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

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 ...


Johnson County Community College Student Sustainability Committee

  • Johnson County Community College (KS)

As a broadly effective, innovative, engaging, and replicable project, Johnson County Community College’s Student Sustainability Committee [the SSC, the Committee] is a compelling and powerful tool for developing student ...


KMRB Energy Reduction Project

  • University of Rochester (NY)

The University of Rochester’s Medical Center operates 24-hours a day, seven days a week in a 5.4 million square foot complex. Facilities Operations is responsible for providing conditioned ...


NC State University Achieves 95 Percent Diversion With Building Deconstruction

  • North Carolina State University (NC)

Harrelson Hall, the first round classroom building constructed on a university campus, was deconstructed in 2016 and NC State University exceeded its waste diversion goal, diverting 95 percent of non-hazardous ...


American University in Cairo 2017 Carbon Footprint Report

  • American University in Cairo (Cairo)

The first step of reducing a university’s carbon footprint is measuring its current size. The 2017 Carbon Footprint Report is the 4th in the American University in Cairo’s ...


Project Green Step 2030: Catawba College Campus Solar Energy Installation

  • Catawba College (NC)

Catawba College completed a solar energy project in 2016 that is projected to produce more solar electricity than all the other North Carolina colleges and universities combined. This was the ...


Watershed UGA: A living laboratory transforming campus and community through teaching, research and service

  • University of Georgia (GA)

Watershed UGA created a vision and framework for using the campus as a living laboratory to advance sustainability through teaching, research, public service and outreach, and university operations. We are ...


The Ohio State University Sustainability Goals Development Project

  • The Ohio State University (OH)

In November 2015, The Ohio State University announced the establishment of sustainability goals to guide the university as it develops durable solutions to the challenges of sustainability and in evolving ...


Fix It Friday

  • Illinois State University (IL)

Fix It Friday is a program in which fashion students set up sewing machines in various places within the Illinois State University campus and the surrounding Bloomington-Normal community and offer ...


UTA CARES: Open Education and Open Pedagogy for Sustainable Future and Resource Conservation

  • University of Texas at Arlington (TX)

Reducing the cost of a college education is a frequent topic in higher education circles. Some colleges and universities such as UT Arlington have been trying to find other ways ...


GreenApps Eco-Reps Sustainability Leadership and Engagement Course

  • Appalachian State University (NC)

The GreenApps: Eco-Reps Program was developed in order to recruit on-campus students to join the Office of Sustainability team to assist with education and promotion of campus sustainability through a ...


Zero Waste Guide and the Good Food Festival Case Study

  • University of Illinois at Chicago (IL)

Throughout the semester, Joe Iosbaker, UIC's Recycling Coordinator and Office of Sustainability (OS) staff member, and Ula Renetskis, Office of Sustainability Intern and author, have been working with Bright ...


Oregon State U Fully Transitions to Reusable Food To Go Containers

  • Oregon State University (OR)

The "Eco2Go" food container program at Oregon State University (OSU) Housing & Dining Services (UHDS) has eliminated all but a few specialized uses of disposable take-out containers within dining services ...


Linking Sustainability with Study Abroad

  • Delta College (MI)

This project describes the planning, development, and implementation of integrating sustainability into study abroad in existing travel and through establishing new destinations. It also constructs a model that includes a ...


PowerZee – Sustainable Change through User Engagement

  • Nanyang Technological University (Singapore)
  • ENGIE

PowerZee (formerly PowerZ) is a smartphone application (‘app’) developed by NTU, along with industry partner ENGIE, for energy conservation and sustainability through user engagement. The application fosters knowledge and nudges ...


NC State University Creates Make-a-thon To Inspire Sustainability Ideas

  • North Carolina State University (NC)

Imagine. It's a Saturday night and dozens of students are packed in your school's library. They're crowded around 3D printers, circuit boards and laptops translating 3D AutoCAD ...


Temple Tiny House

  • Temple University (PA)

The Temple University Tiny House project is a student designed and student constructed sustainable building located at Temple Community Garden on main campus. Completed in spring 2017, the 175 square ...


LEED® Platinum - University of Miami Frost School of Music Studios

  • University of Miami (FL)

The Phillip and Patricia Frost School of Music is one of the largest and best music schools located in a private university in the U.S., and one of the ...


Simon Fraser University’s Zero Waste Initiative

  • Simon Fraser University (BC)

SFU was one of the first universities to implement a standardized, 4-stream Zero Waste system (including composting) uniformly across all three of its campuses, each of which lies in a ...


Case Study: Oregon State University Becomes the First University to Accept Supplemental Nutrition Program (SNAP) at University Run Grocery Store

  • Oregon State University (OR)

In January 2016, OSU began accepting SNAP at a campus grocery store, allowing individuals with SNAP to access these funds while on campus. OSU is the first to have a ...


The Urban Agriculture Community-based Research Experience (U-ACRE) Project

  • California State University, Fullerton (CA)
  • Fullerton College (CA)
  • Santa Ana College (CA)
  • University of California, Santa Barbara (CA)

In Orange County, 36% of low-income households experience hunger at least once a day and well over 1/3 are children. Engaging students in experiential learning that addresses sustainability in ...