University IT Supports Sustainability With My Cardinal Green Portal
Earlier this month, Sustainability & Energy Management (SEM) launched a new program in support of Sustainable Stanford. Similar to BeWell, the My Cardinal Green program rewards faculty, students, and staff for sustainable actions in areas like energy, water, transportation, food, waste, purchasing, and campus life.
Central to the program is the My Cardinal Green portal – an online dashboard that tracks activity for each participant. To build this portal, SEM enlisted the help of University IT (UIT).
This project presented a unique opportunity for UIT’s Student and HR Systems team members – who usually work with university enterprise systems like Axess – to apply their expertise in a new way.
“It was nice to do something different,” said Leo Volkov, who leads the team. “It gave us the opportunity to work with a new office and new set of challenges.”
The road to launch
When SEM approached Volkov in January 2016, they knew what the end result should be, but needed the expertise of his team to bring the vision to life.
“We knew that we needed to provide a very customized experience for users,” commented Lauren Hennessy, outreach program manager for Sustainability and SEM Business Services. “Working with UIT allowed us to capitalize on their experience supporting the campus with a robust database platform, which could seamlessly be integrated with existing systems in a flexible way to accommodate future growth and programmatic changes.”
The UIT team quickly jumped in to plan, design, and develop the portal, which was built using LifeRay, a Java-based development platform.
Once development was complete, the portal was opened to a small pilot group who tested it and provided feedback. This feedback was implemented as appropriate in an iterative process that led to the portal as you see it today.
Now that the portal is live, the team is in a continuous improvement and maintenance phase. There are already enhancements and upgrades in the works.
“We are excited to contribute to the university’s sustainability goals, and expect the portal will encourage people to look at their related efforts to engage more directly,” Volkov said. “Not everyone is sure how they can contribute to sustainability, so this will help.”
My Cardinal Green is open to enrolled students and benefits-eligible employees at Stanford and SLAC. To participate, log in with your SUNet ID and begin by taking a brief, confidential survey. From there, you can perform suggested actions, track progress, and receive rewards.
Learn more about My Cardinal Green by reading this article in the Stanford Report.