December 12, 2017 (Philadelphia, PA) – Most recently the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) held its annual conference in San Antonio, Texas, themed “Stronger in Solidarity.”
“The annual conference is a great place to gather motivated and energized higher education sustainability practitioners who want to network, exchange ideas and learn from one another,” said AASHE Executive Director Meghan Fay Zahniser. “It’s always exciting to hear innovative ideas and feel the passion from the attendees throughout the conference,” she continued.
Nearly 1,700 attendees from across 14 countries convened to discuss how the campus sustainability community can break down walls, build bridges and continue to make progress toward a healthy and equitable future for all in 300 education and networking sessions. The conference also featured an expo hall with 68 exhibitors, 27 sponsors and 10 host institutions who shared innovative products and services to advance campus sustainability.
The conference kicked off with our annual, all day Student Summit where several hundred students gathered to hear Lydia D. Avila, Executive Director of the Power Shift Network, where she inspired participants by sharing her experiences in social justice, student activism and climate change.
Senior leaders, faculty, staff and students later gathered to hear Dr. Katharine Hayhoe who shared that while climate change can be a polarizing issue, it is one that has to be tackled today. During that opening address, we celebrated ten award winners for the AASHE Sustainability Awards where more than 90 campuses been recognized through this prestigious award program since its inception in 2006.
Additionally, Dr. Heather Hackman, founder of Hackman Consulting Group, spoke at the closing ceremony on issues of deep diversity, equity and social justice and how we are all “Stronger in Solidarity.”
As a group, attendees diverted a total of 1,417 disposable cups and 716 disposable bottles from going to landfill. That means, since the 2015 AASHE Conference & Expo 5,633 disposable cups and 2,504 disposable bottles have been diverted, and thanks to this year’s carbon offset sponsors, Duke Carbon Offsets Initiative; the Offset Network; and Urban Offsets Inc., we retired enough carbon offsets to mitigate all of the estimated emissions associated with travel to and from the conference as well as onsite energy use.
This year’s conference sponsors were Kimberly Clark Professional*, Duke Carbon Offsets Initiative, GreenerU, Offset Network, The Chronicle for Higher Education, Urban Offsets Inc., Aramark, Bay Wa.r.e., Navya, PepsiCo Recycling, Sunpower, AGREENOZZI, Cupanion, Level10 Energy, LimeBike, Lucid, MAMAC SYSTEMS, MaxR, Niagara Conservation, NRG, Oak Hall Cap & Gown, Optimum Energy, Polaris GEM, Prescott College, Sightlines, Solar Training Network, SPIN, the Solar Foundation and Johnson Controls.
About the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE)
AASHE empowers higher education administrators, faculty, staff and students to be effective change agents and drivers of sustainability innovation. AASHE enables members to translate information into action by offering essential resources and professional development to a diverse, engaged community of sustainability leaders. We work with and for higher education to ensure that our world’s future leaders are motivated and equipped to solve sustainability challenges. For more information, visit www.aashe.org. Follow AASHE on Facebook and Twitter.
Contact: Andrea Huggins
Marketing & Communications Coordinator
Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education