Research

Introduction

Conducting research is a major function of many colleges and universities. By researching sustainability issues and refining theories and concepts, higher education institutions can continue to help the world understand sustainability challenges and develop new technologies, strategies, and approaches to address those challenges.

1007 resources

Curriculum, Sustainability and Success: Your Curriculum Needs a Reality Check

  • AASHE (PA)
  • Sustainability Curriculum Consortium (MD)

This webinar is part of the joint SCC — AASHE series of webinars on sustainability in the curriculum

"Your Curriculum Needs a Reality Check" Wednesday, March 4, 2020 3:00 pm ...

  • Posted May 28, 2020
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Engaging Students in Citizen Science: Guiding Inquiry to Action

  • Teachers College, Columbia University (NY)

The webinar series -- Thinking Global, Educating Local -- is intended to serve as professional development for educators who are interested in reducing the ecological footprint of their school and enhancing their ...

  • Posted May 28, 2020
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Sustainable Engineering Cognitive Outcomes: Examining Different Approaches for Curriculum Integration

  • Arizona State University (AZ)
  • Colorado School of Mines (CO)
  • The Citadel (SC)
  • University of Pittsburgh (PA)

As continued globalization of the world’s economic, environmental, and societal interactions strains the planet to meet anthropogenic demands, universities are striving to integrate sustainability education into engineering curricula intended ...


Learning and Teaching Through the Online Environmental Justice Atlas: From Empowering Activists to Motivating Students

  • McGill University (QC)
  • Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (Barcelona)

The chapter analyzes how the Environmental Justice Atlas (EJAtlas.org), an online interactive platform developed to visualize and study struggles against environmental injustices worldwide, is used in higher education curricula ...


Alliances of Change Pushing Organizational Transformation Towards Sustainability across 13 Universities

  • University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna

Universities are expected to play a leading role in developing and maintaining sustainability. To contribute to a systemic and dynamic understanding of organizational change that is necessary in order to ...


(Dis)agreement over what? The challenge of quantifying environmental worldviews

  • University of Southern California (CA)

Ever since environmentalism emerged as a social movement, researchers have been trying to quantify the attitudes underlying environmental concern. From the 1970s through the early 2000s, the practice of measuring ...


University living learning labs: An integrative and transformative approach

  • La Trobe University (Victoria)
  • Universiti Teknologi Malaysia
  • International Islamic University Malaysia

Having the global movement of the University’s third mission of co-creation for sustainability, the living lab has mentioned as one of innovative and transformative approach for university response to ...


The Role of Universities in a Sustainable Society. Why Value-Free Research is Neither Possible nor Desirable

  • Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (Oberbayern)

The current climate crisis confronts us with a deep discrepancy between knowledge and action. Therefore, this article is looking for a readjustment of the relationship between science and society. The ...


Office of Sustainability Living Lab Case Study

  • Gonzaga University (WA)
  • Gonzaga Sustainable Energy (WA)

The Gonzaga University Office of Sustainability is the living lab for testing renewable energy technologies on Gonzaga’s campus. The purpose of this student initiative is to push for renewable ...


Swarthmore President's Sustainability Research Fellowship - Increasing Opportunities for Involvement with the Office of Sustainability

  • Swarthmore College (PA)

Purpose: To increase engagement with sustainability on campus by thinking about ways to improve existing internships, imagining new ways for students and student groups to get involved, and utilizing our ...


Toxic Art: Sustainable Treatment of Acid Mine Drainage for Pigment Production

  • Ohio University (OH)
  • Rural Action (OH)

This exemplary sustainability project utilizes an Acid Mine Drainage (AMD)-to-Paint Pigment treatment technology developed by Guy Riefler and John Sabraw at Ohio University to simultaneously benefit the environment, the ...


Putting sustainability research into practice on the university campus: An example from a Caribbean small island state

  • University of Zurich
  • University of Aruba

Despite increasing efforts to incorporate sustainability in curricula and practices of institutions of higher education, effective implementation remains challenging. The purpose of this study is to present an approach to ...


