Case Studies

Introduction

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

650
Total Resources
386
Organizations
17
Countries
47
U.S. States & Territories
7
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.

650 resources

From the Classroom to the COP: Equipping Emory Students to Become Climate Policy Leaders

  • Emory University (GA)

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) took effect in 1994, and its main objective is to lessen the impact of human interference that threatens the Earth’s ...


Student Sustainability Leadership Award

  • California Maritime Academy (CA)

California State University Maritime Academy in its continued effort to becoming most sustainable campus, engaging staff, faculty, and students, explored and identified water saving opportunities for the campus. The project ...


Campus Sustainability Achievement

  • California Maritime Academy (CA)

California State University Maritime Academy (Cal Maritime) participated in the Arbor Day Foundation program, managed by a non-profit conservation and education organization founded in 1972, and applied for the Tree ...


Hope and Empowerment: Navigating Grief, Climate Change, and Environmental Justice Through Train-the-Trainer Workshops

  • Portland Community College (OR)
  • Portland State University (OR)
  • Greater Portland Sustainability Education Network (GPSEN) (OR)

In these times of accelerating change, environmental crises, and social injustices, we are bombarded with negative news that can numb and overwhelm the spirit. How can we build hope and ...


Connecting Artists and Sustainability with the Arts of the Earth Festival at Bemidji State University

  • Bemidji State University (MN)

The Arts of the Earth Festival is a fun event to "Celebrate Art, Honor Mother Earth, and Inspire Community". This year's festival was held on Saturday, April 27th and ...


The Pyramid of Action: A Multifaceted Approach For Deeper Engagement

  • California State University, Chico (CA)

With many environmental issues overwhelming students today, it can be paralyzing. So, AS Sustainability utilized the “Pyramid of Action” strategy in semester-long campaigns, leading students from awareness, behavior change, education ...


Aggie Green Fund

  • Texas A&M University (TX)

Aggie Green Fund (AGF) is a funds granting program under the Office of Sustainability that invites sustainability ideas from all members of the University community (students, faculty, and staff) to ...


CU Boulder Animal Bedding Compost

  • University of Colorado Boulder (CO)

Animal vivariums on college campuses generate a significant amount of animal bedding waste every day. CU Boulder houses only small animal vivariums (mice, rats, etc.). The animal bedding generated at ...


The Searle Biodiesel Lab - Loyola University Chicago's Student-Run Biodiesel Program

  • Loyola University Chicago (IL)

The Biodiesel Lab is a student-run biodiesel production facility within Loyola University’s Institute of Environmental Sustainability. Starting from a single student’s idea over a decade ago, nearly 100 ...


Leveraging student leadership to build campus capacity for Sustainable Development Goals implementation: a case study on the University of Calgary’s Sustainable Development Goals Alliance.

  • University of Calgary (AB)

The Sustainable Development Goals Alliance (SDGA) is a student-led organization at the University of Calgary which seeks to improve campus and community collaboration towards the implementation of the seventeen Sustainable ...


Central College Tree Campus

  • Central College (IA)
  • Arbor Day Foundation (NE)

Central College is a leader in sustainability education, both in Iowa and the Midwest. For more than a century, Central students and staff have helped plant and care for trees ...


Central College Bee Campus

  • Central College (IA)
  • Bee City USA (NC)

Central College is a leader in sustainability education, both in Iowa and the Midwest. For more than a century, Central students and staff have prioritized sustainability at the college. After ...


WU January Hall Renovation: Journey from no certification to designed to achieve LEED v4 Platinum and beyond

  • Washington University in St. Louis (MO)

Constructed in 1922, Grace Valle January Hall housed the School of Law from the mid-1920s until the completion of the Seeley Mudd Law Building in the early 1970s. January Hall ...


Coalition building to create university-wide change

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

Two years ago, we formed the Rutgers Sustainability Coalition, a student-led group of representatives from about 20 student organizations working together to address the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. We ...


Students for Sustainability

  • University of Central Oklahoma (OK)

Students for Sustainability was established in 2016 as the University of Central Oklahoma's first and only sustainability oriented organization. The group was founded not only as an outlet for ...


Composting at Northwestern University Norris Center

  • Northwestern University (IL)
  • Real Food Challenge (MA)
  • Compass Group (NC)

The project consists of the successful implementation of a front-of-the-house composting program in Northwestern University's Norris Center food court dining area and the coordination of a series of experiments ...


