One of the primary functions of colleges and universities is to educate students. By training and educating future leaders, scholars, workers, and professionals; higher education institutions are uniquely positioned to understand and address sustainability challenges. Institutions that offer courses covering sustainability issues help equip their students to lead society to a sustainable future.

6334 resources

Future Directions—Engaged Scholarship and the Climate Crisis

  • University of California, Davis (CA)

Climate change has the potential to disrupt ecosystem services and further exacerbate the effects of human activities on natural resources. This has significant implications for educational institutions and the populations ...

  • Posted Feb. 19, 2021
  • Publications
  • View more

An exploratory study of students’ perceptions of environmental issues as social work practice and their understanding of environmental justice

  • Boise State University (ID)
  • Indiana University

As environmental crises continue to rise, the profession of social work in the US is being called to incorporate environmental justice content in the training and education of social workers ...

  • Posted Feb. 19, 2021
  • Publications
  • View more

Learning processes for interpersonal competence development in project-based sustainability courses – insights from a comparative international study

  • Arizona State University (AZ)
  • Leuphana University of Lüneburg

For professional sustainability work, graduates need to be able to work in teams and collaborate with stakeholders; in other words, they need to have developed interpersonal competence. There is growing ...

  • Posted Feb. 19, 2021
  • Publications
  • View more

A futuring approach to teaching wicked problems

  • Utrecht University

This paper investigates how the teaching and learning about “wicked” environmental problems may be fostered through an educational approach premised on futuring – the active imagination of the future. The growing ...

  • Posted Feb. 19, 2021
  • Publications
  • View more

Decoupling responsible management education: Do business schools walk their talk?

  • Seattle University (WA)
  • Western Michigan University (MI)
  • Georgia Institute of Technology (GA)
  • University of Mississippi (MS)
  • Berry College (GA)
  • Kennesaw State University (GA)

Corporate scandals in recent decades have prompted business schools to advance programs to better develop the next generation of responsible business leaders. Despite these efforts, some scholars have raised concerns ...

  • Posted Feb. 19, 2021
  • Publications
  • View more

Higher education for times of climate crisis – critical awareness, purpose and community

  • The University of Newcastle (NSW)

Climate change impacts cascade across scales and sectors, and present specific threats to education institutions and systems, including reduced educational access, participation and attainment by students. In this paper, we ...

  • Posted Feb. 19, 2021
  • Publications
  • View more

Education for Sustainable Development Goals (ESDG): What Is Wrong with ESDGs, and What Can We Do Better?

  • The Hague University of Applied Science

This article will discuss social, environmental, and ecological justice in education for sustainable development (ESD) and Education for Sustainable Development Goals (ESDG). The concept of sustainable development and, by extension ...

  • Posted Feb. 17, 2021
  • Publications
  • View more

Integrating Multiple Perspectives in an Urban Ecology Course

  • Rochester Institute of Technology (NY)

New approaches are needed to educate university students about urban sustainability challenges. In particular, students need opportunities to learn the importance of integrating not just biophysical issues (e.g. climate ...

  • Posted Feb. 17, 2021
  • Publications
  • View more

Translating green economy concepts into practice: ideas pitches as learning tools for sustainability education

  • Universität Trier

The urgency of the current climate crisis emphasizes the need for university graduates equipped with relevant knowledge and skills to tackle environmental and social problems such as material consumption, environmental ...

  • Posted Feb. 17, 2021
  • Publications
  • View more

A Resource-Efficient Modular Course Design for Co-Teaching Integrated Sustainability in Higher Education: Developing the Next Generation of Entrepreneurial Leaders

  • Babson College (MA)

Society faces mounting pressures related to economic growth, social injustice, and environmental degradation. Building upon scholarly consensus regarding the necessity of multidisciplinary approaches to address such complex problems, the entrepreneurship ...

  • Posted Feb. 10, 2021
  • Publications
  • View more

Towards climate justice education: views from activists and educators in Scotland

  • University of Edinburgh

In the context of a resurgence of civic activism to address climate change, we present findings from an exploratory research project on climate justice education (CJE). We conducted deliberative focus ...

