University-wide sustainability assessment continues with survey

March 03, 2011

Penn State is taking a leadership role as a charter participant in the STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System) program, a voluntary, self-reporting framework for recognizing and gauging relative progress toward sustainability developed by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). Data are being collected in key sustainability "credit areas," spanning student life, curriculum, research, operations, planning, administration and outreach.

"From global recognition for our research efforts to award-winning sustainability-focused outreach activities to our exemplary resource-efficient operations, Penn State has long been a leader in sustainability in teaching, research and service," said Penn State President Graham Spanier. "STARS will allow us to better monitor our progress and tell a unified story about our achievements. The STARS process will touch every aspect of Penn State and I applaud this effort to further strengthen our sustainability commitment."

Early in December, a survey was distributed to teaching faculty to identify academic offerings in sustainability across Penn State's colleges and campus. A second survey is now being launched to assess sustainability in research.

The STARS Sustainability Research Survey seeks to identify faculty who conduct research that is relevant to sustainability issues. Results of the survey also will be used to support Penn State’s current efforts to develop a strategic plan for sustainability.

The results of this assessment will provide a first inventory of current contributions to sustainability research at Penn State, allowing the University to develop and implement plans to expand and enhance research opportunities.

This survey will take most respondents less than five minutes to complete and can be found at online.

For more information, visit the Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment.

Last Updated May 21, 2015