|Submission Date||Feb. 3, 2012|
Program Lead, Marketing and Communications
Office of Sustainability
OFFICE OF SUSTAINABILITY
The Office of Sustainability hosts a central website (sustainability.ualberta.ca) that acts as a gateway to sustainability at the University of Alberta. Continuously developed, this site provides information, suggestions and ways to get involved, and is accessible to all on- an off-campus community members.
Sustainability eNews is an electronic newsletter sent out monthly by the Office of Sustainability which includes key stories and activities related to sustainability at the University of Alberta. The first Sustainability eNews was distributed in January 2010, and has since grown to over 3,300 subscribers as of December 2012. Stories featured in the eNews include upcoming events, sustainable research on campus, sustainability tips and sustainability success stories. The Office of Sustainability also periodically sends eNews Flashes, electronic news emails that contain fewer stories, and centred on theme days or weeks, such as Earth Hour, Buy Nothing Day, or Sustainability Awareness Week.
Archived eNewsletters and eNews Flashes are available on our website for members of the public to browse. eNews subscribers are enrolled through our website, as well as through subscription drives, special events and campus programming.
UNIVERSITY OF ALBERTA RESEARCH
University of Alberta Research provides links to research in faculties and centres at UAlberta. Many of these links also feature the work of students and postdoctoral fellows.
UNIVERSITY OF ALBERTA LIBRARIES
The University of Alberta Libraries maintains three databases that disseminate UAlberta graduate student research that is available to current students, staff and faculty, as well as the public.
EDUCATION AND RESEARCH ARCHIVE
UAlberta’s primary institutional repository is the Education and Research Archive (ERA). ERA is a digital repository to collect, disseminate and preserve the intellectual output of UAlberta. This includes student theses, dissertations, and publications. Users can browse by keyword, research area, or subject, including sustainability.
PROQUEST DISSERTATIONS AND THESES DATABASE
The ProQuest Dissertations and Theses – Full Text database represents the work of authors from over 1,000 North American graduate schools and European universities, including recent UAlberta graduates. The database is keyword searchable, and most dissertations and theses published since 1996 at the UAlberta are available in PDF format to university users.
The UAlberta Libraries also maintains DSpace – an electronic depository that includes student research, theses and dissertations. The database is keyword searchable, allowing the public to find works related to multiple facets of sustainability.
UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH INITIATIVE
The Undergraduate Research Initiative (URI) supports the involvement of University of Alberta undergraduate students in research activities. One function of the URI is to assist students in disseminating and celebrating undergraduate research results and achievements. URI provides links to three peer-reviewed undergraduate journals that publish student work. This year, the Student’s Union with support from URI is organizing the first Undergraduate Research Symposium that will allow undergraduate research to be disseminated to the campus community, while providing undergraduate students with conference experience.
In December of 2010, the University of Alberta began the process of certifying 10 campus buildings under Building Owners and Managers Association, Building and Environmental Standards (BOMA BESt) program. As of November 2011, we have certified three buildings on North Campus and seven buildings on Augustana Campus. Each building has signage communicating this certification.
Triffo Hall, the first building at UAlberta to receive Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (LEED®) certification, has a green education program that incorporates building signage and information dissemination to the campus at large using Triffo Hall as a model for environmental planning, construction and operation. Examples of messaging include bathroom signage indicating that the building has low flow toilets, waterless urinals, electronic low flow faucets and the use of rainwater to save over 300,000 litres of water per year. A sign at the entrance of Triffo Hall also indicates that the building was built using infill development techniques, using fewer materials, creating less waste and requiring less embodied energy.
Additional signage indicates that natural lighting is prominent throughout the building.
CENTENNIAL CENTRE FOR INTERDISCIPLINARY SCIENCES (CCIS)
A major feature of the Centennial Centre for Interdisciplinary Sciences (CCIS) is a 40,000 square foot terrazzo floor. Signage throughout CCIS indicates that the floor was constructed using aggregates crushed from recycled glass, mining by-products and various types of marble that may otherwise have wound up in landfills. CCIS maintains a website with information about the floor, as well as a link to the artist’s website detailing the floor construction. This link includes photographs of the epoxy matrix that used the recycled materials. The CCIS webpage also features a video that speaks to the use of natural lighting and passive solar heating in the building.
Care for Our Air is a vehicle idling reduction awareness program that includes permanent signage installed across campus reminding drivers to limit their vehicle idling.
