If you’ve submitted a STARS report in the last couple of years, then you know what it’s like to hit that submit button and then sit back and wait. After each report is submitted, AASHE staff provide a review of about a third of all credits to ensure that credit criteria are satisfied.
This review typically takes just a couple of weeks, but for some institutions addressing the results can delay publication by several months.
After reviewing hundreds of STARS reports, we’ve found that there are some credits that get flagged in review more than others.
To help you avoid common mistakes and delayed publication, we’ve put together this list of the 20 STARS credits with the highest error rates. More than half of the participants who submit these credits end up having to revise them before their ratings can be awarded!
20 STARS credits with the highest error rates:
- AC 1: Academic Courses
- AC 2: Learning Outcomes
- EN 3: Student Life
- EN 4: Outreach Materials & Publications
- EN 9: Staff Professional Development
- EN 11: Inter-Campus Collaboration
- EN 12: Continuing Education
- EN 14: Participation in Public Policy
- OP 1: Greenhouse Gas Emissions
- OP 3: Buildings Operations & Maintenance
- OP 5: Building Energy Consumption
- OP 7: Food and Beverage Purchasing
- OP 11: Sustainable Procurement
- OP 18: Support for Sustainable Transportation
- PA 2: Sustainability Planning
- PA 3: Participatory Governance
- PA 6: Support for Underrepresented Groups
- IN 3: Academy-Industry Connections
- IN 15: Stormwater Modeling
- IN 19: Community Stakeholder Engagement
If you want to submit your report with peace of mind and earn your STARS rating faster, check out the articles linked above for FAQs, Example Responses and a list of Common Issues for each credit.
Did you know that there is an exemplary practice credit for conducting a pre-submission review? By using our review template spreadsheet to conduct either an internal or third-party review of your report prior to submission, you can earn .5 bonus points. This spreadsheet details the most common issues that we come across for every STARS credit and it’s the same spreadsheet AASHE staff use to review reports. Using the pre-submission review template reduces the number of issues identified during our review by nearly 50%. Fewer errors means faster publication and it also reduces the risk of public inquiries.