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A National Trend Sustainability in Higher
Education and ACPAs Leadership Role Debra
Rowe, Ph.D. President, U.S. Partnership for
Education for Sustainable Development Co-coordinator, Higher
Education Associations Sustainability Consortium
Overview Education For a Sustainable Future
  • Part I Why EFS and Growing Expectations?
  • Part II What does it look like in higher
  • Part III National Trends and Resources
  • Part IV ACPAs Initiatives
  • Part IV Next Steps

Sustainable Development is often defined as
  • meeting the needs of the present
  • without compromising the ability of
  • future generations to
  • meet their own needs
  • World Commission on Env. and Development.
    (1987). Our Common Future. England Oxford
    University Press.

Social Well-being
Flourishing Environment
Strong Economy
Sustainable Society
Triple Bottom Line of
The United Nations has declared a Decade of
Education for Sustainable Development 2005-2014
Education for a Sustainable Society
enables people to develop the knowledge,
values and skills to participate in decisions ,
that will improve the quality of life now without
damaging the planet for the future.  
Sustainable Communities
Public Choices and Behaviors-Laws
Applied Knowledge/ Technological Skills
Private Choices and Behaviors-Habits
Sustainable Economies
Why Sustainability Now?
  • We are the first generation capable of
    determining the habitability of the planet for
    humans and other species.
  • The decisions of this generation are crucial. 

Why Sustainability Why Now?
  • Human presence on a global scale
  • All living systems in long term decline at
    unprecedented and accelerating rate
  • Unprecedented growth in population and
  • Gap between rich and poor accelerating

Global Perspective
life supporting resources declining
consumption of life supporting resources rising
Why is ESD such a high priority in the
  • Much of the U.S. public doesnt know that we are
    exceeding the carrying capacity of the planet.
  • All of the life supporting ecosystems are in
    decline (http//
  • The U.S. has approximately 5 of the worlds
    population and is consuming 25 of the worlds
    resources. (Jucker, Our Common Illiteracy
    Education as If the Earth and People Mattered,
    Peter Lang Publishers)
  • Public doesnt know we can reduce human
    suffering, environmental degradation and social
    injustice now while building stronger economies
  • A rapid shift in mindset is needed and education
    is the key.

Why is environmental responsibility such a high
  • Freshwater withdrawal has almost doubled since
    1960 and nearly half the worlds major rivers are
    going dry or are badly polluted (New
    Internationalist, no. 329 November, 2000. 18)
  • 11 of the worlds 15 major fishing areas and 69
    of the worlds major fish species are in decline
    (State of the World 1998, 60-67)
  • Climate change (global warming) exists, a major
    culprit is fossil fuels, and impacts are very
    serious. (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
    Change report Summary for Policymakers The
    Science of Climate Change 1995)

Effects -Climate Change
  • Effects on food production
  • More extreme weather events
  • Disruptions of ecosystems
  • Spread of disease to temperate climates
  • Submersion of land masses
  • 1 to 4 foot sea level rise
  • 50 of worlds population lives on the coasts
  • (75 in 2050)
  • 140,000 deaths per year attributed to climate
  • Sources 1-5 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate

Global Transition -
  • From
  • Fossil powered
  • Take, make, waste
  • Living off natures capital
  • Market as master
  • Loss of cultural biological diversity
  • Independence
  • Materialism as goal
  • To
  • Solar powered
  • Cyclical production
  • Living off natures income
  • Market as servant
  • Increased cultural biological diversity
  • Interdependence
  • Human satisfaction goal

Dominant Inaccurate Human Beliefs Which ones do
you have to eliminate?
  • Humans dominant species separate from environment
  • Resources free and inexhaustible
  • Technology the answer
  • Earth can assimilate all wastes
  • All human needs can be met by human means
  • Individual success independent of health of
    communities, cultures and ecosystems

Many myths must be dispelled. Which of
these myths do you believe? 
  • Sustainability is mostly about the environment
  • Sustainability is just another issue, like
    international studies or computer literacy
  • Sustainability is secondary to the university's
    core mission and function
  • Sustainability will almost always cost the
    university more money
  • Sustainability is primarily a scientific and
    technical problem

Potential is enormous
  • 4,096 U.S. Colleges and Universities (1)
  • 14.8 million students (1)
  • 277 billion annual expenditures 2.8 of the
  • HE expenditures gt the GDP of all but 25 countries
    in the world(2)
  • 1 From 2001 Digest of Education Statistics,
    US Dept. of Education.
  • 2 From 2001 CIA World Factbook and Dowling,
    Mike., "Interactive Table of World Nations,"
    available from http//
    .html Internet updated Friday, June 29, 2001

Part II
  • What does
  • education for a sustainable future
  • look like within higher education?

  • What if higher education were to take a
    leadership role, as it did in the space race and
    the war on cancer, in preparing students and
    providing the information and knowledge to
    achieve a just and sustainable society?
  • What would higher education look like?

For higher education, Sustainable Development
integrated into
Mission and Planning
Community Outreach and Partnerships
Professional Development
Student Life
  • Change operational and policy norms so all
    students can learn and practice how to be
  • environmentally responsible
  • socially responsible
  • economically responsible
  • active citizens in a global economy

Goal All students engaged as effective change
agents in our sustainability challenges From
apathy caring involvement. Students
need to know that their daily decisions affect
the quality of life of people around the globe
The campus as a living lab for sustainability
practices and skill building. Academics,
Student Life, Facilities and Purchasing
creating Sustainability as the Campus
Context Latent Currricula Provides the
models and opportunities for practicing the
changing of behaviors Building values,
behaviors, and identities
  • A community of learners. A community of real
    life problem solvers.

Key places to place sustainability and
institutionalize it
  • Mission
  • Strategic Plan
  • Budget
  • Orientation
  • Campus Map and Signage
  • Building Policies
  • Operations and Purchasing Policies
  • Student Life
  • Residential Living
  • Infused throughout curricula
  • First Year Experience
  • Gen Ed Core
  • Curricula Review
  • Community Partnerships
  • Workforce Developmt

Mission and Planning
  • Already in most mission statements
  • Tie it to the academic, student life and
    facilities/operation plan
  • Include it in the budget

Purchasing and Operations
  • LEED can be done without extra funds (Interface
  • Life Cycle Costing
  • Conservation first, renewables next (higher ed is
    1 purchaser of wind power)
  • Campus Climate Challenge and the mainstream
    Higher Education Climate Action Partnership
    measure and reduce greenhouse gases
  • Environmentally and socially responsible
    purchasing,, NAEP purchasing coalition
    Brian Yeoman, Rutgers, National Association of
    Campus Stores

Student Life
  • Presidential Taskforce on Sustainability ACPA
  • http//
    , including overview, learning outcomes,
    residential sustainable living campaigns (with
    ACUHO-I), first year experience, orientation,
    film series and sustainability media festivals,
    examples and templates for members
  • ACUI and NACA national initiatives
  • NACUFS for dining halls and food services
  • Harvard Campus Greening by students -
    http// -
    How to manuals for you and students

1) Examples at
df and 2) Textbook revisions to
infuse ESD- creating a consistently updated
worldview across disciplines
  • Curricula Gen. Ed. requirements
  • and infusion into multiple disciplines

Challenges and Answers
  • Challenges
  • Already busy
  • Dont know this stuff
  • Putting out fires, dont have time to do the
    right thing
  • Issues complex and systemic
  • Societal environmental impacts invisible and
    often ignored
  • Answers
  • Use national resources
  • Learn from other institutions
  • Use students and staff nationally to help you
    learn, grow and implement

HE Sustainability Examples
  • Systemic integration, including student life
  • University of Florida
  • Georgia Tech
  • University of North Carolina
  • University of British Columbia
  • Arizona State
  • Lane Community College
  • Transportation
  • UC Boulder
  • Cornell
  • Energy Climate Change
  • SUNY Buffalo
  • University of California System
  • Western Washington University
  • University of Minnesota

HE Sustainability Examples
  • Curriculum
  • Northern Arizona University
  • University of Georgia
  • Oakland Community College
  • Food
  • University of Montana
  • UC Santa Cruz
  • Green Building
  • University of Washington
  • South Carolina universities

Group Question 1
  • What is the content, context and process of
    education, student life and campus operations
    that would result in all students having
    knowledge, skills and values to lead society down
    a more
  • sustainable path?

Make sustainability an integral part of
planning, operations, facility design,
purchasing, investments, and student life, and
tie all of these efforts to the formal
curriculum. Student life is both the content,
the context and the glue for this
learning. Latent Professors
Example of Student Sustainability Projects for
all campuses Part I
  • Campus sustainability audits
  • Green and fair trade purchasing research
  • Higher Ed. Climate Action Partnership
    (http// and
  • Fellowships through National Wildlife
    Federations Campus Ecology - http//

Example of Student Sustainability Projects for
all campuses Part II
  • Film and speaker series and positive futures
  • Green building designs and sustainable living
  • Info on sustainability in career office,
    orientation, first year experience
  • Many more possibilities project website!

Part III
  • National Trends and Resources

Some statistics on activities
  • 250 sustainability coordinators/offices/
  • 275 campus sustainability assessments
  • 300 LEED (green) Buildings
  • Greatly increased student activism 271
    campuses for Campus Climate Challenge

GREAT NEWS!!! Growing National Trend Seventeen
national HE associations and thirteen national
disciplinary associations are creating
initiatives on Education for Sustainable
Engaged National Associations
  • 9. APPA Facilities
  • 10. NACUBO Business
  • 11. SCUP College and University Planners
  • 12. ACUI Student Unions
  • 13. ACPA Student Life
  • 14. NACUFS Food
  • 15. ACEED-I Events and Conference Directors
  • 16. NACS Campus Stores
  • 17. NIRSA Recreation
  • 18. AGB Ass. of Governing Boards
  • 1. ACEAm. Council on Ed.Presidency Magazine
  • 2. AACU Ass. of American Colleges and
  • 3. AACC Am. Ass. of Community Colleges
  • 4. AASCU State Institutions
  • 5. ACUHO Housing
  • 6. NACAS Aux. Officers
  • 7. NAEP Educational Buyers
  • 8. NACA Campus Activities

Higher Education Associations Sustainability
HEASC founding members
ACPA AASCU state colleges and universities APPA
- facilities directors SCUP - planners NACUBO -
business officers NAEP - buyers AASHE -
sustainability leaders ACUI - student unions
Members in HEASC as of 6/06
  • College Student  Educators International
    (ACPA) American Association of State Colleges
    Universities (AASCU) APPA Serving Higher
    Education Facilities Professionals Association
    for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher
    Education (AASHE) Association of College
    University Housing Officers International
    (ACUHO-I) Association of College Unions
    International (ACUI) Association of Governing
    Boards of Universities Colleges (AGB) National
    Association for Campus Activities (NACA) National
    Association of College University Business
    Officers (NACUBO) National Association of College
    Stores (NACS) National Association of
    Educational Procurement (NAEP) National
    Intramural-Recreational Sports Association
    (NIRSA) Society for College University Planning

More Exciting News!!
Association for the Advancement of
Sustainability in Higher Education AASHE (A
AASHEs Mission
  • Catalyze sustainability in all sectors of higher
    ed - from governance and operations to curriculum
    and research
  • Vision campuses modeling sustainability in all
    learning, operations, and outreach

AASHE Resources
  • Case Studies of curricula, planning,
  • Tools (e.g. sustainability assessments/indicator
  • greenhouse gas calculators)
  • Conferences and professional development
  • Web resources over 800 syllabi, institutional
  • Listservs (for faculty, business officers,
    purchasing agents,
    facilities managers, students)
  • Inform local, state national policy
  • Encourage facilitate collaboration
  • Awards and recognition

National Discipline Associations
  • Convened this year in May
  • Political Science, Religion, Philosophy,
    Sociology, Chemistry, Biology, Engineering,
    Geography, Psychology, Modern Languages
  • Cosponsors
  • AACU
  • ULSF
  • Academic learning combined with real life problem
    solving for sustainability good for students
    and good for you

More National Organizations to assist you
  • Association of University Leaders for a
    Sustainable Future Tailloires
  • Second Nature
  • Grey Pinstripes for business schools through the
    World Resources Institute - http//projects.wri.or
  • U.S. Partnership for Education for Sustainable

U.S. Partnership for Education for Sustainable
  • Non-partisan
  • Multiple Sector Teams Business, Higher Ed.,
    K-12, Youth, Faith
  • Convene, Catalyze, Communicate

49 Join for free Participate
in a sector or action team
Helpful simulation tools
  • For example,
  • We Can Afford to Solve the Worlds Problems
    The World Game Institute - 18 strategies for
    confronting the major systemic problems
    confronting humanity
  • http//

Utilize outside stakeholders and powerful cross
sector collaboration
  • Businesses (
  • City and county government (Mayors Climate
    Protection Act)
  • Non-profit organizations

Part IV
  • ACPAs Leadership Role

ACPAs Presidential Taskforce
  • Wonderful group of dedicated people
  • Multiple projects, including but not limited to
  • Freshman pledge
  • State and International Roadshow templates
  • First Year Experience
  • Orientation that explains the importance globally
    and availability of sustainability on campus
  • Career information on sustainability jobs
  • Infusion into professional development
  • Outreach to engage other national higher ed

