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.

2102 resources

UConn ECOCoin Program

  • University of Connecticut (CT)

In 2017, the University of Connecticut bookstore rolled out its ECOCoin initiative, through which customers are given an ECOCoin each time they forfeit a plastic bag at the register. The ...

Dickinson's Online Sustainability Dashboard

  • Dickinson College (PA)

Dickinson is monitoring our sustainability performance over time and holding ourselves accountable for advancing sustainability practices. Our online sustainability dashboard allows users to explore up to date performance metrics for ...

Mexican Grey Wolf Research and Annual Count

  • Arizona State University (AZ)
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

(landscape) Cyrenea Piper, a biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, stands near a Mexican gray wolf during the agency’s annual count. (Photo by Jenna Miller/Cronkite ...

College of the Atlantic SCI 2018 1

  • College of the Atlantic (ME)

The College of the Atlantic Thoreau Environmental Leaders Initiative aims to cultivate effective advocates for renewable energy and climate change issues. Through speakers, workshops and events, the initiative provides a ...

UC San Diego Sustainability Alumni Network members get a tour of Birch Aquarium on campus during alumni weekend in June 2018.

  • University of California, San Diego (CA)

The Sustainability Alumni Network (SAN) at the University of California, San Diego was founded by the Sustainability Programs Office in May 2017 to bring together alumni who are working in ...

Paradigm Project

  • American University (DC)

A woman outside Nairobi, Kenya holds a wood-burning, efficient cookstove from the Paradigm Project.

Boot Camp Trainees Pitch Ideas to Potential Employer

  • Virginia Tech (VA)

Virginia Tech students Tyneshia Griffin and Virginia Pellington pitch their ideas to the Sustainability Boot Camp's Founding Partner, Trane, during an on-site Think Tank Challenge in Ashland, VA. The ...

VCU Community-University Urban Forestry Program

  • Virginia Commonwealth University (VA)

The Urban Forestry Initiative at Virginia Commonwealth University is a community-based research project designed to meet the community identified need of increasing urban tree canopy cover and the university identified ...

From Farm to Fork at Rice University

  • Rice University (TX)

Rice University chef Martin De Santiago shops for locally-sourced ingredients at the Rice University Farmers Market to use in a Farm-to-Fork dinner. The dinner was organized by the student club ...

Farm to Fork Dinner, Spring 2018

  • Rice University (TX)

Rice University student group Real Food Revolution teams with Rice's Housing and Dining department once a semester to host a Farm-to-Fork dinner, featuring a full menu of locally-sourced food ...

Communicating sustainability: A content analysis of website communications in the United States

  • Chatham University (PA)
  • University of Nevada Las Vegas (NV)

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate how institutions of higher education (IHEs) in the USA communicate sustainability through their websites. Specifically, the authors compare how and to what ...

  • Posted July 25, 2018
  • Publications
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Binghamton University's Neighborhood Heritage and Sustainability Project

  • Binghamton University (NY)

Local residents decorate pumpkins at Binghamton University's Fall Festival, held at Walnut Street Park. This event is part of the Neighborhood Heritage and Sustainability project supported by Binghamton University ...

Envirome Institute

  • University of Louisville (KY)

The Envirome Institute pioneers a new, interdependent vision of health, supports research on the effects of the environment on health, and promotes holistic scholarship, locally and globally.

Within the University ...

  • Posted July 13, 2018
  • Research Centers & Institutes
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Propagating Collective Hope in the Midst of Environmental Doom and Gloom

  • Royal Roads University (BC)

Environmental educators recognize the importance of empowering children and adults, yet environmental education operates within a grand narrative of environmental gloom and doom. Growing evidence exists that children feel hopeless ...

  • Posted June 29, 2018
  • Publications
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Planetary Opportunities: A Social Contract for Global Change Science to Contribute to a Sustainable Future

  • University of Oxford

The global change research community needs to renew its social contract with society by moving beyond a focus on biophysical limits and toward solution-oriented research to provide realistic, context-specific pathways ...

  • Posted June 29, 2018
  • Publications
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The UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development: business as usual in the end

  • Cornell University (NY)
  • London South Bank University
  • Wageningen University
  • De Montfort University
  • University of Gothenburg

An analysis of the literature supporting the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development and a sample of its key products suggests that it failed to acknowledge or challenge neoliberalism ...

  • Posted June 28, 2018
  • Publications
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Sustainability leadership programs in higher education: alumni outcomes and impacts

  • University of Michigan (MI)
  • National Wildlife Federation (VA)
  • North Cascades Institute (WA)

The diverse set of college and university sustainability leadership programs, which represent a growing trend in higher education, share a common goal: building skills and knowledge for aspiring environmental and ...

