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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 67.42
Liaison Beverley Ayeni
Submission Date Oct. 6, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Western University
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Stefanie De Adder
Sustainability Coordinator
Facilities Management
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have one or more co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives that fall into the following categories?:
Yes or No
Active student groups focused on sustainability Yes
Gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, or urban agriculture projects where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems No
Student-run enterprises that include sustainability as part of their mission statements or stated purposes Yes
Sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives through which students can develop socially, environmentally and fiscally responsible investment and financial skills No
Conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience Yes
Cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience Yes
Wilderness or outdoors programs that follow Leave No Trace principles Yes
Sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences Yes
Programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills No
Sustainability-focused student employment opportunities offered by the institution Yes
Graduation pledges through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions No
Other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives Yes

The name and a brief description of each student group focused on sustainability:

EnviroWestern is a student-run organization created for the purpose of addressing environmental issues affecting the Western campus and local community, as well as running student-oriented programming for a sustainable undergraduate experience. EnviroWestern is an official University Student Council service, and as such an institutionalized part of Western. Their leadership team includes several project team leaders as well as an appointed EnviroWestern coordinator. The general membership consists of anyone who is currently enrolled at Western, and the majority of projects require the involvement and close cooperation of students, faculty and staff.

EnviroWestern is involved in conducting waste audits and organizing Enviro Week. The 8 EnviroWestern committees include: residence issues, clean up & recyclemania, reusability (clothing swap and refill to win), green building tours, food sustainability, green education program, enviroresearch link, and greenest campus Western.


The website URL where information about student groups is available:
A brief description of gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and urban agriculture projects where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems:

The Indigenous Food and Medicine Garden (as discussed in the "Campus as a Living Laboratory" section) provides an opportunity for community engagement with respect to indigenous traditions, and organic/sustainable foods.


The website URL where information about the organic agriculture and/or sustainable food systems projects and initiatives is available:
A brief description of student-run enterprises that include sustainability as part of their mission statements or stated purposes:

"Ivey Connects" is a student-led organization working to inspire students at the Richard Ivey School of Business to contribute in the societies in which they operate, a vital aspect of the school's mission statement. Ivey Connects provides opportunities for students to give their time through volunteerism and fundraising efforts, and their talent - management or otherwise - to those in need in the community, such as Non-Profit organizations. The goal is for long-term relationships to be built between Ivey and these organizations and to provide students with exposure to these organizations, while also having a hand in running their own charity programs and events.
In addition to these, there are Non-Profit summer internships being provided through the program, along with pro-bono projects linked with Ivey and Western Law.


The website URL where information about the student-run enterprise(s) is available:
A brief description of the sustainable investment or finance initiatives:
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The website URL where information about the sustainable investment or finance initiatives is available:
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A brief description of conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience:

Throughout the year, various clubs organize conferences and speaker series to address sustainability issues. This past year, students from the Masters of Environment and Sustainability program and collaborative program through the Centre for Environment and Sustainability, organized Western's 11th Annual Earth Day Colloquium. This colloquium encouraged students, professors, scientists, and the public to present talks related to sustainability. The event is also free to all guests.


The website URL where information about the event(s) is available:
A brief description of cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience:

The "Imagine" Sustainability Art Exhibit is an opportunity for students to showcase artistic interpretations of the results of various sustainability themed research projects. Some of these included asbestos mining, organic living, technological waste, the built environment and colony collapse. This event was open to the community in the hopes of engaging the public in the discussion regarding sustainability challenges we face today.


The website URL where information about the cultural arts event(s) is available:
A brief description of wilderness or outdoors programs for students that follow Leave No Trace principles:

The Western Outdoors Club (WOC) exists to promote students' and community members' interests, and encourage their participation in such outdoor pursuits as camping, hiking, canoeing, snowshoeing, cycling, kayaking, white water rafting and more. Monthly (at least) camping trips incorporating the above activities are run by WOC to accomplish this. These trips are run keeping in mind that membership may range in skill from absolute beginner to seasoned veteran, thus WOC strives to structure its events so that members of all experience levels will have an enjoyable time. WOC strictly abides by the Leave No Trace Behind Principles and Practices:

Plan Ahead and Prepare: Many of the trips that they run have been run for many years. They are familiar with the trails, and only use those that are previously marked. WOC has developed plans in case of extreme weather or emergencies, always have evacuation points in mind and first-aid trained members and/or trip planners. As well, they operate from Sept-March, and so are using the parks in the off-season. WOC can take up to 60 people on some trips, but split up into manageable camping groups, for both logistical reasons and to abide by park regulations (6/9 people per site).

Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces: WOC always camps on marked campsites, and follow the park guidelines for camping in the winter. They only use those trails that are marked and open for use.

Dispose of Waste Properly: WOC believes very strongly in “packing out” ALL of their waste from the trip, and leaving the site cleaner than they found it. As well, they minimize the burning of plastics, and refrain from bringing glass or cans into the parks. WOC always uses marked thunder-boxes, and ensures that dishes are washed far from any streams or lakes.

Leave What You Find: WOC abides by the campground policies on not transporting wood from infected areas. They do not condone unnecessary damage or disruption to the wilderness.

Minimize Campfire Impacts: WOC uses stoves for cooking. They use dead wood from the ground only and ALWAYS ensure that the campfire is completely extinguished before going to bed or leaving the area.

Respect Wildlife: WOC educates members about respecting wildlife, as it is their habitat, not ours. WOC also ALWAYS ensures that their food is properly secured in a bear hang overnight, or locked in a vehicle.

Be Considerate of Other Visitors: WOC members are all avid campers, and appreciate that others would like to enjoy nature in quiet, as they do. WOC does not play music at their campsites and their trips are also strictly alcohol-free.


The website URL where information about the wilderness or outdoors program(s) is available:
A brief description of sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences:

For the first time at Western, in the 2013-2014 academic year, a interest-based Learning Community Floor was offered in Ontario Hall, a first-year residence building. This provided first year students with opportunities to integrate sustainability into residence life here at Western and in London. Some topics discussed include: green careers, recycling, sustainability challenges, volunteering/service learning, etc.


The website URL where information about the theme is available:
A brief description of program(s) through which students can learn sustainable life skills:
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The website URL where information about the sustainable life skills program(s) is available:
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A brief description of sustainability-focused student employment opportunities:

Through the Masters of Environment and Sustainability, Facilities Management offers two paid summer co-op positions for graduate students to work in Sustainability Coordinator roles. Additionally, the Residence Life team has recently taken on a paid summer co-op student to aid in the continued integration of sustainability into housing services on campus. Sustainability themes may also be integrated into various work-study positions that are offered throughout the year by various departments.


The website URL where information about the student employment opportuntities is available:
A brief description of graduation pledges through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions:
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The website URL where information about the graduation pledge program is available:
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A brief description of other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives:

Facilities Management and Residence Life also host a Rez Powers Down Energy Challenge, an opportunity for students living in residence to learn more about energy use in residence buildings on campus through using the Energy Dashboard, a tool that allows for real-time data access regarding energy, steam, and water usage in most buildings across campus (link below). This challenge allows for residences to compete and possibly win half the value of energy savings for the week (or two) of the challenge.


The website URL where information about other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives is available:

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.