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

563
Total Resources
320
Organizations
12
Countries
46
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.

563 resources

Sustainability Competition and Interactive Map

  • University of Illinois at Chicago (IL)

This project was developed to accomplish grant deliverables focusing on campus education surrounding sustainability initiatives and upgrades to Illinois electrical infrastructure. The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) Office of ...

  • Posted Dec. 11, 2018
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Global academic conferencing: A semi-virtual approach

  • University of Graz

Scholars and their institutions contribute significantly to global warming by flying to conferences. An intercontinental return flight in economy class can be compared with burning a ton of fossil carbon ...

  • Posted Sept. 12, 2018
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Water Audit: Campus Housing Residence Halls Restrooms

  • University of Illinois at Chicago (IL)

This project was set to evaluate the student residence restrooms of the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) East and West campuses and to provide viable solutions to any problems ...

  • Posted Aug. 29, 2018
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Carbon Neutral Campus: Solar Research

  • University of Illinois at Chicago (IL)

This project was set out to analyze two UIC buildings, the Student Services Building and the Pharmacognosy Field Station, in order to determine their potential for solar energy along with ...

  • Posted Aug. 10, 2018
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Food Recovery At UIC

  • University of Illinois at Chicago (IL)

At the University of Illinois at Chicago's (UIC) dining facilities, there is much food that is prepared but not eaten. It goes to the landfill, but it could be ...

  • Posted Aug. 10, 2018
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UIC Campus Bike Rack Inventory

  • University of Illinois at Chicago (IL)

In the summer of 2018, this project was undertaken to inventory all bike racks at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Knowing for certain the capacities and locations of the ...

  • Posted Aug. 10, 2018
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University of Vermont Eco-Reps Greenride Bikeshare Campaign Case Study

  • University of Vermont (VT)

In early April of 2018, Burlington, Vermont, and the University of Vermont campus welcomed Greenride, a pilot regional bikeshare. Though long in the works, there was little student awareness of ...

  • Posted June 28, 2018
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Initiating STARS at Soka University of America

  • Soka University of America (CA)

In the Spring of 2016, our group of four Sustainability Committee student representatives came together and decided that our primary goal was to succeed in getting our university’s first ...


Walking the Talk: Applying Fair Trade Learning Principles to Alternative Breaks

  • Oregon State University (OR)

Alternative Breaks at Oregon State University: We integrate sustainability education and leadership via fair trade learning into our community-engaged learning/service-learning program.

Break away from apathy. Break away from the ...


Project Delta

  • University of Texas at El Paso (TX)
  • Engineers for a Sustainable World (CO)

Project Delta was created by ESW-UTEP to evaluate and enhance The University of Texas at El Paso's (UTEP's) current recycling system. This project is expected to be finalized ...


Creating a Composting Culture at Colorado State University

  • Colorado State University (CO)

As Colorado State University (CSU) students, many of us were drawn to this school because of its unique ability to institutionalize sustainability. However, during our time here, we have often ...


Project Juarez

  • University of Texas at El Paso (TX)
  • Engineers for a Sustainable World (CO)

When our phones are no longer aesthetically pleasing, we tend to either disregard or throw away our phones. The question is why? Essentially, we are throwing away a small computer ...


The Catastrophic Meal--Exploring the Food Systems and Cultures of the Future

  • Vestjyllands Højskole

Vestjyllands Højskole hosted The Catastrophic Meal to demonstrate both a utopian and dystopian view of future food culture. As part of the EU's Aarhus City of Culture celebrations, the ...


University of Northern Colorado Student Leadership for Environmental Action Fund (Student LEAF)

  • University of Northern Colorado (CO)

Student LEAF is a student driven environmental action fund run by a committee of 7 students advised by one faculty and one facilities staff member.

The mission of Student LEAF ...


University of Memphis - Green Fee

  • University of Memphis (TN)

The Sustainability Fee, commonly known as the Green Fee, at the University of Memphis, was initiated by students and launched in 2007. The purpose of the fee is to support ...


