This August, Tufts earned a Silver rating for its sustainability achievements under the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS), a new program that measures and encourages sustainability in all aspects of higher education.
Tufts got a 62.73% overall score for its submission, just shy of a Gold rating.
“Tufts’ Silver rating in the recent STARS assessment provides strong recognition of our institutional achievements in sustainability,” University President Tony Monaco noted. “This is a priority for me personally, and in light of the clear support across the university for intensifying our commitment, I am certain that we will accomplish even more in the years ahead.”
In STARS, institutions evaluate performance in four main areas: Education and Research; Operations; Planning, Administration and Engagement; and Innovation.
Tufts received full points in several areas and above average scores in two out of three main categories, earning maximum credits for innovation; student-led initiatives such as trayless dining; sustainability outreach and publications; research initiatives, incentives for developing sustainability courses; diversity and affordability; and human resources.
The STARS Silver rating is the latest accomplishment in Tufts’ long history of leadership involving sustainability and the environment. In 1990, then-President Jean Mayer convened a conference of global educational leaders at the Tufts European Center in Talloires, France. The conference led to the Talloires Declaration, a ten-point action plan for incorporating sustainability and environmental literacy in teaching, research, operations and outreach at colleges and universities that has since been signed by 433 institutions in over 40 countries.
Tufts was also a founding (and the first university) member of the Chicago Climate Exchange. In 1999, under then-President DiBiaggio, the university publicly committed to meet the Kyoto goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Developed by Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), STARS is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. It is the only program of its kind that involved publicly reporting comprehensive information related to a college or university’s sustainability performance.
Unlike other rating or ranking systems, STARS 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.
Of 121 STARS rated institutions in the U.S. and Canada, 22 earned Gold, 65 earned Silver, and 27 earned Bronze designations.
See the full scorecard for Tufts at the STARS website.