Case Studies


AASHE’s case study library contains hundreds of detailed case studies on a wide variety of higher education sustainability initiatives from faculty development programs to whole campus energy retrofits to community partnerships. All case studies are entered in the annual AASHE Awards Program.

At a Glance

Total Resources
U.S. States & Territories
Canadian Provinces

Bars in graphs can be clicked to view resources that align with a particular category. Because a resource may be listed under multiple topics and disciplines, graph data may include higher total counts than what is indicated in total resources above.

727 resources

Sustainability@FIE ~ What can YOU do?' Holistic embedding and communication for maximum impact and engagement

  • Loyola Marymount University (CA)
  • FIE: Foundation for International Education (London)

Sustainability@FIE ~ What can YOU do?' - a holistic embedding and communication project, implemented in the 2013-2014 academic year in order to fully engage all Foundation for International Education (FIE) stakeholders ...

  • Posted March 28, 2014
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GreenHouse Food Buying Club

  • University of Vermont (VT)
  • Sodexo USA (MD)

A student initiated program that allows on-campus students from a specific Residential Learning Community (RLC) to use a portion of their mandated meal plans to purchase a "CSA". The "CSA ...

  • Posted March 28, 2014
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UCI Zero Waste Food Court Pilot Program

  • University of California, Irvine (CA)

The University of California, Irvine launched a pilot program for post-consumer waste diversion in retail dining in 2013. The program achieved Zero Waste under the University of California Office of ...

  • Posted March 28, 2014
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Green Networking Breakfast

  • University of South Carolina (SC)

In November 2013, the student organization Sustainable Carolina collaborated with the Green Quad Residence Hall at the University of South Carolina to host its first "Green Networking Breakfast." Students, faculty ...

  • Posted March 28, 2014
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Green Leadership Program

  • University of South Carolina (SC)

Sustainable Carolina's Green Leadership Program allows students to graduate with Leadership Distinction in "Professional and Civic Engagement." This comprehensive, interdisciplinary program broadens students' understanding of leadership and sustainability. During ...

  • Posted March 28, 2014
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Should Higher Ed. Go Carbon Neutral: A Look at Forest Carbon

  • Clarkson University (NY)

This project analyzes the benefits, barriers, and perceptions that institutions of higher education have for forest carbon offset projects. In particular the benefits of investing in certified offsets were weighed ...

  • Posted March 28, 2014
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Engineering Innovation Building (EIB) | University of Arizona - Where Big Ideas Come to Life

  • University of Arizona (AZ)

A collective team process to clearly state and re-identify "the users" as the main idea behind University of Arizona's Iconic Engineering Building. The users in lieu of Flexibility, Collaboration ...

  • Posted March 20, 2014
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Strategic Sustainability Planning to Synergistic Results

  • Lake Superior College (MN)

The purpose of the project was to engage primary campus stakeholders in a community training based on the internationally recognized Natural Step framework. Locally, Sustainable Twin Ports has been leading ...

  • Posted March 18, 2014
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Moving towards waste-free Move-out

  • Knox College (IL)

At the end of the school year, Knox college students, faculty, and staff join forces to collect and divert the many streams of resources (formerly classified as waste) generated during ...

  • Posted March 17, 2014
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Students for Environmental Sustainability

  • Kennesaw State University (GA)

The project is a student lead initiative aimed at improving culinary sustainability education and practices among students in both universities and k-12 institutions. The project has three primary focuses on ...

  • Posted March 8, 2014
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Advanced Climate Action: Stanford Energy and Climate Plan

  • Stanford University (CA)

Stanford has historically done much to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) impacts and in late 2007, the university set out to develop a formal action plan incorporating existing best practices in ...

Warren Wilson College Tree Inventory and Carbon Sequestration/Storage Analysis

  • Warren Wilson College (NC)

In a partnership with the North Carolina Forest Service Warren Wilson College Landscaping Crew students and staff conducted an assessment of the vegetation composition, function, and value of the urban ...

University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point LEED Gold Residence Hall

  • University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (WI)

The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point constructed the Suites @ 201 to further its efforts and dedication to sustainability. It is a model for green building standards and energy efficiency. It aligns ...

The University at Albany Liberty Terrace: Socially Conscious Building and Living

  • University at Albany (NY)

Liberty Terrace is the newest Residence Hall on the University's uptown campus with 500 apartment-style units. The building utilizes a ground source heat pump to provide 100% of its ...

Harnessing Seawater: An Innovative Thermal Exchange HVAC System

  • Southern Maine Community College (ME)
  • Harriman Architects and Engineers (ME)

The installation of a uniquely designed sea water heat exchange system in Casco Bay is an example of innovative technology recently implemented during the renovation of the Lighthouse Building at ...

