Each year American University conducts a greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory of campus operations. The inventory accounts for emissions from on-campus natural gas use, the campus fleet, electricity use, commuting, study abroad travel, travel to conferences and sporting events, waste that goes to landfill, and landscaping activities. AU’s goal is to eliminate or offset all GHG emissions by 2020. As of 2015, American University has reduced emissions by more than 52 percent from 2005.
Greenhouse gas emissions reductions are only part of the sustainability efforts at AU. To measure progress in the environmental, social, and economic aspects of sustainability work, AU uses the sustainability tracking, assessment, and reporting system (STARS) which was created by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) to help colleges and universities track progress and set goals. AU completed its third STARS submission in spring of 2016 and earned a gold rating. American University was a charter participant in STARS and has completed three assessments since 2010.
Progress happens daily. Follow the sustainability office to stay up to date and get involved.