Keene State’s campus sustainability has earned the college a gold rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).
The AASHE is an organization comprised of several colleges and universities that are working to attain a more sustainable future for schools across the globe. To rate schools the organization uses the STARS program, also known as the Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating System.
Through the STARS program, Keene State has won a gold rating award for its sustainability and higher education practices. The college was rated through five different aspects: academics, engagement, operations, planning and administration, and innovation and leadership. Reportedly, the college received a score of 78.07 and will hold its gold rating through March of 2024. The college’s scores and additional information are posted on the STARS website and can be found here: https://reports.aashe.org/institutions/keene-state-college-nh/report/2021-03-04/.
Keene State is committed to its sustainability. According to the college’s website, it was the first college in the United States to be completely heated by recycled vegetable oil, the college also promotes composting in dining areas and employs students to lead the recycling department called ROCKS (Recycling on Campus at Keene State). Additionally, the college has several plans for continued and improved sustainability in the future. By 2030 Keene State hopes to be completely powered by renewable energies and plans on being totally carbon neutral by 2050. The college’s efforts are clearly displayed at: https://www.keene.edu/news/stories/detail/keene-state-college-earns-gold-for-sustainability-and-celebrates-earth-day/.
With more goals to achieve and plans to fulfill Keene State’s path towards a more sustainable future is far from over. However, the gold rating through STARS marks a milestone on the college’s efforts, as the Executive Director of AASHE, Meghan Fay Zahniser said, “Keene State College has demonstrated a substantial commitment to sustainability by achieving a STARS Gold Rating and is to be congratulated for their efforts.”
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