New SQR Reveals Ground-Breaking Campus Sustainability Innovations
This week, AASHE is proud to release its second STARS Quarterly Review (SQR): Innovations in Campus Sustainability. The summer 2012 edition focuses entirely on the Innovation (IN) category, an area within STARS that recognizes innovative solutions to sustainability challenges. Entries within the IN section may include new and ground-breaking practices in higher education that are not covered by other STARS credits or that exceed the highest criterion of a current STARS credit. July’s STARS blog not only provides highlights from the SQR, but brings attention to interesting innovative practices by institutions that were not featured in the latest issue.
Innovations in Campus Sustainability explores critical linkages between education, innovation and sustainability; highlighting the unique solutions within higher education that positively impact current and future generations. With 11 institutions highlighted, readers will learn about:
- Interactive, web-based energy management systems
- A community garden with a global reach
- Positive impacts of campus innovations, including cost and resource savings
- A large-scale community revitalization effort
- Unique approaches to sustainable housing construction
The difficulty of putting together a publication that highlights sustainability innovations in higher education is the fact that there are so many innovative practices taking place, and it is impossible to highlight every single institution. For this reason, the July blog includes brief descriptions for ten additional innovation highlights with links to each STARS IN credit.
Interesting Innovative Practices among STARS-Rated Institutions:
- Student group funds and installs the largest operational wind turbine installation in North Carolina - Appalachian State University (STARS Gold, May 2012, IN #1)
- Global Climate Change Africa Mosaic features field research in Durban, South Africa - Dickinson College (STARS Gold, April 2012, IN #1)
- Sustainable Prisons Project raises awareness for science, saves tax dollars, and promotes conservation of natural resources – The Evergreen State College (STARS Silver, July 2011, IN #1)
- Research on glandless cotton seed to create sustainable feed, food, and fuels - New Mexico State University (STARS Bronze, Sept. 2011, IN #2)
- Construction of a green learning campus and charter school that will offer dual enrollment for students – Rio Salado College (STARS Silver, Aug. 2011, IN #4)
- Frugal Innovation program addresses the need for products and services to improve livelihoods in under-served communities world-wide – Santa Clara University (STARS Silver, Jan. 2011, IN #1)
- What is a tree worth? A comprehensive study to quantify the value of trees in the university community. – The University of Arizona (STARS Gold, Feb. 2012, IN #4)
- Employee suggestion program with financial incentives proportional to the amount of money saved. – University of Ottawa (STARS Silver, Aug. 2011, IN #4)
- SustainaUnity promotes collaboration among diverse and disparate sustainability groups across the university community. – University of Virginia (STARS Silver, Feb. 2012, IN #4)
- Commercial scale dry anaerobic biodigester generates renewable energy and heat. – University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh (STARS Gold, Feb. 4, 2012, IN #1)
By submitting innovation topics through STARS, institutions are encouraged to share their stories on the actions they are taking to promote positive change. Whether an institution is large or small, well-funded or under-resourced, in an arid climate or in a cold climate, each is uniquely positioned to bring about both incremental and revolutionary change.
We hope that readers will help shape future SQR releases by providing ideas on future topics or follow-up stories. Please send your ideas to email@example.com or provide your comments below.
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