The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) publishes annual rankings that recognize top-performing colleges and universities overall and in 17 individual areas.

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – Middlebury College has placed second for overall sustainability among baccalaureate institutions in the annual rankings of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). AASHE published the results in its 2017 Sustainable Campus Index.

“We’re pleased to receive this recognition among our peers,” said Jack Byrne, Middlebury’s director of sustainability. “We’re also proud that we reached our goal of carbon neutrality in 2016—something that AASHE notes in its report.”

AASHE’s annual publication recognizes top-performing colleges and universities overall and in 17 individual areas, as measured by AASHE’s Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS). The report also highlights innovative initiatives from institutions, including Middlebury’s conservation of 2,100 acres at its Bread Loaf campus in Ripton.

Middlebury’s overall score has increased by 4.94 points since AASHE released its 2014 index, from 72.61 to 77.5 out of 100—the highest possible score. That was the last report that Middlebury submitted information for prior to 2017. Member AASHE schools may decide when they wish to provide data for the rankings but they must do so a minimum of every three years.

Between 2014 and 2017, Middlebury’s scores increased by two points in each of two categories­—Research, and Air and Climate—and by three points in Public Engagement.

More information about Middlebury’s scores in 2014 and 2017 is available on AASHE’s website.

“The institutions and initiatives featured in this year’s Sustainable Campus Index showcase the hard work that colleges and universities have done to advance sustainability on their respective campuses and throughout the world,” said AASHE Executive Director Meghan Fay Zahniser.

STARS is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance developed by AASHE. With nearly 800 participating institutions, STARS is the leading tool for measuring higher education sustainability performance. There were 129 reports submitted in the most recent calendar year, resulting in a 4 percent increase over the previous year and a fourth consecutive year of growth. All reports are publicly accessible on the STARS website.