By Gabriel Durham
The Office of Sustainability traveled to Pittsburgh to represent the University of Houston at the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s national conference and expo.
With approximately 2,000 participants, AASHE’s annual conference is the largest stage in North America to exchange effective models, policies, research, collaborations and transformative actions that advance sustainability in higher education and surrounding communities.
The Office of Sustainability presented a poster detailing campus dining halls’ commitment to sustainably sourced food and drastic waste reduction. As detailed on the poster, campus dining facilities are now committed to producing zero waste by 2020, maintaining Green Restaurant Certification, expanding vegan options, and many other great goals to help campus food be more sustainable.
AASHE is the agency that oversees the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System, which UH reports to every three years. The University holds a Gold rating, but the dining commitments will help improve this score even further, in addition to providing success stories for other campuses looking to reduce food waste.
Beyond the poster, student Outreach Assistant Emily Blanco was honored with a scholarship to attend the conference for free based on her stellar work in sustainability here on campus.
Returning back to Houston, the Office of Sustainability is excited to share its newly gained knowledge and connections with the larger global sustainability movement. In fact, the primary theme was how to best align higher education with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. These 17 goals were presented as the core guiding principles for the coming years in sustainability research and action.
For more information about AASHE and its programs and initiatives, visit AASHE.org.