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American University 2021 Sustainability Plan

A Five-Year Sustainability Plan

American University’s Sustainability Plan Sustainability Actions Following Carbon Neutrality

This sustainability plan is American University’s third campus sustainability action plan. It builds on the progress (including 100% renewable electricity, carbon neutrality, and fossil fuel divestment) made with the 2014 Sustainability Plan and a 2010 Climate Action Plan. This new plan reflects AU’s Climate Commitment renewal signed in 2016 which commits the university to creating a plan for sustainability and resiliency as we prepare for the inevitable impacts of climate change.

View the Goals

The Sustainability Plan is broken up into three sections: Engagement, Environment, and Administration. The goals and actions for each category of the plan can be found by following the links below.

Student Educators with Engagement Text Overlay


Achieving new sustainability goals welcomes and embraces the participation of the entire AU community.

Engagement Goals

AU garden with Environment text overlay


Every day actions across campus contribute directly towards sustainability progress.

Environment Goals

Solar panels with Administration text overlay


Maintaining sustainability progress while continuing to work towards new goals requires campus-wide support and integration into other initiatives.

Administration Goals


Following a 2017 resiliency workshop that AU hosted in partnership with DOEE, other DC universities, and the Nature Conservancy, consultants led an all-day workshop consisting of 21 faculty, staff, and students to identify opportunities for improved campus resiliency. Following the achievement of carbon neutrality in April 2018, the Office of Sustainability solicited input from the AU community for new sustainability goals through a faculty survey, during student and staff events, and online. In total, 251 ideas and thoughts were shared from students, faculty, and staff.

Sustainability staff reviewed prior STARS reports, the Sustainable DC goals, Resilient DC goals, the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and AU’s Strategic Plan to find opportunities to support sustainability and broader goals on campus, across the region, and globally.

The Sustainability Advisory Committee met several times to review the plan while stakeholders across the university met one-on-one with sustainability staff to write goals and actions.


Office of Sustainability Staff:
Megan Litke, Director of Sustainability Programs
Tacy Lambiase, Outreach and Communications Manager
Courtney Stoner, Sustainability Analyst

Sustainability Advisory Committee:
David Dower, co-chair
Ed Fisher
Hannah Fisher-Forman, Class of 2020
Maia Hatchett, Class of 2020
Kiho Kim
Sabine Malik, Class of 2022
Laura McAndrew
Peter Starr, co-chair

Thank you to contributors from offices across campus:
Juan Allen
Maria Barry
Brian Blair
Marcy Campos
Courtney Chinn
Hannah Debelius, ‘19
Stephanie Destefano
Mark Feist
Evert Finger
Josh Finver

Campus contributors, cont'd:
Geralynn Franceschini
Veronica Holland
Jerri Husch
Eleni Karistinos
Michael Mastrota
Dan Nichols
Simon Nicholson
Tyler Orton, ‘19
David Osborne
Ann Marie Powell
Amanda Taylor
Joe Van Story
Alef Worku

Additional Reviewers:
Rebecca Basu
Matt Bennett
Ravi Raman
Lisa Stark

Additional Thanks:
Everyone who contributed in the on-campus resiliency workshop and everyone on campus who provided input to this plan.