Public Engagement

Introduction

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.

2359 resources

The Big Ten Prospectus: Aligning Sustainability with Collective Mission Level Priorities

  • Purdue University (IN)
  • Pennsylvania State University (PA)
  • University of Maryland, College Park (MD)
  • University of Iowa (IA)
  • University of Michigan (MI)
  • Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, Central Office (NJ)
  • University of Illinois at Chicago (IL)
  • University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (MN)
  • Indiana University Bloomington (IN)
  • Northwestern University (IL)
  • University of Nebraska - Lincoln (NE)
  • Michigan State University (MI)
  • University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (IL)
  • University of Texas at Austin (TX)
  • The Ohio State University (OH)
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison (WI)

With higher education facing ongoing budget cuts, top to bottom reviews of programs and policies, and critical questions regarding the value of a college education, we—as sustainability professionals—must ...

  • Posted June 11, 2016
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Students and Sustainability: Mechanism for making Green Leaders

  • Ball State University (IN)

Introduction: Lead primarily by student initiative, a sustainability program has evolved into a new program whose mechanics are meant to make action, foster sustainable leaders, and educate a sustainable culture ...

  • Posted June 11, 2016
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Community engagement and education on energy and water conservation

  • California State University, Northridge (CA)

Our capstone Sustainability class students at California State University, Northridge (CSUN) performed over twenty energy and water audits on local businesses in 2016. Each student was required to write up ...

  • Posted June 11, 2016
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Watershed UGA: Creating a University-wide Culture of Sustainability

  • University of Georgia (GA)

Thanks to funding and inspiration from the Ray C. Anderson Foundation, in 2015 the University of Georgia and its community partners have created a vision and framework for using campus ...

  • Posted June 11, 2016
  • Case Studies
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Eagles, Education, and Engagement through Green Technology

  • Alfred State College (NY)

Alfred State College (ASC) School of Applied Technology and the United States National Arboretum (USNA) have collaborated for over eight years in an innovative partnership that has generated significant measurable ...

  • Posted June 10, 2016
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Facilities and students working together for water conservation

  • University of Texas at Austin (TX)

The University of Texas at Austin’s facilities management initiated a comprehensive program in fall 2007 to develop and implement demand-side water conservation measures. During this project it was determined ...

  • Posted June 10, 2016
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The Shawneetown Gardens: a Sustainable Campus Community Garden Cultivated through Creation of Place

  • University of Kentucky (KY)

Rooted in the revitalization of a community garden on the University of Kentucky campus in Lexington, Kentucky, this project impacts a culturally diverse, multigenerational community through a multi-disciplinary effort led ...

  • Posted June 10, 2016
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BEE / HOUSE / LAB International Design Competition

  • University of Manitoba (MB)

BEE / HOUSE / LAB is an international design competition hosted by the University of Manitoba and open to students and designers in the field of environmental design, architecture, landscape architecture, industrial ...

  • Posted June 10, 2016
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The Morris Model: Catalyzing Community Resilience, Energy Conservation and Clean Energy Planning and Action

  • University of Minnesota, Morris (MN)

The University of Minnesota, Morris (UMM) has demonstrated a successful planning approach with partners across the state to build climate resilience into the consciousness and planning efforts of the city ...

  • Posted June 10, 2016
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Ohio University's Professional Development Program for the Advancement of Sustainability

  • Ohio University (OH)

Ohio University's Office of Sustainability designed a Professional Development Program to advance the university's sustainability profile, particularly with its built environment. On a monthly basis staff from Architecture ...

  • Posted June 10, 2016
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Emory University's Pollinator Protection Program

  • Emory University (GA)

Concerned about the plight of bees and other pollinators, essential for two-thirds of the food crops we eat every day, Emory University developed a comprehensive Pollinator Protection Commitment, which includes ...

  • Posted June 10, 2016
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Zero Waste Game Day at Duke University

  • Duke University (NC)

Leading up to the 2014 Duke Football season, a formal partnership was created between Duke Athletics, Duke Recycling, Duke Stores, and the Duke Sustainability Office in order to successfully achieve ...

  • Posted June 10, 2016
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The Water Hub at Emory University

  • Emory University (GA)

The WaterHub® is a decentralized, district-scale water reclamation and reuse system serving Emory University’s main campus in Atlanta, Georgia. As the first of its kind in the United States ...

  • Posted June 10, 2016
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Roles for university researchers in urban sustainability initiatives: the UK Newcastle Low Carbon Neighbourhoods project

  • Kingston University London

There is considerable debate regarding the contribution to be made by higher education institutions and the researchers they employ in realising environmentally sustainable urban spaces, and the relationship between academic ...

