STAR Communities


Columbia has been recognized for sustainability leadership. We recently received a Certified 3-STAR Community rating from STAR Communities.

What is STAR?     STAR is designed to assess a community’s sustainability performance in 7 goal areas.

How was Columbia’s rating determined?     Led by the Office of Sustainability over a year period, more than more than 45 individualsopens in a new window from City departments and community partner organizations provided detailed documentation to support our application for a STAR rating. The City of Columbia’s submittal was evaluated by STAR’s Technical Manager, who is supported by a large Technical Advisory Group comprised of individuals with expertise for each goal category. This third-party evaluation process gives validity to our efforts to self-report Columbia’s sustainability performance. Based on this comprehensive evaluation, Columbia received a 3-Star rating (out of a possible 5 Stars).

STAR’s 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
  • Economy & Jobs: Create equitably shared prosperity and access to quality jobs
  • Education, Arts & Community: Empower vibrant, educated, connected, and diverse communities
  • 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 businesses
  • Natural Systems: Protect and restore the natural resource base upon which life depends

STAR Communities is a nonprofit organization 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. Technical experts, sustainability leaders and local government officials developed our rating system to provide a transparent and data-driven mechanism to improve local communities. STAR Communities leads communities to chart a clear path toward a sustainable future.

More information about STAR Communities and the measurement categories Columbia received points for can be found here.