The Ohio State University at Mansfield has earned a STARS Silver Rating in recognition of its sustainability achievements from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). STARS, the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System measures and encourages sustainability in all aspects of higher education.
The Ohio State University at Mansfield’s STARS report is publicly available on the STARS website: go.osu.edu/AASHE
One of the most impactful sustainability achievements is the Ecolab at The Ohio State University at Mansfield. The Ecolab provides a living laboratory for elementary through college students. College-level research projects are also conducted on the 640 acres of diverse woodlands. The wooded setting is utilized by the community and the campus to learn about woodlands management through the Ohio State University Extension.
The vision of The Ohio State University at Mansfield to capitalize on the natural diversity of the 600-acre campus continues to gather momentum. The Grant and Mary Milliron Research Wetlands and Outdoor Classroom opened in spring 2016, with the First Energy Pollinator Demonstration Plot planted in summer 2016. Expansion is underway in fall 2017, with construction underway for a micro-farm. “We are very grateful to be recognized by AASHE, a national rating system, for efforts right here in north central Ohio. The acreage with its forestry assets, the wetlands, the pollinator plot, a micro-farm, are just steps away from the classroom. They create an unusually rich framework for students, faculty, and staff to adopt practices and pursue studies in sustainability initiatives,” states Dr. Norman Jones, Interim Dean and Director at Mansfield.
More than 400 institutions have earned a STARS rating. Participants report achievements in five overall areas: 1) Academics, 2) Engagement, 3) Operations, 4) Planning & Administration, and 5) Innovation & Leadership.
“STARS was developed by the campus sustainability community to provide high standards for recognizing campus sustainability efforts,” said AASHE Executive Director Meghan Fay Zahniser. “The Ohio State University at Mansfield has demonstrated a substantial commitment to sustainability by achieving a STARS Silver Rating and is to be congratulated for their efforts.”
Unlike other rating or ranking systems, this program is open to all institutions of higher education, 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.