MEND

  • Princeton University (NJ)

This semester, Princeton's EcoReps launched “Mend Monday,” a bi-weekly clothing repair initiative in Frist Campus Center. Cecilia Shang '18 and Nico Viglucci '17, the group's organizers, believe that ...


Princeton Student Climate Initiative

  • Princeton University (NJ)

On the Friday night after midterms week, seven Princeton undergraduates gathered in the Pace Center for Civic Engagement to talk climate change legislation. Decked in hoodies, sweats, and mismatched socks ...


Student Environmental Resource Center (SERC) at UC Berkeley

  • University of California, Berkeley (CA)

SERC is a collaborative space to strengthen the collective effectiveness of the sustainability community, and provides resources for students to actualize their vision of a more equitable, socially just, and ...


Sustainability Strategic Planning

  • University of California, Merced (CA)

The University of California Merced (UC Merced) within the next five years will undergo significant infrastructure expansion to accommodate student, faculty and staff growth. The acceleration of the university’s ...


Francis Feast and Learn: Sustainability Teach-In and Local Foods Dinner

  • Loyola University Maryland (MD)

The Francis Feast and Learn is a sustainability teach-in and locally sourced meal, inspired by the life’s work of St. Francis of Assisi and Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si ...


Ditch the Disposables

  • Worcester Polytechnic Institute (MA)

Ditch the Disposables is a WPI student-run campaign that was started in 2016 to reduce single-use plastic items at WPI. The project began with a reusable container program in the ...


R.W. Kern Center- A Living Building

  • Hampshire College (MA)

Located at the heart of Hampshire College campus, the R.W. Kern Center is a multi-purpose facility that embodies the highest threshold of forward-thinking sustainable design: generating its own energy ...


A Joint Student/Staff Eco-Reps Program Led by Students: Swarthmore’s Green Advisors

  • Swarthmore College (PA)

The Green Advisors (GAs) are a growing student group that works to encourage sustainable lifestyles among all Swarthmore community members. The GAs facilitate environmentally-friendly behaviors in the residence halls, oversee ...


Campus Mapping Project

  • Florida Gulf Coast University (FL)

Florida Gulf Coast University is located on over 300 acres of wetland and upland preserves. Our unique location has led to the values of environmental stewardship, literacy, and service to ...


Plastic Entanglements: Ecology, Aesthetics, Materials

  • Pennsylvania State University (PA)

The exhibition, PLASTIC ENTANGLEMENTS: Ecology, Aesthetics, Materials was on view at Penn State’s Palmer Museum of Art from February 13, 2018 to June 17, 2018 with additional commissioned and ...


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 program for EV adoption through the replacement of gas-powered vehicles with electric vehicles. With ...


Sustainable Choices

  • Chandler-Gilbert Community College (AZ)

Chandler-Gilbert Community College (CGCC) is a fast growing community college in a suburb of the Phoenix Metro area. As one of ten colleges in the Maricopa County Community College District ...


American University Achieved Carbon Neutrality Two Years Ahead of 2020 Target

  • American University (DC)

In 2018, American University became the first university, first research university, and first urban higher education campus to achieve carbon neutrality. This major goal was reached two years ahead of ...


Making Climate Commitments into Climate Action

  • University of Illinois at Chicago (IL)

The Climate Action Implementation Plan (CAIP) is the sustainability action plan for the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). The UIC Climate Commitments, announced in April 2016, form the basis ...


Loyola University Chicago Biodiesel Program

  • Loyola University Chicago (IL)

The Biodiesel Program, part of the Searle Center for Sustainability Innovations in Loyola’s Institute of Environmental Sustainability, saw its humble beginnings grow from an ingenious student idea to one ...


Paperbark Literary Magazine

  • University of Massachusetts Amherst (MA)

Paperbark Literary Magazine is an interdisciplinary journal of creativity and sustainability publishing art, writing, photography, poetry, science journalism, interviews, and other creative content both in print and online at paperbarkmag ...


Portland State University: Driving Rigorous Sustainability through Top-Level Policies

  • Portland State University (OR)

Portland State University (PSU), situated in the University District of downtown Portland, Oregon, is the only public urban university in the state located in a major metropolitan city. A recognized ...


