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Honors and Awards

UMass Amherst Again Earns STARS Gold Rating for Sustainability Efforts

The University of Massachusetts Amherst has again earned a STARS Gold 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. 

STARS gold seal

“I could not be prouder of UMass Amherst’s leadership in the field of sustainability within higher education,” says Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy. “UMass Amherst is committed to continuing our contribution to AASHE’s mission of inspiring and catalyzing higher education to lead the global sustainability transformation, and I want to thank all of UMass Amherst’s staff, faculty and students who continue to enable our progress in sustainability for their continued commitment.”

UMass Amherst has held a STARS Gold rating for nearly a decade. Achieving the rating demonstrates “our commitment to sustainability across the institution,” says Ezra Small, campus sustainability manager. “As we dig into the data from our Gold rating and our gap analysis for reaching the 85 points needed for Platinum rating, STARS provides UMass with a framework to truly advance sustainability in every aspect including academics, engagement, operations and planning and administration. 

“This report also reflects the work we are doing with diversity, equity and inclusion, health promotion, affordability and other important issues and I’m thankful to these areas of campus which provided this data for this report,” Small adds. “I’m also incredibly thankful for Chancellor Subbaswamy’s support over the years.”  

STARS has been developed by the higher education community through a transparent and inclusive process. STARS is designed to:  

  • Provide a framework for understanding sustainability in all sectors of higher education 
  • Enable meaningful comparisons over time and across institutions using a common set of measurements developed with broad participation from the campus sustainability community
  • Create incentives for continual improvement toward sustainability
  • Facilitate information sharing about higher education sustainability practices and performance
  • Build a stronger, more diverse campus sustainability community

STARS assesses not only an institution’s environmental factors, but also social and economic ones. An institution’s STARS score is based on the percentage of applicable points it earns across four main categories of credits (i.e. Academics, Engagement, Operations, and Planning & Administration). Any Innovation credits earned are then added to the final percentage, determining the total STARS score.    

UMass Amherst’s public report can be viewed on the STARS website.