CSU earns first-ever STARS Platinum rating for sustainability
Colorado State has a long history as one of the nation’s most sustainable universities, but now CSU is the first university in the world to ever have its sustainability efforts go platinum.
CSU has become the first and only campus to achieve platinum status – the highest possible – under the STARS rating system, an independent program that measures comprehensive sustainability efforts at more than 700 universities across the globe.
STARS stands for Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System, and it is a program conducted by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. It is considered the most comprehensive and prestigious sustainability performance measurement program in higher education.
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HDS Sustainability Contributions
- The Eco Leaders program helped fulfill the student educators credit for the S.T.A.R.S. report. Eco Leaders are students in the residence halls who help raise awareness about sustainability issues and encourage environmentally-responsible behaviors for an academic year. There is one Eco Leader per residence hall who helps educate students in their hall about sustainability issues such as waste reduction and energy conservation, and helps plan activities and campaigns. Eco Leaders take a required course in the fall (Introduction to Sustainability Engagement) and a required course in the spring (Sustainability in Practice) as part of the program to help connect classroom learning to real-world applications.
- The Ram Welcome Zero waste picnic teaches students the moment they come to campus that sustainability is important. The picnic serves over 8,000 diners and is a zero waste event. All students are invited to this event, along with their families, and it is a major focus of education efforts for sustainable practices at the University.
- The Summit Hall LEED Existing Buildings and Operations and Maintenance project helped achieve the only points for ongoing buildings in the S.T.A.R.S. report for CSU. This project was completed in 2014 and was the first of its kind. Some examples of projects this certification included are building energy commissioning, techno trash bins for toxic materials such as light bulbs and batteries, and a waste audit to identify how recycling rates could be increased.
- Housing & Dining Services stives annually to increase the percentage of organic, local, and or third party verified. These purchases include all of our sliced breads and dairy products from Earthgrains/Sara Lee located in Fort Collins. All dairy products are provided to us by Robinson Dairy in Denver. Our milk is supplied by dairy farms that are located within 150 miles of CSU. Our bagels are supplied by Gib’s Bagels in Fort Collins, our coffee from Vail Mountain Coffee in Minturn, CO; our biodegradable/compostable carryout products are from Eco-Products in Boulder, CO and our soups are from Spoons in Fort Collins. Our in-house bakeshop makes a large quantity of items from scratch including our gluten-free breads, hummus, cupcakes, etc. Housing & Dining Services has purchased nearly $1 million in locally grown and processed foods to date.