Green Mountain College (GMC) has received a letter of congratulations from Senator Bernie Sanders on being recognized as the top Baccalaureate performer by the Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) with a score of 81.82. STARS, the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System, measures and encourages sustainability in higher education.
“I was delighted to hear that Green Mountain College received the highest score of any institution ever. Your commitment to sustainability will equip the coming generation with knowledge that is vital to meeting the mounting global challenges we are facing as a nation,” stated Senator Sanders.
In addition to the top baccalaureate score, AASHE awarded Green Mountain College the first ever perfect score for sustainability-based curriculum, GMC also attained perfect scores in the areas of Sustainability Research and Air and Climate Operations. Green Mountain College’s full STARS report is publicly available here.
“Green Mountain College is proud of this recognition. For over twenty years, Green Mountain College has consistently provided leadership in advancing sustainability. Our mission to prepare students to create a just and sustainable society informs everything we do,” said Robert Allen, Green Mountain College President. “Our general education curriculum, the “sustainable liberal arts for transformative education,” requires all undergraduate students to demonstrate a complex understanding of sustainability and their role in effecting positive change in the world.”
Recognition by AASHE follows several other recent accolades GMC has received for social, environmental and economic sustainability. In August the College ranked among the nation’s top ten “Cool Schools” by Sierra magazine, the national magazine of the Sierra Club. Also in August, GMC was recognized for the fourth year in a row as a member of the Green Honor Roll.
“This report confirms that GMC continues to serve as a model for campus sustainability while equipping the next generation of students with the skills they need to lead and succeed in a world that is being transformed by climate change and social justice,” said Green Mountain College Sustainability Director Ryan Ihrke.
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.
“STARS was developed by the campus sustainability community to provide high standards for recognizing campus sustainability efforts,” said AASHE Executive Director Meghan Fay Zahniser. “Green Mountain College has demonstrated a substantial commitment to sustainability by achieving a STARS Gold Rating and is to be congratulated for their efforts.”
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 as well as comparisons with similar institutions.