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Ratings & Rankings

by Mog,Justin M last modified Apr 18, 2014 07:07 PM

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

STARS

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:

Year STARS
Rating
Overall
Score
Education
& Research
Operations Planning,
Admin. &
Engagement
Innovation
Credits
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 @louisville.edu 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

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!
The Princeton Review's Guide to Green Colleges 2014 Edition Seal
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