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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.

Collaborative Review and Revision

All reports submitted for a STARS rating are subject to the following collaborative review and revision process prior to publication. 

1. Review

A review is conducted by AASHE staff after a report has been finalized but before the report is publicly posted and any rating is announced:

  • The President’s letter is reviewed to ensure that it originates from the president, chancellor, or other high­-ranking executive.
  • Each Innovation credit is reviewed, both for adherence to criteria and for identification of best practices.
  • At least a third of all credits, including five or more randomly selected credits, are reviewed for adherence to credit criteria. Submissions with a provisional rating of Platinum will be subject to a more comprehensive review.

2. Results

AASHE staff submit a summary of any identified best practices, required revisions, and recommended improvements to the institution’s STARS Liaison. Whenever possible, this summary is submitted within 10 business days after a report has been finalized.

3. Revisions

All reported content identified during AASHE staff review as not meeting credit criteria must be addressed before a report will be published.

  • Institutions have 60 days from the date that a summary of concerns was submitted to address staff concerns, or until the end of the current subscription period (whichever is longer).
  • AASHE staff will conduct no more than two rounds of follow­-up review for credits that have been identified as not meeting credit criteria.
  • If all identified concerns are not addressed before the deadline and within two review follow­ups, an institution may: 1) submit with the credits in question marked “Not Pursuing”, or 2) renew its STARS subscription to extend the review and revision period.
  • In instances where an institution and AASHE staff are unable to resolve a data inquiry to their mutual satisfaction, one or more STARS data review panels may be convened to arbitrate.

4. Publication & Rating

Once all identified concerns have been addressed, the STARS report will become final and a rating will be publicized. The rating will be valid for three years from the date that the report is published.

As a benefit of paid participation in STARS, pre­-publication review is available upon request to institutions that have paid access to the Reporting Tool, but elect to submit as a Reporter rather than pursue a rating. To request review, please email stars@aashe.org.