Making Inroads for Learning to be Green Campus Models for Sustainability By Joanna Nadeau It’s time for an update on the old adage: Those who can, do AND teach. For over 25 years, Audubon International (AI) has worked with partners to make development more sustainable and also to educate patrons, staff and community members how to improve environmental quality. While AI’s certification programs encourage adoption of best practices at the properties and communities where we work, the ultimate goal is to increase adoption of best practices beyond the facility or community. Since its inception, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) has been working with a similar goal—to inspire and catalyze higher education to lead the global sustainability transformation. AASHE is working to speed the adoption of sustainability practices beyond the campus by increasing collaboration among individuals, institutions and external partners. Now AI and AASHE are working together to share the sustainability message.
Recognition and Assistance Programs
AASHE and AI members demonstrate their commitment to sustainability by pursuing and completing the certification and rating programs. Two of AI’s programs, the Signature Program and the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program (ACSP), promote and verify sustainable practices at educational institutions. AASHE’s Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. STARS participants pursue credits and may earn points across the breadth of higher education sustainability elements including: Academics, Engagement, Operations, and Planning & Administration. More than 650 institutions from the United States, Canada, and around the globe are using the STARS Reporting Tool, and over 300 of these have achieved a STARS rating of Bronze, Silver, or Gold. Any institution that wishes to participate in STARS but does not want to
AI’s scientifically rigorous, yet streamlined and interactive, certification programs have helped public and private colleges and universities protect (and restore) wildlife habitat, water, energy and other natural resources. Certified members of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program (ACSP), such as St. Mary’s College of Maryland and the University of Michigan’s Radrick Farms Golf Course, are working to become better environmental stewards as they deliver great educational experiences while engaging the community and other partners. A Certified Signature Silver golf course, Lonnie Poole at North Carolina (NC) State University, not only practices stewardship but also was designed with environmental protection and resource conservation in mind.