The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE – pronounced “AY-shee”) is an association of colleges and universities that are working to create a sustainable future. A member-driven, independent 501(c)(3), AASHE works with all sectors of the campus community in its mission to “empower higher education to lead the sustainability transformation.”

AASHE provides resources, professional development, and a network of support to enable institutions of higher education to model and advance sustainability in everything they do, from governance and operations to education and research. Officially established in 2006, AASHE grew out of the Education for Sustainability Western Network (EFS West), which was formed in 2001.

“One of the things that has happened over the years of the short life of AASHE is that it has gone from being a small program with some high hopes to being a national organization that serves a large number of institutions and provides them with help in moving forward on issues of sustainability,” said the organization’s Executive Director, Paul Rowland. “My charge in coming into this position is to help AASHE assume leadership at the national level and help higher education move forward in sustainability.”

AASHE offers its members a variety of professional development opportunities, including the organization’s biennial conference which is taking place this week. AASHE’s on-line resource center is an ever-expanding storehouse full of publications, links, discussions, tools and statistics related to campus sustainability. AASHE also hosts the reporting system for the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment. Perhaps one of AASHE’s most exciting programs is its new STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating) System, a comprehensive and transparent tool colleges and universities can use to measure their progress toward sustainability.

AASHE’s Biennial North American Conference. Photo courtesy of AASHE. AASHE offers institutional (for U.S., Mexican and Canadian colleges and universities), international and business memberships. Check out AASHE’s web site for more information on how you can get involved.

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