by Craig Layne
For the fourth consecutive year, Dickinson has been recognized as a top performer in the Sustainable Campus Index, a publication from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) that distinguishes colleges and universities and encourages sustainability in all aspects of higher education. In addition to achieving a Gold STARS rating, Dickinson attained the No. 2 spot among baccalaureate institutions in the coveted Overall Top Performer category and earned the No. 2 place in the air and climate category with a perfect score of 100%.
AASHE evaluates the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) performance of more than 550 institutions in 14 countries.
“STARS was developed by the campus sustainability community to provide high standards for recognizing campus sustainability efforts,” said AASHE Executive Director Meghan Fay Zahniser. “Dickinson has demonstrated a substantial commitment to sustainability by achieving a STARS Gold Rating and is to be congratulated for their efforts.”
AASHE’s report cites “high-impact climate actions at Dickinson” that enabled the college to attain carbon neutrality in 2020, being among the first 10 American higher-education institutions to do so. The report also mention’s the college’s transition to nearly 100% LED lighting, optimizing the efficiency of the central energy plant and energy-intensive buildings, which incorporate sustainable design and standards into all renovations and new construction projects. The index highlights the installation of solar arrays on campus, including a 3MW solar field that eradicated 10% of the college’s overall carbon footprint.
“Our journey to carbon neutrality has presented a tremendous opportunity for Dickinson,” said Neil Leary, director of the Center for Sustainability Education. “The improvements we’ve been able to make on campus have been matched by the engagement and enthusiasm we’ve fostered among our students, faculty and staff, who truly make sustainability a core value every day.”
The Sustainable Campus Index performance comes after another year of accolades for the college’s sustainability efforts. The Princeton Review ranked Dickinson second in the nation on its list of Top 50 Green Colleges and named it to its annual “Green Honor Roll,” and Sierra magazine again named the college one of its Cool Schools for environmental sustainability.
Published December 14, 2021