Academic East aerial

Bucknell Receives STARS Gold Rating for Sustainability Achievements

January 22, 2020

by Mike Ferlazzo

Academic East was constructed to become Bucknell's sixth building to meet the LEED Gold standard for environmental and energy sustainability.

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

Bucknell's STARS report is publicly available on the STARS website. The University improved its rating from Silver in 2014 to Gold this year.

The rating represents Bucknell’s strong foundation as an institution with a comprehensive and collaborative approach to sustainability. Recent advancements that helped propel Bucknell to STARS Gold include an aggressive energy management program utilizing an ongoing commissioning program, receiving PEER (Performance Excellence in Electricity Renewal) certification for the electrical distribution system, and significant curricular and co-curricular sustainability programming.

"This rating is a significant achievement and recognizes the sustainable efforts of our team over the past five years," says Ken Ogawa, associate vice president, facilities & sustainability at Bucknell. "It is a measure of how well the University is doing compared to our industry-assigned practices. The Gold rating indicates we’re taking the right actions to meet our sustainable goals, although we are always striving for improvement to support the long-term viability and resilience of the world around us."

With more than 800 participants in 30 countries, 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 five overall areas: academics, engagement, operations, planning and administration, and innovation and leadership.

"STARS was developed by the campus sustainability community to provide high standards for recognizing campus sustainability efforts," says AASHE Executive Director Meghan Fay Zahniser. "Bucknell has demonstrated a substantial commitment to sustainability by achieving a STARS Gold Rating and is to be congratulated for their efforts."

Unlike other rating or ranking systems, this program is open to all institutions of higher education, and the criteria that determine a STARS rating are transparent and accessible to anyone. Because STARS is a program based on credits earned, it allows for both internal comparisons as well as comparisons with similar institutions.

"We are very proud to have achieved a STARS rating for our sustainability accomplishments. We look forward to watching our sustainability efforts grow and improve through the STARS program," says Victor Udo, Bucknell director of campus sustainability.

AASHE is an association of colleges and universities that are working to create a sustainable future. AASHE’s mission is to empower higher education to lead the sustainability transformation. It provides resources, professional development and a network of support to enable institutions of higher education to model and advance sustainability in everything they do, from governance and operations to education and research.


Discover more ways Bucknell is leading in campus sustainability