This is an optional Innovation & Leadership credit. These credits recognize exemplary practices and performance above and beyond what is recognized in standard credits and may not be relevant to every institution. Scoring in the Innovation and Leadership section is capped at 4 bonus points total.
IN 20: Grounds Certification – version 2.2
Frequently Asked Questions
Our institution has enacted an Herbicide-free resolution. Does this qualify for points under this credit?
No, in order to qualify, formal third-party certification for the protection of biodiversity must have been achieved.
Do any forest management standards other than FSC count?
Consistent with the recommendations of the Environmental Paper Network (EPN), a world-wide network of over 140 civil society organizations working in the sustainable forestry space, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) standards are the only forest management standards currently recognized. To learn more, see the EPN’s Global Paper Vision
What “equivalent programs approved by AASHE” can be claimed under this credit?
The following regional, U.S. and International programs have been claimed as equivalent programs:
- Green Grounds Certification (Re:wild Your Campus)
- California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF)
- BEE Protective designation (Beyond Pesticides)
- Ireland Green Flag award
- Monarch Waystation certification
- Ohio Pollinator Habitat Initiative
- Tennessee Arboretum Certification Program
- Agnes Scott College – Good documentation provided for three grounds certifications (ArbNet, Tree Campus USA, Bee Campus USA).
- Cornell University – Good documentation provided for a Sustainable Sites certified project and for Tree Campus USA.
- George Washington University – Good example of a project certified through the Sustainable Sites initiative.
- Georgia Institute of Technology – Good documentation provided for three grounds certifications (ArbNet, Tree Campus USA, Bee Campus USA).
- Lane Community College – Good example of an initiative certified by the National Wildlife Federation’s Certified Wildlife Habitat Program as well as Bee Campus USA.
- Portland State University – Good documentation provided for three grounds certifications (Salmon-Safe, Tree Campus USA, Bee Campus USA).
- Vassar College – Covers four types of certifications (ArbNet, Audubon, Tree Campus, Bee Campus), each with supporting documentation.
Common Issues Identified During Review
- Institutions must provide support for each certification with an affirmative response, either through URL or description. Documentation affirming the certification is required.