Topics: Sustainability/Environment, Administrative

November 13, 2012

Ball State University recently was recognized for its sustainability achievements by a North American higher education organization dedicated to supporting environmentally responsible practices.

The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) awarded Ball State a Gold rating as part of its Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System. STARS, as it is known, is a program that measures and encourages sustainability in all aspects of higher education.

Ball State's Gold rating places it among the highest-rated institutions tracked by AASHE. Last year, the university achieved a Silver rating.

 "STARS was developed by the campus sustainability community to provide high standards for recognizing campus sustainability efforts," said Paul Rowland, executive director of AASHE. "Ball State University students, staff, faculty and administrators have demonstrated a substantial commitment to sustainability by achieving a STARS Gold rating and are to be congratulated for their efforts."

The Gold ranking was the second significant recognition Ball State has received this year for its sustainability efforts. In June, the university received the Excellence in Integration Award from the International Sustainable Campus Network.

Among other things, Ball State has been recognized for its ambitious geothermal heating and cooling system, which is in its second phase of construction. When finished, the system will save the university an estimated $2 million per year in operating costs and cut its carbon footprint roughly in half.  The university also has been cited for its commitment to "green" building procedures, extensive on-campus educational programs supporting sustainable practices, and a transportation program that features hybrid and flex-fuel vehicles.

By Vic Caleca, senior media relations manager