Gold Rating, sustainability

Wartburg College is the second private school in the Midwest and ninth in the nation to achieve a gold rating under the newest version of the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS). Wartburg is the first Iowa private college to earn this honor.

STARS, a program of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, launched in 2010.
STARS 2.0 ratings are based on scores in nearly 75 categories encompassing academics,
engagement, operations, and planning and administration.

Sustainability Quick Facts

Since 2009, Wartburg has supported a community garden. All produce goes to Dining Services to be incorporated into meals. The garden is sustained with volunteer support.

Dining Services buys nearly all food locally so farmers can reinvest their money into their own community. Buying local also helps the environment as it reduces travel expenses found in supermarkets.

Wartburg has water bottle fillers located in Science Center, Luther Hall, Saemann Student center and Vogel Library to reduce waste.

During construction of the Wartburg-Waverly Sports & Wellness Center in 2007, the college partnered with the local energy utility to fund a wind turbine that offsets the facility’s energy consumption.

The Mensa Dining Hall is tray-less to reduce water, energy, and food waste. The facility also uses front-loading washers, which saves 14,976 gallons of water every four days.

Wartburg College hired Schneider Electric, an energy consulting firm, to implement a $2.4 million energy efficiency project. Overall, the project is projected to save $270,000 annually in utility costs.

Residence halls and academic buildings have low flow toilets and shower heads.

In 2014, an overhaul of the waste management process led to decreased landfill collection. Waste containers were retrofitted into recycling-waste sorting containers, and employees are responsible for bringing the contents to bins placed near each office.


Anne Duncan is the sustainability coordinator at Wartburg. If you are interested in getting involved with Wartburg's sustainability efforts, email her at



The Sustainability Office at Wartburg College seeks to help the Wartburg community find ways to better steward its resources. Click the links on these pages to learn about the programs and activities that have reduced energy consumption and also educated the public about the environmental impacts of sustainable practices.

Located in Old Main 15, the Sustainability Office’s Office Suite has a room dedicated to giving a second life to gently used office supplies that are no longer needed by departments, individual faculty/staff, or students. Donate office supplies by e-mailing Pick up items for free by stopping by REUSE(D) during office hours.