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USGBC and STAR Communities Celebrate Release of Rating System for Sustainable Communities at GREENBUILD 2012

Partnership to Develop STAR Community Rating System™ Commenced Five Years Ago in Chicago

San Francisco, CA (November 14, 2012) – Today STAR Communities is announcing that more than 30 North American cities and counties will be engaged in a year-long pilot to evaluate and test the first national rating system for community sustainability. In 2007, at GREENBUILD in Chicago, the seed was planted to develop the STAR Community Rating System, and five years later, the system has been released and participating communities announced.

”Every local place has a unique vision for a healthy environment, a strong economy and the well-being of the people living in that community,” said Hilari Varnadore, director of STAR Communities. “Individual governments and leaders will always address their sustainability efforts in ways that work best for them. But the path to progress is now easier with the launch of the groundbreaking STAR Community Rating System.”

Local community leaders will use the STAR Community Rating System to assess how sustainable they already are, set goals for moving ahead and measure progress along the way.

"This groundbreaking system – designed and built by local governments – is a huge accomplishment that will unleash local leadership in sustainability," said Dr. Jason Hartke, vice president for national policy at USGBC. "When we embarked on this effort five years ago, we wanted to accelerate the great work cities and counties were doing to create strong, sustainable and more resilient communities. Today, the future is now, and local governments have a comprehensive sustainability roadmap that they can use to accelerate action, foster leadership, and inspire innovation."

STAR Pilot Communities will be the first to receive a rating based on their responses using a Technical Guide, Online Reporting Tool, and associated products and services that are designed to help communities establish and measure their own sustainability.

In 2007, ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, the U.S. Green Building Council, and the Center for American Progress launched the concept for the Rating System at GREENBUILD. By 2008, they had established a formal partnership that included the National League of Cities, to develop the program. The launch of the Rating System and Pilot Program at GREENBUILD commemorates the program’s 5-year anniversary.

Released October 1, 2012, the STAR Community Rating System is the nation’s first voluntary, self-reporting framework for evaluating the sustainability of U.S. communities. STAR uniquely combines:

A framework for sustainability that includes social, economic and environmental qualities of a community;

A rating system that drives continuous improvement and fosters competition; and

An online system that gathers, organizes, analyzes, and presents information needed to meet sustainability goals.


About STAR Communities:

STAR Communities was established as an independent nonprofit organization in April 2012 to administer and manage the STAR Community Rating System and its associated products and services. Based in Washington, DC, STAR Communities advances a national framework for sustainable communities through delivery of standards and tools built by and for local governments and the communities they serve. The organization’s vision is to lead a national movement that empowers communities to chart a clear path toward a sustainable future.

Contact Info:

Lacey Shaver, Outreach and Communications Coordinator




Hilari Varnadore

Director, STAR Communities