IUPUI to measure sustainability performance of campus
Office of Sustainability View print-quality image
September 12, 2012
- Rich Schneider
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The Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis Office of Sustainability will soon be asking various campus departments for information that will be used to measure the sustainability performance of the campus through a program of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.
The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System, or STARS, is a voluntary, self-reporting tool for university campuses to benchmark their sustainability progress and compare with others, said Colleen McCormick.
STARS is a program of AASHE, an organization of more than 1,000 colleges and universities that are working to create a sustainable future. IUPUI has recently renewed its AASHE membership.
There are number of reasons to use STARS, McCormick said. It:
•Provides a framework for understanding sustainability in all sectors of higher education.
•Enables meaningful comparisons over time and across institutions using a common set of measurements developed with broad participation from the campus sustainability community.
•Creates incentives for continual improvement toward sustainability.
•Facilitates information sharing about higher education sustainability practices and performance.
•Builds a stronger, more diverse campus sustainability community.
“STARS provides a standard framework for measuring the success of campus efforts to reach sustainability goals,” McCormick said.
The campus membership in AASHE also allows IUPUI faculty, staff and students to use AASHE’s online resources and opportunities for networking, information sharing, collaboration and professional development, McCormick said.
Individuals at IUPUI can create their own account to access member-only pages on AASHE’s website and receive member discounts. The campus can subscribe to any AASHE newsletters such as AASHE Bulletin, a weekly e-newsletter with the latest campus sustainability news, resources, opportunities, and events, or AASHE Events which notifies readers about AASHE’s annual conference, workshop, webinars and other AASHE-hosted events.
AASHE’s online Resource Center includes assessment tools, policy and program databases, best practices, campus profiles, how-to guides, reports, discussion forums, and other resources.
Members of the IUPUI community can also take advantage of member discounts to attend AASHE workshops and webinars throughout the year, plus an annual conference that brings together every sector of higher education as well as business, government, and non-profit participants.
AASHE also maintains an online directory of campus sustainability/environmental officers.
For more information about AASHE and STARS, visit: