Quinnipiac recognized for commitment to sustainability

April 20, 2022

Sunrise over the Rocky Top Student Center

Quinnipiac has earned a STARS Bronze 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.

With more than 900 participants in 40 countries, AASHE’s 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 the areas Quinnipiac earned the most credit:

  • its research

  • scholarship and support for sustainability research

  • campus and public engagement

  • sustainable dining

  • biodiversity

  • sustainability planning

  • diversity and equity coordination

Read Quinnipiac’s STARS report

Quinnipiac recently launched three environmental bachelor's degree programs:

“The design of these three interdisciplinary majors addresses the need to bring deeper, informed understanding to what is unquestionably one of the most critical issues of our day, one that touches the life of every person, in every walk of life,” said Mary Paddock, associate professor of modern languages and interdisciplinary studies and executive director of the university’s Collaborative for Interdisciplinary/Integrative Studies. “The three major tracks are components of a broader environmental studies program that figures prominently in Quinnipiac’s Sustainability Plan.”

With direction from across the Quinnipiac community, the Quinnipiac sustainability committee settled on a vision and framework that defines sustainability in three thematic and strategic areas: learning, living and leading.

The university is striving to become a model for sustainability in Southern New England, building its practices and leveraging its campuses to promote a healthy regional ecosystem, and to engage in practices that equip current and future students, faculty and staff to embody sustainable practices in their personal and professional lives, equipping them to thrive in a world increasingly influenced and affected by environmental disruption.

Participants report achievements in five overall areas:

  1. academics

  2. engagement

  3. operations

  4. planning and administration

  5. innovation and leadership

“STARS was developed by the campus sustainability community to provide high standards for recognizing campus sustainability efforts,” said AASHE Executive Director Meghan Fay Zahniser. “Quinnipiac has demonstrated a substantial commitment to sustainability by achieving a STARS Bronze 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, 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.

AASHE is an association of colleges and universities that are working to create a sustainable future. AASHE’s mission is to empower higher education to lead the sustainability transformation. It provides resources, professional development and a network of support to enable institutions of higher education to model and advance sustainability in everything they do, from governance and operations to education and research. For more information about AASHE, visit www.aashe.org.

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