Enhancing Growth in Rooftop Gardens with CO2 from Human Respiration Inside Buildings

  • Boston University (MA)

Cities are essential areas for human society. They face many environmental challenges while providing opportunities for integrating human infrastructure with the surrounding environment. This study proposes a system whereby carbon ...


A Machine Learning Based Tool for the Assessment of Energy Consumption in K-12 Schools

  • Florida Institute of Technology (FL)

Energy costs are the second highest operational expense for K-12 schools in the United States. Improving energy efficiency and moving towards sustainable school buildings not only result in substantial cost ...


Learning to be an interdisciplinary researcher: incorporating training about dispositional and epistemological differences into graduate student environmental science teams

  • University of Nebraska - Lincoln (NE)
  • University of Texas at El Paso (TX)
  • Queensland University of Technology
  • Vincent Evaluation Consulting (OK)

The interdisciplinary research (IR) that is necessary for the creation of innovative solutions for the many complex environmental challenges facing society requires collaboration and the sharing and integration of knowledge ...


Learning to collaborate while collaborating: advancing interdisciplinary sustainability research

  • Leuphana University of Lüneburg

Interdisciplinary collaboration has become mainstream practice for sustainability researchers. However, interdisciplinary research teams encounter numerous challenges for which they may find themselves under-prepared. In this article, we challenge the often-held ...


Using Vertically Integrated Projects to embed research-based education for sustainable development in undergraduate curricula

  • Georgia Institute of Technology (GA)
  • University of Strathclyde

Purpose This paper aims to share the University of Strathclyde’s experience of embedding research-based education for sustainable development (RBESD) within its undergraduate curricula through the use of an innovative ...


An Examination of Higher Education Institutional Level Learning Outcomes

  • University of Louisville (KY)

In light of the rapid growth of the movement for educating students about sustainability, this study sought to understand the content and context of sustainability-related learning outcomes in higher education ...


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 ...


The Development of Higher Education for Sustainable Development Model (HESD): Critical Success Factors, Benefits, and Challenges

  • Universiti Sains Malaysia
  • Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (Selangor)
  • Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (Perak Darul Ridzuan)

The Malaysian government has placed greater emphasis on the sustainable development of higher education institutions during the last decade. Higher education is beginning to include sustainable development concepts in their ...


Societal effects of transdisciplinary sustainability research—How can they be strengthened during the research process?

  • Freie Universität Berlin
  • ISOE – Institute for Social-Ecological Research (Darmstadt)
  • Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre (SBiK-F) (Darmstadt)
  • Technische Universität Berlin (Berlin)

Transdisciplinary sustainability research aims to mitigate or to solve complex societal problems and advance the production of scientific knowledge. Reflexive approaches to transdisciplinary research processes are outlined to systematically strengthen ...


Project-Based Learning in a Transinstitutional Research Setting: Case Study on the Development of Sustainable Food Products

  • University of Graz
  • FH JOANNEUM University of Applied Sciences (Steiermark)

Project-based learning (PBL) has been thoroughly integrated in university sustainable development curricula, but has not been well-established in curricula used at pre-university educational levels. Integrating real-world settings into the teaching ...


Green Chemistry and Environmental Management Systems: Relationships, Synergies, Advantages and Barriers of Joint Implementation at Universities

  • Universidad San Jorge

Environmental Management Systems (EMS) based on international standard ISO 14001 are recognized as a tool to improve the environment and the sustainability of organizations. Green Chemistry (GC) seeks to reduce ...


Green entrepreneurship inclination among the younger generation: An avenue towards a green economy

  • Shah Abdul Latif University (Khairpur Mirs)
  • Al Yamamah University
  • University of Sindh (Sindh)

The current study sought to predict the inclination toward green entrepreneurship among the younger generation. The study employed a deductive approach by collecting cross‐sectional data. Bachelor and Master's ...


