By Alexandria Brooks

Rowan University recently announced its membership in the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). 

The university will now be able to connect with over 900 other institutions in 21 countries and compare environmental policies and performance.

The initiative is expected to help usher in a new wave of sustainability policies, projects, and reporting on campus, according to Dr. Jordan Howell, program coordinator for Environmental & Sustainability Studies at Rowan University. 

“This is significant because AASHE is the leading organization for sustainability at colleges and universities,” said Howell. 

Over time, Howell believes being involved with the reporting process called STARS, which measures the environmental impact of universities with Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum ratings, will help reduce Rowan’s carbon footprint.

“Sustainability is a function of population size, quality of life, and the technologies we choose to use to maintain a given population and quality of life,” said Dr. Jess Evertt of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department.We’ve relied on fossil fuels too much for too long. Sustainable universities demonstrate sustainable actions and teach sustainability principles to the leaders of tomorrow.”

The effort to join AASHE took six months and was led by Center for Responsible Leadership in collaboration with Environmental Health and Safety, the School of Earth and Environment, the Honors College and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

AASHE’s online resources are accessible to anyone at Rowan University, including faculty and students as long as participants indicate their university affiliation when creating an account.

This story is part of our participation in a statewide climate reporting collaboration with members of the NJ College News Commons, a network of campus media outlets working together to cover the climate crisis in New Jersey.