Sustainability Tracking and Rating System (STARS)
According to the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability and Higher Education, “The STARS program is an innovative, voluntary self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to gauge progress toward sustainability while being recognized for sustainability leadership.” STARS rates a comprehensive set of campus actions on sustainability. It also shows exactly what areas of campus operations need to be improved, how to do so, and what will make the biggest impact.
During the 2010-2011 school year, the Campus Sustainability Fellows led the effort to assess Westminster's sustainability achievements and plan for future improvements using STARS. Based on information collected by the Fellows and teams of Introduction to Environmental Studies students, Westminster College earned a Silver STARS rating.
Sustainability rests on careful consideration of the environmental, social, and economic impacts of our choices. STARS assesses institutions in all three of these areas, including criteria in the following categories.
Category 1: Education & Research measures sustainability in the curriculum, co-curriculum, and research.
Category 2: Operations looks at buildings, climate, food services, energy, grounds, purchasing, transportation, waste, and water.
Category 3: Planning, Administration & Engagement evaluates the college's coordination and planning, diversity and affordability, investments, human resources, and public engagement.
Category 4: Innovation recognizes the institution's unique and creative approaches to sustainability.
See the complete checklist of Westminster's STARS credits.
See the Sustainability Fellows' recommendations for sustainability improvements based on the STARS findings.
Similar to LEED for buildings, STARS campuses may earn a bronze, silver, gold, or platinum level rating. Institutions may also choose to be a STARS "reporter," making the information they submit public but not receiving a score.
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