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

562
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.

562 resources

San Jose State University Chiller Plant Improvements

  • San Jose State University (CA)

The Chilled Water Plant underwent a major retrofit which was completed in 2012, which included the replacement of two electric chillers and the re-piping of the plant to allow the ...


SJSU Student Health and Wellness Center

  • San Jose State University (CA)

The Student Health and Counseling facility was constructed to enhance access for students living on campus while balancing convenient care for the growing residential population through both location and features ...

  • Posted April 26, 2017
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Boiler Feed Recycled Water Conversion Project

  • San Jose State University (CA)

The Central Plant facilities at San Jose State University (SJSU) campus currently uses approximately 23,000 CCF annually of potable water at the boiler make-up water feed system. In order ...

  • Posted April 26, 2017
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INhouse : a design|build project focused on collaboration, student engagement, and situational design

  • California Polytechnic State University (CA)

INhouse was a net-zero residence designed by a collaborative Cal Poly San Luis Obispo team in response to the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2015.

The Solar Decathlon ...

  • Posted April 24, 2017
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Seattle University On-Site Composting Facility

  • Seattle University (WA)

In 2002 Seattle University (SU) built a state-of-the-art, on-campus composting facility. The composting facility is a unique, sustainable, closed-loop system that processes pre-consumer food and yard waste that is produced ...

  • Posted April 20, 2017
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Carbon Tax

  • Whitman College (WA)

The Associated Students of Whitman College (ASWC) Sustainability Committee passed a self-imposed carbon tax on February 7, 2016. The tax is designed to raise money for the Green Fund, a ...

  • Posted March 13, 2017
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SAVE Sustainable Actions Visible Effects

  • Academy of Court Reporting (OH)
  • Pomona College (CA)

Project Overview Pomona-College is excited to present their innovative partnership with MelRok, “The Streaming Energy Innovator”. This partnership is the foundation of Pomona’s SAVE, Sustainable Actions Visible Effects initiative ...

  • Posted March 9, 2017
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Icebox Detox Challenge

  • Arizona State University (AZ)

The Icebox Detox Challenge addresses environmental stewardship activities by promoting an environment where laboratories have an accurate inventory of all biological samples at ASU. This innovative approach allows researchers to ...

  • Posted July 27, 2016
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UT Farm Stand

  • University of Texas at Austin (TX)

UT Farm Stand is a student-led project that provides local and organic fresh foods to the University of Texas at Austin students, faculty, and staff. Our mission is focused on ...

  • Posted June 16, 2016
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Ohio State University Sustainability Goals Project and Campus As A Living Laboratory Digital Archive

  • The Ohio State University (OH)

Undergraduates in the Environment, Economy, Development, and Sustainability (EEDS) major at The Ohio State University (OSU) complete a capstone course where student research teams analyze specific action priorities of the ...

  • Posted June 16, 2016
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Atlanta People's Climate March and Climate Summits

  • Georgia State University (GA)

Sustainable Energy Tribe (SET), the largest student environmental group on Georgia State University's campus, worked to make climate change and environmental justice major themes for the year. These efforts ...

  • Posted June 16, 2016
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Net Impact Energy Efficiency Project

  • Saint Joseph's University (PA)
  • Net Impact (CA)
  • The Saint Joseph's University Net Impact Undergraduate chapter has been collaborating with R World Energy Solutions—a sustainable energy consultant to business—over the past year in order to ...

  • Posted June 11, 2016
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UCSC Climate & Energy Strategy- A Roadmap to Carbon Neutrality by 2025

  • University of California, Santa Cruz (CA)

Over the past 18 months, UCSC has been implementing a process to develop a comprehensive Climate and Energy Strategy (CES) to support its goal of reaching carbon neutrality by 2025 ...

  • Posted June 11, 2016
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Sustainabiliy Impact Fund

  • Northwestern University (IL)

This project is a student-led initiative to allow Northwestern alumni to donate to supporting sustainability initiatives on our campus. Titled the Sustainability Impact Fund, this initiative includes directed fundraising efforts ...

  • Posted June 11, 2016
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ReCycle Bikes

  • Texas A&M University-Kingsville (TX)

ReCycle Bikes is a bike rental program designed to allow students, who demonstrate a need, access to free, eco-friendly transportation in exchange for sustainability project-related volunteer hours and peer-to-peer education ...

  • Posted June 11, 2016
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Rescued Food Feast

  • Arizona State University (AZ)
  • Aramark Higher Education (PA)

The Rescued Food Feast was an event held at Arizona State University and was a collaboration between the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability, Aramark Higher Education, Sprouts Farmers ...

