Log In
  • 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 69.60
Liaison Shanna Eller
Submission Date Feb. 27, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of North Carolina, Greensboro
IN-2: Innovation 2

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Chad Carwein
Sustainability Education and Outreach Specialist
Sustainability Office
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Title or keywords related to the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
What's Green Got To Do With It?

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

T’shari White, a recent UNCG graduate, conducted research on the environmental attitudes of minority students for senior capstone course. She decided to focus her research on reasons why Environmental Studies was a predominately white field of study because she was the only black student in her class and one of only two African Americans enrolled in the program. During her study, she found common trends of belief from students, faculty and staff in the reasoning behind this lack of participation from minority students. In her interviews, minority participants offered the following reasons:

- the environment is not a priority for minority students
- the environment is not an interesting subject to minority students
- unless they are directly affected by it, minority students won't take action
- minority students did not know that Environmental Studies was offered as a major
- minority students lack knowledge about the field and what job opportunities are available

After completing the research, T’shari got an internship with the Office of Sustainability to work on addressing the issues found in her study. She set two goals for this a project: (1) spread awareness about how these environmental issues apply to people of every race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, and socioeconomic status; (2) bring attention to issues surrounding the low number of minority students enrolled in UNCG's Environmental Studies program and their lack of participation in campus sustainability initiatives. T’shari came up with an innovative solution to host an event titled, "What's Green Got to Do with It?" gave all students (not just minorities) an interactive opportunity to learn about the UNCG Environmental Studies program and the Office of Sustainability as well as career opportunities and minority environmental leaders in the field.

The event also highlighted the issue of Environmental Justice by featuring a guest speaker with years of both personal and professional experience working with concerned citizens to shut down the local landfill. To tie it all together at the end of the event, a UNCG professor from the new Sustainable Tourism and Hospitality program moderated a lively panel discussion that presented the environmental perspectives of students representing African American and Latino minorities.


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

The event was a huge success with approximately 100 people in attendance throughout the event. Based on casual observations, most attendees were students and the crowd was fairly diverse overall with representing by more than two different minority groups .


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 Yes
Research Yes
Campus Engagement Yes
Public Engagement ---
Air & Climate ---
Buildings ---
Dining Services ---
Energy ---
Grounds ---
Purchasing ---
Transportation ---
Waste ---
Water ---
Coordination, Planning & Governance ---
Diversity & Affordability Yes
Health, Wellbeing & Work ---
Investment ---

Other topic(s) that the innovation relates to that are not listed above:
Environmental Justice, Environmental Attitudes of Minority Students, Green Jobs

The website URL where information about the innovation is available:

More information on this innovation credit is available (via the URLs below) in the following two issues of the UNCG Office of Sustainability eNewsletter:

Issue #5 - Pre-Event Article: http://eepurl.com/53Gzv (October, 2014)

Issue #6 - Post-Event Article: http://eepurl.com/9gA25 (November, 2014)

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.