Monday, July 28, 2014

UNC Earns Gold in National Sustainability Assessment

The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System (STARS) is a comprehensive, objective, and transparent reporting tool that measures sustainability performance of colleges and universities nationwide. STARS participants pursue credits and earn points to achieve a STARS Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum rating.

The Sustainability Office is proud to announce that UNC Chapel Hill has earned a gold rating in STARS 2.0. This achievement recognizes the University's progress and opportunities for improvement in all areas of education, research, operations, planning, administration, engagement, and innovation.

STARS is a valuable tool to help Carolina measure its progress in achieving environmental quality, economic prosperity, and societal well‐being in the campus community and beyond. Comparing Carolina’s first AASHE STARS report, which received a silver rating in 2011, to this recent report, highlights improvement:

  • Energy use is down 33% per square foot since 2003 and potable water use is down 60% per square foot since 2000. 
  • More than 400 researchers, or 15% of the faculty, are engaged in sustainability research.
  • More than 11% of classes incorporate sustainability themes or address sustainability challenges. 

The STARS process is a collaborative, campus-wide effort in assessing and reporting the integration of sustainability into Carolina’s policies, practices, curriculum, research and behaviors. "We are proud to be a charter STARS participant and to attain a STARS Gold rating. Sustainability is a core value at Carolina and we are committed to advancing sustainability in all our endeavors," stated UNC Chancellor Carol Folt in submitting the University's STARS report. The University's complete AASHE STARS report is now publicly available online at