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Sustainability at AU

American University is committed to acting on our values through social responsibility, service, and an active pursuit of sustainability.

Culture of Sustainability

American University is proud to be a leader in sustainability. Sustainability is a culture that's visible the moment you step onto campus. Green buildings incorporate energy efficient technologies and a focus on human health. Environmentally conscious grounds management means we plant local and adaptive species. We use solar energy, strive for zero waste, and work with community partners to offer sustainable transportation. The culture of sustainability is evident through faculty research efforts, student involvement, and staff practices. These are just some of the elements that contribute to American University's commitment to having a small footprint. 

Learn more about these and other factors that contribute to the greening of AU and learn how you can engage in sustainability on campus by exploring our website. 

Celebrate 5 Years of Carbon Neutrality

5 Years Carbon Neutrality Sticker

Each year on April 22, we celebrate Earth Day—the idea for which was planted at Airlie and came to fruition in 1970. This year, we are commemorating the five-year anniversary of American University reaching the pivotal milestone of carbon neutrality—a goal that we reached two years ahead of schedule. Since this 2018 achievement, we have continued our efforts to reduce emissions and improve efficiency across campus and broadened our focus on sustainability to include environmental justice, wellness, and scholarship.  We hope to see you at the following events, which recognize the five-year anniversary and provide opportunities for us to engage on this special occasion.

Campus Initiatives

Waste Reduction Campaign

EcoPledge Program

Commit to making sustainable choices on campus and in your life and earn sustainable prizes.

Take the EcoPledge

Landfill and Truck

Environmental Justice Toolkit

Discover connections between climate justice, racial justice, and sustainability.

Access Resources

Screenshot of Sustainability Tour Map

Take a Virtual Sustainability Tour

Explore sustainable features of AU’s campus through our online story map.

View the Map

Connect With Us

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Fast Facts

AU's electricity comes from 100% renewable sources. 33% less electricity used per sq. ft. since 2005. 10 LEED certified buildings. 7 solar panel installations on site.
AU's carbon offsets. Efficient cookstoves in Kenya offset study-abroad air travel.  Planting trees in DC helps offset commuting. Sustainable trucking operations offset university travel.  Landfill methane projects offset natural gas use & landfill waste.
84% AU students commute sustainably. 100% AU shuttle buses run on biodiesel. Au is a bicycle friendly university. >1.4 million u-Pass rides taken july 2018 to june 2019