Poly Earns STARS Gold Rating for Sustainability Achievements

Written by Estero Bay News

April 1, 2024

Cal Poly has earned a STARS Gold rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) in recognition of its sustainability achievements. 

STARS, the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System, measures and encourages sustainability in all aspects of higher education. Cal Poly adopted the AASHE STARS in March 2016 as a framework for implementation, measurement and improvement of sustainable practices. 

With a score of 75.14% in 2023, Cal Poly is now the third highest-ranked campus in the 23-campus California State University system. The score marks a significant improvement over Cal Poly’s 70.16% score in 2019. The report is completed every three years. 

“Cal Poly is committed to leadership in sustainability in both the academic and operations side of campus,” said Chad Worth, Energy and Sustainability manager at Cal Poly. 

Since 2019, the university has made significant progress, including:

– Integrating sustainability strategies throughout the 2035 Campus Master Plan.

– Completing a comprehensive Utility Master Plan (with a strong focus on carbon reduction and electrification strategies).

– Updating the campus Climate Action Plan to accelerate the path to carbon neutrality.

– Updating greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory showing campus has reduced total GHG’s from buildings and transportation by more than 14% since 1990 (despite campus more than doubling its building square footage and on-campus residency over that time).

– Completing a 430-kilowatt solar power system at the yak-it-ut-u student housing complex.

– Creating a High-Performance Buildings policy to guide design and construction of low-carbon, life-cycle optimized facilities using the LEED certification framework. 

“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 Gold rating and is to be congratulated for their efforts.” 

With more than 900 participants in 40 countries, AASHE’s STARS program is the most widely recognized framework in the world for transparently and publicly reporting comprehensive information related to a college or university’s sustainability performance. Participants report achievements in five overall areas: academics, engagement, operations, planning and administration, and innovation and leadership. 

“We are very proud to have achieved a STARS rating for our sustainability accomplishments,” Cal Poly Sustainability Coordinator Kylee Singh said. “We look forward to watching our sustainability efforts grow and improve through the STARS program.”

For more information about the STARS program, visit stars.aashe.org.

You May Also Like…

4-H Club’s Been Busy

4-H Club’s Been Busy

Members of the Morro Bay 4-H Club Leadership Group recently did a cleanup project at Morro Bay High School. The kids...

Celebrating Lionesses and Dogs

Celebrating Lionesses and Dogs

The Cayucos Lioness Club’s Annual Easter Dog Parade saw pooches of every size and type and their best friends gather...