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  • AASHE-STARS

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 65.57
Liaison Don Erb
Submission Date Sept. 16, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University at Buffalo
IN-2: Innovation 2

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Ryan McPherson
Chief Sustainability Officer
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Title or keywords related to the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Sustainable Business Roundtable

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:

In 2013 the University initiated a partnership with Erie County and a small group of key business leaders throughout the region to assess the feasibility of creating a green business association that would work to build a greater synergy across the business sector in Buffalo Niagara to advance green practices. A year's worth of stakeholder engagement (by specifically holding focus groups, performing marketing analysis, interviews and broad outreach to the business community) led to the launch of the Western New York Sustainable Business Roundtable on Earth Day 2014. Over the past year membership has grown to nearly 50 businesses (from large multi-national companies to smaller businesses across a diverse group of sectors) with active engagement occuring throughout the month with numerous workshops, communication groups and on-line tools.

The Round table has been gaining momentum since it's launch with the awarding of a US Environmental Protection Agency Region 2 grant that has provided full time staffing to the organization as it works to foster collaborations that enable member businesses to act on their sustainability goals, maintain profitability, and promote a healthy community.

While the University was pivotal to the creation of the Roundtable by quarterbacking the stakeholder engagement process it has also played a continuing leadership role on the Board and hosting the annual congress and many workshops.


A brief description of any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation (if not reported above):

Membership in the WNY-SBR requires a signed pledge from the highest level of the organization and the creation of a plan appropriate for the business within 12 months of signing this pledge of support. Timing for implementation is based on the specific deliverables outlined determined by each business in their plan. Businesses are encouraged to create a robust plan with meaningful metrics. To ensure transparency, all plans are posted on the SBR website. To date 21 sustainability plans have been posted on the website for others to emulate.


A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise:
Which of the following STARS subcategories does the innovation most closely relate to? (Select all that apply up to a maximum of five):
Yes or No
Curriculum No
Research No
Campus Engagement No
Public Engagement No
Air & Climate No
Buildings Yes
Dining Services No
Energy Yes
Grounds No
Purchasing Yes
Transportation Yes
Waste Yes
Water No
Coordination, Planning & Governance No
Diversity & Affordability No
Health, Wellbeing & Work No
Investment No

Other topic(s) that the innovation relates to that are not listed above:
Economic Development

The website URL where information about the innovation is available:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.