Shoreline Community College joined in the launch of a new national effort to encourage sustainability practices in all aspects of campus life. The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) introduced STARS (Sustainability, Tracking, Assessment & Rating System) version 1.0 and formally launched its online Reporting Tool on January 19, 2010.
To date, over 115 higher education institutions have registered as STARS Charter Participants and Shoreline Community College is proud to be one of them.
“Responsible environmental stewardship is the key to addressing climate neutrality. We must think differently about how we use natural resources and must challenge ourselves to put those thoughts into practice,” Shoreline Community College President Lee Lambert said.
Prior to signing the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment agreement in September of 2007, Shoreline Community College had already made significant progress toward creating a sustainable campus, with one of the core values of the college’s Strategic Plan being to recognize and sustain our natural environment.
An environmental policy was approved by the Board of Trustees in 1996, at which time a Sustainability Committee was implemented. Shoreline joined the City of Seattle as a founding partner of Seattle Climate Partnership in 2006 and hosted the Washington State Odyssey Days that year to heighten public awareness of alternative fuels. Since that time, the college has become a leader in environmental sustainability, offering the first solar design and installation program for credit in the state.
President Lambert testified (by invitation) before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions on green job skills. Additionally, a comprehensive inventory of all greenhouse gas emissions was conducted and recorded, and development of an institutional action plan was developed, with completion set for May of 2010.
AASHE’s STARS program is the only one of its kind that involves a comprehensive process of collecting and publicly reporting information related to a college or university’s sustainability performance in education and research, operations, and planning, administration & engagement.
“The advantage of STARS is that all aspects of campus life are taken into consideration with regard to the ability to earn credits,” said AASHE Executive Director, Paul Rowland. “From providing sustainability coursework, to dorm cleaning products, to energy efficiency in campus buildings, there are lots of opportunities for a school to identify and track its sustainability progress.”
About Shoreline Community College:
Shoreline Community College offers excellent academic, professional-technical and work force training programs to meet the lifelong learning needs of its community. The area is nationally known for its recreational and cultural opportunities, which richly complement academic life. Just 10 miles north of downtown Seattle, Shoreline is located near the beautiful Puget Sound and the majestic Olympic Mountain range is only a ferry boat ride away.
The college, established in 1964, operates under the regulations of the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges. It is governed by the Board of Trustees of Shoreline Community College, District Number Seven. The college is a member of the American Association of Community Colleges and the Association of Community College Trustees.
Sustainability efforts at SCC:
“We, at Shoreline Community College, affirm our commitment to protect and enhance the environment through our learning, research, service, and administrative operations,” President Lambert said. “We seek to foster a community that sustains ecological systems and educates for environmental awareness, local action, and global thinking. We seek to incorporate environmental principles and environmentally responsible practices as fundamental and integrated components of all SCC operations and programs.”
The fundamental principles are to:
- Incorporate environmental concerns as a significant priority in College decision making.
- Seek alternative practices and procedures to minimize negative impacts on the environment.
- Conserve natural resources and restore environmental quality.
- Protect the biodiversity of our region and serve as a living laboratory and habitat for local species.
- Consider the social, economic, and environmental impacts of Shoreline Community College’s operational policies and foster a participatory process in developing these policies.
All college decisions and actions are guided by the College’s Mission Statement, reflective of the College’s resources, and informed by the Board of Trustee’s Policies and the College’s Strategic Plan.
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 by providing 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. For more information about AASHE, visit www.aashe.org.
For more information about the STARS program, visit the web