Collegiate athletics environmental sustainability efforts within STARS reporting Academic Article uri icon


  • Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine higher education institutions participation in association for the advancement of sustainability in higher educations (AASHEs) Green Athletics category in the sustainability tracking, assessment and rating system (STARS) sustainability report while assessing how well collegiate athletic departments engage with their respective aspects. Design/methodology/approach This general review used quantitative content analysis to determine the number of NCAA Divisions IIII institutions that actively report Green Athletics categories in their AASHE STARS reports. The data collection process compiled current reports from the STARS website and the National Collegiate Athletic Association database. Green Athletics categorical and accumulated point attempts and outcomes were analyzed. Findings Of the 335 institutions that actively use the STARS reporting tool, the NCAA accounted for 247 rated institutions of which only 50 attempted points in Green Athletics while only 21 institutions succeeded. This paper discusses the lack of participation from institutions in Green Athletics and propose an alternate to better engage collegiate athletics in STARS reporting. Originality/value This study is one of the first known examinations of the tangible results of collaborations on college campuses to integrate the athletic departments sustainability efforts into the overall sustainability reporting of the institution. This study can better inform STARS on how to more fully engage college athletic departments and boost the sustainability efforts in all corners of campus.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Pelcher, J., McCullough, B. P., & Trendafilova, S.

citation count

  • 7

complete list of authors

  • Pelcher, Jamee||McCullough, Brian P||Trendafilova, Sylvia

publication date

  • January 2021