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.

800 resources

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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Proxy Carbon Pricing for Identifying Climate-Smart Investments: Lessons From Practice

  • Princeton University (NJ)
  • Smith College (MA)

Given the slow policy response by governments, climate action in higher education has become an essential part of maintaining policy momentum, driving innovation, and fostering social dialog. Carbon pricing has ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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Going Carbon Neutral - Giving Everyone a Voice, With Students Leading the Charge

  • University of Victoria (BC)

Dr. Simon Pek and Dr. Rick Cotton will take you on Gustavson School of Business' journey to carbon neutrality. In sharing the story of this success their aim is to ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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University of Californiac's RFI for Campus-initiated Offsets & the Offset Network Peer Verification

  • Duke University (NC)
  • University of California, Berkeley (CA)
  • University of California, Davis (CA)
  • Second Nature (MA)

The Offset Network is an online platform for colleges and universities considering the development of their own emission-reducing projects to fulfill carbon neutrality commitments. Self-generated offsets offer greater flexibility than ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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Carbon and Nitrogen 'Footprinting' 101: Tools for Sustainability Education, Advocacy, and Planning

  • University of New Hampshire (NH)

It's well-established that calculating the campus carbon and nitrogen footprint provides important quantitative information to assess, track, and improve campus sustainability, yet the majority of colleges and universities across ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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Carbon Pricing on Campus IV: Networking Session for Institutions Advancing Carbon Pricing Solutions

  • Arizona State University (AZ)
  • Smith College (MA)
  • Yale University (CT)
  • Second Nature (MA)

There are now nine higher education institutions in the U.S. that have implemented some form of an internal price on carbon, and many more exploring this strategy. Following up ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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Slow Conferencing: A Recipe for Connection in Troubled Times

  • University of Toronto (ON)

The international conference comes at a cost in terms of our carbon footprint, but it also comes at a cost in terms of building broad communities of interest - particularly for ...


The environmental footprint of academic and student mobility in a large research-oriented university

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

Academic mobility for field work, research dissemination and global outreach is increasingly recognized as an important contributor to the overall environmental footprint of research institutions. Student mobility, while less studied ...


2019 AASHE Conference & Expo Closing Ceremony

  • University of Washington, Seattle (WA)
  • AASHE (PA)
  • 350.org (NY)

Bill McKibben, author, climate activist and environmentalist, joined higher education sustainability leaders at the 2019 AASHE Conference & Expo. His remarks helped us further explore the conference theme, "Co-Creating a ...

  • Posted Nov. 26, 2019
  • Videos & Webinars
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Let’s Take the Climate Back

  • AASHE (PA)
  • Interface Global (GA)

According to research conducted by Interface and Net Impact, 95% of climate experts believe that it is possible to reverse global warming and 91% of young leaders agree. The reason ...

  • Posted Nov. 13, 2019
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Implementing Energy Efficiency through Sub-meters

  • Macalester College (MN)
  • AASHE (PA)

Participants will learn how to begin sub-metering utilities on their campus and how this data can inform and justify not only the cost of the sub-meters, but of energy efficiency ...

  • Posted Sept. 12, 2019
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Campus-based Climate Resiliency Field Study Program

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MA)

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Office of Sustainability collaborated with academic and operational partners to create a field study program that focused on campus climate resiliency. The experiential learning program ...


Academic air travel has a limited influence on professional success

  • University of British Columbia (BC)

Lowering the growth in greenhouse gas emissions from air travel may be critical for avoiding dangerous levels of climate change, and yet some individuals perceive frequent air travel to be ...


Climate Change Garden at Cornell University

  • Cornell University (NY)

The Climate Change Garden at Cornell University, a permanent campus installation that demonstrates the impact of climate change on plant growth in New York state. Planning for the climate change ...


Cornell Climate Change Demonstration Garden

  • Cornell University (NY)

Climate Change Garden - The Cornell University Climate Change Garden is a permanent campus installation that demonstrates the impact of climate change on plant growth in New York state. Planning for ...


Bike Share & Employee E-Bike Purchasing

  • Thompson Rivers University (BC)

Thompson Rivers University recently established two electric bike programs to boost individual wellness and help reduce dependency on fossil fuels. Through an electric bike sharing program, students, faculty and staff ...


Mohawk College SCI submission 2

  • Mohawk College (ON)

The Joyce Centre for Partnership and Innovation at Mohawk College is the first pilot project for The Canada Green Building Council® (CaGBC) Zero Carbon Building Program. This framework is Canada ...


Mohawk College SCI submission 1

  • Mohawk College (ON)

The Joyce Centre for Partnership and Innovation at Mohawk College is the first pilot project for The Canada Green Building Council® (CaGBC) Zero Carbon Building Program. This framework is Canada ...


Bowdoin College Carbon Foodprint Dinner

  • Bowdoin College (ME)

Bowdoin's student EcoReps worked with Bowdoin Dining on an educational dinner about the carbon footprint of the meal as part of International Polar Bear Day (Bowdoin's mascot is ...


Disrupt Climate Injustice Curriculum Disruption

  • The New School (NY)

In 2018, The New School invited all 14,000 faculty, staff, and students to participate in a university-wide curriculum disruption entitled "Disrupt Climate Injustice." Participants were encouraged to stop "business ...


Sustainable CT Voluntary Certification Program -

  • Eastern Connecticut State University (CT)

In 2018, Eastern Connecticut State University's Institute for Sustainable Energy launched Sustainable CT, a voluntary municipal sustainability certification program to recognize thriving and resilient Connecticut communities. The program offers ...


Climate adaptation planning in the higher education sector

  • RMIT University

Purpose There is a growing interest in climate change action in the higher education sector. Higher education institutions (HEIs) play an important role as property owners, employers, education and research ...

  • Posted July 19, 2019
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Distributed leadership: Building capacity for interdisciplinary climate change teaching at four universities

  • University of New South Wales (NSW)
  • University of Wollongong (New South Wales)
  • Murdoch University (Western Australia)
  • University of Tasmania

Purpose – Interdisciplinary approaches to climate change teaching are well justified and arise from the complexity of climate change challenges and the integrated problem-solving responses they demand. These approaches require academic ...

  • Posted July 19, 2019
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Design of higher education teaching models and carbon impacts

  • Open University

Purpose – This research aims to examine the main findings of the SusTEACH study of the carbon-based environmental impacts of 30 higher education (HE) courses in 15 UK institutions, based on ...

  • Posted July 19, 2019
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Carbon footprint of a scientific publication: A case study at Dalian University of Technology, China

  • Dalian University of Technology

Knowledge of the carbon footprint (CF) of a scientific publication can help to guide changes in behavior for mitigating global warming. A knowledge gap, however, still exists in academic circles ...

  • Posted July 19, 2019
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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.