Baylor University's Centralized Irrigation System

  • Baylor University (TX)

ARAMARK-Baylor Facility Services maintains all of the facilities and grounds on the Baylor University campus, including all irrigation systems. The former irrigation system for the campus of Baylor University was ...

Rutgers Solar Canopy Array

  • Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick Campus (NJ)

The project consists of installing an 8.01 MW solar Canopy array over 28 acres of parking lots on its Livingston Campus. This solar array provides 50% of the power ...

Social Learning for Sustainability

  • Western Michigan University (MI)

Western Michigan University and its Office for Sustainability apply social learning to leverage behavior change and bridge the "gap" between people's stated aspirations for a sustainable world and their ...

Innovative Water Reclamation Facility Comes to Emory

  • Emory University (GA)

The Southeastern United States and Atlanta in particular have a challenging water situation. With a rapidly growing population and a comparatively small watershed, measures are needed to better manage our ...

Saving Iowa's Remaining Natural Jewels - an ecological restoration and renewable energy partnership

  • University of Iowa (IA)

The University of Iowa (UI) will convert 40 percent of its energy portfolio to renewable energy by or before 2020. Central to this effort is developing regional and sustainable biomass ...

Dalhousie University's College of Sustainability: Transforming a campus for sustainability education

  • Dalhousie University (NS)

Over the past five years, Dalhousie University's College of Sustainability has developed and implemented an innovative model for sustainability education, which transforms university education to ensure all graduates have ...

Energy Matters- Comprehensive Energy Efficiency and Awareness at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

  • University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (WI)

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) faced increasing student enrollment, space demands, utility costs, and energy needs. By 2008, UWM was 5% above its 2005 baseline, when it was proposed by ...

Take Action on Waste: A Community Based Social Marketing Project in Student Residences

  • University of Alberta (AB)

Take Action on Waste began in 2010 as a project at the University of Alberta that aims to improve waste diversion behaviours in residences. Challenges with infrastructure and education at ...

Food Scraps Recovery at Kean University

  • Kean University (NJ)

Kean University began a comprehensive on-campus food scraps composting project in January 2010. Food scraps are processed in an in-vessel composting system that requires just five days to convert them ...

Energy Efficiency at Valencia College: A Case Study of Retrofits and Building Automation, Green Construction, and Behavioral Savings

  • Valencia College (FL)

Valencia College constructed 66 buildings between 1971 and 2012. Six buildings, 25% of total the college's 2.1 million square feet, were built to LEED Gold standards with energy ...

Visioning and Operationalizing a System-Wide $1 Billion Energy Campaign at the University of North Carolina.

  • Appalachian State University (NC)
  • University of North Carolina System Office (NC)

The Appalachian Energy Summit (AES) is the annual gathering of the University of North Carolina Energy Leadership Challenge. Through this initiative, campus leaders from across higher education in North Carolina ...

The BCIT Factor Four Project

  • British Columbia Institute of Technology (BC)

The goal of Factor Four at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) is to reduce energy and material throughput by a factor of four (75%) in an area of ...

Sustainable Urban Eco-Garden at St. Louis Community College

  • St. Louis Community College (MO)

St. Louis Community College, Florissant Valley campus, has created an educational, sustainable eco-garden that provides opportunities for participants to engage in raising food as well as providing native habitat for ...

Sustainable Packaging at the University of Florida

  • University of Florida (FL)

Gator Dining Services-ARAMARK at the University of Florida eliminated foam containers from campus dining operations, making UF the only ARAMARK foam- free dining operation in the south region. Foam products ...

Solar power, horticulture and culinary arts integration project

  • Metropolitan Community College (NE)

Metropolitan Community College in Omaha, Neb., is committed to being a center of sustainable education. MCC's approach to sustainability is comprehensive: we work on campus, in classrooms and in ...

Planning and launch of campus-wide, undergraduate major in sustainability

  • The Ohio State University (OH)

A campus-wide, undergraduate sustainability major was launched in Autumn semester 2012. Since then it has become one of the fastest growing majors on campus having enrolled over 70 students. A ...

Foothill College Sustainable Learning Community

  • Foothill College (CA)

As part of the President's Climate Commitment, the incorporation of sustainability into the general curriculum was identified as a campus goal. The Sustainable Learning Community project is not only ...

Implementation of a Student Sustainability Fund at Missouri State University

  • Missouri State University (MO)

The purpose of the Student Sustainability Fund (hereafter referred to as the SustainaFund) is to provide the means to implement student-initiated projects on the Missouri State University-Springfield campus that focus ...

Transitioning from Sustainability Planning to Meaningful Implementation

  • Ohio University (OH)

With the formal adoption of the Sustainability Plan occurring in Summer 2011 and the Climate Action Plan in Winter 2012, Ohio University is in its first year of transitioning from ...

