MELBOURNE, FLA. — Florida Tech has earned a STARS Silver rating in recognition of its sustainability achievements from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). STARS, the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System, measures and encourages sustainability in all aspects of higher education.
The newest results elevate Florida Tech’s STARS rating from its 2017 Bronze rating. Florida Tech is one of just six Florida universities to achieve a Silver rating out of more than 80 Florida colleges and universities.
“This was a team lift with major efforts from Facilities Operations, the University Sustainability Council and outstanding students from our Federal Work Study program,” said Ken Lindeman, head of Florida Tech’s Sustainability Program in the Department of Ocean Engineering and Marine Sciences. He worked with Quinn Duffy, the university sustainability coordinator at the time, to compile the STARS report.
STARS is a comprehensive sustainability rating system for colleges and universities that addresses the environmental, social and economic dimensions of sustainability. Universities are rated based on a cumulative score compiled by achievements in academics, engagement, operations, planning and administration, and innovation.
Certification requires demonstration of rigorous performance across dozens of individual areas within those categories. For example, Academics focuses on curricula and research. Engagement focuses on how sustainability is incorporated into campus life and community partnerships. Operations focuses on campus buildings, energy and transportation.
“STARS was developed by the campus sustainability community to provide high standards for recognizing campus sustainability efforts,” said AASHE Executive Director Meghan Fay Zahniser. “Florida Tech has demonstrated a substantial commitment to sustainability by achieving a STARS Silver Rating and is to be congratulated for their efforts.”
With more than 900 participants in 40 countries, the STARS program is the most widely recognized framework in the world for publicly reporting comprehensive information related to a college or university’s sustainability performance.
Among several featured sustainability accomplishments in Florida Tech’s report was the new Folliard Alumni Center, which was built as the university’s first zero-net energy building.
“This structure features net-zero energy features, on-site renewable energy, advanced learning building controls, irrigation free native landscaping, (electric vehicle) stations, and improvements to site infrastructure in good standing with low impact development and green infrastructure,” Florida Tech said in the STARS report.
The public report on Florida Tech’s STARS rating is available here.