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A: Sustainability is based on a simple principle: Everything that we need for our survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment. Therefore, to sustain life on planet Earth we must utilize resources in a manner that allows us to thrive without infringing on the ability of future generations to do the same. This entails acting in a manner that promotes economic vitality, environmental conservation, and social equality.
A: Yes, there are numerous sustainability groups to join! Visit the Groups page to see all the options on campus.
A: SLU created the Center for Sustainability in order to centralize sustainability course work. The Center for Sustainability at Saint Louis University is focused on developing creative, collaborative solutions to the urgent environmental challenges facing society through innovative academic programming, applied research, and regional outreach opportunities.
Buildings & Grounds
A: LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is an internationally-recognized green building certification system. Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in March 2000, LEED provides building owners and operators with a framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions. They also sponsor professional credentials to help you develop expertise in green building.
The Doisy Research Center is LEED Certified. The Doisy Research Center is a 230,173 square foot, state-of-the-art research facility equipped with an energy-efficient heating and cooling system and furnished with recycled steel, concrete, carpeting, and materials. The facility also includes a green roof, bike racks, showers and locker rooms for employees who ride their bicycles to work. more information
A: A "green roof" is a roof that has vegetation growing over it to compensate for the landscaping loss that a building causes. Green roofs can help stabilize temperatures inside and outside the building while providing air filtration. To learn more, check out this article released in the Post Dispatch or look into Green Roofs for Healthy Cities.
As part of the construction of SLU's Doisy Research Center in 2008, approximately 7,200 square feet of vegetation was installed. This "green roof" is an extensive system (4") and is planted with five varieties of sedum. These varieties were chosen based on their survivability in a vegetative roof environment.
A: SLU utilizes Rain Bird's Maxicom2 Multi-Site Central Controls Systems on campus. This system monitors local weather data including evapotranspiration rates to determine if irrigation is required, which will suspend irrigation while raining. The Maxicom2 system also employs four rain cans to monitor daily rainfall and suspend or cancel irrigation based on predetermined thresholds.
Recycling, Composting & Waste Reduction
A: Single-stream recycling is the method in which the consumer places all recyclables, including glass, plastic, aluminum, paper, and cardboard, into a single bin. This eliminates the need to sort the materials making it easier and more user friendly to recycle.
A: Yes, the university has been participating in the national recycling competition since 2011. Learn more about the competition and how SLU ranks.
A: Many different items can be recycled; it's amazing the number of items that we can collect on campus. For a brief guide and information, click here or if you have a more detailed question, ask your area Custodian, or contact your building's custodial supervisor, for either the Frost Campus or Medical Center Campus.
A: We take recycling very serious on SLU's campus and want to ensure that every item is accounted for and goes to the correct place.
Typically a custodian will use their trash cart/bin to store both recycling and trash waste using two separate liners - blue for recycling and black or clear for landfill waste. It might look like the recycling is going into the same container, but separating these two forms of trash are important for us.
On occasion food or other nonrecyclable items may end up in the recycling containers which contaminates the whole bin, forcing us to throw all of it into our waste containers. Custodial Services has implemented two separate bins for collection to remove any concern over this process. Custodians also receive training about recycling at SLU and are well-equipped to answer questions about this process.
A: Yes, you should do a quick rinse, but it doesn't have to be perfect. Just make sure you get rid of the majority of the food, so it doesn't contaminate the rest of the recyclables.
A: Recycling on campus is a joint effort between Facilities Services and the campus community. It all starts with YOU.
A: Although some buildings on campus still contain bins that might have signs indicating only certain recyclable to place in them, we accept all recyclable items in those containers. Facilities Services is in the process of creating a more uniform message to eliminate this confusion.
A: Facilities Management currently recycles light bulbs and batteries used on campus. To request recycling of these items, place a FAMIS service request or contact your Facilities Management supervisor - click on your campus: Frost Campus or Medical Center Campus.
A: Universal waste encompasses everything from old computer monitors, appliances, light bulbs, batteries, or anything else with a cord. SLU's Facilities Services division will accept many items, please see our page on e-waste. When you are ready to have your items picked up, place a FAMIS service request and Distribution Services will come pick it up.
A: Distribution Services assists Residence Life and Center for Service and Community Engagement with the disposal of unwanted move-in and move-out items, many of which are sent to a donation center. The move-out initiative, now named Trash to Treasure, is scheduled to take place during finals week in the fall and spring semesters. During the winter program, boxes will be placed in most of the residence halls. Donations will gradually be brought to central locations and picked up by St. Vincent de Paul. For the spring program, tents will be set up at strategic locations across campus for donations to be dropped off.
Distribution Services also provides a furniture warehouse for individuals on campus to store unwanted furniture that can later be used by other campus departments.
