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CSU's work on sustainability among the best in the U.S.

Dr. Diana Wall, Director of the School of Environmental Sustainability makes opening remarks at the Climate Leadership Summit event hosting high school students from all over the state of Colorado. April 15, 2022.
Joe A. Mendoza/CSU Photography
Dr. Diana Wall, director of the School of Environmental Sustainability, makes opening remarks at the Climate Leadership Summit event on April 15, 2022.

Colorado State University is number 2 in the nation when it comes to sustainability efforts. CSU's ranking in the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System or STARS was just behind the University of California-Irvine.

CSU is no stranger to the STARS rating system. This is the fourth consecutive year the university has received a "platinum" rating. CSU was also the first institution to get that distinction in 2015.

STARS considers everything from the university's work to address food security and cut carbon emissions, to how sustainability is reflected in academics and research.

"To me sustainability is not just can we survive on this planet, but can we thrive and can we create a world where we want to live," said Aleta Rudeen Weller, Senior Research and Engagement Officer with CSU's School of Global
Environmental Sustainability.

Colorado State University
"We want students leaving the university that are going to be pediatricians OR atmospheric scientists to kind of understand this bigger picture," said Aleta Rudeen Weller with CSU's School of Global Environmental Studies.

Weller said they try to help teachers incorporate sustainability studies into other departments. They also offer small grants to researchers who are interested in issues related to sustainability. CSU has one of the longest running sustainability training programs for graduate students in the U.S.

Weller said she keeps a broad view of the issues so she can tailor what the program can offer to the many kinds of academic disciplines available at CSU.

"I work with people who are thinking about sustainability really differently. It could be a poet one day and a zoologist the next day," Weller said.

STARS gave CSU a perfect score in academics and research. Student engagement was also near the top.

The university also highlighted their new SPUR Campus in Denver as one of the ways they are leading in sustainability.

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