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  • AASHE-STARS

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (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 executive cover 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 randomly selected credits, are reviewed for adherence to credit criteria. Submissions with a provisional rating of Platinum are 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. Our goal is to submit the review results within 30 days of report submission.  

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.