Last year, when we released our first annual Top 10 list, we shared some critical self-reflection on the pros and cons of releasing a list like this.
We are hesitant to play into the trope of campus competitions and we have been openly critical of these in the past. For example, this Instagram post covers our complicated feelings about recycling competitions. We are aware that competitions often don’t incentivize the types of system change we need to turn the tide on the ever-growing production of single-use disposable plastics and the demands that the latest IPCC report places on all of us to build systems that effectively reduce consumption at the systemic level. Campuses often use competition platforms that don’t call for systemic changes as a method of greenwashing their overall sustainability efforts by highlighting an objectively small accomplishment in the grand scheme of their overall sustainability efforts. However, We believe that PLAN’s new assessment framework focuses on systemic impacts.
Note: If you are interested in Atlas Zero Waste Certification but find the cost to be a prohibitive factor, we want to hear from you! Please submit a request to our Movement Building Fund, also linked in the Certification Application Form.
Left: Students at a campus climate rally
Right: Students gathered around a solar finder for solar energy research
Bar Harbor, ME I 350 students I Private | COA’s full Atlas Zero Waste Scorecard
Left: Students conducting a Waste Audit in August 2018
Right: Chou Hall Zero Waste Initiative tabling
Berkeley, CA I 41,900 students I Public | UC Berkeley’s full Atlas Zero Waste Scorecard
Left: Signs from the No Impact Challenge, where students carried around their waste for a week!
Right: Student with a Green2Go reusable container in the dining hall
Northfield, MN I 2,000 students I Private
Carleton College doesn’t have a scorecard because their assessment was performed as part of Atlas Zero Waste’s pilot program, prior to the development of the scorecard. Scope 1 & 2 were not assessed during the early pilot phase of Atlas.
Left: HaverFarm stand on campus; Right: Haverford’s (Re)use store
Haverford, PA I 1,300 students I Private | Haverford’s full Atlas Zero Waste Scorecard
Left: Campus Clean Up Day 2021
Right: Green Game Day 2021
Storrs, CT I 32,100 students I Public | UConn’s full Atlas Zero Waste Scorecard
Left: Dining Hall compost collection
Right: Local produce stand, ran by students
St. Paul, MN I 2,146 students I Private | Macalester’s full Atlas Zero Waste Scorecard
Left: UML’s mascot, Rowdy the River Hawk, next to bin signage
Right: Move out program
Lowell, MA I 17,800 students I Public
UMass Lowell doesn’t have a scorecard because their assessment was performed as part of Atlas Zero Waste’s pilot program, prior to the development of the scorecard.
Left: Campus Free Store
Right: Students with a full head of celery found in a dumpster
Louisville, KY I 23,200 students I Public | UofL’s full Atlas Zero Waste Scorecard
Left: Students composting in the dining hall
Right: Sustainability office tabling
Burlington, VT I 11,900 students I Public | UVM’s full Atlas Zero Waste Scorecard
Left: UW’s 2019 Trash-In event
Right: Surplus storage unit
Seattle, WA I 46,000 students I Public | UW’s full Atlas Zero Waste Scorecard