Public Engagement


Engagement in community problem-solving is fundamental to sustainability. By engaging with community members and organizations in the governmental, non-profit and for-profit sectors, institutions can help solve sustainability challenges. Community engagement can help students develop leadership skills while deepening their understandings of practical, real-world problems and the process of creating solutions.

2413 resources

Using a Solutions Lens to Engage Students on the UN Global Goals

  • AASHE (PA)
  • Babson College (MA)

Today more than ever, students need to learn not only how society is working to solve its most challenging problems, but also how to think critically and creatively about solutions ...

  • Posted May 14, 2020
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Mangrove forest ecotourism: Participatory ecological learning and sustainability of students’ behavior through self-efficacy and self-concept

  • Universitas Negeri Surabaya

Self-efficacy and self-concept were deduced to be able to develop sustainable behavior in students. One potential approach is participatory ecological learning in mangrove forest ecotourism. This study aims to determine ...

Sustainability Practices of Higher Education Institutions in Hong Kong: A Case Study of a Sustainable Campus Consortium

  • Lingnan University (New Territories)

Eight University Grant Committee (UGC)-funded public universities in Hong Kong positively and successfully responded to the global call for sustainability efforts in higher education institutions (HEIs). Various initiatives are ...

Virtual conferences in higher education: Teasing out their transformative potential for sustainable development

  • University of Graz
  • University of Bern
  • Universitat de Girona (Girona)
  • Empa Technology & Society Laboratory (Sankt Gallen)

The Coronavirus outbreak has made virtual education a high necessity. Our intention here was to highlight potentials of virtual conferences to enhance transformative learning for sustainable development; new applications will ...

Website communications for campus sustainability: an analysis of Canadian universities

  • Brock University (ON)

Purpose This study aims to better understand the communication of sustainability by Canadian universities, specifically the use of websites, interactive features and sustainability plans.

Design/methodology/approach A total of ...

Liverpool knowledge quarter sustainability network: case study

  • Liverpool John Moores University
  • Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust

Purpose This paper aims to study the development of the Liverpool Knowledge Quarter Sustainability Network (KQSN). It outlines the sectors included in the collaborative knowledge-sharing, the nature of the work ...

The contribution of Regional Centers of Expertise for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

  • Hamburg University of Applied Sciences
  • University of Passo Fundo
  • Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Universität Bonn (Köln)
  • Université de Bretagne Sud/University of South Brittany (Vannes)

The implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the achievement of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals requires a fully integrated approach between sectors, disciplines, countries, and actors. On ...

Higher education institutions as a driver of sustainable social development: Polish experience for Ukraine

  • Kremenchuk Mykhailo Ostrohradskyi National University (Poltavska Oblast)

The basis for sustainable and environmentally friendly development is gradually becoming aware of the importance of working more ethically and transparently and in a more humanistic way, as well as ...

External facilitators as ‘Legitimizers’ in designing a master's program in sustainable business at a Swedish business school – A typology of industry collaborator roles in RME

  • Örebro University

This article offers new knowledge on the role of industry as external facilitators in the case of designing responsible management education (RME). Drawing on a case of a Swedish business ...

Understanding and Opinion on Sustainable Development Among Youths in Higher Educational Institutions in Penang, Malaysia

  • Universiti Sains Malaysia

The implementations of sustainable development are a global trend and recently focus on Sustainable Development Goals 2030 Agenda. Furthermore, in ensuring the successful implementation of the Agenda, youths play a ...

Transactional learning and sustainability co-creation in a university – business collaboration

  • University of Helsinki
  • Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) (Uusimaa)

Purpose The purpose of this study is to explore the learning outcomes of the project-based learning in a Master Class programme on sustainability carried out in collaboration by the University ...

Classroom collaborations: Enabling sustainability education via student-community co-learning

  • De Montfort University

Purpose This study aims to explore co-learning classes, a novel approach to leveraging universities’ capacity to contribute to the local sustainable development agenda whilst enhancing students’ learning. These participatory classes ...

