|Submission Date||June 30, 2017|
|2.00 / 2.00||
Chief Sustainability Officer
Office of Sustainability
The "campus sustainability initiative" website is the University of Alberta's gateway to sustainability information, initiatives and activities. Maintained by the Office of Sustainability, the site is continuously updated throughout the year. It provides background on sustainability at the university, campus initiatives, events, education and research, ways to get involved, news and stories.
Sustainability News is a bi-weekly newsletter that promotes programs, services, people, organizations, events and products related to sustainability on all University of Alberta campuses, as well as other content of interest to campus audiences. The newsletter has approximately 10,000 subscribers.
The university has several social media platforms focused on sustainability and provides a minimum of 3–5 posts per week through these accounts. During the school year, Twitter is the most active social media account, as it provides a fast way to share information about campus events.
EDUCATION AND RESEARCH ARCHIVE (ERA)
The university's primary institutional repository is called ERA: Education and Research Archive. This is a digital repository to collect, disseminate, and preserve the intellectual output of the university, including student theses, dissertations, and publications. Users can browse by keyword, research area, or subject, including sustainability.
PROQUEST DISSERTATIONS AND THESES GLOBAL
This full-text database represents the work of authors from over 1,000 North American graduate schools and European universities, including recent University of Alberta graduates. The database is keyword searchable, and most dissertations and theses published since 1996 at the University of Alberta are available in PDF format to university users.
FESTIVAL OF UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH AND CREATIVE ACTIVITIES (FURCA)
FURCA is the university's annual, campus-wide celebration of undergraduate research, showcasing the research and creative achievements of undergraduate students across all disciplines. Throughout the week, there are opportunities for students to present their research in various forms (e.g. posters, oral presentations, performances, and more), get constructive feedback, and connect with the broader community about the research that matters to them.
RESOURCE ECONOMICS AND ENVIRONMENTAL SOCIOLOGY GRADUATE STUDENT CONFERENCE
Each year, the 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 by sharing their findings with partners and offering poster sessions on campus.
WEBSITES AND DATABASES
The university provides links to research in various faculties and centres. Many of these links also feature the work of students and postdoctoral fellows. The university's libraries maintain three databases that disseminate graduate student research and are available to current students, staff and faculty, as well as the public.
In the summer of 2015, the university's Office of Sustainability developed a Green Building Strategy with the intention of showcasing the institution’s sustainability performance as it relates to buildings. A major component of the Green Building Strategy is to expand our communication with campus audiences about our buildings’ green features.
The Green Building signage guidelines provide criteria for the effective and coordinated planning, implementation and evaluation of the university's green building signage projects. Green Building signage is defined as any visual (physical or electronic) signage that presents and communicates information about a building’s sustainability features to the public.
The first building to receive signage was the Edmonton Clinic Health Academy. Two forms of signage were presented: interpretive signs and feature-specific signs. Interpretive signs are major installations located in highly used public spaces. They include larger visual elements that create a full-story experience. They provide background on the green building and display third-party certifications (i.e., Green Globes, BOMA BEST or LEED) and awards.
Feature-specific signs are smaller, and displayed throughout the building. They point out features to help improve understanding of the building and behaviours that can help reduce the building's footprint (e.g., energy-efficient windows, sensor-controlled faucets, and daylighting in staircases).
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 indicates that, whenever 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 about Aramark’s initiatives are made available to the public. These include 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’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.
GREEN SPACES CERTIFICATION
The Green Spaces Certification program was developed by the Office of Sustainability. It is a three-level, voluntary certification process that encourages work, school, and living spaces on campus to adopt sustainable practices for their operations. In 2015, this program was expanded to include vendors. Vendors that successfully achieve a minimum of bronze certification in this program are provided with a decal that reflects their engagement in sustainable actions.
As a result of collaboration between the Office of Sustainability and the organizers of student orientation, ‘Sustainability Stops’ are included in campus tours for new students. At these stops, the printed lawn signs serve as prompts for the volunteer tour guides, and as well 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 events.
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 from organic waste collected from campus food service outlets.
ADOPT A PLANTER 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 has partnered with the Campus Visits program operated by the Office of the Registrar to offer a one-hour tour for students, staff, faculty, and the community. Campus Ambassadors take participants on a walking tour around North Campus to reveal the hidden aspects of sustainability practiced by staff, students, faculty, and volunteers every day. Tour stops include certified green 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.
GREEN BUILDING TOURS
The Office of Sustainability offers tours of the university's outstanding green buildings. Tours are currently available for the Edmonton Clinic Health Academy (ECHA), the Centennial Centre for Interdisciplinary Science (CCIS), and Triffo Hall. Tours of the university's District Energy System can also be arranged.
OFFICE OF SUSTAINABILITY
This website provides a wealth of information on bicycling, cars, public transit and transportation planning. A link to the City of Edmonton's bike map is also provided.
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. Residences provide information about recycling and how to get involved on campus, along with tips for a sustainable living space.
SUSTAINABILITY IN RESIDENCES
The Office of Sustainability offers a broad range of programs in residences, including Eco Move Out, Green Spaces Challenge, Move-In Market and more.
The Office of Sustainability produces an annual report highlighting sustainability initiatives on campus. It also published "Campus Sustainability Initiatives 2012–2015", a report highlighting sustainability accomplishments during that period, and "Sustainability Plan 2016–2020."
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.