From Sb’s Desk: Wooster takes Silver!

COW on STARS

What’s hot in sustainability right now? The STARS Report.
And guess who just finished one? The College of Wooster.

AASHE, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, initiated a rating system in 2009 and has since rated 280 institutions as Reporter, Bronze, Silver or Gold (no Platinum’s yet). The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) is a comprehensive survey of sustainability in our academic, operational and administrative departments across campus. It accounts for sustainability classes, waste and energy reduction, providing living wages, green student groups, local food, responsible investments, and so much more. You can check out the full report and our answers here: https://stars.aashe.org/institutions/the-college-of-wooster-oh/report/2013-11-12/

We’ve spend the past year ‘tracking and assessing’ our current sustainability efforts. Some new additions to the sustainability work just this year include a local fact sheet for new employees and a definition of ‘sustainability in the curriculum’ that will help us identify sustainability courses.

After all that work, we finalized our answers. Each question has an associated point value, and our score is a percentage of earned points. Our scores in Education (36.3%), Operations (49.9%) and Administration (51.3%) were averaged to reach our final score of 45.81, Silver.

Congratulations Wooster, a silver is a great place to begin our work.

As we earned almost half of all possible points, we also missed some big areas. Our energy consumption, and thus emissions, are still pretty high, but our emissions totals should be lowered after we get collect data on our new natural gas system. We have not identified many sustainability courses, although our new definition of sustainability in the curriculum should help us find more. We don’t have a formal sustainability or climate action plan, and we haven’t been identifying socially responsible investments in our endowment.
If we can target these four areas and work together, I think we can accomplish some truly great things on this campus.

 

If you would like any more information on the Wooster STARS report, please don’t hesitate to contact me at sloder@wooster.edu

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