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

Climate Quest

  • University of Wisconsin-Madison (WI)

Climate Quest is a team-based challenge to design practical, high-impact solutions to mitigate or adapt to climate change. After launching in April 2014, 25 teams were selected from a pool ...


Stanford reduces campus greenhouse gas emissions by 68% in 2015

  • Stanford University (CA)

Stanford Energy System Innovations (SESI) program is a new district heating, cooling, and electricity system designed to meet the current and future energy needs of Stanford University in a sustainable ...


Solar Hot Air Heaters

  • Northern Arizona University (AZ)

The project outfitted Property Surplus building at the NAU Flagstaff campus with six solar heating panels. These six panels provide over 40,000 BTUs/hr. (or 12 kWh) of renewable ...


Innovations in Sustainability Curriculum: Teaching Full Cost Analysis through Student-Produced Documentaries

  • Furman University (SC)

The David E. Shi Center for Sustainability at Furman University sought to increase teaching of full cost analysis as a suite of tools that can be used as a framework ...


Vanderbilt University Power Plant Conversion

  • Vanderbilt University (TN)

Vanderbilt University's on-campus co-generation, dual fuel power plant was recently converted from using coal and natural gas to exclusively natural gas. The plant produces 23% of the University's ...


Building Green Communities: The UA Undergraduate Off-Campus Housing Sustainability Coordinator

  • University of Arizona (AZ)

The Undergraduate Off-Campus Housing Sustainability Coordinator (OCHSC) position was created at the University of Arizona (UA) two years ago. The OCHSC serves as a sustainability consultant to 28 apartment complexes ...


Tribe Truck Farm

  • College of William & Mary (VA)

Tribe Truck Farm is a micro-farm in the bed of a pickup truck. The main goal of this project is to initiate a dialogue within the William and Mary community ...


Watershed UGA

  • University of Georgia (GA)

With funding from the Ray C. Anderson Foundation, the University of Georgia (UGA) is leveraging a current town/gown campus stream restoration initiative to create a transformative experience in sustainability ...


Clean Energy Campus Campaign Pilot Testing and Development

  • Ball State University (IN)
  • Climate Neutral Business Network (OR)

For the past 4 years, Ball State University has worked with partner organizations to pilot the development and use of a Clean Energy Campus Campaign methodology whereby colleges and universities ...


A mathematical decision-making procedure to assist in the development of sustainability plans based on the STARS framework

  • Dominican University of California (CA)

This study proposed an approach that consists of two criteria; number of possible points available and overall priority, and two linear mathematical models, which selected credits for short, medium and ...


Translating Perceptions into Action: Advancing Zero Waste in ASU Housing

  • Arizona State University (AZ)

Report examines current solid waste management operational practices, infrastructure, stakeholder perceptions, and behavior pertaining to student housing on Arizona State University's (ASU) Tempe academic campus in order to inform ...

  • Posted March 3, 2015
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Green Living Certification: Rewarding Residents for Environmentally Friendly Lifestyles

  • University of Pennsylvania (PA)

The Green Living Certification certifies and rewards residents living in on-campus residential buildings for making day-to-day choices that reduce their environmental footprint. Residents fill out an online survey that calculates ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2014
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UA Compost Cats: Students Creating Community Partnerships to Turn Garbage into Gardens and Foster Local Food Security

  • University of Arizona (AZ)

Located 60 miles from the largest, landlocked port for food in North America, the student-run Compost Cats program has now forged partnerships with the City of Tucson, San Xavier Co-op ...

  • Posted April 12, 2014
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Turning Trash Into Cash- Sustainable Social Entrepreneurship

  • University of San Diego (CA)

In April 2011, the University of San Diego (USD) opened the Electronics Recycling Center (ERC), San Diego's first full-time e-waste collection facility for the public, with the intention of ...

  • Posted April 12, 2014
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Earn-A-Bike Program

  • University of Louisville (KY)

Changing commuting habits has been one of the thorniest sustainability issues for the University of Louisville, but we have finally begun to crack that nut through a popular, innovative program ...

  • Posted April 11, 2014
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The 4th Annual Student Sustainability Survey and Town Hall Meeting

  • Western Michigan University (MI)

We designed the 4th Annual Student Sustainability Survey for Western Michigan University this semester. We implemented the online survey and got a total of 1356 respondents over a 3 week ...

  • Posted April 11, 2014
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Aquaponic food production as an integrating context for campus sustainability

  • Allegheny College (PA)

The Food for Sustainability project at Allegheny College utilizes aquaponic systems for indoor, year round tilapia and lettuce production. The products are sold to Parkhurst Dining Services and are incorporated ...

