Bennington College Receives STARS Silver Rating for Sustainability Achievements
Bennington College has earned a STARS Silver rating in recognition of its sustainability achievements from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).
STARS, the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System measures and encourages sustainability in all aspects of higher education.
Bennington College’s STARS report is publicly available on the STARS website.
For years, Bennington College has had sustainability and sustainable education in mind with all college operations through working groups, curriculum, and planning. The College publicly committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2030 by becoming a signatory of the American College and University Presidents climate Commitment through Second Nature. More information can be found here. The College reported on emissions information and integrated greenhouse gas emissions reduction in our operations and capital planning. This more recent reporting through the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education is a new tool to help guide the college’s sustainability efforts through every office. This reporting and commitment reviews carbon emissions, as well as other aspects of college operations, such as admissions travel, dining services, paper use—really every aspect of the college’s operations.
“This is exciting recognition for Bennington’s creative and comprehensive approach to institutional operations,” said President Laura Walker. “In everything we do, we try to consider the long-term environmental, economic and ethical implications.”
With more than 900 participants in 40 countries, AASHE’s STARS program is the most widely recognized framework in the world for publicly reporting comprehensive information related to a college or university’s sustainability performance. Participants report achievements in five overall areas: 1) academics 2) engagement, 3) operations, 4) planning and administration, and 5) innovation and leadership.
“STARS was developed by the campus sustainability community to provide high standards for recognizing campus sustainability efforts,” said AASHE Executive Director Meghan Fay Zahniser. “Bennington College has demonstrated a substantial commitment to sustainability by achieving a STARS Silver Rating and is to be congratulated for their efforts.”
Unlike other rating or ranking systems, this program is open to all institutions of higher education, and the criteria that determine a STARS rating are transparent and accessible to anyone. Because STARS is a program based on credits earned, it allows for both internal comparisons as well as comparisons with similar institutions.
“We are very proud to have achieved a silver STARS rating for our sustainability accomplishments. We look forward to continuing our sustainability efforts on campus with the help of the STARS program,” said Holly Anne Andersen, Project Manager for the Planning Office.
AASHE is an association of colleges and universities that are working to create a sustainable future. AASHE’s mission is to empower higher education to lead the sustainability transformation. It provides resources, professional development and a network of support to enable institutions of higher education to model and advance sustainability in everything they do, from governance and operations to education and research. For more information about AASHE, visit www.aashe.org.
For more information about the STARS program, visit stars.aashe.org.