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.

884 resources

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

  • UNSW Sydney (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

  • The 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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Climate and Health Graduate Certificate

  • Columbia University (NY)

Climate variability and change pose complex risks to our health. Dramatic examples can be found in the headlines: a powerful tropical storm sweeps in with such force that hundreds of ...

  • Posted May 30, 2019
  • Academic Programs
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Diversifying the U.S. Climate Movement: Four Interviews

  • Antioch University, New England (NH)

Climate change is having devastating impacts in the United States, and people of color are disproportionately harmed. In this study, I interviewed four experts on diversity, equity, and inclusion in ...


From the Classroom to the COP: Equipping Emory Students to Become Climate Policy Leaders

  • Emory University (GA)

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) took effect in 1994, and its main objective is to lessen the impact of human interference that threatens the Earth’s ...


The Pyramid of Action: A Multifaceted Approach For Deeper Engagement

  • California State University, Chico (CA)

With many environmental issues overwhelming students today, it can be paralyzing. So, AS Sustainability utilized the “Pyramid of Action” strategy in semester-long campaigns, leading students from awareness, behavior change, education ...


Thompson Rivers University Bikeshare and Employee E-bike Purchase Program

  • Thompson Rivers University (BC)

Thompson Rivers University began a simple bike share program with five bikes that was designed for students, staff and faculty to have access to bicycles for up to a week ...


University of California’s Cool Campus Challenge

  • University of California, Office of the President (CA)

In 2019 the University of California launched the Cool Campus Challenge, an online competition between all ten campuses to engage students, faculty, and staff in the UC Carbon Neutrality initiative ...


Combine biomass DES and Low Carbon Electrification approaches to eliminate 100% GHG emissions from natural gas

  • Thompson Rivers University (BC)

Thompson Rivers University (TRU) has met or exceeded Global, National and Provincial GHG reduction targets over past 10 years. Since 2010 TRU has reduced GHG emissions by more than 35 ...


Climate and Society (MA)

  • Columbia University (NY)

The M.A. Program in Climate and Society is a twelve-month interdisciplinary Master of Arts program that trains professionals and academics to understand and cope with the impacts of climate ...

  • Posted May 17, 2019
  • Academic Programs
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Diversifying the U.S. Climate Movement

  • Antioch University, New England (NH)

People of color are poised to reach 50% of the United States population by 2046, yet they continue to be underrepresented in environmental organizations. This report summarizes the barriers for ...


This Way to Climate Action at Chico State

  • California State University, Chico (CA)

Students at CSU, Chico used the Cal-Adapt climate tools to forecast the future climate for the City of Chico, Butte County, and CSU, Chico, and project the climate impacts to ...


Climate Change Escape Room

  • Harvard University (MA)

In April 2019, the Resource Efficiency Program (REP) constructed and staffed a climate change themed escape room. Each minute in the room equated to four years of climate change impacting ...


An Economic Perspective on a Carbon Management Program at the University of Michigan

  • University of Michigan (MI)

The recent UN IPCC special report stated that, in order to stay at or below 1.5 degrees of warming, greenhouse gas emissions will need to be reduced by 45 ...


An analysis of vehicular emissions at Kansas State University

  • California State University, Bakersfield (CA)
  • Kansas State University (KS)

There has been a wave of recent interest in understanding the dynamics of vehicular emissions in university towns. Using data from a recent survey of Kansas State University students, faculty ...


Quantifying the Offset of Greenhouse Gas Emissions at the University of North Alabama

  • University of North Alabama (AL)

This study quantified the discrete and areal carbon sequestration capacity of the University of North Alabama’s green infrastructure. USDA i-Tree was used to analyze and report on the carbon ...


Solar PV as a mitigation strategy for the US education sector

  • Carnegie Mellon University (PA)
  • Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (CA)

Solar photovoltaic (PV) is an important strategy to de-carbonize the energy sector in the United States and to reduce the health, environmental, and climate change damages associated with the production ...

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