Bard College Earns Silver Rating on National Evaluation for Sustainability Progress
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—The STARS program of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) has given Bard College a silver rating for its efforts to become a sustainable campus. Bard is a charter participant in the STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System) program, which is essentially a “sustainability report card” that higher education institutions can use to measure their sustainability progress. STARS, the only system of its kind, involves public reporting of comprehensive information related to a college’s or university’s sustainability performance. It provides institutions with a standardized assessment tool to evaluate their progress toward sustainability. The system includes 139 environmental, economic, and social indicators, which are divided into four categories related to campus activities: education and research; operations; planning; administration and engagement; and innovation. All of the requirements for evaluating and scoring an institution are transparent and made publicly available.
Bard Sustainability Coordinator Laurie Husted said she knew that STARS would help broaden the conversation with parts of the campus that hadn’t associated themselves with sustainability, but she was surprised by some of the progress Bard’s Sustainability Council found during the evaluation process. “In one instance we found out we’d had nearly a 30 percent reduction in water usage since our baseline year of 2005,” said Husted. “While we have lots more we can accomplish, it was rewarding to be able to celebrate some progress on the long path toward creating a sustainable institution. Now we have to continue to share our successes and build on them.”
For more information about the STARS program, visit stars.aashe.org, and for more information about sustainability at Bard, visit www.bard.edu/about/sustainability.
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