Bronze STARS Award

Recognizing CCC’s sustainability achievements

Bronze STARS AwardCentral Community College has earned a STARS Bronze rating in recognition of its sustainability achievements from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). STARS, the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System, measures and encourages sustainability in all aspects of higher education. 

The AASHE STARS report submitted was for July 2015 through June 2016; however, all of CCC’s previous sustainability initiatives and projects positively positioned the school for its first review. The STARS report measured sustainability progress across academics, engagement, operations, planning and administration, and innovation and leadership through an established set of standards in higher education. It highlighted areas where CCC made great progress, including its e-badge program, community partnerships, wind turbine on the Hastings Campus, a new pollinator garden on each campus and increased awareness of tracking water, waste, paper and engagement. This progress shows CCC is moving toward its goal of becoming a top-tier two-year higher education sustainability leader.   

“Central Community College is very proud to have achieved the first STARS rating for the school’s initial sustainability accomplishments,” said Benjamin Newton, CCC environmental sustainability director. “The environmental sustainability office collaborated with several CCC offices and departments seeking information that we previously did not have measured. We look forward to watching our sustainability efforts grow and improve through the STARS program and as early sustainability adopters in Nebraska.” 

“Sustainability is an area that is constantly evolving and through STARS, we are able to see what areas are the most critical to address, the areas we are already doing well in and where we can continue to improve in the years to come,” said Olivia Whittaker, CCC environmental sustainability manager.

With more than 800 participants on six continents, AASHE’s STARS program is the most widely recognized framework in the world for publicly reporting comprehensive information. The program is open to all institutions of higher education, and the criteria that determine a STARS rating are transparent and accessible to anyone. Because STARS is a program based on credits earned, it allows for both internal comparisons as well as comparisons with similar institutions.

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



AASHE is an association of colleges and universities working to create a sustainable future. It provides higher education institutions with resources, professional development and a network of support so they can model and advance sustainability in everything they do, from governance and operations to education and research. For more information, visit

For more information about the STARS program, visit