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Ratings & Rankings

by Mog,Justin M last modified Sep 28, 2015 09:22 PM

How UofL measures our progress in sustainability and how we compare to other institutions.


UofL’s sustainability score goes up (UofL Today, Feb. 8, 2013)
STARS Silver Seal STARS Charter Participant

The primary tool used by the University of Louisville to measure our progress in sustainability is the STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System) framework developed by AASHE (the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education). As a Charter Participant in STARS, UofL was the first school in the region -- and the 10th in the nation -- to achieve a STARS rating and we continue to have the highest STARS rating in Kentucky. Check out the map of STARS schools.

As part of our university-wide strategic plan, UofL seeks to progressively improve our overall STARS rating and our score across all sections of the framework. We are staying true to that goal.

UofL achieved a new STARS Silver rating (58.29 points) on February 6, 2013. This represented a significant improvement from our first rating in January 2011 of STARS Silver (50.11 points).  Our 2013 rating report documents that, on top of what we were already doing well, we’ve seen significant improvement in many areas and some truly innovative things we’re doing to advance sustainability. We have earned our first Innovation Credits for our new Earn-A-Bike Program, Kentucky Energy Efficiency Program for Schools (KEEPS), Partnership for a Green City, and Kentucky Save Energy Now (KY SEN) Program. We also saw noteworthy progress in:

The following table summarizes our progress:

& Research
Operations Planning,
Admin. &
2013 Silver 58.29 51.95% 31.60% 79.31% 4
2011 Silver 50.11 54.59% 28.54% 67.21% 0

View the full details of UofL's 2013 STARS report here.

As the report makes clear, there is certainly still plenty of progress to be made. For instance, we would do well to continue working on:

  • Developing a university-wide Sustainability Plan
  • Developing a Sustainable Investment Policy, conducting Shareholder Advocacy, and increasing our percentage of Positive Sustainability Investments
  • Undergraduate and Graduate Degree Programs in Sustainability
  • Increasing the percentage of courses with sustainability content and sustainability learning outcomes
  • Increasing the percentage of faculty engaged in sustainability research
  • Operating and maintaining buildings in accordance with sustainable operations and maintenance guidelines and policies (like LEED for Existing Buildings)
  • Significantly reducing our greenhouse gas emissions, renewable energy usage, and further enhancing energy efficiency
  • Reducing the number of vehicles driven to campus
  • Reducing our solid waste production and increasing landfill diversion rates
  • Reducing water consumption per capita

Anyone can view finalized STARS reports from individual schools online without creating an AASHE Account. There are some additional, very useful features within the STARS Dashboard for doing research into STARS reports (particularly the Content Display function which allows you to filter down to specific credits and/or particular types of schools, etc.) that you can only access with an AASHE Account, which is available to all UofL employees and students through our institutional AASHE membership. (It’s also worth noting that with such an account you can also access all of the great materials, reports, discussion groups, etc. available in AASHE’s Resource Center). Here's how:

Step 1: If you do not have an AASHE Account, UofL students and employees may create one here (simply using your email address).

Step 2: To access the full range of features on the STARS Dashboard, log-in using your email address and password associated with your AASHE Account. If you have lost or forgotten your AASHE password, you may re-set it here.

See Photos of our 2011 STARS press conference, and the following stories:

Sustainability AwardsTreeCampusUSA

  • UofL has achieved Tree Campus USA status from the Arbor Day Foundation for every year since 2010!
  • In Spring 2015, Purposeful Networks (formerly known as myActions) recognized University of Louisville with a Gold Level Student Actions Award. UofL was only one of seven gold-level schools out of 125 recognized nationwide. This recognition was the result of considerable effort on the part of UofL students to take an log a wide variety of sustainability actions on campus, from eating local to turning off lights to volunteering in the community. In Fall 2014, UofL received a nationally recognized sustainability award from for “green and compassionate student actions.” The Student Actions Award recognized undergraduate schools for student leadership and progress, as well as the impact of green and healthy activities. UofL recognized as “green and compassionate” (The Louisville Cardinal, March 30, 2015)
  • In October 2014, UofL won the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education AASHE Award for Best Case Study from a Four-Year or Graduate Institution with More Than 10,000 Full-Time Students for the Earn-A-Bike Program. The award was received before an audience of thousands at AASHE’s 2014 national conference in Portland, OR where the case study was presented.
  • In September 2014, the Sustainability Council's EcoReps Program received the 2014 Multimedia MVP2 (Most-Valuable Pollution Prevention) Award for best video series with a Major Impact on Preventing Pollution from the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable.
  • In 2014 and 2015, UofL won the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) award from Insight into Diversity magazine. The award recognizes colleges that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to building a diverse and inclusive environment. UofL wins diversity award for second consecutive year (UofL Today, Sept. 28, 2015)Bicycle Friendly University - Silver (2013-17)
  • In November 2013, UofL was named the most bicycle-friendly university in Kentucky, earning a Silver rating in the League of American Bicyclists' Bicycle Friendly University program! As of Fall 2013, there were a total of 75 Bicycle Friendly Universities in 32 states, including three in Kentucky:
      1. University of Louisville - Silver (New Fall 2013)
      2. University of Kentucky - Bronze (Moved up to Silver Fall 2014)
      3. Western Kentucky University - Bronze (New Fall 2013)
  • In September 2013, UofL received the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection’s 2013 Resource Caretaker Award at the 37th Governor’s Conference on Energy & the Environment in Lexington, KY.

Other Sustainability Rankings

UofL also participates in other surveys which give schools relative rankings in environmental performance or sustainability, such as:

Another key indicator of our success: Happiness!
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