Unity recognized as campus sustainability leader
STARS rating puts Unity College in upper echelon for energy, investment
Unity College has been recognized as a sustainability leader in the 2015 Sustainable Campus Index, achieving first rank in the areas of Energy and Investment.
The 2015 Sustainable Campus Index highlights top-performing colleges and universities in 17 areas, as measured by the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS).
The Energy subcategory recognizes institutions that are reducing energy consumption through conservation and efficiency while switching to cleaner and renewable energy sources.
The Investment subcategory recognizes institutions that make investment decisions that improve the long-term health of endowments, support sustainability innovation, encourage better corporate behavior, support sustainability in the community, and help build a more just and sustainable financial system.
Unity College earned 53.8 percent of points available in the Energy subcategory and 76.0 percent of points in the Investment subcategory.
“Unity College‘s participation in STARS and strong performance in the areas of Energy and Investment demonstrates significant leadership and commitment to advancing sustainability,” AASHE Executive Director Meghan Fay Zahniser said. “We are pleased to recognize Unity College for working to secure a brighter future by incorporating sustainability into campus operations, academics, administration and engagement.”
The Unity College Board of Trustees unanimously voted to divest its endowment of the top 200 fossil fuel companies in 2013. The college also maintains a revolving loan fund for energy efficiency projects. Additional initiatives include renewable energy sources such as wood pellet boilers and roof-mounted solar PV and solar thermal systems, and the college is currently conducting a $101,000 retrofit to the Unity College Center for Performing Arts. The college also purchases Renewable Energy Certificates to offset 99 percent of campus electricity use.
“The entire Unity College community is proud to be among the nation’s sustainability leaders,” Unity College Sustainability Director Jennifer deHart said. “This success fans the flames of our passion to deeply imbed sustainability in our curriculum, operations, and governance at Unity College.”
Unity College’s STARS report is publicly available on the STARS website.
The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. STARS was developed by Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education with broad participation from the higher education community. The credits included in STARS span the breadth of higher education sustainability and are organized into four categories: Academics, Engagement, Operations, and Planning & Administration. All reports are publicly accessible on the STARS website. For more information, visit stars.aashe.org.
The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education empowers higher education faculty, staff and students to be effective change agents and drivers of sustainability innovation. AASHE enables members to translate information into action by offering essential resources and professional development to a diverse, engaged community of sustainability leaders. We work with and for higher education to ensure that our world’s future leaders are motivated and equipped to solve sustainability challenges. For more information, visit www.aashe.org.