Waterloo is excited to announce that it has earned a Silver rating on the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System (STARS), a comprehensive reporting framework for post-secondary institutions. The rating recognizes Waterloo’s progress and actions across academics, campus operations, community engagement, and campus planning and governance.
Developed by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), STARS is the most comprehensive and transparent framework around the world for the post-secondary sector to measure and report on campus sustainability efforts.
“I am thrilled that Waterloo was able to achieve the Silver rating,” says Mat Thijssen, the University’s Sustainability Manager. “This speaks to the past and present efforts from many areas of campus. I am grateful for the departments who helped compile information for our submission and who are supporting ongoing action.”
STARS requires participating institutions to submit documentation and data about the following thematic areas:
- Inclusion of sustainability within curriculum and research activities
- Sustainability practices and performance from campus operations, including climate change, energy, waste, transportation, water, food, purchasing, and grounds management
- Efforts to engage students, employees, and wider community in sustainability efforts, and
- Planning and governance practices related to diversity, affordability, participatory governance, and wellbeing among others
Highlights from Waterloo’s submission included substantial academic programming related to sustainability across campus, as well as research efforts, and innovative actions such as hosting the Canadian chapter of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network and participation in the HeForShe IMPACT 10x10x10 framework.
”We certainly are not finished,” says Thijssen. “Waterloo’s Environmental Sustainability Strategy aims to reach STARS Gold by 2025, and achieving the other objectives of the strategy will help us get there. I am encouraged and proud that this confirms we are building off strong foundations.”
Over 870 institutions are members of AASHE, with a large concentration in North America and increasing global presence. Over 420 institutions have earned a rating or have reported through the STARS program, and all submissions are publicly available on the STARS website.