  • Posted June 28, 2018
  • Publications
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University of Vermont Eco-Reps Greenride Bikeshare Campaign Case Study

  • University of Vermont (VT)

In early April of 2018, Burlington, Vermont, and the University of Vermont campus welcomed Greenride, a pilot regional bikeshare. Though long in the works, there was little student awareness of ...

  • Posted June 28, 2018
  • Case Studies
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AASHE Connect – Online Community Webinar

  • AASHE (PA)

Join us as we tour AASHE’s new online community. AASHE Connect will serve as a place for members to exchange ideas, engage meaningfully with peers and find solutions to ...

  • Posted June 1, 2018
  • Videos & Webinars
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Walking the Talk: Applying Fair Trade Learning Principles to Alternative Breaks

  • Oregon State University (OR)

Alternative Breaks at Oregon State University: We integrate sustainability education and leadership via fair trade learning into our community-engaged learning/service-learning program.

Break away from apathy. Break away from the ...

Project Juarez

  • University of Texas at El Paso (TX)
  • Engineers for a Sustainable World (CO)

When our phones are no longer aesthetically pleasing, we tend to either disregard or throw away our phones. The question is why? Essentially, we are throwing away a small computer ...

The Catastrophic Meal--Exploring the Food Systems and Cultures of the Future

  • Vestjyllands Højskole

Vestjyllands Højskole hosted The Catastrophic Meal to demonstrate both a utopian and dystopian view of future food culture. As part of the EU's Aarhus City of Culture celebrations, the ...

Princeton Student Climate Initiative

  • Princeton University (NJ)

On the Friday night after midterms week, seven Princeton undergraduates gathered in the Pace Center for Civic Engagement to talk climate change legislation. Decked in hoodies, sweats, and mismatched socks ...

Student Environmental Resource Center (SERC) at UC Berkeley

  • University of California, Berkeley (CA)

SERC is a collaborative space to strengthen the collective effectiveness of the sustainability community, and provides resources for students to actualize their vision of a more equitable, socially just, and ...

Sustainability Strategic Planning

  • University of California, Merced (CA)

The University of California Merced (UC Merced) within the next five years will undergo significant infrastructure expansion to accommodate student, faculty and staff growth. The acceleration of the university’s ...

Plastic Entanglements: Ecology, Aesthetics, Materials

  • Pennsylvania State University (PA)

The exhibition, PLASTIC ENTANGLEMENTS: Ecology, Aesthetics, Materials was on view at Penn State’s Palmer Museum of Art from February 13, 2018 to June 17, 2018 with additional commissioned and ...

Tackling it Together: A Framework for Assessing Climate Vulnerability in the Pioneer Valley

  • Smith College (MA)

In Western Massachusetts, stakeholders are engaging with vulnerability in different ways. While some are planning at the campus and city levels, others have engaged only in areas specific to their ...

Paperbark Literary Magazine

  • University of Massachusetts Amherst (MA)

Paperbark Literary Magazine is an interdisciplinary journal of creativity and sustainability publishing art, writing, photography, poetry, science journalism, interviews, and other creative content both in print and online at paperbarkmag ...

The WaterHub at Emory University – Engaging Campus & Community in Water Reclamation

  • Emory University (GA)

The WaterHub at Emory University is an on-site water recycling system, utilizing biomimicry, or engineered processes that emulate natural ecological systems, to reclaim wastewater for heating and cooling buildings and ...

A Comms Plan for Running a Waste Reduction Engagement in your University

  • University of London

Over the last three years at Reduce the Juice we’ve learnt a lot about running successful behaviour change engagements and now want to share what we’ve learnt with ...

Cultivating the Globally Sustainable Self Summit Series - Advancing Education for Sustainable Development Through Research and Practice

  • James Madison University (VA)

The Cultivating the Globally Sustainable Self Summit Series is a multi-year, multi-institution initiative that promotes transformative teaching, training, and learning in research and practice ( The innovative ...

Higher Education and the Sustainable Development Goals

  • AASHE (PA)
  • University College London (London)
  • University of London

The challenges the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) present to Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) go deeper than did those of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). They require a rethink of the ...

  • Posted May 18, 2018
  • Videos & Webinars
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Dismantling a local School to Prison Pipeline with Education for Sustainable Development

  • University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (TX)

UTRGV’s collaboration with an alternative school and its subsequent integration of education for sustainable development has been transformative for the country’s most vulnerable and marginalized youth.

Armed guards ...

