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.

483 resources

University of Vermont Eco-Reps Composting Campaign

  • University of Vermont (VT)

At the University of Vermont (UVM), the Recycling and Waste Management program and the UVM Eco-Reps have identified a lack of understanding of composting within on-campus residential halls. Although composting ...

  • Posted March 5, 2018
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University of Vermont Eco-Reps "EcoWare, Everywhere!" Campaign

  • University of Vermont (VT)

The University of Vermont (UVM) implemented reusable EcoWare to-go containers in retail locations 2011. Data collected from the past 4 years has shown that EcoWare uses became concentrated in residential ...

  • Posted March 5, 2018
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Engaging Chemeketa Community College through Collaborative Community Art with an International Focus

  • Chemeketa Community College (OR)

For the 2017 Earth Day event, Chemeketa created a collaborative Earth Day Art Installation based on the story of Sadako Sasaki and the 1,000 paper cranes. Sustainability, the Associated ...

  • Posted March 5, 2018
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Recovery and Reuse; On-Campus and Off

  • Rochester Institute of Technology (NY)

Many of the challenges sustainability seeks to address can be challenging to visualize. Moreover, the scale of these challenges can stifle the motivation to act before one even begins. These ...

  • Posted March 5, 2018
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University of Regina's Print Optimization Program

  • University of Regina (SK)

The Print Optimization Program originally started as the University's attempt to manage the number of print devices that we had on campus. Almost every faculty and staff member had ...

  • Posted Feb. 28, 2018
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Point Loma Nazarene University's Food Recovery Network

  • Point Loma Nazarene University (CA)

Point Loma Nazarene University’s Food Recovery Network was started by a student as a means of reducing food waste on campus as well as supporting the local community. With ...

  • Posted Feb. 28, 2018
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Creating a Healthy, Environmentally Responsible and Socially Just Campus Food System

  • California State University, Northridge (CA)

Description In 2016, a year-long study release by the California State University (CSU) found that 24 percent of our system's 460,000 students were food insecure. To address this ...

  • Posted Feb. 28, 2018
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Arizona State University Urban Forestry and Carbon Offsets Pilot

  • Arizona State University (AZ)

In 2017, the University Sustainability Practices (USP) office at Arizona State University (ASU) piloted a new urban forestry program to explore the viability of generating carbon offsets through local tree ...

  • Posted Feb. 15, 2018
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In-Vessel Composting Trials – Ingeo Compostable Products

  • Arizona State University (AZ)

Arizona State University's University Sustainability Practices office partnered with a variety of ASU departments, NatureWorks, LLC, the City of Tempe, and DTEnvironmental to test the compostability of compostable serviceware ...

  • Posted Feb. 15, 2018
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SCORE! A free-cycling event at the University of Alberta – Augustana Campus

  • University of Alberta (AB)

SCORE! is… A pop-up swap. A store where everything is free. A community marketplace of reciprocity. A redistribution of goods. Alternative economics. A party!! SCORE! is all of the above ...

  • Posted Jan. 25, 2018
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Talking Truth: Finding Your Voice Around the Climate Crisis

  • University of Massachusetts Amherst (MA)

Talking Truth was initiated in fall 2015 to support and build on understanding of climate disruption. Our experiential events employ storytelling, film screenings, art making, author talks, and reflective writing ...

Implementing a Sustainability Internship Program at Siena Heights University

  • Siena Heights University (MI)

Michigan is experiencing numerous environmental health threats, and the SHU Sustainability Internship Program was created to engage students to address environmental challenges. Using the AASHE Guide to Creating & Managing ...

Kauai Community College Tiny House Hydro Electric Micro Grid Project

  • Kauai Community College (HI)

During the Summer of 2016 a free Tiny House building course was offered free to the community of Kauai. The course ran for five days and focused on building the ...

Swarthmore Carbon Charge Program

  • Swarthmore College (PA)

Swarthmore’s Carbon Charge seeks to systematically incorporate the unfelt global impacts of our emissions into our decision-making, both individually and as a college.

The scope of the work necessary ...

University of California, Irvine's Pump2Plug Electric Vehicle Adoption Program

  • University of California, Irvine (CA)

The UCI Pump2Plug Electric Vehicle (EV) Adoption Program is widely recognized as the first university incentive programs for EV adoption through the replacement of gas-powered vehicles with electric vehicles. With ...

Building as a Living Laboratory: The Integrated Technology Center

  • Western Technical College (WI)

When you enter an academic building on a college campus, you expect that learning takes place there. Desks and labs, offices and hallways, students and faculty—all are standard. But ...

