Campus first in nation to earn 'gold' rank for environmental leadership

By CU-Boulder News Services
By Staff

The University of Colorado at Boulder is the first campus in the nation to rank "gold" for its environmental leadership through the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Ratings System, or STARS.

"This accomplishment is the result of a lot of hard work by countless people in all areas of campus," said Frank Bruno, vice chancellor for administration. "I am honored to help facilitate the efforts of such a dedicated campus community."

STARS is a self-reporting method developed by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, with broad participation by the higher education community. It provides colleges and universities a common set of measurements for gauging progress toward sustainability. The system also facilitates information sharing and builds diversity in the campus sustainability community. Since its launch in January 2010, 234 schools have registered with STARS.

CU-Boulder's ranking, which was submitted with a letter of affirmation by Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano, rated high in all three categories of the STARS assessment: operations; education and research; and planning, administration and engagement.

"Even with our growing campus, we are on track to meet the aggressive 2012 conservation goals outlined in the Governor's Executive Order," said campus conservation officer Moe Tabrizi. "STARS has helped us pinpoint necessary work, benchmarks and improve our performance going forward."

STARS also functions to better inform the many rankings, grades and opinions offered each year by various magazines and organizations.

"Our STARS gold rating is based on credible, transparent data that documents CU's leadership and dedication to sustainability," said Dave Newport, CU Environmental Center director and STARS team leader. "We look forward to the near future when all organizations use STARS to guide their efforts and benchmark with peers."

Other universities currently collecting data to submit for a STARS assessment include Yale, Stanford, Columbia, Cornell, Emory, Rice and UCLA.

To view a list of STARS registrants, available reports and confirmed ratings, visit