Published 11/13/13

Sustainability achievements earn Bryant a STARS silver rating

SMITHFIELD, R.I. -- Bryant University has received a STARS silver rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) in recognition of the University's sustainability achievements.  STARS, the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System, is a reporting tool that provides a comprehensive set of metrics that track and encourage sustainability in all aspects of higher education. ( Read Bryant's 2013 STARS report.)

student using refillable water bottle Sustainability at Bryant University has come to the forefront in the areas of energy efficiency, human equity, and environmental education. Over the past several years in particular, sustainability momentum has grown significantly across campus. This increase of green enthusiasm, policies, and practices on campus has generated a shared sense of commitment to all facets of sustainability.

In the beginning of 2012, Bryant partnered with EcoMotion,  an energy and sustainability consulting firm, to catalyze the STARS submission process and to demonstrate its commitment. In August 2012 Bryant earned the STARS bronze distinction . Just 13 months later, Bryant received the STARS silver designation through sustainability actions spread across operations; education and research; and planning, administration, and engagement.

"We look forward to helping our sustainability efforts grow."

“We are very proud to have achieved a STARS silver rating for our sustainability accomplishments. We look forward to helping our sustainability efforts grow,” said Barry Morrison, Vice President for Business Affairs at Bryant. Achieving STARS silver status marks a year of significant effort and progress on campus. The achievement highlights the University’s innovation from the energy management of its information technology center, to its geothermal heating and thermal energy storage systems, to its academic courses with sustainability emphases and its U.S.-China Institute, squarely acknowledging the role of global trade and the environment.

The University’s first Sustainability Plan was developed as part of the overall process. The plan codifies the University’s forward-thinking stance in the sustainability arena, documents sustainability success achieved, and presents specific goals and actions in eight resource areas, from energy and water to health and wellness. The plan also maps a means to save resources while demonstrating leadership and identifies existing metrics to be used as baselines.

Throughout the process, the University instituted more than a dozen initiatives, beginning with the formation and facilitation of the Bryant Sustainability Committee which now guides the effort on campus.  Other programmatic areas include the Eco-Leader program, a green revolving fund, the Green Alumni Alliance, a green office program, as well as a sustainability certificate and sustainability internships.

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

Bryant University in Smithfield, R.I., is a leading private university offering an innovative and uniquely integrated business and liberal arts education. Recognizing its 150 th anniversary in 2013, Bryant University has approximately 3,500 graduate and undergraduate students from 33 states and 85 countries. Bryant University regularly receives top rankings from U.S. News and World Report, Bloomberg Businessweek, Forbes and Barron’s.