STARS provides a great deal of flexibility so that you can tailor the reporting process to meet your institution’s needs, goals and timeline. Therefore, the amount of time it takes to complete a STARS submission varies considerably depending on how you choose to approach the reporting process.
Some institutions use STARS as a tool to engage staff, students and faculty and help build a culture of sustainability on campus. For institutions that use STARS this way, the process can be as important as the results, therefore it may take a full year to complete a STARS submission.
Other institutions take a more straightforward approach, relying on a small committee or hiring consultants to complete their first submission in as little as two months.
You are also welcome to take an incremental approach, completing a subset of credits or subcategories for your first submission. For example, an institution might complete enough credits to earn a Bronze Rating for its first report and complete additional credits the following year to earn a Silver Rating.
Subsequent submissions become easier because STARS credits will typically only need to be updated and not started from scratch. Institutions that re-submit annually find that the process takes less time because annual reporting helps maintain relationships with data providers and creates a routine that many are already familiar with because of other annual reporting commitments.