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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.

Reporting Process

To access the STARS Reporting Tool get started by navigating to the ‘Reporting Tool’ button in the top right corner of any page on the STARS website and log-in using your AASHE Account information. Please note, only individuals that is listed as a 'user' in the STARS Reporting Tool will have access. Not listed as a 'user'? Contact your institution's STARS Liaison or send an email to stars@aashe.orgDon’t have an AASHE account? Create a user account here.

Using the Reporting Tool

The STARS Reporting Tool is organized into the following sections:

My Summary

Purchase full access subscriptions, add and manage users and Responsible Parties (see “Users and Data Providers”, below), update contact information, and share and manage data.

My Submission

Record and save information in credits; access credit criteria, definitions, and guidance; monitor your provisional score and rating (full access subscribers); and submit your STARS report.

Preview Submission

Access benchmarking charts (full access subscribers) and preview your report before you submit it.

My Resources

Download data tracking spreadsheets, template emails, press releases, any STARS seals that your institution has earned, and other promotional tools.

My Published Report(s)

Review and download your institution’s published STARS reports.

Settings

Select your institution’s preferred units: SI (Metric)  or IP (US/Imperial).

Users and Data Providers

You may add as many users as you wish to help enter and/or review data in the Reporting Tool.

User Roles

  • Observers can view the information saved in credits. For example, you could give your provost or department head Observer status so that she can review the progress you have made or preview a report before you submit it.

  • Data entry users can enter and save information in credits. You can elect to give individuals who are actively collecting information the ability to edit data in the tool directly.

  • Administrators can manage and share data, add/delete users, purchase subscriptions, and submit reports. You may want to restrict this level of access to your immediate team or the committee leading the process.

Responsible Parties

You also have the option to create a roster of “responsible parties” that may be associated with specific credits. The responsible party for each credit should be a staff member, faculty member, or administrator who is willing to affirm that the information submitted is accurate and can respond to questions regarding the data. When your institution submits a report, the responsible party’s name will be made public alongside the information submitted for the credit.

Data Providers

There are several different ways to share credits with data providers and responsible parties to de-centralize the reporting process. Although many institutions complete all of their work in the online Reporting Tool, others prefer to supplement the tool with spreadsheets or Google Docs. Regardless of the approach you take, all data eventually has to be entered into the online Reporting Tool. Learn more about sharing credits with data providers.

Credit Timeframes

Each credit in STARS has a specific timeframe from which the reported information must be drawn. Although you should reference the Credit Checklist and Technical Manual to determine the specific timeframe for each credit, generally speaking there are three types of timeframes in STARS:

  • Programs and initiatives should be ongoing or active as of the anticipated date of your next STARS submission.

  • Quantitative performance year data should be the most recent data available from within the three years prior to the anticipated date of submission. (Credits that also request baseline year data allow any year from 1990 to the present.)

  • Activities or events must have taken place within the three years prior to the anticipated date of submission.

Credit Status

By default, each credit in the Reporting Tool is marked "Not Started”. When you are ready to save the information you have documented in a credit, you will have the following options:

In Progress

You are still editing and may not have completed all required and conditionally required reporting fields.

Complete

You have completed all required and conditionally required reporting fields. Saving a credit as Complete will identify any errors and also calculate the score (for full access subscribers).

Not Pursuing

You have decided to opt out of the credit and accept zero points for it.

Not Applicable

(selected credits)

The credit is not relevant to your institution and should not count toward scoring calculations. To save a credit as Not Applicable you will have to select a valid reason from a pre-populated drop-down menu.

You will be able to go back and edit credits, including changing the status of individual credits, up until you submit your report.

Getting Help

Guidance and Resources

To address frequently asked questions about the reporting process, AASHE provides a knowledge base.

For credit-specific help, each credit in the Reporting Tool includes an integrated glossary, inline help text, and a resources tab that provides additional guidance, potentially including assessment tools, a credit completion checklist, and best practice reporting examples from other institutions.

The STARS Technical Manual also includes reporting and scoring examples for many credits. In addition, it may be helpful to access published STARS reports or the STARS Data Displays to see how other institutions have reported under the same version of STARS.

Finally, you may want to explore STARS-related case studies, publications, and conference presentations in AASHE’s Campus Sustainability Hub to identify new ideas and best practices.

AASHE Staff Support

If you can’t find an answer to your question in the knowledge base, the guidance provided in the Reporting Tool, or the Technical Manual, AASHE staff are available to help. To get in touch with us, use the “question mark” widget in the upper right corner of every page of the STARS website and Reporting Tool or email stars@aashe.org.