SHERBROOKE, QC, July 2, 2020 /CNW Telbec/ - The Université de Sherbrooke has been given a Platinum Rating from the global STARS certification in sustainable development program administered by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). This is the highest possible rating for an educational institution's sustainability efforts. In an unprecedented feat, UdeS obtained this rating on its first attempt. Only 8 other universities in the world have reached this level, and none had received it during the first evaluation exercise, until UdeS.
"For us, STARS is a way of formalizing our academic community's outstanding commitment to sustainability. It has allowed us to take stock of our practices so that we can share them and advance our efforts. Platinum Rating confirms once again that the Université de Sherbrooke is positioned as a leader in sustainable development, which makes our community so proud. This extraordinary performance is very inspiring and will push us to go even further and innovate in every area of sustainable development," explained Denyse Rémillard, Vice-Rector, Administration and Sustainable Development.
Using the STARS accreditation framework, educational institutions report on their achievements in the environmental, social and economic aspects of four overall areas that include academics and research, campus and public engagement, operations, and planning and administration.
Examples of sustainable practices at UdeS
- In 2007, UdeS created the position of Vice-Rector of Administration and Sustainable Development. To meet its sustainable development ambitions, it implemented and coordinated a plan comprising 7 strategies and over 300 actions.
- A critical mass of researchers have worked on unifying themes related to sustainable development, such as Climate Change, the Environment, or Togetherness.
- Since the Kyoto Protocol, UdeS has reduced its GHG emissions by 30% despite a growth of more than 60% in its student population. The University also adopted a strategy to become carbon neutral by 2030.
- Its program to provide universal access to public transit for students was renewed in 2020, and an incentive program to get employees to use public transit was introduced on all three campuses. UdeS is investing in the Centre de mobilité durable de Sherbrooke.
- Many student groups contribute to on-campus sustainable development projects such as the Campus durable, Ruche Campus, and Jardin collectif. Different initiatives also go beyond the University's walls, such as Hoola One, Free Go Frigo refrigerators and La Déraille cooperative.
- The University has the largest array of solar panels for applied research in Canada and has invested in the Créneau d'excellence en technologies propres.
- With its diverse programs and team of recognized specialists, the Centre universitaire de formation en environnement et en développement durable has created an interdisciplinary space for training, reflection and action for a more responsible society.
- STARS also recognizes the quality of the University's campus design, transportation and waste management measures.
- UdeS is a leader in green procurement for Quebec's public-sector supply networks.
- The University also stands out in terms of the social aspects related to sustainable development. For example, it aspires to be a role model for equity, diversity and inclusion. Sensitive to the issues facing transgender people, UdeS has developed new guidelines about the choice of first name, last name and gender for its staff and student community.
The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) is an organized and comprehensive framework that helps universities and colleges around the world track their sustainability progress. Its collaborative and dynamic approach draws meaningful comparisons between institutions as an incentive for them to push toward innovative and creative improvements. STARS is spearheaded by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), an association of international sustainability specialists. Over 950 higher education institutions from around the world have registered as STARS participants.
Note to journalists: Vice-Rector of Administration and Sustainable Development Denyse Rémillard is available today's only (July 2) for interviews.
SOURCE Université de Sherbrooke
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