Air & Climate


Global climate change is having myriad negative impacts throughout the world, including increased frequency and potency of extreme weather events, sea level rise, species extinction, water shortages, declining agricultural production, and spread of diseases. The impacts are particularly pronounced for low-income communities and countries. In addition, institutions that inventory and take steps to reduce their air pollutant emissions can positively impact the health of the campus community, as well as the health of their local communities and regions.

799 resources

Applied Climate Science (BS)

  • University of Nebraska - Lincoln (NE)

The applied climate science major provides an interdisciplinary approach with courses in biology, chemistry, soils, water, ecology, mathematics and statistics, and Geographic Information Science (GIScience). These courses provide students with ...

  • Posted Aug. 30, 2018
  • Academic Programs
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Carbon Neutral Campus: Solar Research

  • University of Illinois at Chicago (IL)

This project was set out to analyze two UIC buildings, the Student Services Building and the Pharmacognosy Field Station, in order to determine their potential for solar energy along with ...

  • Posted Aug. 10, 2018
  • Case Studies
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1 MegaWatt Battery Energy Storage System

  • California State University, Long Beach (CA)

In 2017, California State University, Long Beach installed a 1 Megawatt energy storage system on campus as part of a multiphase project with Advanced Microgrid Solutions (AMS) made possible through ...

Pathways to carbon neutral energy systems at the University of California, Davis

  • University of California, Davis (CA)

To achieve carbon neutrality by 2025 the University of California, Davis (UCD) seeks to eliminate its dependence on fossil energy sources. This study outlines a methodology to identify optimal equipment ...

Strategic leadership for sustainability by higher education: the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment

  • Greenland Enterprises (MA)

Higher education has a strong influence in shaping the mental models of many of society's professionals and leaders and is a critical leverage point in creating a sustainable society ...

Nitrogen Footprint Network Workshop

  • University of Virginia (VA)

Fifth annual Nitrogen Footprint Network meeting, hosted by the University of Virginia.

University of Virginia Renewable Energy

  • University of Virginia (VA)

Renewable energy (PV panels on Clemons library) helps reduce UVA's nitrogen footprint, in addition to UVA's greenhouse gas footprint.

Dickinson College Solar Array

  • Dickinson College (PA)

Dickinson’s new (2018), 12-acre solar array project—designed and built by Tesla—is projected to generate approximately 5,200,000 kwh per year, representing more than 25 percent of ...

University of Dayton Energy GPA

  • University of Dayton (OH)

The Energy GPA program provides students in University-owned student neighborhood houses with a grade of their monthly energy use. Monthly "report cards" include electricity and gas usage and a monthly ...

Climate Change Commitment Wall

  • American University (DC)

American University student signs chalkboard commitment wall to fight climate change.

Paradigm Project

  • American University (DC)

A woman outside Nairobi, Kenya holds a wood-burning, efficient cookstove from the Paradigm Project.

Arboretum at the University of Pennsylvania

  • University of Pennsylvania (PA)

Penn's main, academic campus was accredited as a Level I ArbNet-certified Arboretum as of April 2017, and Level II in November 20107. The Arboretum at the University of Pennsylvania ...

Vassar Groveville Hydro Project

  • Vassar College (NY)

Photo Credit: Karl Rabe/ Vassar College In Fall 2015, Vassar College signed a 20-year agreement with Gravity Renewables to establish a purchasing partnership with a small scale hydropower project on ...

VCU Community-University Urban Forestry Program

  • Virginia Commonwealth University (VA)

The Urban Forestry Initiative at Virginia Commonwealth University is a community-based research project designed to meet the community identified need of increasing urban tree canopy cover and the university identified ...

Delta College Living Wall

  • Delta College (MI)

The campus Health Professions Building North atrium at Delta College showcases a living wall, an architectural feature and natural ventilation system that acts as a bio filter to improve air ...

Quantitative analysis of factors affecting greenhouse gas emissions at institutions of higher education

  • University of Illinois at Chicago (IL)

Increasingly, institutions are reporting greenhouse gas emissions as a means to measure sustainability. One way higher education is taking a leadership role is through the American College and University Presidents ...

  • Posted June 29, 2018
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Measuring carbon performance in a UK University through a consumption-based carbon footprint: De Montfort University case study

  • Arup (NY)
  • De Montfort University

This paper presents a consumption-based carbon footprint study for a UK university including scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions under the classification of the WRI/WBCSD Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate ...

  • Posted June 29, 2018
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Longitudinal Study of the Impacts of a Climate Change Curriculum on Undergraduate Student Learning: Initial Results

  • Stonehill College (MA)

The present study assesses the efficacy of a semester-long undergraduate sustainability curriculum designed from a systems approach. The three-course curriculum, which incorporated environmental science and ethics courses along with an ...

  • Posted June 29, 2018
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Exploring the applications of carbon footprinting towards sustainability at a UK university: reporting and decision making

  • University of Leeds (West Yorkshire)

Campus greening is often the first step universities take towards sustainability. In order to infer the current level of environmental performance and the progress being made it is imperative that ...

  • Posted June 29, 2018
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Carbon sequestered in the trees on a university campus: a case study

  • University of Waikato

The authors aim to investigate the ability of a New Zealand university to rely on the CO2 sequestered in the trees on campus to mitigate the CO2 emissions caused by ...

  • Posted June 29, 2018
  • Publications
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Carbon brainprint – An estimate of the intellectual contribution of research institutions to reducing greenhouse gas emissions

  • Cranfield School of Management

Research and innovation have considerable, currently unquantified potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by, for example, increasing energy efficiency. Furthermore, the process of knowledge transfer in itself can have a ...

  • Posted June 29, 2018
  • Publications
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The Nitrogen Footprint Tool for Universities

  • University of California, Davis (CA)
  • University of New Hampshire (NH)
  • University of Virginia (VA)
  • AASHE (PA)

The Nitrogen Footprint Tool (NFT), designed for institutions of higher education, assesses the impact of campus consumption and activities on excess reactive nitrogen (N) in the environment. Excess reactive nitrogen ...

  • Posted June 28, 2018
  • Videos & Webinars
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An Analysis of the Sustainability of Different Methods of Delivering Higher Education

  • Manchester Metropolitan University

Transforming society and the economy to a more sustainable basis remains one of the most significant challenges of the 21st Century. Higher education institutions are considered key in helping to ...

  • Posted June 20, 2018
  • Publications
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Comparing Greenhouse Gas Emissions across Texas Universities

  • St. Edward's University (TX)

This project serves as a study comparing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions between universities in Texas. Over 90 percent of climate scientists believe that increased climate change is due to anthropogenic ...

  • Posted June 20, 2018
  • Publications
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10% Discount on Yale School of Public Health's Climate Change & Health Certificate for AASHE members

  • Yale University (CT)

Students, staff and faculty at AASHE higher education institutions are eligible for a 10% discount off an 18-week online certificate giving you tools to address the health impacts of climate ...

Grappling with Climate Uncertainties: MIT’s Resiliency Approach

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MA)
  • AASHE (PA)

Heightened awareness from recent extreme weather events and emerging data about current and future climate risks is placing increasing pressure on university campuses to develop processes for enhancing the resilience ...

  • Posted May 31, 2018
  • Videos & Webinars
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Princeton Student Climate Initiative

  • Princeton University (NJ)

On the Friday night after midterms week, seven Princeton undergraduates gathered in the Pace Center for Civic Engagement to talk climate change legislation. Decked in hoodies, sweats, and mismatched socks ...

University of California Irvine's PUMP2PLUG Electric Vehicle Adoption Program

  • University of California, Irvine (CA)

The UCI Pump2Plug Electric Vehicle (EV) Adoption Program is widely recognized as the first university incentive program for EV adoption through the replacement of gas-powered vehicles with electric vehicles. With ...

Tackling it Together: A Framework for Assessing Climate Vulnerability in the Pioneer Valley

  • Smith College (MA)

In Western Massachusetts, stakeholders are engaging with vulnerability in different ways. While some are planning at the campus and city levels, others have engaged only in areas specific to their ...

