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ESF Receives STARS Gold Rating For Sustainability Progress

College earns high marks for academics, engagement
9/7/2016

ESF has received a STARS Gold Rating in recognition of its sustainability efforts from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) measures performance in all aspects of higher education. The Gold Rating is the second highest distinction of STARS, and the score of 73/100 currently places ESF among the top 20 performing colleges and universities in the nation.

With more than 650 participants, STARS is the most widely recognized framework for publicly reporting sustainability performance in four categories: Operations, Academics, Engagement, and Planning & Administration. ESF has been participating in STARS since the pilot program in 2008, and previously earned a STARS Silver Rating in 2011. ESF earns high marks in the Academics and Engagement categories, in part because of its mission of environmental and natural resource education and research. To view ESF performance in the various credit categories, an online version of the report is available here.

"This is a great accomplishment for ESF and reflects on the efforts of our students, faculty and staff-present and past-to make the college a more sustainable institution," said ESF President Quentin Wheeler. "Although we are proud of this achievement, our work is not finished. We will continue to develop and implement ways for ESF to be more sustainable."

The College plans to make continual improvements in all areas of campus sustainability, evaluate progress annually, and share best practices with other colleges and universities through the AASHE network. To these ends, the College has established a new sustainability steering committee to identify and incorporate more sustainable practices into ESF's operations. The steering committee will lead several sustainability working groups that are open to the entire campus community.

Members of the college community are encouraged to participate in the sustainability working groups, and are invited to email sustainability@esf.edu for more information. These working groups include: (1) Energy, (2) Food, (3) Land, (4) Materials, (5) Mobility/Transportation, (6) Water, and (7) Communication and Engagement.