Silver rating shows strength in sustainability education and programs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 7, 2013
Contact: Kristin Pitts
(816) 235-6678, firstname.lastname@example.org
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The University of Missouri-Kansas City has received a STARS Silver Rating in recognition of sustainability achievements. The rating comes from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).
STARS, the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System, is a new program that measures and encourages sustainability in all aspects of higher education. The STARS framework has given UMKC a baseline assessment of its award-winning sustainability efforts.
Over the past few years, the university has made significant steps toward making the campus more sustainable. The university has reduced waste, increased recycling efforts, and provided green transportation opportunities, among other things. These efforts not only have a positive impact on the environment, but save the university money as well. In addition, UMKC has set a goal of reducing its carbon print 30 percent by 2020.
The university scored well in several of the STARS’ categories, but received particularly high marks for its co-curricular education programs and sustainability planning and coordination. These programs are spearheaded by the UMKC Sustainability Team, which has more than 130 members campus-wide, comprised of students, faculty and staff. The team leads outreach programs, a peer-to-peer student education program with participation in Recyclemania, a national competition, and has been influential in getting the university to be more sustainable at all levels – from dining services to landscaping. These efforts continue in the classroom. The university offers undergraduate and graduate programs in sustainability.
“We’re committed to creating a more sustainable future, both at UMKC and in the Kansas City area. Regular use of the STARS program will keep us on the right track,” Kaye Johnston, sustainability coordinator, said.
AASHE’s STARS program is the only one of its kind that involves publicly reporting comprehensive information related to a college or university’s sustainability performance. Participants report achievements in three overall areas: 1) education & research, 2) operations, and 3) planning, administration & engagement.
“STARS was developed by the campus sustainability community to provide high standards for recognizing campus sustainability efforts,” Paul Rowland, AASHE executive director, said. “UMKC has demonstrated a substantial commitment to sustainability by achieving a STARS Silver Rating, and is to be congratulated for their efforts.”
About the University of Missouri-Kansas City
The University of Missouri-Kansas City, one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 15,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a four-part mission: life and health sciences; visual and performing arts; urban issues and education; and a vibrant learning and campus life experience. For more information about UMKC, visit www.umkc.edu. You can also find us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and watch us on YouTube.
AASHE is an association of colleges and universities that are working to create a sustainable future. AASHE’s mission is to empower higher education to lead the sustainability transformation. It provides resources, professional development and a network of support to enable institutions of higher education to model and advance sustainability in everything they do, from governance and operations to education and research. For more information about AASHE, visit www.aashe.org.
For more information about the STARS program, visit stars.aashe.org.
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