Northern Arizona University earned its second consecutive gold rating in the annual Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System survey, a self-assessment program launched by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.

With its gold status, NAU continues to rank among the top institutions in the country for sustainable practices.

“Achieving STARS Gold for the second year in a row is evidence of the continued collaborative efforts happening across campus,” said Ellen Vaughan from the Office of Sustainability. “We look forward to watching our sustainability efforts grow and improve.”

STARS ratings are based on a campus’s performance in four broad sustainability-focused categories: academics; engagement; operations; and planning and administration. NAU earned its highest points in academics.

In a letter that accompanied the ratings submission, President John Haeger cited the university’s $18 million investment in energy savings that will eliminate the need to extract and combust tons of fossil fuels. “This initiative, along with dozens of others, is helping to make NAU a national leader in sustainability,” he said.

NAU previously received a silver rating in 2011 and gold rating in 2012.

The full report can be accessed online.