Headlines (News Releases)
Laurier receives bronze rating from new sustainability assessment program
Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing
Nov 23/10| For Immediate Release
Sarah English, Sustainability Coordinator
Kevin Crowley, Director, Communications & Public Affairs
WATERLOO – Wilfrid Laurier University has received a bronze rating from the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS), developed by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.
While more than 200 higher education institutions are registered as STARS participants, Laurier is one of the first five North American universities to receive a STARS rating.
“The completion of the STARS program recognizes the hard work of Laurier to become a leader in campus sustainability,” says Laurier’s Sustainability Coordinator Sarah English. “We are pleased to have excelled in areas such as sustainability research, dining services, water consumption and in creating a diverse community and a culture of inclusivity.”
The only program of its kind, STARS involves the public reporting of comprehensive information related to a college or university’s sustainability performance. Participants report achievements in three overall areas: education and research; operations; and planning, administration and engagement. Respectively, Laurier achieved 45 percent, 31 percent and 40 percent of the credits available in each area.
“Even though we have room for improvement, we are making a real effort to minimize our environmental footprint,” says English. “A bronze rating is a positive first step that celebrates the sustainability efforts Laurier has made to date and highlights opportunities to further improve the sustainability of our campuses.”
Recently, Laurier also received its first grade from the College Sustainability Report Card, an annual evaluation of North American colleges and universities committed to improving sustainability on campus. Laurier received a B- in the report, scoring particularly well in the categories of food services and recycling and composting programs.
Last year’s “Going Greener” report by the Council of Ontario Universities recognized Laurier for developing a new Sustainability Policy, as well as for adapting a green cleaning program and Energy Management Plan. Laurier has also been making strides with new sustainable building designs, such as the Laurier Brantford Research & Academic Centre designed to achieve LEED certification, and improved food waste and sustainable transportation programs.
The results of the STARS assessment and the College Sustainability Report Card will aid Laurier in developing a Sustainability Action Plan in 2011. The information can also be used to chart the university’s progress from year to year and to compare sustainability efforts with other universities.
For more information about the STARS program, visit www.aashe.org/stars.