The goal of Project Pawprint was to assess the environmental performance of Homecoming Weekend using a life cycle assessment (LCA) framework, test strategies to improve environmental performance, and create materials that event organizers on campus and in the community can use to make events more sustainable.
To do the assessment, students partnered with over eighteen on and off campus entitiies to conduct assessments of Homecoming Weekend 2012 and 2013 and test strategies to promote more sustainable events.
Project Pawprint strategies cover four objectives:
- Reducing Waste
- Reducing transportation and accommodation impacts
- Raising awareness of environmental sustainability
- Developing best practices for future events
Project Pawprint is important for four reasons:
1. It's innovative - Life cycle assessment (LCA) using an inventory approach had never been used for tracking and reducing impacts of a very large event.
2. It's setting a standard and is transferable – Project Pawprint’s focus is on transferability to other large events. The findings and best practices developed as a result of the project will be shared on campus and through trade and scholarly publications.
3. It's engaging – Project Pawprint engaged students in applied research on campus and requires the collaboration of on campus units, providing real world experience for students and reflecting the UA’s role as a living learning laboratory of sustainability solutions.
4. It enhanced the Homecoming experience – Project Pawprint provides options to event organizers, tailgaters and attendees to be more sustainable that are simple, smart, responsible and fun.
Project Pawprint is a reflection of the strength and passion of UA alumni, students, and employees to make a positive impact in our world. Not only will the information and guides produced through the project be useful to other organizations, the connections forged are laying the foundation to make future events more environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable at the UA. Furthermore, Project Pawprint is not a one-off event – It is the start of a legacy that the UA can be proud to uphold through existing units on campus and through the actions of Wildcats everywhere in their daily lives.