local organizations.

Our undergraduate research program in sustainability (Sustainability Scholars) has also worked in the community. One student, for example, worked with the City of Bloomington's Transportation Planner to study problem intersections that are situated on the boundaries between the campus and the city.


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:

An interdisciplinary collaborative of IU faculty is working in partnership with the University Architect's Office and the City of Bloomington to restore the Jordan River, a key ecological and aesthetic feature of the campus. Some of the research involves studying flow rates, nutrient loads (phosphorous, nitrogen, etc), the non-market value of the river, perceptions of the river by the IU community and desired future conditions of the river, as well as a landscape history of the university. All of these projects involve undergraduates and graduate students.


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