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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 73.90
Liaison Pegah Djamzad
Submission Date Oct. 5, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Simon Fraser University
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Pegah Djamzad
Analyst
Sustainability Office
"---" 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?:
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 Air & Climate:
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Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Buildings?:
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 Buildings:
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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:

With support from SFU’s Embark and Facilities Services, a group of SFU engineering students with a passion for sustainability and renewable energy installed a small but complete solar power system in SFU’s Learning Garden. The goal of this project was to demystify solar energy by creating an interactive, educational and practical display and to encourage community members to learn, touch and interactive with a live energy generating system.

SFU community members can learn about the mechanics of the solar demonstrator by reading the plaque that describes the basic functions of each system component. Through a small digital display, community members can also see the amount of electricity the 260-watt solar panel has generated. This panel generates enough electricity for community members to charge their phones and laptops through the USB ports attached to the panel.


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:

Between September and November 2017, SFU students enrolled in BUS238 conducted food waste-related research and prototype various sustainable food ideas at SFU’s Burnaby campus and provided feedback on student body responsiveness to those initiatives. Supervised by Lecturer Lisa Papania and SFU Sustainability Office’s Manager, Campus Sustainability, Rachel Telling, students came up with entrepreneurial ideas that tackle food waste and waste created in the delivery of food on campus. Projects explored by students include: functional and reusable lunch boxes, mobile grocery store on campus, cup sharing programs, food and plate sharing programs, waste sorting game, educational food nutrition and waste app and more.


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:

The Pythagorean Orchard is a pilot project of the Philosophical Fruit think tank led by Associate Professor Holy Andersen with students from the MA in Philosophy program to demonstrate edible landscaping as a potential way for SFU and other higher-education institutions to approach landscaping practices on campus. Edible landscaping is a trend where features of campuses and public spaces that are ordinarily planted with greenery that are aesthetically pleasing but cannot be eaten is instead planted with greenery that can in some way or other produce food. Ten fruit trees, one plum tree and nine apple trees of different varieties were planted in a Pythagorean triangle on a raise strip of land between the SFU bus loop and the library in 2016. The long-term goal of this orchard is to set an example and testing ground to develop guidelines for stewardship teams and academic campuses to actively participate in the conversation on the basic principles of fairness in distribution of resources.


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:

SFU’s Executive MBA students worked closely with SFU’s Sustainability Office and various operational departments in the Summer of 2017 to establish a set of recommendations and metrics that can be used to guide the university in the procurement of various goods and services at SFU. The primary objective of this project was to identify ways in which SFU can better embody its sustainability commitments by requiring business partners to have measurable sustainability targets that can be embedded throughout the procurement process including requirement that can be articulated within SFU’s RFPs. Eight teams of students worked on catering, dining, landscaping, janitorial services, waste management, apparel, swag, science equipment and chemical criteria that consider social, economic and ecological sustainability principles. Student research submissions are being taken into consideration by the SFU Procurement wherever possible.


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

SFU Mechatronic Systems Engineering students and Vivek Vyas and Hassan Murad are pioneers of the smart bin technology that blends robotics and machine learning to identify and divert waste into the appropriate bins: recycling, organics or garbage. This entrepreneurial endeavor began as a student research project and quickly became a startup company, Intuitive Robotics, Inc., providing a unique one of a kind insight into how waste can be better sorted and contamination rates lowered in high volume waste generating spaces such as university campuses, food courts, airports and shopping malls. Intuitive, Inc was awarded the Outstanding Venture Award by NextAI, a global innovation hub for artificial intelligence related venture creation and technology commercialization. SFU is scheduled to partner with Intuitive to launch a pilot on its Burnaby campus in 2018 to prototype the smart bin.


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:

Professor Majid Bahrami, the recipient of a 2016 Canada Clean50 Award, has spent the past three years working with his PhD student, Farshid Bagheri, to find a sustainable answer to the world’s growing water needs. Their result is the patent-pending Hybrid Atmospheric Water Generator (HAWgen) which generates clean drinking water from the atmosphere through the integration of sorption, refrigeration and water filtration systems. The HAWgen can generate water in nearly all climates, unlike more conventional atmospheric water generators, which rely on hot and humid environments and can fail when humidity drops. The HAWgen can handle dry climates and can be powered by sustainable energy sources. Prime Minister Trudeau and former British Columbia Premier Clark tried water from HAWgen machine during their visit to the SFU Surrey camps in November 2016.


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:

Supervised by Manager, Sustainability Research student interns in the new Campus as a Living Lab program at SFU were involved in creating an inventory of all the research being undertaken on campus impacting the UN Sustainable Development Goals and targets, with the goal of creating a mapping tool that will assist campus planners and operations managers to improve social, economic and ecological sustainability on campus.


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:

Each fall, students from the Master of Science in Finance program are selected to join the Student Investment Advisory Service (SIAS) Fund, an endowment portfolio funded by contributions from HSBC Canada and the Lohn Foundation. With the Treasurer of the SFU Endowment Fund as the Client, the SIAS fund follows a balanced investment style with four asset classes that are semi-actively managed: Canadian Equity, Global Equity, Fixed Income and Cash.

With a current market value of $18,000,000 CAD, the SIAS Fund is Canada’s largest student-run investment fund and is one of the largest such funds in North America. The opportunity to manage the SIAS Fund rigorously tests and expands the students’ qualitative, quantitative and analytical skills on a daily basis, and greatly helps prepare them to hit the ground running on day one within promising careers in the finance industry.


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:

Students in SFU’s Business of Design program, an interdisciplinary collaboration created by the Beedie School of Business and the School of Interactive Arts and Technology, have created space, an 1,800-square-foot makerspace at SFU’s Surrey campus. space offers students the opportunity to use a variety of equipment for their design projects, including sewing machine and electronic woodworking tools, as well as share knowledge with others across disciplines. The new facility is available for all students and clubs at SFU, as well as local businesses in Surrey, with the goal of increasing connections between SFU and the community. “The ‘_’ is not an underscore, but a line for our users to give meaning to the space. We believe that our space is not just a maker space but a design space, art space, social space, startup space, inspirational space and so much more. When people use our space, they will naturally define what this space is to them, and by doing so claiming it as an important part of their educational journey,” explains Jay Tseng, one of the Business of Design students behind the project.


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

Every semester students enrolled in HSCI 312 Health Promotion: Individuals and Communities work in groups to prepare proposals that apply their theoretical knowledge in health promotion and disease prevention to address real world challenges they observe within their community. While students are free to choose their target cohort, many students choose the SFU student community as their target population and prepare solutions to challenges in health promotion and disease prevention on campus. The projects are presented at the end of the semester to members of the Healthy Campus Community, a department within the University’s Student Services department and are considered for implementation on campus. Example topics addressed by students include: addressing anxiety disorders among first year students at SFU, on campus intervention and education program to prevent fentanyl overdoses, physical health promotion among students, and more.


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)?:
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 other areas:
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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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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.