CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University has again received a “Gold” designation from the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System, or STARS, the second highest rating a university can receive. Platinum is the highest rating, but no university received that designation this year.
STARS is administered by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, of which OSU is a member. Schools are rated in four large categories of academics; engagement; operations, planning and administration; and one additional innovation category.
“This repeated Gold designation is a great indicator of the comprehensive and consistent nature of OSU’s sustainability work,” said Brandon Trelstad, OSU’s sustainability coordinator.
“It’s a team effort that includes entities beyond the Sustainability Office, like Campus Recycling and the Student Sustainability Initiative,” Trelstad said. “We have established solid programs but are always looking for ways to expand positive impact and demonstrate leadership.”
OSU was the first Oregon university to be rated by STARS, and received a Gold designation in 2011, and again in 2013.
This year, OSU received high marks for its sustainability coordination and planning, its diversity and affordability, and a perfect score on campus engagement. It also earned high marks for academic research, including support and access.
President Edward Ray said that STARS provided a guidepost in helping the university develop programs and initiatives around sustainability.
"The assessment is a valuable tool in forging new conversations and inspiring actions around issues of global importance, like biodiversity, climate change, divestment and social justice," Ray wrote in his submittal letter to the STARS Steering Committee.
Of other participating Oregon institutions, only Portland State University received a Gold designation. Pacific University and Oregon Institute of Technology received “Bronze” designations, and University of Oregon’s designation was “Reporter.”