"is an association of colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada working to create a sustainable future. It was founded in 2006 with a mission to promote sustainability in all sectors of higher education - from governance and operations to curriculum and outreach - through education, communication, research and professional development. Businesses, NGO's, and government agencies can participate as AASHE partner members.
AASHE aims to advance the efforts of the entire campus sustainability community by uniting diverse initiatives and connecting practitioners to resources and professional development opportunities. The association also provides a professional home for campus sustainability coordinators and directors.
AASHE defines sustainability in an inclusive way, encompassing human and ecological health, social justice, secure livelihoods, and a better world for all generations.
AASHE is a member-driven, independent 501(c)(3). Membership in AASHE covers every individual at an institution.
AASHE Programs & Projects
American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment
The American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment is a high-visibility effort by college and university presidents to address global warming. Signatories commit to eventually neutralize their institution's greenhouse gas emissions, and to help accelerate the research and educational efforts of higher education to equip society to re-stabilize the Earth's climate. AASHE, in partnership with Second Nature and ecoAmerica, is providing implementation and administrative support for the initiative.
Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System (STARS)
AASHE is leading a collaborative effort to develop a formal classification system for campus sustainability, with guidelines by which institutions may measure themselves and qualify for different levels of recognition of accomplishment. The project responds to the need expressed by many stakeholders for a standard campus sustainability rating system that compares higher education institutions on progress toward sustainability.
Resource Center (Online)
Our online Resource Center is a rich source of information on campus sustainability. It includes: a policy bank with over 300 sustainability related policies organized by category (e.g., building, procurement, energy, general policies, etc.); master and strategic plans that incorporate sustainability, a directory of full-time campus sustainability professionals and a list of job descriptions; extensive lists of campus solar electric and wind turbine installations; archives of AASHE Bulletin; articles, reports, fact sheets, and books related to campus sustainability; and links to over 200 campus websites describing their sustainability efforts. New resources are added on a regular basis.
AASHE offers a variety of opportunities for professional development, including:
Biennial conference - Our North American conference welcomes participants from every sector of higher education, as well as businesses and NGOs. AASHE 2006 at Arizona State University was the largest campus sustainability gathering to date, attracting nearly 700 participants. [snip][The 2nd AASHE conference was held in Raleigh, North Carolina in November 2008]
- Workshops and trainings - Held at member campuses, these events offer sustainability practitioners and advocates opportunities to network, share resources, and collaborate on projects and publications.
- Interest Groups - Electronic discussion lists targeted at those with specialized interests, they facilitate networking, learning, and collaboration on particular topics and specialized interests.
- Co-sponsored events - We partner with other organizations whenever possible to offer professional development opportunities such as webinars, workshops, and conferences, and to provide discounts for AASHE members
Publications & Communications
Online communications are the core of AASHE's outreach efforts, and include several publications:
AASHE Bulletin (weekly) - a free e-newsletter providing the latest campus sustainability news, announcements, resources and opportunities. Formerly EFS-News.
AASHE Digest (annual) - a compilation of campus sustainability stories that appeared in AASHE Bulletin during the previous year, arranged by category.
AASHE Update (occasional) - updates from the office informing readers about the association's activities and new resources, and spotlighting member campuses.
Puget Sound Campus Sustainability Project (2004-2007)
This project seeks to transform curriculum and operations at universities in the Puget Sound through a model of institutional collaboration that can be replicated in other regions. Activities include multi-sector workshops, forums for high-level administrators and business leaders, and assistance in implementing initiatives such as a region-wide system for campus sustainability assessment. The project is generously funded by The Russell Family Foundation.
Partnerships and Collaboration
Campus Climate Challenge (Energy Action)
AASHE is a member organization in the Energy Action coalition. We promote the coalition's Campus Climate Challenge, long term initiative to reduce global warming pollution from campuses. AASHE also provides resources and technical information to coalition partners.
Campus Sustainability Day
AASHE helps promote Campus Sustainability Day (CSD), an annual fall event sponsored by the Society for College and University Planning (SCUP). The centerpiece is a live webcast downloaded by several hundred campuses. Each campus is encouraged to plan its own additional events.
Campaign for Environmental Literacy
The Campaign for Environmental Literacy seeks to secure and significantly increase the amount of federal funding dedicated to environmental literacy, including restoring federal funding for environmental education in NOAA and EPA. AASHE supports these efforts with letters of support and notifications to members.
Disciplinary Associations Network for Sustainability (DANS)
The Disciplinary Associations Network for Sustainability (DANS) is an informal network of professional associations. Among other activities, they are working on professional development around sustainability as well as changing curricula, standards, and tenure requirements to reflect sustainability. DANS members are committed to supporting sustainability within the disciplines, across the disciplines, and beyond the academy. Educating the public and promoting sustainability-related legislation are among their goals.
Higher Education Associations' Sustainability Consortium (HEASC)
HEASC was formed in 2006 to leverage the efforts of mainstream higher education associations to advance sustainability in their operations, programs, and professional development. AASHE is an active HEASC member and provides resources and services to the group, in addition to hosting its website. Current plans are for AASHE to coordinate and manage HEASC starting in 2008.
Net Impact's Campus Greening Initiative
Net Impact is a network of MBA students and young professionals committed to using the power of business to improve the world. The Campus Greening Initiative engages Net Impact members to use their business skills to improve their school's impact on the environment, as well as to raise awareness of environmental problems and solutions among emerging business leaders. AASHE serves as an advisor for the initiative.
US Partnership for the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (USPDESD)
The US Partnership is a voluntary partnership of individuals, organizations, and institutions dedicated to fulfilling the goals of the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014). AASHE is an active partner and has helped establish a Disciplinary Associations Network for Sustainability (DANS) whose goal is to make sustainability a focus of their publications, programs, and operations.
AASHE Blog: Campus Sustainability Perspectives
AASHE 2008: Working Together for Sustainability -- On Campus and Beyond