Lafayette has earned a gold rating for its sustainability initiatives from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). AASHE’s Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities across the world to measure their sustainability performance.  

“This global gold recognition is a tribute to hard work across this College, notably by the leadership of our Office of Sustainability with contributions from more than 20 departments and our academic community,” said President Nicole Hurd.

With more than 900 participants in 40 countries, the STARS program is the most widely recognized framework in the world for publicly reporting comprehensive information related to a college or university’s sustainability performance. Participants report achievements in academics, engagement, operations, planning, administration, and innovation and leadership. 

STARS was developed by the campus sustainability community to provide high standards for recognizing campus sustainability efforts, said Meghan Fay Zahniser, AASHE’s executive director.  

Lafayette previously held a silver rating. Since then, Lafayette has made significant advancements in several areas that led to its gold rating, including the following:

  • 42% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 2007 baseline, including 100% of scope 2 emissions offset by renewable energy credits.
  • 500 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent saved annually through the installation of LED lights throughout 12 campus buildings and smart meters at 14 buildings, financed through the Green Revolving Fund.
  • 60% of academic departments offer courses with sustainability-focused or inclusive content, and two-thirds of all departments are conducting sustainability-related research.
  • 15,000 pounds of produce grown and distributed on LaFarm, the College’s 3-acre regenerative no-till campus farm, which has enhanced production and learning capacity through the construction of a new 1,400+-square-foot greenhouse.
  • 22,000 pounds of items collected and redistributed through the Green Move Out program, with a new community sale in downtown Easton. Proceeds contributed to a new youth summer camp program focused on sustainability education for our local community.
  • 80+ campus events focused on biodiversity, food sourcing, community service and education, waste reduction, and more.
  • 35+ paid opportunities for students to engage in sustainability and apply their knowledge to environmental challenges on campus to advance Lafayette’s sustainability goals, including a new Compost Team and several fellowships. 

“Lafayette strives to take a comprehensive approach to sustainability assessment and planning,” Hurd said. “Building initiatives that contribute to a more just and verdant world is only possible through collaboration, analysis, and introspection involving a range of administrative offices, academic programs, and student activities. Our congratulations to all those involved in earning this meaningful recognition.” 

“Committed to carbon neutrality and 60% waste diversion from landfill by 2035, we are proud of the advancements we have made toward these goals,” said Delicia Nahman, Lafayette’s director of sustainability. “We would not have been able to achieve this accomplishment without the support of our campus community. We are excited to continue this journey for our people and planet.” 

Lafayette has also launched new programs to promote sustainable living:

  • The Eco Reps Leadership Program, in which 36 Eco Reps led peer-to-peer educational initiatives reaching 51% of the campus population through 21 campus residences. 
  • The Sustainable Living Certificate, implemented by Eco Reps, certified 65 students in its first semester.
  • Leopard Leftovers, a program to notify Lafayette students when there is free food available on campus left over from an event.
  • The Sustainable Punchcard Program, which was revitalized through alumni engagement, allowing students to be recognized for participating in sustainability clubs, events, and behaviors on campus.

Read the full Lafayette College STARS report. Learn more about sustainability at Lafayette at

 About AASHE

  • AASHE is an association of colleges and universities 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.  Unlike other rating or rating systems, this program is open to all institutions of higher education, and the criteria that determine a STARS rating are transparent and accessible to anyone. Because STARS is a program based on credits earned, it allows for both internal comparisons as well as comparisons with similar institutions.  For more information about the STARS program, visit
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