Wendell Hardin, Sustainability Manager, 336-727-8249
Winston-Salem is a 3-STAR Community!
The City of Winston-Salem has been recognized for sustainability leadership through the Leadership STAR Community Program. After completing this program, Winston-Salem has become only the second community in North Carolina to receive a STAR Rating. With a total score of 258.4 points, our community received an official 3-STAR Rating. Winston-Salem's online profile through STAR shows further breakdown of points earned by goal area and objective.
The City of Winston-Salem has also become a part of the Leading STAR Community Indicator program, a new annual reporting tool from STAR. The Leading Indicators include 21 metrics based on the STAR Community Rating System framework. The data is organized in an online format where cities and counties nation-wide can annually record key sustainability metrics. The City of Winston-Salem Community Indicators were recently published at the end of 2016.
What is STAR?
STAR Communities is a nonprofit organization that works to evaluate, improve, and certify sustainable communities. STAR helps cities and counties achieve a healthy environment, a strong economy, and well-being for their residents. The STAR Community Rating System is the nation’s first comprehensive framework and certification program for evaluating local sustainability. STAR rates communities on 44 objectives including economic, environmental and social performance measures. Local leaders use the rating system’s evaluation measures to assess their current level of sustainability, set targets for moving ahead, and measure progress along the way.
What is in the rating system?
The STAR Community Rating System is organized around 7 thematic Goal Areas:
- Built Environment - Achieve livability, choice, and access for all where people live, work, and play.
- Climate & Energy - Reduce climate impacts through adaptation and mitigation efforts and increase resource efficiency.
- Education, Arts & Community - Empower vibrant, education, connected, and diverse communities.
- Economy & Jobs - Create equitably shared prosperity and access to quality jobs.
- Equity & Empowerment - Ensure equity, inclusion, and access to opportunity for all citizens.
- Health & Safety - Strengthen communities to be healthy, resilient and safe places for residents and business.
- Natural Systems - Protect and restore the natural resource base upon which life depends
An eighth category, Innovation & Process, allows communities to get extra credit in areas where they excel and propose new credits to support the evolution of sustainability practice.
Sustainability means different things to different people, so STAR provides a clear, data-driven approach to assessing communities’ sustainability efforts. The STAR framework helps communities assess their efforts in certain key areas and define sustainability for themselves. This framework allows communities to track their progress from year to year as well as compare progress with other communities participating in this same program.
What does this mean for Winston-Salem?
The STAR Community Rating System will be able to provide us with a road map to help evaluate, assess and improve our community’s economic, environmental, and social performance measures and become healthier and stronger together. The hope is for community leaders to use STAR to set a clear path for sustainability, and measure and track progress towards meaningful results that save money and improve this community.
Thank you to all of the community partners who helped us achieve the 3-STAR Rating! [pdf/112kb/1p]
For more information about this project, contact Helen Peplowski.