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AASHE STARS Gold logoUNC-Chapel Hill has earned a STARS Gold rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) measures and recognizes sustainability accomplishments in all aspects of higher education. This is the third time UNC-Chapel Hill has received a Gold rating.

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. Participants report achievements in five overall areas:

  1. academics
  2. engagement
  3. operations
  4. planning and administration
  5. innovation and leadership

Areas where Carolina excels include academic courses and programs, research, campus and public engagement, and diversity and affordability. More than one fifth of the undergraduate and graduate courses taught at Carolina include sustainability concepts. One quarter of campus researchers investigate the environmental, social and economic dimensions of sustainability. Providing health care, water and education to underserved populations and understanding the dynamics of human-environment interactions and climate are core research strengths. Carolina’s full STARS report can be viewed on the AASHE website.

“Campus engagement around sustainability is a continuous effort,” said Mike Piehler, chief sustainability officer. “Cindy Shea does a great job leading the AASHE process and assuring that it informs and fuels our sustainability work. Carolina should be proud of this recognition that reflects the great work of so many, and I look forward to future advances under our new Sustainable Carolina initiative.”

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