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.

1070 resources

Lots of Watts: Four Campuses Join Forces to Build a Giant Solar Farm

  • Dickinson College (PA)
  • Lafayette College (PA)
  • Lehigh University (PA)
  • Muhlenberg College (PA)
  • CustomerFirst Renewables (MD)

Large-scale renewable energy power purchase agreements can eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from purchased electricity, while saving money and mitigating energy price risk over time. However, most campuses are too small ...

  • Posted Nov. 15, 2021
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The Offset Network: Campus-driven Carbon Offset Projects

  • Duke University (NC)
  • Hamilton College-Clinton.NY (NY)
  • Second Nature (MA)

Most campuses need to use some amount of carbon offsets to meet climate goals. However, few options through traditional carbon markets are affordable and provide the local co-benefits and connection ...

  • Posted Nov. 15, 2021
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Applied Sustainability: Leadership Lessons From the Field

  • Ohio University (OH)
  • University of Oregon (OR)
  • Local Government Commission (CA)

In order to empower leaders and build momentum for the sustainability movement, we need to embrace the full leadership pathway before, during and after the higher education experience. While much ...

  • Posted Nov. 15, 2021
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Using Hand-crafts to Engage a Campus on the Climate Crisis: 50 Years of Tempestries & a Sketch-crawl

  • University of California, Davis (CA)

For the 50th anniversary of Earth Day in April 2020, the UC Davis Office of Sustainability coordinated a master list and website (https://earthday.ucdavis.edu/) of more than 60 ...

  • Posted Nov. 15, 2021
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2 Universities, 1 Climate Goal

  • College of William & Mary (VA)
  • University of Virginia (VA)

William & Mary and the University of Virginia jointly announced a carbon neutrality date of 2030 along with a climate action partnership between the two. Choosing to collaborate, each university ...

  • Posted Nov. 15, 2021
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Implementing the Renewable Energy Rider Program

  • University of Wisconsin-Madison (WI)

In 2020, the University of Wisconsin-Madison partnered with its electric utility, Madison Gas and Electric (MGE), to invest in a 10 megawatt (MW) solar development through the Renewable Energy Rider ...

  • Posted Nov. 15, 2021
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New Ways to Love a Tree

  • Hope College (MI)

The tree outside your window is providing ecological, economic, and health benefits that most folks take for granted. As urban development continues to replace natural forests at a rapid pace ...

  • Posted Nov. 15, 2021
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The Post Carbon Neutrality Story: A Student Perspective on how to Pursue Meaningful Peer Engagement

  • Colgate University (NY)

In 2019, Colgate University became the first university in New York, and one of the first in the country, to achieve carbon neutrality. While the road to carbon neutrality was ...

  • Posted Nov. 15, 2021
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Building Campus-Community Relationships and Resilience

  • Bemidji State University (MN)
  • Precipitate, PLLC (MN)

Located in Northern Minnesota, Bemidji State University (BSU) operates within a dispersed, rural, and diverse community. Bemidji State staff and faculty will be joined by planning consultant Precipitate to share ...

  • Posted Nov. 15, 2021
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GHG's and EIS: Automating the Greenhouse Gas Inventory Process

  • California State University, Northridge (CA)

Universities nationwide have made impressive commitments to reduce emissions of the greenhouse gases that drive climate change. This has led to a variety of emission-tracking tools and methodologies, ranging widely ...

  • Posted Nov. 15, 2021
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Visualizing Climate Change/Justice in 2020 Political Campaigns: Deep Democracy or Greenwashing

  • Maryville College (TN)

Environmental issue salience in the 2020 election cycle is the highest in two generations. How are candidates presenting their sustainability and climate justice records to prospective voters? Campaign branding, print ...

  • Posted Nov. 15, 2021
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Leverage Your Renewable Energy Impact Through Avoided Emissions Power Purchase Agreement Strategies

  • Boston University (MA)
  • Washington University in St. Louis (MO)
  • Edison Energy (CA)

Renewable energy procurement is a critical strategy for reducing an institution's greenhouse gas emissions, however not all renewable energy projects avoid the same amount of GHG emissions per kWh ...

  • Posted Nov. 15, 2021
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Planning and Progress Toward Carbon Neutrality, Year Two

  • University of Dayton (OH)
  • Rocky Mountain Institute (CO)

Despite widespread commitments to carbon neutrality, few campuses have published feasibility studies on these programs. Especially important to the climate impact of these goals is challenging assumptions around issues of ...

  • Posted Nov. 15, 2021
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Don't Be a Maverick: Opportunities for Cost-Sharing Air Travel Offsets

  • Arizona State University (AZ)
  • Second Nature (MA)

In 2019, Arizona State University, Carbonfund.org and Second Nature began a partnership with the goal of convening and organizing institutions interested in: -Cost-sharing carbon offset purchases with airlines -Developing ...

  • Posted Nov. 15, 2021
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Renewable Energy Procurement: Strategy Development and Stakeholder Engagement

  • University of Dayton (OH)
  • Edison Energy (CA)
  • Stillwater Creek Solutions (OH)

The purpose of this session is to help institutions of higher education develop and execute on renewable energy strategies through offsite and onsite renewable energy procurement. Hear how the University ...

  • Posted Nov. 15, 2021
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Engage Your Climate Action Toolbox: Renewable Energy, Carbon Offsets and Renewable Natural Gas

  • University of California, Office of the President (CA)
  • Center for Resource Solutions | Green-e (CA)

The clock is ticking to greatly reduce carbon emissions to avoid the worst of a climate catastrophe. These negative impacts will affect everyone, not just those who are emitting the ...

  • Posted Nov. 15, 2021
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Navigating Options for Scaling-Up Campus Renewables: PPAs, Onsite, Offsite, Leases, & More

  • Loyola University Chicago (IL)
  • University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (WI)
  • University of Wisconsin-Parkside (WI)
  • University of Wisconsin-Platteville (WI)
  • CustomerFirst Renewables (MD)

The renewable energy marketplace is opaque and complex. Onsite solar, community solar, offsite wind and solar, direct ownership, lease, utility partnerships, third party PPAs? What's legal? What's prohibited ...

  • Posted Nov. 15, 2021
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Middlebury College Shifts Toward all Renewable Energy with Innovative farm to fuel Partnership

  • Middlebury College (VT)
  • Vanguard Renewables (MA)
  • Vermont Gas Systems (VT)

Middlebury College will significantly reduce its carbon footprint and move toward meeting its Energy2028 goal of 100% renewable energy, thanks to an innovative partnership with Goodrich Family Farm in Salisbury ...

  • Posted Nov. 15, 2021
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Are Campuses Making Progress on Their Climate Goals?

  • University of New Hampshire (NH)
  • Second Nature (MA)
  • CustomerFirst Renewables (MD)
  • Brailsford & Dunlavey (DC)

The University of New Hampshire Sustainability Institute's 'Sustainability Indicator Management & Analysis Platform' (SIMAP) has greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory data from nearly 500 campuses. Working with Brailsford & Dulnavey ...

  • Posted Nov. 15, 2021
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Innovative Pedagogies for Climate Change Education across the University of Michigan

  • University of Michigan (MI)

A growing body of research is examining climate change education, in part due to the urgent need for educational programs to prepare the next generation of students to help lead ...

  • Posted Nov. 15, 2021
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GeoX - Lowering carbon through ground source heat pump technology at Colorado State

  • Colorado State University (CO)

Colorado State University, in Fort Collins, CO has undertaken its first project to employ geothermal energy, also called ground source heat pump or geoexchange system. This CSU project, dubbed GeoX ...

