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ACC 410 Measuring Sustainability Performance in Higher Education STARS

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Measuring Sustainability Performance in Higher Education
Measuring sustainability Performance in Higher Education:
Implementing a Sustainability Scorecard
Gov’t & Not for Profit – ACC 410
1. Determine how SU specifically gained support for implementing the
STARS model and whether this was good management practice.
In the beginning, when SU began the participation in the STARS pilot
program, some of the faculty was not interested in participating. SU
gained support for implementing the STARS model once people began
to understand the importance of it and how it would help each campus
and the individual departments. Some felt that the students should have
been able to participate in the pilot program rather than just certain
student organizations.
2. Determine the most difficult challenge faced by SU in implementing
the STARS model.
The most difficult challenge faced by SU in implementing the STARS
model was getting the faculty to participate. Some did not respond to the
survey nor did they provide any information pertaining to their teaching
or research. It was probably mainly due to the fact that they did not
understand what was meant by sustainability-focused or related teaching
and research pertaining to particular programs.
3. Analyze whether or not SU’s participation in the STARS pilot study
will/did add value to the institution.

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SU’s participation in the STARS pilot study did add value to the
institution by pointing out the different things in which STARS should be
giving points towards. SU’s feedback provided some very import factors
in the consideration of the way in which points are awarded. For
example, STARS gives out points for LEED certified or LEED equivalent
buildings when they should really be considering the Energy Efficient
buildings. The way in which STARS give out credit was confusing.
Comparing a bike rack near a building and upgrading a building by
adding a super efficient energy system, should not be allotted the same
number of points. Even though they both reduce the emissions, one is
more significant than the other. The amount of data that has to be
collected is overwhelming. There is no clarification as to what the credits
mean to each individual campus.

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4. Evaluate whether or not the STARS model rewards higher education
for focusing on the “low-hanging fruit” or its more long-term strategic
sustainability challenges.
In my opinion, STARS model rewards higher education for focusing on
the “low-hanging fruit” as opposed to the more long-term strategic
sustainability challenges. They are looking at what is being done in the
present rather than what is being done to improve thing for the near or
not so near future. STARS need to improve the way in which they
evaluate institutions and the way in which they gather the information.
One suggestion that was made by SU was hiring an undergraduate to
collect and update the data. STARS took their advice and did just that.

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