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

556
Total Resources
319
Organizations
11
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.

556 resources

Foam Free Dining at the University of Florida

  • University of Florida (FL)
  • Aramark Higher Education (PA)

Gator Dining Services at the University of Florida (UF) eliminated foam containers from campus dining operations, making the University of Florida the only ARAMARK foam- free dining operation in the ...


Weaving Sustainability into New Employee Orientation

  • University of Louisville (KY)

At the University of Louisville, we took advantage of an existing, mandatory day-long New Employee Orientation to begin educating all new full-time employees about the fundamentals of sustainability, our institutional ...


WE Over ME Farm

  • Paul Quinn College (TX)

Surrounded by a food desert, Paul Quinn College has assumed the responsibility to provide the residents of Highland Hills/southern Dallas within the zip code of 75241, access to healthy ...


Diversity@Emory - The Path to Emory University's Diversity Web Portal

  • Emory University (GA)

To establish Emory University's first diversity web portal --diversity.emory.edu


Culture Clash: Art, Electrons, Teaching, Research, and Engagement Meet at the Solar Strand

  • University at Buffalo (NY)

The University at Buffalo's 750 kilowatt Solar Strand, brought to life by world-renowned artist Walter Hood, reflects a transformative vision that defines the future of sustainability. Its approach moves ...

  • Posted June 29, 2012
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Wisconsin's Green Future Campaign

  • Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College (WI)

Project Overview: The WTCS Presidents' Association Green Initiative Committee requested assistance by the Statewide Marketing Consortium (SMC) to develop communications tools on sustainability. Given the vast number of students educated ...

  • Posted June 29, 2012
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Combining technology and water to conserve irrigation

  • University of Texas at Austin (TX)

The University of Texas at Austin's facilities management initiated a comprehensive program in fall 2007 to develop and implement demand-side water conservation measures. During this project it was determined ...

  • Posted June 29, 2012
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Beyond the White Stripes: Transportation Demand Management at a Commuter College

  • Bellevue College (WA)

Bellevue College (BC) is the largest institution in Washington State's Community and Technical College System with an enrollment of more than 38,000 students annually. Like many community colleges ...

  • Posted June 29, 2012
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Duke Carbon Offsets Initiative

  • Duke University (NC)

The Duke Carbon Offsets Initiative (DCOI) was established in 2009 in order to help Duke University achieve carbon neutrality by 2024. Duke University is one of the only universities in ...

  • Posted June 29, 2012
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Sustainable IT: Deploying and Demonstrating Innovative Data Center Cooling Technology to Achieve End Use Energy Efficiency and Sustainability Benefits at Rochester Institute of Technology

  • Rochester Institute of Technology (NY)
  • OptiCool Technologies (NY)

In the spring of 2012 Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) worked with one of its Clean Energy Incubator (CEI) technology companies to deploy, test, and validate their advanced and innovative ...

  • Posted June 28, 2012
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Lakeshore Technical College Old Growth Forest

  • Lakeshore Technical College (WI)

The Lakeshore Technical College's Old Growth Forest is a unique biological feature that has evolved over more than 10,000 years without any significant intervention. The 25 acre forest ...

  • Posted June 27, 2012
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Public-Private Food Waste Composting Program

  • Illinois State University (IL)
  • Rochester Institute of Technology (NY)

The goal of this project was to provide a viable option for businesses and institutions to divert their food waste from the solid waste stream. McLean County is a prime ...

  • Posted June 26, 2012
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Owens Community College HARVEST Project

  • Owens Community College (OH)

The Owens Community College Harvest Project seeks to "Help all People Reap the Value of Education through Service and working Together." Our on campus food pantry and community garden serve ...

  • Posted June 22, 2012
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Paperless Campus Initiative

  • St. Edward's University (TX)

In recent years, St. Edward's University has undertaken several paperless initiatives. That which has most directly impacted the entire university community (students, faculty and staff) was spearheaded by Human ...

  • Posted June 22, 2012
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One World One Water (OWOW) Center for Urban Water Education and Stewardship

  • Metropolitan State University of Denver (CO)

Metropolitan State College of Denver is now the home of an exciting new water institution - the One World One Water (OWOW) Center for Urban Water Education and Stewardship. (Faculty and ...

  • Posted June 15, 2012
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Earning Green By Going Green: A Case Study of the Waste Stream at LIU Post

  • LIU Post (NY)

This is a complete analysis of the waste stream at LIU Post, looking at nearly every type of category of waste that we produce. A waste audit was conducted to ...

  • Posted June 11, 2012
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Sustainable Sites Certification for The Green at College Park on the Campus of The University of Texas at Arlington

  • University of Texas at Arlington (TX)

The Green at College Park at The University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) received one of the first three certifications issued worldwide by the Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES) in February ...