Learning for Transdisciplinary Leadership: Why Skilled Scholars Coming Together Is Not Enough

  • University of Calgary (AB)
  • University of Saskatchewan (SK)
  • Ryerson University (ON)

Transdisciplinary research is an emerging new normal for many scientists in applied research fields, including One Health, planetary health, and sustainability. However, simply bringing highly skilled students (and faculty members ...

Who benefits from university–industry collaboration for environmental sustainability?

  • Universita degli Studi di Padova
  • Technische Universität Kaiserslautern

Purpose This paper aims to analyze the characteristics and performance of university–industry (U-I) collaboration for knowledge transfer in relation to environmental sustainability, considering for both parties of the collaborations ...

Factors Affecting Environmental Activism, Nonactivist Behaviors, and the Private Sphere Green Behaviors of Thai University Students

  • King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi

University students are expected by the general public to be active in pro-environmental behaviors due to their environmental knowledge and relevant education. However, it is still unclear whether students only ...

Campus-Based Ecotourism: A Case Study on the Power of Local Ecotourism

  • University of Nebraska at Omaha (NE)
  • University of Nebraska Medical Center (NE)

Academic campuses across the Great Plains can serve as landscapes for teaching and learning about native flora of cultural importance with regard to food, medicine, and lifeways. Campus visitors (tourists ...

Corporate Governance and Disclosure of Information on Corporate Social Responsibility: An Analysis of the Top 200 Universities in the Shanghai Ranking

  • Universidad de Granada

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and its disclosure in the university environment is a topic of current relevance, as it makes the entities’ commitments visible and provides indicators that enable them ...

Sustainability and human competences: a systematic literature review

  • University of São Paulo
  • Universidade Federal do Paraná (PR)
  • Universidade Estadual de Londrina (Paraná)

Purpose The purpose of this paper is to identify and discuss human competences required for sustainability management in organisations.

Design/methodology/approach The research is based on a systematic review ...

Engaging stakeholders in the process of sustainability integration in higher education institutions: a systematic review

  • National Institute of Technology, Durgapur (West Bengal)
  • Sri Sri University (Cuttack)

Higher education institutions (HEIs) are facing increasing pressure embracing institutional change towards the adoption of sustainable development (SD). Responding to the growing demands, several articles have been published presenting integration ...

Implementing the UN SDGs in Universities: Challenges, Opportunities, and Lessons Learned

  • RMIT University

The education sector is one of the few sectors that can support, promote, and contribute to achieving all of the 17 United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). Universities, in ...

The Working Farms Fund: Partnership to Build a Sustainable Local Food System

  • Emory University (GA)

Emory University and The Conservation Fund have formed a new partnership to support next-generation farmers in Georgia and help build the local food supply across metro Atlanta with a first-of-its-kind ...

Don't Dump! Donate!

  • South Dakota State University (SD)

Don’t Dump! Donate! takes place during move-out week and keeps reusable material out of the landfill. It provides the opportunity for students to donate unwanted but good quality items ...

Trex Plastic Film Challenge

  • Texas A&M University (TX)

In November 2018, the Department of Residence Life at Texas A&M University began the Trex Plastic Film Challenge in partnership with a Virginia-based company, Trex. Trex is a national company ...

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 ...

Equitable Pathways to 2100: Professional Sustainability Credentials

  • ESDI Green Teach for Opportunity Project (DC)

Across numerous industries and occupations, professional associations are contributing to knowledge and skills for sustainability by offering new credentials. This represents an opportunity to increase students’ career preparedness for clean ...

The role of higher education institutions in sustainability initiatives at the local level

  • University of Beira Interior
  • University of Passo Fundo
  • Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná
  • Allegheny College (PA)
  • University of Waterloo (ON)
  • Brescia University (KY)
  • Institut Mines-Télécom Business School
  • Università di Verona
  • University of Bristol
  • University of Latvia
  • Universiti Sains Malaysia
  • Università di Bologna
  • Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Sunway University (Selangor)
  • Thaksin University (Songkhla)
  • University of Chester
  • Universidade Federal de Vicosa
  • Universiti Malaysia Sabah (Sabah)
  • Xavier Institute of Management Bhubaneswar (Odisha)
  • University of Belgrade

Universities are central players and important economic actors in many regions, and many of them are, in general, nationally and internationally active in respect of matters related to sustainable development ...

