Sustainability Rankings: Comparing STARS with Times Higher Education University Impact Ranking

Tori Grant Presenter
Advisor, Operational Sustainability
University of Calgary
On-Demand Educational Session 


STARS has long been the key performance indicator for sustainability in UCalgary's Eyes High strategic vision. It is also the most broadly used sustainability assessment tool in higher education in North America and serves as an important gateway to other rankings that pull data from STARS such as Sierra Cool Schools, the AASHE's Sustainable Campus Index, and the Princeton Review. When Times Higher Education (THE) released its first ever University Impact Rankings (UIR) in April 2019, it allowed the University of Calgary to showcase it's successes directly related to the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Each SDG has a series of questions to evaluate performance, and every institution must submit content for SDG 17 plus three other SDGs.

The University of Calgary, as do many other post-secondary institutions, participates in a numerous sustainability rankings, prizes and awards to track our sustainability progress, with two of the main rankings being AASHE's STARS and Times Higher Education's University Impact Rankings. Both of these rankings differ significantly with their content and frequency; however, both demand large amounts of staff time and resources. Due to this, we wanted to explore the question: is it worth it to participate in both? In this presentation, we will analyze and compare the process for and impact of AASHEs STARS and THE's University Impact Rankings and our learnings from participating in both.

Primary Topic Area

Coordination & Planning

Secondary Topic Areas

Campus Engagement & Culture

Session Level

Intermediate Level

Intended Audience

Businesses and Community
Sustainability Staff