Sterling College has been recognized as a top performer in the 2018 Sustainable Campus Index, placing No. 2 among baccalaureate institutions overall with a Gold rating and score of 78.28. The Sustainable Campus Index, a publication of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), highlights top-performing sustainable colleges and universities overall and in 17 impact areas, as measured by the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS).

“Sterling’s recognition in this report highlights our leadership role in higher education sustainability efforts,” said Sterling College President Matthew Derr. “Our mission of environmental stewardship is woven throughout our curriculum and community, and we are proud to be acknowledged for our achievements by AASHE yet again. We are in good company among our peer colleges as we all prioritize this important and necessary work.”

For the fourth year in a row, Sterling has received a STARS Gold rating from AASHE. With more than 800 participants in 30 countries, 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.

In addition to its No. 2 ranking among baccalaureate institutions overall, the College achieved top performer status in two subcategories in STARS, placing No. 1 in Food/Dining subcategory for the second consecutive year and No. 7 in Curriculum subcategory.

The Sterling College curriculum and campus food system intersect in many ways and the top performer status in these two subcategories comes as no surprise. The Rian Fried Center for Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems encompasses Sterling’s farm and gardens, edible forest, orchard and sugarbush and provides 30% of the food consumed in the College’s dining hall. In alignment with the Sterling model of environmental stewardship education, the Center is the instructional laboratory for an experiential and place-based curriculum that unites the farm, forest and kitchen.

“We are pleased to recognize Sterling College for its sustainability leadership,” said AASHE’s Executive Director Meghan Fay Zahniser. “Sterling is helping forge a path to a more sustainable future.”

Sterling College’s STARS report is publicly available on the STARS website:


The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. STARS was developed by AASHE with broad participation from the higher education community. The credits included in STARS span the breadth of higher education sustainability and are organized into four categories: Academics, Engagement, Operations, and Planning & Administration. All reports are publicly accessible on the STARS website. For more information, visit

About the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE)

AASHE empowers higher education administrators, faculty, staff and students to be effective change agents and drivers of sustainability innovation. AASHE enables members to translate information into action by offering essential resources and professional development to a diverse, engaged community of sustainability leaders. We work with and for higher education to ensure that our world’s future leaders are motivated and equipped to solve sustainability challenges. For more information, visit Follow AASHE on Facebook and Twitter.


Filed Under: Admission and Aid Blog Newsroom