University of Idaho - I Banner
A student works at a computer


U of I's web-based retention and advising tool provides an efficient way to guide and support students on their road to graduation. Login to SlateConnect.

U of I Receives STARS Gold Rating for Sustainability Efforts

February 16, 2024

MOSCOW, Idaho — University of Idaho has earned a STARS Gold rating in recognition of its sustainability achievements from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS) measures and encourages sustainability in all aspects of higher education.

U of I has participated in the STARS program since 2019, but 2024 is the first time the school has received a Gold rating, which is one step below the highest rating of Platinum. It is the only institution of higher education in the state to have achieved this rating.

“We’ve been working hard in the last year to build on the foundations of sustainability that U of I had already achieved,” said Sarah Dawson, university sustainability director. “In particular, we are proud to now be a certified Bee Campus through the Xerces Society and a certified Tree Campus through the Arbor Day Foundation.”

As part of the STARS Gold effort, the Office of Sustainability, established in 2023 within the President’s Office, has worked with many campus partners to create a robust catalog of programs that empower the campus community to engage in sustainable solutions.

Employees and students looking to help advance sustainability are encouraged to take part in the many new programs and initiatives, including certificates to showcase sustainability efforts, a pledge Vandals can take to commit to greener choices, a walking tour highlighting sustainability efforts in Moscow, and ambassador programs to spread the word on proper recycling and adapting sustainable practices into you daily life. More information about these programs can be found on U of I’s sustainability website,

The Office of Sustainability also offers Sustainable Solutions professional development, available in-person twice a year or anytime online.

“After reaching this milestone, the Office of Sustainability is excited to continue our momentum,” Sustainability Manager Olivia Wiebe said. “We have already begun work on growing our sustainability efforts on campus and throughout the state.”

U of I’s sustainability efforts statewide can be recognized through the Sustainability Champions award program. These nomination-based awards showcase excellence in sustainability with categories for students, employees, departments or student organizations, and overall impact.

With more than 900 participants in 40 countries, 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 five areas: academics, engagement, operations, planning and administration, and innovation and leadership.

“U of I has demonstrated a substantial commitment to sustainability by achieving a STARS Gold rating and is to be congratulated for their efforts,” AASHE Executive Director Meghan Fay Zahniser said.

At U of I, upcoming sustainability plans include a composting program and an undergraduate Sustainability Certificate, which will be available this summer.

“Our campus has a unique culture of sustainability that deserves to be recognized and applauded,” said Madison Dougherty, sustainability graduate research assistant, who worked on gathering data for STARS.

U of I’s STARS report is publicly available on the STARS website,

Media Contact:

Sarah Dawson
University of Idaho Sustainability Director

About the University of Idaho

The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, nine research and Extension centers, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to nearly 11,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky and Western Athletic conferences. Learn more at


University Communications and Marketing

Fax: 208-885-5841


Web: Communications and Marketing

U of I Media Contacts