For Immediate Release
April 13, 2017

Contact:
Dennis Elliot;
805-756-2090; delliot@calpoly.edu

Meghan Fay Zahniser
888-347-9997; meghan@aashe.org

Cal Poly Receives STARS Silver Rating for Sustainability Achievements

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly has earned 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 & Rating System, measures and encourages sustainability in all aspects of higher education.

This is the first time the university has applied for a STARS rating. Recognizing the value of the STARS framework, Cal Poly pursued the rating to establish benchmarks for its sustainability efforts. Cal Poly rated highest in the areas of curriculum, campus engagement, planning, and water and greenhouse gas emissions management.

“The STARS Silver Rating is a remarkable achievement for our university,” said Dennis Elliot, Cal Poly’s director of energy, utilities and sustainability. “This recognition reinforces our commitment to sustainability and will help us drive continued improvement for our campus.”

With more than 800 participants on six continents, 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 operations, academics, engagement and planning and administration.

“STARS was developed by the campus sustainability community to provide high standards for recognizing campus sustainability efforts,” said AASHE Executive Director Meghan Fay Zahniser. “Cal Poly has demonstrated a substantial commitment to sustainability by achieving a STARS Silver Rating and is to be congratulated for its efforts.”

Unlike other rating or ranking systems, this program is open to all institutions of higher education. 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.

Links
- Cal Poly’s STARS report: https://stars.aashe.org/institutions/california-polytechnic-state-university-ca/report/2017-02-16/
- STARS program: stars.aashe.org
- Energy, Utilities and Sustainability: sustainability.calpoly.edu

About Cal Poly
Founded in 1901 and part of the renowned California State University system since 1960, Cal Poly is a nationally ranked, four-year, comprehensive polytechnic public university located in San Luis Obispo, California. Known for its Learn by Doing approach, small class sizes and open access to expert faculty, Cal Poly is a distinctive learning community whose 21,000 academically motivated students enjoy an unrivaled hands-on educational experience that prepares them to lead successful personal and professional lives. For more information, visit www.calpoly.edu.

About Cal Poly Energy, Utilities and Sustainability
Cal Poly Energy, Utilities, and Sustainability, a unit of Facilities Management and Development, is dedicated to the responsible management of the natural resources that impact campus operations. Electricity, natural gas, water and various other resources are critical to operating a successful university, and the sustainable use of these resources is a driving force in Cal Poly campus planning and operations. A renowned leader in sustainability efforts, Cal Poly has received 25 Best Practice Awards from the UC/CSU/CCC Energy Efficiency Partnership Program. The campus has also earned significant CSU funding and utility incentives for energy conservation and continues to be named a Tree Campus USA and Best Workplace for Commuters. For more information, visit sustainability.calpoly.edu.

About AASHE
AASHE is an association of colleges and universities that are working to create a sustainable future. AASHE’s mission is to empower higher education to lead the sustainability transformation. It provides resources, professional development and a network of support to enable institutions of higher education to model and advance sustainability in everything they do, from governance and operations to education and research. For more information about AASHE, visit www.aashe.org.

Landscaping at an entrance to campus, aimed at reducing water consumption.

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