Georgia Tech Earns STARS Gold Rating for Sustainability Achievements

Image of the STARS Gold rating for sustainability from AASHE

Georgia Tech has earned a STARS Gold Rating in recognition of its sustainability achievements from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). STARS, the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System, measures and encourages sustainability in all aspects of higher education.   

With more than 1,200 participating institutions in 52 countries, 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 five areas:  

  1. Academics and research  
  1. Engagement  
  1. Operations  
  1. Planning and administration  
  1. Innovation and leadership  

“STARS was developed by the campus sustainability community to provide high standards for recognizing campus sustainability efforts,” said AASHE Executive Director Meghan Fay Zahniser. “Georgia Tech has demonstrated a substantial commitment to sustainability by achieving a STARS Gold Rating.” 

The STARS program is open to all institutions of higher education and allows for both internal comparisons as well as comparisons with similar institutions. "STARS is the cornerstone of sustainability reporting for colleges in the U.S. It is our most comprehensive process for collecting data and tracking our sustainability progress at Georgia Tech," said Jennifer Chirico, associate vice president of The Office of Sustainability at Georgia Tech. 

The Office of Sustainability led the charge, reaching out to more than 200 individuals and dozens of offices collecting data for STARS. The information provides a deep understanding of how diverse campus areas work together to support sustainability. STARS data directly informed Georgia Tech’s recently published Climate Action Plan, whose goals advance Tech’s commitment to advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  

“Achieving this rating is evidence of our commitment to sustainability and responsible stewardship,” said Shantay Bolton, executive vice president for Administration and Finance. “It reflects the collaborative efforts of our entire campus community — students, faculty, and staff — as we work together to create a more innovative, environmentally conscious, and socially responsible institution. Let this be an inspiration as we continue advancing sustainable practices and making a positive impact on our campus, in Atlanta, the state of Georgia, and the world.” 

Emma Blandford serves as portfolio manager for Sustainability Next and project manager for the STARS report. She says, “This team is incredibly passionate, and they are all experts in their fields. This report truly showcases that amazing work, but the progress does not end there. As proud as we are of earning a Gold Rating, Georgia Tech will continue to improve our commitment to sustainability going forward.” 

It is important to note that this report showcases data only from Summer 2021 through Summer 2023. Since the fall, Georgia Tech has:  

The Gold Rating represents an improvement from Georgia Tech's 2021 submission, which received a Silver designation. From highest to lowest, STARS ratings include Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze, and Reporter. Blandford adds, “We have landed Gold status, but the path to Platinum is visible. We are excited to see how far we can go.” 

Georgia Tech’s STARS report is publicly available on the STARS website.

News Contact

Emma Blandford
Program and Portfolio Manager
Sustainability Next