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SUSTAINABILITY AT

MISSOURI STATE UNIVERSITY A better tomorrow starts with wise decisions today

www.missouristate.edu/sustainability


our sustainability statement our

Missouri State University is committed to environmental sustainability and stewardship. By working to create a cleaner environment through community-service efforts, the application of Earth-friendly technology and practices, research projects and responsible development planning, we will strive to work for a better tomorrow. Through education and community outreach, we will provide students with the knowledge and skills to be environmentally responsible citizens and consider the global ramifications of their actions and the actions of others around them.

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Missouri State is a member of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, known as AASHE, a group of institutions that work to be leaders in sustainability. AASHE uses a program called Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System, or STARS, to let universities report and rank their efforts. Participating in STARS represents a significant commitment: Students, faculty and staff did a rigorous internal assessment, gathered extensive data and shared it publicly. In 2011, Missouri State earned a bronze STARS rating. We were in the first 50 schools to receive a STARS ranking. We display our ranking on the window of the Student Government Association office in the Plaster Student Union.

our students’ involvement

student sustainability fee and student-driven projects

In 2009, students voted to place a sustainability fee on themselves. Currently, each student pays $2 each semester. Any student may submit proposals for this money to the Student Government Association, which has a Sustainability Commission. This fee has been used to support a campus garden, increase water conservation in residence halls, purchase bike racks, install water stations around campus (so students may fill reusable bottles), support a bike-rental program, purchase an electric vehicle and more. In the works: Students recently passed a proposal to install a solar panel on Meyer Library.


student life and organizations Students may get involved in many social activities related to sustainability. For example: They may participate in Green Games in the residence halls, tend the campus garden, participate in Project Greenway sustainable fashion show, join the organization Students for a Sustainable Future and attend events such as Ecopalooza, a festival with bands, speakers and more.

academics and education • Several major options have a focus on sustainability or related themes, including geotourism, environmental chemistry, ecology and agriculture. A sustainability minor will be proposed soon. • Many individual courses have a focus on sustainability or are related to sustainability topics. • Students have the opportunity to do research related to sustainability; faculty members can provide them with advice and guidance. • Students have opportunities to take study-away trips that feature significant sustainability components. • The annual Public Affairs Conference, held each spring, features globally recognized guest speakers who often discuss themes related to the Earth and the environment. The annual Public Affairs Week, held each fall and run by students, encourages students to learn about public affairs and participate in community activism.

awards Missouri State participates in the Springfield/Greene County Choose Environmental Excellence Awards by handing out the Missouri State University Sustainability Award. This honor is given to a campus group that has demonstrated a sustained commitment to environmental excellence, organized events or programs on environmental topics and had outcomes that show their efforts are making a difference. In 2012, the Student Government Association was the winner of this award.


our actions saving energy Missouri State is always looking for ways to be more energy-efficient. This includes: • installation of an energy-management system that automatically adjusts temperature; • installation of energy-efficient lighting; • installation of occupancy sensors, which switch off lights when no one is in the space; • upgrades to boiler systems; • installation of a district cooling system for air-conditioning purposes. The district cooling system produces chilled water at locations throughout campus, then distributes the water to major buildings on campus through underground pipes. Equipment in each building uses this water to lower the temperature of air passing through the building’s air-flow system. Saving energy also saves money! In 1996, the University made $5.5 million worth of energy improvements; the savings from those improvements paid off the project in 7.3 years. In 2004, the University installed the $11 million district cooling system. Thanks to these and other upgrades, Missouri State has avoided about $30 million worth of energy costs and saved more than $15 million since 1996.

saving water The University has taken steps to save water, including installing low-flow shower heads in residence halls, using a timer when watering lawns and switching to some no-water-needed equipment in chemistry labs. The 2012 drought has prompted the University to develop a water conservation plan consistent with the request by the local utility company to conserve water in very dry conditions.


recycling and decreasing waste Missouri State strongly encourages recycling. There are receptacles in most buildings for aluminum, paper and plastic. There are also bins on campus for metal and cardboard. Items that may be recycled but cannot go into bins, such as batteries and electronic waste, may be dropped off or picked up by the Environmental Management office. The University also decreases waste by recycling materials such as antifreeze, fluorescent lamps, furniture, lumber, metal, motor oil, office equipment, tires, yard waste and toner/printer cartridges. Missouri State also has strategies in place to minimize hazardous and chemical wastes on campus, and safely dispose of those wastes when they occur.