  • Posted June 10, 2016
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Eco-Schools Leadership Initiative (ESLI)

  • College of William & Mary (VA)

I co-founded Eco-Schools Leadership Initiative (ESLI) (eslileaders.org) which is an after-school program where high school and college students teach elementary school students about the environment. There are six high ...

  • Posted June 10, 2016
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The role(s) of universities in dealing with global wicked problems through multi-stakeholder initiatives

  • Wageningen University
  • University of Cape Town

Multi-stakeholder initiatives have emerged as collaborative partnerships to deal with wicked problems, particularly in the global food system. This article analyzes the role that academics play in these initiatives at ...

  • Posted June 10, 2016
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Sustainability Reporting in Higher Education: Interconnecting the Reporting Process and Organisational Change Management for Sustainability

  • Universidad Autonoma de Madrid (Madrid)
  • Utrecht University
  • KU Leuven

Although there has been a considerable increase in the publication of sustainability reports in the corporate world in the last decade, sustainability reporting in higher education institutions is still in ...

  • Posted June 10, 2016
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Learning about Sustainability—What Influences Students’ Self-Perceived Sustainability Actions after Undergraduate Education?

Changing societies’ minds about sustainability requires knowledge about the situation, awareness of what needs to be done and actions to change today’s unsustainable behaviors. Universities are challenged to develop ...

  • Posted June 10, 2016
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Environment Week at UAlberta

  • University of Alberta (AB)

From June 6–10, the University of Alberta hosted a series of free events to celebrate Environment Week and engage our community in sustainability. UAlberta partnered with local organizations such ...


The Learning Garden at Virginia Commonwealth University

  • Virginia Commonwealth University (VA)

Virginia Commonwealth University's Office of Sustainability has created a new, urban, Learning Garden that produces fruits and vegetables exclusively for donation. The garden was created in response to a ...

  • Posted June 10, 2016
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Project Sin Fronteras

  • University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (TX)

Project Sin Fronteras is a project without borders, crossing institutional boundaries, and transforming sustainability concepts and practices into enriched curriculum and research. It provides a two-pronged approach to education for ...

  • Posted June 10, 2016
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CPS Café – Sustainable Food Service Operation

  • University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (WI)

The CPS Café is an eatery operated mainly by students across campus and is a unique food service business open to the public. It is a program within the College ...


Social Impact Solar

  • California State University, East Bay (CA)

Poverty, inequality, and environmental sustainability are the biggest issues facing humanity today. Located in the richest state in the nation, with the nation’s most aggressive renewable energy programs, Cal ...


Ohio University Move-Out Sustainability Project

  • Ohio University (OH)

Each year during student Move Out week, Ohio University's Department of Recycling and Zero Waste partners with the City of Athens, Athens Hocking Recycling Center, local businesses, community non-profit ...


Campus sustainability efforts: A study of the long-term impact of college and university sustainability programs

  • University of Colorado Colorado Springs (CO)

The topic of this study is a new approach to understanding the effectiveness of campus sustainability efforts at American colleges and universities. A series of national sustainability organizations rate effectiveness ...


Student participation in the co-creation of knowledge and social experiments for advancing sustainability: experiences from the University of Tokyo

  • Clark University (MA)
  • University of Tokyo
  • University College London (London)

Universities around the world are increasingly engaging in multi-stakeholder collaborations for the co-creation of knowledge, tools and experiments with social and technical systems for advancing societal sustainability. With much of ...


Sustainability Slam – My city is greener than yours

  • University of Saskatchewan (SK)

The purpose of the activity is to encourage creative and imaginative storytelling as well as interdisciplinary thinking using both art and science, in order to inspire greener innovations for our ...


Carbon Neutral ExpoSaludable Fair Event in Bolivia

  • Berea College (KY)

We calculated the carbon emissions released during the ExpoSaludable fair in Bolivia to offset our footprint by planting trees in Santa Cruz, the city where the event takes place. The ...


Serenity "Soul"-ar: A Campus-Community Collaboration in North Philadelphia

  • Swarthmore College (PA)

Serenity Soular is a campus-community partnership between community leaders in North Philadelphia and a group of faculty and students at Swarthmore College. Committed to keeping the ‘soul’ in sustainability, our ...


From in-vessel campus composting to sustainable urban farming: connecting science with education and community service

  • Kean University (NJ)

Kean University runs a food scrap composting program with a custom-designed in-vessel composter capable of composting up to 1000 pounds of food scraps per day. It diverts food scraps from ...


Stash It, Don’t Trash It Move-Out Reuse Initiative

  • College of Saint Benedict (MN)

As the semester nears its end, students from all over campus pitch their unwanted items to the curb. These items range from unopened soup cans to couches and mini fridges ...


The Sustainability Map

  • Maastricht University

Maastricht is a small city, a transit city, a city in which many things happen and yet everything stays the same – and Maastricht is home to many students who come ...


