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University of Idaho earns STARS Silver rating for Sustainability Achievements

May 07, 2019

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

“Our first STARS Silver rating affirms the University of Idaho is mobilizing academic resources toward climate solutions and building renewable energy infrastructure," said Brian Foisy, vice president for finance and infrastructure. "We continue to grow and solidify U of I's standing as a sustainability leader in higher education and the community.”

The university's overall STARS score of 58.21 ranks sixth among peer institutions. STARS ranks schools under five categories: academics, engagement, operations, planning and administration, and innovation and leadership. A number of specific initiatives helped U of I earn its Silver rating:

  • Having undergraduate and graduate curriculum that focuses on sustainability, immersive experiences and the campus as a living laboratory;
  • Reducing potable water use per weighted campus by 38 percent over the past 14 years;
  • Supporting low-income and non-traditional students;
  • Backing sustainability projects including reactive filtration, chilled beams, passive energy solutions and the bioregional planning and community design program.

“As a signatory of two climate agreements, the Talloires Declaration and the Presidents’ Climate Leadership Commitment, U of I is prioritizing the reduction of greenhouse gases generated on campus, with a goal of carbon neutrality by 2030,” said Brian Johnson, assistant vice president of facilities.

U of I's STARS report is publicly available on the STARS website and is valid for three years. In addition, publications like the Princeton Review and Sierra draw on the data STARS compiles for their own college sustainability rankings.

This effort has been facilitated by our Sustainability Center, and it reflects the accomplishments of multiple stakeholders across our campus, including Facilities, the Office of Research, Institutional Effectiveness and Accreditation and numerous others.

About the University of Idaho

The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, nine research and Extension centers, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to nearly 12,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky Conference. Learn more at