Implications of vertical policy integration for sustainable development implementation in higher education institutions

  • Manchester Metropolitan University

The United Nations together with various national and local actors have acknowledged the importance of sustainable development. However, sustainable development implementation is not straightforward and requires contribution by different actors ...

  • Posted April 17, 2020
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Shifting Education Towards Sustainability – How Degrowth Can Transform Education for Sustainable Development

  • University of Zurich

Economic growth was identified as a main cause of ecological damage and social exploitation more than four decades ago (Carson, 1962; Meadows et al, 1972; Gorz, 1980; WCED 1987; 14 ...

  • Posted April 17, 2020
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Reuse in Action: Repair Fairs

  • Carleton College (MN)
  • AASHE (PA)

A Repair Fair is a match-making event that pairs items needing fixed with volunteer repairers or “fixers” to attempt to repair anything from bikes to clothing, to electronics. The Carleton ...

  • Posted April 16, 2020
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COVID-19 Resources for the Higher Education Sustainability Community

  • AASHE (PA)

These resources aim to help institutions navigate the challenges and complications from COVID-19 and its impacts on the higher education sustainability community. This is intended to be a living document ...

Digging In: Specific Examples of Diversity in Sustainability Work

  • Bemidji State University (MN)
  • Central College (IA)
  • AASHE (PA)

We all have to make sure the sustainability movement is not a white, elitist movement. Join two Sustainability Directors as they share their successes, challenges, and lessons learned through integrating ...

  • Posted March 11, 2020
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Education for sustainability: Fostering a more conscious society and transformation towards sustainability

  • Lund University

Current approaches to sustainability science and education focus on (assessing and addressing) the external world of ecosystems, wider socio-economic structures, technology and governance dynamics. A major shortcoming of such approaches ...

  • Posted March 6, 2020
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The Workability of Dominican University of California (DUoC) Transitioning to a Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) Program Energy Supply

  • University of San Francisco (CA)

For almost 10 years Community Choice Aggregation (CCA), or community based energy programs, have been developing and or providing clean energy resources to both commercial and residential customers in various ...

  • Posted March 6, 2020
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From Movements to Managers: Discourse, Jurisdictions, and Positions in the Field of Sustainability

  • Northwestern University (IL)

In three empirical chapters, this dissertation examines the field of sustainability over time, specifically uncovering the processes by which contentious interactions between movements and organizations can shift to the development ...

  • Posted March 6, 2020
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University-linked programmes for sustainable entrepreneurship and regional development: how and with what impact?

  • Leuphana University of Lüneburg
  • Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg
  • Johannes Kepler University Linz (Oberösterreich)
  • University of Augsburg (Schwaben)

State universities are increasingly being transformed from institutions with traditional teaching and research responsibilities to have a third, societal role in sustainable regional and economic development. In doing so, universities ...

  • Posted March 6, 2020
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Higher Education Institutions as a Transformation Platform under the Sustainable Development Goals Framework

  • Universidad de Murcia (Murcia)

Previous research has highlighted the critical role of Higher Education Institutions (HEI) in promoting sustainability. In this vein, HEI, as a driving force of change, should actively participate in the ...

  • Posted March 6, 2020
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Sustainability in African higher education institutions (HEIs): Shifting the focus from researching the gaps to existing activities

  • Leuphana University of Lüneburg

Research on sustainability in higher education institutions (HEIs) is unequally distributed globally. The existing publications on sustainability in HEIs have largely focussed on the Global North. Meanwhile, little is known ...

