INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis has earned a Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System silver rating in recognition of its sustainability achievements.
The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education rating system is a voluntary, self-reporting tool for university campuses to benchmark their sustainability progress and compare with others, said Colleen McCormick, director of the IUPUI Office of Sustainability. Keith Bryan, an IUPUI biology major, worked with the Office of Sustainability to coordinate the data gathering and reporting efforts for IUPUI.
“We are proud to have earned a silver rating,” McCormick said. “We look forward to growing our sustainability efforts and improving through this program.”
IUPUI’s rating is based on the average of the percentage of applicable points earned in each of the three main categories: Education and Research; Operations; and Planning, Administration and Engagement.
Within those categories, IU PUI reported on a broad range of information related to its sustainability performance, including sustainability-focused courses; sustainability learning outcomes; faculty engaged in sustainability research; building design and construction; greenhouse gas emission inventory; trayless dining; vegan dining; building energy consumption; clean and renewable energy; LED lighting; native plants; wildlife habitat; mass transit program; and car sharing.
McCormick listed a number of reasons to participate in the rating system:
— It provides a framework for understanding sustainability in all sectors of higher education.
— It enables meaningful comparisons over time and across institutions using a common set of measurements developed with broad participation from the campus sustainability community.
— It creates incentives for continual improvement toward sustainability It facilitates information sharing about higher education sustainability practices and performance.
— It builds a stronger, more diverse campus sustainability community.
“STARS provides a standard framework for measuring the success of the campus efforts to reach sustainability goals,” McCormick said.