Case Western Reserve University has earned a STARS Silver rating in recognition of its sustainability achievements from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). STARS, the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System, measures and encourages sustainability in all aspects of higher education.
An institution’s STARS score is based on the percentage of applicable points it earns across four main categories of credits: Academics, Engagement, Operations, and Planning & Administration. CWRU earned a total score of 58.96 to earn a Silver rating which is between 45 and 65 points. This is the first year that CWRU publicly reported its data to be given a published score.
CWRU’s STARS report is publicly available on the STARS website.
CWRU gained all points available in the educational outreach and sustainability literacy credits which most participating institutions did not. CWRU also earned more points than similar research institutions in water usage, greenhouse gas emissions, building energy consumption, local and sustainable food purchasing as well as electronic purchasing areas.
More than 800 participating institutes of higher education in 30 countries take part in the STARS program. The highest possible STARS rating is Platinum, over 85 points. Currently, only four institutions have earned this prestigious rating with the University of California, Irvine earning the highest score of 86.82. Peer institution Carnegie Mellon received a score of 58.99, Silver, while both the University of Washington in St. Louis (66.18) and Emory (70.12) both earned Gold. In Ohio, ten schools have earned Silver (CSU, Miami U, OU, Stark State College, College of Wooster, Mount Union, and four OSU branches) and five have obtained Gold (OSU, Oberlin, Denison, University of Cincinnati, University of Dayton). Many additional Ohio schools did not receive a score (below 25) or did not publicly report.
STARS is a self-reporting tool: the CWRU Office for Sustainability gathers data and information to submit annually to AASHE. Many departments and groups on campus including dining and Bon Appetite, procurement, facilities, grounds, institutional research, access services, the registrar and more help assemble the data with the Office.
Stephanie Corbett, Energy and Sustainability Director, says, “Sustainability implementation crosses all departments and divisions at CWRU. We are grateful to have such strong campus partners that champion sustainability practices and programs and are especially thankful to the many individuals who help us gather this benchmarking data annually. It’s important to publically share sustainability data and we are always actively looking for ways to improve the University’s footprint to obtain a Gold ranking.”