Zero Waste at Ohio Stadium: Lessons Learned and a Beginner's Guide

  • The Ohio State University (OH)

In autumn 2011, The Ohio State University launched the Zero Waste at Ohio Stadium program, becoming the largest stadium in the country to attempt a "zero waste" initiative. Zero waste ...

  • Posted March 13, 2012
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Pratt Institute - Myrtle Hall

  • Pratt Institute (NY)

Pratt Institute partnered to obtain a vacant lot at the northern boundary of our campus in Brooklyn , that had been a Kentucky Fried Chicken. The lot is part of the ...

  • Posted June 30, 2011
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Connecting the Next Generation to Urban Landscapes

  • University of Colorado Boulder (CO)

The International Society for Land care Emissions (ISLE) has proposed a Next Generation Land Care project for the University of Colorado at Boulder to assess and measure the ecological, human ...

  • Posted June 27, 2011
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Groundmaking: Class of 2010 Green Roof at Rensselaer

  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (NY)

In the spring of 2011, after almost 16 months of planning, members from the entire Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute community joined hands in planting 18,000 small plants on a 6 ...

  • Posted June 25, 2011
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Marcellus Monitoring: Helping communities turn fear into data collection.

  • Dickinson College (PA)

In 2010, the Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring (ALLARM) set out to develop a community-based monitoring protocol that could help communities answer the question "is my local stream being adversely ...

  • Posted June 24, 2011
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Warren Wilson College Native Grass Landscaping: Changing the Way We Plant the Campus to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Improve Wildlife Habitat and Minimize Maintenance

  • Warren Wilson College (NC)

Since 1999, students on the College's Landscaping Crew have collected native grass and wildflower seeds, established a six-acre campus nursery and acres of prairie meadow habitat, and helped restore ...

  • Posted June 24, 2011
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Getting to Net- Zero Energy: Lessons Learned from a Living Building Challenge

  • Washington University in St. Louis (MO)
  • Hellmuth + Bicknese Architects (MO)

In 2008, Washington University in St. Louis committed to the construction of a new building at its environmental field station, Tyson Research Center. This project, the Living Learning Center (LLC ...

  • Posted June 24, 2011
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Centennial Solar Panel System

  • Northwestern University (IL)
  • Engineers for a Sustainable World (CO)

The Centennial Solar Panel System (CSPS), a 17 kW solar photovoltaic array at Northwestern University, is a partner project between Engineers for a Sustainable World and the Northwestern Sustainability Fund ...

  • Posted June 24, 2011
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Greeks Go Green LEAF Rating System

  • Cornell University (NY)

The Greeks Go Green LEAF Rating system rates chapters and keeps track of their progress related to sustainability initiatives. This system provides for an objective, consistent evaluation of over 70 ...

  • Posted June 24, 2011
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Student Services Building

  • The University of Texas at Dallas (TX)
  • Perkins+Will (NY)

The new LEED Platinum certified Student Services Building (SSB) serves as a "one-stop-shop" destination for all student service activities offering 14 departments under one roof. The building design improves the ...

  • Posted June 24, 2011
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The Campus Sustainability Fund at the University of Washington

  • University of Washington, Seattle (WA)

The Campus Sustainability Fund (CSF) is a student-funded and student-led initiative which launched in the fall of 2010 at the University of Washington (UW) with the mission of fostering campus ...

  • Posted June 24, 2011
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EcoDorm

  • Warren Wilson College (NC)

EcoDorm is a living laboratory of sustainability. It was designed by a committee of students, staff, and faculty- with guidance from an outside architect- who researched and evaluated environmental, social ...

  • Posted June 24, 2011
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A Comprehensive Strategic Communications Plan for NYU's Office of Sustainability

  • New York University (NY)

Crowdsourcing the collective wisdom of the NYU Sustainability Task Force's all-volunteer Outreach and Engagement working group, with assistance from the Office of Sustainability, team members were able to develop ...

  • Posted June 24, 2011
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Deliberation on Campus Sustainability (DoCS)

  • University of Alberta (AB)

The Deliberation on Campus Sustainability (DoCS) project was a campus-wide, student-initiated series of events that engaged hundreds of students, staff and faculty in creating recommendations for sustainability across the University ...

  • Posted June 24, 2011
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A New Educational Landscape- Transforming Campus Grounds through Non-Traditional Collaboration

  • James Madison University (VA)

During the 2010-11 academic year, faculty, students, campus facilities staff, a dean, the campus environmental stewardship director, and community representatives collaborated with a Scholar-In-Residence to develop a naturalized landscape on ...

  • Posted June 24, 2011
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Comprehensive Operational Analysis of Green Granting Programs in US Higher Education

  • New York University (NY)

After three years and 52 funded projects awarded more than $250,000 NYU's Green Grants program took a year off from calling for new project proposals, and instead conducted ...

