November 16, 2011 by Kristina Medley, NMSU News Center
The New Mexico State University Office of Sustainability participated in the Sustainability Tracking and Assessment Reporting System this year for the first time, and the university received a Bronze Star rating.
The Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education STARS report is organized around three categories: operations; education and research; and planning, administration and engagement. NMSU received a 100 percent on innovation, 46 percent in planning, administration and engagement, and 23 percent in operations.
“The STARS report is an easy way to show what the university is doing to be green,” said joni newcomer (sic), chair of the NMSU Sustainability Council and manager of Environmental Policy and Sustainability at NMSU.
In recent years, NMSU has made many efforts in terms of sustainability. Some of these efforts include Leadership in Energy and Environment Design buildings, the use of Energy Star light bulbs and computers, Recyclemania and other campus sustainability projects and more.
One of the benefits of the STARS report is that NMSU is now listed on the Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education website as signatory of the organization, newcomer said. Anyone can access the site and see what the university is doing in terms of sustainability on campus.
She said the report is important because it draws more awareness to sustainability and the efforts of the university.
“The way we’re treating the planet right now, obviously it’s not happy,” she said. “The only way that can change is through all of us coming together to change our behaviors and our energy usage on every level and becoming more aware.”
The Office of Sustainability plans to participate in the report again next year in hopes of more participation and a higher rating.
“Our goal is for gold,” newcomer said. “Now that we are more educated about our objectives, we can find ways to achieve them in the future.”