../Morning Post
Posted May 12 , 2010

Sustainability Office to assess sustainability of Laurier campuses

Waterloo - To help advance Laurier’s efforts to become a recognized leader in environmental sustainability, the university’s Sustainability Office is conducting a sustainability assessment of the Waterloo, Kitchener and Brantford campuses.

Laurier will be using the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS) developed by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, an international organization that provides resources, professional development and a network of support for colleges and universities wanting to create a more sustainable future.

“By identifying the university’s strengths and weaknesses in terms of sustainability, Laurier’s Sustainability Office will be able to better allocate its resources and minimize the university’s environmental footprint more efficiently,” says Sarah English, sustainability coordinator. “Additionally, the results will aid in developing the university’s Sustainability Action Plan, which will outline how we will promote each strength and tackle each weakness.”

The STARS assessment will rate the university’s progress toward sustainability by using a number of weighted indicators based on four categories:

1. Education and research (e.g. sustainability courses, research)
2. Operations (e.g. energy consumption, transportation options, waste management)
3. Planning, administration and engagement (e.g. human resources, investment, diversity)
4. Innovation

The final rating, based on a point system associated with the indicators, can be used to compare Laurier to other universities, or compare the university’s own progress from year to year.

Laurier has recently partnered with Sustainable Waterloo, a local non-profit organization started by Laurier alumnus Mike Morrice, to help reduce carbon emissions in the region. The data collected for the STARS assessment will also feed the carbon emission inventory required for Sustainable Waterloo to measure the university’s emissions.

To complete the STARS assessment, the Sustainability Office will be collecting data from all departments in Waterloo, Kitchener and Brantford over the course of the summer.

“I would like to thank each department in advance for their cooperation,” says English. If you would like more information about the assessment, contact English at senglish@wlu.ca or 519-884-0710 ext. 4280.

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