OP 9: Landscape Management – version 2.2
Frequently Asked Questions
How has this credit changed between STARS 2.1 and 2.2?
Minor edits have been made to this credit. The 2.2 language clarifies that rescue treatments using non-organic pesticides to control insect and disease problems that can cause significant harm are allowed in an organic program, providing there are no effective organic alternatives. A comprehensive list of differences can be found in the 2.2 Summary of changes.
Can land be counted in both the IPM category and the organic care category?
No, in order to avoid double-counting, land managed under an IPM program that is also organic should be reported at the higher tier (organic).
What information is required to support the existence of an IPM plan?
In order to count, the descriptive response should reference the four components of an IPM plan:
- set action thresholds
- monitor and identify pests
- prevent or remove conditions that attract pests, and
For more information, see the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s IPM Principles fact sheet linked below.
What information is required to support the existence of an Organic Program?
In order to count, the descriptive response must affirm that the area of land being claimed has eliminated the use of inorganic fertilizers and chemical pesticides, fungicides and herbicides in favor of ecologically preferable materials (except in the case of rescue treatments).
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
- i-Tree Tools – map and assess tree cover and land use using aerial photography
- Ecologically preferable materials – OMRI
- Integrated Pest Management principles – U.S. EPA
- Sample IPM Plan – Green Shield
- IFOAM Organic standards
- NOFA Standards for Organic Land Care
- California State University, Channel Islands – Clear detail on which campus space is organically managed. Detailed response and upload for IPM practices.
- George Washington University – The institution follows the NOFA Standards for Organic Land Care on all campuses. IPM document and description is comprehensive.
- Nova Scotia Community College – Good example of an institution with a third-party contractor that managers landscaping and grounds. Detailed response for IPM practices.
- Swarthmore College – Clear detail on which campus space is organically managed. Detailed response for IPM practices.
- Universite du Quebec a Montreal – Good reporting example of an external policy that applies to the institution (The city of Montreal has a regulation prohibiting the use of chemical pesticides on its territory).
- University of Victoria – Good detail provided on organic care description. 95% of grounds covered under an organic care standard.
Common Issues Identified During Review
- Responses under the table, “Figures required to calculate the total area of managed grounds” should avoid double-counting. Land managed under an IPM program that is also organic should be reported at the higher tier (organic).
- Organic Program – Response must affirm that no inorganic fertilizers or chemical pesticides, fungicides and herbicides are applied to the space identified (with the exception of rescue treatments).
- Data consistency: Total campus area should be consistent across PRE 4 and OP 9 if the same or similar Performance Year is used. Please note that scoring is based on “Total area of managed grounds” not “Total campus area”. Valid discrepancies should be clarified under the Notes field.