Sustainability Reporting & Practices Across BSU
Calen Beaudoin, Jonathan Rodriguez, Jennifer Lightfoot
Environmental Studies Program
Businesses are increasingly producing nonfinancial reports—or sustainability reports—to ensure ethical business practices to both employees and customers that invest in those businesses. While Oregon and Washington alone have 41 campuses that meet various AASHESTARS grading, not one Idaho university meets their criterion.
Two BSU colleges have produced sustainability reports: COBE and COHS. Working on both colleges’ 2017 reports, our three-person team learned the logistics of what non-financial reports entail and the data needed for key stakeholders. In the future, we believe that there would be value in organizing a large multidisciplinary team to collect data from across campus to put together a sustainability report for the entire University.
Methods / Results
Transportation emissions were estimated by surveying BSU students and staff on how they get to and around campus, and evaluating the results using Qualtrics software. Qualtrics also helped conduct a survey in regards to students’ perception of sustainability on campus.
Our team was a part of creating an educational campaign to promote sustainable purchasing across faculty members and promote policy change within the university that would implement investments in “greener” office supplies and reduced waste of paper materials. Currently COBE is a leader within Boise State and colleges throughout the North West as 100% of printing materials are recycled content.
We consulted the Sustainability Planner (director) at BSU and the President of ASBSU. We asked about methods to implement sustainability at college campuses and questions regarding how to promote sustainability on campus.
Conclusions / Recommendations
Collaborate with primary actors who will lay a foundation in creating a collective team of faculty and student organizations where, in turn, would create an initiative to meet ASHEE- STARS standards. Mimic Colorado State University’s “Strategic Planning and Assessment” program that entails creating short/long term action plans that defines a clear path for sustainable practices and carbon neutrality. Our results will be included in this year’s COBE and COHS sustainability reports.
Special thanks to Sustainability Planner, Kat Davis and ASBSU President, Sienna George.