The W&M Sustainability Report was released in 2017 with data collected from 2014-2016. This report is a compilation of the information submitted to the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) STARS program, in which W&M was awarded a silver rating. AASHE is a well recognized sustainability organization, of which W&M has been a member since 2010. As a member institution, anyone with a wm.edu email address also has free membership.
The AASHE STARS program allows institutions to collect a common set of sustainability data, benchmark ourselves against other institutions, gain inspiration for how others are tackling challenges, and obtain a snapshot of sustainability at our institution. STARS is similar to a LEED certification for buildings, points can be earned in multiple categories, with the total determining whether the institution is awarded a Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze, or Reporter status.
This report is separated into AASHE STARS categories and provides suggestions for ways that we may improve sustainability at W&M based off of where we could accrue additional points within STARS. To learn more about this data featured in the Sustainability Report, the W&M submission is publicly available on the STARS website.
Count of W&M Sustainability Courses
Part of the STARS data collection is a report of sustainability focused and related courses.
What is sustainability?
Sustainability encompasses the dynamic interactions between society and the environment, both natural and human-driven, operating in ways that improve the well-being of all. This recognizes the natural changes of the environment and the multiple dimensions of society, such as individual well-being, culture, the economy, and governance; systems that are integrally connected. For examples of the scope of sustainability, please visit the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.
Sustainability-focused courses are explicitly focused on sustainability as a concept and/or focused on understanding or solving a sustainability challenge.
Sustainability-related courses are not primarily focused on sustainability but include units or lessons on sustainability or a sustainability challenge, incorporate one or more sustainability-focused activity, or integrate sustainability issues throughout the course. Courses that have a strong social sustainability component, but not an environmental component, can be counted as sustainability-related.
*While some courses may provide knowledge that is useful to practitioners of sustainability (e.g. chemistry or GIS), the courses would not be considered to be inclusive of sustainability unless; the concept of sustainability or a sustainability challenge is specifically integrated into the course; or the interdisciplinary nature of sustainability is demonstrated through connecting the course topic to broader systems.