By Sarah Brylinsky, Program Associate, Second Nature
An excellent overview of college and university sustainability efforts, The 2010 Campus Sustainability Review offers a comprehensive look at the achievements of campus sustainability by taking the varied, complex, and broad-reaching developments on campuses over the past year, and translating individual successes into a meaningful snapshot of current trends and major milestones for higher education.
Published by The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), the review draws on news featured in the AASHE Bulletin, which publishes weekly updates from member colleges and universities who self-report on advancements in green building, curriculum reform, grounds, dining, and other areas of campus sustainability.
The Review combines analytic statistics with qualitative analysis in a way which gives the reader a concrete sense of what programs have developed, and their relative importance in the sustainability movement. For instance, if you’re interested in what advancements have been made in Alternative Transportation, the Review reports “Another popular topic with 119 stories total, green campus transportation efforts were in full swing in 2010. Bike commuting to campus was the most frequent sustainable transportation endeavor reported in the Bulletin with 38 new initiatives.”
Furthermore, in-depth essays reflecting on ‘green collar jobs,’ student agricultural initiatives, and sustainability curriculum, break away from quantitative reporting and feature relevant statics within commentary by experts and field practitioners, who offer their thoughts and observations on the role of these initiatives in a greater social and educational context.
The Review is an excellent resource for those looking for a broad perspective on the direction sustainability on campuses is headed, and a guide for tangible examples within particular program areas. Capturing progress in a field where accomplishments are highly localized, and deeply qualitative, is difficult, but the Review provides readers with benchmarking data to make progress and developments clear while maintaining an overview of individual programs and initiatives that accurately represent the richness and variety of sustainability reform in higher education.