Team CHAUS: Identify

This week, the CHAUS team worked to define targeted problem spaces in order to break down our original project, “HCW sustain and/or increase the sustainability of Coffeehouse without adding more burden to KOCs?,” into more actionable areas of research. We started this process by defining the stakeholders and users of Coffeehouse’s sustainability initiatives.


  1. CHAUS management
  2. CHAUS employees 
  3. Rice University
  4. Environment


  1. CHAUS employees
  2. Customers
  3. Janitorial staff 
  4. Alumni 
  5. Visitors

In Open Studio, the team brainstormed questions we had about how these users and stakeholders are currently interacting with CHAUS.

  • What kind of materials is CHAUS using for their cups, straws, etc. and are they recyclable or compostable?
  • Who are their suppliers?
  • Are customers aware of current initiatives?
  • How much food is being thrown away on a daily basis?
  • How are they throwing away/managing their waste?
  • What are current composting initiatives?
  • How effective are current customer engagement efforts?

In order to get answers to these questions, we met with Mandy, a coffeehouse manager and one of the people in charge of CHAUS sustainability. From our interview, we learned that:

  1. CHAUS does not currently know how effective their advertisements about sustainability options are.
  2. Customers and employees are unclear about how to properly dispose of many of their products.
  3. A confined dishwashing space prevents employees from efficiently washing their in-house glasses and mugs.

Moving forward, our team intends to interview our users and stakeholders in order to gather insight about how to more effectively advertise CHAUS sustainability initiatives, inform employees and customers about proper recycling and disposal methods, optimize the dish cleaning area, and verify current Coffeehouse waste routes.


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