Student Voice


May 23, 2024


Sustainability efforts recognized at UW-River Falls

February 5, 2015

UW-River Falls has earned a "STARS Silver Rating" in recognition of its sustainability achievements from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).

STARS, the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System, measures and encourages sustainability in all aspects of higher education. The UWRF campus is a microcosm of community and is committed to modeling the values, principles, and practices of sustainability. Campus sustainability initiatives include: alternative fuels and transportation; energy and water conservation; and recycling, composting and waste reduction. UWRF was one of the original institutions that participated in the beta testing for the initial development of the STARS ranking tool.

“This marks the third year that UWRF has been recognized at the silver level, building on our score each consecutive year,” said Mike Stifter, UWRF executive director of facilities planning and management. “While the recognition of a silver rating is notable, it really is more of a tribute to the many hard-working faculty and staff who make notable contributions, as well as the students who come with an expectation for, as well as lead in their own right, our great work in this area.”
With more than 650 participants on six continents, AASHE’s STARS program is the most widely recognized framework in the world for publicly reporting comprehensive information related to a college or university’s sustainability performance. Participants report achievements in four overall areas: operations, academics, engagement, and  planning/administration.
“STARS was developed by the campus sustainability community to provide high standards for recognizing campus sustainability efforts,” said AASHE Executive Director Meghan Fay Zahniser. “UWRF has demonstrated a substantial commitment to sustainability by achieving a STARS silver rating and is to be congratulated for their efforts.”
Unlike other rating or ranking systems, this program is open to all institutions of higher education, and the criteria that determine a STARS rating is transparent and accessible to anyone. Because STARS is a program based on credits earned, it allows for both internal comparisons as well as comparisons with similar institutions.
AASHE is an association of colleges and universities that are working to create a sustainable future. AASHE’s mission is to empower higher education to lead the sustainability transformation. It provides resources, professional development and a network of support to enable institutions of higher education to model and advance sustainability in everything they do, from governance and operations to education and research. For more information about AASHE, visit For more information about the STARS program, visit
Most recent and previous STARS reports for UWRF are publicly available at
For more information on sustainability efforts at UWRF, visit or contact Stifter at 715-425-3827 or email