Tag Archives: sustainability monitoring

Shoot for the STARS

2 Nov

As we all know, the University of Waterloo has a long to way to go to achieve a sustainable campus. However, everything UWSP and its working groups do is a step closer. How can we best keep track of our efforts and assess their success? Afterall, we don’t want all our efforts to go to waste. I propose taking advantage of a new tool  developed by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (ASSHE).

ASSHE is an association of universities and colleges working towards a more sustainable future. Unfortunately UW is not currently a member but that would be a first step. The next step would be to sign up for the new tool they’ve developed called  the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS). STARS is a framework for which universities can assess their progress towards a sustainable campus. Sustainability is measured in terms of many categories including buildings, dining services, energy, transportation, planning, administration and many more.

STARS sets out a scoring system based on the information imputed for each category. For example, it looks at how many buildings on campus are LEED certified or equivalent versus the number that are not. The points from all catergories are added up to give an overall measure of campus sustainability. The overall score can be usd to assess progress by camparing one year’s score to the next of it can be used to assess how one university is doing compared to others who have signed up for the STARS program.

UW could greatly betnefit from the use of such a tool. We would be able to measure our progress and success. We could use these numbers to pressure administration to make big changes on our campus. I ask you to join me in encouraging the University of Waterloo in working towards a more sustainable campus through the use of STARS.

For more information check out http://www.aashe.org/stars/index.php.

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