Log In
  • 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 68.58
Liaison Mary Ellen Mallia
Submission Date Jan. 15, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University at Albany
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Mary Ellen Mallia
Director of Environmental Sustainability
Finance and Business
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have one or more co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives that fall into the following categories?:
Yes or No
Active student groups focused on sustainability Yes
Gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, or urban agriculture projects where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems Yes
Student-run enterprises that include sustainability as part of their mission statements or stated purposes No
Sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives through which students can develop socially, environmentally and fiscally responsible investment and financial skills No
Conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience Yes
Cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience No
Wilderness or outdoors programs that follow Leave No Trace principles Yes
Sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences Yes
Programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills Yes
Sustainability-focused student employment opportunities offered by the institution Yes
Graduation pledges through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions No
Other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives Yes

The name and a brief description of each student group focused on sustainability:

UAlbany Students for Sustainability - The purpose of this group is to serve the campus and community by initiating, coordinating and maintaining student driven sustainability projects on a campus and local level. The organization focuses on educating the community about sustainability and its meaning, it organizes student projects related to sustainability, holds fundraisers to engage specific projects, and tends to work in concert with other organizations on campus.

UAlbany Graduate Students for Sustainability - The purpose of this student group is to support graduate student's research and expertise in the sustainability field. This group allows them to continue their education by bringing in outside speakers, and funding students to attend conferences. They also work very closely with the Office of Environmental Sustainability and the undergraduate student group for sustainability.

Grow Green - UAlbany Grow Green is a group of dedicated students and faculty that are working hard to create and maintain a Heritage Garden on campus. The garden will serve as a living-learning lab for UAlbany students as well as the Albany community as a whole. By tying the garden to academics we can help bring students outside of the classroom to learn more about sustainable living. We hope to provide a living, beautiful example of New York heritage right on campus that will help promote a sustainable lifestyle in the UAlbany community.

Net Impact - Net Impact is an international nonprofit organization with a mission to inspire, educate, and equip individuals to use the power of business to create a more socially and environmentally sustainable world. NIUA, having adopted the mission statement of Net Impact, is committed furthering the practices of environmental sustainability and corporate social responsibility through business.

Student Sustainability Council - The Student Sustainability Council serves as the advisory board for the Office of Environmental Sustainability on all student initiatives. The council is comprised of student chairs (ranging from 12-16 in number, Res Life representatives, and delegates from the Student Association, the Graduate Student Association, and environmental student groups.


The website URL where information about student groups is available:
A brief description of gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and urban agriculture projects where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems:

Heritage Garden - The garden demonstrates the ecological, social, and economic benefits of increasing biodiversity and incorporating native species in urban landscapes,
promotes local and organic food production by producing food in a sustainable manner, without the use of pesticides, chemical fertilizers, or genetically modified organisms
provides the campus community with an engaged learning community to apply classroom knowledge within a living laboratory, promotes discussions on access to local and healthy food choices within the region, the presence of food deserts in our community, and the health impacts of food choices and encourages civic involvement and social interaction as means of establishing strong, resilient communities.

Urban Agriculture - Each year, students attend workshops on campus and at the Radix Ecological Center in downtown Albany, which promotes sustainable agriculture in an urban environment. Students learn the essential tools to start a garden either on their window sill or in a larger, urban environment. The Radix Urban Ecological Center also offers internship and community service opportunities to learn these skills.


The website URL where information about the organic agriculture and/or sustainable food systems projects and initiatives is available:
A brief description of student-run enterprises that include sustainability as part of their mission statements or stated purposes:
---

The website URL where information about the student-run enterprise(s) is available:
---

A brief description of the sustainable investment or finance initiatives:
---

The website URL where information about the sustainable investment or finance initiatives is available:
---

A brief description of conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience:

The Office of Environmental Sustainability and the UAlbany Graduate Students for Sustainability sponsored a Sustainability Roundtable monthly. Speakers included faculty members and outside professionals. Students, faculty and staff were invited to these presentations and discussions. There isn't a website for this series but rather individual fliers. A link to the Spring 2013 schedule is provided as an example. The 2015 version of the roundtable is a film series and was mostly posted/promoted via Facebook, not a web site.


The website URL where information about the event(s) is available:
A brief description of cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience:
---

The website URL where information about the cultural arts event(s) is available:
---

A brief description of wilderness or outdoors programs for students that follow Leave No Trace principles:

UAlbany Outdoors - We are a student-run group that strongly encourages getting off campus and out of Albany and into the outdoors. Activities include hiking, backpacking, camping, snowshoeing, sledding/tubing. This group allows students to understand the importance of outdoors , and that they can enjoy the aesthetic and recreational benefits of the wilderness, as long as they do not leave a trace.


The website URL where information about the wilderness or outdoors program(s) is available:
A brief description of sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences:

First Year Experience - The World of Environmental Health and Sustainability Living and Learning Community is a chance for incoming freshmen to live in a residential building with other students interested in the environment and sustainability, to take specific courses as an academic introduction to sustainability, and work closely with environmental organizations and student groups on campus. A total of three classes are taken together as a group supplemented by weekly luncheons with faculty mentors and weekly meetings with the community graduate assistant.

Themed Semesters -
Fall: In the fall semester, we promote the Energy Campaign, which is a campus-wide competition to reduce energy usage. Throughout the semester, we host programs and educate students, faculty and staff how to save energy in a campus, dorm and apartment setting.
Spring: In the spring semester, we promote RecycleMania and Trashion Fashion. Throughout the semester, we host various programs and educate students, faculty and staff how to recycle and reduce waste, and the benefits of recycling, reusing and reducing.
http://www.albany.edu/gogreen/11.recycling_on_campus.shtml


The website URL where information about the theme is available:
A brief description of program(s) through which students can learn sustainable life skills:

Each fall, the apartments host a "Green Your Dorm" program. Appliances in the kitchen, living room, bedroom and bathroom are tagged with a sustainable tip that explains or suggests ways to make your living space greener. Students are also taught how to make effective green cleaning supplies.

There is also a " Model Green Dorm Room" that incoming freshmen and transfer students are shown on their orientation and tours of the campus. The fully furnished dorm room is tagged with sustainable tips and suggestions for students to make their dorm room greener.


The website URL where information about the sustainable life skills program(s) is available:
A brief description of sustainability-focused student employment opportunities:

The Office of Environmental Sustainability offers numerous employment opportunities for students. There is at least one Student Assistant position open per semester. The job responsibilities include maintaining the bike share program and data, energy audits for apartments on campus, recycling and waste data for recycling campaign, and maintain the composting office program.

The Office of Environmental Sustainability also has the Sustainability Council, student advisory committee. Students hold chair positions and assume a leadership role in a specific aspect of sustainability on campus, such as alternative transportation, energy, recycling, etc. Students apply for these positions at the end of the spring semester and are appointed for the following year.

Internships and community service positions are also available in the Office of Environmental Sustainability. Although the students may not be paid, they are able to earn Community and Public Service credits and gain valuable experience in the sustainability field.


The website URL where information about the student employment opportuntities is available:
A brief description of graduation pledges through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions:
---

The website URL where information about the graduation pledge program is available:
---

A brief description of other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives:

The Office of Sustainability partnered with the Educational Opportunities Program (EOP) experiential learning initiative in which selected EOP students participated in sessions related to environmental sustainability during the summer orientation experience. The group completed three rotations including one at our heritage garden, one about alternative transportation and bike maintenance and a final one at our LEED Gold Res hall and adjoining campus pond. These helped to introduce the students to the campus, its sustainability programs and groups they could become involved with after they arrive on campus.


The website URL where information about other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives 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.