March 3, 2014
Colorado State University is once again the top school in the country for its sustainability efforts. CSU achieved the highest score ever reported to Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Reporting System - or STARS - a national survey that measures sustainability efforts at universities and colleges across the country.
CSU scored 83.48 out of 100 possible points to earn a “gold” rating. Of the 300 universities that participate in STARS, only 18 percent have achieved gold, the system’s second highest ranking. (No university has ever earned platinum, the highest ranking.)
This is the second time CSU has achieved the top score. The University earned 77.45 points out of 100 when it submitted its first report in 2011.
“Colorado State is a proud to be a leader in the research and practice of environmental sustainability, and this STARS score is a real testament to our high-caliber environmental research faculty and operations staff,” said Rick Miranda, provost and executive vice president of CSU. “As a university, we want to be fully engaged in sustainability. Conducting critical environmental research, maximizing efficiency in operations, and engaging Colorado communities on sustainability issues are university-wide efforts. We are able to leverage these areas with expanded environmental studies programs to prepare learners to be the next generation of sustainability leaders.”
The STARS system evaluates universities for their sustainability efforts across campus. Reporting is divided into three categories: education and research; operations; and planning, administration and engagement.
Because of that, university and colleges consider STARS the most comprehensive – and prestigious - sustainability rating system, said Carol Dollard, facilities manager, who co-chairs CSU’s sustainability advisory committee.
“With STARS, it’s not just about how many solar panels we have on campus or how much energy our buildings use,” she said. “STARS looks at that and more. We also are evaluated on student engagement, diversity, sustainability-related courses and research and other areas.”
The STARS system also rewards universities for building upon and improving their sustainability efforts. CSU had to demonstrate the new activities, efforts, courses and other items it had added since it submitted its 2011 STARS data.
“We can’t just rely on what we’ve done in the past. We have to show we are committed to improving sustainability efforts and what we are doing that is new and innovative,” said Tonie Miyamoto, director of communications and sustainability for CSU’s Housing and Dining Services, who co-chairs the University’s sustainability advisory committee with Dollard.
Since 2011, CSU has:
Highlights from the 2014 report include: