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Swarthmore Honored For Sustainability Efforts

Towering redwoods line pathway

The College has received two honors for its ongoing sustainability efforts: a “gold” rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) as well as a Sustainable Organization Award from the Delaware County Office of Sustainability.

Swarthmore received the gold rating from AASHE after completing its Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) reporting process, in which more than 300 colleges and universities participate. This comprehensive rating system addresses the environmental, social, and economic dimensions of sustainability.

“Receiving a gold STARS rating for the first time ever is a testament to our ongoing investment in campus sustainability,” says Elizabeth Drake, director of sustainability. “This exciting accomplishment was made possible by the collaborative work of faculty, staff, and students across the institution to advance sustainability in academics, operations, and campus culture.

“STARS will continue to be a useful tool for identifying opportunities for improvement and measuring progress,” says Drake, as the College continues working toward its sustainability goals.

Swarthmore received the Sustainable Organization Award from the Delaware County Office of Sustainability at its second annual sustainability conference. Officials lauded Swarthmore for its “outstanding leadership, innovation, and achievement in sustainability.”

“We were honored to be recognized,” says Drake. Since its creation in 2021, the Delaware County Office of Sustainability has been integral in bringing together community members, government officials, organizations, and other stakeholders in Delaware County to advance sustainability and climate resilience in the region, she adds.

“In our sustainability efforts at the College,” Drake says, “our goal is to help catalyze change in the community beyond just our own campus, and the sustainability team at the county is a great partner for facilitating the sharing of information, knowledge, and resources.”

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