UC Sustainable Procurement Program and Policy Overhaul

  • University of California, Office of the President (CA)

Purchasing departments, such as those of the University of California campuses, have embraced the responsibility and opportunity to leverage their purchasing power as a force for good. But assessing and ...


Thompson Rivers University Bikeshare and Employee E-bike Purchase Program

  • Thompson Rivers University (BC)

Thompson Rivers University began a simple bike share program with five bikes that was designed for students, staff and faculty to have access to bicycles for up to a week ...


Delivering difference: using e-bikes to deliver mail at the University of Washington

  • University of Washington, Seattle (WA)

With over 80,000 students, faculty, and staff on campus, it's difficult to comprehend the sheer number of packages, textbooks, course packets and dorm mail UW Mailing Services delivers ...


Hertiage building re-envisioned, modernized and integrated with a 21st-century addition to become an energy-efficient and sustainable living laboratory

  • Royal Roads University (BC)

The $24.3M Sherman Jen Building (SJB), which opened to students in September 2018, was a renovation and re-visioning project that repurposed an underutilized, energy inefficient, 3,120 square metre ...


Fighting Irish, Fighting Food Waste: Converting Food Waste into Energy at Notre Dame

  • University of Notre Dame (IN)

At Notre Dame food and hospitality are integral aspects of campus culture. Over the last three years, two student-centered projects aimed at fighting food waste will allow Notre Dame to ...


University of California’s Cool Campus Challenge

  • University of California, Office of the President (CA)

In 2019 the University of California launched the Cool Campus Challenge, an online competition between all ten campuses to engage students, faculty, and staff in the UC Carbon Neutrality initiative ...


The Impact of Solar-assistance on Electric Golf Carts

  • Georgia College & State University (GA)

In the Condensed Matter Research Lab at Georgia College, we conducted a real-world experiment to quantify the impact of vehicle-mounted solar panels. Our campus golf cart fleet consists of both ...


TRUE Zero Waste Platinum Certification, Chou Hall

  • University of California, Berkeley (CA)

Connie and Kevin Chou Hall is the newest building addition to the UC Berkeley Haas Business School. It is the first academic building in the world to achieve US Green ...


Combine biomass DES and Low Carbon Electrification approaches to eliminate 100% GHG emissions from natural gas

  • Thompson Rivers University (BC)

Thompson Rivers University (TRU) has met or exceeded Global, National and Provincial GHG reduction targets over past 10 years. Since 2010 TRU has reduced GHG emissions by more than 35 ...


Student Leaders Supporting Student Success

  • University of California, Merced (CA)

The Bobcat Pantry serves as a sustainable service addressing food insecurity while combating student huger and malnourishments. The space encourages students to implement health-conscious lifestyles to further their academic success ...


Do, Learn, Do: Expanding Green Roof Infrastructure at Notre Dame

  • University of Notre Dame (IN)

*See this story for more information: https://news.nd.edu/news/largest-roof-greenscape-in-indiana-lives-atop-notre-dames-joyce-center/ *

Athletics are key to campus life at the University of Notre Dame, as are the facilities that make ...


Cross-Campus and Community Collaborative Bikeshare

  • Champlain College (VT)
  • University of Vermont (VT)

Champlain College and UVM played an integral role in advancing the timeline of bringing bikeshare to Chittenden County. With almost 75% of active Greenride members being affiliates of UVM and ...


A New Zero Waste Goal for Division 1 Football Games

  • University of Texas at Austin (TX)

Lauren Lichterman, the Operations and Sustainability Coordinator for Intercollegiate Athletics at The University of Texas at Austin, is not one to stop and rest on her laurels. She used a ...


The Good Store

  • University of Northern British Columbia (BC)
  • Prince George Public Interest Research Group (BC)

The Good Store is a low waste shop established on the UNBC campus to provide all members of the community with access to affordable, healthy and sustainable food options. The ...


Low Carbon Electrification results in campus wide GHG reductions while adding a new building

  • Thompson Rivers University (BC)

Thompson Rivers University (TRU) has met or exceeded Global, National and Provincial GHG reduction targets over past 10 years. Since 2010 TRU has reduced GHG emissions by more than 35 ...


University Student Sustainability Conference

  • Universidad de Chile (Region Metropolitana)

The CEUS Congress (for its acronym in Spanish) is a space for convergence of young leaders from all over the country, where discussions are held on the different topics of ...


Fostering a Straw-Conscious University

  • Boston University (MA)

Our initiative worked to make Boston University a straw-conscious environment.
Since most recycling facilities are not equipped with the proper machinery to recycle plastic straws, we focused our campaign on ...


