Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE)

AASHE is helping to create a brighter future of opportunity for all by advancing sustainability in higher education. By creating a diverse community engaged in sharing ideas and promising practices, AASHE provides administrators, faculty, staff and students, as well as the business that serve them, with: thought leadership and essential knowledge resources; outstanding opportunities for professional development; and a unique framework for demonstrating the value and competitive edge created by sustainability initiatives.

NMSU has been a member of AASHE since 2009. We joined shortly after we became a member of The American and College Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). The guidance both of these organizations provide in helping us report our sustainability is invaluable to keep us on track to lower our greenhouse gasses, the largest cause of climate change. We are encouraged to lower our energy consumption as well, which not only lowers our greenhouse gas emissions but lowers our energy bills as well.

STARS Report

AASHE developed the Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating System™ (STARS®). It is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. STARS encompasses long-term sustainability goals for already high-achieving institutions like NMSU, as well as entry points of recognition for institutions that are taking first steps toward sustainability. Our 2012 Gold report is here.

STARS is designed to:

1. Provide a framework for understanding sustainability in all sectors of higher education

2. Enable meaningful comparisons over time and across institutions using a common set of measurements developed with broad participation from the international campus sustainability community

3. Create incentives for continual improvement toward sustainability

4. Facilitate information sharing about higher education sustainability practices and performance

5. Build a stronger, more diverse campus sustainability community

November 2012 NMSU was awarded a Gold STARS rating! The rating was good for three years and now it’s time to do it again. We’ve removed our Star from the website until we finish our third report, but we’re still Green Aggie Stars in my playbook! The report takes a year to complete, so look for our next rating around March 2017.

If you’d like to volunteer to be on the committee to do the reporting, please contact joni newcomer at newcomer@nmsu.edu or 646-7563 or David Boje (Chair of the Sustainability Council) at dboje@nmsu.edu

ASSHE Strategy Map

AASHE 2015 Strategy