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August 1, 2011

Emory continues to lead in campus sustainability by achieving a “Gold” rating in the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS).

STARS is a self-reporting sustainability evaluation tool developed by the Association for the Advancement Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), with broad participation from the higher education community. Emory’s evaluation by STARS was based on a comprehensive list of credits in three major areas: Education & Research (ER), Operations (OP), and Planning, Administration & Engagement (PAE). Based on the percentage of credits earned in these categories, universities are ranked Platinum, Gold, Silver, or Bronze.

Of the nearly 170 schools that registered to participate in STARS, 69 have been ranked to date. Emory is one of just 14 to be rated STARS Gold, which is the highest rating achieved so far.

“The STARS system is the preeminent sustainability rating in higher education, so this ranking is significant and an important honor for Emory,” says Ciannat Howett, director, Sustainability Initiatives. “Each year we tackle new challenges in order to make Emory more sustainable. Recognition of Emory’s efforts and progress with this award is very gratifying.”

This year, Emory received STARS credits for a number of innovative programs, including an animal bedding composting project that allows Emory to divert research animal bedding from the landfill by converting the bedding to nutrient-rich compost, some of which is used by Campus Services as fertilizer on campus. This project supports Emory’s sustainability goal to divert 95% of animal bedding and food waste from landfills by 2015 compared to 2005 baseline levels.

Emory was also recognized for innovation in its Woodruff Health Sciences Center’s sustainability programs, including surgical gown reuse and “sharps” container recycling. Emory also received credit for its sustainable food initiative, including the effort to preserve threatened domestic livestock breeds through our annual Thanksgiving dinner featuring heritage breeds. Overall, Emory’s gold rating was a reflection of a culture of sustainable practices runs throughout the many parts of the University—from Residence Life’s sustainability themed housing to Human Resources’ sustainable compensation policies to innovative research and curriculum development in the classroom.

To view Emory's STARS submission please click here to access the report. More information about Emory’s sustainability efforts can be found on the Sustainability Initiatives website at http://sustainability.emory.edu.


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