Mohawk College receives STARS Gold rating for sustainability achievements
First Ontario college recognized with gold standard
Mohawk College has become the first Ontario college to earn a STARS Gold rating in recognition of its sustainability achievements from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). STARS, the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System measures and encourages sustainability in all aspects of higher education.
“Mohawk Colleges strives to be a leader in environmental sustainability in our community and throughout the educational sector,” says Mohawk College President Ron McKerlie. “Achieving a STARS Gold rating affirms that climate action is becoming engrained in our college culture. We want to inspire our students to be sustainability leaders in their chosen fields and we have a responsibility to demonstrate our commitment through our actions.”
With more than 900 participants in 30 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.
Mohawk College was the first college in Ontario to introduce a comprehensive environmental management plan to address key areas of college operations including transportation, waste management and food. The college’s sustainability team manages over 30 programs and initiatives each year that are dedicated to embedding sustainable practices into operations and programming across all three of Mohawk’s campuses and providing learning opportunities in sustainability for Mohawk students. As well, the opening of The Joyce Centre for Partnership & Innovation in September 2018 introduced students to one of the largest zero-carbon institutional buildings in Canada, meaning there are no net greenhouse gas emissions associated with the building’s operations.
“Mohawk is excited to continue to innovate and catalyze sustainability, on our campus and in the community,” says Kate Flynn, Acting Director for the Centre for Climate Change Management, which manages Mohawk Sustainability programming and services. “We’re proud to achieve STARS Gold and are excited to keep moving forward to support a low-carbon future for our students and for the region.”
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. Since STARS is a program based on credits earned, it allows for both internal comparisons as well as comparisons with similar institutions.
Mohawk College’s STARS report is publicly available on the STARS website: https://reports.aashe.org/institutions/mohawk-college-on/report/2019-01-22/