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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 69.60
Liaison Shanna Eller
Submission Date Feb. 27, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of North Carolina, Greensboro
IN-3: Innovation 3

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Trey McDonald
Sustainability Coordinator
Sustainability Office
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Title or keywords related to the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Nation's first Sustainable Tourism and Hospitality Program

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

UNCG’s Bryan School of Business and Economics launched the first Sustainable Tourism and Hospitality Management program in the nation in Fall 2013. While many of the top universities in the country offer individual courses in ecotourism or certificates or graduate degrees in sustainable tourism, no undergraduate degree in tourism and hospitality offers such a comprehensive integration of sustainability values and a triple-bottom line approach holistically across the entire curriculum.

Work on the revised curriculum began in 2010 and has been guided by champions of sustainable hospitality and responsible tourism, such as Hervé Mr. Houdré, General Manager, InterContinental Barclay Hotel in New York, New York and Dr. Pauline Sheldon, Professor Emerita at the School of Travel Industry Management, University of Hawaii, The new curriculum features a fundamental shift in the program’s mission, a dozen new courses, and a holistic integration of sustainability principles.
An indicative list of courses are listed below:
• Introduction to Sustainable Development
• Corporate Social Responsibility
• Sustainable Hotel Operations
• Tourism Impacts and Alternatives
• Sustainable Food and Beverage
• Greening Hotel Facilities
• Sustainable Travel and Transportation, and
• Sustainable Destination Planning and Management

The potential impact of graduates of this program is significant for theis important industry. According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, 1.09 billion people traveled in 2013 and 1.8 billion travelers are forecast for 2030. With US$1.4 trillion in global exports, the international tourism and hospitality sector is one of the largest contributors to the world economy. The tourism and hospitality sectors employ more than 200 million people worldwide—one in every 11 workers—and account for over 10 percent of all consumer spending.

UNCG is the first American university to merge the business and sustainability principles facing the hospitality and tourism industry into a program of study. It is hoped to serve as a prototype for other similar degree programs.


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

Currently, there are 76 students majoring in the program. Further, over 200 students have enrolled in the core sustainability course (Introduction to Sustainable Development).


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 Yes
Research Yes
Campus Engagement ---
Public Engagement Yes
Air & Climate ---
Buildings ---
Dining Services ---
Energy ---
Grounds ---
Purchasing ---
Transportation ---
Waste ---
Water ---
Coordination, Planning & Governance ---
Diversity & Affordability ---
Health, Wellbeing & Work ---
Investment ---

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

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.