Nearly 60 percent of all new higher-education programs or training opportunities in 2011 focused on renewable energy and green careers, with $543 million recorded toward the effort, according to the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s 2011 Higher Education Sustainability Review.
The annual review, an analysis of 2011 AASHE Bulletin stories, shows colleges and universities developed a total of 137 academic programs on sustainability in 2011, compared to 146 in 2010.
Popular non-degree training opportunities included sustainable agriculture, green business and, with the largest percentage (83 percent), green job training. Compared to 2009, green job training efforts increased 142 percent.
The analysis also found:
- Campuses announced 284 energy-related initiatives (including 97 new or planned solar installations and 34 completed or planned campus energy overhauls). This represents a 28 percent increase from 2010.
- Food security efforts on higher education campuses made up the largest percentage of the Bulletin’s “Public Engagement” (33 percent) and “Dining Services” (64 percent) categories. Together with “Funding” and “Grounds” categories, these four categories yielded 79 food security initiatives.
- With 191 environmentally friendly building stories, there were more green building efforts on campus reported in the AASHE Bulletin in 2011 than ever before.
- Solar energy research projects were the most widely reported item in the Bulletin’s “Research” category, with nearly $1.8 million in total investment.
An e-book version of the “2011 Higher Education Sustainability Review” will be available to AASHE members and nonmembers through Amazon Kindle this month.
In February, AASHE launched a free Campus Sustainability Data Collector, a single portal for colleges and universities to report their sustainability data for The Princeton Review Green Rating, Sierra magazine’s Cool Schools issue, and the Sustainable Endowment Institute’s College Sustainability Report Card.