Student Voice


April 25, 2024



UWRF once again earns STARS Silver Rating for sustainability

April 15, 2016

The University of Wisconsin-River Falls has earned its fourth consecutive 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 & Rating System, measures and encourages sustainability in all aspects of higher education.

The UW-River Falls campus is committed to modeling the values, principles, and practices of sustainability. Campus sustainability initiatives include: alternative fuels and transportation; energy and water conservation, waste minimization, and infusing sustainability into the curriculum. UW-River Falls was one of the original institutions that participated in the beta testing for the initial development of the STARS ranking tool.

“UW-River Falls is fortunate to have many champions of sustainability amongst our students, faculty, and staff,” said Mark Klapatch, UW-River Falls sustainability and custodial supervisor. “The achievement of a silver rating requires contributions from people all over campus across many disciplines and truly demonstrates the passion our campus community has for modeling sustainability.

With more than 750 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: academics, engagement, operations, and planning/administration. One additional section allows for innovation credits, allowing an institution to note unique programs and initiatives. UW-River Falls submitted four innovation credits, receiving the maximum amount of additional credit available.

“Colleges and universities are like small cities, and their impact is substantial. STARS was developed by the campus sustainability community to provide high standards for recognizing campus sustainability efforts,” said AASHE Executive Director Meghan Fay Zahniser. “UW-River Falls 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 UW-River Falls are publicly available at