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Virginia Tech receives silver rating in sustainability


BLACKSBURG, Va., Sept. 5, 2011 – Virginia Tech has achieved a Silver Rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) for sustainability performance in the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System (STARS) Program. 

Virginia Tech received an overall score of 61.94, approximately three points short of the Gold Rating. 

In the spring of 2011, Virginia Tech announced its participation with the STARS rating system in order to measure progress made towards achieving targets outlined in the Virginia Tech Climate Action Commitment.

“To say that we are thrilled with our silver rating is an understatement,” said Denny Cochrane, Virginia Tech’s sustainability program manager. “This system has truly captured our expansive sustainability efforts across the campus in a way they haven’t been captured before. With this tool we can easily see that we are just a few points short of receiving the STARS Gold rating which provides us with the next steps and goals that we should be taking as a university to take it to the next level.”

The STARS Program provides a common standard of measurement for 135 separate sustainability topics which are organized into three primary categories:

  • Education and research;
  • Operations; and
  • Planning, administration, and engagement.   

“STARS was developed by the campus sustainability community to provide high standards for recognizing campus sustainability efforts,” said AASHE Executive Director Paul Rowland. “Virginia Tech has demonstrated a substantial commitment to sustainability by achieving a STARS Silver Rating and is to be congratulated for their efforts.”

Unlike other rating systems, this program is open to all institutions of higher education in the U.S. and Canada, 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. A key feature of STARS is it promotes a comprehensive understanding of sustainability that includes the environmental, economic and social dimensions. STARS can be compared to the US Green Building Council’s LEED ranking in that based on its’ overall score, an institution is awarded a Platinum, Gold, Silver, or Bronze Rating.   

“The entire university community deserves thanks for their cooperation and efforts during this process. We are very proud to have achieved a STARS Silver Rating for our sustainability accomplishments and we look forward to watching our sustainability efforts grow and improve through the STARS program,” said Cochrane.

For additional information, please email Denny Cochrane or call 540-231-5184.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 225 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $494 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.


    STARS silver seal
View Virginia Tech's summary report on the STARS website. You can find details on each credit earned by clicking into each category. 

Virginia Tech is an AASHE member and all faculty, staff, and students can utilize their resources at no cost. 

Access is available to all of AASHE’s online resources to help advance sustainability on campus such as:

  • Networking 
  • Information sharing and collaboration opportunities
  • Professional development  

Find more details online with the Office of Energy and Sustainability. 


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