  • Posted Nov. 15, 2021
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Power Dialogs: Coordinated Civic Education on Climate Solutions and Justice

  • Bard College (NY)

Power Dialogs are a tool to mobilize educators across the planet to provide young people with realistic optimism that for fundamental economic reasons, the world is heading towards an energy ...

  • Posted Nov. 15, 2021
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Come Help Shape the Sustainability Strategy of the Largest Higher Ed System in the Nation

  • San Mateo County Community College District Office (CA)

In May of 2019 the largest post secondary system in the nation unveiled a new Climate Action and Sustainability Policy. Some might consider this policy to be advanced, others may ...

  • Posted Nov. 15, 2021
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Envisioning the Role of Higher Education in the Climate Crisis

  • Swarthmore College (PA)
  • West Chester University of Pennsylvania (PA)

This networking session will focus on building connections between practitioners at various institutions working towards cultural transformation and paradigm shifts in response to the climate crisis. We are interested in ...

  • Posted Nov. 15, 2021
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Solve Climate Worldwide Teach-in / 3.30.22 / Engage 1 Million Students

  • Bard College (NY)
  • AASHE (PA)

Another summer of record-breaking heatwaves, droughts, fires and floods has shown us how fast climate change impacts are hitting. As educators, there is nothing more important than engaging students across ...

  • Posted Nov. 3, 2021
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Climate Action Plan

  • University of Central Florida (FL)

In order of magnitude, UCF's main sources of emissions are: buildings, transportation, waste, and natural resources management. The long-term plan to lessen the university's environmental footprint focuses of ...


Climate Action Plan Update

  • New Mexico State University (NM)

The American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) is a highvisibility effort to address global climate disruption undertaken by a network of colleges and universities that have made institutional ...


Climate Action Plan

  • Seattle University (WA)

This Climate Action Plan (CAP) is intended to guide Seattle University in furthering its commitment to sustainability and to addressing climate change. The university envisions a campus community in which ...


Climate Action Plan

  • Portland State University (OR)

At the start of the CAP planning process, the Campus Sustainability Office (CSO) took a leadership role in drafting the Plan, including gathering data, setting goals and targets, and identifying ...


Climate Action Plan

  • University of California, San Diego (CA)

In 2008, UC San Diego developed its first campus Climate Action Plan (CAP) for implementing the University’s climate strategy to meet State and UC climate policies and objectives. Specifically ...


Climate Action Plan

  • Carleton College (MN)

Carleton’s Climate Action Plan presents a practical approach that reflects Carleton’s current planning environment, ranging from the good fortune of our upcoming alumnisponsored wind turbine to realistic challenges ...


Climate Action Vision 2019

  • Barnard College (NY)

This vision is the product of a collaborative, communitywide effort. During the 2017-2018 academic year, the College hosted a “Campus Conversation” workshop series in which faculty, staff, and students worked ...


Climate Action Plan

  • Binghamton University (NY)

In September 2007, President Lois B. DeFleur signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), pledging to eliminate, over time, the greenhouse gas emissions associated with Binghamton University ...


Climate Action Plan

  • California State University, Long Beach (CA)

The Climate Action Plan—developed by dedicated faculty, students and staff on our Sustainability Task Force—outlines ambitious strategies to achieve the kind of reductions needed to meaningfully address the ...


Carbon neutrality should not be the end goal: Lessons for institutional climate action from U.S. higher education

  • Hamilton College-Clinton.NY (NY)
  • Smith College (MA)
  • Ceres (MA)

Climate action pledges have increasingly taken the form of commitments to net carbon neutrality. Higher education institutions (HEIs) are uniquely positioned to innovate in this area, and over 800 United ...


Academics, Equity, and Resilience: Building Pitt’s First Climate Action Plan

  • University of Pittsburgh (PA)
  • AASHE (PA)
  • Baumgartner Urban Strategy Solutions (PA)

The University of Pittsburgh’s sustainability journey has been expounding over three decades, including the first university-wide Pitt Sustainability Plan (2018) and first AASHE STARS designation (Silver 2018); in 2021 ...

