Sewanee receives hard-to-come-by Silver sustainability rating

silver badge

After months of long meetings, countless conversations, and seemingly insurmountable metrics, the grading is finally complete: Sewanee’s Office of Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability announces that the university has achieved the certification of AASHE STARS Silver, joining a small group of liberal arts colleges that have attained that rating.


AASHE, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, is an international nonprofit aimed at promoting and enhancing institutional sustainability at colleges and universities. AASHE has a self-evaluation assessment known as STARS, or the Sustainability Tracking and Rating System. STARS is an extensive evaluation system running the gamut of sustainability issues from energy conservation and recycling to human resources and academic integration. The system has five tiers: Reporting, Bronze, Silver, Gold, and the elusive Platinum, which no institution has yet achieved.

What does it mean to have achieved AASHE Silver?

This puts Sewanee in an elite group of schools with regard to sustainability. The vast majority of the Silver and Gold rated institutions are large public institutions. The group of Silver-rated liberal arts colleges is quite small, including Bard College, Berea College, Colby College, Elon University, Furman University, and Williams College. Colleges with Gold ratings include only Dickinson College, Green Mountain College, Ithaca College, Middlebury College, Oberlin College, Pomona College, and the University of Puget Sound.

The rating system has three main categories: operations; education and research; and planning, administration and engagement. Sewanee particularly excelled in the last category, getting a perfect score in coordination and planning. The university also scored well in research and curriculum engagement. The full report is available on AASHE’s website.

Although the university has only just reached this significant milestone, Sewanee has already set a goal of achieving STARS Gold by 2015, as outlined in the Sustainability Master Plan.

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Listing of both today’s and tomorrow’s events at Sewanee: The University of the South.
Tree City: Arbor Day Celebration
Equestrian: ANRC Nationals
Rwanda: Twenty Years After and Global Prospects of Conflict Resolution
Dr. William S. Stoney, C’50, at the Friends of the Library
Final Polish Table of the Semester
Fifth annual Jazz Night
On The Verge
At the SUT: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Presentation of IGS Honors Theses
Biology Honors Thesis Talks
Cand’te Talk: “Suicide and Self-Injurious Behavior: What Student Affairs Professionals Need to Know”
Track and Field: SAA Championships
Equestrian: ANRC Nationals
Scholarship Sewanee
Softball: Birmingham-Southern (SAA Tournament)
Baseball: Birmingham-Southern (SAA Tournament)
Men’s Lacrosse: Birmingham-Southern (SAA Tournament)
Watson Fellow information session with Blair Barrows, C’12
A Thousand Lives: Face the Difference
Honors Presentation: Emmy Faison
Organ recital by Parks Greene
At the SUT: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Sewanee Symphony and Sewanee Chorale present “The Sounds of Broadway”
On The Verge