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.

2122 resources

Regenerative Sustainable Development of Universities and Cities The Role of Living Laboratories

Now that the Earth has reached the limits of its biophysical carrying capacity, we have to change technologies, social practices and social norms relating to material production and consumption to ...


A Higher Calling for Higher Education

Education and knowledge resources are more available today than ever before. However, humanity’s two main conflicts - coexistence with nature and coexistence with each other - remain unresolved. We need a ...


A Big Hairy Audacious Goal: Marketing University Sustainability Credentials

  • University of Leeds (West Yorkshire)
  • St. Lawrence University (NY)
  • Ithaca College (NY)
  • University of Plymouth (Devon)
  • Bradford University (West Yorkshire)
  • Northland College (WI)
  • College of the Atlantic (ME)
  • University of Gloucestershire (Gloucestershire)

This paper explores the potential recruitment and retention benefits arising from the marketing of University of Plymouth’s sustainability credentials. It attempts this by:

  • reviewing academic and professional literature on ...
  • Posted June 27, 2016
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More colleges using green as selling tool

  • USA TODAY (VA)

USA Today reports that "universities and colleges across the country are increasingly putting on the green to attract students who are serious about environmental issues."

  • Posted June 27, 2016
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First-year student attitudes towards, and skills in, sustainable development

  • Higher Education Academy (York)

This report on student attitudes towards, and skills in, sustainable development describes the results of an online survey of 5,763 first-year higher education (HE) students, across all four UK ...

  • Posted June 23, 2016
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2016 College Hopes & Worries Survey Report

  • The Princeton Review (MA)

Every year, The Princeton Review surveys college applicants and their parents about their perspective on the admissions process. The survey includes a question related to commitment to environmental issues:

"If ...

  • Posted June 23, 2016
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Sustainability Field Booms on Campus

This article describes fast growth in continuing education programs focused on sustainability.

  • Posted June 23, 2016
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Looking through the “greenwashing glass cage” of the green league table towards the sustainability challenge for UK universities

Purpose – This paper aims to critically focus on the UK's People & Planet's “green league table” in order to explore to what extent such league tables contribute to ...

  • Posted June 21, 2016
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Campus sustainability at the edges: Emotions, relations, and bio-cultural connections

  • Temple University (PA)

The university campus is often considered a key site for the development of environmental sustainability initiatives. At the same time, the concept and practice of sustainability has been critiqued for ...

  • Posted June 20, 2016
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Pre-Service Teachers and Climate Change: A Stalemate?

  • James Cook University (Queensland)

Findings from the second phase of a study of pre-service teachers’ attitudes to environmental education and knowledge of climate change are reported in this paper. A sample of 87 pre-service ...

  • Posted June 20, 2016
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Atlanta People's Climate March and Climate Summits

  • Georgia State University (GA)

Sustainable Energy Tribe (SET), the largest student environmental group on Georgia State University's campus, worked to make climate change and environmental justice major themes for the year. These efforts ...

  • Posted June 16, 2016
  • Case Studies
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Sustainabiliy Impact Fund

  • Northwestern University (IL)

This project is a student-led initiative to allow Northwestern alumni to donate to supporting sustainability initiatives on our campus. Titled the Sustainability Impact Fund, this initiative includes directed fundraising efforts ...

  • Posted June 11, 2016
  • Case Studies
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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
  • Case Studies
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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
  • Case Studies
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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
  • Case Studies
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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
  • Case Studies
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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
  • Case Studies
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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 ...

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

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