University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point Designated as the 40th Fair Trade University in the U.S.

  • University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (WI)

The University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point, part of a national initiative by Fair Trade Campaigns to engage college/university students in issues of global poverty, officially received designation as ...

Modern Sustainability

  • Kauai Community College (HI)

RECENT PROJECTS: Beach Cleanup Caddy (complete - STEM grant award pending - awaiting field testing) Assembled a cart system specifically designed for beach cleanups, outfitted with a detachable metal waste bin, wheel ...

Natural Herbicides Project

  • Georgia Institute of Technology (GA)
  • Engineers for a Sustainable World (DC)

The Natural Herbicides Project focuses on addressing the issue of the usage of chemical herbicides with detrimental health and environmental impacts on- and off-campus. Our team developed an effective natural ...

Penstemon 2.0

  • Santa Clara University (CA)

From the outset, our goal has been to foster a culture of sustainability at the University by focusing on our curriculum as an interdisciplinary community of scholars. SCU has used ...

Art as the Catalyst for Critical Sustainability Conversations

  • University at Albany (NY)

The University at Albany is proud to submit an application that illustrates our use of art as the catalyst for critical sustainability conversations. This was accomplished via two main projects ...

Students Contribute Record-Breaking $6 Million to Student Green Energy Fund

  • University of South Florida (FL)

The purpose of the Student Green Energy Fund is to provide an opportunity for students, faculty, and staff to present formal proposals to a governing Fund Council with the goal ...

Report of the Smith College Study Group on Climate Change

  • Smith College (MA)

In this report, the Study Group on Climate Change (SGCC) presents its recommendations for climate action by Smith College. By implementing these recommendations, the college will coherently integrate climate action ...

McGill University’s Fairtrade Campus Commitment: Roddick Roast Coffee

  • McGill University (QC)
  • Fairtrade Canada (ON)
  • The Canadian Fair Trade Network (BC)

In June 2013, McGill University was given the designation of Fair Trade Campus by the Canadian Fair Trade Network (CFTN). This means that 100% of coffee sold on campus is ...

Branding our Waste: Creating College-Specific Recycling Signage through Collaboration

  • Red River College (MB)

In an ongoing effort to improve the effectiveness of our waste and recycling programs, Red River College set about redesigning our hallway waste and recycling signage (Pitch In signs) in ...

Sustainability Weekend Conference, Carnegie Mellon University

  • Carnegie Mellon University (PA)

‘Sustainability Weekend’ is a student-initiative held on Carnegie Mellon’s campus in Pittsburgh, PA, with the goal to promote inter-disciplinary conversations to raise awareness about the many sustainability issues surrounding ...

Black Hills Food Hub: rural food hubs serving a wider demographic

  • Black Hills State University (SD)

Black Hills State University (BHSU) and Spearfish community partners are seeking to create a culture that supports and values local food in order to expand the reach and depth of ...

Cascadia Campus Climate Conversation (C4)

  • Cascadia College (WA)

-On October 25th, 2016, the senior cohort of the Bachelors of Applied Science in Sustainable Practices (BASSP) program at Cascadia College, Bothell, WA, held the first campus dialogue to discuss ...

How Middlebury College Achieved Carbon Neutrality

  • Middlebury College (VT)

This past winter, Middlebury College achieved an ambitious goal of carbon neutrality that had been officially set in 2007. When it became clear that the College’s initial of goal ...

Making Local, Healthy, Sustainable Delicious: The How-To Guide for Foodservice Operators

  • University of Massachusetts Amherst (MA)

The How-To Guide for Foodservice Operators is a manual for restoring real food and regional food systems to the right place in our society. The guide documents UMass Dining’s ...

Novel Solution to University's Pool and Shower Heating

  • University of South Florida (FL)

The plan is to install a localized, state of the art heating system for Campus Recreation’s pool and shower systems. The project would involve disconnecting the central boiler heating ...

Students Spark Solar

  • University of Minnesota, Duluth (MN)

A group of ten students focused in various areas of study from across the University of Minnesota Duluth campus came together to form the Solar University Network Delegation and advance ...

SFU’s 20-Year Sustainability Vision and Goals Case Study Submission

  • Simon Fraser University (BC)

On the 50th Anniversary of the institution, SFU launched an ambitious engagement process to map out and envision what a “sustainable SFU” would look like in 20 years. The yearlong ...

