Taylor University Earns Bronze Rating for SustainabilityBy Kevin Crosby Published: Mar 14, 2012
Taylor University has earned a STARS Bronze Rating in recognition of sustainability achievements from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). STARS, an acronym for Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System, measures and encourages sustainability in all aspects of higher education.
According to Kevin Crosby, Taylor’s coordinator of stewardship and sustainability, STARS is a sustainability-focused system that assesses environmental factors, social and economic factors. Participating colleges and universities engage in self-study and reporting to AASHE.
STARS considers environmental, social, and economic factors facing higher education institutions. Participants report achievements in three overall areas: 1) education and research, 2) operations, and 3) planning, administration and engagement. Taylor is one of 146 charter participants, out of a total of 307 participating institutions, to receive a STARS rating. To date, Taylor is one of only three institutions in the 116-member Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) to be rated.
“Taylor’s STARS Bronze rating is a welcome acknowledgement of our campus’ deep and growing commitment to fiscal stewardship, just treatment of our employees and neighbors, and environmental responsibility,” said Crosby. “We look forward to watching our sustainability efforts grow and improve with what we have learned through the STARS program.”
John Stanson, a Taylor master of environmental science student, was a participant in the self-study that led to the rating. “Working on this assessment was both educational and eye-opening,” Stanson said. “Being an environmental science student, I realize the importance of sustainability and the impact that we as a university can have. I’m glad to have been a part of this process and I am excited that Taylor is taking such huge strides in this area.”
An institution’s STARS score is based on the average of the percentage of applicable points it earns in each of the three main categories of STARS credits (i.e. Education and Research, Operations, and Planning, Administration and Engagement). Any Innovation Credits earned are then added to this average determining the total STARS score.
“STARS was developed by the campus sustainability community to provide high standards for recognizing campus sustainability efforts,” said AASHE Executive Director Paul Rowland. “Taylor University has demonstrated a substantial commitment to sustainability by achieving a STARS Bronze Rating and is to be congratulated for their efforts.”
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.