HSU Builds on Commitment to Sustainability with STARS

After months of collaboration among various campus groups and departments, Humboldt State has been named a top school for sustainability by STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System), a nationwide program that measures the sustainability performance of colleges and universities across the nation.

HSU received a STARS rating of silver from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Education, or AASHE, which administers the program. The months-long process incorporated input from various campus groups and departments regarding HSU’s sustainability practices.

STARS was a much-needed first step in assessing the university’s sustainability practices, compared to other higher education institutions,” said HSU’s Sustainability Office Director TallChief Comet. “It gives the university a great starting point from which to improve its practices and know what we are doing well.”

STARS is a comprehensive self-assessment tool that awards credits in three categories: education & research, operations, and planning, administration & engagement. Institutions receive a rating of bronze, silver, gold or platinum and can renew their assessment after three years.

Over the next few months, the Office of Sustainability will work with campus departments to identify potential areas of improvement in each of the three assessment categories. Once the improvements have been implemented, the university will renew its STARS assessment in the fall of 2015. “I believe it’s realistically achievable for us to receive a gold rating by 2016,” Comet said.

HSU is one of only six schools in the 23-campus California State University system to participate in STARS. Of the six CSU campuses, Monterey Bay is the only school to have earned a gold rating. Nationwide, 65 schools have earned bronze, 132 silver and 47 gold. No schools have earned platinum. 257 institutions currently participate in STARS. For more information, visit stars.aashe.org.

HSU’s upholds its commitment to sustainability through several green programs and initiatives. Most recently, the university was named one of Princeton Review’s green colleges for 2013. For more on sustainability practices at HSU, visit humboldt.edu/green or humboldt.edu/sustainability.