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NC State Receives Gold Rating for Sustainability

NC State University has earned a Gold rating in recognition of its sustainability achievements from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).

AASHE’s Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS) report is the most widely recognized framework in the world for publicly reporting comprehensive information related to a college or university’s sustainability performance.

With a Gold rating, NC State ranks in the top
third of the nearly than 250 institutions with a
current STARS rating for sustainability.

NC State’s score and Gold rating ranks the university in the top third of the nearly 250 schools with a current STARS rating.

“We are proud of the sustainability progress that NC State has made,” said Carla Davis, director of the University Sustainability Office, which oversees the STARS submission. “Our students, faculty and staff should be congratulated for their efforts as a Gold rating demonstrates a substantial commitment to sustainability.”

Open to all institutions of higher education, STARS measures sustainability in five areas: academics, engagement, operations, planning and administration, and innovation and leadership. Points are earned and calculated as a percentage of points possible, which equates to a Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum rating that is valid for three years. This is the second Gold rating that NC State has earned and its highest score yet.

NC State’s score improved nearly 2.5% in part due to recent advances such as an interactive database of sustainability-related courses and the launch of a campus sustainability internship program called Campus As A Classroom.

NC State’s stewardship of financial and natural resources also contributed to the Gold rating. Last fiscal year campus energy use declined 35% per gross square foot as compared to 2002, and water use dropped 59% per gross square foot from the 2001 baseline. More than half of all campus waste is diverted from the landfill through recycling, composting or reuse. Also, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification is achieved for major campus construction and renovation projects, including the recently-completed Carmichael Wellness and Recreation Center and Fitts-Woolard Hall which both earned LEED Silver certification.

“The NC State community has a lot to be proud of,” said Jessica Bast, University Sustainability Office program coordinator who manages the months-long data collection effort required to achieve a STARS rating. “We look forward to watching our sustainability efforts grow.”

STARS Gold is the latest sustainability recognition for NC State, which last year received an AASHE Campus Sustainability Achievement Award and was ranked by the Times Higher Education among the top 200 universities in the world for global sustainability impact. The university also holds national sustainability-related certifications from Tree Campus USA, Bee Campus USA, Green Seal and as a Bicycle Friendly University.

NC State’s complete STARS report is available online.