AUS signs up to STARS academic sustainability programme

AUS committed to being the most sustainable university community in the UAE

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The American University of Sharjah (AUS) says that it has joined the Sustainability, Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) programme administered by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).

To date, more than 850 higher education institutions from around the world have registered as STARS participants and AUS is proud to be one of them.  AUS’ core values relate directly towards being a leader in sustainability, said the institute in a statement. In 2010 AUS created a dedicated team, AUS Sustainability, to promote those values through supporting activities that accrue positive social, economic and environmental benefits.

“AUS is very excited to become a participant in the STARS program,” said John Katsos, head of AUS Sustainability.  “AUS is committed to making itself the most sustainable university community in the UAE and broader region.”

AASHE’s STARS programme is the most widely recognised framework in the world for publicly reporting comprehensive information related to a college or university’s sustainability performance. Participants report achievements in four overall areas: 1) academics, 2) campus and public engagement, 3) operations and 3) planning and administration. The programme is open to all institutions of higher education globally.

AUS sustainability operations associate Rose Armour noted that: “Participating in the STARS programme will provide key metrics while working to achieve AUS’ sustainability goals.”

“The advantage of STARS is that institutions can earn credits for all of their contributions to sustainability,” said Meghan Fay Zahniser, AASHE executive director. “From providing sustainability coursework to using green cleaning products, to energy efficiency in campus buildings, there are lots of opportunities for a school to identify and track its sustainability progress.”

Unlike other rating or ranking systems, this programme was developed by higher education for higher education and the criteria that determine a STARS rating are transparent and accessible to anyone. Because the STARS program is based on credits earned, it allows for both internal comparisons as well as comparisons with similar institutions.

“We are looking forward to the enthusiastic participation from our students and staff, as well as watching our sustainability efforts grow on campus through the STARS program,” said Ryan Highland, AUS Sustainability Engagement associate.


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