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Mason Receives STARS Silver Rating for Sustainability Programs

August 22, 2011

Aug. 22, 2011

Media Contact: Catherine Probst, 703-993-8813

FAIRFAX, Va.,—In recognition of its sustainability achievements, George Mason University has received a STARS Silver Rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). Mason is one of only two universities in Virginia, and 38 nation-wide to have received this distinction.

STARS is a program that measures and encourages sustainability in all aspects of higher education. Mason’s report is part of its ongoing commitment to local and global stewardship which began in 2007 when University President Alan Merten signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment.  Mason has committed to become climate neutral by 2050.

“Mason is undergoing a remarkably rapid transformation towards sustainability,” notes Dann Sklarew, Mason’s sustainability studies fellow.

Mason was recognized for its strengths in numerous areas such as offering academic degrees and continuing education in sustainability, maintaining its campuses in a sustainable manner, incorporating sustainability into its strategic plans and partnering with the local community on sustainability efforts.

Lenna Storm, Mason’s sustainability manager, is optimistic about the future of sustainability at Mason, saying, “We’ve come so far in just four years’ time, and scored higher than any of us expected to score.”

President Merten is proud of the sustainability progress at Mason and said, “As the largest educational institution in Northern Virginia, and one of the largest and most diverse public universities in the state, Mason has a responsibility to promote sustainable practices for the benefit of the university, surrounding communities, the region, and the world.” He added, “The score is a testament of the progress we have made in sustainability.”

An interactive report of Mason’s STARS Silver designation can be found at:

About George Mason University

George Mason University is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with global distinction in a range of academic fields. Located in Northern Virginia near Washington, D.C., Mason provides students access to diverse cultural experiences and the most sought-after internships and employers in the country. Mason offers strong undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering and information technology, organizational psychology, health care and visual and performing arts. With Mason professors conducting groundbreaking research in areas such as climate change, public policy and the biosciences, George Mason University is a leading example of the modern, public university. George Mason University—Where Innovation Is Tradition.


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