Brock’s Environmental Sustainability Research Centre (ESRC) and Facilities Management are joining forces to form the Brock University Project Charter in an effort to tackle sustainability questions on campus.
This summer, the team is working to complete the University’s first Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS). The self-reporting framework, administered by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), is widely used amongst higher institutions throughout North America to help measure sustainability performance.
STARS will provide Brock with a starting point by denoting baseline numbers for continuous improvement and integrating sustainability into planning and development efforts.
“As a community, it’s important to understand where our sustainability initiatives are succeeding and where we need to enhance our efforts,” says Mary Quintana, Director of Asset Management & Utilities. “STARS will allow us to concentrate our efforts where we need them most in advancing sustainability.”
By participating in STARS, Brock will be eligible to earn a STARS bronze, silver, gold or platinum rating, and will be featured in the highly regarded Sustainable Campus Index. STARS also provides an opportunity to showcase Brock’s sustainability achievements to campus and community stakeholders.
The reporting tool improves consistency and transparency in all sustainability related activities and programs, as well as provides students, faculty and staff with the opportunity to be involved with making Brock — and the Niagara region — a more sustainable place.
The tool also promotes communication of Brock’s sustainability achievements and enables knowledge-sharing from peer institutions to identify best practices to implement locally. Participation in STARS is a large stride towards creating a more sustainable society for the Brock community.
As the Brock University Project Charter begins to collect data and information related to sustainability across campus this summer, the team may reach out in search of metrics or information related to Sustainability at Brock and the STARS Assessment. The team is eager to develop new partnerships across campus in an effort to make Brock the most sustainable campus in the country.
“We are hopeful that partners from across campus will actively participate in the STARS assessment as this process will allows us to collect baseline information to be able to make evidence-based decisions regarding sustainability in the future,” says Scott Johnstone.
If you have sustainability related information in the areas of academics, community engagement, campus operations and leadership, please contact ESRC’s summer co-op sustainability Coordinator, Elenore Breslow at firstname.lastname@example.org
This story was written by Elenore Breslow, a Sustainability Co-ordinator for the Environmental Sustainability Research Centre.