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PSU earns Gold rating for sustainability with third highest score in U.S.
Author: Scott Gallagher
Posted: February 16, 2011

(Portland, Ore.) February 15, 2011 – Portland State University (PSU) earned a STARS Gold rating, with the third highest score in the United States, in recognition of sustainability achievements from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).

"This is PSU's first comprehensive sustainability assessment and it really highlights our longtime strengths in community-based learning and the university's conscious effort to build a healthier campus," said Noelle Studer-Spevak, sustainability coordinator. "But we're not going to rest on our laurels; three years from now we’re going to see significant reductions in energy and solid waste."

PSU's high score was in part due to strong numbers in co-curricular education (18/18), diversity and affordability (14/14), public engagement (26/32), research (25/27), and coordination and planning (15/18). Additional credits were earned for PSU's Initiative for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation, Community Environmental Services, Electric Vehicles research, and the University EcoDistrict plan.

PSU is a charter member of STARS, the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System, a new program that measures and encourages sustainability in all aspects of higher education. This system was designed by colleges and is the only one of its kind that involves publicly reporting comprehensive information related to a college or university's sustainability performance. Participants report achievements in three overall areas: 1) education & research, 2) operations, and 3) planning, administration & engagement.

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

There are almost 250 institutions that have registered for the STARS program, and, so far, PSU has the highest score in Oregon. American University has the highest score in the United States followed by the University of Colorado, Boulder. Once schools have registered they must submit a report that will result in a rating and score.

For more information go to:

About Portland State University (PSU)
Located in Portland, Oregon, PSU has about 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students, making it the largest university in Oregon. PSU's motto is "Let Knowledge Serve the City," and we provide every student with opportunities to work with businesses, schools and organizations on real-world projects.

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