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The University of Dayton has received a STARS bronze 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.
Within the past year, the University has provided report cards to students in the University’s neighborhoods in an effort to give them a picture of their energy use. A student survey at the end of the 2010-11 school year found nearly half said the report cards made them more aware of their energy usage and changed the way they used energy. Eighty-five percent of the 469 monitored student residences received an average or above-average score, and by the end of the year, the University estimated a savings of $20,000 on gas and electric.
Two other efforts started last year diverted nearly 650 tons of recyclable and compost material from landfills.
STARS gave positive marks to the University for its sustainability policies in human resources, such as employee wellness programs and options for socially responsible investing in retirement; its public engagement in working with city government and other universities on sustainability efforts; and student involvement in community service around sustainability.
Two years ago, the University reduced its natural gas use on main campus 5.7 percent and electric energy use 4.8 percent by upgrading lighting systems, removing lights without compromising brightness in some places, installing occupancy sensors, closing buildings not used as much during the summer, and programming thermostats and heating and cooling systems to optimize savings. In all, the University saved $612,329.
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