The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education has awarded the University of Nebraska-Lincoln a STARS Bronze Rating for demonstrating commitment to sustainability.
UNL received the honor Jan. 22 after successfully completing the STARS Report, which includes data collected for four main components: academics, engagement, operations, planning and administration.
STARS – the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System – is a new program that measures and encourages sustainability in all aspects of higher education. Nearly 600 higher-education institutions worldwide, including UNL, have participated in the program.
“The advantage of STARS is that institutions can earn credits for all of their contributions to sustainability,” AASHE Executive Director Stephanie Herrera said. “From providing sustainability coursework, to using green cleaning products, to energy efficiency in campus buildings, there are lots of opportunities for a school to identify and track its sustainability progress.” Matan Gill, UNL’s sustainability coordinator, said STARS has provided the university a comprehensive set of metrics for analyzing UNL’s sustainability effort.
“Our completion of STARS is key to reinvigorating Chancellor Perlman’s Sustainability Commission and will serve as a road map for future improvement,” Gill said. “We can now more efficiently target our weaknesses and leverage our strengths.”
Unlike other rating or ranking systems, the program was developed by higher education for higher education, it is open to all institutions of higher education and the criteria that determine a STARS rating are transparent and accessible to anyone. Because STARS is a program based on credits earned, it allows for both internal comparisons as well as comparisons with similar institutions.
For more information on STARS, membership in AASHE or to get involved in campus sustainability projects, those interested can contact Gill at firstname.lastname@example.org.