The University of Texas at Austin has earned a STARS Silver rating in recognition of its sustainability achievements from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). STARS, the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System, measures and encourages sustainability in all aspects of higher education.
UT Austin’s STARS report is publicly available on the STARS website: https://stars.aashe.org/institutions/university-of-texas-at-austin-tx/report/2018-06-14/
UT Austin has participated in STARS since 2011 with four submissions to the STARS rating program. The last three submissions have been STARS Silver (2014, 2016, and 2018).
“UT Austin participated in the STARS pilot program almost 10 years ago,” said Jim Walker, Director of the Office of Sustainability. “We believe STARS is the best system out there for generating internal momentum on programs and projects as well as assessing our progress compared to our peer institutions.”
With more than 800 participants in 30 countries, AASHE’s STARS program is the most widely recognized framework in the world for publicly reporting comprehensive information related to a college or university’s sustainability performance. Participants report achievements in five overall areas: 1) academics 2) engagement, 3) operations, 4) planning and administration, and 5) innovation and leadership.
“STARS was developed by the campus sustainability community to provide high standards for recognizing campus sustainability efforts,” said AASHE Executive Director Meghan Fay Zahniser. “UT Austin 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, 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.
“We are proud to continue our STARS Silver rating as we’ve laid the foundation for sustainability efforts on campus through the UT Austin Sustainability Master Plan in 2016. We look forward to pushing for higher ratings going forward,” said Walker.
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.