Texas A&M University has been recognized at a national level for its campus sustainability efforts in the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability’s (AASHE) 2017 Higher Education Sustainable Campus Index as a top performer in research and a “gold” performer overall.
“At a time when institutions in the public and private sector are looking for sustainability solutions, I applaud the Sustainability Advisory Council (SAC) for their work ensuring that the state of Texas, the nation and the world can look to Texas A&M University as a leader in this arena,” Texas A&M President Michael K. Young said. “I would also like to thank our students, faculty and staff who made this recognition possible by committing themselves to creating a cleaner, greener and more efficient campus that will benefit generations of future Aggies.”
Out of more than 280 universities surveyed, Texas A&M was one of 11 schools to earn perfect 100 percent scores in the research category defined by schools that “continue to help the world understand sustainability challenges and develop new technologies, strategies and approaches to address those challenges.” The average score for U.S. schools was 70.4 percent.
According to Texas A&M’s Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) report nearly 43 percent of Texas A&M faculty engaged in research conduct sustainability research.
“For our office this report is a celebration of all the great things taking place on our campus,” Wellman said. “The fact we are being recognized in research shows that our institution is working to solve global issues, because that’s what sustainability is: looking at better ways to utilize resources to benefit everyone.”
Schools that also achieved perfect research scores include Columbia University, George Washington University and Stanford University, among others. Credits for this category included “Research and Scholarship,” “Support for Research” and “Open Access to Research.”
Texas A&M has made notable progress since its initial AASHE report in 2012, where it earned a silver recognition with a score of 47.51. Texas A&M earned another silver recognition in 2015 with a score of 54.65 before earning its first gold recognition this year with 66.93.
“Texas A&M University’s feature in this report shows its significant leadership and commitment to advance sustainability,” AASHE’s Executive Director Meghan Fay Zahniser said. “We are excited to recognize Texas A&M for working to secure a thriving, equitable and ecologically healthy world through its comprehensive sustainability efforts.”
Texas A&M was the only Texas university to earn the AASHE’s STARS gold rating, the second highest of five categories. It was also one of three Southeastern Conference (SEC) schools to earn a gold rating alongside the University of Missouri and the University of Arkansas. Only Stanford University and Colorado State University earned “platinum” recognitions.
The 2017 Sustainable Campus Index recognizes top-performing colleges and universities overall by institution type and in 17 sustainability impact areas, as measured by the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS).