AASHE Releases Annual Review of Sustainability in Higher Education

Published on March 26th, 2007 | by

2006digestcover A new report produced by AASHE – the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education – shows an explosion of activity around sustainability on campuses across the US and Canada. AASHE Digest 2006 offers a comprehensive review of campus sustainability efforts from the past year. The report includes over 600 stories about higher education institutions leading the way to a sustainable future. It is organized into 8 chapters covering: 1) institutional change, 2) education and outreach, 3) social responsibility, 4) green building, 5) energy management and renewable energy, 6) food and agriculture, 7) transportation, and 8) waste, water, landscaping, and procurement. "The incredible variety of sustainability activities underway on campuses is a sign of a healthy movement," said Tom Kimmerer, AASHE’s Executive Director. "If the first two months of 2007 are any indication, we are heading for another vigorous year."

The Digest offers ample evidence of a broadening and deepening of campus sustainability efforts, with more institutions of all types getting involved and campuses undertaking more significant measures than ever before to improve their sustainability performance. Of particular note is the fact that the combined green power purchases of the Top 10 higher education purchasers tripled in 2006.

Digest stories also show growing support for sustainability by the higher education associations. An entire track was devoted to sustainability at the "Campus of the Future" conference hosted by APPA, NACUBO and SCUP. Several associations have even formed a network called the Higher Education Associations Sustainability Consortium (HEASC) to advance sustainability within their programming and operations.

In 2006, higher education media also acknowledged the growing interest in sustainability, with the Chronicle of Higher Education and University Business each devoting a special issue to the topic.

AASHE’s own growth over the past year mirrors the trends highlighted in the report. By the end of the year, membership in AASHE had more than quintupled since the beginning of the year. In addition, AASHE’s inaugural conference held in October 2006 was the largest campus sustainability gathering to date, attracting nearly 700 participants.

AASHE Digest 2006 is made possible with the generous support of AASHE business partners Mithun, Powersmiths, and PortionPac.

The AASHE Digest is an annual compilation of news stories and resources from AASHE’s weekly newsletter, the AASHE Bulletin.

The full report is available for download here.

Via: (AASHE – the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education)


About the Author

John-Paul Maxfield is the founder of Waste Farmers. Waste Farmers is a next generation sustainable agricultural company focused on helping humanity meet current and future food demands, while decreasing agriculture’s environmental footprint. The Company started in 2009 with $9,000 and a belief that idealism and capitalism can coexist. Today Waste Farmers has evolved into an innovator respected by leaders in the global community for developing simple solutions to the complex problems of modern agriculture and food security. Prior to starting Waste Farmers, John-Paul founded the "The Inspired Economist", a blog focused on covering the people, places, ideas, and technologies inspiring positive change and redefining capitalism. In addition, John-Paul served as an Associate a private equity group specializing in small to mid cap service companies. In this capacity he focused on planning, forecasting, budgeting, and performance evaluation of MBH and its designated subsidiaries. Prior to joining MBH, John-Paul was an Analyst with Alvarez and Marsal where he spent the majority of his time on a team that aided Louisiana’s Recovery School District with the restoration of public schools post Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. John-Paul is active in the Colorado community, serving on the Board of the Rocky Mountain MS Center. In 2007 he was selected as one of the “Fifty for the Future” by the Colorado Statesman and is a graduate of the inaugural class of Impact Denver. John-Paul holds a BA from the University of Colorado.