UNIVERSITY DINING SERVICES
University Dining Services, provided by Aramark, has a commitment to sustainable operations embodied in Aramark's Green Thread program. Signage at University Dining Services facilities on campus indicates that, wherever possible, the company supports local farmers, conserves energy, reduces waste and recycles. Signage also includes information about Fair Trade™ and Rainforest Alliance Certified™ coffee products. In addition, Aramark features a UAlberta-specific website for patrons to learn more about Aramark’s commitment to environmental stewardship, and examples of initiatives taking place on campus. This includes information about sustainable seafood purchasing, local produce, onsite pre- and post-consumer composting, tray-less dining and hosting themed meals and events including Locally Grown, Vegetarian, and “Cool Planet” menu options, and "Dim the Lights" dining days.
Brochures are made available to the public about Aramark’s initiatives. This includes a Green Thread overview brochure, which goes through the Green Thread key areas: sustainable food, responsible procurement, waste management, energy and water conservation, green buildings, and transportation. In addition, a handbill is made available with information on Engrained Bistro, a sustainable cafeteria on North Campus. The handbill indicates that Engrained features locally grown and organic food, including local produce, eggs, chicken, and beef, and Fair Trade™ coffee. Individuals receiving the Edmonton Clinic Health Academy newsletter also receive information about Engrained, including links to the food producers that Aramark sources.
The University of Alberta’s Augustana Campus has adopted a Sustainable Food Policy that it uses to guide procurement practices for food served at its cafeteria. Priorities are purchasing locally-produced food, and supporting farmers and processors that use sustainable practices. A webpage is available for community members to learn more about this policy and local food procurement at Augustana.
FOOD FUTURES LECTURE SERIES
Information about sustainable food systems was made available during the 2010/2011 year through the University of Alberta’s Environmental Research and Studies Centre Food Futures Lecture Series, which hosted a series of lectures throughout the year to get the university community thinking and talking about the topic of food security. Lectures covered a range of topics including the impact of biofuels on food pricing, local food systems, global food security, the intensive livestock industry and resilient food secure communities. The series took place on the University of Alberta North Campus and offered lectures free of charge so that anyone who was interested could attend.
OFFICE OF SUSTAINABILITY
The Office of Sustainability website dedicates a page to sustainable food and drink tips. In addition to this, the Office has published a Green Catering on Campus tip sheet to help campus groups select sustainable catering options for events and meetings. This tip sheet is available on the Office of Sustainability website. In addition, the Office of Sustainability hosted a sustainable cooking class in June 2011 for members of the campus community and public to learn more about sustainable food choices; a thorough tip sheet was made available to class participants which included local food calendars, area farmer’s market schedules, organic food guide, community garden information, and Edmonton area food resources. The Office also delivers an outreach program titled "From Farm to Fridge," which focuses on everyday choices surrounding the food we eat, and how to reduce the environmental impact of food choices.
SUSTAINABLE FOOD SYSTEM FEASIBILITY STUDY
As part of the University of Alberta’s continual efforts to advance sustainability, Energy Management and Sustainable Operations, in consultation with the Office of Sustainability, recently initiated a Sustainable Food System Feasibility Study. The purpose of the study is to explore whether current or potential opportunities exist for reducing UAlberta’s environmental footprint through the development of an overall sustainable food strategy, which considers how food is procured, transported, consumed, and disposed of as waste on our campuses.
As a result of collaboration between the Office of Sustainability and the organizers of Orientation, ‘Sustainability Stops’ were included in new student campus tours. The Office of Sustainability printed lawn signs for certain Sustainability Stops to act as a prompt for the volunteer tour guides, and also serve as an educational tool for orientation participants, as well as returning staff, students, and faculty. Signs that were distributed across campus included ones that highlighted the organic waste from our kitchens coming back to campus as compost used in garden beds; the use of wood chips from reused tree and branch clippings that reduce water evaporation and the use gardening chemicals; and a naturalized garden space showcasing native Albertan plant species and ecological values. These signs formed part of a pilot project and were on campus for 10 days. The signage received overwhelmingly positive feedback from the campus community, and the signage program will be expanding for future years.
Permanent signage is in place in many of the garden beds on North Campus. The signage indicates that the soil on campus is enriched with compost made with organic waste collected from campus food service outlets.
