One of five BW geothermal fields being drilled for the LEED certified Durst Welcome Center

A longstanding commitment to sustainability has earned BW Silver STARS recognition.

Eco Honor: BW earns prestigious STARS sustainability ranking

March 14, 2019

Solar panels and vegetative roof BW's Harding House residence hall

Baldwin Wallace University’s longstanding commitment to sustainability has earned a prestigious Silver Rating through the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS).

Administered by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), the STARS program encourages, measures and honors sustainability achievements in five broad areas: academics, engagement, operations, planning and administration, and innovation and leadership.

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STARS silver sustainability medal"Sustainability naturally fits into BW's approach to education, which promotes our individual and collective responsibility as contributing global citizens," said Dr. Franklin Lebo, assistant professor of sustainability and BW's STARS liaison. "The STARS recognition places BW in a category that includes such institutions as Case Western, University of Pittsburgh and Yale, and encourages us to keep striving for excellence in green practices and initiatives." 

With 800-plus STARS-commended participants around the globe, AASHE's program is "the most widely recognized framework in the world for publicly reporting comprehensive information related to a college or university's sustainability performance."

"STARS was developed by the campus sustainability community to provide high standards for recognizing campus sustainability efforts," said AASHE Executive Director Meghan Fay Zahniser. "BW has demonstrated a substantial commitment to sustainability and is to be congratulated."

Sustainability Across Campus

One of five BW geothermal fields being drilled for the LEED certified Durst Welcome CenterBW's green record of achievement includes the launch of Ohio's first undergraduate major in sustainability in 2008, with a minor, certificate program and scholarly research opportunities as part of the University's academic green portfolio.

In addition, BW's operating plant boasts two solar arrays, a wind turbine, innovative recycling and composting efforts, and five geothermal fields that heat and cool campus buildings. Two buildings are LEED certified, and the Berea campus, home to more than 1,500 trees, is designated a Tree Campus USA® by the Arbor Day Foundation.

Green Engagement

BW faculty and students remove invasive winter creeper from a wooded area of the Fullmer Arboretum.BW students can also choose to live in the Harding House sustainable living-learning community or get involved with The Campus Kitchens Project, a student-led organization that recovers food waste and turns it into healthy meals for the community.

Serving on the Campus Sustainability Committee or joining the BW Biomimicry Club, Sustainable Food Taskforce, Fauna, Student Tended Natural Garden or Students for Environmental Awareness are among the other opportunities for engagement.