UW Today

November 25, 2015

University of Washington receives gold sustainability rating from STARS

UW Sustainability

The University of Washington is among the most sustainable schools in North America, according to the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS).

The UW submitted its most recent self-reported assessment this fall and received a gold rating, with a score of 77.47 percent. The UW’s score is the best among Pac-12 universities which have submitted a STARS report, and the third-highest of the 252 currently rated schools.

The STARS ratings, administered by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, are good for three years. The UW renewed its gold rating with the most recent submission, increasing its score from the previous 70.23 the university received in 2012.

“Our STARS gold rating is testimony of the commitment and dedication of UW’s students, faculty and staff. UW continues to lead other higher education institutions with sustainability leadership, and we strive to continue on this tradition through support and encouragement of collaborations taking place across our campus with leading edge discovery, operations and teaching,” said Ruth Johnston, associate vice president of UW Sustainability.

Gold is the second-highest possible rating in STARS. Colorado State University is the only institution to reach a platinum rating, which it did earlier this year.

The UW submitted documentation to answer questions for 74 separate credits as part of the review. UW Sustainability coordinated the reporting effort, which started in late 2014 for the fall 2015 submission and involved sustainability leaders from more than 30 departments across campus. Information about the UW’s performance in areas including academics, operations, engagement, and planning and administration were included in the report.

The UW also received credit for several innovative practices, including the Green Laboratory Certification program, the UW Tower Data Center Energy Reduction Initiative, UW Transportation Services initiatives to reduce commuter emissions and the on-campus composting program.

All STARS reports are publicly available. The University of Washington’s report can be viewed here.

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