KU News Release

Feb. 23, 2012
Contact: Jeff Severin, KU Center for Sustainability, 785-864-5804

KU recognized with STARS Bronze rating for sustainability achievements

More Information

LAWRENCE – The University of Kansas has received a STARS Bronze Rating in recognition of 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. This is KU’s first year completing the STARS self-assessment.

“Building Sustainable Traditions," introduced last fall, is framed around the principles of STARS and is guiding our path towards making sustainability an inherent part of everything we do at KU,” said Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little. “We are proud of achieving a Bronze rating, but more importantly STARS helps us identify opportunities to build on our strengths and intensify our efforts in other areas.”

The STARS self-assessment evaluates academic, administrative and operational efforts. and helps establish a baseline for sustainability initiatives throughout campus. At KU, elements of STARS and the campus sustainability plan align closely with Bold Aspirations, the university’s strategic plan, and Changing for Excellence.

“I’m happy to be recognized with a Bronze rating on our first self-assessment, but our goals are higher,” said Center for Sustainability director Jeff Severin. “The opportunities we’ve identified range from academic and research initiatives as part of the strategic initiative theme, Sustaining the Planet, Powering the World, to administrative areas including purchasing and facilities.”

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 & research; 2) operations; and 3) planning, administration and engagement.

“STARS was developed by the campus sustainability community to provide high standards for recognizing campus sustainability efforts,” said AASHE Executive Director Paul Rowland. “The University of Kansas has demonstrated a substantial commitment to sustainability by achieving a STARS Bronze 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.

About AASHE:
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 here.

For more information about the STARS program, visit here.

The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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