  • Posted Oct. 1, 2021
  • Videos & Webinars
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Calvin Energy Recovery Fund (CERF)

  • Calvin University (MI)

The Calvin Energy Recovery Fund (CERF) is a revolving fund used to improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon dioxide emissions on campus. Plus, the cost savings from CERF projects are ...

  • Posted Sept. 21, 2021
  • Green Funds
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Sustainability Action Fund

  • University of Guelph (ON)

The Sustainability Action Fund seeks to fund projects which advance campus sustainability and climate action at the University of Guelph. All student contributions are matched dollar for dollar by the ...

  • Posted Sept. 21, 2021
  • Green Funds
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Sustainability Scholars Fund

  • Kenyon College (OH)

The Sustainability Scholars Fund exists to provide material and financial support for a student/faculty team conducting sustainability/climate action work on campus. Projects range from refining our understanding of ...

  • Posted Sept. 21, 2021
  • Green Funds
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The Albert Sherman Center at UMass Chan Medical School

  • University of Massachusetts Medical School (MA)

The Albert Sherman Center, a nine story 512,000 square-foot research and education building at UMass Chan Medical School, is certified LEED Gold.

  • Posted Sept. 15, 2021
  • Photographs
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State-of-the-art mechanical systems at UMass Chan Medical School

  • University of Massachusetts Medical School (MA)

Efficient mechanical systems at UMass Chan Medical School including chilled beams and energy recovery wheels.

  • Posted Sept. 15, 2021
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Principia College students routinely participate in multidisciplinary internships that challenge them to develop solutions to complex problems, such as modern climate change.

  • Principia College (IL)

Abby Holt (in the red shirt), a double major in sustainability and geology at Principia College, has a passion for glaciology and the nexus between historically frozen landscapes and a ...


Bates College students install solar on their coastal research facility.

  • Bates College (ME)

Bates College students install solar on their coastal research facility. This facility is now 100% solar thanks to the work of the students.


The George Mason University Arboretum

  • George Mason University (VA)

The George Mason University Arboretum cultivates curiosity, education, and well-being through stewardship of its trees, gardens, and other natural spaces. It was established in 2015, earned ArbNet Level II accreditation ...


SCI 2021: University of Utah Geothermal Contract

  • University of Utah (UT)

Long-Term 20 MW Geothermal Power Purchase and Rate Tariff Leadership: The long-term 20 MW Geothermal Power Purchase and Rate Tariff Leadership project began supplying the University of Utah with 20 ...


EV Affordability and Charging Accessibility

  • University of California, San Diego (CA)

University of California, San Diego is advancing electric vehicle charging research, development and demonstration opportunities. Current projects include Adaptive Load Management, Vehicle-2-Grid, PV-Energy Storage integrated DC Fast Chargers, ISO 15118 ...


Lightsource bp Module Installation

  • Pennsylvania State University (PA)

70-MW Solar Power Purchase Agreement - Pennsylvania State University partnered with solar developer Lightsource bp on a 70-megawatt, off-site solar energy project to supply about 25% of the University's electricity ...


Nittany 3 Solar Farm - Southern View

  • Pennsylvania State University (PA)

70-MW Solar Power Purchase Agreement - Pennsylvania State University partnered with solar developer Lightsource bp on a 70-megawatt, off-site solar energy project to supply about 25% of the University's electricity ...


Nittany 3 Solar Farm

  • Pennsylvania State University (PA)

70-MW Solar Power Purchase Agreement - Pennsylvania State University partnered with solar developer Lightsource bp on a 70-megawatt, off-site solar energy project to supply about 25% of the University's electricity ...


Nittany 1 Solar Farm

  • Pennsylvania State University (PA)

70-MW Solar Power Purchase Agreement - Pennsylvania State University partnered with solar developer Lightsource bp on a 70-megawatt, off-site solar energy project to supply about 25% of the University's electricity ...

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