Sterling College has been recognized as a top performer in the 2019 Sustainable Campus Index, placing No. 3 among baccalaureate institutions overall with a Gold rating and score of 78.3. The 2019 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 national report highlights our commitment to sustainability from every level of our institution,” said Sterling College President Matthew Derr. “Our mission to advance ecological thinking and action informs and guides our curriculum and inspires our dedication to more sustainable and ecologically-focused choices on our campus.”

For the fifth 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. Sterling’s dedication to renewable energy, composting, waste reduction, sustainability literacy and locally-sourced food helped the college earn a top spot.

In addition to its No. 3 ranking among baccalaureate institutions overall, the College achieved top performer status in two subcategories in STARS, placing No. 2 in Food/Dining subcategory and No. 7 in Curriculum subcategory. This marks the fifth consecutive year that Sterling has been ranked as a top performer in these two subcategories.  

“We are happy to recognize Sterling College for its leadership in advancing sustainability,” said AASHE’s Executive Director Meghan Fay Zahniser. “I’m grateful for the work being done by this institution to help move society toward a more equitable and sustainable future.”  

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

About Sterling College

Founded in 1958 in Craftsbury Common, Vermont, Sterling College advances ecological thinking and action through affordable experiential learning, preparing knowledgeable, skilled and responsible leaders to face the ecological crises caused by unlimited growth and consumption that threatens the future of the planet. Enrollment is limited to 125 students. Sterling is home to the School of the New American Farmstead and the Wendell Berry Farming Program, is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education and is one of only nine colleges and universities recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a “Work College.”


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


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.


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