Departmental Sustainability Mission & Vision Statement -University of Washington Housing & Food Services

  • University of Washington, Seattle (WA)

In the academic year 2017-18, Housing & Food Services unveiled its Sustainability Mission & Vision statement. This articulation of the department’s greater commitment to sustainability was the culmination of ...


Introduction to Sustainable Living

  • University of California, Los Angeles (CA)

My proposal for the 2018 Student Sustainability Leadership Award is for a course that I was able to develop at UCLA designed to help students learn knowledge and skills that ...


University of Michigan Campus Farm and MDining Lead Sustainable Food Movement

  • University of Michigan (MI)

With the first delivery of Campus Farm fresh produce to Mosher Jordan dining hall in the summer of 2017, the University of Michigan’s MDining’s sustainability goal of using ...


University of California Merced 2020 Project

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

In 2012, UC Merced launched the “2020 Project”, an initiative to add a significant amount of new teaching, research, housing, recreation and support facilities to the campus that would accommodate ...


The Nova Scotia Community College’s (NSCC) Waste Management Improvement Project

  • Nova Scotia Community College (NS)

The project began with waste audits to establish a baseline of NSCC’s waste management practices and to try and improve them. From there it progressed into education efforts at ...


Stanford R&DE's Student Living Laboratory

  • Stanford University (CA)

Stanford University’s Residential & Dining Enterprises in partnership with students and academic departments have transformed its facilities in to a living laboratory by performing cutting edge research on student ...


Stanford R&DE Student Housing Innovation in Cleaning

  • Stanford University (CA)

Stanford’s R&DE Student Housing Operations (SHO) adopted a green cleaning standard that has reduced chemical usage in residences by over 90%. The system engineer's water by infusing it ...


Deep Energy Retrofits at Humber College's Building N

  • Humber College (ON)

In 2015, the College developed an Integrated Energy Master Plan (IEMP) with impressive goals to greatly reduce energy and water use by 2034. Specifically, Humber’s IEMP sets the following ...


The WaterHub at Emory University – Engaging Campus & Community in Water Reclamation

  • Emory University (GA)

The WaterHub at Emory University is an on-site water recycling system, utilizing biomimicry, or engineered processes that emulate natural ecological systems, to reclaim wastewater for heating and cooling buildings and ...


Clean Plates at State: Michigan State University

  • Michigan State University (MI)

Michigan State University is continually striving to build a sustainable culture on campus and in the Spartan community. Clean Plates at State helps students and members of our community understand ...


UCI Bus Love: 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 over to a fully-electric bus fleet. The student-funded-and-operated Anteater Express campus shuttle service has ...


Sustainability Activation Program at the University of Dayton

  • University of Dayton (OH)

The Sustainability Activation Program (SAP) is an innovative, large scale, and peer-to-peer education program that began in October of 2016 with the intent to better educate our student body about ...


Campus-wide Zero Landfill Waste Policy Implementation & Outreach Program - Emory University

  • Emory University (GA)

In January 2018, Emory University implemented a completely redesigned waste policy as a leap toward the goal of zero landfill waste (defined nationally as diverting 95% of waste from municipal ...


Chesapeake College - "A Living Lab."

  • Chesapeake College (MD)

Chesapeake College, founded in 1965 as Maryland’s first regional community college, serves five counties on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, 20 percent of the state’s land, 3 percent of ...


Mississippi State Community Garden

  • Mississippi State University (MS)

In the spring of 2017, the Student Association at Mississippi State University secured funding to further sustainability on campus. This funding was used in part to hold a proposal competition ...


A Behavior Based Energy Conservation Program at Suffolk County Community College

  • Suffolk County Community College (NY)

Suffolk County Community College (SCCC) is the largest community college in New York State, with over 26,000 students enrolled across three campuses and two extension sites. As a large ...


RU Sustainable event series

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

RU Sustainable events are designed with the purpose of bringing together faculty, students, and staff to engage with the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs). As described on the ...


Partnership Development of Sustainable Learning

  • Triton College (IL)

From a partnership of labor and industry and a community college grew an educational program geared toward meeting industry needs while highlighting facility sustainability and environmental awareness.