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

817
Total Resources
451
Organizations
18
Countries
48
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.

817 resources

President's Sustainability Research Fellowship 20-21: Sustainable Space Utilization

  • Swarthmore College (PA)

The 2020-2021 President's Sustainability Research Fellowship Sustainable Space Utilization project was conducted by Alex Flowers '21 over the 2020-2021 Academic Year. The purpose of the Sustainable Space Management project ...


President's Sustainability Research Fellowship 20-21: ChesterSemesters

  • Swarthmore College (PA)

The 2020-2021 President's Sustainability Research Fellowship ChesterSemester project was conducted by Ananya Bhattacharya '21 over the 2020-2021 Academic Year. The purpose of the project was to support the the ...


UIUC Solar Farm 2.0: Ultra-Sustainable on-campus solar array

  • University of Illinois University Administration (IL)
  • University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (IL)

Referred to as “Solar Farm 2.0,” a new 54-acre, 12.32 megawatt (MWdc) utility-scale array is located on the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) campus, north of Curtis Road ...


President's Sustainability Research Fellowship 20-21: Carbon Offsets

  • Swarthmore College (PA)

The 2020-2021 President's Sustainability Research Fellowship Carbon Offsets project was conducted by Olivia Stoetzer '23 over the 2020-2021 Academic Year. The purpose of the project was to help Swarthmore ...


Reducing Scope Three Carbon Emissions Through Behavior Change & Menu Labeling

  • University of California, Berkeley (CA)

In October 2020, UC Berkeley’s Cal Dining implemented carbon emission labels to better inform customers about the carbon impact of the recipes served in the dining hall. Student researchers ...


FY20 Energy-Efficiency Initiatives Project

  • University of Utah (UT)

The first phase of a series of campus-wide projects to target carbon reductions.

The FY20 Energy-Efficiency Initiatives project targeted industry proven low-cost, fast-payback measures focusing on carbon neutrality and energy-efficiency ...


20 MW Solar Energy Purchase

  • University of Utah (UT)

The University of Utah has made a PPA of 20 MW of off-site solar energy in Huntington, UT, set to begin delivery in early 2022. The University of Utah’s ...


20MW Geothermal Power Purchase

  • University of Utah (UT)

The University of Utah, through a partnership with Cyrq Energy and Rocky Mountain Power, has made a groundbreaking geothermal energy purchase. This contract will supply the University of Utah with ...


Equity, Diversity, Justice, Inclusion Task Force, Catawba College

  • Catawba College (NC)

The Equity, Diversity, Justice, and Inclusion (EDJI) Task Force at Catawba College aims to build a campus community where all members thrive by working to cultivate critical conversations and practices ...


Cascadia Cornucopia Food Forest as a prototype for food permaculture areas on campuses

  • Cascadia College (WA)

The Cascadia Food Forest is an example of an integrated learning project at Cascadia College. It was designed to facilitate learning opportunities outside the classroom. The food forest is a ...


Climate Action Plan Sustainability Ambassador Course

  • University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (IL)

The Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP) ambassador course was piloted in the spring 2021 semester as an opportunity for students to have a direct role in assessing and recommending building-level ...


Central Sustainability

  • Central Michigan University (MI)

Prior to 2020, Central Michigan University (CMU) lacked an Office of Sustainability, or any structures which ensured the pursuit of sustainability initiatives on campus and in the community. Two student ...


University of St. Thomas Stewardship Garden

  • University of St. Thomas (MN)

The Stewardship Garden (SG) at the University of St. Thomas (MN) is an innovative urban agriculture project that combines undergraduate-driven research, teaching, and community engagement. Established in 2010, the SG ...


The People’s Fridge- A Community Fridge to Reduce Food Insecurity and Food Waste

  • University of California, Merced (CA)

The People’s Fridge is a community fridge in Merced, California at a local community garden which also holds a free food distribution every Saturday called the Pop-Up People’s ...


Glass Recycling at a Rural Georgia College Campus

  • Georgia College & State University (GA)

Glass has quickly become a hard to recycle material in many places in the U.S. and around the world. This is especially true for geographically rural areas with an ...


Glass Recycling at a Rural Georgia College Campus

  • Georgia College & State University (GA)

Glass has quickly become a hard to recycle material in many places in the U.S. and around the world. This is especially true for geographically rural areas with an ...


Student Sustainability Coalition (SSC) Common Agenda

  • University of Michigan (MI)

Establishing a Common Agenda as a significant first step under a Collective Impact Framework for rapidly improving social justice and environmental sustainability conditions on campus; using the drafting process not ...


Durham Tech Break Free From Plastics

  • Durham Technical Community College (NC)
  • The Student PIRGs (OR)

Student leaders at Durham Tech Community College, worked with the Student PIRGs in NC to run and win a campus campaign to Break Free From Plastics in order to protect ...


