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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 Expired
Overall Score Expired
Liaison Mary Beth McGrew
Submission Date March 11, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.2

University of Cincinnati
IN-1: Innovation 1

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Expired Claire Sweigart
Sustainability Coordinator
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

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

Environmental Literacy Certificate for Staff Members

In 2012, the University of Cincinnati launched the Environmental Literacy Certificate of Achievement (ELCA) program for university staff members. The ELCA offers an introduction to a broad spectrum of environmental topics in order to foster environmental literacy in ways that spur critical thinking skills and creativity. This furthers the University’s goal to change the culture on campus to be more aware of the environment.

The structure of the staff ELCA program consists of monthly meetings for a defined class of participants over the course of an academic year. During each meeting a guest presenter discusses an assigned topic. Topics include: waste, food, soil and landscape, water, energy, transportation, population, ecological principles, chemicals, and consumption. Each session includes hands-on activities and focuses on understanding how individual decisions affect the environment at local and global scales. Staff members from a particular department or group are invited to participate in the year long course together.

In July 2013 the first class of participants from the housekeeping supervisory staff completed their Environmental Literacy Certificate of Achievement. Participants received a certificate of achievement signed by the University President at a ceremony presided over by the Senior Vice President for Administration & Finance. As the program continues, staff members from different departments and classifications will be invited to participate each year. The 2014 class will be drawn from the executive assistant and administrators group.


A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise:
The website URL where information about the innovation is available :

The Environmental Literacy Course for staff won a Green Business Award in 2013 from the Business Courier.

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.