Executive Letter

A cover letter from the institution’s president, chancellor or other high-ranking official (VP, provost, etc.) should be submitted with each scored report.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to acquire an executive letter for our STARS submission?

Acquiring an executive letter may take some time. AASHE encourages institutions to notify the administration about this requirement several months prior to the anticipated date of submission. When uploading this letter in the STARS Reporting Tool, PDF format is required.

Where do I upload the executive letter?

STARS 2.1: The letter may not be uploaded until after you hit the “Submit Report” button in the Reporting Tool.

STARS 2.2 and higher: The letter may be uploaded at any time in the Report Preface section of the Reporting Tool.

Note: A letter with a long file name may not upload correctly. If you experience this issue, please save the file with a shorter name and try again.

What if we are ready to submit, but we don’t have the executive letter yet?

No worries! If you are ready to submit and are waiting for the executive letter, you may upload a placeholder document and proceed with the submission. You will have an opportunity to upload the actual signed letter during the collaborative review and revision process to follow. A finalized letter from a high ranking executive is required before a scored report can be formally published and a rating awarded.

What information should be included in the executive letter?

Typically written on official letterhead, the executive letter serves as an introduction or cover letter for the institution’s STARS report. As such, the letter may include a description of the institution’s commitment to sustainability, background about the institution, key achievements or highlights from the report, and/or goals for future submissions.

Why is an executive letter required?

The executive letter serves as an indicator of administrative support for sustainability and the STARS process.

We submit a new report annually to update our data. Do we have to obtain a new letter each time?

A new executive letter is expected when there has been a change in leadership or the institution is submitting for a higher rating. Otherwise, the date and content of the letter is left up to each institution.

Who needs to sign the executive letter?

The letter may be from the institution’s president, chancellor, or other high ranking executive (e.g., a vice president or vice chancellor). While a letter from the president or chancellor is recommended, you have the freedom to identify an appropriate high-level executive for your particular context.

Example Responses

  • Sheridan College – Letter is on official letterhead from the Office of President, is signed by the president/vice chancellor and affirms that the report has been checked for accuracy. Also included is detail on progress made in advancing sustainability over time.
  • Wake Forest University – Letter is on official letterhead from the Office of President, is signed by the President and affirms that the report has been checked for accuracy. Also included is detail on progress made in advancing sustainability since the last STARS submission.

Common Issues Identified During Review

  • A file with a long file name may not upload correctly. The link to the file can be found in the top right hand side of the My Submission page after it has been formally submitted.

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