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CSU earns second STARS platinum rating

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The Pavilion in Laurel Village has reduced potable water use by 41 percent (Julia Trowbridge | Collegian)

Colorado State University became the first university in the world to be given a second platinum rating for its sustainability last month by the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS).

STARS is a program by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education designed to gauge the sustainability performance of universities and colleges.

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CSU was the first university to be awarded the platinum rating in 2015 out of the 800 universities that were measured along the STARS rating criteria, according to SOURCE. This is also the fourth time that CSU was ranked the highest out of all universities in the STARS system.

CSU continues to be the only university in the world to be awarded a platinum rating.

“This STARS rating reaffirms that CSU is a national leader in building a sustainable, environmentally responsible campus community,” President Tony Frank said when CSU was given its first platinum rating.

Universities can be ranked platinum, which is the highest ranking, followed by gold, silver and bronze.

The university of Colorado, Boulder has a Gold STARS rating, with its highest scores being in Research and Public Engagement. San Jose State University also is rated Gold, while Utah State University and University of Nevada, Las Vegas are both rated Silver.

Part of what contributed to the rating is the number of courses related to sustainability at CSU. There are currently more than 800 credit courses and 391 non-credit courses related to sustainability on CSU’s campuses, across the state and online.

Nearly 80 percent of the departments at CSU are engaged in research regarding sustainability. The university was given the most points possible for its research. With more than 92 percent of students involved in community service, the University also earned a near-perfect score in campus engagement.

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Buildings on campus also contribute to CSU’s sustainability rating. Multiple buildings on campus have been awarded high certifications in the LEED – Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – system, including two that were certified Platinum.

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One of the LEED Platinum buildings is the Pavilion at Laurel Village. Some of the LEED Gold buildings include the Transit Center, the Behavioral Sciences Building and the Recreation Center. The Lory Student Center is LEED Silver.

The University has also been identified as a bike-friendly campus, being awarded a platinum rating by the League of American Bicyclists in November 2015.

The alternative transportation options provided to students, faculty and staff at CSU, including the numerous bus systems, like Transfort and Around the Horn, and the bike-friendly infrastructure and culture also contributed to the University’s rating.

CSU, in addition to its platinum ratings, has also earned numerous other awards for its efforts to be a sustainable, green campus, including the 11th “Coolest School” by the Sierra Club in 2016.

Collegian reporter Stuart Smith can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @notstuartsmith.

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