Friday, November 16, 2012

PLU reaches for the STARS

 by Erica Winscot, Guest Writer

Sustainability manager Chrissy Cooley presented the STAR system to the PLU sustainability department on Wednesday.
     
This is the second year Pacific Lutheran University has submitted the STAR report. STAR stands for Sustainable Tracking Assessment and Rating system.
   
There are three major aspects of this program: education and research, operations and planning of  administrative and engagement points.

Throughout this process, PLU has recognized that in the education and research section, campus is improving curriculum. However, PLU still needs to work on it, as  sustainability tends to be left out of classroom lectures. PLU is also improving in operations, but still needs to improve sustainable transportation.
   
“We are leading [in points], but everyone in the game is doing bad right now,” Cooley said when addressing how PLU stands overall in comparison to other schools with the same system.
   
If PLU receives all the points and innovative marks, the school may reach the gold bar on STAR’s rating system, with 65 points.  If PLU does not reach this level, it will be in the silver category, but at a much higher level than last year.
    
Before the Nov. 14 meeting, President Thomas Krise signed a pledge that PLU would be carbon neutral by 2020.
   
To be fully sustainable, three key concepts need to be addressed: people, prosperity and the planet.
    
As a whole PLU is becoming more sustainable as the years go on. PLU is ranked above many universities in the nation.
 
Over the last year PLU has  made amazing strides in the dining services category, getting 8.25 out of 8.5 possible points.
   
PLU also scores high when it comes to human resource availability.

Overall, according to the STAR report,  PLU is becoming very sustainable, and making the world a better place by reducing emissions.