CALGARY, AB--(Marketwired - February 14, 2017) - The University of Calgary has received a Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS) Gold rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).
The STARS rating system is the most broadly-used tool by North American colleges and universities for tracking sustainability performance. Progress is measured in 17 impact areas including teaching and research, community engagement, governance, campus operations, and leadership.
Ratings are valid for three years and participation in STARS continues to grow. The collective momentum across the post-secondary institution sector to keep setting the bar higher is something that excites Joanne Perdue, chief sustainability officer with the University of Calgary.
"This rating reaffirms that we are on the right track and marks another milestone in our journey towards excellence and leadership in sustainability," says Perdue. "Our students, faculty and staff are an exceptionally caring community and sustainability is important to so many on our campus. The breadth of leadership and dedication to move sustainability forward both on campus, and in the community, is truly inspiring."
Currently, the University of Calgary is one of only 11 institutions in North America to achieve full marks for sustainability in research with 80 per cent of departments conducting research engaged in sustainability-related research.
Other highlights include students contributing over 1.6 million hours towards community service and 34 per cent of graduates taking at least one sustainability focused course as part of their degree program.
"Students value sustainability," says Branden Cave, vice president operations and finance for the Students' Union. "We have found ways to make a positive impact on campus by creating more than 50 sustainability related clubs and volunteering time on projects we care about. I am proud to be part of a community where students, faculty, and staff work together to make a difference that extends beyond our campus."
The Institutional Sustainability Strategy (ISS) joins three frameworks for sustainability -- education and research, community engagement, and operations and administration -- to integrate our sustainability initiatives and strengthen our connection to industry and the community.
"Our Institutional Sustainability Strategy has been instrumental in steering us towards STARS Gold," says Perdue. "Delivering on the goals in our strategy directly advances our performance in the STARS program. We have many achievements to celebrate and there remain plenty of opportunities for us to reach even higher. I look forward to seeing what the next three years hold."
To learn more about the University of Calgary's sustainability initiatives visit the sustainability website.
About the University of Calgary
The University of Calgary is making tremendous progress on its journey to become one of Canada's top five research universities, where research and innovative teaching go hand in hand, and where we fully engage the communities we both serve and lead. This strategy is called Eyes High, inspired by the university's Gaelic motto, which translates as 'I will lift up my eyes.'
For more information, visit ucalgary.ca. Stay up to date with University of Calgary news headlines on Twitter @UCalgary. For details on faculties and how to reach experts go to our media center at ucalgary.ca/mediacentre.