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AASHE recognizes Elon for sustainability work

Elon has received a STARS Silver Rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education for sustainability efforts.


Elon University has received a STARS Silver Rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education in recognition of the institution's sustainability achievements.

STARS, the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System, is a new program that measures and encourages sustainability in all aspects of higher education.

Elon’s overall score of 58.40 earned a Silver rating. There are four levels of STARS ratings: Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. The minimum score for a Silver rating is 45 points, while the minimum scores for Gold and Platinum are 65 and 86 points, respectively.

This initial STARS rating serves as a benchmark for Elon’s commitment to sustainability. Efforts in this area began years ago with student-, faculty- and staff-led initiatives promoting recycling, energy conservation, alternative transportation and community engagement. The university’s sustainability master plan was completed in 2007, and since then several accomplishments have been made toward this effort, including the establishment of the Office of Sustainability, making a commitment to LEED certification and starting a new undergraduate minor in environmental and sustainability studies.

“Our participation in STARS will help determine where there are opportunities to improve sustainability efforts,” said Elaine Durr, director of sustainability. “It is a comprehensive system, and many people from across the campus provided information for the submission.”

AASHE’s STARS program is the only one of its kind that involves publicly reporting comprehensive information related to a college or university’s sustainability performance. Participants report achievements in three overall areas: education & research, operations, and planning, administration & engagement.

“STARS was developed by the campus sustainability community to provide high standards for recognizing campus sustainability efforts,” said AASHE Executive Director Paul Rowland. “Elon University has demonstrated a substantial commitment to sustainability by achieving a STARS Silver Rating and is to be congratulated for their efforts.”

Unlike other rating or ranking systems, this program is open to all institutions of higher education in the U.S. and Canada, 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.

About AASHE:
AASHE is an association of colleges and universities that are working to create a sustainable future. AASHE’s mission is to empower higher education to lead the sustainability transformation. It provides resources, professional development and a network of support to enable institutions of higher education to model and advance sustainability in everything they do, from governance and operations to education and research. For more information about AASHE, visit www.aashe.org.

For more information about the STARS program, visit stars.aashe.org.

Eric Townsend,
1/17/2012 4:41 PM