Engineers Changing the World: Education for Sustainability in Romanian Technical Universities—An Empirical Web-Based Content Analysis

  • Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu
  • Gheorghe Asachi Technical University of Iasi (Iași)
  • University Politehnica of Bucharest
  • Universitatea Tehnică din Cluj-Napoca (Cluj)

Without a doubt, we are living in interesting times, characterized by both continuous economic development and improved standard of living, but also uncertainty, increased pollution, and environmental degradation, which means ...


Sustainability of Indian management education institutions: Perspectives from leaders in academia

  • Malaviya National Institute of Technology Jaipur (Rajasthan)

Purpose The purpose of this paper is to explore perspectives of academicians in leadership positions in Indian business schools on the sustainability of management education institutions in India.

Design/methodology ...


Knowledge, Practice and Involvement of University Community in Environmental Activities Connected to Polystyrene

  • Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (Selangor)

This study can contribute to enhancing knowledge of the impact on polystyrene use and environmental care in the National University of Malaysia efforts to become a sustainable campus by 2020 ...


Learning to change: Transformative knowledge for building a sustainable bioeconomy

  • University of Hohenheim

The transition towards a bioeconomy is considered a powerful approach to combating current trends of unsustainability. To date, the concept has been widely perceived as a predominantly technical endeavor. This ...


Sustainability and procurement practices in higher education institutions: Barriers and drivers

  • Hamburg University of Applied Sciences
  • University of Passo Fundo
  • Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Federal University of Santa Maria
  • University of Winchester
  • University of the Aegean (Lesvos)

A review of the literature reveals the scant research on sustainable procurement in the public sector, and in particular higher education institutions (HEIs). In this context, this paper aims to ...


Sustainability science in education: analysis of master’s programmes’ curricula

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

Sustainability science is an emerging, free-standing scientific discipline. It has introduced a new approach to both sustainability research and educational programmes, while evoking novel perspectives to stronger societal contextualization. Among ...


Exploring and expanding transdisciplinary research for sustainable and just natural resource management

  • Dundalk Institute of Technology
  • Rhodes University
  • ​The Agricultural Research Council (Pretoria)

Transdisciplinarity is gaining acceptance in sustainability science research as an approach to work across disparate types of knowledge and practices in order to tackle complex social-ecological problems. On paper, transdisciplinarity ...


Assessment of Competences in Sustainability Management: Analyses to the Construct Dimensionality

  • University of Göttingen
  • DIPF Leibniz Institute for Research and Information in Education/DIPF Leibniz-Institut für Bildungsforschung und Bildungsinformation (Darmstadt)

The paper discusses an examination of the dimensions of a competence model for sustainability management. A central assumption is that the dimensions of the competence model differ according to knowledge ...


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 ...


Integrating Green and Sustainable Chemistry into Undergraduate Teaching Laboratories: Closing and Assessing the Loop on the Basis of a Citrus Biorefinery Approach for the Biocircular Economy in Brazil

  • Universidade Federal de São Carlos
  • University of York

One of the keys to achieving the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in education is to introduce novel pedagogical strategies into university curricula in order to promote an ...


Analysing the factors affecting the incorporation of sustainable development into European Higher Education Institutions' curricula

  • Gävle University College

There has been an increase in sustainable development (SD) integration into Higher Education Institutions' (HEIs) curricula. Several tools have been developed to assess SD in HEIs; however, only a few ...


Implementation of SDGs at the University of South Africa

  • University of South Africa

Purpose The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how universities can play a pivotal role in implementing sustainable development goals (SDGs). It recognises the advantage that universities have in ...


Preaching to the choir or composing new verses? Toward a writerly climate literacy in introductory undergraduate biology

  • Cornell University (NY)
  • University of Michigan (MI)

Climate change is one of the most pressing issues facing society today, yet a wide range of misconceptions exist in society about whether or why climate change is happening, what ...


Professional Aspirations as Indicators of Responsible Leadership Style and Corporate Social Responsibility. Are We Training the Responsible Managers that Business and Society Need? A Cross-national Study (Las aspiraciones profesionales como indicadores del estilo de liderazgo responsable y de la responsabilidad social corporativa. ¿Estamos formando a los directivos responsables que necesitan las empresas y la sociedad? Un estudio entre países)

  • Universidad Autonoma de Madrid (Madrid)

The relationship between responsible leadership (RL), identified from achievement expectations, and the importance attached to corporate social responsibility (CSR) was analyzed. In a survey of 1,833 business management undergraduates ...