  • Posted June 11, 2016
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The Big Ten Prospectus: Aligning Sustainability with Collective Mission Level Priorities

  • Purdue University (IN)
  • Pennsylvania State University (PA)
  • University of Maryland, College Park (MD)
  • University of Iowa (IA)
  • University of Michigan (MI)
  • Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, Central Office (NJ)
  • University of Illinois at Chicago (IL)
  • University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (MN)
  • Indiana University Bloomington (IN)
  • Northwestern University (IL)
  • University of Nebraska - Lincoln (NE)
  • Michigan State University (MI)
  • University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (IL)
  • University of Texas at Austin (TX)
  • The Ohio State University (OH)
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison (WI)

With higher education facing ongoing budget cuts, top to bottom reviews of programs and policies, and critical questions regarding the value of a college education, we—as sustainability professionals—must ...

  • Posted June 11, 2016
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Students and Sustainability: Mechanism for making Green Leaders

  • Ball State University (IN)

Introduction: Lead primarily by student initiative, a sustainability program has evolved into a new program whose mechanics are meant to make action, foster sustainable leaders, and educate a sustainable culture ...

  • Posted June 11, 2016
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Students for Sustainability

  • University of Arizona (AZ)

The University of Arizona’s Students for Sustainability program empowers students, builds leaders, and pursues institutionalized sustainability. The program embodies the University’s 100% student engagement model through its organizational ...

  • Posted June 11, 2016
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Middlebury College's Innovative Land Conservation and Financing Project

  • Middlebury College (VT)

In 1915, a visionary Vermont environmentalist bequeathed to Middlebury College a large tract of land, located 12 miles from the main campus, part of which became home to the College ...

  • Posted June 11, 2016
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UCLA is the Largest Public University in the U.S. to achieve Fair Trade Status

  • University of California, Los Angeles (CA)
  • Fair Trade Colleges & Universities (CA)

University of California, Los Angeles, part of a national initiative by Fair Trade Campaigns to engage college/university students in issues of global poverty, officially received designation as a Fair ...

  • Posted June 11, 2016
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Point of Departure: Place Making and Identity Via Integrated, Didactic & Sustainable Transit Shelters

  • University of Kentucky (KY)

The College of Design (CoD) & The Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER) saw an opportunity to advance the University of Kentucky’s sustainability agenda by developing real world projects ...

  • Posted June 11, 2016
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Community engagement and education on energy and water conservation

  • California State University, Northridge (CA)

Our capstone Sustainability class students at California State University, Northridge (CSUN) performed over twenty energy and water audits on local businesses in 2016. Each student was required to write up ...

  • Posted June 11, 2016
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UW Green Greek Representative Program

  • University of Washington, Seattle (WA)

Officially launched in November 2015, the Green Greek Representative Program (GGRP) is a student run program working through UW EcoReps and supported by UW Sustainability to make the Greek Community ...

  • Posted June 11, 2016
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Sustainable Carolina Leadership Program

  • University of South Carolina (SC)

The Sustainable Carolina Leadership Program is a sustainability-focused, student professional development program at the University of South Carolina, . It was conceived and developed over the course of six years to ...

  • Posted June 11, 2016
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Mohawk College Environmental Management Plan

  • Mohawk College (ON)

In 2011, Mohawk College was the first college in Ontario, Canada to release a comprehensive Environmental Management Plan (EMP) that laid out steps to enhance campus sustainability and set a ...

  • Posted June 11, 2016
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UW Admissions Modernization and Paper Reduction

  • University of Washington, Seattle (WA)

After years of planning, the University of Washington’s Admissions Office switched to paperless digital admissions process for most prospective students in 2015, with plans to expand it to all ...

  • Posted June 11, 2016
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Watershed UGA: Creating a University-wide Culture of Sustainability

  • University of Georgia (GA)

Thanks to funding and inspiration from the Ray C. Anderson Foundation, in 2015 the University of Georgia and its community partners have created a vision and framework for using campus ...

  • Posted June 11, 2016
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The Sustainable Office Program - SOP

  • California State University, Northridge (CA)

The Sustainable Office Program (SOP) is designed to assess department offices all over campus and categorize each office into four levels of sustainability. The four levels are Bronze, Silver, Gold ...

  • Posted June 11, 2016
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Eagles, Education, and Engagement through Green Technology

  • Alfred State College (NY)

Alfred State College (ASC) School of Applied Technology and the United States National Arboretum (USNA) have collaborated for over eight years in an innovative partnership that has generated significant measurable ...

  • Posted June 10, 2016
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Facilities and students working together for water conservation

  • 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 10, 2016
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Utility-Scale Solar Farm for University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

  • University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (IL)

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is proud of its sustainability initiatives, and Facilities & Services (F&S) is honored to support the campus wide Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP). The ...

  • Posted June 10, 2016
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The Shawneetown Gardens: a Sustainable Campus Community Garden Cultivated through Creation of Place

  • University of Kentucky (KY)

Rooted in the revitalization of a community garden on the University of Kentucky campus in Lexington, Kentucky, this project impacts a culturally diverse, multigenerational community through a multi-disciplinary effort led ...

