Log In

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 81.30
Liaison Sarah Munro
Submission Date June 30, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Connecticut
OP-2: Outdoor Air Quality

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Sarah Munro
Sustainability Coordinator
Office of Environmental Policy
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have policies and/or guidelines in place to improve outdoor air quality and minimize air pollutant emissions from mobile sources on campus?:

A brief description of the policies and/or guidelines to improve outdoor air quality and minimize air pollutant emissions from mobile sources:

1. The University complies with the State of Connecticut’s Anti-Idling regulations. Under Connecticut law, all vehicles are prohibited from unnecessary idling for more than 3 minutes. In addition, the University does outreach work for anti-idling through the Office of Environmental Policy’s website.

(section b, number 3, letter c)


2. Grants have allowed the University to install 20 electric vehicle charging stations across campus. These stations are free of charge to the public for the first 5 years of operation. Additionally, in February 2015, UConn signed the U.S. Department of Energy’s Workplace Charging Challenge which requires the University to develop plans to assess and promote electric vehicle use on campus. As the electric vehicle infrastructure at UConn develops, outdoor air quality can be improved by reducing the number of fuel burning cars on campus.


3. The University also works to promote alternative forms of transportation other than personal vehicles. UConn has an extensive public transportation network and a new bike sharing program. A transportation fee is included in student’s fee bills that funds the operation of UConn’s fleet of shuttle buses. The University purchased 10 new buses this semester and outfitted them with bike racks. The Windham Region Transit District also offers buses that travel from UConn to Willimantic free of charge and large bus companies like Peter Pan and Greyhound serve UConn. Furthermore, UConn Recreation deployed UConn Cycle Share last semester that enables students to rent a bike for a week or the entire semester for free. All of these options help to reduce outdoor air pollutants by reducing the number of cars in use on campus.




4. UConn launched a free ride-matching service in the beginning of 2017 to connect drivers and passengers heading to the same area. This alternative transportation option reduces the number of vehicles on the road, thus alleviating traffic and decreasing air pollution.


5. The University received a $260,000 grant from the Connecticut Department of Transportation to purchase electric vehicles to replace the older vehicles in UConn’s transportation fleet. Furthermore, UConn’s light duty fleet is now 15% Alternative Fuel Vehicles (27 of 184 total vehicles). It is expected that this will increase to 18% in May of 2016 and 25% by 2020. Currently, UConn has 12 electric vehicles and 15 hybrids. These new vehicles help to further reduce outdoor air pollution at the Storrs campus.


6. As part of the Green Campus Academic Network (a program to engage new faculty members in campus sustainability), Dr. Kristina Wagstrom had students enrolled in her Transport and Transportation of Air Pollutants class in the fall semester of 2015 assess and monitor air pollution on campus.

7. A Sustainability Framework Plan accompanied UConn’s Campus Master Plan in 2015 and it sets specific sustainability goals related to the movement of people (expansion of bike-sharing program, alternative fuel vehicles, reducing single occupancy vehicles, etc. (pp 13)


8. Since 2012, a 400 kW natural gas powered fuel cell has been supplying Depot campus with electricity and heat. Because hydrogen is extracted from the natural gas, no combustion occurs and, aside from carbon dioxide, this leads to near zero emittance of air pollutants.


Has the institution completed an inventory of significant air emissions from stationary campus sources or else verified that no such emissions are produced?:

Weight of the following categories of air emissions from stationary sources::
Weight of Emissions
Nitrogen oxides (NOx) 42.77 Tons
Sulfur oxides (SOx) 2.59 Tons
Carbon monoxide (CO) 33.03 Tons
Particulate matter (PM) 27.50 Tons
Ozone (O3) ---
Lead (Pb) 0.00 Tons
Hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) 1.40 Tons
Ozone-depleting compounds (ODCs) ---
Other standard categories of air emissions identified in permits and/or regulations 8.15 Tons

A brief description of the methodology(ies) the institution used to complete its air emissions inventory:

The University uses a combination of methodologies to track emissions from our fuel burning sources of emissions. For most sources, UConn tracks fuel use and/or hours of operation and applies a standard emissions factor (EPA AP-42, manufacturer’s guarantee, or from stack test results) with worst case assumptions. For one particular boiler, the University uses actual continuous emission monitoring data for NOx. Every month a new 12-month rolling total is calculated for the emissions categories to demonstrate permit compliance.

UConn Design Guidelines and Performance Standards (pp 19, 3.10 Air Emissions):

UConn Office of Environmental Policy, Air Compliance:

NOx and VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) are precursors to ozone formation and are dependent upon atmospheric conditions. Therefore, ozone and ODCs are difficult to measure and not tracked.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Ozone and ODCs are not tracked (difficult to measure)

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.