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

Exemplary Practice Credit Catalog

STARS 2.1 introduced a new type of credit to the Innovation & Leadership (IN) category of STARS, called Exemplary Practice credits. Exemplary practice credits are optional and recognize specific initiatives that demonstrate sustainability leadership. Unlike Innovation credits, which are time-limited, Exemplary Practice credits may be claimed in multiple submissions as long as the criteria are being met at the time of submission.

AC Curriculum
  • NSSE Sustainability Education Consortium. Institution has participated as part of the Sustainability Education Consortium when administering the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) within the previous three years.
  • Academy-Industry Connections. Institution has published policies or guidelines governing industry-sponsored research that preserve academic freedom, autonomy and integrity, and manage potential conflicts of interest.
  Public Engagement
  • Green Athletics. Institution has an active green athletics program through which it engages the community around issues of sustainability.
  • Green Event Certification. Institution has or participates in a green event certification program and has held one or more certified events in the previous year.
  • Hospital NetworkInstitution has an affiliated healthcare facility within its STARS institutional boundary that is a member of the Global Green and Healthy Hospitals Network, and/or the Healthier Hospitals Initiative / Practice Greenhealth.
  • Fair Trade Campus. Institution is currently designated as a Fair Trade College or University by Fair Trade Campaigns USA or Fairtrade International/FLO and its members (e.g. Fairtrade Canada).
  • Certified Green CleaningInstitution and/or its primary cleaning services contractor uses a green cleaning program that is certified under one or more recognized third party standards.
  • Green Laboratories. Institution has or participates in a green laboratory benchmarking or certification program.
Food & Dining
  • Sustainable Dining Certification. Institution and/or its primary dining services contractor has at least one on-site dining hall or food service outlet certified under one or more recognized third party standards.
  • Grounds Certification. Institution owns and/or manages land that is currently certified under one or more recognized third party standards.
  • Pest Management Certification. Institution’s integrated pest management (IPM) program and/or contractor is currently certified under one or more recognized third party standards.
  • Spend AnalysisInstitution has conducted a comprehensive spend analysis to assess the sustainability impacts of its purchasing across all significant commodity categories and identify and prioritize opportunities for improvement.
  • Bicycle Friendly UniversityInstitution is currently recognized as a Bicycle Friendly University by the League of American Bicyclists at Silver level or higher.
  • Stormwater Modeling. Institution uses stormwater modeling to assess the impact of LID practices and green infrastructure on campus.
  • Campus Water Balance. Institution has calculated a natural water balance for the campus to assess the sustainability of its water withdrawals.
  • Natural Wastewater Systems. Institution uses natural wastewater systems to treat and manage at least 10 percent of its wastewater through on-site infiltration and/or re-use.
PA Coordination & Planning
  • Pre-Submission Review. Institution has had a finalized version of its current STARS submission reviewed by an independent or internal party using the STARS Review Template, and has addressed any inconsistencies identified by the reviewer(s) prior to submission.
Diversity & Affordability
  • Campus Pride IndexInstitution is rated at four stars or higher by the Campus Pride Index.
  • Serving Underrepresented Students. Institution is formally designated as a minority-serving institution, historically disadvantaged institution, indigenous institution, or the equivalent.
Wellbeing & Work
  • Pay Scale EquityInstitution has a maximum compensation scale ratio of 1:15, where 1 represents the compensation of the lowest-paid full-time employee and 15 represents the compensation of the highest paid senior administrator (e.g. president or chancellor).
  • Adjunct Faculty CompensationThe institution provides average compensation of $6,000 (US/Canadian) or more per course to its adjunct faculty members.

See also the STARS 2.1 Exemplary Practice Credit Catalog.