  • Posted April 11, 2014
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Collaborative thermal heating conservation project at the College of the Holy Cross

  • College of the Holy Cross (MA)
  • GreenerU (MA)

The College of the Holy Cross's Student Government Association (SGA), Environmental Liaison program, and Physical Plant department developed a comprehensive program to reduce the common practice of opening windows ...

  • Posted April 11, 2014
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Massachusetts Green High Performing Computing Center

  • Harvard University (MA)

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts along with 5 research institutions in the Greater Boston area built a state of the art 377 square feet data center dedicated to research computing on ...

  • Posted April 11, 2014
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Change Your State: Sustainability Awareness Campaign

  • North Carolina State University (NC)

Change Your State is NC State University's sustainability awareness campaign. Initiated and coordinated by the University Sustainability Office, the campaign involves over a dozen campus partners, including departments and ...

  • Posted April 11, 2014
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Green Impact Goes International

  • MacEwan University (AB)
  • National Union of Students

Recognizing that staff and student engagement is vital to successfully creating a sustainable campus, MacEwan University sought innovative ways to enable, encourage and empower people to achieve practical, tangible behavioural ...

  • Posted April 11, 2014
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Sustainability Now and Powerful (SNAP!) International Program to Restore Landscapes, Recharge Educators, and Replenish Learning Systems

  • Prescott College (AZ)

Students in Prescott College's Doctoral Program in Sustainability Education developed a program to honor and share the stories of outstanding programs across the planet in sustainability education. The program ...

  • Posted April 11, 2014
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How to Start a Comprehensive Composting and Recycling Program at a Commuter College

  • Austin Community College (TX)

The Austin Community College is committed to promote and practice responsible environmental behavior. ACC has been rolling out numerous green initiatives designed to shrink its environmental footprint and increase the ...

  • Posted April 11, 2014
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Solar E-Charging Station

  • Camosun College (BC)

With funding from President's Funds 2013 grants and the Camosun College Student Society, Camosun College has installed a 4 KW Solar Photovoltaic (PV) array to offset the charging of ...

  • Posted April 11, 2014
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Neutral Gator

  • University of Florida (FL)

Neutral Gator provides UF with high-impact, local carbon offsets by performing energy efficiency upgrades of low-income families' homes and planting indigenous trees on conservation land in Gainesville, FL. Through this ...

  • Posted April 10, 2014
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Envisioning Sustainability: Implementing a Campus Community Food System at Virginia Tech

  • Virginia Tech (VA)

Virginia Tech, founded in 1872 as a land grant institution, has not lost its local roots. With a nationally recognized college of Agriculture & Life Sciences, the campus has its ...

  • Posted April 10, 2014
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Building a Campus Culture of Sustainability

  • Western Michigan University (MI)

Western Michigan University and its Office for Sustainability apply social learning to leverage behavior change and bridge the "gap" between people's stated aspirations for a sustainable world and their ...

  • Posted April 10, 2014
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Sustainability in Higher Education: A Case Study of Policy and Practice at Vancouver Island University

  • Vancouver Island University (BC)

In 2009, Vancouver Island University formally adopted a Sustainability Policy designed to guide environmental practices on campus. I envisaged that this would extend to more detailed strategies for dealing with ...

  • Posted April 9, 2014
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Rainwater Harvesting and Green Wall in LEED Gold building

  • Raritan Valley Community College (NJ)

RVCC has just built the Ray Bateman Center for Student Life and Leadership, which was built to LEED Gold Standards and opened in February 2014. It has a rainwater harvesting ...

  • Posted April 8, 2014
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Sustainability Reporting at Ball State University 2013

  • Ball State University (IN)

In 2013, a team of interdisciplinary graduate and undergraduate students prepared Ball State University's fourth sustainability report. This report was prepared in accordance with the Global Reporting initiative (GRI ...

  • Posted April 7, 2014
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GRI Reporting for Academic Institutions

  • University of Texas at Arlington (TX)

The intended audience for this GRI report includes The University of Texas System and State of Texas; University administration, faculty, and staff; current and prospective students, and their families; alumni ...

  • Posted April 3, 2014
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Green Book: Creative Sustainable Action

  • Delta College (MI)

Green Book: Creative Sustainable Action is a joint venture of the Sustainability Office and Humanities Department. Focusing on the triple bottom line—people, planet, profit—the publication is a collection ...

  • Posted March 31, 2014
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A Unique Hawaiian Learning Approach to Sustainable Living, Island-wide

  • Kauai Community College (HI)

A three prong approach to providing students with campus and community-wide learning at the UH Kauai Community College encompasses and concurrently implements:

1) Curriculum review ongoing, applying the General Electric ...