The Office of Sustainability offers a one-and-a-half-hour tour for students, staff, faculty, and the community at large. The tour begins with a half hour virtual tour that highlights sustainability sites beyond walking distance. This includes speaking to the the sustainability features beyond North Campus, including Campus Saint-Jean and Enterprise Square in Edmonton, and Augustana Campus in Camrose, Alberta. The virtual tour also speaks to the sustainability features on the campuses that are intangible, such as energy savings due to increased efficiency.
The tour then takes participants on a walking tour of 25 sites around North Campus that reveal the hidden aspects of sustainability being practiced around campus by staff, students, faculty, and volunteers every day. Tour stops include all of North Campus’ Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) certified buildings, recycling and waste stations on campus, services such as the Campus Food Bank, a naturalized garden, the campus community garden, and Eco-House, a sustainable student residence.
The tour runs regularly every two weeks during the spring, summer, and fall, and brings together individuals who are passionate about sustainability, helping them to discover where and how the university is enhancing sustainability on campus.
OFFICE OF SUSTAINABILITY
The Office of Sustainability maintains a web page for tips on sustainable transportation to and from campus. The page includes information about transit options in the Edmonton area, carpool registration information, ride share information, as well as guides for walking and cycling in Edmonton.
SUSTAIN SU BIKE LIBRARY
The Office of Sustainability webpage also provides a link to Sustain SU’s Bike Library, a resource on campus for students, staff and faculty for bike sharing. Sustain SU also maintains a cycling listserv to advertise events, workshops, and information to community members.
UNIVERSAL BUS PASS
The University of Alberta also maintains a webpage with information about the Universal Bus Pass (U-Pass) program. Information available includes how the program works, who is eligible, what the fees are, the federal transit tax credit program, and the U-Pass history.
Hertz on Demand is a car sharing service on North Campus. Facilities and Operations maintains a webpage with information about car sharing and how campus community members can become a member. In addition, handbills are distributed across campus that advertise the program, and include information about the advantages of car sharing, what is included in the Hertz on Demand membership, and how to join for free.
University of Alberta Residence Services maintains websites for each residence that includes information on the residences’ Envirocare program. The website includes tips for energy and water conservation in residences, as well as information on what can be recycled on campus. In addition, the Lister Centre residence includes information about the beverage container recycling in that residence.
OFFICE OF SUSTAINABILITY
The Office of Sustainability distributes handbills during select residence move-ins that provide tips and advice on composting and recycling in residence.
SUSTAIN SU GREEN RESIDENCE EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM
Sustain SU, the Student’s Union sustainability service, also offers a Green Residence educational presentation. The program consists of an hour-long interactive sustainability presentation, delivered to groups of residents by trained volunteer presenters. The program educates students about sustainability in their residences, provides students with tangible means to reduce their personal ecological footprint in residences, and encourage students to brainstorm ways to make more environmentally-friendly lifestyle choices.
SUSTAINABILITY MEASURES AND INITIATIVES DOCUMENT
The Sustainability Measures and Initiatives (SMI) document provides an overview of sustainability at the University of Alberta. It is a living document that will be updated periodically as new sustainability initiatives are undertaken. The document echos STARS and is divided into three sections: Planning, Administration and Engagement, Academics and Research, and Operations. The document provides a snapshot of sustainability in UAlberta’s planning, co-curricular education, research, buildings, energy systems, greenhouse gas emissions reduction, dining services, grounds, purchasing, transportation, waste, and water conservation.
The SMI is available as a pdf download on the Office of Sustainability’s website. The SMI is promoted on the Office of Sustainability website and is profiled during Campus Sustainability Tours. Tour participants are also provided with a link to the SMI in tour advertisements and on tour sign ups. Hard copies of the SMI were made available to Deliberation on Campus Sustainability participants, a collaborative project of 200 students, staff, and faculty co-creating recommendations for sustainability planning at UAlberta.
The Office of Sustainability makes heavy use of social media to assist in getting the word out both on campus and in the broader community. We use our social media to: promote campus accomplishments, share pictures and videos of our activities, conduct contests, promote campus events, build connections, distribute funding opportunities, and profile activities of other sustainability-oriented organizations.
As of December 2012 our Facebook page reaches approximately 950 subscribers, our Twitter account had over 1,200 followers, our Flickr account had over 750 photos, and our YouTube channel had over 1,050 channel views.
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.