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

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
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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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Eco-friendly Lighting at the Smith College Museum of Art

  • Smith College (MA)

Beginning in 2014, after several years of study and preparation, the Smith College Museum of Art replaced all of the incandescent lights in galleries, classrooms, and other displays with energy-efficient ...

  • Posted June 10, 2016
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Empowering Students, Sustaining the University: The Southwestern Environmental Studies Capstone Experience

  • Southwestern University (TX)

Southwestern University’s Environmental Studies department has created a unique curricular program for their capstone students that allows them to identify aspects of the university where the social, economic, and ...

  • Posted June 10, 2016
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First Student Sustainability Symposium

  • Stevens Institute of Technology (NJ)
  • New Jersey Higher Education Partnership for Sustainability (NJ)

Innovation of Sustainable Communities was a unique symposium organized by students who are passionate about sustainability. Anyone who shares the same passion with them, was welcome to attend! The symposium ...

  • Posted June 10, 2016
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Carbon Neutrality at Université Laval

  • Universite Laval (QC)

As the first voluntarily carbon neutral university in Canada, Université Laval (UL) made sure its process was transparent so that any organization looking to combat climate change could refer to ...

  • 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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Implementing Single Stream Recycling at Bryant University

  • Bryant University (RI)

The problem is that students don’t understand what single stream recycling is, and as freshman students enter Bryant University they are taught to throw both their trash and recycling ...

  • 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
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RIT FoodShare

  • Rochester Institute of Technology (NY)

RIT FoodShare is an initiative on the RIT campus that has been established to address food insecurity and food waste. It is both a campus food pantry and a facebook ...

  • Posted June 10, 2016
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Duke Water Reclamation Pond

  • Duke University (NC)

After a severe drought in 2007, Duke spearheaded water reclamation projects across campus. The 5.5 acre reclamation pond collects storm water from 22% of Duke's main campus, over ...

  • Posted June 10, 2016
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Integrated educational food garden and composting

  • California State University, Northridge (CA)

Striving towards zero waste and with a close-the-loop philosophy, CSUN students are diverting over 35,000 pounds of pre-consumer waste/year and turning it back into food via an on ...

  • Posted June 10, 2016
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Plant-Powered Dining @ Cornell University

  • Cornell University (NY)

Student Sustainability coordinators sought to do something in line with these initiatives at Cornell. Many universities have adopted versions of a “Meatless Monday” program, or have an all-vegetarian dining hall ...

  • Posted June 10, 2016
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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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Composting for a Greener Campus: the Texas State University Bobcat Blend program

  • Texas State University, San Marcos (TX)

Bobcat Blend is a faculty managed, student-run and grant-supported research and teaching-oriented waste management campus composting program at Texas State University. The goals of the organization are to teach students ...

  • 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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UW–Madison Receipt Reduction Project

  • University of Wisconsin-Madison (WI)

Over a span of two years, teams of students, faculty, and staff at the University of Wisconsin–Madison eliminated mandatory receipt printing at campus dining centers, restaurants, markets, and cafes ...

  • 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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Hawaii Pacific University Loa Campus: Promoting Energy Efficiency and Conservation in the Office

  • Hawaii Pacific University (HI)

In order to promote sustainability throughout campus and engage in a behavior change process that is both research intensive and action oriented, the Green Office Program of Hawaii Pacific University ...

  • Posted June 10, 2016
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Union College's Presidential Green Grants: Empowering our community to make a more sustainable world

  • Union College - NY (NY)

Our greatest resource as an institution is the creativity and energy of our community. Union College’s Presidential Green Grant (PGG) program leverages this creativity and energy by supporting novel ...

  • Posted June 10, 2016
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Bagging the Disposable Plastic Bag

  • Case Western Reserve University (OH)
  • Bon Appétit Management Company

The Student Sustainability Council at Case Western Reserve University removed disposable plastic bags from campus dining locations and replaced them with reusable bags.

  • 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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Learning Outcomes and Assessment for Undergraduate Students

  • James Madison University (VA)

James Madison University (JMU) developed student learning outcomes and a corresponding assessment instrument to measure the change in undergraduate students’ environmental stewardship reasoning and knowledge over time. In consultation with ...

  • Posted June 10, 2016
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Cedar Valley College a Center of Excellence of Sustainability in South Dallas, TX.

  • Cedar Valley College - DCCCD (TX)

The Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD) consists of seven campuses enrolling 85,000 students from Dallas County and beyond. Cedar Valley College (CVC), one of the seven DCCCD campuses ...

  • Posted June 10, 2016
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Brown's- A California Cafe

  • University of California, Berkeley (CA)

This August, Cal Dining opened brown’s- a california café. By design, over 80% of the ingredients used are sourced locally from within 250 miles of the UC Berkeley campus ...

  • Posted June 10, 2016
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Institutional Framework for Student-Led Sustainability Initiatives

  • University of Nebraska - Lincoln (NE)

The Environmental Sustainability Committee (ESC) is a self-sustaining committee within the Association for Students of the University of Nebraska (ASUN), otherwise known as UNL’s Student Government. The framework of ...

