By Meghan Fay Zahniser, AASHE Executive Director
The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) empowers higher education communities to take meaningful actions toward advancing sustainability. I believe that higher education is well positioned to lead the global sustainability transformation as they educate and prepare our future leaders. AASHE’s programs and services support institutions in implementing strategies throughout curriculums, as well as operation and administration processes, to equip graduates with the solutions they’ll need to address sustainability challenges.
Sustainability-focused academic degree programs are regularly being established at colleges and universities nationwide. Among AASHE’s most popular resources is our Sustainability-Focused Academic Programs database, which currently includes over 1,400 sustainability-focused academic programs at 475 campuses in 65 states and provinces.
Along with academic programs, there has been a nearly 40 percent increase in living-learning initiatives reported to AASHE that combine academics with experiential learning and campus operations to broadly infuse sustainability campus-wide.
We are also seeing a rise in higher education sustainability positions according to AASHE’s Higher Education Staffing Survey Report. The report is based on results from a staffing survey administered approximately every two years, which includes questions related to salary, scope of work, engagement with other units, number of supervised staff, reporting structure, and more. The 2015 staffing survey report will be released this fall.
Campus initiatives aren’t the only place we notice advancements in sustainability. Businesses are expanding their workforces to include sustainability experts. Not only do these positions play a vital role in the sustainability movement, but we believe that all positions can make a positive impact by incorporating sustainability efforts and strategies. Our goal is to support higher education institutions that are training the next generation of the workforce so that sustainability is no longer considered a movement, but a way of life. Join AASHE to learn how you can advance sustainability.