UMass Amherst surges to ninth in sustainability ranking

The John W. Olver Design Building, mostly made of wood,  at UMass Amherst.

The John W. Olver Design Building, mostly made of wood,  at UMass Amherst.

The New England Council reports:

"The University of Massachusetts at Amherst recently announced that it has been ranked ninth in the nation for Sustainable Universities by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s (AASHE) Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating System (STARS). The STARS program recognizes sustainability accomplishments in areas such as academics, research, engagement, operations, and administration.

In 2015, the university was rated 29th in the STARS Campus Sustainability Index among U.S. doctorate-granting institutions. However, with the creation of the School of Earth and Sustainability, the design and construction of the John W. Olver Design Building -- the largest and most technologically advanced academic contemporary wood structure in the U.S. -- and the decision to be the first major public university to divest its endowment from direct holdings in fossil fuels, the university has significantly increased its STARS score from a 68.18 to a 75.77, resulting in a leap of 20 places from the previous 2015 rating.

Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy said, “This new STARS score reflects the university’s continuing commitment to excellence in sustainability. UMass Amherst is a leader in best practices for energy efficient construction and sustainable food use, conducting world-class research and preparing a new generation of students to be inspired stewards of our planet.”

Read more on the UMass Amherst web site.