University of Michigan’s sustainability performance continues to earn a gold rating by the international Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System.
U-M is one of 124 institutions earning a gold STARS rating this year, and among more than 900 colleges and universities around the globe using the STARS reporting tool.
Developed by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, STARS uses a self-reporting framework to benchmark sustainability efforts in the areas of academics, engagement, operations, planning and administration, and innovation.
“Sustainability is an institutional priority at the University of Michigan, and we are committed to playing a leadership role on this topic of critical importance,” says President Mark Schlissel in the university’s submission letter.
“STARS enables us to benchmark our performance and measure our progress over time, which will assist us greatly in our goal to foster meaningful progress toward sustainability on local-to-global scales.”
Among the key efforts leading to the university’s STARS recognition are:
• Offering sustainability-related courses.
• Engaging the campus in sustainability, such as providing free, reusable water bottles to new faculty, staff and students.
• Supporting projects demonstrating the use of campus as a living laboratory, including the installation of solar powered charging stations and the collaboration of faculty and staff researching GHG emission reduction opportunities for campus.
• Assessing the culture of sustainability through the Sustainability Cultural Indicators Program.
• Using sustainability best practices in Michigan Dining programming, such as serving food grown at the Campus Farm and hosting M Farmers Markets.
• Energy conservation and greenhouse gas emission-reduction efforts.
This is the third STARS rating for the university. U-M’s previously earned a silver rating in 2012 and rose to a gold rating in 2015. The ratings expire after three years.
Data collection for the STARS submission was co-led by the Graham Sustainability Institute and the Office of Campus Sustainability.