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  • AASHE-STARS

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

STARS Overview

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS®) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. STARS is intended to engage and recognize the full spectrum of colleges and universities—from community colleges to research universities, and from institutions just starting their sustainability programs to long-time campus sustainability leaders. STARS encompasses long-term sustainability goals for already high-achieving institutions as well as entry points of recognition for institutions that are taking first steps toward sustainability.

STARS is designed to:

  • Provide a framework for understanding sustainability in all sectors of higher education.
  • Enable meaningful comparisons over time and across institutions using a common set of measurements developed with broad participation from the international campus sustainability community.
  • Create incentives for continual improvement toward sustainability.
  • Facilitate information sharing about higher education sustainability practices and performance.
  • Build a stronger, more diverse campus sustainability community.

Credits & Recognition

STARS participants pursue credits and may earn points in order to achieve a STARS Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum rating. The credits included in STARS span the breadth of higher education sustainability and include performance indicators and criteria organized into four categories: Academics, Engagement, Operations, and Planning & Administration (see the STARS Technical Manual for details). 

STARS only provides positive recognition - each level of recognition represents significant sustainability leadership. Participating in STARS, which includes gathering extensive data and sharing it publicly, represents a commitment to sustainability that should be applauded.

Created by Higher Education for Higher Education


The current version of STARS
incorporates feedback, suggestions, and lessons learned since the launch of STARS 1.0 in January 2010. While STARS is the most thoroughly vetted and extensively tested international sustainability framework for colleges and universities, it is by no means perfect. The current version of STARS is intended to stimulate, not end, the conversation about how to measure and benchmark sustainability in higher education.

AASHE welcomes your feedback and participation in continuing to refine and shape the system. To learn more view our Technical Development Policy or submit your inquiries about STARS to stars@aashe.org.

For additional information about the history of STARS, please view archived versions of STARSwebinarspublications, and media coverage