What is STARS?
The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) developed the Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating System (STARS) program in 2006 to accomplish two primary goals: Track sustainability progress within an institution and share this progress with other institutions. As a tracking tool, STARS provides standards for an institution to measure their existing and proposed sustainability programs, projects, and goals. As a sharing tool, STARS publishes individual results for other members of the program. Using these methods for tracking and publication, STARS provides a comprehensive and standardized means for universities across the United States and Canada to measure and compare their unique sustainability programs and performances relative to other institutions.
“How Green is Western?” Presentation: Measuring Campus Sustainability at WWU
The Office of Sustainability presented the results of Western’s standing in the national Sustainability Tracking and Rating System (STARS) framework created by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. Previous OS Research Associate, Ian Collicott, presented the culmination of two years of his cross-campus research within the three main STARS areas: Education/Research, Operations, and Planning Administration & Engagement. The presentation took place on June 5th, 2013.
The presentation showcased WWU’s STARS ratings highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of the university effort towards a more sustainable campus. Collicott compared and contrasted WWU’s programs, initiatives, numbers, and progress against peer and neighboring colleges using graphical representations. Collicott explored how STARS is a growing interface and its potential as sustainability communication tool.