The University of Montevallo has been upgraded to a STARS Silver rating in recognition of its sustainability achievements from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). STARS, the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System, measures and encourages sustainability in all aspects of higher education.
The University, which earned Bronze status in 2019, has expanded its sustainability initiatives in recent years under the leadership of Dr. Susan Caplow, associate professor of environmental studies and coordinator of campus sustainability at UM.
Montevallo’s STARS report is publicly available on the STARS website.
The Silver rating was the result of months of data collection and reporting on the UM campus and serves to solidify Montevallo’s status as a leader in campus sustainability. UM houses the first and only environmental studies major in public higher education in Alabama.
“I am so pleased to learn that all of our hard work in the last few years has improved our AASHE STARS rating from Bronze to Silver,” Caplow said. “This was truly a campuswide effort, as we received points for projects and initiatives led by students, staff and faculty to improve sustainability education and practice at UM.”
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: 1) academics, 2) engagement, 3) operations, 4) planning and administration and 5) innovation and leadership.
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 and comparisons with similar institutions.
The University will retain the Silver status in the STARS rating through 2026.