Facilities Management has partnered with a local vendor Midwest Recycling Center. Their motto is "we will take anything with a cord," which includes appliances such as microwaves, refrigerators, and coffee makers, just to name a few.
A: Cradle-to-cradle all starts and ends with the producer. Wherever a product is "born" is where it ultimately "dies." Consider the life of a product: someone makes it and then a consumer purchases it and uses that product until it breaks, runs out, or wears out. Then what? Well, in a cradle-to-cradle system the waste generated by the product goes back to the original producer who can salvage what is left to make the next line of products or recycle and transform it for another use. This is a sustainable alternative to the more traditional "cradle-to-grave" model where once a consumer is done with a product they simply send it to a landfill and put it "six feet under," so to speak.
A: We've all heard of "recycling:" when you take a material, break it down to its basic parts/chemicals, and then reform it into something new. Well, upcycling is similar in that it takes something old and uses it again, but the one key difference is the original item remains relatively intact. Upcycling is a fancy way of saying "I found a new use for this unwanted thing." Alternative use ideas are often shared across social media platforms such as Pinterest or Upcycle That. The photo here shows an example of upcycling: CapriSun drink containers have been transformed into a purse.
A: Yes, check out our policy on Green Cleaning. The University switched to using green cleaning products in March of 2008, formalizing what was already being done through a policy written and approved in the Fall of 2011.
A: Green Seal certified cleaning products contain: no carcinogens, toxins or other restricted compounds, no asthma-causing ingredients and limits to VOCs. Green Seal products are biodegradable and non-toxic to aquatic life. Green Seal certifies products based on lifecycle sustainability standards and recognized as a Type-I Eco-label. The EPA advocates for use of Green Seal cleaning products.
A: The EcoLogoTM program is a product certification program that is recognized as a Type-I Eco-label by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), certifying environmental leaders using sustainable products. To receive certification, products are compared to others within specific categories and scientifically tested by relevant criteria throughout their lifecycle.
SLU uses Tork© (towel, tissue and napkin) paper products certified by EcoLogoTM - the "Environmental Choice."
A: Currently, SLU does not produce any renewable energy resources, but purchases all resources through local energy providers. These providers do have information on their sustainability practices, Laclede Gas & Ameren Missouri
A: You can place a service request in our FAMIS system by clicking here
A: Facilities Services is in the process of implementing the FAMIS Utilities module which will allow for a more complete and concise collection of SLU's utility data. Individual metered building data is currently provided by the local utility providers for those SLU buildings on separate meters. We are also in the process of sub-metering additional buildings that have consolidated utility data bundled together under one meter. This will provide the opportunity to collect and analyze the data and make better energy-related decisions.
A: Saint Louis University uses Metasys for building automation and control. The system has been configured to enable night setbacks as well as unoccupied and local operation of remote buildings. This is a Johnson Controls system that is used to turn air handlers and pumps on and off according to the scheduling needs for a particular building or zone within a building. Building occupancy needs are determined by academic, event, research, and administrative users for each building or zone. The equipment schedules are optimized to prevent unnecessary run-time, which is why communication with these users is vital to running the most efficient system possible, which assists in reducing energy consumption.
A: Dual technology lighting sensors using infrared and ultrasonic detection have been installed and are used to control lighting in classrooms, conference rooms, and restrooms. For any room still equipped with a manual light switch, we ask that the light be turned off when the room is not in use.
A: LED lighting is used in wall mounted exterior lights, chandeliers, private offices, banquet rooms, track lighting, and parking lots. The conversion to LED technology in Busch Student Center alone has reduced energy usage from 44,136 watts to 5,526 watts. Large multipurpose banquet rooms and common areas were primary targets for LED retrofits. The result was an estimated energy savings of $13,000 per year.
Vending Miser equipment has been installed on vending machines to manage lighting and compressor cooling cycles. The local electric utility supplier, Ameren MO, awarded SLU with an incentive rebate of $10,500 for the purchase and installation 105 units installed on refrigerated soda vending machines. This installation is estimated to save $10,229 by reducing energy usage by 157,000 kWh annually.
For more information on utility efficiency projects happening at SLU, including energy and water, click here.
A: Visit Transportation Services' Alternative Transportation page to learn about the wide-variety of options available to the SLU community.
A: Transportation Services is committed to providing information about alternative methods for traveling to, on, and around campus. Check out alternative transportation methods here.
Reports & Awards
A: The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating SystemTM (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. STARS® was developed by AASHE (Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education), with broad participation from the higher education community.
For SLU's performance click here.
A: The Green Report Card was designed to identify colleges and universities that are leading by example in their commitment to sustainability. The aim was to provide accessible information for schools to learn from one another's experiences, enabling them to establish more effective sustainability policies. The Green Report Card is a program that has been cancelled and has been replaced by STARS.
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