BLACKSBURG, Va., April 11, 2011 – Virginia Tech has announced its participation in a new program to encourage sustainability in all aspects of higher education. The program, called the Sustainability, Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS), is administered by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.
Approximately, 230 colleges and universities, including Virginia Tech, are currently participating in the program. Virginia Tech is registered as a charter institution.
In 2009 the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors approved the Virginia Tech Climate Action Commitment and its accompanying sustainability plan which requires the university to prepare an annual report showing progress towards achieving targets in the plan. The STARS program is nationally recognized and is an effective tool for this purpose.
“Virginia Tech will be a leader in campus sustainability and our climate action commitment provides clear direction for this effort,” said Denny Cochrane, the sustainability program manager in the Office of Energy and Sustainability. “We have made extraordinary progress in advancing sustainability on campus in a very brief period of time, and the STARS program will allow us to track that progress very effectively.”
The STARS program publicly reports comprehensive information related to a college or university’s sustainability performance. Participants report achievements in three overall areas: education and research; campus operations; and planning, administration, and engagement.
STARS is available to all colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the criteria that determine a STARS rating are transparent and accessible. Because the program is based on credits earned, it allows for both internal comparisons as well as comparisons with similar institutions.
In the coming weeks, the Office of Energy and Sustainability will be contacting university departments to collect information on what each is doing in regards to sustainability.
Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.