John Abbott College Receives SILVER STARS Rating for Sustainability Efforts

After over two years of hard work and dedication, John Abbott College is excited to announce that the College has attained a SILVER rating for the Sustainability Tracking and Rating System (STARS), a program of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).

AASHE has awarded John Abbott College a score of 50.13 based on five categories: academics, engagement, operations, planning & administration, and innovation & leadership. The John Abbott College report is available publicly on the STARS website.

“We are so proud to have achieved the SILVER STARS rating for our sustainability achievements. There was a lot of work put into getting the College to where we are today and I look forward to our efforts growing and improving through the program,” says John Halpin, John Abbott College Director General. “Well done to everyone implicated in this program for the great work. A long journey ahead, but essential for our community.”

Differentiating us from the others

John Abbott College is one of three CEGEPs that have achieved a STARS rating.

The College received strong results from several of the credit categories, including Academic Courses, Outreach Campaigns, Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sustainability Planning.

The highest grade came from the curriculum section, with most points coming from AC1 (Academic Courses). The College did a survey of each department in the school to compile which courses contain sustainability content; 22.5% of the courses offered every year contain sustainability content.

John Abbott College students preparing to plant in the pollinator garden. Image courtesy of Shannon Coulter-Low, John Abbott College.



“STARS was developed by the campus sustainability community to provide high standards for recognizing campus sustainability efforts,” said AASHE Executive Director Meghan Fay Zahniser. “John Abbott College has demonstrated a substantial commitment to sustainability by achieving a STARS SILVER Rating and is to be congratulated for their efforts.”

The future of sustainability at John Abbott College

In April, John Abbott College became one of the first CEGEPs to launch a Climate Action Plan, with an objective of prioritizing a holistic approach to climate action in the College. The Plan is a guarantee to our community that we are working to reduce the impact our campus community has on climate.

As part of the academic stream of the Plan, the College launched the Climate Literacy Project, possibly a first amongst all the CEGEPs in Québec. The Climate Literacy Project is working to incorporate the climate and ecological emergency (CEE) into course curricula; to date, programs that reach 85% of the student body have identified plans to teach the causes, impacts, dynamics, and actions of the CEE.

Students learning about the Climate Action Plan during Earth Day celebrations at John Abbott College. Image courtesy of Shannon Coulter-Low, John Abbott College.

The STARS rating is valid until May 2026. John Abbott College will continue to implement sustainable activities across all categories and will begin the re-application process in fall of 2024 with a hope of achieving a GOLD rating.


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