Willimantic, Conn. – Eastern Connecticut State University has just renewed its Silver rating through the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS), a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. The system is provided by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). This is the second report submitted by the University. Eastern’s first STARS report was awarded a Silver designation in 2012; the school files a report every three years.
STARS reviews university operations such as cleaning, waste removal, curriculum, research, financial aid and more in a thorough and methodical manner. The process measures success and also identifies areas where improvements can be made. The STARS report allows Eastern to showcase its sustainability commitment to faculty and students, as well as other universities.
“Maintaining a silver rating on the AASHE STARS assessment is a great achievement for Eastern. Over the years our commitment to sustainability has been growing and this designation is proof that we are headed in the right direction,” said Eastern President Elsa Núñez. “The STARS report allows us to compare our efforts to those of our peer institutions and serves as a roadmap of opportunities to make our campus more sustainable.”
One highlight of Eastern’s latest report includes the establishment of the Connecticut Alliance for Campus Sustainability in 2014. The alliance includes participants from 24 of Connecticut’s 36 higher education institutions and is co-chaired by Eastern’s Institute for Sustainable Energy and Yale University’s Office of Sustainability. The alliance has hosted two annual conferences, sponsored two themed roundtable events, and in 2015 launched the first statewide Campus Sustainability Week. A significant benefit of the alliance is that it enables sustainability professionals to connect with peers at other institutions, learn about best practices and incentive opportunities, and bring ideas back to their own campuses.
Eastern’s full AASHE STARS report can be found at https://stars.aashe.org/institutions/eastern-connecticut-state-university-ct/report/2016-01-11/ .