Published: April 28, 2011

MSU receives STARS silver rating for sustainability achievements

Contact(s): Tom Oswald Media Communications office: (517) 432-0920 cell: (517) 281-7129, Jennifer Battle Infrastructure Planning and Facilities office: (517) 884-0714

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Michigan State University has been honored by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education for its sustainability achievements.

MSU earned a silver rating from the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System, or STARS, a new AASHE program that measures and encourages sustainability in all aspects of higher education.

The STARS program is the only one of its kind that involves publicly reporting comprehensive information related to a college or university’s sustainability performance. Participants report achievements in three overall areas: Education and research; operations; and planning, administration and engagement.

“STARS was developed by the campus sustainability community to provide high standards for recognizing campus sustainability efforts,” said AASHE Executive Director Paul Rowland. “MSU has demonstrated a substantial commitment to sustainability by achieving a STARS Silver Rating and is to be congratulated for their efforts.”

Unlike other rating or ranking systems, this program is open to all institutions of higher education in the U.S. and Canada, and the criteria that determine a STARS rating are transparent and accessible to anyone. Because STARS is a program based on credits earned, it allows for both internal comparisons as well as comparisons with similar institutions.

MSU performed well for programs such as the university’s new sustainability specialization, student organic farm, residential environmental studies initiative, local and sustainable food purchases, and sustainability research incentives. The Energy Transition Plan, currently being developed, will likely improve the university’s performance in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“The STARS report has confirmed what we are doing well and helped us identify areas where we could improve and collect more data,” said Jennifer Battle, assistant director of the Office of Campus Sustainability. “The great thing about the STARS system is its transparency; we can all learn from each other.”

Receiving a Silver Rating, MSU joins colleges such as the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and neighboring university Grand Valley State in representing half of the AASHE STARS rating schools. Of the 44 current STARS submissions, 22 received a silver ranking. No platinum ratings were awarded, but there were nine institutions that received a gold rating and 11 that received a bronze rating.

To view the full report, click here:


Michigan State University has been working to advance the common good in uncommon ways for more than 150 years. One of the top research universities in the world, MSU focuses its vast resources on creating solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges, while providing life-changing opportunities to a diverse and inclusive academic community through more than 200 programs of study in 17 degree-granting colleges.  Visit for more information.


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