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Recognizing Emory’s sustainability initiatives

2011 August 15
by Hal Jacobs

 

Emory University has received a “Gold” rating in the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS) for its leadership and innovation in university sustainability.

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 and Research, Operations, and Planning, Administration and Engagement. 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 of sustainability initiatives at Emory.  “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 such as 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 Emory’s annual Thanksgiving dinner featuring heritage breeds.

 

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