Champlain College Receives STARS Silver Rating for Overall Campus Sustainability Achievements


BURLINGTON, Vt. (Sept. 9, 2016) Champlain College has earned a STARS Silver Rating in recognition of its sustainability achievements from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). STARS is the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System measures and encourages sustainability in all aspects of higher education.

"Sustainability is one of Champlain College's core values and served as a guiding principle for our 2007 Campus Master Plan," explained Christina Erickson, Champlain's Director for Service and Sustainability Learning. "The Sustainability Office was created in 2008 and continues to engage students, staff, and faculty in many sustainability projects that touch every aspect of campus and our community."

Erickson said that the College's sustainability value statement supports this work: "...It is our belief that as we support students to be 21st-century global citizens, they need to be well informed about sustainability concepts and practices as it relates to their field and profession. Further, we must create a campus where fully engaging in these concepts and practices is a part of life for our whole community. ""While it is the chief responsibility of the Sustainability Director to keep this aspirational value statement front and center, we are seeing greater involvement campus-wide in fulfilling it," noted Champlain President Donald J. Laackman.

"While it is the chief responsibility of the Sustainability Director to keep this aspirational value statement front and center, we are seeing greater involvement campus-wide in fulfilling it," noted Champlain President Donald J. Laackman.

AASHE staff noted Champlain's formal sustainability plan and its measurable objectives in all pursued areas in a concise format as some of the best practices that earned the Silver Star rating. Erickson said another goal is to serve as a model for other institutions and infuse sustainability into the daily life of  the campus.

Several key achievements offered in the STARS submission demonstrate Champlain's progress made in fulfilling the goals laid out in the Champlain 2020 Strategic Plan. Among them:

  • The Stiller School of Business requires that each student take "Corporate Social Responsibility" so that graduates have both business acumen and an ethical approach to their work. 
  • Efforts such the student Eco-Rep Program, annual Kill-A-Watt Challenge, Bike-Share Program, Green Revolving Fund, Community Garden and Greenhouse, and campus gallery all support the goal to enrich student life.
  • The work to decrease Champlain's energy consumption (over 35% in the past 10 years) has helped to reduce utility costs while adding much needed academic and residential space. 

With more than 650 participants on six continents, AASHE's STARS program is the most widely recognized framework in the world for publicly reporting comprehensive information related to a college or university's sustainability performance. Participants report achievements in four overall areas: 1) operations 2) academics, 3) engagement and 4) planning and administration.

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

Unlike other rating or ranking systems, this program is open to all institutions of higher education, and the criteria that determine a STARS Rating are transparent and accessible to anyone. Because STARS is a program based on credits earned, it allows for both internal comparisons as well as comparisons with similar institutions.

Champlain College's STARS report is available on the STARS' website:

About AASHE: AASHE is an association of colleges and universities that are working to create a sustainable future. AASHE's mission is to empower higher education to lead the sustainability transformation. It provides resources, professional development and a network of support to enable institutions of higher education to model and advance sustainability in everything they do, from governance and operations to education and research. For more information about AASHE, visit

For more information about the STARS program, visit

For more information:
Christina Erickson, Director for Service & Sustainability Learning
Champlain College

Meghan Fay Zahniser, Executive Director
(888) 347-9997

Founded in 1878, Champlain College is a small, not-for-profit, private college in Burlington, Vermont, with additional campuses in Montreal, Canada, and Dublin, Ireland. Champlain offers a traditional undergraduate experience from its beautiful campus overlooking Lake Champlain and over 90 residential undergraduate and online undergraduate and graduate degree programs and certificates. Champlain's distinctive career-driven approach to higher education embodies the notion that true learning occurs when information and experience come together to create knowledge. Champlain College is included in the Princeton Review's The Best 384 Colleges: 2019 Edition. For the fourth year in a row, Champlain was named a "Most Innovative School" in the North by U.S. News & World Report's 2019 "America's Best Colleges,” and a “Best Value School” and is ranked in the top 100 “Regional Universities of the North” and in the top 25 for “Best Undergraduate Teaching.” Champlain is also featured in the Fiske Guide to Colleges for 2019 as one of the "best and most interesting schools" in the United States, Canada and Great Britain and is a 2019 College of Distinction. For more information, visit