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Northland College receives high marks for sustainability achievements

Northland College has earned a STARS Gold rating in recognition of its sustainability achievements. The award is 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.

Northland College ranked as one of the top-ten undergraduate institutions in the world for overall sustainability, rating second in the academic category, which is focused on curriculum and research.

“Northland approaches sustainability in all of its forms — health, community, culture, environment, energy, and economy — and integrates sustainability into the academic curriculum and the research done by our students and faculty,” said Dr. Scott Grinnell, director of sustainability initiatives. “This assessment by AASHE validates our intentional work to bring full-spectrum sustainability into the center of all we do as a college.

With more than 800 participants in 30 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: academics, engagement, operations, planning and administration, and 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. “Northland College has demonstrated a substantial commitment to sustainability by achieving a STARS Gold 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.