Credit Language

OP 10: Biodiversity – version 2.2

Frequently Asked Questions

How has this credit changed between STARS 2.1 and 2.2?

Substantive changes have been made to this credit. Under 2.2, the definition of “areas of biodiversity importance” has been added to replace “environmentally sensitive areas”. Scoring changed so that full points are reserved for institutions that identify endangered and vulnerable species AND areas of biodiversity importance. A comprehensive list of differences can be found in the 2.2 Summary of changes.

How comprehensive should the biodiversity assessment be? Would a partial assessment be sufficient?

To count, the biodiversity assessment must be comprehensive, in that it includes the predominant campus area or a representative sample. Assessments for a non-representative portion of campus do not qualify. If the institution owns or manages off-campus areas likely to have biodiversity importance, they should also be included.

Does an assessment have to identify both plant and animal species?

An assessment to identify areas of biodiversity importance does not have to be inclusive of both flora and fauna, however an assessment to identify endangered and vulnerable species does.

Does each endangered or vulnerable species have to be identified by name?

As a best practice, yes. If there are concerns that naming species or identifying the location of their habitats could unintentionally result in harm to them, however, please document those concerns and provide a more generalized description of the species types, habitats and protections in place.

What other credits across STARS include similar data that should remain consistent?

For this credit, Total campus area figures (in acres or hectares) can be copied from PRE 4. See related Help Center article on sharing information between credits. The number reported for Total campus area in this credit does not affect scoring and can differ from the calculated figure for Total area of managed grounds (which determines scoring). See related Help Center article on sharing information between credits.

Resources, Templates & Tools

Example Responses

  • Florida Gulf Coast University – Very detailed species inventory and comprehensive responses throughout. Credit includes an uploaded and detailed biodiversity report. 
  • George Washington University – Comprehensive responses throughout, and includes an uploaded Campus biodiversity assessment using iNaturalist. Good reporting example for urban institutions. 
  • Saint Michael’s College – Great documentation of initiatives/programs implemented to promote biodiversity on campus.
  • University of California, Irvine – Comprehensive and detailed responses throughout. Includes an uploaded and detailed species listing.

Common Issues Identified During Review

  • Affirmative responses must be supported by information provided in descriptive fields.

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