Memberships & Affiliations
UofL understands that at the heart of sustainability is a recognition of our interdependence and common future. Sustainability is not created in a vacuum and goes well beyond the borders of our own campuses. In seeking to promote sustainability we collaborate with other individuals and institutions at the local, state, national, and global levels.
One such avenue for mutual support is through UofL's membership in the following organizations:
- Louisville's Partnership for a Green City between UofL, Metro government, Jefferson County Public Schools, and Jefferson Community & Technical College. Follow the Partnership on or Twitter.
- , a public-private partnership that works to engage and collaborate with the community, and facilitate the achievement of Louisville’s sustainability goals. Since then, UofL's membership in the LSC has been maintained through the UofL Institute for Sustainable Health & Optimal Aging and UofL's Department of Urban & Public Affairs. In 2014, UofL's Sustainability Council became a dues-paying member of the
U.S. Green Building Council
The USGBC is a diverse group of builders and environmentalists, corporations and nonprofits, teachers and students, lawmakers and citizens that share the same vision of a sustainable built environment for all within the next generation
- The Association of University Leaders for a Sustainable Future (ULSF) which serves as the Secretariat for signatories of the Talloires Declaration, which the University of Louisville signed on to in November 2009.
United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network
In October 2018, UofL joined 684 universities and research centers throughout the world to advise the United Nations on sustainable development. The announcement was made at the 2018 Louisville Sustainability Summit, which UofL is hosted for the first time. “Inclusion in this international effort recognizes our efforts over the decades to impact our world in a meaningful way when it comes to sustainability,” said UofL President Neeli Bendapudi. UofL will also be a founding member of the U.S. Solutions Network. The national and regional networks support the localization of the 17 goals set out by the UN and agreed to by 193 nations in 2015. Local networks promote long-term pathways for sustainable development, promote high-quality education and research collaboration for sustainable development, and support governments in understanding and addressing the challenges of sustainable development. Through these efforts, the networks are working to create a future in which poverty has been eradicated, the planet is protected and people are ensured the ability to enjoy peace and prosperity. Read more.
- In July 2020, UofL joined the Post-Landfill Action Network (PLAN), as UofL’s Sustainability Council hosted PLAN Atlas Fellows over the summer. This membership offered benefits for the whole UofL community to tap into the power of the student led, zero-waste movement! From July through September 2021, all UofL students, faculty, and staff were encouraged to take advantage of:
- One-on-one advising calls with PLAN staff to help create a zero-waste strategy for your event, club, department, etc.
- Access to a wide variety of zero-waste manuals and digital resources from the Zero Waste Events Guide to Campus Composting
- A variety of online workshops and trainings to learn more about going zero-waste
- The opportunity to achieve PLAN Leadership Certification by attending the full training series
- Discounts on sustainable products and services, such as 40% off Klean Kanteen reusable bottles!
Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE)
UofL has been a loyal member of AASHE since May 2007! All who care about environmental, social and economic responsibility should get connected with AASHE! UofL's membership gives all faculty, staff and students access to a world of benefits, including member discounts and online resources. To get started, create a user profile using your @louisville.edu address.
AASHE member benefits, services and programs include:
Individual Member Accounts
Anyone at UofL can create their own account to access member-only pages on AASHE’s website and receive member discounts. Create your member account and complete the user profile using your campus email address. Email email@example.com if you have any difficulty with this process.
You can subscribe to any AASHE newsletters. AASHE Bulletin is a weekly e-newsletter with the latest campus sustainability news, resources, opportunities, and events. AASHE Events notifies you about AASHE’s annual conference, workshop, webinars and other AASHE-hosted events. AASHE Announcements contains updates on important organizational news. STARS Update keeps you current on activities related to the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System program.
AASHE’s online Campus Sustainability Hub and Resource Center include best practices, case studies, campus profiles, assessment tools, policy and program databases, how-to guides, reports, and other resources organized by theme. Much of this content is for members only so you’ll need to create a free individual member account.
AASHE holds or co-sponsors workshops and webinars throughout the year, plus an annual conference that brings together every sector of higher education as well as business, government, and non-profit participants. These events offer opportunities to connect with colleagues at regional, national, and international levels to share resources. As members, UofL students and employees receive discounts on all AASHE events. Check the AASHE calendar for upcoming events. Also see AASHE Conference Papers & Presentations Database.
Product and Service Discounts
AASHE business and non-profit members offer occasional product and service discounts for AASHE members.
Publicity and Recognition
You can submit campus sustainability news, jobs, resources, events, and opportunities to the AASHE Bulletin. The Bulletin informs over 11,000 subscribers about campus sustainability news, resources, and opportunities.
Submit applications for any of AASHE’s awards, including the Campus Sustainability Case Study Award, Student Sustainability Leadership Award, and Student Sustainability Research Award.
Sustainability Officers Directory
AASHE maintains an online directory of campus sustainability/environmental officers to enable us to find and reach out to colleagues doing similar work at other institutions.
Participate in AASHE’s Campus Sustainability Discussion Forums, which provide a central place for sharing ideas and best practices and for finding answers to questions on topics related to sustainability and higher education.
AASHE’s “Campus Sustainability Perspectives” blog features opinions and reports by staff and guests related to campus sustainability. Rad the blog, comment on posts, and request to submit your own items as a guest blogger. There is also a chronological archive page and a comprehensive list of blogs that are related to campus sustainability.
Governance, Councils, CommitteesDirect questions about AASHE or member benefits to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anyone from UofL can participate on AASHE’s committees, councils, working groups, and board.
In 2008, the University of Louisville signed on to the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, now known simply as the Carbon Commitment. As a signatory in good standing since 2008, UofL has been a part of the , committed to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions with the ultimate goal of carbon neutrality. As a Climate Leader, UofL is part of a network of colleges and universities that have made institutional commitments to eliminate net greenhouse gas emissions from campus operations, and to promote the research and educational efforts of higher education to equip society to re-stabilize the earth’s climate. The mission is to accelerate progress towards climate neutrality and sustainability by empowering the higher education sector to educate students, create solutions, and provide leadership-by-example for the rest of society. The Climate Commitment provides a framework and support for America’s colleges and universities to implement comprehensive plans in pursuit of climate neutrality. The Commitment recognizes the unique responsibility that institutions of higher education have as role models for their communities and in educating the people who will develop the social, economic and technological solutions to reverse global warming and help create a thriving, civil and sustainable society.
>> The Climate Leadership Network publicly hosts and !
- In 2014, UofL joined the Universities Council of Water Resources, an association of institutions and individuals representing various fields of natural and social sciences who are at the forefront of education, research, and public service around water resources. Membership provides reduced registration fees to UCOWR conferences for all UofL employees and students, as well as electronic subscriptions to the Journal of Contemporary Water Research and Education, participation in UCOWR governance, networking with other water scholars, and increased visibility as among the leading universities in water-related research across disciplines. Law Professor Tony Arnold (502-852-6388) serves as UofL's lead delegate to UCOWR.
The University of Louisville and UofL Campus Health Services are members of the Coalition for a Smoke-Free Tomorrow, a diverse group of stakeholders who have formed a statewide organization speaking with a single voice to improve Kentucky’s health by reducing tobacco use and protecting Kentuckians from the dangers of secondhand smoke and other tobacco-related emissions. Members commit to:
• Publicly recognize the toll that Kentucky’s high smoking and tobacco use rates take on health, health care costs, productivity, and quality of life.
• Champion the role of comprehensive smoke-free policies (policies that cover traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes and hookah, and that apply to all indoor work spaces, as well as all buildings that are open to the public) and increased tobacco taxes play in reducing smoking rates and improving community health.
• Share Coalition for a Smoke-Free Tomorrow messaging and materials with their members, customers, employees, clients and networks.
The UofL School of Public Health is a partner of the . Partners further agree to:
• Publicly support Coalition goals, including enacting comprehensive smoke-free workplace policies, raising tobacco taxes by $1/pack or more, and helping make smoking cessation programs available and accessible in Kentucky communities and workplaces.
• Confirm that their own indoor workspaces and buildings are 100 percent smoke-free.