Sustainable Choices

  • Chandler-Gilbert Community College (AZ)

Chandler-Gilbert Community College (CGCC) is a fast growing community college in a suburb of the Phoenix Metro area. As one of ten colleges in the Maricopa County Community College District ...

American University Achieved Carbon Neutrality Two Years Ahead of 2020 Target

  • American University (DC)

In 2018, American University became the first university, first research university, and first urban higher education campus to achieve carbon neutrality. This major goal was reached two years ahead of ...

Making Climate Commitments into Climate Action

  • University of Illinois at Chicago (IL)

The Climate Action Implementation Plan (CAIP) is the sustainability action plan for the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). The UIC Climate Commitments, announced in April 2016, form the basis ...

UCI Bus Love: UC Irvine’s Transition from a Bio-Diesel to Electric Transit Fleet

  • University of California, Irvine (CA)

The University of California, Irvine (UCI) is the first college campus in the nation to transition over to a fully-electric bus fleet. The student-funded-and-operated Anteater Express campus shuttle service has ...

SIMAP: Sustainability Indicator Management and Analysis Platform

  • University of New Hampshire (NH)

SIMAP™ is a carbon and nitrogen accounting platform that can track, analyze, and improve your campus-wide sustainability. Our proven algorithms, based on nearly two decades of work supporting campus inventories ...

Designing a Proxy Carbon Price Strategy for Smith College

  • Smith College (MA)

This thesis to Design a Proxy Carbon Price Strategy for Smith College was written to internalize the social cost of carbon emissions into financial decision-making. A proxy carbon price is ...

SUNY Polytechnic Institute Campus Forest Carbon Inventory Report and Sequestration Estimates

  • State University of New York Polytechnic Institute (NY)

This report takes initial measurements for existing SUNY Polytechnic Institute campus forest carbon stocks and estimates projections for annual rates of carbon sequestration. Establishing a baseline for campus forest carbon ...

Towards a universal carbon footprint standard: A case study of carbon management at universities

  • University of Southampton

Organisations of all types are significant contributors to international greenhouse gas emissions. The business case for supporting low-carbon practices is gathering pace, alongside the regulatory demands imposed through carbon emission ...

First Application of UN-Toolkit to a Collegiate Climate Action Plan

  • San Diego State University (CA)

The United Nations Guiding Principles for Climate Action Planning Toolkit: City-Level Reviews was re-engineered to allow for the applicability and utilization towards university-level climate action plans. Through tailoring the eight ...

The Role of Eco-campus Assessment Management System in the Sustainable Development of British Universities

  • Nottingham Trent University

The university is a key driver of sustainable development. In the UK, environmental management systems (EMSs) are increasingly being used by organizations to improve environmental performance. Environmental management systems bring ...

Climate Change and the Canadian Higher Education System: An Institutional Policy Analysis

  • University of Rochester (NY)
  • University of Saskatchewan (SK)

Climate change is a pressing concern. Higher education can address the challenge, but systematic analyses of climate change in education policy are sparse. This paper addresses this gap in the ...

The Unsustainability of Academic Aeromobility in Australian Universities

  • University of Melbourne (Victoria)

This article analyzes how certain forms of unsustainable hypermobility – primarily air travel – are embedded in the institutional orientations of Australian universities, and hence, into the professional practices of academics in ...

Towards Transformative Social Learning on the Path to 1.5 Degrees

  • Wageningen University
  • Rhodes University
  • University of the Witwatersrand

This paper provides insights into learning orientations and approaches that encourage change and transformation on the path to achieving the 1.5 degree C target. This literature review of the ...

Ontario Helping Colleges and Universities Fight Climate Change

  • Fairtrade Canada (ON)
  • Niagara College Canada (ON)
  • Sheridan College (Ontario) (ON)
  • Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (ON)
  • Upper Canada College (ON)
  • University of Ontario Institute of Technology (ON)

Ontario is investing in colleges and university campuses to improve energy efficiency while also fostering student involvement. Ontario is helping fund green projects such as installing energy-efficient windows, high-efficiency boilers ...

  • Posted May 8, 2018
  • Videos & Webinars
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Purchasing Carbon Offsets 101

  • Second Nature (MA)

"Join this webinar for an introduction to purchasing carbon offsets through the voluntary carbon market. The webinar will cover how schools can use verified carbon offsets to meet emissions reduction ...

