Biodiversity Assessment (3.0)

This is an optional Innovation & Leadership (IL) credit. IL credits recognize institutions that are seeking innovative solutions to sustainability challenges and demonstrating sustainability leadership in ways that are not otherwise captured in STARS. Scoring in the Innovation and Leadership section is capped at 10 bonus points total.

Credit Language

IL 24: Biodiversity Assessment – version 3.0

Questions & Answers

How has this credit changed between STARS Version 2 and Version 3?

This bonus credit replaces a standard 2.2 credit, and partial points are now awarded for institutions that conduct less comprehensive biodiversity assessments. A comprehensive list of differences can be found in the STARS 3.0 Summary of changes.

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

To count, the biodiversity assessment must have been conducted. Institutions should report on comprehensive baseline assessments that are currently used by the institution and less comprehensive assessments that were conducted within the previous three years.

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

An assessment to identify endangered and vulnerable species is required, and this assessment should take both plant and animal species into account. 

As a best practice, each endangered or vulnerable species should be identified by name. If there are concerns that naming species or identifying the location of their habitats could unintentionally result in harm, please document those concerns and provide a more generalized description of the species types, habitats and protections in place.

Suggestions for Institutions

  • Work with your institution’s grounds department(s) or similar to determine whether biodiversity assessments have occurred, and/or to consider pursuing such assessment.

Potential Data Quality Issues

  • Affirmative responses must be supported by information provided in descriptive and/or upload fields. 
    • If earning the full 1 bonus point, there must be evidence that a comprehensive baseline biodiversity assessment has been completed and is being used to protect and positively affect areas of biodiversity importance. 
    • Partial points can be earned for conducting a less comprehensive biodiversity assessment in the prior 3 years.

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