Awards and Certifications

The University of Denver has been recognized at the national level for our hard work and dedication to taking progressive, innovative and creative action toward creating a just and sustainable campus.

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The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) is the professional organization for sustainability work on college and university campuses around the world. In 2010, this organization launched the first version of their Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System (STARS). STARS is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. Similar to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) ratings for buildings, universities can earn Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum ratings for their campus work on sustainability.

Each STARS report looks at all aspects of a university from operations information (such as how much renewable energy a school is using or what a campus waste diversion rate is), to engagement (how students participate in sustainability programming), to social sustainability, diversity and equity measures (things like whether staff members earn a living wage or what level of debt students leave the school carrying). Overall, the report looks at over 2,000 data points and requires the participation of individuals, offices and departments from all parts of the university to pitch in and help. See a detailed list of the information STARS collects here.

The University of Denver participated in the first version of STARS, and submitted our first report in 2010. That year, we were awarded with a Gold rating. Read our full report here

In 2016, we resubmitted our data under the much more rigorous STARS 2.0 standards and received a Silver rating. Read the full report here

DU has a goal to reach a Gold rating in 2020, and Platinum by 2025.

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Interested in helping us complete our next AASHE STARS Report?

Join us at the Sustainability Council meetings, or email Chad King using the link below.

Contact Us

Bike-Friendly University

Since 1880, the League of American Bicyclists — or The League, for short — has been working to create safer roads, stronger communities and a Bicycle Friendly America. Through education, advocacy and promotion, they work to celebrate and preserve the freedom cycling brings to communities everywhere. 

Toward that end, The League launched a series of certifications for businesses, communities and universities to be rated as “bike friendly.” The Bicycle Friendly University (BFU) program recognizes institutions of higher education for promoting and providing a more bikeable campus for students, staff and visitors. The BFU program provides the roadmap and technical assistance to create great campuses for cycling.

The University of Denver has been named a Bronze-level BFU since 2012, and we have the goal to reach Gold by 2025.

The City of Denver is also a Bike Friendly Community and most recently received a Silver rating. Read Denver’s report here. You’ll also find dozens of Bike Friendly Businesses throughout the city.