STAR certification provides a clear, data-driven approach to assessing communities’ sustainability efforts. Certification allows communities to credibly and transparently track progress toward overall sustainability objectives. For communities that pursue certification, the STAR Community Rating System encompasses economic, environmental and social performance measures for both local governments and the broader community. The rating system includes 7 goal areas and 45 sustainability objectives, with over 500 different measurable indicators, including both quantitative and qualitative measures.
Communities receive a rating based on the total cumulative score of points achieved from the 750 points available in the menu-based rating system. Communities choose the measures that they would like to report on and are not required to submit on all measures. The flexibility of a menu-based system allows local governments to select the objectives they feel are most important and relevant to their communities. Local targets and measures are integrated across the system.
The STAR Community Rating System supports three leadership certifications: 3-STAR Community, 4-STAR Community and 5-STAR Community. Since STAR is a menu and communities decide which measures to report on, the final scores do not provide a true head-to-head comparison. Instead, the STAR Community Rating System includes 3 certification levels, making it a rating (not a ranking) system.
A STAR Community Rating lasts for four years after the award date, at which point a community is expected to measure and report progress through recertification.
General descriptions and points ranges required for certification are shown below.
|Version 2.0 Certification Levels||Point Range|
Recognized for sustainability leadership
|250 – 449|
Recognized for national excellence
|450 – 649|
Recognized as top tier achiever in national sustainability