This year the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education will be holding their annual Conference and Expo in our very own Portland, Oregon. With nearly 2,000 participants, AASHE’s annual conference is the largest gathering of higher education sustainability professionals and students in North America.
What is AASHE you ask? AASHE is an organization that encourages campuses across the globe to integrate sustainability into their school’s governance, education and research. Here at OSU we partner with AASHE every year when we use their program called STARS.
The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System is a transparent, self-reporting framework for higher education institutions to earn points in four main categories. Through analyzing Academics, Engagement, Operations, and Planning & Administration, schools can achieve a Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum rating. Oregon State earned another Gold rating this year, for the third time in a row!
AASHE’s mission is “to inspire and catalyze higher education to lead the global sustainability transformation.” As a school that already strives to be as sustainable as possible, this motto fits well with our beliefs here at Oregon State. We want everyone to take advantage of AASHE’s great resources to further our sustainable practices even more.
Did you know that by being a member of OSU, you are automatically a member of AASHE? If you plan to attend the conference, sign up with your OSU email and you will receive the member rate! Since the conference is in Portland this year, many students and faculty will be in attendance and the Sustainability Office, Student Sustainability Initiative and Campus Recycling will all be presenting.
Attending the Portland AASHE conference is a great opportunity for professional development and sustainability learning. On top of their STARS assessment, AASHE offers countless other resources for professionals. Their online Resource Center houses information on example policies, plans, and academic programs incorporating sustainability as well as job descriptions, an interactive databases of best practices, discussion forums on a variety of topics, and AASHE’s own blog featuring staff perspectives, student diaries, and interviews with experts, and guest bloggers.
Join us in Portland October 26-29 for this amazing event. Register here (at the discounted member rate), let us know you’re attending and get a cold cup, water bottle or coffee mug to use at the conference and keep afterward! We hope to see you all there!