Fleming College receives STARS Silver Rating for sustainability achievements

Wayne Eardley 2015-0731Fleming College has earned a STARS Silver Rating in recognition of its sustainability achievements from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).

STARS, the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System, measures and encourages sustainability in all aspects of higher education. Fleming is the first institution in Ontario, and is only the second in Canada, to receive a Silver rating in the newest – and more stringent – version of the rating system, STARS 2.1.

With more than 650 participants on six continents, 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 four overall areas: operations; academics; engagement; and planning and administration.

“STARS was developed by the campus sustainability community to provide high standards for recognizing campus sustainability efforts,” said AASHE Executive Director Meghan Fay Zahniser. “Fleming College has demonstrated a substantial commitment to sustainability by achieving a STARS Silver Rating and is to be congratulated for their efforts.”

“Fleming has sought to be a leader in translating sustainability objectives into concrete action. We were the first post-secondary institution in Canada to ban the sale of bottled water at all of our campuses. We were also one of the first institutions to make a commitment to sustainability in our key strategic documents, followed by a five-year plan with specific goals and targets,” said Fleming College President Tony Tilly.

Highlights of the work undertaken by staff, faculty and students include the application of sustainability across academic schools and curricula – in programs such as Business and Early Childhood Education as well as skilled trades, and art and design.

“These efforts build on the long history of applied learning at our School of Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences that is also home to the internationally recognized Centre for Alternative Waste Water Treatment,” added President Tilly.

“Across the College we are continually finding ways to reduce energy use and to green our campus operations. We are also active in community engagement by hosting on-campus farmers’ markets and community gardens as well as helping with local sustainability plans. While these initiatives are known to our College community, assessment frameworks such as STARS provide an objective benchmark to measure and publicly report our progress.”

Fleming College’s public commitment to action on sustainability dates back to 2009 when, along with many other Canadian colleges, President Tilly signed the Pan-Canadian Protocol committing to sustainability in campus operations, curriculum, and research, and in working with the community. Fleming followed up with its strategic plan (2010-2015) and a five year sustainability plan (2013-2018) to become a “leader in sustainability.”

To track its progress, Fleming filed its first STARS report in 2013, achieving Bronze. The College then committed to achieve a Silver rating by 2018.

“It is with great pride that Fleming has achieved this goal in 2016 by the standards of the latest version of the STARS rating system,” said Trish O’Connor, Lead – Office of Sustainability, Fleming College. “We look forward to watching our sustainability efforts grow and improve through the STARS program.”

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.

Fleming’s report is publicly available on the STARS website: https://stars.aashe.org/

About AASHE
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. For more information about AASHE, visit www.aashe.org. For more information about the STARS program, visit stars.aashe.org.

 

About Fleming College
Located in the heart of Central Ontario, Fleming College has campus locations in Peterborough, Lindsay, Cobourg and Haliburton. Named for famous Canadian inventor and engineer Sir Sandford Fleming, the college features more than 100 full-time programs in Arts and Heritage, Business, Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences, General Arts and Sciences, Health and Wellness, Justice and Community Development, Skilled Trades and Technology, and Continuing Education. Fleming College has more than 5,800 full-time and 10,000 part-time students, and 71,000 alumni.

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Media, for more information please contact:
Laura Copeland
Communications Officer, Fleming College
laura.copeland@flemingcollege.ca
705.749.5530 x 1370
Meghan Fay Zahniser, Executive Director
AASHE
meghan@aashe.org
(888) 347-9997