Addressing Food and Housing Security among NC State University Students

  • North Carolina State University (NC)

Since February 2018, when a report on student hunger and homelessness on NC State University's campus was released, the campus community has generated increased resources for students, conducted ongoing ...


Energy Efficiency Strategy

  • Swarthmore College (PA)

Project Name: Energy Efficiency Strategy Name: Christian Stone Project Mentors: Elizabeth Drake, Domenic Porrini Project Board Members: Greg Brown, Jim Adams, Janet Semler, Andy Feick, Roderick Wolfson, Aurora Winslade Faculty ...


Crum Woods ROW Restoration

  • Swarthmore College (PA)

Project Name: Crum Woods Sewer Line Right of Way (ROW) Restoration Name: Chelsea Semper Project Mentors: Jeff Jabco and Lars Rasmussen Project Board Members: Jake Grossman, Sue MacQueen, Chloe Klaus ...


Indigenous Interconnections

  • Swarthmore College (PA)

Project Name: Indigenous Interconnections Student Name: Daniel Torres Balauro Project Mentors: Aurora Winslade and Carr Everbach Project Board Members: Aurora Winslade, Director of Sustainability, Office of Sustainability Carr Everbach, Professor ...


How Brandeis reduced our food carbon footprint over 20% in its first sustainable dining program

  • Brandeis University (MA)

This case study reviews how Brandeis harnessed the RFP and contracting process for a new dining vendor in 2019-2021 to make huge and first-ever strides in sustainability in our dining ...


The Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design – A Certified Living Building

  • Georgia Institute of Technology (GA)

In September 2015, the Georgia Tech Institute of Technology received a commitment for $30 million from The Kendeda Fund to building what the partners expected to become the most environmentally ...


Planting the Pond

  • Western Dakota Technical College (SD)

For this project, Western Dakota Tech formed an interdisciplinary team comprised of Environmental Engineering, Controlled Environment Agriculture, Electrical Trades, Computer-Aided Design, and Farm and Ranch Management students to design and ...


Project Reach, Reclaim, Revive

  • Seneca College (ON)

Guided by academic advisors and business experts, student leaders of Enactus Canada create and implement community empowerment projects and business ventures in their communities. This experiential learning platform helps students ...


Uniting for Organizational Change - Merging the Sustainability Office and Office of Inclusive Excellence

  • California State University, Monterey Bay (CA)

In July, 2020 the Sustainability Office and the Office of Inclusive Excellence merged to form the Office of Inclusive Excellence and Sustainability.

The fields of sustainability, inclusion and social justice ...


Energy Efficiency Strategy

  • Swarthmore College (PA)

Project Overview

We began by providing a platform for all key stakeholders, including faculty, facilities and capital planning managers, and administrations, to have their perspectives considered through the interviewing process ...


A Bottom-up, Collaborative Approach to Campus Sustainability Planning

  • University of Delaware (DE)

The last Sustainability/Climate Report published by the University of Delaware was in 2009, following a commitment in 2008 to achieve carbon-neutrality by 2050. The Environmental Sustainability Report (2021) was ...


MIT Climate Resiliency Initiative

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MA)

MIT’s Climate Resiliency initiative was launched in 2016 as a multifaceted, collaborative effort centered on preparing the campus community in collaboration with the City of Cambridge for the impacts ...


Bennington College Commons Renovation

  • Bennington College (VT)
  • Efficiency Vermont (VEIC) (VT)

Bennington College’s Commons building is the original center of its 1932 campus plan. This 45,120 square-foot renovation is the first substantial upgrade to the building since its inception ...


SFU's Living Lab

  • Simon Fraser University (BC)

SFU's Living Lab is an approach that facilitates sustainability-themed research at SFU by creating structured collaborations between staff, faculty and graduate students to achieve University commitments and strategic priorities ...

  • Posted April 30, 2021
  • Case Studies
  • View more

Up”cycling” - Creating a Biking Campus Culture

  • Furman University (SC)

In an effort to foster a biking campus culture, reduce our carbon footprint, encourage student health and wellness, and provide access and needed infrastructure for supporting a vibrant biking community ...

  • Posted April 29, 2021
  • Case Studies
  • View more

North Texas Food Policy Alliance

  • University of Texas at Arlington (TX)

What are Food Policy Councils/Alliances? The first Food Policy Council started 30 years ago in the city of Knoxville. In the last decade Food Policy Councils (also called food ...

  • Posted April 21, 2021
  • Case Studies
  • View more

UCCS Food Next Door | Farm Subscription Program

  • University of Colorado Colorado Springs (CO)

The Food Next Door Farm Subscription Program strives to help fight hunger, promote food access, boost food literacy, and support regional farmers and ranchers in our community.

