A recently published article in the Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal (Minutolo, Ivanova, & Cong, M. 2021: Signaling sustainability: impact that learning how to report has on enrollment, endowment and emissions of North American higher education institutions) has found that using STARS as a reporting framework results in improved institutional performance:

In summary, the results from this study suggest that STARS reporting and STARS score have a positive impact on reputation (enrollment), finances (endowments) and environmental performance (emissions) of the HEIs.

See more endorsements of STARS in the academic literature on sustainability assessment and reporting in higher education.