How can a new program or standard gain recognition in STARS?

If an organization approaches AASHE staff with a request to have their standard or program included in STARS, the following process will determine the response to such a request:

Step 1

AASHE staff will respond to the request and ask for a written proposal for how the program or standard could be incorporated into STARS.

Step 2

The proposal will be shared with the appropriate STARS Technical Committee. The Technical Committee will discuss the proposal with a representative from the AASHE staff and consider the questions listed below. Note that no particular answer to these questions will necessarily determine whether to include a standard or program in STARS. Rather, these questions are meant to give the Technical Committee a better understanding of the standard or program so they can make an informed recommendation.
  • What is the uptake or use of the standard or program in higher education (provide a quantitative description)?
  • Are the criteria for recognition under the standard or program publicly available?
  • Who developed the standard or program?
  • Who administers the standard or program?
  • Does the governing body have any conflict of interest in developing or administering the standard?
  • Does the standard or program have mechanisms for ensuring that data it uses are accurate?
  • What are the costs of participation and who pays them? (Are the people that this standard is meant to help able to participate or are they priced out?)
  • Is the standard or program supported by relevant social and environmental organizations?
  • Is it a science-based standard or program?
  • What is the scope of the standard or program?
  • Is it a global standard or program? If not, are there international equivalents?
  • How does the standard or program compare with other standards or programs addressing the same issue?
  • Is it a leadership standard or program (i.e. is it designed to recognize performance that is substantially better than the norm or mandate continuous improvement)?
  • Is this standard or program life-cycle based?
    • Which inputs are included (waste, energy, and.or materials)?
    • Which phases of the life-cycle of the product or service are addressed in the standard (material extraction, shipping, manufacturing, retailing, use, and/or end of life)?
    • Which impacts are considered (air, atmosphere, land, water, and/or human health)?
  • Does the standard or program include criteria addressing social dimensions of sustainability?
  • Does the standard or program include performance criteria? (How well the product/service serves its purpose?)

Step 3

The Technical Committee, with input from staff, will make a recommendation to the STARS Steering Committee as to whether including this standard or program would add value to STARS.

Step 4

The STARS Steering Committee will review the recommendation from the Technical Committee and decide on the appropriate response.

Step 5

AASHE Programs staff convey the outcome of the Steering Committee discussion back to the Technical Committee and responds to the organization who posed the request.

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