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Sustainable Campus Project Competition
February 5, 2014

The United States Embassy in Vilnius in collaboration with the Architecture Fund and portal, is pleased to announce its first Sustainable Campus Project Competition. The goal of the competition is to showcase the best student ideas that address environmental sustainability and energy efficiency of built environments. Our other aims are also to spark innovation and empower student groups; to support the transfer of knowledge and ideas; to cultivate the spirit of creativity and community service; to spark connections between academic communities and local businesses.

We welcome projects from students in every field, working together to create a better environment where they live and study. We invite you to watch the videos posted here to get informed and inspired. We want to find young people who are not indifferent to their environmental impact and are ready to act.

Competition posted: February 5.

Project submission deadline round one: April 1.

Project submission deadline round two: April 15.

Project implementation period: May 15-December 15.

Who is eligible:

We look for projects from collaborative students teams at least 2 members plus a staff or faculty advisor. Students of any discipline may participate; interdisciplinary teams are especially encouraged. Students of all institutions of higher education are eligible to participate. Grants can be made to VŠIs or individuals; grants will generally not be made to for-profit entities.

What are we looking for:

We are looking for projects that directly address sustainability or energy efficiency on campus, in the dormitory community, or in the immediate vicinity thereof. “Campus” here refers to the entire complex of buildings, land and engineering networks (heating, water supply etc.) that house an institution of higher education (college or university). Projects must apply to existing structures and attempt to solve existing problems.

  • The minimum project budget is $1,000.
  • Eligible project types include but are not limited to: piloting of experimental technology; building and testing of prototype hardware or software; creation of apps; information campaigns; awareness raising campaigns; special events (e.g. Bike-to-class day). Detailed project criteria are listed below.

Who will judge the competition:

The Projects will be judged by a committee consisting of Embassy personnel, alumni of USG exchange programs,  representatives of the Architecture fund and portal and other experts as needed. 

The competition will be judged in two rounds.

Round One: In the first round of the competition, the committee will review applications for feasibility (including institutional buy-in) and innovation. We anticipate that simple projects that require smaller budgets (up to $2,500) will be funded based on the results of this round.

More complex projects; projects that call for coordination with local community or businesses; and projects that call for significant budgets will advance to Round Two of consideration. Project teams will be invited to “pitch” their ideas to the committee. We anticipate working closely with the participants of round two to develop their budgets, cultivate partnerships and publicize their efforts.

All funded projects will receive publicity through the Embassy media properties and through the partnership with

How to submit:

Submissions will be accepted by email sent to Mr. Clay Moore at with “Sustainable Campus Competition” in the subject line. Please use the attached form to send in your submission. Please feel free to add any materials you feel would help the committee evaluate your project (drawings, videos, etc.). If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Mr. Clay Moore. 

Project Criteria:

The Committee will determine which projects to fund by using this list of criteria.

Environmental Benefit

 Does this project help to:

  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions? (GHG Metric ton equivalent)
  • Reduce campus energy consumption (electricity, natural gas or diesel?)
  • Conserve water? (cubic feet/acre feet conserved)
  • Lower sewage or storm water output?
  • Reduce hazardous, solid, liquid or gaseous waste?

Educational Value

  • Will your project enhance environmental literacy on campus?
  • Does your project increase the level of participation in conservation activities (e.g. recycling)?
  • How many departments will collaborate on your project? 


  • Who will see this project on campus?
  • Is the project located in one building or is it campus-wide?
  • How will you inform the broader community about your project?


  • Will the project have a lasting impact on campus?
  • What is the long-term maintenance required for the project?

 Student Involvement

  • Does the project involve students?
  • Are there students from different disciplines collaborating on the project?


  • Has this project been done before on campus, regionally or nationally?
  • Does this project use new technology?
  • Can this project be replicated elsewhere?

 Matching Funds

  • Is your project partially funded from other sources?

 Community Engagement

  • Does this project have potential to reach the non-campus community?
  • Is this project visible to campus visitors?
  • Does the project partner with local businesses?

Not sure what it takes to begin a project?  Read on for helpful hints and ideas:

1. Brainstorm Sustainable Projects

The first step is coming up with an idea.

  • Do you see waste (e.g. water running, lights on, unnecessary paper use, non-recyclable containers being used) on campus?
  • Would you like to test the efficiency of a new technology?
  • Are you currently working on or interested in environmental or social justice issues?
  • Would you like to incorporate sustainability concepts into your courses, or have you noticed something in your department that could be more sustainable?

Choose a project area that you are passionate about and want to see implemented on campus. We will be happy to welcome your group at the American Center Library for a discussion or brainstorming session.

2. Start the Conversation

  • Talk with friends and classmates about your project idea and explore opportunities to collaborate with other students.
  • Research online for similar projects implemented on other campuses, including those in the U.S.
  • Email the committee coordinator to discuss your ideas.


Here are a few common sustainability topics with helpful hints about how to start a project related to that topic:

  • Lighting Efficiency
  • Solar Panels
  • Gardening, Landscaping and Composting
  • Behavior Change Campaigns