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This content was published: November 15, 2021. Phone numbers, email addresses, and other information may have changed.

PCC ranked top overall Associates College in the US in the AASHE 2021 Sustainable Campus Index

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We are certainly honored to see that the 2021 Sustainability Campus Index has Portland Community College ranked as the top-performing US Associates College overall. The annual Sustainable Campus Index (SCI) comes from The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education or AASHE for short. While it is great to be among the top-performers, it is worth noting that there is still so much work to be done when it comes to achieving a truly sustainable higher education institution. Even the top rated colleges and universities on this continent would only be getting a 3.0 or so GPA if we’re talking 100% sustainability.

You may be wondering what this Sustainable Campus Index is and what it is all about. We can ease your mind with this succinct definition and explanation from AASHE itself:

2021 Sustainability Campus IndexThe 2021 Sustainable Campus Index (SCI) recognizes top-performing colleges and universities overall by institution type and in 17 sustainability impact areas, as measured by the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS). STARS is a voluntary framework used by hundreds of colleges and universities to measure, report and strengthen their contributions to global sustainability. The SCI also includes innovative and high-impact institutional highlights, and recognizes institutions with exceptional report accuracy and quality.

STARS ~ A Program of AASHESTARS is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. It was developed by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) with broad participation from the higher education community. STARS participants submit data to earn a Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum rating, or recognition as a STARS Reporter. The credits are organized into four categories: Academics, Engagement, Operations and Planning & Administration. All reports are publicly accessible at the STARS website.

It is good to reflect on the fact that we live in a world and reality where competition has gotten in the way of collaboration in so many ways. While it is true that a healthy camaraderie can be established by friendly competition and a sense of pride for ones team or school can lead to a stronger dedication to learning, what AASHE and this Sustainable Campus Index is helping create beyond competition is benchmarks for all higher education institutions to examine and consider. We at PCC are pleased that these statistics and this ranking provides a great recognition of the sustainability work that is being done here at Portland Community College. And of course, it is also important for us to always remember, we are all in this together.