Energy and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reductions at the University of Calgary

  • University of Calgary (AB)

At University of Calgary, our buildings are very large contributors to our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. With the goal of being a leading Canadian post-secondary institution in the area of ...

COAST – a groundbreaking alternative transportation program at the University of Houston

  • University of Houston (TX)

COAST- Coogs on Alternative Sustainable Transportation, a new alternative transportation incentive program developed by the University of Houston’s Parking and Transportation Services department, is revolutionizing the way people commute ...

Promoting Sustainability through Coordination of Campus-Wide Conservation Practices

  • University of South Alabama (AL)

While the University of South Alabama (USA) has a long history of independent sustainability ventures, it is only in last 18 months that sustainability as a program has become a ...

Revisiting Service Learning Through Food Equity, One Outcome from the Chemeketa - Marion Polk Food Share Youth Partnership

  • Chemeketa Community College (OR)

Chemeketa Student Retention and College Life (SRCL) periodically offers free leadership courses to students. Chemeketa’s dreams of a student farm for the Agricultural Sciences program are still a few ...

Sustainable Biodiversity on the Georgia Southern Campus

  • Georgia Southern University (GA)

Our project recorded the biodiversity of vertebrates on the 700 acre rural campus of Georgia Southern University. Faculty, graduate students and undergraduate students were involved in collecting the data. Students ...

Sustainability Assessment Report for Philadelphia University by using AASHE STARS Credit System

  • Philadelphia University (PA)

This project is a thesis research on sustainability at Philadelphia University. The University is known regionally for its sustainability initiatives and education. The university has won several awards and recognitions ...

Transforming Campus Food Service with Anytime Dining

  • University of Maryland, College Park (MD)

The Department of Dining Services at University of Maryland (UMD) set a goal to change the student culture and experience on campus through the Anytime Dining residential dining program. The ...

The New Eco-Rep Model: Unifying Campus Audiences in Co-Curricular Sustainability Programming

  • Dickinson College (PA)

Dickinson College has innovatively reformed its Eco-Rep model into a combined student and employee peer-to-peer sustainability education program that creates co-curricular learning experiences aimed at unifying campus stakeholders while increasing ...

Solar Garden Partnership: A Renewable Energy Innovation

  • Grand Valley State University (MI)
  • Consumers Energy

Grand Valley State University (GVSU) began a renewable energy project in partnership with its local utility, Consumers Energy, after the Michigan Public Service Commission approved a Solar Garden program. This ...

Stanford University's R&DE Creatively Responds to the California Drought

  • Stanford University (CA)

Sustainability is a core value to Stanford University's Residential & Dining Enterprises (R&DE). R&DE is responsible for about 1/3 of Stanford's campus, housing over 13,000 residents ...

McGill University's Sustainability Projects Fund

  • McGill University (QC)

The Sustainability Projects Fund (SPF) is a crown jewel of McGill University’s sustainability efforts and a best-practice model for universities. The SPF’s main goal is to build a ...

McGill Students Lobby to Create Climate Officer Position

  • McGill University (QC)

In Spring 2016, Management PhD student Amir Nosrat, and other colleagues at the Post-Graduate Students' Society of McGill University, came up with the idea to create a Climate Officer position ...

Cowbell Cleanup

  • Mississippi State University (MS)

Cowbell Cleanup is an initiative that was started by the Office of Sustainability on Mississippi State University's campus. The University faces a large influx of guests during home football ...

The Campus Sustainability Plan: A Community Building Momentum

  • University of Saskatchewan (SK)

Progress on campus wide sustainability is not easy. It takes both planning and implementation to realize results. The University of Saskatchewan is realizing results from its Campus Sustainability Plan, developed ...

Community Engaged Scholarship and Learning in Urban Forestry helps UTRGV earn Tree Campus USA Designation

  • University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (TX)

In 2014, the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (through its legacy institution UTPA), one of the largest Hispanic Serving Institutions in the country, proposed and offered three iterations of ...

Portland State University - All Gender Restroom Policy

  • Portland State University (OR)

In late 2015 Portland State University (PSU) administration officially adopted an all gender restroom policy (also sometimes referred to as gender-neutral, unisex, or universal) for the PSU campus. The all ...

Stanford achieves dramatic greenhouse gas emissions reductions to surpass state, national, and international climate targets

  • Stanford University (CA)

Stanford Energy System Innovations (SESI) is a new campus energy system powered by renewables, designed to meet the current and future energy needs of Stanford University in an environmentally, socially ...