University is One of Just Five in
Florida to Receive Designation
MELBOURNE, FLA. — Florida Institute of Technology has received certification under the prestigious Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS), solidifying its standing as a state and national leader in university sustainability.
After a year of data collection and processing, Florida Tech achieved a Bronze rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, higher education’s leading sustainability organization and the developer of the STARS program. Florida Tech becomes one of just five colleges and universities among more than 150 in Florida to be STARS certified.
Certification at the Bronze level requires demonstration of rigorous performance across dozens of individual areas within four categories of sustainability: Academics, Operations, Engagement and Planning and Administration. For example, the Academics category focuses on curricula and research. The Engagement category focuses on how sustainability is incorporated into campus life and community partnerships. The Operations category focuses on campus environmental footprint reduction through energy and water conservation efforts, greenhouse gas emissions and waste diversion. And the Planning and Administration category examines how sustainability is utilized by the management structure of the university.
The initiative was led by University Sustainability Officer Daniel Sutton and Sustainability Program Chair Ken Lindeman, with assistance from several campus offices and faculty, staff and federal workstudy students Melissa Bramble, Montana Steell and Marcus Farley.
“Together, our campus community is working toward improving campus operations, and many programs, policies and practices are continuing to develop through these partnerships,” Sutton said. “This has helped identify the importance of sustainability and will encourage future initiatives across campus.”
The primary contributor to the point totals needed for certification was Florida Tech’s academic program, which offers both major and minor programs in sustainability.
“The support for innovations in sustainability has been continuous at all levels, from students to senior administrators to off-campus partners,” Lindeman said.
This award also reflects a long commitment between Florida Tech’s Department of Education and Interdisciplinary Studies and its Facilities Operations to use a “campus classroom” approach that encourages interdisciplinary partnerships among students and staff across multiple departments.
For more information on sustainability news and resources at Florida Tech and the full STARS performance report, please visit www.fit.edu/sustainability.