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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.

Why Participate in STARS?

(All quotations are from STARS participants)

1. Gain international recognition for your sustainability efforts

To date, more than 800 colleges and universities in 32 countries have registered for STARS. Of those, more than 400 institutions have earned a STARS Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum rating or achieved recognition as a STARS Reporter.

2. Generate new ideas

Whether your institution is just starting out or an established leader in sustainability, STARS will help you identify best practices that you can implement locally.

"The biggest benefit of STARS was that it has generated new ideas. Given that STARS is so widely used, the credits we were not able to attain are looked at as suggestions that we hope to implement in the future.”

3. Engage your community

STARS is a great organizing tool to engage students, staff, faculty, and administrators in building a culture of sustainability on campus and beyond.

“[STARS] promotes collaboration between our sustainability office and other departments who provide data; in some cases other partnerships grew out of what was initiated by requesting data for STARS.”

 

“It has opened lines of communication and has expanded sustainability understanding across campus.”

4. Create a baseline for continuous improvement

STARS will allow you to comprehensively measure your institution’s current sustainability performance and assess your progress, both internally and in comparison to peer institutions.

“It is a great benefit to have a uniform method for recording and reporting data regularly."

 

“The STARS rating gave our institution something to celebrate, and the credits provided both food for thought in terms of what goals are achievable in our current context and what we might try to achieve in the long term.”

 

“We now have more of a common vocabulary to talk about STARS-related topics. We also know where we need to go to improve in each of the categories. And because we are working with STARS, we have greater validity with others to get some of these other improvements developed and implemented”.

5. Inform strategic planning and budgeting

STARS can serve as a framework to help integrate sustainability into your institution’s planning and development efforts.

“Due to administrative changes at the institution, it was very difficult to generate momentum and interest, however, the results of the data collection will be used to draft a Sustainability Strategic Plan which will fulfill the requirements of the College Strategic Plan.”

 

“STARS gives a certain amount of legitimacy to the resources [the institution] has put to sustainability, it provides positive reinforcement for efforts already underway and it shines a light on the whole spectrum of sustainability work happening on campus, all three of which will give institutional weight to sustainability moving forward, in our strategic planning process and in the budgeting process with a new office of sustainability.”

6. Integrate sustainability into the curriculum

Many institutions include STARS in sustainability courses and co-curricular programming.

“The most important benefit was pedagogical. We look forward to continuing to use STARS as a central part of our environmental studies and sustainability capstone courses.”

7. Make real progress toward sustainability

More than 86% of participants report that STARS has instigated changes that have moved or will move their institutions toward being more sustainable.

STARS Impact

8. Be part of a global community of STARS Institutions

More than 800 institutions on six continents are already using the STARS Reporting Tool, making STARS the most widely recognized standard for higher education sustainability in the world.

There are two levels of access to the STARS Reporting Tool, making it easy for any higher education institution to get started today.