supporting greener transportation • Missouri State has bike paths and bike racks across campus to make it convenient to ride to and around campus. • Any student, employee or visitor may ride Bear Line, a shuttle service that travels all over campus and downtown. This decreases the number of cars that must be driven and lowers the demand for more parking lots. • The University has several electric vehicles in its fleet.

building green Missouri State considers sustainability during all building projects. For example, the University is seeking certification for several projects from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program, which recognizes projects that maximize energy efficiency and minimize environmental impact. LEED is administered through the nonprofit organization U.S. Green Building Council, known as USGBC. Missouri State is a member of USGBC, and many buildings and projects on campus have been built to meet or exceed LEED standards.


living green Missouri State is making our residence halls more sustainable by offering recycling, using energy-saving fluorescent bulbs, choosing energy-saving appliances, installing low-flow shower heads, composting dining-center waste and more. Residents are also encouraged to participate in Green Games, a competition among halls to promote sustainable practices such as volunteering in the community, being energy-efficient and choosing green products.

landscaping green Missouri State’s campus has been given “Show-Me Yard” status by the City of Springfield’s Choose Environmental Excellence “Show-Me Yards & Neighborhoods” program. To achieve this status, the University had to meet criteria regarding how it cares for its campus. The program asks businesses to monitor and report on topics including mowing, watering, fertilizing, mulching, use of pesticides, recycling, composting, wildlife shelter, invasive plant species and more.

our recent numbers • 152,812 pounds of items recycled in residence halls during the 2011 RecycleMania eight-week competition • More than $10,000 in utilities saved during winter break thanks to campus-wide education about saving energy in offices and residence halls • 4,050 pounds of food waste is composted each week, creating nutrient-rich material for gardens, landscapes and other uses • 3,900 pounds of electronic waste picked up for recycling from MSU academic buildings in 2011–12 school year • 9,500 pounds of aluminum and plastic recycled from MSU academic buildings in 2011–12 school year • 1,630 pounds of batteries picked up for recycling from MSU academic buildings in 2011–12 school year


our goals We are committed to continuous improvement. Here are examples of what we’d like to do next. These goals will be monitored on an annual basis, and Missouri State will submit a new internal assessment to the AASHE STARS program in 2014. Our goal is to achieve a silver ranking at that time.

education and research • Offer more majors, minors and courses related to sustainability • Explore a graduate program in sustainability • Offer experiences that immerse students in sustainability, such as study-away trips to ecotourism destinations • Showcase research by faculty and students into sustainability topics • Document when the University advocates for legislative policies that support sustainability • Conduct an assessment of sustainability literacy on campus

buildings and campus operations • Continue to increase recycling, decrease waste • Adopt an indoor air-quality policy • Construct or renovate buildings to LEED-certifiable standards or their equivalent • Do an inventory of greenhouse gas emissions and suggest reductions • Further reduce energy consumption in all campus buildings • Apply for Tree Campus USA status in 2013 • Develop campus policies about native plants and wildlife habitat • Purchase green cleaning products when appropriate products are available • Increase number of alternatively fueled vehicles in campus fleet • Decrease water use where possible • Develop and adopt a stormwater management policy

campus life • Increase percentage of students and employees who walk, bike, carpool, shuttle or take public transportation to and around campus • Form a student sustainability educators program • Make Sustainability Committee a formal University committee with members appointed to terms; membership to include students, faculty, staff and community • Continued support for culture of diversity and equity throughout campus • Cover sustainability topics in orientation for new students, employees • Increase number of students involved in community service, hours contributed

CONTACT US Have questions or comments about campus sustainability? Direct them to the office of Environmental Management. Email: environmentalmanagement@missouristate.edu Web: www.missouristate.edu/environmental Phone: 417.836.8334


Reuse or recycle this brochure! When you’re done reading this, please pass it along to someone else who would like to read it or recycle it with other paper.

This book is printed on paper that has been manufactured in the USA. The pulp used in this paper was harvested using responsible forest management which allows the forest lands we procure from to remain sustainable. The following is a breakdown of the environmental impact of using 10 percent post-consumer waste paper in place of virgin fiber: 1 tree preserved for the future 3 pounds water-borne waste not created 402 gallons wastewater flow saved Missouri State University is an EO/AA institution. NAS 209 12 Design by Doren Chapman, student graphic designer

45 pounds solid waste not generated 88 pounds net greenhouse gases prevented 671,160 BTUs energy not consumed

Missouri State University Sustainability Brochure  

Missouri State University Sustainability Brochure

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