Radford University earns STARS silver rating for campus sustainability practices

Radford University’s campus sustainability initiatives have received a green thumbs up!

Radford University’s campus sustainability initiatives have received a green thumbs up!

After a comprehensive, 18-month self-review by the University’s Sustainability Steering Committee, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) has awarded Radford a STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System) silver rating. Silver is a typical rating for a University to receive on its first assessment.

President Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D. said, “I am immensely proud of Radford’s students, faculty and staff for their strong commitment to integrating sustainability into every facet of our campus and our community.  With the recent adoption of the University’s 2020-2030 Master Plan, our campus-wide dedication to sustainability has never been more focused.”

STARS provides Radford University a better measurement and understanding of where it stands in its efforts to be a model green campus.

Radford’s reporting covers everything from greenhouse gas emissions, buildings and operations to research, student engagement and sustainability in the curriculum.

“STARS is the industry standard benchmarking tool to see how we stack up to other universities reporting to AASHE,” said Sustainability Manager and Selu Academic Program Manager Josh Nease.

STARS has more than 800 participants in 30 countries and is the world’s most broadly recognized framework colleges and universities to publicly report comprehensive information related to sustainability practices and performances.

Radford University cites sustainability as one of Radford University’s core values, and it is committed to integrating green practices into every area of operation and engaging students across the curriculum to learn, discover and contribute to positive environmental solutions.

“Sustainability is an all-around win: It’s good for faculty, it’s good for students, in many cases it saves money, and it helps with recruitment and retention,” said Rick Roth, Ph.D., a professor of Geospatial Science and Sustainability Steering Committee member. “This silver rating shows that we do more than just talk about sustainability. It also shows there’s more we can do.”

Like all other participants, Radford University reported information to AASHE in five categories: academics, engagement, operations, planning and administration and innovation and leadership. Radford’s reporting and scores can be viewed online by searching “Radford University” at AASHE.org.

“Our scores further validate the effectiveness of our sustainability program and show how we compare to other institutions in managing and measuring sustainability.” Nease said. “The information we collected for STARS can serve as our new baseline data set, allowing us to finally measure our progress on the University’s Climate Action Plan and set new goals, as appropriate.”

Radford signed in 2009 the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), showing its commitment to pursuing net carbon neutrality by 2040 and providing students with the knowledge and skills necessary to meet the immense sustainability challenges of the 21st Century. 

“The STARS silver rating is an accolade of which the University can be proud,” Nease said. “We still have a lot of challenging work ahead of us to meet our goals of becoming a model for campus sustainability, and it will take a commitment from all of us.”


Dec 11, 2019
Chad Osborne