University of Calgary

University receives STARS Gold Rating for sustainability achievements

UToday HomeJuly 12, 2013

By Anna Nowaczyk

STARS Gold RatingThe University of Calgary has received a STARS Gold Rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education(AASHE) in recognition of its sustainability achievements and is currently the top scoring institution in Canada.

STARS, the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System, is a program that measures and encourages sustainability in all aspects of higher education. At the University of Calgary, sustainability is included as a core value in the Eyes Highstrategic vision and is one of seven academic priorities in the 2012 Academic Plan.

In 2011, the university was the first Alberta institution and among the first Canadian U15 universities to achieve a STARS rating. Today the university is proud to not only have a Gold rating but to also be leading in the country with the highest overall score achieved to date and the 4th highest score in North America within the category of Operations.

“Sustainability is a core value and a key objective for us at the University of Calgary, and we are very proud to have achieved a STARS Gold Rating for our sustainability accomplishments,” says Elizabeth Cannon, president and vice-chancellor “This is an important milestone in our commitment to excellence and leadership in advancing the pursuit of sustainability in teaching, research, community service, and operations.”

“This outcome is the result of the leadership and the collective effort of many individuals including our students, faculty, and staff as well as partners in the community. Our campus community’s commitment to sustainability and enthusiasm towards making change happen is inspiring,” says Joanne Perdue, chief sustainability officer.

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: 1) education and research, 2) operations, and 3) planning, administration & engagement.

“STARS was developed by the campus sustainability community to provide high standards for recognizing campus sustainability efforts,” said AASHE executive director Wendy Scott. “The University of Calgary has demonstrated a substantial commitment to sustainability by achieving a STARS Gold 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. There are also 45 international institutions participating in a STARS international pilot program.

STARS reports for all participating institutions are accessible through the AASHE website and the University of Calgary’s submission can be viewed here.

 

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