  • Posted March 4, 2020
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Opportunities and Benefits of a University-Based Weatherization Assistance Program: The Case of Furman University's Community Conservation Corps

  • Furman University (SC)

Weatherization assistance programs have been in existence in the United States for decades, but they are commonly managed and implemented by local government organizations. Furman University, a small liberal arts ...

  • Posted March 4, 2020
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Student perceptions of sustainability in higher education - An international survey

  • National Union of Students

Since the academic year of 2010-2011, the National Union of Students (NUS) has carried out research with higher education students in the UK into their experiences of, and demand for ...

  • Posted Feb. 11, 2020
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The Role of Higher Education Institutions in Preparing Youth to Manage a Sustainability-Oriented Future Workplace

  • Open University of the Netherlands

This paper aims to highlight the different forms, levels and pathways of engagement with climate change and sustainability of young people living in different contexts of vulnerability and adaptability. It ...

Universities as the engine of transformational sustainability toward delivering the sustainable development goals: “Living labs” for sustainability

  • Harvard University (MA)

Universities can do more to deliver against the sustainable development goals (SDGs), working with faculty, staff and students, as well as their wider stakeholder community and alumni body. They play ...

Radicalize the Hive: What Bees Can Teach Us About Shaping Social Change

  • Farm to Institution New England (VT)

Led by consultant and beekeeper Ang Roell this webinar focuses on building more effective collaborations. Taking inspiration from honey bees, a social super-organism, Ang leads participants through conversations and practices ...

  • Posted Feb. 3, 2020
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ESD for 2030: The Future Depends on Us!

  • Portland Community College (OR)
  • AASHE (PA)
  • Greater Portland Sustainability Education Network (GPSEN) (OR)

The United Nations has established a new decade, beginning in 2020, focused on the power of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). “ESD for 2030” calls for educators to help advance ...

  • Posted Jan. 23, 2020
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Annual SDG Accord Report 2019: Progress towards the Global Goals in the University and College sector

  • Environmental Association for Universities & Colleges (EAUC) (Gloucestershire)

The Global Goals are a global blueprint that are designed to deliver progress, peace and prosperity for people and the planet. But to turn this plan into action, the UN ...

  • Posted Dec. 13, 2019
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Annual SDGs Report 2018

  • National University of Sciences and Technology (Federal)

Realizing the importance of United Nations 17 SDGs, National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) , Pakistan has adopted UN SDGs framework to monitor and improve the impact of contribution of ...

Webinar: Working with Advancement and Alumni Relations to Engage Alumni

  • Lafayette College (PA)
  • Lehigh University (PA)
  • University of Virginia (VA)
  • AASHE (PA)

Many sustainability practitioners seek to engage alumni in various ways – fundraising, expertise, guest speakers, jobs/internships and mentorship for students. Lehigh University and the University of Virginia’s Office for ...

  • Posted Dec. 5, 2019
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Designing for Change in Higher Education

  • University of California, Davis (CA)

The campus sustainability movement and divest-invest campaigns occurring on campuses across the nation have done excellent work articulating what higher education should move away from. But what should colleges and ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
  • Conference Presentations
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Whole-Campus Behaviour Change: Lessons from a Decade of Green Impact

  • National Union of Students

Sustainability professionals know they need to engage their campus communities in sustainability but behavior change continues to be a challenge. Green Impact is a staff engagement and student development program ...

  • Posted Dec. 4, 2019
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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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Crafting Communications Campaigns with Impact

  • Colgate University (NY)
  • Princeton University (NJ)
  • University of Michigan (MI)
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison (WI)

Communications are crucial for engaging campus communities around sustainability and for encouraging transformative action. Indeed, without compelling communication, it would not be possible to tell the story of higher education ...

  • 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).


The following link connects to the Score Display on the STARS website (AASHE membership and log-in required).

Public Engagement Partners

Environmental Association for Universities & Colleges (EAUC)

Cheltenham, Gloucestershire
Business Affiliate

Rivanna Natural Designs

Richmond, VA
Business Affiliate
Planet-friendly awards and plaques. FSC-Certified wood, recycled glass