  • Posted April 21, 2021
  • Case Studies
  • View more

Annual Green Talks Symposium

  • University of California, San Diego (CA)

Green Talks is a TED-style talk symposium specifically geared towards environmental awareness. This annual event aims to engage and educate the UC San Diego student body and broader community about ...

  • Posted March 8, 2021
  • Case Studies
  • View more

SUNY New Paltz Pivots from Plastic Bottles to Aluminum Cans to Move Beyond Plastics

  • State University of New York at New Paltz (NY)

In the fall of 2020, Campus Auxiliary Services (CAS), which contracts on behalf of SUNY New Paltz for beverages to be distributed through vending machines and the dining services contractor ...

  • Posted Feb. 24, 2021
  • Case Studies
  • View more

“Just Sustainability” Environmental Justice Campaign Case Study

  • University of Vermont (VT)

The UVM Eco-Reps have long existed to encourage sustainable behaviors in UVM students, faculty, and community members. After a summer of Black Lives Matter protests, six months of a global ...


Piloting Styrofoam Recycling in Research Facilities at Georgia Institute of Technology

  • Georgia Institute of Technology (GA)

Georgia Tech has systems in place to collect and recycle everything from cardboard and office paper, to plastic and glass. But until 2019, there was no established process for recycling ...


Fall 2020 Virtual DIY Fair

  • San Diego State University (CA)

With students being stuck at home due to COVID, I thought that a smart idea to keep students engaged in sustainability would be to have a week-long virtual DIY fair ...


Reusable to-go Program at Northwestern Dining During a Global Pandemic

  • Northwestern University (IL)
  • Chartwells Higher Education (NY)
  • Compass Group (NC)

Northwestern University opened its dining commons during the COVID-19 pandemic in the fall of 2020 with an emphasis on reusable to-go service ware. This program used the O2GO OZZI containers ...


The House at Cornell Tech

  • Cornell University (NY)

The House at Cornell Tech is the largest Passive House residential building to date, integrated within an 800,000 square foot campus designed to push the boundaries of sustainable city ...

  • Posted Sept. 11, 2020
  • Case Studies
  • View more

Cost Savings and Carbon Reduction through DERs -- GridMarket Facilitated Project at Paul Quinn College

  • Paul Quinn College (TX)
  • GridMarket (NY)

GridMarket worked with Paul Quinn College to help them identify and maximize their unique DER opportunities.

GridMarket -- an energy consumer advocate and distributed energy resources project facilitation platform -- conducted a ...

  • Posted Sept. 11, 2020
  • Case Studies
  • View more

Achieving Carbon Neutrality at Arizona State University

  • Arizona State University (AZ)

In 2019, Arizona State University achieved carbon neutrality for scope 1 and 2 emissions. Through this accomplishment, ASU seeks to inspire immediate action to address the climate emergency. Despite reaching ...


Student's Club Revolutionized the Meaning of Green at a Community College!

  • Dallas College (TX)

There was a mayor change at Cedar Valley College’s (CVC) Sustainability Office this academic year. All the Sustainability Awareness events were developed and delivered by the Student’s Green ...


Greenspace Sustainability Design Town Halls and Make-A-Thon: A model for empowering campus communities to lead the design of sustainable spaces and places

  • University of Central Florida (FL)

A team of students at the University of Central Florida (UCF) (Orlando, Florida) led a partnership between UCF Student Government, the UCF Office of Sustainability Initiatives, and UCF Landscaping and ...


Herbicide-Free LMU

  • Loyola Marymount University (CA)
  • Herbicide Free Campus (CA)

The project represented in this case study is Herbicide-Free LMU, a campaign I started at LMU under Herbicide-Free Campus. With a slow beginning as the sole campaign leader, I worked ...


Committing UC Berkeley to the Strongest Plastic Ban in the Country

  • University of California, Berkeley (CA)
  • CALPIRG Students (CA)

CALPIRG Students, a student-run public interest nonprofit, ran and won their campaign to commit UC Berkeley to eliminate all non-essential single-use plastic by 2030. This is the strongest plastic ban ...


Office of Sustainability Living Lab Case Study

  • Gonzaga University (WA)

The Gonzaga University Office of Sustainability is the living lab for testing renewable energy technologies on Gonzaga’s campus. The purpose of this student initiative is to push for renewable ...


Creating a Digital Environmental Justice Toolkit

  • University of Connecticut (CT)

With the help of University of Connecticut (UConn) students, staff and faculty members, and local and national rights-based organizations, I created an environmental justice toolkit. This novel toolkit addresses what ...