University of Calgary receives STARS Gold Rating for sustainability achievements



CALGARY, ALBERTA–(Marketwired – Oct. 21, 2013) – The University of Calgary has earned a STARS Gold Rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) in recognition of its sustainability achievements and is currently the top scoring institution in Canada.

“Sustainability is a core value and a key objective for us at the University of Calgary, and we are very proud to have achieved a STARS Gold Rating for our sustainability accomplishments,” says President Elizabeth Cannon. “This is an important milestone in our commitment to excellence and leadership in advancing the pursuit of sustainability in teaching, research, community service, and operations.”

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS), is a program that measures and encourages sustainability in all aspects of higher education. At the University of Calgary, sustainability is a core value in the Eyes High strategic vision and is one of seven academic priorities in the 2012 Academic Plan.

Today the university is proud to not only have a gold rating but to also be a leader in the country with the highest overall score achieved to date and the 4th highest score in North America within the category of Operations.

“This outcome is the result of the leadership and the collective effort of many individuals including our students, faculty, and staff as well as partners in the community. Our campus community’s commitment to sustainability and enthusiasm towards making change happen is inspiring,” says Joanne Perdue, University of Calgary’s chief sustainability officer.

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 and research, 2) operations, and 3) planning, administration & engagement.

Unlike other rating or ranking systems, this program is open to all institutions of higher education in the U.S. and Canada, and the criteria that determine a STARS rating are transparent and accessible to anyone. Because STARS is a program based on credits earned, it allows for both internal comparisons as well as comparisons with similar institutions. There are also 45 international institutions participating in a STARS international pilot program.

STARS reports for all participating institutions are accessible through the AASHE website.

October 21-25th is Sustainability Awareness Week at the University of Calgary. The university will release its 2012-13 Institutional Sustainability Report in late November.

About the University of Calgary

The University of Calgary is a leading Canadian university located in the nation’s most enterprising city. The university has a clear strategic direction to become one of Canada’s top five research universities by 2016, where research and innovative teaching go hand in hand, and where we fully engage the communities we both serve and lead. This strategy is called Eyes High, inspired by the university’s Gaelic motto, which translates as ‘I will lift up my eyes.’

For more information, visit ucalgary.ca. Stay up to date with University of Calgary news headlines on Twitter @UCalgary and in our media centre at ucalgary.ca/news/media.


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