Memberships & Affiliations
UofL collaborates with other institutions to promote sustainability beyond UofL.
UofL recognizes 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.
- The Louisville Sustainability Council - a public-private partnership that works to engage and collaborate with the community, and facilitate the achievement of Louisville’s sustainability goals.
- 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.
- UofL is a founding member of the Kentucky Green Schools Coalition
(established January 2016), a new 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
• 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.
- 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.
- The Worker Rights Consortium and its Designated Suppliers Program help to ensure that UofL trademark apparel is not produced under abusive, dangerous sweatshop conditions. (Previously, UofL was also affiliated with the Fair Labor Association to advocate for an end to abusive practices and injustices in the supply chain).
- The Association of University Leaders for a Sustainable Future (ULSF) which serves as the Secretariat for signatories of the Talloires Declaration, including the University of Louisville.
- Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE)
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, UofL is 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 UofL's Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventories and UofL's Climate Action Plan!
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:
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 to the Campus to Careers Environmental Internship Clearinghouse and preferential treatment for applicants.
- Discounted strategic assessment services for Interdisciplinary Environmental Programs
- Representation on NCSE's Council of Environmental Deans and Directors (CEDD)
- 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.
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.
- Check out the virtual stands at Expo 21XX for info on several sustainability initiatives at UofL:
- Sustainability Council
- Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research
- Renewable Energy Applications Laboratory
- Kentucky Pollution Prevention Center
- Office of the Vice President for Business Affairs
- UofL regularly shares ideas, learns from, and organizes for sustainability with other institutions of higher education throughout the region. Examples have included:
- 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 sends representatives to each workshop, and on October 22nd, 2010, UofL hosted the second workshop in this on-going collaboration, with representatives from: Bluegrass Community and Technical College, Transylvania University, Murray State University, University of Louisville, University of Kentucky, Northern Kentucky University, Morehead State University, and Jefferson Community and Technical College.
- 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.