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Furman earns “gold” status for sustainability efforts

Furman University has earned a STARS Gold Rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) in recognition of its sustainability achievements across the campus.

Furman will celebrate the university’s new “gold” status with a special event on the James B. Duke Library porch Tuesday, March 24 from 12:30-2 p.m.  The celebration will include remarks by President Elizabeth Davis at 12:45 p.m.

STARS, the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System, measures and encourages sustainability in all aspects of higher education.  Furman’s STARS report is publicly available on the STARS website.

With more than 650 participants on six continents, 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 four overall areas: 1) operations 2) academics, 3) engagement and 4) planning, administration. Furman’s high scores in academics and engagement reflect the university’s distinctive community-based, and interdisciplinary approach to sustainability teaching, research, and partnerships.

“STARS was developed by the campus sustainability community to provide high standards for recognizing campus sustainability efforts,” says AASHE Executive Director Meghan Fay Zahniser. “Furman has demonstrated a substantial commitment to sustainability by achieving a STARS Gold Rating and is to be congratulated for their efforts.”

Says Yancey Fouché, Associate Director of Furman’s Shi Center for Sustainability, “Only 94 institutions have reported under the latest, most stringent version of STARS, and of those, 38 achieved a gold rating. That’s quite an accomplishment for Furman, and even more noteworthy since Furman is among just a few institutions in the Southeast to achieve the gold rating.”

Unlike other rating or ranking systems, the program is open to all institutions of higher education, and the criteria that determine a STARS rating are transparent and accessible to anyone. Because STARS is a program based on credits earned, it allows for both internal comparisons as well as comparisons with similar institutions.

For more information, contact Yancey Fouché at the David E. Shi Center for Sustainability at (864) 294-3656, or


AASHE is an association of colleges and universities working to create a sustainable future. AASHE’s mission is to empower higher education to lead the sustainability transformation. It provides resources, professional development and a network of support to enable institutions of higher education to model and advance sustainability in everything they do, from governance and operations to education and research. For more information about AASHE, visit

Last updated March 24, 2015
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Clinton Colmenares
News & Media Relations Director