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STARS 1.0 Early Release Announced

September 23, 2009

The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education recently launched its Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System (STARS). STARS is a voluntary self-reporting framework for gauging relative progress toward sustainability for colleges and universities.  It awards up to 100 credits for engaging in sustainability practices 3 major categories: education and research, operations, and planning, administration and engagement.

STARS is designed to:

  • Provide a guide for advancing sustainability in all sectors of higher education, from education and research to operations and administration.
  • Enable meaningful comparisons over time and across institutions by establishing a common standard of measurement for sustainability in higher education.
  • Create incentives for continual improvement toward sustainability.
  • Facilitate information sharing about higher education sustainability practices and performance.
  • Build a stronger, more diverse campus sustainability community and promote a comprehensive understanding of sustainability that includes its social, economic and environmental dimensions.

STARS provides a standard, comprehensive way to compare the sustainability performance of higher education institutions and to measure a single institutions' progress over time.

The STARS 1.0 Early Release will allow interested institutions to become familiar with the system and start collecting the data necessary to participate. While AASHE may make minor administrative changes between the Early Release version and the final version released in January, there will not be substantive changes. Any data gathering begun under the Early Release version will be applicable. Institutions will be able to submit data for a rating only after the formal public launch of STARS 1.0 and its Reporting Tool in January 2010.

The development of STARS is guided by a steering committee, and both strategic and technical advisors. If you are interested in helping NACUBO serve as a technical advisor, please contact Michele Madia.  AASHE is particularly interested in NACUBO's guidance on the Planning, Administration, and Engagement credits.

Resources:

View the STARS FAQ.
View the STARS 1.0 Credit Checklist (pdf).
View the STARS 1.0 Early Release Technical Manual (pdf), which details the criteria and required reporting fields for each credit. Please note that AASHE will make minor updates, such as additional examples and support text, to this document before the January release of STARS 1.0 and the launch of the STARS Reporting Tool.

Learn more about the STARS 1.0 Early Release.