Mobilization Strategies for Environmental Policy Influence

  • University of Saskatchewan (SK)
  • AASHE (PA)

Those of us who research and teach about sustainability issues are often interested in the potential social impact of our own work, in order to help address environmental challenges of ...

  • Posted May 15, 2018
  • Videos & Webinars
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Using experiential marine debris education to make an impact: Collecting debris, informing policy makers, and influencing students

  • University of Hartford (CT)

The Shore to Statehouse project supported the creation of an open-source, replicable, undergraduate experiential course on marine debris. Funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the course allowed undergraduate ...

University-Community Partnership Models: Employing Organizational Management Theories of Paradox and Strategic Contradiction

  • University of Louisville (KY)

University–community (U-C) partnerships have the potential to respond to society’s most pressing needs through engaged scholarship. Despite this promise, partnerships face paradoxical tensions and inherent contradictions that are ...

Undergraduate Learning through Engaged Scholarship and University-Community Partnerships

  • College of William & Mary (VA)
  • University of Georgia (GA)

The impact of university–community partnerships and involvement in engaged scholarship on student learning was examined through in-depth interviews with undergraduate members of a student-led, community-based research organization at a ...

Transnational collaboration for sustainability in higher education: Lessons from a systematic review

  • Leuphana University of Lüneburg

We continue to understand little about how to best design and operate transnational collaborations between universities to advance research and education for sustainability. This article explores general practices in transnational ...

The role of higher education institutions in regional transition paths towards sustainability

  • University of Marburg

The present paper investigates the role of the located Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in the transformation towards sustainability of the city of Linz as well as the region of Upper ...

Michigan Tech Sustainability Demonstration House

  • Michigan Technological University (MI)

The goal of Sustainability Demonstration House (SDH) project is to retrofit the former University President’s residence, built in 1953, titled the Kettle-Gundlach Building into a sustainability demonstration house. The ...

Enable by House by Northwestern - a 2017 U.S. DOE Solar Decathlon Team

  • Northwestern University (IL)

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon showcases innovative solar powered houses that are designed, built, and operated by collegiate teams. It is a collegiate competition of 10 contests ...

Sustainability University–Community Partnerships: Lessons for practitioners and scholars from highly sustainable communities

  • Colorado State University (CO)
  • Missouri State University (MO)

As local communities face increasing pressure to address environmental concerns, town–gown partnerships are one avenue for improving environmental conditions and sustainability planning for the future. Partnerships between community leaders ...

Talking Sustainability with American Public Media’s Marketplace

  • Arizona State University (AZ)

Can Social Media and Sustainability work together? Follow American Public Media's Marketplace correspondents and reporters in their discussion of the virtual world. They will explore Social Media's challenges ...

  • Posted May 8, 2018
  • Videos & Webinars
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Earth Day Fair at UI Health

  • University of Illinois at Chicago (IL)

Join the UI Health Green Team and outside organizations focused on sustainability at our upcoming Earth Day Fair on Friday, April 20! The event is open to both staff and ...

Penn State Green Team

  • Pennsylvania State University (PA)

The Penn State Green Team hosted an earth day jeopardy competition with the College of the Liberal Arts department and the help of the Sustainability Institute every one enjoyed Earth ...

Arbor Day Tree Planting

  • University of Illinois at Chicago (IL)

UIC is a Tree Campus USA and on crisp, cool and sunny morning, we celebrated Arbor Day with many UIC students, staff, faculty, and other tree enthusiasts. We planted two ...

Making Bike Powered Smoothies on Earth Day

  • University of Iowa (IA)

On Earth Day, The University of Iowa Office of Sustainability set up a bike with a blender attachment at the Iowa Physicians for Social Responsibility's Earth Day event at ...

Earth Tones - Earth Day Concert and Expo

  • Appalachian State University (NC)

Appalachian State hosts an annual "Earth Tones" concert, with bands powered by solar panels, on the Duck Pond Field. Sponsored by ASUSES, the festival includes representatives from the SDSA, ASUREI ...

Trash Fashion Show 2018

  • Appalachian State University (NC)

Appalachian State and community partners put on a Trash Fashion Show in the new university/Community HOW space. The designers made clothing from items that would have otherwise been discarded ...

Green Industries Career Fair!

  • Suffolk County Community College (NY)

During the Month of April Career Services and Office of Sustainability joined together to host a Career specific Job Fair, called “Green Industries Job Fair”. Our goal was to connect ...

  • Posted April 30, 2018
  • Photographs
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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

Cheltenham, Gloucestershire
Business Affiliate

Fostering Sustainability

Toronto, ON
Business Affiliate

Global Footprint Network

Oakland, CA
Business Affiliate

Rivanna Natural Designs

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