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

STARS v2.0

University at Albany
IN-3: Innovation 3

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Mary Alexis Leciejewski
Program Assistant
Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Title or keywords related to the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Farm to SUNY Project

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

Four State University of New York campuses launched a project to procure more locally grown vegetables under a pilot project called Farm to SUNY. The goal of the Farm to SUNY initiative is to increase the procurement of fresh and minimally-processed New York-grown produce (e.g., potatoes, lettuce, leafy greens, tomatoes, squash, cabbage, and green beans) by SUNY campuses at a competitive price that provides a sustainable profit margin for farmers. It also includes an educational campaign to increase awareness among campus faculty, staff, and students on the benefits of purchasing locally grown meat, fruits, and vegetables. Farm to SUNY is funded by a $100,000 two-year grant through the American Farm Trust's Farm To Institution NYS Initiative (FINYS), a statewide partnership of agricultural, public health, and economic development partners who have come together to strengthen the state's farm and food economy while improving the health of its citizens.


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

- The creation of an educational campaign called "Harvest of the Month," in which a minimally-processed items is highlighted in the dining halls for that month.
- Two annual educational celebrations were established, including "National Kale Day" on October 7th and Day of the Mushroom on April 16th. Peer educators hold educational programs to help students understand the health benefits of each particular food and how much of the item we purchase locally.
- In 2014, University at Albany led the committee to start "Campus Crunch" to celebrate National Food Day in late October. On that day, students from campuses across New York take celebratory bites into New York State Apples to affirm their commitment to increasing local food and increasing awareness of the campaign. At the second annual Campus Crunch in 2015, over 20 colleges and universities and over 6,000 faculty, staff and students took the crunch.
- Two permanent student intern Sustainability Council positions were created to focus on Food and Dining. Each intern devotes an average of 2 hours a week to sustain and assess established peer education programs.


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 Yes
Energy No
Grounds No
Purchasing No
Transportation No
Waste No
Water No
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:
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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.