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STAR Communities

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Becoming A Star-Certified Community

Led by the Office of Sustainability, the City of St. Petersburg conducted a year-long robust sustainability assessment that evaluated a wide range of sustainability objectives.  In December 2016, the city was certified as a 3-STAR Community.  See the STAR Certification Results Report here.  

What Is The Star Community Rating System?

The STAR Community Rating System is the nation’s first comprehensive framework and certification program for evaluating local sustainability, encompassing economic, environmental and social performance measures. STAR was developed for local governments by local governments. Nearly 200 volunteers representing 50 cities and counties, state and federal agencies, nonprofit organizations, national associations, universities, utilities and private corporations contributed thousands of hours and diverse expertise to the development of the STAR Community Rating System.

Why Is Star Communities Needed?

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 seven key areas and define sustainability for themselves. This robust framework is necessary for communities to credibly track their progress toward overall sustainability objectives and to allow communities to compare progress with each other.

What Is In The Rating System?

The STAR Community Rating System is organized around 7 thematic Goal Areas + an Innovation and Process Opportunity:  

STAR rating system

How Does It Work?

Communities sign up as a Member STAR Community as they work to assess and certify their sustainability efforts. For communities that pursue certification, the rating system encompasses economic, environmental and social performance measures for both local governments and the broader community. Communities must fill out an online application detailing their achievements across 40+ sustainability objectives, with more than 525 different measurable indicators. STAR Communities’ verification team then reviews the community’s application as an independent third-party and awards a rating based upon a total cumulative score of points achieved.

What Are The Benefits of Star?

STAR will provide an excellent foundation for a broader assessment of our community. It also serves as an opportunity to communicate our strategic objectives and outcomes with our community partners.

The stated benefits of being identified as a Leadership STAR Community are:

  • Demonstrate commitment to local sustainability
  • Receive national recognition for leadership and achievements
  • Gain competitive advantage for attracting economic development and funding
  • Improve transparency and accountability and showcase results
  • Communicate long-term resiliency and risk management to municipal bond agencies
  • Build and strengthen partnerships within government and the community

Which Communities Are Involved?

The list of STAR communities is always growing. As of September 2015, more than 100 communities are currently engaged with STAR in some way, representing more than 40 million people. See an updated map of communities at reporting.starcommunities.org

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