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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.

Previous Publications

STARS Annual Review


STARS 2014 Annual Review

The STARS 2014 Annual Review features 105 higher education institutions that earned a STARS rating this year, representing institutions in the United States, Canada, Ecuador, Japan, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. Some notable trends identified in the publication include an increase this year in reports submitted from Associate’s and Baccalaureate colleges, and an increase in average scores within subsequent STARS reports. A Tableau infographicaccompanies the publication, allowing individuals to view the innovations and best practices referenced in the Review in a dynamic map display, with filtering options for institutional characteristics.

Access the 2014 STARS Annual Review!


The STARS 2013 Annual Review discusses the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS), providing a look back at STARS and a glimpse at what is in store with the upcoming release of STARS 2.0. A Look Back covers the history of STARS, an overview of STARS Ratings, and a look at what has been happening in the last 12 months (July 2012 – July 2013).  A Look Ahead outlines changes that have been approved for STARS 2.0, including structural revisions, changes to credit weighting and scoring, new credits and credit revisions, changes in access, and new data accuracy measures.

Download the 2013 STARS Annual Review! 

STARS Quarterly Review

In 2012, AASHE published STARS data in a quarterly format, through the STARS Quarterly Review (SQR). Each edition of the SQR tells a story of sustainability in higher education based on data submitted in STARS Reports. AASHE expects to publish an annual STARS report in late-summer 2013. For questions, comments, or to submit thoughts and ideas for upcoming STARS publications, please email [email protected]. View current publications.


Winter 2012 SQR cover

The Winter 2012 SQRRecap & A Look Ahead, reviews recent developments related to the evolving concept of global campus sustainability and introduces changes that can be expected for STARS in 2013.

Universidad de Monterrey (Mexico) is highlighted as the first STARS International Pilot participant to submit a STARS report and earn a rating.  

As STARS matures, more institutions are submitting multiple reports and using STARS as a tool for continuous improvement. Four institutions have been highlighted for recent advancements and initiatives identified in their most recent STARS reports.

Closing out the year, this edition looks at changes that can be expected for STARS in 2013, with descriptions of new credits proposed for the launch of STARS 2.0 slated for release in 2013. 







FALL 2012

Fall 2012 SQR cover

The Fall 2012 SQRThe Role of Institutional Diversity, explores how the diversity of STARS institutions has changed over time and how participation in STARS according to institution type compares to U.S. demographics. Findings in this review suggest that the institutional characteristics that make higher education institutions distinct also play a role in how campuses are advancing sustainability. Particularly compelling is how NCAA conference rivalry is furthering sustainability on campuses. With 6 institutions highlighted, this issue covers data from reports submitted through September 1, 2012.  










Summer 2012

Summer 2012 SQR cover

The Summer 2012 SQR: Innovations in Campus Sustainability,  explores the critical linkages between education, innovation, and sustainability.  This issue highlights new and ground-breaking practices within the Innovation (IN) category of STARS, focusing on the unique solutions within higher education that positively impact current and future generations.   With 11 institutions highlighted, this issue covers data from reports submitted through June 1, 2012.  











Spring 2012

Spring 2012 SQR cover

The Spring 2012 SQR: Framing Campus Sustainability, features stories that frame the evolving concept of sustainability in higher education.  Included in this issue are a snapshot of ratings-to-date, a focus on credits within the Operations (OP) category, and insights into how institutions are defining and interpreting the evolving concepts of sustainability.  Highlighting AASHE's direction of serving as a thought leader to advance sustainability, this issue covers data from reports submitted through March 1, 2012.











Spring 2011

The Association for the Advanc2010 STARS Annual Report Coverement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) released its first annual "STARS: A Year in Review" on April 14, 2011. This report details the sustainability efforts found in the inaugural submissions to the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, Rating & System (STARS), such as sustainability research opportunities, sustainable dining efforts, and campus-wide social justice initiatives.

Thirty-seven institutions submitted their STARS Reports in time for inclusion in the review. There are more than 200 additional institutions participating in STARS that will be submitting reports for a rating in the coming year.

“The STARS annual review provides a wealth of information about the state of campus sustainability,” said AASHE Executive Director Paul Rowland. “Case studies, best practices, exemplary programs, and interesting facts can all be found in the document. We hope that it will inspire continued growth of sustainability efforts in higher education.”

In addition to a broad range of information provided in the institutional reports submitted by STARS Participants, “STARS: A Year in Review” captures the insights and knowledge gained by those institutions during the reporting process. Of particular note are the following findings:



  • Of the first 37 submissions, which came from a variety of institution types, eight earned a Gold Rating, 19 earned Silver, nine earned Bronze, and one earned a Reporter Rating.
  • Seven of the eight STARS Gold institutions scored more than 17 of the 18 possible points in the Co-Curricular Education subcategory, which focuses on non-academic programming that supports sustainability learning.
  • On average, 58% of the applicable points in the water subcategory were earned by STARS Participants.
  • Ten institutions earned 100% of the points available in both the Diversity and Affordability subcategory and the Coordination and Planning subcategory, which together include a total of 13 sustainability indicators.
  • A total of 71 sustainability innovations were reported (nearly two per institution)

The STARS Program provides ongoing opportunities for institutions to participate.  Institutions that are ready to register may do so online.  More information about the STARS program can be obtained by browsing the website, reviewing the STARS Overview presentation (pdf) or contacting us at [email protected].