AASHE believes that transparency is a key component in communicating sustainability claims. Accordingly, STARS data are made publicly available through individual STARS Reports, Content Displays and the STARS Benchmarking Tool.

In submitting data and information to AASHE, STARS participants grant AASHE the right to use the submitted data for purposes of research, publications, outreach, comparison, or other such uses. Anyone can use STARS data in research and other purposes, outside of what is produced by AASHE, provided that the following guidelines are met:

  • STARS Ratings are based on the overall submission and should always be communicated in that manner (i.e., ratings are not awarded in specific categories of STARS).
  • Any use of STARS data in published content must be attributed to AASHE and STARS, preferably with a direct link. Any such attribution should not state or imply that AASHE endorses a particular use or interpretation of the data.
  • Keep in mind that, given the diversity of higher education institutions and their institutional contexts, perfect comparability between institutions is not possible. We encourage data users to consider a variety of potential explanations for differences between institutions.

Please note that the information published through STARS is self-reported and has not been verified by AASHE, outside of a standard review process that checks for credit criteria adherence for about one-third of all credits. Participants are encouraged to complete an assurance process prior to submitting information to AASHE, but it is not required. AASHE has also adopted additional mechanisms to promote data accuracy, protect the credibility of STARS and provide a fair and transparent means for resolving questions about the accuracy of STARS data.

For additional guidance on how to discuss, cite or reference STARS, please see our STARS Talking Points. If you have other questions, please contact stars@aashe.org.