Site Accessibility Statement
Wilfrid Laurier University Physical Resources
October 28, 2016
Canadian Excellence

Sustainability Assessment

Laurier’s Sustainability Office is conducting a Sustainability Assessment in order to identify areas of strength and weakness in terms of sustainability at Laurier. After compiling and organizing this information, the Sustainability Office will be more inclined to allocate its limited resources to minimizing Laurier’s environmental footprint and advancing Laurier’s efforts to becoming a recognized leader in campus sustainability. 

Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS)

In 2014, Laurier received Silver rating with STARS 2.0, an improvement from our 2010 Bronze rating. For more information on the assessment, check out the detailed report.

STARS 2.0 is the current version of STARS.  The STARS 2.0 Technical Manual (pdf) is the go-to guide for the STARS credits and is organized into four main categories (Academics, Engagement, Operations, and Planning & Administration), which are broken down into sub-categories where the individual STARS credits are located.

The STARS 2.0 Credit Checklist (pdf) provides a quick snapshot of the credits included in STARS 2.0. Data collected for each STARS credit is documented in the STARS Reporting Tool, which is only available to STARS Participants. STARS Participants registered under a previous version of STARS may upgrade to the current version. Note: This is the most current version of the STARS Technical Manual and is different from the pre-launch version, which was shared with the public in August 2013, and includes administrative updates (pdf).  

Previous versions are available, including the STARS 1.2 Technical Manual. View the STARS 2.0 Summary of Changes (pdf) for an overview of updates between STARS 1.2 and STARS 2.0. 

Credit Outline

Each STARS credit in the Technical Manual includes the following details:

  • Credit Rationaleprovides background on the importance of the credit in the context of sustainability.
  • Criteria–describes how an institution earns points for the credit.
  • Applicability–indicates which institutions’ STARS scores will be affected by their responses to the credit. Some credits do not apply to some types of institutions. For example, credits involving residence halls do not apply to institutions that do not have residence halls.
  • Scoring–explains how points are allocated for the credit.
  • Reporting Fields–lists the fields that appear within the Reporting Tool for each credit. Some fields are required while others are listed as
    optional if the institution wishes to provide additional information.
  • Timeframe–describes the time period from which data should be drawn. For some credits, particularly those that are based on the presence of a policy or program, institutions should report on current practices (i.e. status at the time of reporting). Other credits, particularly those based on quantitative performance, require historical performance data, typically drawn from a one-year period.
  • Sampling and Data Standardsprovides guidelines on when institutions may use a representative sample to measure performance and when samples are prohibited. 

Credit Development

STARS credits were initially developed in large part by reviewing campus sustainability assessments, sustainability reports from businesses, and other sustainability rating and ranking systems. The current version of STARS incorporates feedback and suggestions from hundreds of diverse stakeholders and experts. For more information see previous versions of the STARS Technical Manual

Credits vary in the number of points they are worth. Points were allocated by a panel of STARS Steering Committee members and AASHE staff using the following considerations:

  1. To what extent does achievement of the credit ensure that people (students, employees and/or local community members) acquire the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to meet sustainability challenges?
  2. To what extent does achievement of the credit contribute to:

a. human and ecological health and mitigate negative environmental impacts?

b. secure livelihoods, a sustainable economy and other positive financial impacts?

c. social justice, equity, diversity, cooperation, democracy and other positive social impacts?

3. To what extent are the positive impacts associated with achievement of the credit not captured in other STARS credits?


For more information refer to the STARS Manual.