The University of Washington has the strongest sustainability performance in the Pac-12 and is among the top 10 of all North American universities and colleges according to a new self-rating system to measure sustainability.
The UW is one of more than 230 institutions submitting data to the two-year-old Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System, also known as STARS. When the UW submitted its assessment for the first time this fall, it earned a gold rating. Only platinum, which no institution has yet received, is higher.
The sustainability tracking system is designed to “enable meaningful comparison over time and across institutions using a common set of measurements,” according to the Association for Advancement for Sustainability in Higher Education, its developer.
The impetus for the system came from 13 groups representing hundreds of community college and university housing, business, food services, procurement and planning offices. Input also was sought from organizations interested in using the database, such as the Sierra Club, which annually ranks university sustainability for its “cool schools” list, and Princeton Review with its yearly Green Honor Roll.