CU-Boulder again has received a gold rating for green practices from the Sustainability, Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) -- a self-reporting method to provide colleges and universities a common set of measurements and overall ratings to gauge sustainability achievements.
CU-Boulder was the first in the nation to rate gold in 2010, the inaugural year of STARS, which issues ratings on a three-year basis. To date, no campus has achieved a platinum rating -- the highest possible level.
Highlights of CU-Boulder’s STARS gold rating include:
- Nearly a quarter of all courses at CU-Boulder contain sustainability content. Some of those courses focus entirely on sustainability.
- Numerous classes use the campus as a living sustainability laboratory, studying food and dining services, air quality, climate action, health and wellness, green building, energy systems, sustainable transportation, water and zero-waste efforts at CU-Boulder.
- Two-thirds of campus academic departments have faculty who conduct sustainability research, over 330 faculty do nothing but sustainability research, and geoscience research alone brings in more than $100 million a year in grants from the National Science Foundation and other funders.
- CU-Boulder’s emission of global greenhouse gases (GHG) has flattened despite a nearly 19 percent growth in campus facilities since 2005. CU-Boulder expects to attain its goal of a 20 percent reduction in GHG emissions by 2020.
- CU-Boulder performs particularly well in the STARS engagement category, receiving 39.22 points out of a possible 42 points, for student orientation, student life, outreach and educators programs along with numerous staff and community stakeholder efforts centered on sustainability partnerships.
- Nearly 27 percent of CU-Boulder’s food purchases support local and community-based producers.
- A total of 17 CU-Boulder facilities have received LEED certifications -- a U.S. benchmark for sustainable building design, construction and maintenance -- including five LEED platinum and 11 LEED gold ratings, as well as one LEED silver rating. Several more are in the pipeline for LEED gold, platinum or “beyond platinum” certifications.
- CU-Boulder is nearly at a 45 percent recycling rate -- halfway to its goal of a 90 percent recycling rate by 2020. Groundbreaking for a new recycling center on main campus has occurred, and the facility is slated to be operational by June 2015. Coupled with expanded recycling efforts such as compost collections in all campus facilities, CU-Boulder expects to attain zero-waste -- or near it -- by 2020.