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

730
Total Resources
421
Organizations
18
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.

730 resources

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 ...


Eating Green

  • Harvard University (MA)

I created a guide to plant-based eating for students on Harvard's campus. Unfolding over the course of several months, this pamphlet translated into 2,000 hard copies and a ...


UC Irvine’s Transition from a Bio-Diesel to Electric Transit Fleet

  • University of California, Irvine (CA)

The University of California, Irvine (UCI) is the first college campus in the nation to transition to a fully-electric bus fleet. The student-funded and student-operated Anteater Express campus shuttle service ...


Climate Change Escape Room

  • Harvard University (MA)

In April 2019, the Resource Efficiency Program (REP) constructed and staffed a climate change themed escape room. Each minute in the room equated to four years of climate change impacting ...


STARS Report as a Framework for Campus Sustainability.

  • The University of Texas at Dallas (TX)

The Eco Rep program at the University of Texas at Dallas expanded campus sustainability efforts by using AASHE STARS reporting as a framework for new student run initiatives and projects ...


Creating a Culture of Sustainability Through Energy Conservation at Abilene Christian University

  • Abilene Christian University (TX)

Abilene Christian University (ACU) is a diverse, welcoming, academically rigorous community redefining what it means to be a Christian university in the 21st century. Our faith-based education goes beyond academics ...


BCIT’s Sustainable Infrastructure Project wins Envision Gold

  • British Columbia Institute of Technology (BC)

The North Campus Infrastructure Project (NCIP) at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) in Burnaby, British Columbia, is an ambitious and forward-thinking initiative that leverages the opportunity of infrastructure ...


Generating Positive Community Energy with Millersville University's Zero Energy Lombardo Welcome Center

  • Millersville University (PA)

Millersville University leveraged the positive energy performance, utility rebates and cost savings associated with its new zero energy Lombardo Welcome Center to establish a fund that supports community engagement related ...


University of Houston Tree Inventory

  • University of Houston (TX)

There is an old saying that to plant a tree is the most optimistic act a person can do. This is because it takes so long for trees to grow ...


Recycled Water Innovation at San Jose State University

  • San Jose State University (CA)

San Jose State University has a central plant that provides utilities (electricity, steam, and chilled water) to its main campus. It has been a customer of South Bay Water Recyclers ...


Starting a Sustainable Revolution in Campus Laboratories

  • University of Alabama at Birmingham (AL)

UAB Green Labs Program is an institution-wide, voluntary program designed to reduce the university’s environmental footprint while simultaneously reducing operating costs of research buildings. The program accomplishes its goals ...


Addressing Compost Contamination Through Systems Thinking

  • University of Wisconsin-Madison (WI)

Discover UW-Madison’s compost collection journey! The UW-Madison (UW) began composting its food scraps at its agricultural research station just off campus in 2009. Since then, the UW has overcome ...


The WinterGreen Project

  • University of Manitoba (MB)

Wintergreen Project aims to develop technology needed to address the Northern Food Crisis by using hydroponic technologies to grow food in a shipping container


A High Performance Campus Building at Ozyegin University

  • Ozyegin University
  • University of Zaragoza
  • Bg Mi̇marlik Müşavi̇rli̇k Li̇mi̇ted Şi̇rketi̇ (BDesign)
  • Fiba Holding
  • Fundacion Circe Centro De Investigacion De Recursos Y Consumos Energeticos (CIRCE)
  • DIRCO S.R.L.
  • SP Sveriges Tekniska Forskningsinstitut Ab (SP)
  • Vue Sur Mons S.A (VSM)
  • D´appolonia Spa (Dappo)
  • Acciona Infraestructuras S.A. (Acciona)
  • Université de Mons
  • Imprima Costruzioni Srl (Imprima)
  • Derome Hus Ab (Derome)
  • M5
  • Ingenieria Y Control Electronico, S.A. (Ingecon)
  • Bureau D'architectes Format D2 Sprl (FD2)
  • Intesasanpaolo Eurodesk S.P.R.L. (ISPE)

This AASHE application is about a high-performance energy-efficient sustainable building of The School of Foreign Languages (SCOLA) at the Ozyegin University (OzU) Campus as a sustainability initiative OzU has constructed ...


Founder, Students on Sustainability

  • University of Calgary (AB)

I founded Students on Sustainability, a student society at the University of Calgary that educates grade school students on sustainability topics linked to climate change, and supports student action projects ...


British Columbia (BC) Cool Campus Challenge

  • British Columbia Institute of Technology (BC)
  • University of British Columbia (BC)
  • Selkirk College (BC)
  • Thompson Rivers University (BC)
  • Simon Fraser University (BC)
  • University of British Columbia Okanagan (BC)

The BC Cool Campus Challenge (the Challenge) was launched in 2019 as a province-wide energy conservation challenge led by five post-secondary institutions in British Columbia, Canada. This was the first ...


Healthy Beverage Initiative: UBC Drinks Tap Water

  • University of British Columbia (BC)
  • University of British Columbia Okanagan (BC)

Bottled beverages are packaged in single-use plastic & often loaded with sugar. They're harmful to both our environment and our health.

UBC launched a Healthy Beverage Initiative (HBI) to ...


San Bernardino Community College’s Journey to sustainability and achieving Zero Net Energy

  • Arup (NY)
  • San Bernardino Community College District (CA)

In San Bernardino Community College District (SBCC) pursuit to lead the journey in sustainability, SBCC committed itself back in 2010 to a “Sustainability Plan”. This commitment started at its Crafton ...


Mail and Courier Sustainability Project

  • University of Rochester (NY)

Patricia Van Valkenburgh, University of Rochester Class of 2019, developed, implemented, and completed an initiative to reduce gas emissions from the University Mail Services (UMS) mail fleet, which had recently ...


Integrating Sustainability into Regional Accreditation Processes

  • Johnson County Community College (KS)

As part of its regional reaccreditation process with the Higher Learning Commission, Johnson County Community College has for the past several years participated in the Academic Quality Improvement Program, or ...


Seattle University’s Decision to Divest from Fossil Fuels

  • Seattle University (WA)

One of Seattle University’s largest accomplishments in sustainability leadership has been the university’s recent decision to divest from fossil fuels. In September 2018, after six arduous years of ...