Physics Prof. David Tanenbaum and students on Pomona Hall’s rooftop solar cell classroom.

For the second time Pomona College has earned a STARS Gold 2.0 rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), in recognition of its sustainability achievements. Schools are rated Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze. Among 650 participants on six continents, 62 scored Gold 2.0 and of those institutions, Pomona is no. 31. Only one institution, Colorado State University, scored Platinum.

AASHE’s STARS program (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System) is the most widely recognized framework in the world for publicly self-reported comprehensive information related to a college or university’s sustainability performance. Participants report achievements in four overall areas: operations, academics, engagement and planning, and administration.

“STARS is the most known, robust and comprehensive sustainability ratings system in higher education. It covers all aspects of campus sustainability— from climate to curriculum, from transportation to diversity. For Pomona College to earn a STARS Gold rating shows that we are a leader in sustainability." says Pomona College Assistant Director of Sustainability Alexis Reyes.

Among the College’s sustainability achievements in 2015 compared to the previous year are: 16 percent reduction of total water use; 25 percent reduction in commuting emissions; 71 percent waste diversion rate from landfills; 140,000 square feet of turf was removed; and 49 percent of food produce is locally purchased. Ten buildings at the College are LEED ((Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certified — three of them are rated Platinum, the highest rating for building sustainability standards.

Pomona’s STARS report is publicly available here.