For a second time, Thompson Rivers University (TRU) has achieved a rare platinum rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s (AASHE) Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS) program, which measures and encourages sustainability in all key aspects of higher education. TRU is currently one of only two Canadian universities to receive a platinum rating.
TRU achieved a platinum rating in 2018, the first Canadian institution to reach that level. The university is now the first in Canada to have achieved the accolade twice and is one of six in the world to reach double platinum.
“Sustainability is one of our core values; it’s something that we strive to incorporate throughout our operations and our programs,” says TRU President Brett Fairbairn. “Receiving the STARS platinum rating recognizes our efforts and confirms that TRU is a world leader in this important area. We know that what we do today impacts the well-being of future generations, and to be recognized as one of the best demonstrates our commitment.”
TRU’s Campus Tree Program, Fill it Forward and promoting the Kamloops Community Climate Action Plan are among 64 sustainability initiatives recognized by the STARS program. The STARS rating is valid for three years, so this latest achievement is effective until fall of 2025. Due to COVID-19, institutions were given an extra year to submit. Achieving platinum rating gets harder as universities move forward in the program.
“The STARS report is important because it says that TRU is headed in the right direction,” says James Gordon, manager of TRU Sustainability Programs. “Sustainability is about making decisions that factor in environmental, social and economic considerations at the same time. It’s not easy, and it’s more complex, but in the long run, it’s the right thing to do.”
With more than 900 participants in over 37 countries, 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 five overall areas: academics, engagement, operations, planning and administration, and innovation and leadership.
TRU’s STARS report is available on the STARS website: https://reports.aashe.org/institutions/thompson-rivers-university-bc/report/2022-05-31/