Gold for UVic in international sustainability rating system

- Melanie Groves

The new Campus Bike Centre, LEED Gold buildings, staff and student sustainability action teams, recycling and composting programs... UVic's committment to sustainability has resulted in a gold rating in the Sustainability, Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS), administered by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).

UVic is the fifth Canadian university to achieve a gold rating under the STARS system, and the first using the updated version 2.0 reporting system. Only 56 or approximately 18 per cent of the 300 institutions in Canada and the US who have participated in STARS have received a gold rating.

“The university’s STARS submission and gold-level rating highlight the progress that has been achieved in advancing sustainability across campus,” says Gayle Gorrill, Vice-President Finance and Operations. “UVic’s strong commitment to sustainable initiatives was formalized in our 2009 Sustainability Policy and Sustainability Action Plan, and we are very pleased to be recognized for our integrated approach to sustainability.”

STARS is a program that North American colleges and universities use to measure their sustainability progress via a transparent self-reporting framework and points system. The major reporting categories are academics, engagement, operations and planning and administration. STARS ratings remain in effect for three years.

“UVic was particularly well-rated for the sustainability performance of campus buildings and operational practices, along with the commitment to sustainability coordination and engagement throughout the campus community,” says Neil Connelly, director of campus planning and sustainability. “The report reflects the progress UVic has made in a wide range of sustainability categories and also identifies areas where we can improve in the future, which will be helpful as part of the upcoming process to renew the Sustainability Action Plan 2009-2014.”

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Keywords: sustainability, campus, bike

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