Air & Climate

Introduction

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.

824 resources

Boston University Online Earth Day 2020

  • Boston University (MA)

April 21, 2020: Boston University's online commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day featured conversations about our progress as an institution, how climate change relates to the novel ...


How the University of Vermont feels about crises

  • University of Vermont (VT)

The University of Vermont Eco-Reps started work on their "Coping with Climate Change" campaign even before the switch to online classes. This video, produced virtually by Photo & Video Manager ...

  • Posted May 8, 2020
  • Videos & Webinars
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University of Vermont Eco-Reps Coping with Crises Case Study 2019-2020

  • University of Vermont (VT)

Originally this campaign was going to focus solely on coping with climate change, however, in being interrupted by COVID-19, we decided to expand the campaign’s scope to address coping ...


Building Climate Resilience at Arizona State University: Second Nature’s Climate Commitment

  • Arizona State University (AZ)

In 2016, Arizona State University’s President, Michael Crow, signed the Second Nature Climate Commitment, which not only reaffirmed ASU’s commitment to climate neutrality but also set a course ...


From Weather Wizard to Cloud Man: Sustainability Education & Outreach with a Fun Approach

  • Cornell University (NY)
  • American Meteorological Society (DC)

The goal of this project is to educate young students about sustainability and create a passion for the environment. Frequently, schools wait until middle school to introduce environmental topics. My ...


Community Engagement in the Transition to Carbon Neutrality

  • University of Victoria (BC)
  • AASHE (PA)

Universities are increasingly interested in transitioning towards carbon neutrality. Through our discussions with peer AASHE members, a significant challenge is meaningfully engaging students, staff, and faculty in the process. During ...

  • Posted April 30, 2020
  • Videos & Webinars
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Solar Energy on Campus (Part II: Solar Purchasing Options and Communicating Renewable Energy Use)

  • Center for Resource Solutions | Green-e (CA)

This report examines the solar purchasing options available to higher education institutions, and the fundamental components of each deal that affect renewable energy certificate (REC) ownership, claims, and the environmental ...

  • Posted April 17, 2020
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Are Electric Buildings a Feasible Carbon Neutrality Strategy?

  • University of California, Office of the President (CA)
  • AASHE (PA)
  • Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (CA)

The path to campus carbon neutrality is becoming clearer: electrify everything and procure renewable electricity. Electrifying campus energy infrastructure is a complex undertaking that requires a significant financial investment. While ...

  • Posted March 18, 2020
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Is Skidmore Carbo-loading? Establishing a Baseline Carbon Inventory of Skidmore’s Northern Lands

  • Skidmore College (NY)

Approximately half of the world’s terrestrially sequestered carbon is held in forests and wetlands. Landowners and institutions can manage forests to maximize their sequestration potential for the purpose of ...

  • Posted March 6, 2020
  • Publications
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Carbon Footprint Estimation in a University Campus: Evaluation and Insights

  • Oregon State University (OR)
  • Universidad de Talca

Background: The University of Talca (UT), since 2012, has been annually tracking the carbon footprint (CF) based on the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol for all its five campuses. The purpose ...

  • Posted March 6, 2020
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Climate change education for universities: A conceptual framework from an international study

  • University of Malta (Northern Harbor District)
  • Nottingham Trent University
  • Brunel University London (Middlesex)
  • Universidad de la República Uruguay (Montevideo)
  • European School of Sustainability Science and Research

The role of universities in climate change education (CCE) is of great importance if the scientific, social, environmental and political challenges the world faces are to be met. Future leaders ...

  • Posted March 5, 2020
  • Publications
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The Urban Heat Island at a Regional University in Kentucky, USA

  • Eastern Kentucky University (KY)

Constructing buildings, sidewalks, parking lots, and roads inadvertently affects local climate. The best studied example of this, the urban heat island (UHI), manifests as elevated temperatures in developed areas compared ...

  • Posted March 5, 2020
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Geographic versus institutional drivers of nitrogen footprints: A comparison of two urban universities

  • McGill University (QC)
  • Universite de Montreal (QC)

Excess reactive nitrogen (N) is linked to a myriad of environmental problems that carry large societal costs. Nitrogen footprint tools can help institutions understand how their direct and indirect activities ...

  • Posted March 5, 2020
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Climate change and the fossil fuel divestment movement in Canadian higher education: The mobilities of actions, actors, and tactics

  • University of Saskatchewan (SK)

Situated within the broader climate justice movement, the fossil fuel divestment movement calls for both public and private divestment of financial holdings from fossil fuel companies. This paper examines the ...

  • Posted March 4, 2020
  • Publications
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Welcome and Unwelcome Surprises on the Path to Carbon-Neutrality

  • University of California, Irvine (CA)
  • AASHE (PA)

For many colleges and universities, the commitment to carbon-neutrality was initially a pledge based upon a leap of faith that was judged too important to delay until a clear path ...

  • Posted Feb. 20, 2020
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On 4.7.20, Focus Your Campus on Ambitious Climate Solutions

  • Bard College (NY)
  • AASHE (PA)

Solve Climate By 2030 is mobilizing US educators to engage over 100,000 students in dialog about ambitious stabilizing the climate over the next decade. It culminates on the evening ...

  • Posted Feb. 13, 2020
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A lifecycle cost analysis of transitioning to a fully-electrified, renewably powered, and carbon-neutral campus at the University of Dayton

  • University of Dayton (OH)

This paper analyzes the cost-effectiveness of converting the University of Dayton (UD) to a fully-electrified, renewably powered, carbon-neutral campus by 2025. The greenhouse gas (GHG) impact and 30-year lifecycle costs ...

  • Posted Feb. 10, 2020
  • Publications
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The World Climate Simulation: A Tool to Motivate Science-Informed Climate Action on Your Campus

  • University of Massachusetts Lowell (MA)

Are you looking for a tool to get students engaged, excited, and motivated to take science-informed action on your campus? This workshop will give you hands-on experience with the World ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
  • Conference Presentations
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Student Summit Opening Keynote with Varshini Prakash

  • Sunrise Movement (DC)

Varshini Prakash is the executive director and co-founder of Sunrise Movement, a movement of young people working to stop climate change, take back our democracy from Big Oil, and elect ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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Closing Keynote with Bill McKibben - Author, Environmentalist, Activist

  • 350.org (NY)

In his heartfelt, hopeful talks, McKibben offers realistic approaches to saving our planet, as individuals, certainly, but also as thoughtful members of a mobilized group. When it comes to building ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
  • Conference Presentations
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Building Personal Resilience in a Wellbeing Economy

  • Strategic Energy Innovations (CA)
  • Verdis Group (NE)

As the climate continues to change, weather events are increasingly affecting people in deeply personal ways. Grief, trauma, depression, hopelessness, fatalism and uneasiness are all symptoms. Recent reports by the ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
  • Conference Presentations
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Don't pack your bags. We can create interactive, fun and transformative e-conferences.

  • University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (MN)
  • University of Alberta (AB)

Don't stress! Yes, conferences create connections and inspire new ideas; however, traveling to conferences costs time, money and increases our carbon footprint. But no, it's not the only ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
  • Conference Presentations
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Revolutionizing Transportation & Mobility Data Surveys with AI and Smart Phones: A pilot study

  • State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (NY)
  • B-Line Analytics (NS)

Data science, artificial intelligence and smart phones carry the potential to revolutionize transportation/mobility planning and scope 3 greenhouse house gas inventories. Traditional transportation surveys are conducted by hundreds of ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
  • Conference Presentations
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Getting There from Here: Improving Data Collection and Reporting Related to Commuting Impacts

  • Arizona State University (AZ)
  • University of Illinois at Chicago (IL)
  • University of New Hampshire (NH)
  • Second Nature (MA)

For more than a decade, tracking greenhouse gas emissions and other impacts of commuting has been one of the more crazy-making aspects of sustainability reporting and planning. In 2019, University ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
  • Conference Presentations
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Can Buying Better Products Help Reverse Global Warming? Toward Circular, Carbon-Storing Procurement

  • Interface Americas (GA)

What does Procurement have to do with global warming? Research indicates that the embodied carbon (the CO2 emitted into the atmosphere from product supply chains, manufacturing and transport) purchased by ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
  • Conference Presentations
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Engaging Community Partners in Resilience Planning: Catalyzing Action Beyond the College/University

  • Concordia College (NY)

A relatively new part of the Climate Commitment (run by the organization Second Nature) is the mandate to engage in resilience planning. Signatories to the commitment pledge to engage with ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
  • Conference Presentations
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The Role of Rural Campuses in Building Community Resilience and Responding to Extreme Weather

  • Black Hills State University (SD)
  • California State University, Chico (CA)
  • Central Community College (NE)
  • Second Nature (MA)

Rural colleges/universities are often one of the driving cultural and economic forces in their region. As a result of this position, they can be a great resource in the ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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Exploring Deep Decarbonization on a Research Intensive Campus

  • California Institute of Technology (CA)
  • Affiliated Engineers, Inc. (WI)

Caltech is a private research university located in Pasadena, California, whose mission is to expand human knowledge and benefit society through research integrated with education. For the past decade, Caltech ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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Partners in Greening the Economy: Clean Energy and Electrification on Campus and in the Community

  • Weber State University (UT)

For sustainability, we collectively need to green our economy to improve environmental and human health and wellbeing. One aspect of this larger process is to shift to clean energy sources ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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Learn to Lead the World Climate Simulation, a Mock UN Climate Negotiation

  • University of Massachusetts Lowell (MA)
  • University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (MN)

Learn to lead a World Climate Simulation - a mock United Nations (UN) climate negotiation meeting - on your campus or community. As a facilitator for the World Climate Simulation, you will ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
  • Conference Presentations
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Co-Creating a Sustainable Economy Through Climate Adaptation Strategies

  • University of Dayton (OH)

This session will provide the audience applicable lessons and ideas on how to integrate learning opportunities of a sustainable economy into the curriculum. While informing and inspiring attendees on cutting ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
  • Conference Presentations
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Climate Resilience and Economic Development: Unlikely Bedfellows in a Small Community

  • Black Hills State University (SD)
  • Verdis Group (NE)

In 2018, Black Hills State University began a climate resiliency planning process for the campus and surrounding community of Spearfish, South Dakota (pop. 12,000). With the help of Verdis ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
  • Conference Presentations
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Best Practices for Inter-Institutional Emissions Benchmarking

  • Duke University (NC)
  • Harvard University (MA)
  • Stanford University (CA)
  • University of Pennsylvania (PA)
  • Yale University (CT)

The Ivy+ Sustainability Consortium is a collective of 14 higher education universities that share and develop best practices for sustainability. In an effort to better understand the consortium's collective ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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Getting to Yes on a Comprehensive Institutional Response to the Climate Crisis: Energy 2028

  • Middlebury College (VT)

Middlebury College trustees recently adopted a resolution committing the college to achieve the following goals: - Divestment from all fossil fuel and related investments in its endowment - 100% renewable energy sources ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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Convincing Our Colleagues to Fly Less: Engaging Academics on E-Conferencing

  • University of Alberta (AB)

Academic conferences provide invaluable scholarly interaction, yet a reliance on air travel means conferencing has a big carbon footprint. Estimates suggest air travel can make up 15-30 per cent of ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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Defining the Finish Line: What a Circular Economy for Universities Should Look Like

  • Boston Architectural College (MA)
  • Ayers Saint Gross (MD)

Over the last few decades, we recognized the dire threat of climate change and created an agreed upon understanding of the risks buildings pose to student learning, health and performance ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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The Road to Building a Zero Carbon Building

  • Mohawk College (ON)

In October 2016, Mohawk College broke ground on a one-of-a-kind net zero energy project and opened its doors in Fall 2018. The Joyce Centre for Partnership & Innovation at Mohawk ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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University Sustainability Initiatives: Utilizing Carbon Offsets to Achieve Sustainability Goals

  • Element Markets (TX)

New initiatives by campus sustainability teams are increasingly focused on reducing their carbon footprint. Through initiatives like on-campus solar, energy efficiency projects, and recycling programs, universities are implementing new measures ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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Carbon Offsets 101: Campus Sustainability Initiatives

  • Element Markets (TX)

Universities across the globe are committed to mitigating climate change impacts from campus activities. Solutions such as on-site solar, energy efficiency, recycling programs, or student-led environmental initiatives serve as a ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
  • Conference Presentations
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A proven methodology for calculating air miles traveled and associated emissions

  • Columbia University (NY)

Calculating Scope 3 emissions from university related travel can be difficult, especially if data is not being collected by a designated travel agent. Columbia University has implemented a methodology to ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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Carbon Capture Technologies

  • Michigan State University (MI)
  • University of California, Los Angeles (CA)
  • University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (MN)

The transition away from using natural gas and other fossil fuels for stationary heat and power will take time, but carbon capture technologies can be implemented on existing generators, boilers ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
  • Conference Presentations
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A Switch to Zero-Emission Buses for Campus Transportation Helps More Than the Riders!

  • University of Montana (MT)
  • Proterra (CA)

Many Universities are committed to 'Greening' their campuses. By simply replacing one diesel bus the CO2 emissions are reduced by approximately 230,000 lbs. annually. This means that one bus ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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Put A Price On It: Winning Strong Climate Policy on Campus, State and Federal Level

  • Our Climate (OR)

We are already experiencing the impacts of climate change, including increased temperatures, changes in rain and snowfall patterns, unprecedented droughts and heatwaves, stronger hurricanes, ocean acidification, sea level rise, and ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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Carbon Neutrality in a Cold Climate - A Portfolio Approach to GHG Emissions Reduction

  • Bates College (ME)

We will be highlighting our multi-faceted approach to hitting carbon neutrality reduction goals - Fuels, Efficiency, and Culture. Bates College has begun burning a new, wood-based liquid fuel in its central ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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Strategic Electrification: Scenarios for How and Why Carbon Neutrality Depends on It

  • Amherst College (MA)
  • Carleton College (MN)
  • Thompson Rivers University (BC)
  • GreenerU (MA)
  • Integral Group (CA)

More than 300 schools have pledged to achieve carbon neutrality at some point in the future through Second Nature's reporting platform. For nearly every school, carbon neutrality through means ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
  • Conference Presentations
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Welcome and Unwelcome Surprises on the Path to Carbon-Neutrality

  • University of California, Irvine (CA)

For many colleges and universities, the commitment to carbon-neutrality was initially a pledge based upon a leap of faith that was judged too important to delay until a clear path ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
  • Conference Presentations
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Understanding Climate Motivators, Barriers, and Required Resources for Action

  • Mohawk College (ON)

Post-secondary institutions are viewed as leaders in their communities; this includes action on climate change to ensure a prosperous future for their graduates filled with opportunities for success. Though high ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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Not Your Grandma's CAP: An Interactive Climate Action Plan for Storytelling and Spurring Change

  • CannonDesign (NY)

Shouldn't a campus's climate action plan lead to actual 'actions'? One might say, of course! In reality, traditional climate actions plans become static reports that once done are ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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Why Colleges Should Consider Nitrogen: Lessons from the NFT Network

  • University of California, Davis (CA)
  • University of New Hampshire (NH)

The NFT (Nitrogen Footprint Tool) Network was formed in 2014 to develop a tool for institutions to evaluate the impact of their activities and consumption on reactive nitrogen released to ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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What is Carbon Neutrality for? A Framework for Sustainability Leadership Beyond Offsets

  • Amherst College (MA)
  • Smith College (MA)

The most important number in climate policy is zero - we need to achieve carbon neutrality as quickly as possible to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Academic institutions have ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
  • Conference Presentations
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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).

Scores

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

GridMarket

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.

Soli

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.