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Cal Poly’s Path to Platinum

Cal Polys sustainability team has identified the following 20 credits as the top areas for improvement within the AASHE STARS rating system. This graph displays how many points Cal Poly has been awarded and how many points are feasible within these credit categories.

In 2019, Cal Poly received a gold rating from the Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s (AASHE) Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS) – a comprehensive measurement and reporting framework for sustainability across all aspects of a university campus. AASHE STARS has four different levels of certification- bronze, silver, gold, and platinum, and of the nearly 1,100 participating institutions internationally, Cal Poly’s current Gold rating places us among the top 150 STARS certified institutions in the world. Not resting on our laurels, Cal Poly is now looking to see how we can build upon our successes to join the elite ranks of the ten universities that have achieved STARS Platinum.

As you can see in the chart above, there is a lot of opportunity for Cal Poly to improve within the AASHE STARS framework. That is why in April of this year, students, teachers, and other key stakeholders worked together at the sustainability charrette to help identify the steps that need to be taken to achieve platinum status. As a result, many innovative ideas were brought to the table in the areas of curriculum and research, campus culture, carbon neutrality, and circular economies. A follow-up meeting, referred to as the State of Sustainability will be held on Oct. 21. This event will provide updates on the action items that were identified in the charrette and will also feature an interactive activity that will help support climate action planning on campus. To RSVP to the State of Sustainability event, fill out this form here.

Furthermore, Cal Poly was recently granted $90,000 to put towards supporting AASHE STARS efforts.Funding will:

1) Buyout a faculty fellow who can own academic course redesign projects and sustainability research tracking

2) Provide a research stipend for a faculty member and staff at the assessments office to run a student sustainability literacy and culture assessment

3) Provide stipend/ consultant time to identify solutions for expanding tracking of community service hours across campus

4) Send select staff from across all divisions to sustainability focused career building trainings.

If you are interested in supporting Cal Poly's mission to achieve Platinum status, please contact Kylee Singh at