» 2018 Environmental Audit

The Chapman University Environmental Science and Policy Capstone Course conducted the annual Environmental Audit, focusing on Procurement and Recycling Audit in the spring semester of 2018. This audit focused on collecting and assessing data from various campus departments, Chapman students, faculty, and staff, and outside sources to provide insight into ways the University purchases and discards of goods, materials, and services on campus.

View the 2018 Environmental Sustainability Audit Executive Summary

Sustainable Purchasing Policy

Chapman University maintains its commitment to a “campus culture that promotes a sustainable future” in its Sustainability Policy, which was implemented in 2014. However, the University has no mechanism to ensure this sustainable decision-making process occurs. One of the surest ways to guarantee this change is to enact a University-wide sustainable purchasing policy that ensures consistency between departments.

Sustainable Procurement & Extended Lifespan of Furniture

Chapter 2 focuses on the ways we can purchase more sustainable furniture, as well as design new spaces on campus using used furniture and sustainable design techniques. Chapter 3 aims to reduce the amount of new furniture purchased by the university as replacements for broken items. Knowing the lifespan of the furniture and creating a plan for its replacement would allow the university to better prepare for the expense and keep the design of the building consistent.

Local Procurement of Food

Food acquisition intended to meet the demand of developed countries encourages poor agricultural methods and creates resource-extraction trends that far exceed recharge rates. This chapter quantifies student, staff, and faculty preference for local and sustainable food in the effort to motivate Chapman University to define and increase the percentage of locally sourced food on campus. It analyzes local food procurement through Chapman Sodexo, OC Homegrown, locally sourced restaurants, and similar universities.

Plastic Water Bottles

One million plastic bottles are purchased around the world every minute and 480 billion were sold in 2016. This study analyzes single-use plastic water bottles on Chapman’s campus and provides information regarding how plastic water bottles adversely affect the environment. This chapter includes efforts Chapman has implemented to lessen the impact of plastic bottles, as well as looking at solutions of peer institutions.

Waste Management of Disposable Coffee Cups

Coffee is a big part of college life for most students. However, examination for the daily waste management practices on campus regarding the hundreds of paper and plastic disposed cups is lacking. To embrace Chapman University’s commitment to sustainability, a cradle-to-grave material such as disposable cup should be carefully evaluated, and alternatives must be considered.

Waste Management & Recycling in Residence Life Communities

These chapters focus on recycling management within the residence life communities at Chapman University and aim to improve recycling habits among first-year students. Proper recycling habits can be confusing and there aren't many easily accessible venues to gather that information. By conducting waste audits and adding visible signage in key locations, we can create consciousness each time we dispose of something.

Procurement and Disposal of Hazardous Materials

Chapman University purchases hazardous materials such as corrosives and biological agents, for use in research and student instruction. The implementation of practices employed by peer and aspirational schools, as well as private businesses, can help minimize the amount of hazardous materials brought into Chapman, and ensure that all hazardous waste is disposed of properly.

Comprehensive Waste Processing and Research Facility

For the University to grow in sustainability, significant labor and space must be dedicated to managing waste with environmental goals in mind. Now is an opportune time to redesign waste management streams that could help divert 100% of Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) with little to no additional effort by on-campus residents. This chapter proposes, a “Recycling Hub” or permanent space/room which can be dedicated to sustainably managing and tracking university waste.

Regalia Rental System

Each year, hundreds of proud Chapman University graduates walk across the commencement stage wearing graduation gowns made from approximately 23 recycled plastic bottles; however, 33% students said they do not plan on keeping their gowns after graduation. By implementing a graduation regalia rental system, Chapman will not only divert these plastic bottles away from the landfill but also guide the school one step closer to becoming a zero-waste campus.