Mills College Receives Silver STARS Rating
for Campus-Wide Sustainability Efforts
Oakland, CA–February 15, 2013 Mills College is proud to announce it has received a STARS Silver Rating in recognition of its sustainability achievements from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). In its inaugural STARS report this year, Mills pledged its commitment to actively participate in a nationwide effort to educate and inspire future leaders in sustainability.
STARS—the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System—is a new program that measures and encourages responsible and proactive decision making and innovation in all aspects of higher education. Using a self-assessment system, institutions can benchmark their sustainability progress over time and compare it with others.
The program is the only one of its kind that involves publicly reporting comprehensive information related to a college or university’s sustainability performance. Participants report achievements in three overall areas: education and research; operations; and planning, administration, and engagement.
In the education and research category, several unique co-curricular sustainability programs at Mills earned high scores. A chief contributor to these efforts is the student group, CORPS (The Community Organized to Respect, Protect, and Sustain the Earth), which manages a compost program in residence halls, promotes reduced energy consumption, and hosts a “Re-Use Depot.” Also, as part of a Climate Action Campaign to reduce greenhouse gasses, Mills works with the local utility company to implement campus-wide Power Down Days designed to reduce strain on the power grid.
In partnership with several food justice organizations and Bon Appétit Management Company, a sustainably oriented food service provider, Mills’ dining services were rated strongly in the operations category. Through combined efforts, members of the campus community participate in farmworkers' rights activities, patronize farmers’ markets, and volunteer to work in gardens at two local elementary schools.
In the planning, administration, and engagement category, Mills scored well for reuse, recycling, and conservation efforts. Mills reuses or recycles more than 60 percent of its waste, and aims to improve that number to 100 percent. In addition, two buildings at Mills have received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certifications: The Betty Irene Moore Natural Sciences Building received Platinum certification in 2007. The Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business building received Gold certification in 2010. In addition, Mills maintains Lake Aliso on campus, utilizing excess water to irrigate landscaping.
“At Mills we strive to be a model of campus and community sustainability and lead by example to create experiences that demonstrate our commitment,” said Mills College President Alecia DeCoudreaux. “Our high standards for energy efficiency, water conservation, waste management, and the wise use of resources can be seen in every aspect of College life and work.”
About Mills College
Nestled in the foothills of Oakland, California, Mills College is a nationally renowned, independent liberal arts college offering a dynamic progressive education that fosters leadership, social responsibility, and creativity in approximately 950 undergraduate women and 600 graduate women and men. The College ranks as one of the Best 377 Colleges in the country and one of the greenest colleges in the nation by The Princeton Review. U.S. News & World Report ranked Mills one of the top-tier regional universities in the country and lists it among the top colleges and universities in the West in the “Great Schools, Great Prices” category. For more information, visit www.mills.edu.