Campus News

September 2, 2011

Take Note

Emory rated gold among sustainability STARS

Emory is one of just 22 to be rated STARS Gold, which is the highest rating achieved so far.

Emory University has received a "Gold" rating in the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS) for its leadership and innovation in university sustainability.

STARS is a self-reporting sustainability evaluation tool developed by the Association for the Advancement Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) for the higher education community.

Of the nearly 264 schools that registered to participate in STARS, 122 have been ranked to date. Emory is one of just 22 to be rated STARS Gold, which is the highest rating achieved so far.

Emory's evaluation by STARS was based on a comprehensive list of credits in three major areas: Education and Research, Operations, and Planning, Administration and Engagement. Based on the percentage of credits earned in these categories, universities are ranked Platinum, Gold, Silver or Bronze.

"The STARS system is the preeminent sustainability rating in higher education, so this ranking is significant and an important honor for Emory," says Ciannat Howett, director of sustainability initiatives at Emory.

This year, Emory received STARS credits for a number of innovative programs such as the Woodruff Health Sciences Center's sustainability programs, including surgical gown reuse and "sharps" container recycling. 

Another recognized initiative was an animal bedding composting project that allows Emory to divert research animal bedding from the landfill by converting the bedding to compost, some of which is used by Campus Services as fertilizer on campus.

Emory also received credit for its sustainable food initiative, including the effort to preserve threatened domestic livestock breeds through Emory's annual Thanksgiving dinner featuring heritage breeds

"Each year we tackle new challenges in order to make Emory more sustainable. Recognition of Emory's efforts and progress with this award is very gratifying," Howett says.

More information about Emory's sustainability efforts can be found on the Sustainability Initiatives website.

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