Appendix A: Peer Benchmarking Programs

Description of Benchmarking Programs

1. Greenline Analysis

Greenline Analysis is the environmental stewardship branch of the company Sightlines, which manages the largest verified facilities database in the country. Purdue University, along with University of Illinois and Penn State, were the first Big Ten Universities to contract Sightlines facilities assessment services in 2003. Greenline examines metrics for carbon footprint/greenhouse gas emissions; waste production and recycling; water consumption; and green construction techniques. The Greenline web-based tool allows participants to examine trends in environmental performance and benchmark against peer institutions. Roughly 60 higher education institutions currently use Greenline Analysis. Additional information about Greenline Analysis can be found at: Sightlines

2. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)

Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the LEED green building rating system is the de-facto national standard for the design, construction, and operation of high-performance, sustainable buildings. LEED provides reliable third-party verification that a building is designed and constructed according to current best practices for sustainability. The LEED program is used by many higher education institutions to green both new capital projects and existing building stocks. As of September 2009, LEED initiatives have been adopted by 39 colleges and universities across the country. Additional information about the USGBC and LEED can be found at: USGBC

3. Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS)

The STARS program was created to establish a common standard of measurement for sustainability in higher education so that meaningful comparisons can be drawn over time and across institutions. STARS was developed by the Association for the Advancement for Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) in a collaborative effort with other non-profit organizations and higher education associations. Participating campuses earn a rating based on performance in three main categories: Education & Research; Operations; and Planning, Administration & Engagement. 

4. The Climate Registry

The Climate Registry is a non-profit organization that provides consistent and transparent standards for calculating, verifying and publicly reporting greenhouse gas emissions. The voluntary program aims to create credible and accurate standards and tools for emissions reporting that are applied consistently throughout North America. Greenhouse gas emissions data submitted to The Climate Registry is independently third-party verified by private companies with expertise in tracking emissions to ensure accuracy. Additional information about The Registry can be found at: The Climate Registry

Strategic Plan