December 10, 2013

SIU's sustainability efforts earn recognition

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale has earned recognition once again for its sustainability efforts.

The university earned a silver ranking from the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS).

The point-based benchmarking system utilized by the Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education considers sustainability efforts in three comprehensive areas:  education and research; planning, administration and engagement; and operations.   

The honor “highlights some of the tremendously positive sustainability work happening here at SIU, but also indicates where further progress can be made,” said Kris Schachel, SIU sustainability coordinator.

Schachel said the STARS ranking measures and gives added credibility to the university’s sustainability efforts.

She said it is particularly noteworthy that SIU earned the maximum score possible for the “Diversity and Affordability” portion of the ranking.  This is indicative of the way SIU’s diverse student body, faculty and staff work together in a learning, collaborative way to address sustainability issues and efforts, Schachel said. 

Thus far, 597 institutions of higher learning across the country have joined in the self-reporting program and of those, just 283, including SIU, have finished the process.  Participants can earn gold, silver or bronze rankings or no rank at all.

The complete SIU report is online at  You can also learn more by visiting