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National Ranking for Sustainability

Students standing by the Living WallThe 2018 Sustainable Campus Index, published by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), has recognized Delta College as a top performer in sustainability. In fact, Delta College ranked fifth in nation in the community college category.

“I’m very proud of this recognition for Delta College,” said Dr. Jean Goodnow, President. “I thank our students and faculty and staff – including project leaders Janis Kendziorski, Academic Sustainability Coordinator and Linda Petee, Facilities Management Sustainability Coordinator -- for their continued efforts to advance sustainability in the classroom, on our campus and in the community.” 

Results are based on 477 self-submitted reports to the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS). Institutions’ sustainability efforts are evaluated in 17 areas within academics, engagement, operations, and planning and administration.

In the category of Associate Colleges (two-year colleges), the top institutions are:

  1. Nova Scotia Community College, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
  2. Portland Community College, Portland, Oregon
  3. Mohawk College, Hamilton, Ontario
  4. Fleming College, Peterborough, Ontario
  5. Delta College, University Center, Michigan

“I think one of the main reasons Delta did so well in the ranking is because we work collaboratively across the college,” said Linda Petee, Sustainability & Risk Management Coordinator. “It’s not just one group. Faculty have integrated sustainability themes in their curriculum, and have joined with the Facilities and Administrative Services departments on a variety of other initiatives.”

Specific areas where Delta College earned points toward this ranking are as follows:

  • Living wall and using the campus as a living lab
  • Sustainability incorporated into study abroad
  • Percent of total courses that are sustainability-related
  • Sustainability websites for faculty/staff and for the public/students
  • Student sustainability reps engaged in outreach
  • Power of a Single Action campaign
  • Rethink your Drink (water refill stations)
  • Volunteer/ intern opportunities in sustainability
  • Community partnerships
  • Sustainable dining
  • Sustainable procurement, including electronics purchasing
  • Cleaning/janitorial purchasing
  • Waste minimization & diversion, including hazardous waste management
  • Rainwater management
  • Wellness program

The report indicates that 906 STARS reports were submitted by 477 institutions in 11 countries, including community colleges, 4-year institutions, and advanced degree-granting institutions.