McHenry County College Composts! (Finally!)

  • McHenry County College (IL)

Composting has been a goal of the MCC Board of Trustees approved Sustainability Strategic Plan since 2012 and 2015. Based on a waste audit done several years ago, MCC’s ...


The McGill Staff Engagement Ladder

  • McGill University (QC)

Between 2016 and 2019, the McGill Office of Sustainability developed four separate engagement programs to increase collective sustainability actions for staff, students, and faculty. The programs were strategically developed to ...


Dollar Coffee Club

  • University of Montana- Missoula (MT)

The intent of the Dollar Coffee Club (DCC) is to leverage the powerful appeal of one dollar coffee to incentivize customers to participate in sustainability efforts through a quid pro ...


The Ripple Effect: Community Cultivated, Regionally Replicated

  • University of Louisiana at Lafayette (LA)

Last fall, the U.S. Global Change Research Program released “Volume II: Impacts, Risks, and Adaptation in the United States” from the Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4). It emphasizes that ...


NSCC Waste Diversion Initiative

  • Nova Scotia Community College (NS)

After establishing a baseline for the College’s waste diversion rates at our thirteen Campuses across the Province of Nova Scotia, NSCC’s sustainability office coordinated a waste diversion campaign ...


The Chemistry Behind Composting

  • Harper College (IL)

Harper College Facilities Management partnered with Harper’s Chemistry Department to begin a compost collection and research program on campus. Compost bins were built in-house on Harper’s grounds for ...


Our Solar Potential

  • University of Saskatchewan (SK)

Farm the Sun with Us is a term project led by students working on an assessment to determine the feasibility of implementing a campus solar farm. The project continues to ...


Ryerson University Road Salt Reduction Demonstration Project

  • Ryerson University (ON)
  • World Wildlife Fund (DC)

In the City of Toronto, more than 120,000 tonnes of road salt is applied each year. When snow and ice on our streets, sidewalks and parking lots melt, the ...


#LoveAMug: Reinvigorating a Reusable Mug Program

  • Princeton University (NJ)

In 2003, Princeton University Campus Dining (CD) introduced a 25 cent reusable mug discount in retail operations. Over the years, the program became stagnant and was applied to an average ...


Mainstreaming Biodiversity on Campus - Niagara College's BioBlitz Program

  • Niagara College Canada (ON)

The Niagara College BioBlitz program is part of a continuous focus at Niagara College on experiential learning and providing the opportunity to students and the community to use the campus ...


Students of Color Environmental Conference

  • University of California, Berkeley (CA)

The first ever Students of Color Environmental Conference (SCECon) was intended to bring together students of color from across California to connect and build with local environmental justice activists. This ...


This Way to Climate Action at Chico State

  • California State University, Chico (CA)

Students at CSU, Chico used the Cal-Adapt climate tools to forecast the future climate for the City of Chico, Butte County, and CSU, Chico, and project the climate impacts to ...


UVA Clark Hall Delta Force Renovations

  • University of Virginia (VA)

The University of Virginia's Office of Sustainability within the Facilities Management department developed and currently runs the Delta Force Initiative, an internal performance contracting program. that increases energy efficiency ...


Chandler-Gilbert Community College Food Waste Recycling Project

  • Chandler-Gilbert Community College (AZ)
  • Maricopa County Community College District Office (AZ)

The CGCC Food Waste Recycling Project is a grant-funded campus-wide ongoing collaborative project that offers deep, cross-disciplinary, experiential student learning via an innovative solution for CGCC’s food and green ...


Creating a focused Departmental Sustainability Plan for Residence Life

  • Texas A&M University (TX)

In 2018, the Department of Residence Life at Texas A&M University sought a new avenue to promote sustainability within the institution and, more specifically, their individual department. Working with Ayers-Saint ...


Fill Plates, Not Landfills: Implementing the Bobcat Eats Food Waste Awareness and Prevention Program

  • University of California, Merced (CA)

The Bobcat Eats Food Waste Awareness and Prevention Program is a collaboration between the University of California, Merced (UC Merced) and the Merced County Food Bank to reduce food waste ...


Columbia University transitions to electric intercampus buses to reduce emissions by 70%

  • Columbia University (NY)
  • New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) (NY)
  • New Flyer (MB)

In 2018, Columbia University introduced six new battery-electric transit-style buses to its intercampus shuttle network as a way to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from campus operations, improve local air ...