ACPAs Presidential Taskforce
  • Webpage, e-learning, publications,
    teleconferences and webcasts with information
  • sustainability principles,
  • learning outcomes,
  • examples, templates and how-to manuals for the
    range of sustainability projects
  • Feed into Earth Day, Make A Difference Day,
    Service Learning Day, National Campus
    Sustainability Day ( as kick-off

ACPAs Presidential Taskforce
  • Collaboration with other national higher
    education associations on
  • Rating system
  • Socially and environmentally responsible
  • Presidents pledge on climate change
  • Higher Education Climate Action Project
  • Team building on campus at VP and other levels
    for sustainability

  • On-campus strategies

Key strategies to build the perceived critical
  • Professional Development for campus staff
  • Upper administration support memo from all VPs
    empowering all staff and faculty to help
    implement sustainability
  • Presidential support Tailloire Declaration,
    AACC resolution
  • Incentive building via budget use the savings
    to fund the next projects
  • Faculty and Staff - Identifying influencers and
    asking for help
  • Framing - Connect diversity, global learning,
    international ed, service learning, economic
    development, student life and environmental
    learning constituencies

Key EFS Strategies
  • What do our students need to be successful in
    their adult roles of career person, family member
    and community member?
  • Making invisible impacts visible
  • Practicing sustainability on campus and in
    external communities connected to student

Professional Development Strategies
  • Internally focus on ESD in higher education
    staff and faculty
  • Examples NAU, GA Tech, Emory
  • Externally reach out to professionals (get on
    the advisory committees and accreditation
  • Keep asking, What are your next steps in making
    education for and practice of sustainability a
    major goal of your institution?

Possibilities for Next Steps
  • 1. Explicitly recognize and include ESD in the
    next round of mission definition and strategic
    planning (e.g. Illinois Weslyan, Lane CC, attend
    SCUP workshop)
  • 2. Encourage your strategic planners, purchasing
    agent, facilities director, student life
    coordinators, faculty and students to join the
    national online learning communities dedicated to
    education for sustainable development. (go to and click on Email lists)
  • 3. Include sustainable development core
    competencies in the next revision of General
    Education outcome requirements, first year
    experience, orientation (examples at , and http//
    /sustainability/ )

Possibilities for Next Steps Commit to
  • a. Build and renovate facilities using socially
    and environmentally responsible practices (e.g.
    LEED and Energy Star)
  • b. Purchase socially and environmentally
    responsible products (e.g. no sweatshop products
    in the bookstore) (e.g. national initiative from
  • c. Infuse sustainability throughout the
    disciplines via staff development offerings and
    faculty engagement strategies (e.g. Broward CC
    and Emory)
  • d. Develop college-community partnerships for
    sustainable development and using those
    partnerships for service learning opportunities
    for students (e.g. Grand Rapids CC and

Possibilities for Next Steps Commit to
  • e. Engage in the Campus Climate Challenge to
    reduce greenhouse gas emissions
    (http// )
  • f. Help to create economic policies that support
    stronger economies via the building of healthier
    ecosystems and social systems (e.g.
    http// )
  • g. Utilize the media to publicize the positive
    steps your institution takes to both teach and
    model sustainable development.

For education, Sustainable Development integrated
Mission and Planning
Community Outreach and Partnerships
Professional Development
Student Life
Emphasize the benefits - Embracing esd can
  • Improved teaching and learning
  • Students prepared for citizenship and career
  • Attraction of students, faculty and funding
  • Save and other resources for the institution
    and society
  • Improve the institutions reputation
  • Cooperation and satisfaction across institution
  • Help improve town/gown relationships
  • Fulfill moral and social responsibility
  • Improve strategic positioning

Part V
  • Next Steps

Group Question 3
  • What are your next steps in making
    education for and practice of sustainability a
    major goal of all higher education via your
    leadership roles at ACPA?

  • Use this power point and commission/committee
    templates to generate understanding, discussion
    and action in your group
  • Generate new projects related to sustainability
  • Identify members to work on already described
    projects and send names to Kathleen Gardner
  • Help the Presidential Taskforce disseminate and
    implement their projects

  • The U.S. public is not educated enough about
    sustainability issues and solutions.
  • We need sustainability literacy and engagement
    for ALL. This is no longer optional for a viable
  • Some exciting developments, too many to report,
    but much more needs to be done.
  • We can assist you. Share what you do with ACPA
    and we will share with others via

Let our enthusiasm show! For more information,
contact Kathleen Gardner at (Deb
ra Rowe at