Using research methods courses to teach students about sustainable development – a three-phase model for a transformative learning experience

  • Hochschule für Technik Stuttgart/University of Applied Sciences (HFT) (Stuttgart)

Purpose Learning about sustainable development in dedicated curricula can be beneficial for students’ personal and professional development and societies alike. However, for various reasons the implementation of sustainable development modules ...


Assessment of sustainability competencies: a literature review and future pathways for ESD research and practice

  • Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya
  • Universidad Camilo José Cela (Madrid)

Aim: This paper aims at reviewing existing theoretical frameworks in sustainability competencies and identifying suitable evaluation strategies and instruments for sustainability competencies assessment in the context of Education for Sustainable ...


Co-creating transdisciplinary global change research agendas in Finland

  • University of Helsinki

Co-creation principles have become prominent in the scientific disciplines that aim to respond to global sustainability challenges especially in the global south. This paper analyses a co-creation pilot of global ...

  • Posted April 17, 2020
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Barriers, potentialities, and actions for implementation of sustainable energy procedures in Brazilian federal universities

  • Federal University of Santa Maria

Many universities around the world have served as active centers for research on climate change. However, there are several barriers to their activities, stemming from the nature of research, resources ...

  • Posted April 17, 2020
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Students’ attitudes towards campus sustainability: A comparison among Jönköping University, Chalmers University of Technology, and University of Gothenburg

  • Jönköping University

The role of higher education institutions (HEIs) in promoting and supporting sustainability has outstretched over the past decades as a result of various declarations and commitments related to the need ...

  • Posted April 17, 2020
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The Perception of Sustainability in Finance Education from Faculty-Member Perspective

  • Uppsala University

This qualitative research aims to explore what different faculty-member at different Swedish and British Universities think about the role of sustainability in the finance industry and education. The investigation is ...

  • Posted April 17, 2020
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Embedding sustainable development in teacher education in the central region of Ghana

  • University of Iceland

Policy practitioners have acknowledged the imperative of reshaping education. Despite the campaign on the need to embed sustainability principles in education, there still exist gaps in studies which investigate teacher ...

  • Posted April 17, 2020
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The Effects of Energy Dashboards and Competition Programming on Cyclic Electricity Consumption on a College Campus

  • Western Michigan University (MI)

This report examined issues pertaining to the efficacy and cost effectiveness of energy dashboards in the effort to influence electricity-related behavior change on college campuses. Given the increasing popularity of ...

  • 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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Pre-service Teachers’ Knowledge and Perceptions of the Impact of Mitigative Climate Actions and Their Willingness to Act

  • Lappeenranta University of Technology
  • University of Eastern Finland

A 44-item questionnaire was created to examine pre-service teachers’ knowledge and perceptions of the impact of mitigative climate change actions and how willing they are to undertake these actions. Responses ...

  • Posted April 16, 2020
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Integrating sustainability into project-based undergraduate design courses

  • Istanbul Technical University

Although the methods and approaches of sustainable design have been developing for more than 20 years, their application in design education and the design process is still under-examined. This study ...

  • Posted March 6, 2020
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Spanish Universities’ Sustainability Performance and Sustainability-Related R&D+I

  • Universidad Autonoma de Madrid (Madrid)
  • Carlos III University of Madrid

For its scope and the breadth of its available resources, the university system is one of the keys to implementing and propagating policies, with sustainability policies being among them. Building ...

  • Posted March 6, 2020
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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).

Scores

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

Research Partners

Mary Ann Liebert Publishing

New York, NY
Business Affiliate

RRS

Ann Arbor, MI
Business Affiliate
RRS is a sustainability and recycling consulting firm that possess core strengths in recovery, organics and collaborative action development serving both public and private sectors.