The past academic year saw a flurry of activity from The New School’s Office for Sustainability, with projects including energy-efficient upgrades, the expansion of composting, the introduction of the Sustainability Pledge, and the second-stage roll-out of The New School Green Fund, and many, many more.
Projects like these are part of an overall effort to significantly reduce the university’s environmental impact. And that’s an effort that involves nearly everyone on campus, from those on the Sustainability Advisory Committee to students who simply remember to recycle their soda cans. So you can pat yourself on the back for The New School’s latest green achievement: the university has just received a Silver STARS rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).
STARS or Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System, is an online self-assessment tool with which The New School and other universities can measure sustainability progress. Our enrollment in STARS has already helped us set and meet sustainability goals, while fostering collaboration and information sharing across our campus. In addition, it will enable us to measure our progress against other institutions (thus, our shiny new Silver rating).
Further, STARS makes all of our sustainability efforts transparent and accessible. STARS is also a long-term planning tool for the university: institutions can submit for higher ratings as frequently as every year. Check out the STARS website offers details on how The New School (and all other participating universities) are making environmental responsibility part of their curriculum and research, operations, administration and planning.