The University of Louisville has placed near the top in a national rating system that tracks how well colleges and universities across the country reduce their environmental impact while remaining socially and economically responsible.
UofL has earned a Silver designation in the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS) developed by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. The association, founded in 2005, encourages campuses throughout the U.S. and Canada to adopt practices that are environmentally, socially, and economically-responsible.
UofL is among only a handful of schools to receive a Silver designation, the association’s third-highest rating. Only one, the University of Colorado-Boulder, has placed higher with a STARS Gold. No school has yet earned the highest STARS designation, a Platinum.
Assistant provost for sustainability Justin Mog said the university registered as a charter participant in STARS and started collecting data soon after the rating system was created. The school reported data on dozens of credit areas such as energy efficiency, sustainability curriculum, climate action planning, diversity and affordability, and public engagement. Points earned on credits across the three broad categories of Operations, Education & Research, and Administration are averaged together to create a total score.
UofL earned 50.11 points, exceeding the 45 points needed to qualify for Silver.
In a related development, UofL was notified last week that its $44 million Center for Predictive Medicine biosafety research lab on Shelby Campus has earned a Gold Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. It is the third UofL building to earn a LEED Gold award.
The rating is valid for the next three years, “though we may submit for a new rating sooner, and all of our STARS data will soon be publicly available at the STARS Web page,” said Mog.
Never before has UofL made such a comprehensive, university-wide effort to assess sustainability Mog indicated that the payoff goes way beyond STARS ratings. While UofL is in an elite class of only three other schools with Silver and one with Gold, Mog said “the process has really helped focus our highly varied sustainability initiatives. It’s now clear what we’re doing well and what areas we need to continue working on.”
Grace. Peace. Bicycle Grease.
PS: Remember, every lane is a bike lane. Share the road.
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Enjoy the ride home.
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