Bryant University today achieved STARS Silver status, an important milestone in sustainability rankings for the Smithfield, Rhode Island university known for its innovation and progressive business and liberal arts education. The STARS rating system (Sustainability Tracking and Reporting System) was developed by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) and has become the industry standard benchmarking tool for campus sustainability. With today’s submittal, Bryant attained a rating of 47.58, topping the 45 points required for Silver status.
Achieving STARS Silver status marks a year of significant effort and progress on campus.According to Vice President of Business Affairs/Treasurer, Barry Morrison, “This is a great accomplishment for Bryant. It establishes our University as a leader in sustainability.” The achievement highlights the University’s innovation from the energy management of its information technology center, to its geothermal heating and thermal energy storage systems, to its academic courses with sustainability emphases and its U.S.-China Institute, squarely acknowledging the role of global trade and environment.
The University’s Sustainability Plan was developed as part of the process. Bryant’s first such plan, it codifies the University’s forward-thinking stance in the sustainability arena. The Plan documents success achieved thus far, and presents specific goals and actions in eight resource areas (from energy, water, to health and wellness), mapping out a means to save resources while demonstrating leadership and achieving carbon reduction goals.
A year ago, EcoMotion helped Bryant in its documentation, reporting, and submittal for STARS Bronze status. At that time, Bryant achieved a STARS score of 36.05… leaving an 8.95-point gap for Silver status. “To achieve the points,” noted EcoMotion’s Director of Campus Services, Sierra Flanigan, “Bryant had to strengthen its commitment to sustainability. Our role was to assist the University in finding a pathway to greater sustainability in a way that would also increase its STARS ranking.”
With EcoMotion’s guidance, the University instituted more than a dozen initiatives, beginning with the formation and facilitation of the Bryant Sustainability Committee which now guides the effort on campus. EcoMotion has helped the Development Office create a Green Alumni alliance to support green initiatives on campus. Other programmatic areas include an Eco-Leader program, a Green Revolving Fund, a Green Office program, as well as a Sustainability Certificate and Sustainability Internships. The EcoMotion team continues to coordinate and support student groups, student awareness initiatives, as well as faculty development on sustainability. Sustainability clearly has momentum on campus.
EcoMotion’s mission is the cost-effective greening of cities, corporations, and campuses. EcoMotion is a sustainability consultancy based in California and Massachusetts with tools to help cities, corporations, and campuses go green and cut costs while mitigating climate change. EcoMotion Campus Services provides key means for engagement and action for students, faculty, and administrators through campus sustainability. Services focus on three spheres of campus activity: Policy and Curriculum, Facilities and Operations, and Student Education and Action.