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  • 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 77.18
Liaison Claudia Frere-Anderson
Submission Date Oct. 12, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Washington, Seattle
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Claudia Frere-Anderson
Director
UW Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Air & Climate?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Air & Climate:

As part of our ongoing Climate Action Plan, students are engaged as part of capstone projects in researching program options for offsetting university related travel for faculty, staff, and students. In addition, a course in our Program on the Environment program, ENVIR 480 - Sustainability Studio takes on new topics each quarter for students to explore and suggest opportunities for UW to improve it's sustainability performance. Past special topics have included: UW Athletics, Sustainability and Medicine (SAM), procurement, water conservation, and preparing to host the USA 2018 Special Olympics USA Games.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Buildings?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Buildings:

Students in the College of Built Environments are actively engaged in multiple green building and urban planning projects on campus and throughout the community. One specific project is the Green Wall outside of Gould Hall that was funded by the student created, funded, and administered Campus Sustainability Fund (CSF). This project provides ongoing opportunities for students to experiment and research the benefits of green walls.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Energy?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Energy:

UW Solar is an interdisciplinary group of students, faculty, and staff that lead ongoing research and operation efforts to expand solar and other renewable energy on the UW campus. Many research projects, capstones, etc. result from this dynamic collaboration. More here: https://uwsolar.wordpress.com


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Food & Dining?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Food & Dining:

Our College of the Environment and UW Housing & Food Services created a unique partnership in which they work with students to grow produce on campus (including the UW Farm) and then use and/or sell the produce in campus operations. More info here: http://food.washington.edu/


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Grounds?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Grounds:

Students, faculty, and staff worked collaboratively to create a Campus Landscape Framework for the UW Seattle campus. The framework provides guidance on ensuring UW is a leader in campus landscaping and through the involvement of students in research, the project was able to integrate a true 'sense of place' within the framework.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Purchasing?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Purchasing:

UW Purchasing has a strong and active Corporate Social Responsibility program ranging from fair labor issues to green purchasing to an innovative business diversity program. Students have been engaged in a variety of projects including investigating one of UW's vendors business practices to helping research and grow the business diversity program.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Transportation?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Transportation:

There is a long tradition of students, faculty, and staff working together to create and implement innovative transportation planning and programs at UW. A recent example was a course in which student teams researched and formally proposed new programs to UW Transportation that UW could adopt to facilitate campus-wide alternative transportation participation from walk/commute groups and car-sharing to innovative bicycle programs and regional level initiatives.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Waste?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Waste:

Students are highly involved with our ever-expanding waste reduction efforts. From leading the charge to establish styrofoam recycling in labs to establishing an aluminum foil recycling program to students and athletes promoting efforts to improve waste reduction during major athletics events, students are a very active force in our waste reduction efforts. In 2018, students in our EcoReps program helped launch the MiniMax program throughout our Health Sciences building complex.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Water?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Water:

There are many water quality living laboratory efforts underway at the UW. One of the most unique is UW students and faculty working with local tribes during the annual Tribal Journey that takes place in the Puget Sound to measure and track water quality and other environmental health metrics during the event.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Coordination & Planning?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Coordination & Planning:

Students are involved in several committees that address coordination and planning. In the 2017-2018 academic year, our office was approved to hire a student intern to participate in planning and reporting through 2019. Students also participate in several other departmental and campus committees such as the Environmental Stewardship Committee (ESC).


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Diversity & Affordability?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Diversity & Affordability:

The UW Office of Minority & Diversity Affairs maintains a robust list of active living laboratory projects. A few standout efforts that actively engage students include: the Diversity Research Institute that focuses on generating new, interdisciplinary knowledge about diversity, social justice, and institutional transformation; and the Indigenous Wellness Research Institute that supports the inherent rights of indigenous peoples to achieve full and complete health and wellness by collaborating in decolonizing research and knowledge building and sharing. Another example of a student-organized effort is the Student Environmental Health Association in the Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences in our School of Public Health that includes an academic and research focus on environmental justice issues in the region.

In 2017, UW President Ana Marie Cauce launched the Race & Equity Initiative:
https://www.washington.edu/raceequity/


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Investment & Finance?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Investment & Finance:

Students have participated in efforts to look at options in finance and investments. There is a student representative each year on the UW Board of regents. In addition, the 2015 vote by the UW Board of Regents was in response to student-led efforts to understand and inform campus leadership on the impact of our investment and finance choices.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Public Engagement?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Public Engagement:

Through our Evans School of Public Affairs, many undergraduate and graduate students work through capstone and other projects to serve regional nonprofits and agencies.

The UW also launched the Livable City Year program in 2016 that connects students and faculty from across many programs at the UW with Washington state city governments. More information is available here: https://www.washington.edu/livable-city-year/

Our [email protected] program continues to be a regional and national resource for addressing urban issues. [email protected] works with scholars, policymakers, and community stakeholders to develop cross-disciplinary and cross-sector collaborative research. The program aims to strengthen connections between research and solutions to today’s urban challenges.
https://depts.washington.edu/urbanuw/


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Wellbeing & Work?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Wellbeing & Work:

The UW has a very successful Wellness program for students, faculty, and staff called The Whole U. An example of student involvement in research in this area comes from our Health Sciences program in which students and faculty are looking at outcomes of company and organization programs and how these programs could be more effective. More information is available here: https://www.washington.edu/wholeu/


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to other areas (e.g. arts & culture or technology)?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to other areas:

In response to student interest, UW Sustainability launched a Sustainability in the Arts (SITA) program that supports students, faculty, and staff in two areas of the arts: 1. operations or 'behind the scenes' elements of the arts looking at things like lighting and staging & costume re-use, and 2. sustainability as a topic of the creative work (e.g. a dance with a environmental or social justice theme). More information is available here: https://green.uw.edu/sita


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