Incorporating Sustainability Across the Entire Curricula

  • British Columbia Institute of Technology (BC)

In 2011, BCIT required all new and existing educational curricula to incorporate sustainability. This was achieved through a combination of changes in educational program development and review policies; capacity development ...

Communicating Carbon: Visualizing Energy Inputs, Activities, and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

  • University of Oregon (OR)

Sustainability decision-making requires both accurate and informative data, and effective stakeholder communication. Higher education sustainability professionals must not only estimate energy inputs, activities, and greenhouse gas emissions data, they must ...

  • Posted April 30, 2013
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University of California, Santa Barbara Water Action Plan

  • University of California, Santa Barbara (CA)

The UCSB Water Action Plan (WAP) has three major project goals: determine historical and current campus water use in order to understand water use trends over time, identify and assess ...

  • Posted April 17, 2013
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Jones County Junior College Energy Conservation Program

  • Jones County Junior College (MS)

We have implemented a campus wide behavior based program along with the addition of electrical sub-metering and water/sewer irrigation advanced controls. We have also teamed with the U.S ...

BYU-Idaho Recycling Center Program

  • Brigham Young University, Idaho (ID)

The point of this project was to use the recycling facilities that have been established at BYU-Idaho to partner with the City of Rexburg and expand the recycling program to ...

  • Posted Nov. 19, 2012
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University of Iowa Information Technology Facility

  • University of Iowa (IA)

The University of Iowa (UI) Information Technology Facility is believed to be the first educational institution data center in the nation certified LEED Platinum, and is the first LEED Platinum ...

  • Posted July 27, 2012
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Center for Design Research

  • University of Kansas (KS)

The Center for Design Research, located on the site of the former historic Chamney Dairy Farm in Lawrence, Kansas, is a response to the emerging culture and support of sustainability ...

  • Posted July 27, 2012
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Sustainability Innovation in Practice: Western's Collaborative Planning Results in Living Lab Model for Sparta Public Safety Training Facility

  • Western Technical College (WI)

Western expanded its Sparta(WI) campus to consolidate its Public-Safety Programs on one campus reducing the need for students to travel 35 miles to Western's campus in La Crosse ...

  • Posted July 27, 2012
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BHCC Health and Wellness Center

  • Bunker Hill Community College (MA)
  • DiNisco Design Partnership (MA)

The Health and Wellness Center at Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC) is a e 48,000 square-foot structure provides "smart classrooms," spacious offices, student study lounges, flexible state-of-the-art "sim" labs ...

  • Posted July 27, 2012
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Galileo's Pavilion

  • Johnson County Community College (KS)
  • University of Kansas (KS)

The goals of the Johnson County Community College Center for Sustainability, combined with the need for additional classrooms at the ever-expanding college, led to a unique opportunity to create inspired ...

  • Posted July 27, 2012
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Southwest Recreation Center Expansion - University of Florida

  • University of Florida (FL)

Southwest Recreation Center was expanded 2009-2010 and continues to be the most popular active recreation facility on the University of Florida campus. This facility is a modern laboratory for highly ...

  • Posted July 27, 2012
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Sustainability and Integrated Campus Planning at UCLA

  • University of California, Los Angeles (CA)

Planning at UCLA systematically uses the LEED rating system to advance campus sustainability goals and to challenge project design teams to achieve significant efficiencies on campus. The comprehensive nature of ...

  • Posted July 27, 2012
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Diana Chapman Walsh Alumnae Hall

  • Wellesley College (MA)
  • Ann Beha Architects (MA)

Alumnae Hall has had little or no upgrades to HVAC systems and interior finishes since it was built in 1932. This project included a complete gut renovation of all building ...

  • Posted July 25, 2012
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Payne Family Native American Center

  • University of Montana (MT)

The Payne Family Native American Center, the first of its kind in the nation, is an excellent example of sustainability in practice. This symbolically rich building provides a place for ...

  • Posted July 24, 2012
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Apogee Stadium

  • University of North Texas (TX)
  • HKS Architects (TX)

Completed in fall 2011, the 30,000-seat Apogee Stadium is the first LEED Platinum collegiate football stadium in the world. The stadium features luxury suites, an amenity-filled club level, a ...

  • Posted July 24, 2012
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Linde + Robinson Laboratory for Global Environmental Science

  • California Institute of Technology (CA)
  • Architectural Resources Group (CA)

This groundbreaking project rehabilitated a 1932 astrophysics laboratory at Caltech into a cutting-edge center for research and instruction in global environmental science. The $35 million rehabilitation preserved the significant architectural ...

  • Posted July 24, 2012
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