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The UW-Whitewater Sustainability Office has received or participated in a number of awards and certifications to recognize excellence in higher education sustainability practices that are occurring at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Participating in these programs is an important part of ensuring a well-balanced program while celebrating the many individuals and departments across campus that contribute to making UW-Whitewater a more sustainable campus.

U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Award

The aim of U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS) is to inspire schools, districts, and institutions of higher education (IHEs) to strive for 21st-century excellence by highlighting promising school sustainability practices and resources that all can employ. To that end, the award recognizes schools, districts, and IHEs that:

  1. reduce environmental impact and costs;
  2. improve the health and wellness of schools, students, and staff; and
  3. provide effective environmental and sustainability education

Combined progress in ALL three of these areas, known as Pillars, serves as the basis for recognition. UW-Whitewater was recognized as a Green Ribbon School in 2020UW-Whitewater's submission can be found here.

AASHE STARS: Silver Certification

The Sustainability Tracking and Rating System (STARS) is a program run by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). STARS is intended to be a comprehensive assessment of campus sustainability progress and is widely recognized as the "industry standard" for measuring sustainability performance at college and university campuses.  UW-Whitewater submitted reports in 2015 and 2018 and achieved Silver certification status for both submissionsYou can read our most recent report here.

Tree Campus Higher Education

UW-Whitewater was first recognized in 2019 as a Tree Campus USA by the Arbor Day Foundation.  This includes compliance with five standards: a Campus Tree Advisory Committee, Campus Tree Care Plan, Campus Tree Program with Annual Expenditures, Arbor Day Observance, and Service Learning Project.  The Salisbury Idea was implemented as the Service Learning Project that qualified for this certification. The recognition name has since been changed to Tree Campus Higher Education. UW-Whitewater first received accreditation in 2019See the list of accredited campuses here.

ArbNet Level II Accredited Arboreta

ArbNet created its Arboretum Accreditation Program to establish and share a widely recognized set of industry standards for the purpose of unifying the arboretum community. No other international program of accreditation exists that is specific to arboreta. Any arboretum or public garden with a substantial focus on woody plants may apply. Accreditation is based on self-assessment and documentation of an arboretum’s level of achievement of accreditation standards, including planning, governance, number of species, staff or volunteer support, education and public programming, and tree science research and conservation. UW-Whitewater first received accreditation in 2019View UW-Whitewater's accreditation page here.

Professional Grounds Management Society Green Star Awards

The annual Green Star Awards® Program brings national recognition to grounds maintained with a high degree of excellence. The program complements other national landscape award programs that recognize outstanding landscape design and construction. This program salutes the grounds superintendent responsible for maintaining a well-manicured landscape year round. Grand, Honor and Merit Awards are offered in 15 categories, covering all types of private, public commercial and industrial landscapes. To qualify for entry, a landscape must be at least two years old and under your continuous maintenance for at least two years. UW-Whitewater received the award in 2020.