  • Posted June 24, 2011
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The Bagley Classroom: Supporting environmental and outdoor learning at the University of Minnesota, Duluth.

  • University of Minnesota, Duluth (MN)
  • Salmela Architect (MN)

The Bagley Classroom supports learning in a 55-acre natural preserve within the University of Minnesota Duluth campus. The Bagley Nature Area has taught and inspired students about the natural environment ...

  • Posted June 23, 2011
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Antioch Commuter Transportation Initiative: Tackling AUNE's Transportation Challenge by Supporting Money-Saving, Fun, and Healthy Commuter Alternatives

  • Antioch University, New England (NH)

Antioch University New England (AUNE) is committed to achieving climate neutrality by the year 2020. Because 73% of its total carbon dioxide emissions come from students and employees commuting to ...

  • Posted June 23, 2011
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University Recycling at work! Case study in Puerto Rico

  • Ana G. M├⌐ndez University System (PR)

In 2006, Undergraduate Environmental Science students sparked the Recycling Program at the Universidad Metropolitana, Puerto Rico with a simple question "Why we do not recycle at the University?

Since then ...

  • Posted June 23, 2011
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Applied Research and Development Building

  • Northern Arizona University (AZ)

Northern Arizona University's Applied Research and Development building is a LEED Platinum building that is home to a wide range of research organizations and stakeholders both from NAU and ...

  • Posted June 23, 2011
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The College of William and Mary Carbon Offset Program

  • College of William & Mary (VA)

William and Mary has developed an in-house carbon offset program that provides full transparency. Energy-reducing capital projects, such as HVAC upgrades, were identified and offset prices were determined by calculating ...

  • Posted June 21, 2011
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1702 - green dorm project

  • Pratt Institute (NY)

The Living Lab 1702 project began in Spring 2009 as an interdisciplinary studio course focused on sustainability. The goal: to challenge the students understanding of green design in order to ...

  • Posted June 21, 2011
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The Green Line Park-n-Ride: A Community Transportation Collaborative

  • Delta College (MI)

When it comes to public transportation, Delta College is challenged by its location which serves three main counties functioning under three separate transit authorities. To reduce commuting emissions and to ...

  • Posted June 21, 2011
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Embedding Sustainability into Institutional Governance and Planning

  • University of Calgary (AB)

This brief describes a process for embedding sustainability as a core value and accountability within institutional governance and planning. The context is the University of Calgary, a research intensive institution ...

  • Posted June 17, 2011
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Biomass at Colorado State University: the Good, the Bad, & the Ugly

  • Colorado State University (CO)

In 2009, Colorado State University and the Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS) partnered to build a biomass heating plant on the University's Foothills Campus. This facility burns wood chips ...

  • Posted June 16, 2011
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Berndt Hall Reconstruction for Biology

  • Fort Lewis College (CO)

Berndt Hall Reconstruction for Biology removed the middle of an existing 1-story section of the Berndt Hall building and replaced it with a basement, main level, and second floor with ...

  • Posted June 15, 2011
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Behavior Matters—A Business Case for Behavior-Based Conservation Programs

  • Stanford University (CA)

The link between energy retrofits and cost savings is well established, but occupants are often unaware of "behind the scenes" improvements. How can universities educate building occupants to optimize efficiency ...

  • Posted June 14, 2011
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Growing a Local and Sustainable Food System at Appalachian State University

  • Appalachian State University (NC)

Appalachian Food Services is working with the Office of Sustainability to incorporate local and sustainably produced food products into our campus dining with an overall goal of improving the campus ...

  • Posted June 10, 2011
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Sustainable Cities Initiative at the University of Oregon

  • University of Oregon (OR)

Sustainable Cities Initiative (SCI) is a cross-disciplinary organization at the University of Oregon that seeks to promote education, service, public outreach and research on the development and design of sustainable ...


The Living Demonstration: A student demonstration home to create a culture for sustainability

  • University of Montana (MT)

The UM FLAT is a University-owned residence occupied by students who embody and promote sustainable living practices. The UM FLAT provides hands-on opportunity for students to work with each other ...


The University of California Santa Cruz's Campus Sustainability Plan 1.0: a Case Study in Transformative Action for Change

  • University of California, Santa Cruz (CA)

UCSC's first comprehensive Campus Sustainability Plan (the Plan), drafted during the 2009-10 academic year, used a consultative leadership approach, a focus on building strong relationships, and an effective outreach ...


Harvard Green Office Program

  • Harvard University (MA)

The Green Office Program's offers staff practical solutions needed to meet Harvard's GHG reduction goal and fulfill our Sustainability Principles, and a fun, competitive way for offices to ...


Aggieware - Moving to Zero Waste Events within UC Davis Student Housing

  • University of California, Davis (CA)

Aggieware, the reusable tableware program, was created by UC Davis Student Housing for use with all student programs in the residence halls to reach the University of California's goal ...