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New Mexico State University has earned a STARS Gold rating in recognition of its sustainability achievements. One measure of success was in Waste Minimization and Diversion. During 2015-2016, NMSU recycled 450 tons of material. (NMSU photo by Darren Phillips)

NMSU Receives STARS Gold Rating for Sustainability Achievements

New Mexico State University has earned a STARS Gold rating in recognition of its sustainability achievements from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. STARS, the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System, measures and encourages sustainability in all aspects of higher education.

“NMSU’s Office of Sustainability completed its first STARS report in 2011 and achieved a Silver rating,” said joni newcomer, NMSU’s manager of the Office of Sustainability and the Environmental Education Center. “In 2012, with the help of many dedicated Sustainability Council members, we achieved a STARS Gold rating that expired in 2015 and the Council members jumped on board again to do the report.”

Information about sustainable practices, courses, programs and research projects from all colleges, individual researchers, faculty and administrative staff contributed to the report.

Since the first report in 2011, NMSU has used the report to raise awareness of sustainability efforts on campus and to achieve more sustainability-related successes. The STARS report allows the Office of Sustainability to share information on a global level regarding NMSU’s sustainability practices and performance.

“We are delighted to have achieved a Gold rating for the second time, knowing that we have made heartfelt efforts in increasing our environmental successes,” newcomer said. “This report ties us together as a caring community with goals to take care of the environment here on campus and beyond, touching the lives of each one of us.”

With more than 800 participants on six continents, 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 four overall areas: academics, engagement, operations and planning and administration.

“STARS was developed by the campus sustainability community to provide high standards for recognizing campus sustainability efforts,” said AASHE Executive Director Meghan Fay Zahniser. “NMSU has demonstrated a substantial commitment to sustainability by achieving a STARS Gold rating and is to be congratulated for their efforts.”

NMSU’s STARS report is publicly available on the STARS website.

Editor’s Note: joni newcomer is intentionally lowercase at her request.

Author: Darrell J. Pehr – NMSU

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