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ASU achieves gold sustainability rating for third time, rates second-highest in US


two people in front of waste bins

Zero Waste Ambassador Jason Vera, a junior in mechanical engineering, show people where to dispose their plates, food scraps and plastic at the ASU Staff Appreciation BBQ luncheon on Feb. 22. The program was coordinated with Zero Waste with the goal to beat last year's landfill diversion rate of 99.7 percent by sorting recyclables and compostables. ASU has received the second-highest AASHE STARS rating in the U.S. for sustainability initiatives. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now

April 26, 2017

Arizona State University’s AASHE STARS rating is third in the world and second in the U.S. for sustainability initiatives.

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS) is a comprehensive tool for measuring sustainability at more than 800 colleges and universities around the world. STARS benchmarks institutions in over 1,000 data points covering academics, engagement, operations, planning and administration, and innovation and leadership.

In ASU’s tri-annual and third STARS submission, ASU continues its climb to the top of the Gold-rated institutions. ASU scored highest in the following percentages of available points:

  • academics and research: 87 percent.
  • campus and public engagement: 95 percent.

“At ASU, sustainability is viewed as an outcome,” said Nichol Luoma, University Business Services associate vice president and sustainability operations officer. “The hard work from the ASU community is paying off, and this rating validates ASU’s commitment to sustainability.”

To achieve this year’s STARS gold rating, ASU built campus and community collaborations to provide world-class education and research sustainability with the first School of Sustainability more than a decade ago. Now, 12.5 percent of ASU’s courses are recognized as sustainability or sustainability-related and 74 percent of academic departments offer sustainability courses.

ASU also made significant progress in air and climate, energy, waste, and water categories, due to a variety of efforts that contributed to overall energy, waste, and water reductions over the last three years.

“We celebrate this recognition. However, we will continue to expand our efforts to ensure ASU remains a global leader in sustainability,” said Mick Dalrymple, University Sustainability Practices director.

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