  • Posted May 8, 2018
  • Videos & Webinars
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Earth Institute Center for Environmental Sustainability

  • Columbia University (NY)

The Earth Institute Center for Environmental Sustainability is dedicated to the development of a rich, robust and vibrant world within which we can secure a sustainable future. Through a diverse ...

  • Posted May 8, 2018
  • Research Centers & Institutes
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Gardening for a Changing Climate

  • University of Illinois at Chicago (IL)

Thousands of students enjoyed the spring weather as they celebrated Earth Day and the UIC Climate Commitments at the Earth Day fair. This outdoor pop-up event, planned by UIC students ...

Emory Pollinator Protection Program

  • Emory University (GA)

Concerned about the plight of bees and other pollinators, which are essential for two-thirds of the food crops we eat every day, Emory University developed a comprehensive Pollinator Protection Commitment ...

Facilitating a World Climate Negotiation Simulation

  • University of Massachusetts Lowell (MA)
  • AASHE (PA)

The World Climate Simulation has been run with over 35,000 people in nearly 80 countries to enable people to experience the dynamics of the UN climate negotiations. Join this ...

  • Posted April 26, 2018
  • Videos & Webinars
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Climate Change and Art: Transparency with Miguel Barros

  • Bow Valley College (AB)

To celebrate Earth Day 2018, the BVC Green team, Intercultural Centre, International Education, and Iniikokaan Aboriginal Centre at Bow Valley College partnered to host artist Miguel Barros' work Transparency, depicting ...

  • Posted April 26, 2018
  • Photographs
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Climate Change Minor

  • Cornell University (NY)

Climate change is one of the most pressing issues of our time, and dozens of courses at Cornell explore the many facets of a warming world – from impacts on farming ...

  • Posted April 12, 2018
  • Academic Programs
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This tab provides access to data collected through AASHE’s Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS). STARS is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. STARS enables meaningful comparisons over time and across institutions using a common set of measurements developed with broad participation from the campus sustainability community. Additional content and advanced benchmarking tools will be added to this tab over time.

Programs and Initiatives

The following links connect to specific Content Displays on the STARS website (AASHE membership and log-in required).


The following link connects to the Score Display on the STARS website (AASHE membership and log-in required).

Air & Climate Partners

Aircuity, Inc.

Newton, MA
Business Affiliate

AMP Green Solutions, LLC

Washington, DC
Business Affiliate
AMP Green Solutions exists to solve the critical sustainability and climate change issues facing our clients, both large and small. We provide a broad range of services and solutions to help organizations facilitate change and achieve their vision.

Center for Resource Solutions | Green-e

San Francisco, CA
Business Affiliate
Green-e® is the only certification for renewable energy and carbon offsets accepted by AASHE STARS, setting quality standards and ensuring purchasers receive full environmental benefits.

CustomerFirst Renewables

Gaithersburg, MD
Business Affiliate
CFR is an innovative, renewable energy advisory firm focused on bringing large-scale solutions directly to clients. CFR solutions typically meet up to 100% of power needs, cost less than brown power, and mitigate price uncertainty.

Energy Strategies

Salt Lake City, UT
Business Affiliate
Helping higher education clients instill confidence in their energy decisions by supplementing their capabilities with our experienced, multi-disciplinary consultancy services

Foam Cycle LLC

Augusta, NJ
Business Affiliate
Foam Cycle is the first patent-pending foam (aka Styrofoam) collection, densifying and recycling system. Our goal is to assist your school in its sustainability goals or to start a Circular Economy Recycling program.

Fovea, LLC

Seattle, WA
Business Affiliate


New York, NY
Business Affiliate
GridMarket is an energy consumer advocate and Distributed Energy Resources project facilitation platform.

Second Nature

Boston, MA
Business Affiliate
Second Nature is committed to accelerating climate action in, and through, higher education.


Cambridge, MA
Business Affiliate
Soli® is a rewards program that fights climate change – it keeps two pounds of carbon out of the atmosphere for every $1 spent.