While Marlboro College is making every effort to be more sustainable, in its operations, academic programs, and administration, how does it stack up to other colleges? Marlboro now has a window into this important issue through the Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating System (STARS), a methodology developed by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. As part of her Plan of Concentration work, Joy Auciello ’13 compiled answers to the 135 comprehensive questions, detailed in the 300-page STARS technical manual, and found that Marlboro scores equivalent to a Silver rating.
“At Marlboro, we can think of STARS as a template for environmental improvement,” said Joy, pictured right helping build the new greenhouse. She built an internal website that will let the college track it’s sustainability work, using metrics that that reflect Marlboro’s place in the higher education landscape. Of the schools that have officially joined STARS, fewer than 50 have a Gold rating and none have the best-possible Platinum. For now Marlboro’s results are unofficial, as the college has chosen not to report directly to AASHE. But with so much work into it, and such a positive outcome, Marlboro will likely revisit joining STARS in the future.
“This is a great piece of work by Joy,” said Matt Ollis, math professor and chair of the Environmental Advisory Committee. “It gives us the chance to identify areas where we should pay more attention in the coming years and highlights some of our past and ongoing successful hard work.”