Wake Forest University has been rated Silver for its sustainability efforts by the Sustainability, Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS) developed by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).
Like the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED system for buildings, STARS gives ratings of Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum.
Nearly 230 institutions use the assessment system to report achievements and receive points in three main categories: education and research, operations, and planning, administration and engagement. According to Wake Forest’s scorecard, the university excelled in administrative coordination and collaboration between students, faculty and the greater Winston-Salem community.
Wake Forest was among the first universities to join STARS. “AASHE engaged colleges and universities across the country and Canada in developing sustainability indicators that are specific to higher education and completely transparent,” said Director of Sustainability, Dedee DeLongpré Johnston.
This year, the university expanded the boundary of the assessment to include university-owned properties beyond the campus borders such as Graylyn International Conference Center, Reynolda House Museum of American Art, the University Corporate Center, the Reynolda Business Center, and the athletic facilities on Deacon Boulevard.
“The Office of Sustainability is like the hub of a bicycle wheel,” said DeLongpré Johnston. “The people on and off-campus working to create a sustainable environment are the spokes, and we’re here to empower them to lead the change.”
According to DeLongpré Johnston, STARS allows universities to measure continuous improvement in sustainability efforts and learn from one another. In the upcoming year, Wake Forest will build on this year’s success by investing more time in education and research, with a new curriculum workshop for faculty and upcoming projects related to energy and climate change.
Unlike other rating or ranking systems, this program is open to all institutions of higher education in the U.S. or 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 Wake Forest University:
Wake Forest University combines the best traditions of a small liberal arts college with the resources of a large research university. Founded in 1834, the school is located in Winston-Salem, N.C. The University’s graduate school of arts and sciences, divinity school, and nationally ranked schools of law, medicine and business enrich our intellectual environment. Learn more about Wake Forest University at www.wfu.edu.
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