Episode 20: Streamlining Sustainability Reporting with AASHE STARS

Julian Dautremont

Julian Dautremont

Guest: Julian Dautremont
Director of Programs, AASHE

Host: Dave Karlsgodt
Principal, Fovea, LLC

Production Assistant: Sarah Barr

From energy use to purchasing decisions, waste management to community engagement, it’s no secret that sustainability is a notoriously broad and difficult to measure concept.

Creating a comprehensive sustainability rating system was exactly the challenge guest Julian Dautremont and colleagues from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) were tackling when the STARS program was born. STARS is short for the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System and is the most widely used sustainability reporting system among colleges and universities in the United States. (It’s also the primary metric used to determine the Sierra Club’s “Cool Schools” ranking each year, in case you were wondering).

If STARS still stumps you or if you’re simply curious about how a broad concept like sustainability can possibly be quantified and compared, join us this episode as Julian guides us through STARS’ creation, current function and challenges, and goals for the future.

Resources:

Episode Transcript:

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Episode 20: Streamlining Sustainability Reporting with AASHE STARS - Transcript

Episode 15: Landfill-gas flaring project at Central College of Pella, Iowa

Brian Campbell (left) Rob McKenna (right)

Brian Campbell (left)
Rob McKenna (right)

Guest: Brian Campbell
Director of Sustainability Education
Central College of Pella, Iowa

Special Guest and Co-host: Rob McKenna
Principal, Fovea, LLC

Host: Dave Karlsgodt
Principal, Fovea, LLC

In this episode you’ll hear an interview with Brian Campbell, Director of Sustainability Education at Central College in Pella Iowa. We discuss Central College’s recent climate action plan with a focus on a unique landfill-gas flaring project that came out of that planning effort. Rob McKenna, a principal at Fovea and the consultant who lead this climate action planning effort, joins both as guest and co-host.

Fovea would like to give a special shout out to Energy Strategies and MEP Associates who were our partners and collaborators on this project.

Resources:

Second Nature Carbon Commitment Signatory Distribution

During this podcast, Rob McKenna discusses how Central College with roughly 10,000 MTCO2e / year has a typical emissions profile among signatories to the Second Nature Carbon Commitment.

Episode 13: The Challenges and Opportunities of Aggressive Climate Action

The panel at CHESC 2018 (Left to right)  Tyler Durchslag-Richardson, Fletcher Alexander, Lindsey Kalkbrenner, Eric Eberhardt, Dave Karlsgodt

The panel at CHESC 2018 (Left to right) Tyler Durchslag-Richardson, Fletcher Alexander, Lindsey Kalkbrenner, Eric Eberhardt, Dave Karlsgodt

Guests:
Eric Eberhardt
Director of Energy Services
Energy & Facilities Management Services
University of California, Office of the President
Lindsey Kalkbrenner
Director, Sustainability, University Operations
Director, Center for Sustainability
Santa Clara University
Fletcher Alexander
Sustainability Programs Manager, Institute for Sustainable Development
California State University, Chico
Tyler Durchslag-Richardson
Senior Analyst, Facilities Services and Integrated Planning
California Institute of Technology
Host: Dave Karlsgodt, Principal, Fovea, LLC

This episode was recorded live on July 10th at the 2018 California Higher Education Sustainability Conference (CHESC) which took place on the campus of the University of California, Santa Barbara. Dave Karlsgodt moderated the session: “The Challenges and Opportunities of Aggressive Climate Action.” Panelists from a cross-section of California institutions answered questions about their climate action efforts.  You’ll hear both success stories from these leading institutions, but also some honest discussion on where they have more work to do. Topics include the nature of their climate action strategies, making the business case for sustainable practices, the dual role of higher ed. to lead and to educate, carbon neutrality, 100% renewable energy and more.  Audience members bring up some challenging questions including how to consider equity, social justice, and the stratification of resources to address these challenges.  The discussion includes a combination of inspiring success stories and honest self-reflection from sustainability professionals working in the trenches.

Resources:

Episode 12: Find Your Sustain Ability - Dr. Lee Ball, Appalachian State University

Lee F. Ball Jr., PhD Chief Sustainability Officer Appalachian State University

Lee F. Ball Jr., PhD
Chief Sustainability Officer
Appalachian State University

Guest: Lee F. Ball Jr., PhD
Chief Sustainability Officer, Appalachian State University

Host: Dave Karlsgodt, Principal, Fovea, LLC

In this episode you’ll hear my interview with Dr. Lee Ball.  Lee is the Chief Sustainability Office at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. While our goal for this conversation was to talk about his podcast, “Find Your Sustain Ability” we also get into a myriad of other topics.  Lee will explain the robust sustainability program at Appalachian State and how he works to help people find their connection to sustainability. We’ll touch on the connections and disconnections of rural and urban communities with the natural world. Lee will describe how he has approached working in sustainability in the heart of “Trump Country.” We’ll end with an overview for the App State solar powered racing team.

Resources:

Episode 3, Part 2: Krista Hiser, University of Hawaii - Teaching Sustainability Concepts

Dr. Krista Hiser

Dr. Krista Hiser

Guest:  Dr. Krista Hiser, Kapiʻolani Community College, University of Hawai`i System
Host: Dave Karlsgodt, Principal, Fovea, LLC

Part 2 of a two-part series based on a conversation with Dr. Krista Hiser, the interim sustainability curriculum coordinator for the ten campuses of the University of Hawaii system and a professor of Composition and Rhetoric at Kapiʻolani Community College.

Part 1 focuses on Krista’s work to create the S-Designation or Sustainability Designation for college courses in the University of Hawai’i system.

Part 2 picks up where we left off with a deeper dive into how we can teach sustainability concepts without devolving into green rhetoric and without falling victim to green fatigue. 

Web Resources:

Books:

Episode Transcript:

The following is an automated transcription of this episode which will include errors and omissions. You can listen and follow along with the text here:

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You can find a text-only version of the transcript here:

Episode 3: Krista Hiser, University of Hawaii - Teaching Sustainability Concepts - Transcript