The University of Louisville seeks to engage students, faculty, staff, and the broader community with opportunities to study and investigate sustainability challenges facing society and potential solutions which balance environmental stewardship with social justice and economic responsibility. In 2008, UofL announced creation of an internal Sustainability Council to provide oversight and direction, coordinate activity and recommend policy. The University's commitment involves incorporating sustainability into all that we do, as reflected in the Council's three active committees: Operations, Education & Research, and Administration/Finance/Outreach (in which most issues of Community Engagement in sustainability are handled).
On the national level, the university is a member of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). AASHE is an association of colleges and universities that are working to create a sustainable future. Their mission is to empower higher education to lead the sustainability transformation.
An example of UofL's efforts in sustainability include membership in the Partnership for a Green City with Louisville Metro government and Jefferson County Public Schools. The three partners—which have a total of 26,000 employees, 120,000 students, thousands of vehicles and hundreds of buildings—want to combine both their buying power and brainpower to create an infrastructure that leads to waste reduction, energy efficiency and improved health and education for children and the community.
As a part of our strategic 2020 plan, the university measures its progress in sustainability through the comprehensive Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS). STARS is a voluntary self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to gauge progress toward sustainability and earn recognition for sustainability leadership. STARS was developed by AASHE with broad participation from the higher education community.