It’s hard to believe that we are already midway through 2017! I’m pleased to note that AASHE has made significant progress this year. Some key accomplishments include the launch of our new website, several new professional development opportunities and progress toward our current strategic plan.

We’ve also been developing our new strategic plan throughout the past several months. The Board, Advisory Council and AASHE staff participated in the first part of the strategic planning process, the results of which identified five focus areas: outreach efforts, strengthening of programs around strategic leadership, advancing STARS, increasing business engagement and expanding our organizational capacity.

AASHE staff will formalize these focus areas into goals at their annual staff retreat this month. Additionally, objectives for each goal will be drafted. The Board will then review the draft in August before we share with members at the 2017 AASHE Conference & Expo member meeting. The final plan will be approved by AASHE’s Board in November.

Below you will find our progress as benchmarked against our current strategic goals (2015-2017):

Goal 1: Grow AASHE’s membership to include at least 1,200 actively engaged colleges and universities, NGOs, government partners and businesses

  • New website launched – our primary marketing tool.
  • New member portal launched, which aims to help create greater efficiency and better tracking of membership goals.
  • Annual member survey completed with 850 responses that will be utilized to inform our 2018-2020 strategic plan.

Goal 2: Empower members with indispensable resources to advance higher education sustainability

Goal 3: Catalyze sustainability leadership in higher education through increased visibility and recognition

  • Completed another year of STARS data sharing with The Princeton Review & Sierra magazine.
  • Created additional awards for published sustainability research in the AASHE Sustainability Awards program.
  • Formally endorsed the March for Science.
  • Signed letters to Congress supporting ENERGY STAR, WaterSense and Safer Choice programs, as well as Bay-Watershed Education and Training (B-WET) and Environmental Literacy Grants programs operated by NOAA.

Goal 4: Connect campus stakeholders with the training and professional development they need to be leaders for sustainability

Goal 5: Strengthen AASHE’s organizational capacity

  • Working with select campuses to award on-campus solar support through the Green Gigawatt Partnership (GGP). Currently negotiating an extension of the GGP partnership.
  • Continuing to maintain partnerships with many organizations.