The purpose of this study was to establish an objective mathematical decision-making procedure to help universities prioritize credits, while using the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS) framework developed by the Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), when pursuing their sustainability goals in the short-, medium- and long-term. The authors used the assessment data from Dominican University of California (DUofC), as our case study.
Two criteria, the number of possible points available and overall priority, were developed to classify credits in the STARS version 1.2 framework into six groups from lowest to highest level of difficulty. Two mathematical credit-selecting models based on how many points were available per credit, partial or full amount, were also established to produce short-, medium- and long-term plans.
Our results show that DUofC can reach the Silver level in three years by working on 25 credits; Gold level in nine years by focusing its efforts in 28 additional credits; and Platinum level in 15 years by improving another 10 credits.
The procedure developed in this study can be applied to other universities and other versions of the STARS framework.
Huang, Y., R. Coelho, V., Massoud, J., Briski, S., Toepel, A. and Silva, M. (2014), "A mathematical decision-making procedure to assist in the development of sustainability plans based on the STARS framework", Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, Vol. 5 No. 3, pp. 292-312. https://doi.org/10.1108/SAMPJ-10-2013-0044Download as .RIS
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