• Provide additional staff, materials and/or financial or other resources to the Coalition for a Smoke-Free Tomorrow to expand education, social marketing and other elements of the Coalition’s work.
- UofL was a founding member of the Kentucky Green Schools Coalition (established January 2016), established as a strategic alliance leading educational, environmental and health organizations to advance the vision that all children will attend a green school within a generation. The mission of the coalition is to bring together the Commonwealth’s strongest supporters of creating a statewide infrastructure of green schools that are healthy, high performance educational institutions (pre-K through postsecondary). The coalition is committed to inspiring the next generation to establish sustainable, resilient communities and educational institutions while saving energy, resources, and money. A green school is resource efficient, reducing negative environmental impacts and costs while improving the health and wellness of schools, students, and staff. It engages students of all ages in sustainability and environmental education. Student engagement occurs via a multi-disciplinary and hands-on learning approach, using the entire building and grounds as a living laboratory to complement curricula that facilitates civic engagement, critical thinking, and collaboration skills. Green schools also develop and provide a solid foundation in STEAM subjects (science, technology, engineering, arts, agriculture, Mathematics) and green career pathways. Our efforts as a coalition align around the globally accepted three pillars of a green school: 1) reducing environmental impact and cost, 2) improving occupant health and wellness and 3) providing effective environmental education. By working together to encourage the design, construction and operation of healthier educational facilities, we seek to make an immediate impact on student health and productivity, school budgets, retention and the environment. In that regard, the Kentucky Green Schools Coalition promotes conversations about healthy, high performance educational institutions by:
• Supporting the establishment of a green school in every county by 2030.
• Connecting organizations and establishing synergy around collaborative opportunities to reduce silo, competitive, or duplicative programming; sharing best practices; and leveraging resources.
• Enhancing communication regarding public policy of interest to each organization; educating members regarding legislation, policies, procedures, and their potential impact on each organization.
• Educating local, state, and national leaders – elected and non-elected – about green schools, sustainability, and environmental education.
From 2010 until some time after 2016, UofL was a member of the Worker Rights Consortium, and a supporter of its Designated Suppliers Program. The WRC is an independent labor rights monitoring organization, conducting investigations of working conditions in factories around the globe, including those where licensed UofL apparel is manufactured. The purpose is to combat sweatshops and protect the rights of workers who make apparel and other products. The WRC conducts independent, in-depth investigations; issues public reports on factories producing for major brands; and aids workers at these factories in their efforts to end labor abuses and defend their workplace rights. UofL was also an affiliate of the Fair Labor Association, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending sweatshop conditions in factories worldwide. Some time after 2016, both memberships apparently lapsed without any notice to the campus community or the UofL Sustainability Council.
- UofL was a charter member in the effort to establish a Kentucky College & University Carbon Consortium. This consortium, which was piloted via statewide meetings throughout 2014 in partnership with the Midwest Clean Energy Enterprise and the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development (MACED), is focused on mitigating climate impacts through regional forest management. With other Kentucky schools, UofL has been involved in collaboratively designing and launching the Consortium which is envisioned to: 1. Serve as a regularly scheduled gathering of institutional and regional stakeholders to allow its participants to discuss sustainability challenges and opportunities and share best practices; and 2. Act as a climate clearing house for university-organized resource exchanges, campus tours, speakers, and the purchase of local carbon offsets and services through MACED.
From 2010-2014, UofL was a dues-paying member of the National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE), University Affiliate Program and the Council of Environmental Deans and Directors(CEDD). Benefits included:
- Representation on NCSE's Council of Environmental Deans and Directors (CEDD)
- Participation in multi-institutional collaborations to secure funding
- Exclusive access to information on federal funding for environmental R&D and education
- Complimentary registrations for faculty and students to NCSE's National Conference
- Free campus-wide access to environment and energy news through E&E Publishing
- Access tothe Campus to Careers Environmental Internship Clearinghouse and preferential treatment for applicants.