  • Posted June 10, 2016
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UTRGV Campus Tree Care Report: Proposal for sustaining a healthy and vibrant campus community forest

  • University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (TX)

The benefits the forest will provide are myriad. Large trees give us a sense of place and belonging by ensuring landmarks for the future, and add aesthetic beauty to the ...

  • Posted June 10, 2016
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Restructuring our Sustainability Advisory Committee to Increase Stakeholder Engagement and Advance Sustainability

  • Missouri State University (MO)

In support of the University’s Sustainability Vision Statement, the Sustainability Advisory Committee created four new subcommittees, corresponding to the major STARS categories: Academics, Engagement, Operations and Planning and Administration ...

  • Posted June 10, 2016
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Fully Online MA in Sustainable Design Program

  • Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MN)

MCAD’s online Master of Arts in Sustainable Design (MASD) program was developed for busy working professionals and offers small classes, peer-to-peer interaction and engagement with renowned faculty. The program ...

  • Posted June 10, 2016
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UBC Okanagan Whole Systems Infrastructure Plan - Aspiring toward Regenerative Sustainability

  • University of British Columbia (BC)

This case study describes how UBC Okanagan created and leveraged an opportunity to develop an innovative, holistic campus sustainability plan that responds to UBC’s regenerative aspirations; what the Plan ...

  • Posted June 10, 2016
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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
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UMass Amherst Goes Solar All Over

  • University of Massachusetts Amherst (MA)

In early 2016, UMass Amherst became the first campus in the UMass System to install a solar parking lot canopy system on its campus. The project, located at the Robsham ...

  • Posted June 10, 2016
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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
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The Virginia Tech Green RFP Program

  • Virginia Tech (VA)

Student engagement is an important factor in advancing sustainability at Virginia Tech. The University created the “Request for Proposal for Sustainability Initiatives from Student Organizations Program (Green RFP Program)” to ...


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 ...


Worcester Polytechnic Institute Bike Share Program

  • Worcester Polytechnic Institute (MA)

In 2014 a student group researched transportation alternatives on campus and recommended a community bike share program. In 2015, another student group further developed the bike share option by conducting ...


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 ...


Implementing Sustainability in the Classroom at Université Laval

  • Universite Laval (QC)

Université Laval has embraced a global approach to sustainability education. Although sustainability has been addressed in the classroom by individuals in the past, it is now being articulated with a ...


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 ...


Lowell Canal Bridges TIGER Grant: Campus-Community Partnerships Leveraging Transformative Change

  • University of Massachusetts Lowell (MA)

The University of Massachusetts Lowell (UMass Lowell) is a fast growing university nestled within our host community of the City of Lowell, Massachusetts. Lowell enjoys an authentic urban character structured ...


Assessing Student Sustainability Knowledge

  • California State University, Northridge (CA)

To improve sustainability knowledge of undergraduates, CSUN has added course offerings in sustainability in recent years. In order to assess the baseline knowledge of the general student population and the ...


Western's Water Management Program

  • Western University (ON)

Western University has over 90 buildings and most of them didn’t have a water meter. Only those buildings with a direct feed from the City had a meter. In ...


University of Minnesota, Morris student leads implementation of the Student Engagement Leadership Forum on Sustainability (SELFsustain) across the University of Minnesota-system

  • University of Minnesota, Crookston (MN)
  • University of Minnesota, Duluth (MN)
  • University of Minnesota, Morris (MN)
  • University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (MN)
  • University of Minnesota, Rochester (MN)

The University of Minnesota (U of M) is leading the way in cultivating student-driven sustainability leadership across Minnesota -- from the prairies to Lake Superior. For five years, U of M ...


University of La Verne Sustainability Challenge 2016

  • University of La Verne (CA)

University of La Verne organized a Sustainability Challenge with the theme of electricity conservation in Spring of 2016 to promote sustainability for the campus community at large.


Encouraging a Culture of Laboratory Sustainability: A Case Study from the University of Texas at Austin

  • University of Texas at Austin (TX)

Labs comprise about 20% of the floor area at the University of Texas at Austin but account for an estimated 30% of the campus energy consumption. Furthermore, they generate large ...


CSUN's Approach to Water Conservation Through an Irrigation System Upgrade

  • California State University, Northridge (CA)

California State University, Northridge is located in Southern California, an arid region that has been in a drought for several years. With the drought conditions continuing all Californians have been ...


Development of a Carbon Capital Methodology for use by the Higher Education Community

  • Ball State University (IN)

Over a multiyear period, Ball State University collaborated in the development and piloted the implementation of a new methodology by which colleges and universities can qualify their carbon reduction credits ...


Avoiding Chemical Flame Retardants on Campus

  • Harvard University (MA)

Harvard University’s Sustainability Plan, created in partnership with faculty, students, and staff, is rooted in a sustainable development vision focused on enhancing community and individual well-being within and across ...


Raise Your Voice: Environmental Justice at Capilano

  • Capilano University (BC)

The idea for this event was to have an open idea sharing and focusing event regarding sustainability and environmental justice on campus. It was a chance to bring students together ...


Sustainable Carolina Farm and Garden Hydroponics

  • University of South Carolina (SC)

Sustainable Carolina is a student run organization within the University of South Carolina, working to better our campus by making it more sustainable. We work with students, staff, professors, and ...