  • Posted Feb. 10, 2021
  • Publications
  • View more

The Power Game: Developing Influence and Negotiation Skills for Sustainable Development

  • Virginia Tech (VA)

This paper describes the outcomes of a game designed to teach advanced leadership skills, specifically influence and negotiation strategies, to current and aspiring sustainability professionals at Virginia Tech’s Center ...

  • Posted Feb. 10, 2021
  • Publications
  • View more

Enhancing the effects of university education for sustainable development on social sustainability: the role of social capital and real-world learning

  • University of A Coruña (a Coruña)

The purpose of this paper is to understand the roles that social capital and real-world learning may play in enhancing the effects of university education for sustainable development (ESD) on ...

  • Posted Feb. 10, 2021
  • Publications
  • View more

Teaching (super) wicked problems: authentic learning about climate change

  • St Mary's University College

Climate change is a ‘super-wicked’ problem associated with challenges including food security, mass migration and biodiversity loss. Young people are increasingly expecting their university education to prepare them to address ...

  • Posted Feb. 10, 2021
  • Publications
  • View more

How students engage in biomimicry

  • King's College London

Biomimicry is a useful method to develop students’ skills, such as design and systems thinking, particularly when complemented with inquiry-based learning. The research seeks to uncover how students engage in ...

Perceptions of interconnected sustainability: Students’ narratives bridging transition and education

  • University of Helsinki

As sustainability becomes a focal point and important aspect of educational development in several disciplines and universities globally, it is important to critically reflect on the different utilisations of sustainability ...

Design precepts for online experiential learning programs to address wicked sustainability problems

  • University of Tasmania

There are increasing pressures within the higher education sector to incorporate digital pedagogies into teaching and learning, a trend amplified by recent extensive recourse to online delivery within the sector ...

Unaligned connections or enlarging engagements? Tertiary education in developing countries and the implementation of the SDGs

  • University College London (London)

Given that tertiary education (TE) is a sector often associated with exclusion, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), where only a small proportion of the population gain access, how ...

Active Learning Methodologies in Teacher Training for Cultural Sustainability

  • Universidad de Córdoba

Within the framework of sustainable development, the concept of cultural heritage is linked to the heritage awareness of a specific spatial context, and to the conservation of collective memory. Despite ...

The Use of Reflective Pedagogies in Sustainability Leadership Education—A Case Study

  • Blekinge Institute of Technology

This study aims to examine the use of reflective pedagogies in sustainability leadership education by investigating two specific pedagogical tools—the Portfolio and Pod—employed by the Master’s in ...

Competence Literate but Context Lacking? Investigating the Potential of Study Abroad Programs to Promote Sustainability Competence Acquisition in Students

  • Blekinge Institute of Technology

The examination of pedagogies that promote effective sustainability learning has led to vigorous academic discussion, as has research regarding the role of competence-based learning for sustainability. This paper investigates the ...

Smart and learning campus as living lab to foster education for sustainable development: an experience with air quality monitoring

  • University of Passo Fundo
  • Universidade federal de Santa Maria

Higher education institutions are widely known both for their promotion to education for sustainable development (ESD) and for their contribution as living labs to urban management strategies. As for strategies ...

Lincoln University curriculum and the Sustainable Development Goals : A dissertation submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of Masters in Environmental Policy and Management at Lincoln University

  • Lincoln University, New Zealand

In 2015, the United Nations agreed on a set of “Sustainable Development Goals” (SDG) to be achieved by 2030. They represent a strategy requiring actions to address the growing economic ...

Assessing the Development of Key Competencies in Sustainability

  • Arizona State University (AZ)

Making significant progress on the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) needs change agents equipped with key competencies in sustainability. While thousands of sustainability programs have emerged at various educational ...

Building bridges: overview of an international sustainable tourism education model

  • Colorado State University, Pueblo (CO)

The purpose of this paper is to present and explore a sustainable tourism education model that employed Fair-Trade learning principles and experiential learning philosophies. In collaboration with universities in Mexico ...

