|Submission Date||Oct. 10, 2014|
|4.00 / 4.00||
Chief Sustainability Officer
Office of Sustainability
The "campus sustainability initiative" website is UAlberta's gateway to sustainability information, initiatives and activities. Maintained by the Office of Sustainability, the site is continuously updated throughout the year and is accessible to both on- and off-campus community members.
The site shares information about UAlberta's strategic approach for addressing sustainability on campus, campus initiatives, events, education and research initiatives, ways to get involved in campus activities, as well as a variety of resources and tools including access to past issues of the "Sustainability eNews", a campus Green Guide and answers to frequently asked questions.
Sustainability eNews is distributed monthly via email. It provides update to thousands of subscribers on campus events, as well as key stories about sustainability initiatives at the University of Alberta.
UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH SYMPOSIUM
In 2011, the Students' Union, with the support of the Undergraduate Research Initiative, held the U of A's first Undergraduate Research Symposium (URS), featuring the work of more than 120 undergraduate researchers from a variety of disciplines. The goal of the URS was to foster cross-disciplinary awareness of undergraduate research and to promote broader student participation in research and creative activities. The success of the Undergraduate Research Symposium over its first two years, along with a growing number of other, similar events on campus provided the inspiration for a campus-wide Festival of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (FURCA), which occurred for the first time in November 2013.
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.
RESOURCE ECONOMICS AND ENVIRONMENTAL SOCIOLOGY GRADUATE STUDENT CONFERENCE
Each year Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology Students' Association holds its Annual Graduate Student Conference. A number of other departments hold similar events many of which touch on sustainability topics.
Many individual capstone courses disseminate research on sustainability through sharing their findings with partners and offering poster sessions on campus.
WEBSITES AND DATABASES
University of Alberta Research provides links to research in faculties and centres. Many of these links also feature the work of students and postdoctoral fellows.
The University of Alberta Libraries maintains three databases that disseminate graduate student research that are available to current students, staff and faculty, as well as the public.
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 U of A graduates. The database is keyword searchable, and most dissertations and theses published since 1996 at the U of A are available in PDF format to university users.
The U of A 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.
The U of A’s primary institutional repository is called ERA: Education and Research Archive, a digital repository to collect, disseminate, and preserve the intellectual output of the U of A. This includes student theses, dissertations, and publications. Users can browse by keyword, research area, or subject, including sustainability.
The University of Alberta participates in several green building certification programs including Green Globes, BOMA BESt and LEED. Certified buildings all receive signage profiling their certification status. A number of buildings also incorporate green building messaging into signage as part of their education programs.
For example, Triffo Hall (the first building at the U of A to receive LEED certification), building signage in several locations including: bathroom signage indicating that the building has low floor toilets, waterless urinals, electronic low flow faucets, and the use of rainwater to save over 300,000 litres of water per year. At the entrance of Triffo Hall signs indicates that the building was built using infill development techniques, using fewer materials, creating less waste, and requiring less embodied energy. Additional signage shares information about the prominence of natural lighting throughout the building.
Aramark is the primary food service provider at the University of Alberta. Aramark’s commitment to sustainable operations is embodied in their Green Thread program. Signage at Aramark facilities on campus indicate 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 campus and offered lectures free of charge so that anyone who was interested could attend.
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 to select sustainable catering for events and meetings. This tip sheet is available for printing from 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.
As a result of collaboration between the Office of Sustainability and the organizers of Orientation, ‘Sustainability Stops’ are included in campus tours for new students. At these stops the Office of Sustainability provided printed lawn signs to act as a prompt for the volunteer tour guides, and also to serve as an educational tool for orientation participants, returning staff, students, and faculty. Signs highlight: 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. The signage receives overwhelmingly positive feedback from the campus community each year as students return to school. The signs are collected at the end of Orientation to be reused at future Orientation activities and other events throughout the year.
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.
ADOPT A FLOWER PROGRAM
The Adopt a Planter program provides opportunities to strengthen our campus community and further the University's goal of becoming one of the healthiest universities in Canada. Staff, faculty and students are encouraged to plant flowers and edible plants on campus. The adopted beds receive signage recognizing participants.
The Office of Sustainability partnered with the Office of the Registrar to offer a one-hour tour for students, staff, faculty, and the community at large.
Campus Ambassadors take participants on a walking tour around North Campus revealing the hidden aspects of sustainability practiced 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, services such as the Campus Food Bank, a naturalized garden and the campus community garden.
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.
All of the stops on the Campus Sustainability Tour are outdoors or open to the public. The Office of Sustainability offers a downloadable guide so people can take a tour at their own convenience.
The Office of Sustainability maintains a Green Guide on sustainable transportation to and from campus. The transportation chapter 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.
The Green Guide 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.
Our Green Guide provides a broad arrange of tips for green living addressing things like: green purchasing, hygiene products, paper use, energy conservation, paper, food and transportation.
The University of Alberta is committed to providing accommodation that reflects highly valued sustainability initiatives such as conserving energy and water, as well as recycling. As such, products including fluorescent lights, ultra low flush toilets and motion sensors have been installed wherever possible in residence.
SUSTAINABILITY IN RESIDENCES
The Office of Sustainability offers a broad range of programs supporting waste in residences and a guide to a sustainable dorm room.
The Office of Sustainability produces an annual report called "The Good News" highlighting sustainability initiatives on campus between April 1 and March 31 each year.
The Office of Sustainability maintains a blog called [suh-steyn] which profiles personal experiences adopting sustainable actions, events on campus, and sustainability tips.
FACES OF SUSTAINABILITY FEATURES
One regular column is called "Faces of Sustainability". It celebrates our institution's commitment to sustainability by profiling people on campus linked to various sustainable practices and projects. From social sustainability to environmentalism, from North Campus to Augustana, we profile a diversity of sustainability initiatives on our campus. We reuse these stories in our newsletter, our social media, our website and other publications.
The Office of Sustainability leverages Facebook as communications and engagement tool. We use Facebook to profile events and draw awareness to sustainability-oriented activities beyond campus. We also engage people in discussions about campus sustainability.
The Office of Sustainability leverages Twitter as communications and engagement tool. We use Twitter to profile events and draw awareness to sustainability-oriented activities beyond campus. We also engage people in discussions about campus sustainability.
The Office of Sustainability leverages Flickr as a communications and engagement tool. We use Flickr to help bring our events to life for those who could not attend and to help inspired members of our campus community make their commitment to sustainable actions public.
The Office of Sustainability leverages YouTube as a communications and engagement tool. We use YouTube for video contests, sharing videos about sustainability practices and hosting video summaries of selected events.
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.