Cal State Fullerton has again earned a silver rating in the Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating System (STARS).
STARS is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. It was developed by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) with participation from the higher education community.
“STARS is an excellent opportunity to benchmark our campus’s social, economic and environmental sustainability against similar institutions internationally,” said Megan Moscol, sustainability programs manager in facilities operations and management. “Participation gives us the opportunity to showcase our strengths, such as diversity and accessibility, as well as highlight areas and strategies for improvement.
“Our participation in STARS also provided the basis for our inclusion in Sierra Magazine’s Cool Schools rankings for the first time this year, as well as our addition to the Princeton Review’s Guide to Green Schools,” Moscol noted.
The five-tier rating system is a review of sustainability efforts in the following areas:
- curriculum and research, including incentives for developing courses with green or sustainable components and use of the campus as a living laboratory
- campus engagement, such as an outreach campaign, staff professional development public engagement, including community partnerships and intercampus collaboration
- operations, including efforts to lessen greenhouse gas emissions, improve indoor air quality, landscape management, purchases of green cleaning products, water minimization and rainwater management
- planning and administration, including diversity and affordability, workplace health and safety, a wellness program, investment and innovation
Among the highlights in the 2015 STARS report, including improvements between the 2015 and the 2012 STARS report:
- two sustainability-titled courses (up from 0)
- 176 sustainability-related courses (up from 95)
- 48 percent departments (up from 42 percent)
- three undergraduate concentrations or certificates that are sustainability-focused
- two graduate programs
- campus sustainability training and engagement now incorporated into student, staff and faculty orientations
- establishment of a campus virtual tour, “A Sustainable Campus,” online map
- development of 10 community partnerships through the U-ACRE program; an additional nine partnerships with local, regional and national organizations
- engagement via campus partners to educate campus members and promote campus sustainability programs through coursework, such as the Campus as a Living Lab academic program
In addition, the campus earned innovation credits for the University’s 1.16MW solar panel system, collaboration with the PowerSave Campus students on various projects and Hazardous Waste Training Program with Environmental Health and Safety.
CSUF’s report is available here.