The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) is an organization of colleges, universities, government and business partners. AASHE provides resources and training to help colleges incorporate sustainability in all areas of its operations.
One of the tools AASHE provides is The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System™ (STARS). STARS is a self-reporting structure to help schools measure their progress toward sustainability. STARS includes incentives for continual improvement and innovation. It also emphasizes collaboration over competition by encouraging schools to share best practices.
There are three primary categories of STARS credits: Education and Research, Operations, and Planning, and Administration & Engagement. Credits can be earned in the fourth category of Innovation as well.
Foodservice management falls under Category 2 – Operations. Credits can be earned for sustainable activities in food purchasing and waste reduction. Syracuse University, for example, won the AASHE 2009 Campus Sustainability Leadership Award. Use of Eco-Takeouts™ was cited as one of many factors in Syracuse’s selection.