- Discounted strategic assessment services for Interdisciplinary Environmental Programs
Other Collaborations for Sustainability
UofL also collaborates with groups and institutions focused on sustainability through a variety of other channels, such as:
- UofL students are active in the Kentucky Student Environmental Coalition (KSEC), a network of young people and student groups from across the commonwealth who are united in their concerns about environmental injustice and the impacts that climate change will have (and is already having) on our lives.
- UofL's Socially Responsible Investment Committee exchanges ideas and information with other schools through the Responsible Endowments Coalition.
- UofL participates in the Southeast Campus Sustainability Coordinators Network, which facilitates collaboration and the sharing of best practices across the following schools in the U.S. southeast (links to their sustainability offices/programs):
Agnes Scott College
Appalachian State University
Christopher Newport University
Coastal Carolina University
College of William & Mary
East Carolina University
Elizabeth City State University
Florida State University
Georgia Institute of Technology
Georgia State University
Georgia Southern University
Kennesaw State University
Louisiana State University
Middle Georgia State University
Mississippi State University
North Carolina State University
University of Alabama - Birmingham
University of Arkansas
University of Florida
University of Georgia
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
University of Louisville
University of Mississippi
University of North Carolina - Asheville
University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
University of North Carolina - Charlotte
University of North Carolina - Greensboro
University of North Carolina - Wilmington
University of Richmond
University of South Carolina
University of Tennessee - Knoxville
Virginia Commonwealth University
Wake Forest University
Western Carolina University
- UofL regularly shares ideas, learns from, and organizes for sustainability with other institutions of higher education throughout the region. Examples have included:
- UofL hosted a campus sustainability tour during the May 9, 2017 Kentucky School Energy Summit organized by the Kentucky School Board Association.
- UofL's Assistant to the Provost for Sustainability Initiatives, Dr. Justin Mog, traveled to Siena Heights University (Adrian, MI) to consult about launching sustainability initiatives and to speak as part of the William Issa Endowment Speaker Series: "Embracing the Challenge of Sustainability: Transforming Campuses, Reshaping Minds & Investing in our Common Future" (April 6-7, 2016).
- Four UofL staff & faculty organized a Zero Waste (Composting & Recycling) and Sustainable Grounds Management Tour of Belknap campus for 14 facilities management representatives from Western Kentucky University on Jan. 7th, 2016.
- Eight UofL staff, faculty, and students participated in ten different presentations at the 2014 Campus Community Partnerships for Sustainability conference, November 14-16 at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green.
- UofL was a lead organizer of the Car-Free Kentucky Caravan networking journey to the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) 2013 Conference (Oct. 6-9, 2013 in Nashville). Students, faculty and staff from three Kentucky schools bicycled 200 miles together to Nashville! Read the Blog: The Adventures of the Car-Free Kentucky Caravan to AASHE 2013 (October 3-5, 2013).
- UofL was a lead organizer of the 2012 Campus Community Partnerships for Sustainability Conference, the Interdisciplinary Sustainability Symposium: Cross-Pollinating for Resilience, and Bluegrass Bioneers (November 1-4, 2012).
- UofL shares ideas through the Kentucky Campus Sustainability Leaders Workshops.
- UofL's advocacy for responsible energy policy in the Commonwealth of Kentucky dates back to 2008, when UofL's President Ramsey joined in a statewide initiative called Energizing Kentucky which was launched with this joint statement from the presidents of Berea College, Centre College, University of Kentucky, and University of Louisville:
"We believe higher education has an important role to play in the work ahead: framing issues, seeking solutions, providing basic and applied research, and educating the next generation. We know that this work requires a partnership across the Commonwealth that includes business and public policy leaders, as well as those involved in education. We four presidents, representing both public and private institutions, propose a public policy focus on energy for the Commonwealth of Kentucky that we call 'Energizing Kentucky.'" As the brainchild of Berea College President Larry D. Shinn, Centre College President John A. Roush, University of Kentucky President Lee T. Todd Jr. and University of Louisville President James Ramsey, Energizing Kentucky encourages Kentucky to focus on a coherent and integrated energy policy and will assist this policy formation by bringing together state and national energy experts to discuss the economic, educational, and environmental opportunities and challenges presented by the world's current energy situation."