Sustainability Rating System

Jefferson Community & Technical College Participates in New, First-of-its-kind Sustainability Rating System

Jefferson Community & Technical College has announced its participation in a new program to encourage sustainability in all aspects of higher education. The program, called the Sustainability, Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS), is administered by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).

To date, nearly 230 higher education institutions have registered as STARS Participants and Jefferson is proud to be one of them. Jefferson strives to be an innovative national leader for environmental quality, economic vitality, and social progress. Jefferson is also committed to the stewardship of the environment and to reducing the college’s dependence on non-renewable energy.

AASHE’s STARS program is the only one of its kind that involves publicly reporting comprehensive information related to a college or university’s sustainability performance. Participants report achievements in three overall areas:

  1. education & research,
  2. operations, and
  3. planning, administration & engagement.

“The advantage of STARS is that institutions can earn credits for all of their contributions to sustainability,” said AASHE Executive Director, Wendy Scott. “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 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.

Here at Jefferson, 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.

About Sustainability at Jefferson:

Jefferson Community and Technical College strives to be an innovative national leader for environmental quality, economic vitality, and social progress. Jefferson is committed to the stewardship of the environment and to reducing the college’s dependence on non-renewable energy. Chief among these initiatives is Jefferson’s sustainability initiative which promotes sustainable development through educational and workforce training opportunities. Jefferson leads a variety of conservation activities throughout Louisville. Recently, Jefferson became the fourth partner in the Partnership for a Green City. This partnership represents a coalition of Louisville’s largest public entities which pledge to promote sustainable activity within their organizations and the community. As a part of these efforts, Jefferson collaborates with Jefferson County Public Schools, Metro Louisville, and University of Louisville to educate the community and implement energy-conscious procedures at their respective institutions. Jefferson also operates a single-stream recycling program, a cigarette litter prevention grant, and a variety of environmentallyfriendly purchasing agreements with local vendors.

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.

STARS Sustainability Rating System

Who Can Participate?

  • Any higher education institution in the US and Canada

Credit Outline

  • Credit Rationale
  • Criteria
  • Applicability
  • Scoring
  • Reporting Fields
  • Measurement
  • Standards & Terms

Scoring Final score calculated by average of 3 categories plus total Innovation Credits. Highest possible score is 104.

Innovation credits recognize

  • Creative and innovative strategies implemented on campuses
  • Areas where a campus has exceeded credit criteria
  • Letter of affirmation required

Accuracy of STARS Data

  • There are three ways to ensure STARS data are accurate:
  • Responsible Party is required to sign off on each individual credit.
  • The President or Chancellor is required to submit a letter with the STARS submission verifying the accuracy of the information.
  • All information institutions share will be posted publicly on AASHE's website.

Benefits of Participating

  • Earn recognition
  • Streamline reporting
  • Benchmark with peers
  • Collaborate across campus
  • Access to the online Reporting Tool
  • Save time and money in developing a sustainability plan or report

How is STARS Different?

  • Open to any institution of higher education
  • Only offers positive recognition
  • Transparent
  • Self-assessment
  • Encompasses sustainability, not just environmental indicators
  • Created by the higher education community

A STARS subscription is 12-months. Submission of first STARS Report is encouraged within one year. STARS ratings are valid for three years.