Assessment System for Sustainable Campus

ASSC (Assessment System for Sustainable Campus) is something that was developed by Sustainable Campus Management Office of this university in 2013. ASSC is an evaluation system using questionnaire format that captured the activities of universities generally and collectively and examined them closely to select basis for evaluation standards that are needed to realize sustainability of a campus. The assessment is made up of four categories, administrative category, environmental category, education and research category and regional society category, and total of 170 evaluation standards are placed under those four categories.

ASSC is designed to enable a university that had carried out the assessment to be able to discover criteria for its administrative policies. It clarifies strengths and weaknesses of the said university for realizing Sustainable Campus, and its mechanism is such that from the assessment result, policies for university administration can be seen, like in which area emphasis should be placed to reinforce it strength, or to reduce weakness.

Since 2014, ASSC has been utilized in other universities within Japan as well as by universities abroad. Operations of ASSC at other universities are run under CAS-Net JAPAN (Campus Sustainability Network in Japan).

How to use

Please log in after acquiring an account from online system of ASSC (below). Answer can be inputted and submitted only during answer reception period. Please inquire to Sustainable Campus Management Office (oSC* (please replace * with @) regarding answer reception period.

Merits for answering

CAS-Net JAPAN issues gold and platinum certification based on the score to universities that completed answering the questionnaire. This can be used as a yardstick for the level of Sustainable Campus attainment. In the three years between 2014 ~ 2016, 12 universities in total have obtained certification. This certification can be a transmission tool for sending out the achievement within and out of the university for organizations working on environmental and sustainability issues.

How to look at assessment results

Using radar charts and bar graphs like the followings, scores of your university can be compared to the average scores by other universities. This shows the strengths and weaknesses of your university, and helps in drafting university plans that match to the characteristics of the university. Also, by carrying out the assessment periodically, the results from initiatives taken by your university can be checked as well.

Development background

Sustainability assessment systems for higher education institutions include the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) that is popularly used mainly in North American higher education institutions, Value Metrics and Policies for a Sustainable University Campus (UNI metrics) that are from joint-research by Politecnico di Torino, Cambridge University, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and our Hokkaido University (a joint program adopted by European Commission), Alternative University Appraisal (AUA) developed by International Center (at that time) of our university, as well as UI Green Metric operated by University of Indonesia. ASSC was created based on those existing assessment systems and results from joint research project that our university has participated in. The existing assessment systems listed above all have different characteristics from each other, but it was discovered that important common factors for evaluating Sustainable Campus were included within, such as determination of administrative policy by university leadership, business practice of respective organizations, activities by individuals such as students and faculty members; they provided nourishment for development of ASSC.

Results of Hokkaido University

Including test assessment, Hokkaido University has been carrying out assessment on Sustainable Campus every year since 2013. From below radar chart, one can see that our score is going up gradually, and that our Sustainable Campus initiatives are progressing. We obtained gold certification in 2016. However, compared to average scores of other universities with gold certification, our environmental category and regional society category are slightly low, and need further initiatives on campus plans relating to public space and landscape, energy saving, and disaster prevention aspects.

In response to the facts that had become clear by ASSC, Hokkaido University had been working toward creating sustainable campus. Among many efforts that accomplished in FY2018, the following are notable improvements that contributed to gain score.

●Completed ecosystem research in Hakodate Campus
[Ecosystem] “Is there a database in which flora and fauna characteristics and distribution on campus are recorded?”

●Reduced 2.1% of the entire energy consumption.
[Energy and resources] “Is the entire energy consumption being reduced from 2005 level?”

  • Score percentages of Hokkaido University in four fields FY2018

  • Score percentages of Hokkaido University by assessment area FY2018

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