Seeing stars: UW-Green Bay earns strong sustainability rating
Green Bay, Wis.—The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is seeing STARS thanks to a “Silver” environmental rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education AASHE. STARS—the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System—is a program that measures and encourages sustainability in all aspects of higher education. The designation is both a nod to UW-Green Bay’s “Eco U” roots and a springboard for ongoing and future environmental efforts.
The University was also “Silver” in 2017 with a score of 45; but this time, its rating of 54.4 is far closer to the 65-point threshold for “Gold” — a sustainability goal in the years’ ahead.
UW-Green Bay’s Sustainability Coordinator, Daniela Beall, said the University improved more than six points for Academic Courses and another six for Learning Outcomes.
“Overall, academics, and specifically curriculum is where we are strongest for sustainability,” said Beall. “We also earned “innovation and leadership” bonus points for our Campus Cupboard, high Campus Pride Index, Sustainability Projects Fund, Pay Scale Equity, and Sustainability Course Designation. None of this would be possible without partnerships with faculty, staff, students, and community members. I’m excited to continue collaborative efforts to improve our impact, and subsequently our STARS score, and invite anyone interested in supporting these efforts to reach out—we can do so much more together.”
Long known for its Eco U reputation, UW-Green Bay Chancellor Michael Alexander created a focus on sustainability as one of the institutions six key initiatives.
“UW-Green Bay’s participation in STARS provides a valuable measuring tool to help us define and quantify our strengths,” Alexander said. “It also brings to light those areas where we can take action to better meet the challenge of sustainability across the University. One of these priorities is to go back to our roots as Eco U and focus on the sustainability and environmental health of our region. We have hired a University Sustainability Coordinator and aligned all efforts in sustainability under an Office of Sustainability that connects across the University. We are investing in the condition of the natural spaces that we manage and will be hosting the third National Estuary Research Reserve on the Great Lakes. We are fortunate to be next to the largest freshwater estuary in the world and seek to be a leader in sustaining the abundant natural resources that surround our campuses. I am also proud that our students embrace this effort and have even created a student fee to support sustainability efforts at UW-Green Bay.”
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.
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.
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.
About the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
Established in 1965, UW-Green Bay is a public institution serving 8,970 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students and 79,604 continuing education enrollees each year across all campus locations. We educate students from pre-college through retirement and offer 200+ degrees, programs and certificates. UW-Green Bay graduates are resilient, inclusive, sustaining and engaged members of their communities, ready to rise to fearlessly face challenges, solve problems and embrace diverse ideas and people. With four campus locations, the University welcomes students from every corner of the world. UW-Green Bay is the fastest growing school in the UW. For more information, visit www.uwgb.edu.