STARS: CSU Tops National Sustainability Rating System

By: Brian Dunbar

Colorado State University has obtained a Gold rating and the highest score ever achieved in STARS, the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System.  STARS, considered the most comprehensive and respected assessment system for colleges and universities, is administered by AASHE (Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education).

To date, more than 300 higher education institutions worldwide have participated in STARS.  STARS measures a wide range of campus practices, measures, and actions including facilities and grounds, scholarly research, education programs, and operating policies.  CSU has participated in STARS since the pilot phase and was also the No. 1 university in 2011, when the original version 1.0 submission was reported.  The CSU STARS reporting process is organized by the President’s Sustainability Committee and is jointly compiled by a team of researchers.

CSU scores high in research (over 75% of departments are involved in sustainability-related research), alternative transportation (over 50% of students use a bike as their primary means to campus), waste diversion, sustainability education programs, water conservation, LEED certified new and existing buildings, and energy efficiency.  Every college and many special programs has notable accomplishments and activities that contribute to the STARS reporting.

The Institute for the Built Environment has significantly contributed to CSU’s STARS ranking through years of engaging students, faculty, and staff in sustainable design education, research, and service-learning projects that benefit our campus, Colorado communities, and the design and construction industries.

For further information on STARS and the CSU report, visit http://www.green.colostate.edu

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Support CSU Sustainability Programs at the 5th Annual Ram Bicycle Classic!

By: Becky Moriarty, IBE Sustainable Building Associate

This year, the Institute for the Built Environment has proudly partnered with fellow sustainability enterprises on campus to host the 5th Annual Ram Bicycle Classic (RBC).   The non-competitive ride is a fundraiser to support CSU student efforts to build world-class sustainability programs including IBE, the School of Global Environmental Sustainability, the Warner College of Natural Resources Conservation Leadership program, and the College of Business Global Social and Sustainable Enterprise MBA.

Nancy Nichols, the local Safe Routes to Schools coordinator, giving
a presentation to kids who came out for the 2012 Ram Bicycle Classic.

It is expected that over 800 participants will come out to ride the RBC which starts and ends on the Colorado State University campus.   This year’s one day event will offer four fully supported cycling options ranging from the 11-mile family fun ride to the 100-mile century ride for the more seasoned riders.  Registration includes a ride t-shirt and post-ride festivities including a complimentary lunch, beer garden with two free beers for riders 21 and up, live music, and a bike expo. Additionally, each participant will be entered into a drawing to win either a Panda bike, a New Belgium cruiser or an Aluboo bike! The family-friendly event will also include a kid’s bike rodeo and bike safety clinic from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. by Bike Fort Collins and the City of Fort Collins Safe Routes to School Program.

About the Courses

100-Mile Century Ride – Challenging
This ride climbs to Masonville and Carter Lake in Loveland before coming back around Horsetooth Reservoir in Fort Collins, then north on relatively flat roads to Owl Canyon and then finishing at CSU.

65-Mile Ride – Challenging
Same hilly south roads as the century ride, but without Horsetooth Reservoir and Owl Canyon.

35-Mile Half-Metric Ride – Moderate
North to Owl Canyon road on a relatively flat route and then looping back to CSU.

11-Mile Family Fun Ride – Easy
This is a flat and easy ride, winding along the beautiful bicycle paths on the Poudre River and Spring Creek bike trails around Fort Collins.

Riders tackling the hills at Horsetooth Reservoir at the 2012 Ram Bicycle Classic.

Multiple aid stations fully-equipped with food, water, restrooms, as well as, mechanical and first aid support are provided along all the routes.

Visit www.rambicycleclassic.org to get more information on the event or to register for the ride.  If you are interested in helping along the route, there are many great opportunities to volunteer.  Contact info@rambicycleclassic.org if you are interested in learning about the volunteer opportunities.  And don’t forget to ‘ like’ the event on Facebook where you can check out photos from previous years and receive up to date information on the ride.