  • Posted March 28, 2014
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Creating a Living & Learning Laboratory for Applied Sustainability and Campus Farm Through Collaboration and Student Engagement

  • Southern Oregon University (OR)

Through a collaborative effort among the campus and local community, Southern Oregon University created a living and learning laboratory for applied research and projects in sustainability, The SOU Center for ...

  • Posted March 28, 2014
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The University of Texas at Austin's Building Energy Audit

  • University of Texas at Austin (TX)

The Building Energy Audit is a complete joining of both technical and behavioral energy conservation commitments designed to actively engage all aspects of the campus community to conserve energy and ...

  • Posted March 28, 2014
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Turning the Desert Green: Residence Life's Coordinator of Sustainability Education

  • University of Arizona (AZ)

In 2007, the University of Arizona's (UA) Residence Life department created the Coordinator of Sustainability Education (CoSE) position to manage an expanding environmental program. One of the first of ...

  • Posted March 28, 2014
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[email protected] ~ What can YOU do?' Holistic embedding and communication for maximum impact and engagement

  • Loyola Marymount University (CA)
  • FIE: Foundation for International Education (London)

[email protected] ~ What can YOU do?' - a holistic embedding and communication project, implemented in the 2013-2014 academic year in order to fully engage all Foundation for International Education (FIE) stakeholders ...

  • Posted March 28, 2014
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GreenHouse Food Buying Club

  • University of Vermont (VT)
  • Sodexo (FL)

A student initiated program that allows on-campus students from a specific Residential Learning Community (RLC) to use a portion of their mandated meal plans to purchase a "CSA". The "CSA ...

  • Posted March 28, 2014
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UCI Zero Waste Food Court Pilot Program

  • University of California, Irvine (CA)

The University of California, Irvine launched a pilot program for post-consumer waste diversion in retail dining in 2013. The program achieved Zero Waste under the University of California Office of ...

  • Posted March 28, 2014
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Green Networking Breakfast

  • University of South Carolina (SC)

In November 2013, the student organization Sustainable Carolina collaborated with the Green Quad Residence Hall at the University of South Carolina to host its first "Green Networking Breakfast." Students, faculty ...

  • Posted March 28, 2014
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Green Leadership Program

  • University of South Carolina (SC)

Sustainable Carolina's Green Leadership Program allows students to graduate with Leadership Distinction in "Professional and Civic Engagement." This comprehensive, interdisciplinary program broadens students' understanding of leadership and sustainability. During ...

  • Posted March 28, 2014
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Should Higher Ed. Go Carbon Neutral: A Look at Forest Carbon

  • Clarkson University (NY)

This project analyzes the benefits, barriers, and perceptions that institutions of higher education have for forest carbon offset projects. In particular the benefits of investing in certified offsets were weighed ...

  • Posted March 28, 2014
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Engineering Innovation Building (EIB) | University of Arizona - Where Big Ideas Come to Life

  • University of Arizona (AZ)

A collective team process to clearly state and re-identify "the users" as the main idea behind University of Arizona's Iconic Engineering Building. The users in lieu of Flexibility, Collaboration ...

  • Posted March 20, 2014
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Strategic Sustainability Planning to Synergistic Results

  • Lake Superior College (MN)

The purpose of the project was to engage primary campus stakeholders in a community training based on the internationally recognized Natural Step framework. Locally, Sustainable Twin Ports has been leading ...

  • Posted March 18, 2014
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Moving towards waste-free Move-out

  • Knox College (IL)

At the end of the school year, Knox college students, faculty, and staff join forces to collect and divert the many streams of resources (formerly classified as waste) generated during ...

  • Posted March 17, 2014
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Students for Environmental Sustainability

  • Kennesaw State University (GA)

The project is a student lead initiative aimed at improving culinary sustainability education and practices among students in both universities and k-12 institutions. The project has three primary focuses on ...

  • Posted March 8, 2014
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Advanced Climate Action: Stanford Energy and Climate Plan

  • Stanford University (CA)

Stanford has historically done much to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) impacts and in late 2007, the university set out to develop a formal action plan incorporating existing best practices in ...


Warren Wilson College Tree Inventory and Carbon Sequestration/Storage Analysis

  • Warren Wilson College (NC)

In a partnership with the North Carolina Forest Service Warren Wilson College Landscaping Crew students and staff conducted an assessment of the vegetation composition, function, and value of the urban ...


University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point LEED Gold Residence Hall

  • University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (WI)

The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point constructed the Suites @ 201 to further its efforts and dedication to sustainability. It is a model for green building standards and energy efficiency. It aligns ...


The University at Albany Liberty Terrace: Socially Conscious Building and Living

  • University at Albany (NY)

Liberty Terrace is the newest Residence Hall on the University's uptown campus with 500 apartment-style units. The building utilizes a ground source heat pump to provide 100% of its ...