  • Posted June 10, 2016
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BEE / HOUSE / LAB International Design Competition

  • University of Manitoba (MB)

BEE / HOUSE / LAB is an international design competition hosted by the University of Manitoba and open to students and designers in the field of environmental design, architecture, landscape architecture, industrial ...

  • Posted June 10, 2016
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Eco-friendly Lighting at the Smith College Museum of Art

  • Smith College (MA)

Beginning in 2014, after several years of study and preparation, the Smith College Museum of Art replaced all of the incandescent lights in galleries, classrooms, and other displays with energy-efficient ...

  • Posted June 10, 2016
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Empowering Students, Sustaining the University: The Southwestern Environmental Studies Capstone Experience

  • Southwestern University (TX)

Southwestern University’s Environmental Studies department has created a unique curricular program for their capstone students that allows them to identify aspects of the university where the social, economic, and ...

  • Posted June 10, 2016
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First Student Sustainability Symposium

  • Stevens Institute of Technology (NJ)
  • New Jersey Higher Education Partnership for Sustainability (NJ)

Innovation of Sustainable Communities was a unique symposium organized by students who are passionate about sustainability. Anyone who shares the same passion with them, was welcome to attend! The symposium ...

  • Posted June 10, 2016
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Carbon Neutrality at Université Laval

  • Universite Laval (QC)

As the first voluntarily carbon neutral university in Canada, Université Laval (UL) made sure its process was transparent so that any organization looking to combat climate change could refer to ...

  • Posted June 10, 2016
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The Morris Model: Catalyzing Community Resilience, Energy Conservation and Clean Energy Planning and Action

  • University of Minnesota, Morris (MN)

The University of Minnesota, Morris (UMM) has demonstrated a successful planning approach with partners across the state to build climate resilience into the consciousness and planning efforts of the city ...

  • Posted June 10, 2016
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Implementing Single Stream Recycling at Bryant University

  • Bryant University (RI)

The problem is that students don’t understand what single stream recycling is, and as freshman students enter Bryant University they are taught to throw both their trash and recycling ...

  • Posted June 10, 2016
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Ohio University's Professional Development Program for the Advancement of Sustainability

  • Ohio University (OH)

Ohio University's Office of Sustainability designed a Professional Development Program to advance the university's sustainability profile, particularly with its built environment. On a monthly basis staff from Architecture ...

  • Posted June 10, 2016
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RIT FoodShare

  • Rochester Institute of Technology (NY)

RIT FoodShare is an initiative on the RIT campus that has been established to address food insecurity and food waste. It is both a campus food pantry and a facebook ...

  • Posted June 10, 2016
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Duke Water Reclamation Pond

  • Duke University (NC)

After a severe drought in 2007, Duke spearheaded water reclamation projects across campus. The 5.5 acre reclamation pond collects storm water from 22% of Duke's main campus, over ...

  • Posted June 10, 2016
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Integrated educational food garden and composting

  • California State University, Northridge (CA)

Striving towards zero waste and with a close-the-loop philosophy, CSUN students are diverting over 35,000 pounds of pre-consumer waste/year and turning it back into food via an on ...

  • Posted June 10, 2016
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Plant-Powered Dining @ Cornell University

  • Cornell University (NY)

Student Sustainability coordinators sought to do something in line with these initiatives at Cornell. Many universities have adopted versions of a “Meatless Monday” program, or have an all-vegetarian dining hall ...

  • Posted June 10, 2016
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Emory University's Pollinator Protection Program

  • Emory University (GA)

Concerned about the plight of bees and other pollinators, essential for two-thirds of the food crops we eat every day, Emory University developed a comprehensive Pollinator Protection Commitment, which includes ...

  • Posted June 10, 2016
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Composting for a Greener Campus: the Texas State University Bobcat Blend program

  • Texas State University, San Marcos (TX)

Bobcat Blend is a faculty managed, student-run and grant-supported research and teaching-oriented waste management campus composting program at Texas State University. The goals of the organization are to teach students ...

  • Posted June 10, 2016
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Zero Waste Game Day at Duke University

  • Duke University (NC)

Leading up to the 2014 Duke Football season, a formal partnership was created between Duke Athletics, Duke Recycling, Duke Stores, and the Duke Sustainability Office in order to successfully achieve ...

  • Posted June 10, 2016
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UW–Madison Receipt Reduction Project

  • University of Wisconsin-Madison (WI)

Over a span of two years, teams of students, faculty, and staff at the University of Wisconsin–Madison eliminated mandatory receipt printing at campus dining centers, restaurants, markets, and cafes ...

  • Posted June 10, 2016
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The Water Hub at Emory University

  • Emory University (GA)

The WaterHub® is a decentralized, district-scale water reclamation and reuse system serving Emory University’s main campus in Atlanta, Georgia. As the first of its kind in the United States ...

  • Posted June 10, 2016
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