Teaching environmental sustainability and responsibility in the Anthropocene: Overview of Tourism Studies in Spain

  • Universitat Politècnica de València (Valencia)

Tourism studies are showing an increasing interest in the analysis of environmental sustainability and responsibility in the Anthropocene epoch. In the Higher Education (HE) Tourism studies, new concepts and skills ...

Implementation of SDGs in University Teaching: A Course for Professional Development of Teachers in Education for Sustainability for a Transformative Action

  • Universitat de Girona (Girona)

The University Jaume I of Castellon (Spain) launched the “ImpSDGup” course in 2017. The aim of this training course on professional education for sustainable development (ESD) skills and competences for ...

Interrogating Equity in Education for Sustainable Development

  • University of Cambridge

The discourse of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) promises a brighter, more just, and equitable future by ‘leaving no one behind’ and identifies Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) as ...

Critical food systems education, neoliberalism, and the alternative campus tour

  • Trent University (ON)

While still quite modest, the body of scholarship on pedagogy related to teaching for more socio-ecologically just food systems is growing. However, this body of work is largely silent on ...

Reflections on integrating the political into environmental education through problem-based learning and political ecology

  • University of Exeter (Devon)

This paper reflects on an undergraduate module at the University of Exeter (2018–2019) trialing a problem-based learning approach to the political ecologies of land. It found that this approach ...

Effectiveness of digital games in producing environmentally friendly attitudes and behaviors: A mixed methods study

  • Purdue University (IN)

Awareness of environmental sustainability issues alone is not enough. Environmental Sustainability Education (ESE) should produce changes in attitude and encourage lifelong behaviors. However, behavioral changes are curtailed by constraints and ...

University teaching staff and sustainable development: an assessment of competences

  • University of Beira Interior
  • University of Passo Fundo
  • Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro
  • University of Southern Maine (ME)
  • University of Applied Sciences Zittau/Görlitz
  • University of Aveiro
  • Universidade federal de Santa Maria
  • University of Belgrade
  • University of Malta (Northern Harbor District)
  • Hamburg University of Applied Sciences

Teaching about matters related to sustainable development requires not only a personal motivation from educators, but also a variety of competences. This paper reports on a multi-country study, which aimed ...

Competencies or capabilities in the Australian higher education landscape and its implications for the development and delivery of sustainability education

  • RMIT University

The question of how to embed transformative change through the implementation of sustainability principles in our education systems has become increasingly important as complex situations, like pandemics and climate change ...

Decontamination of Wastewater Using Activated Biochar from Agricultural Waste: A Practical Experiment for Environmental Sciences Students

  • Universidad de Córdoba

Safe and high-quality water is essential from both the health and environmental perspectives. Water quality is so important that the United Nations has included water in the 17 Sustainable Development ...

Integrated reporting education and hegemonic domination

  • University of Pretoria

Orientation: Conventional accounting education is presented from a business perspective that rationalises the prioritisation of shareholder interests. Such a paradigm, viewed as the hegemony of business, fails to deliver on ...

Internal stakeholders' perspective on lean energy and environmental sustainability: the case of Notre Dame University - Louaize

  • Notre Dame University - Louaize

This study will contribute to the understanding of the relationship between Energy and Environmental Sustainability (EES) Knowledge, Attitudes and Behaviours in order to recommend actions to be undertaken by the ...

Campus greening from social sciences: emerging formulas on social responsibility and teaching innovation

  • University of A Coruña (a Coruña)

Purpose This paper aims to show how the Green Campus Program has been implemented at the Faculty of Sociology of the University of A Coruña (Spain). It describes the criteria ...

Is climate change in the curriculum? An analysis of Australian urban planning degrees

  • University of Melbourne (Victoria)

The profession of urban planning contributes to the design and spatial arrangement of cities, and has been recognized as a key potential facilitator of action on climate change. Yet, there ...

Sustainability in Higher Education: What More Can Universities Do?