Stanford Carbon Offsets to Reduce Emissions (SCORE)

  • Stanford University (CA)

The Stanford Athletic Department boasts 36 varsity sports teams and over 900 student-athletes. These teams travel all over the country to compete at the highest levels of collegiate competition, but ...


Earning Capacity of Sustainable Education - A Review of Current Perceptions Regarding the Salaries, Under-employment and Over-education of Higher-Education Graduates and their Potential Application in Sustainability Assessments

  • University of Central Arkansas (AR)
  • Technische Universiteit Delft

There is a growing need to understand the economic returns of degrees as a function of a sustainable institution. The empirical data presented in this paper suggests that there is ...


Should Academics Advocate on Environmental Issues?

  • University of Alberta (AB)

Academic advocacy involves advancing convincingly reasoned arguments that are supported by research results and academic expertise. However, academics must recognize that their notions of “good” are context dependent. Advocacy is ...


On Advocacy by Environmental Scientists: What, Whether, Why, and How

  • Michigan State University (MI)
  • Michigan Technological University (MI)

Debate about the nature and appropriateness of advocacy by environmental scientists is important - it represents understanding the role of these citizens in our society. Much has been written about advocacy ...


UNT Community Garden

  • University of North Texas (TX)

University of North Texas' first on-campus community garden is in the final stages of planning, with construction begining this fall, in a vacant lot next to the Legends hall, just ...


Black Hills Food Hub

  • Black Hills State University (SD)

Black Hills State University (BHSU) and Spearfish community partners are seeking to create a culture that supports and values local food in order to expand the reach and depth of ...


Smokey's Pantry: A FISH Hospitality Pantry

  • University of Tennessee at Knoxville (TN)

Erica Davis, a senior at the University of Tennessee, spearheaded a food recovery project called Smokey’s Pantry. This project provided groceries recovered from various sources and distributed them to ...


American Chestnut Partnership

  • Unity College (ME)

Unity College has partnered with the Maine Chapter of the American Chestnut Foundation to help restore the iconic American Chestnut in Maine.


Finding Heart: Generating and Maintaining Hope and Agency through Sustainability Education

  • Colorado Mountain College (CO)

In his landmark book Native Science (2000), indigenous educator Gregory Cajete eloquently articulates the motivations and questions that drive this study. For Cajete, effective education of our time entails “finding ...


Engaging Stakeholders in Education for Sustainable Development at University Level

This book discusses the role of ESD stakeholders at university level, involving civil society and the private sector and public sectors (including local, national and intergovernmental bodies). In particular, it ...


The Transition to Resilience: A Comparative Case Study of Two Communities

  • Berea College (KY)
  • Oberlin College (OH)
  • University of Kentucky (KY)

This dissertation examines the question of how communities understand their risk related to global economic and environmental problems and how communities respond to those risks. Specifically, using comparative case study ...


Gaucho Certified Farmers Market

  • University of California, Santa Barbara (CA)

In the Fall of 2014, myself and a group of 5 other faculty members founded the first ever successful farmers market on the UC Santa Barbara campus.

The project was ...


SRU Earth Days 2016

  • Slippery Rock University (PA)

“Earth Days 2016” was Slippery Rock University’s annual Earth Day celebration involving fun and educational events aimed at increasing awareness and knowledge regarding sustainability, climate change, and preserving resources ...


The role of students in the co-creation of transformational knowledge and sustainability experiments: Experiences from Sweden, Japan and the USA

  • Clark University (MA)
  • Oberlin College (OH)
  • University of Tokyo
  • Lund University

Accompanying realizations that engagement of multiple societal sectors (academia, industry, government, citizenry) and disciplines are required for formulating effective responses to complex sustainability challenges, calls for new forms of knowledge ...


IT’S YOUR NATURE: The Art of Sustainability

  • University of Dayton (OH)

IT'S YOUR NATURE: The Art of Sustainability was a year-long initiative using the arts to connect our campus with new ways of thinking about the environment and sustainability. Utilizing ...


Community Garden 2.0 – transcending silos on campus and in the community

  • Northern Kentucky University (KY)

Northern Kentucky University (NKU) has joined forces with local stakeholders to create a network of community gardens on campus and within the surrounding community. The network is comprised of fifty ...


Compact Advanced Facility for Conversion of Waste Cooking Oil to Biodiesel to power the University Bus system

  • University of South Florida (FL)

The University Bus system is powered by a Biodiesel mixture. The project investigated feasibility of generating its own Biodiesel from the waste cooking oil generated by the dining facilities and ...


Future sustainability scenarios for universities: moving beyond the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development

As achievements of the completed United Nations Decade (2005-2014) of Education for Sustainable Development are contemplated globally, along with potential steps forward for the future, Member States have urged that ...

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).

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