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UD top performer in national association's 2019 sustainable campus index

The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education 2019 Sustainable Campus Index lists the University of Dayton among the world's top performers in the categories of research and purchasing. UD is one of just three Ohio institutions listed as a top performer in any category.

"This is the second straight year we've been listed as a top performer in these categories," said Steve Kendig, University of Dayton executive director of energy utilization and environmental sustainability, who compiles the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS) report with Leah Ceperly, UD sustainability planning and evaluation manager and joint appointee in UD facilities management and the Hanley Sustainability Institute. "We don't achieve these sustainability honors without a campuswide sharing of our vision to be good stewards of our environment. There many campus partnerships contributing to this."

The top performers lists, released Aug. 26, are based on STARS subcategory scores of institutions submitting a valid STARS report between March 2, 2016, and March 1, 2019. UD was tied for sixth in research and was sixth in purchasing.

Developed by AASHE, STARS is a self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. Participants submit data to earn a bronze, silver, gold or platinum rating, or recognition as a STARS reporter. As of March 1, 503 institutions in 12 countries, 47 states and eight Canadian provinces submitted STARS reports. All reports are publicly accessible at stars.aashe.org.

The University has a gold STARS rating; its score ranks in the top 3% of all rated schools, first in Ohio, and second among all U.S. Catholic colleges and universities. The University earned perfect or near perfect marks for academic research; diversity and affordability; sustainability coordination and planning; purchasing and public engagement; and innovation and leadership.

Additionally, the University of Dayton is ranked No. 18 on Sierra magazine's 2018 "Cool Schools" list for displaying "a deep and thorough commitment to protecting the environment, addressing climate issues and encouraging environmental responsibility." UD is the only school in the Midwest among the top 20 and ranks third among all U.S. Catholic colleges and universities.

UD also is one of the 399 most environmentally responsible colleges in the nation, according to The Princeton Review Guide to 399 Green Colleges. It is part of Second Nature's Carbon Commitment; "We're Still In," which supports climate action to meet the Paris Agreement; the Global Catholic Climate Movement; and the U.N. Global Compact — the world's largest corporate sustainability initiative.

This spring, the University of Dayton board of trustees approved bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degrees in sustainability, which students can start this academic year. The majors add to the College's academic offerings in sustainability that currently include a minor in sustainability and a 12-credit-hour graduate certificate in sustainability. The School of Engineering also has a master's program in renewable and clean energy.

Many of the University's sustainability education initiatives received a boost in 2014 with a $12.5 million gift from the George and Amanda Hanley Foundation. The largest single gift in University history also established the Hanley Sustainability Institute.

Read more about the University of Dayton's sustainability initiatives in its complete STARS report.

For more information or interviews, contact Shawn Robinson, associate director of news and communications, at 937-229-3391 or srobinson1@udayton.edu. 


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