  • QS Quacquarelli Symonds

This report details the key findings from the QS Environmental Concerns Survey conducted in August 2019. The survey - which was completed by more than 3,700 prospective international students looking ...

Integrating the circular economy into engineering programs in India: A study of students’ familiarity with the concept

  • XLRI-Xavier School of Management (Jharkhand State)

Human production and consumption activities are depleting the earth’s resources faster than they are being replenished. The Global Footprint network estimates “Earth Overshoot Day 2020” (the day the use ...

Gendering Sustainability in Management Education: Research and Pedagogy as Space for Critical Engagement

  • William Paterson University of New Jersey (NJ)

Gender issues have been well conceptualized in feminist organization studies. However, gender research has had limited practical effects, in part because it has not been well conceptualized in the sustainability ...

Walking the Sustainability Talk: If Not Us, Who? If Not Now, When?

  • Loyola University Maryland (MD)
  • Walden University (MN)
  • Western Illinois University (IL)

This essay centers on the personal sustainability behaviors of faculty as related to research, teaching, and service, as well as those behaviors that go far beyond these typical faculty responsibilities ...

Designing Effective Sustainability Assignments: How and Why Definitions of Sustainability Impact Assignments and Learning Outcomes

  • Quinnipiac University (CT)
  • University of Massachusetts Boston (MA)

The importance of, and interest in, sustainability in management education has increased significantly over the past three decades. However, the definition of sustainability remains complex and elusive, thus creating significant ...

Teaching Climate Leadership: Promoting Integrative Learning in Courses on Strong Sustainability

  • Northeastern University (MA)

This article describes how the theory of integrative learning frames student learning in a course on climate leadership. The course is grounded in the theory of strong sustainability, which is ...

Business Schools as Living Labs: Advancing Sustainability in Management Education

  • Duquesne University (PA)

The buildings in which we teach management and decision analysis are ideal labs for advancing sustainability in management education, experiential learning, and integrated performance measurement. Utilizing building-based learning and design ...

Teaching Scenario Planning in Sustainability Courses: The Creative Play Method

  • University of Queensland (QLD)

Sustainability management is rapidly progressing from an operational task to a strategic imperative one as environmental and social concerns shape the business environment. Scenario planning is increasingly being used by ...

Environmental knowledge, attitudes and behavior of higher education students: a case study in Portugal

  • University of Coimbra

The main purpose of this research study is to explore higher education students’ environmental knowledge, attitudes and behavior. To achieve this goal, a questionnaire was conducted among the students of ...

What drives green experiential outcomes in tourism higher education?

  • National Sun Yat-sen University
  • The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
  • Ming Chuan University

This paper aims to explore the structural relationships between the dimensions of green experiential outcomes and their four drivers – green experiential learning, green experiential motivation, green experiential value and green ...

Mapping the intervention of sustainable design studio using multidimensional scaling and pathfinder networks

  • Eskişehir Technical University

Purpose The purpose of this paper is to investigate undergraduate industrial design students’ perception of sustainable design concepts and how their conceptualization evolves as a function of their attendance to ...

“I teach it because it is the biggest threat to health”: Integrating sustainable healthcare into health professions education

  • Monash University (VIC)

Background Steering planetary and human health towards a more sustainable future demands educated and prepared health professionals.

Aim This research aimed: to explore health professions educators’ sustainable healthcare education (SHE ...

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).

Curriculum Partners

Bound International

San Antonio, TX
Business Affiliate
We navigate the intersection of international educational mobility, environmental sustainability, and technological innovation.

FIE: Foundation for International Education

London, London
Business Affiliate

Strategic Energy Innovations

San Rafael, CA
Business Affiliate
Helping communities embrace sustainability.

Sustainability Curriculum Consortium

Bethesda, MD
Business Affiliate

The GREEN Program

Philadelphia, PA
Business Affiliate
Founded in 2009, The GREEN Program creates short-term, experiential education programs focused on sustainable development. TGP's accredited model has attracted university students representing over 470 universities and 70 countries globally.