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Green campus initiatives

Definition and scope

This research guides looks at sustainability initiatives on college campuses (and similar locations) from a policy perspective. Some colleges have established sustainability majors and research programs; other universities are implementing programs to improve the sustainability of their day to day operations through recycling, composting, reduced energy consumption, and alternative transportation programs. For specific details related to the implementation of these programs, you should also consult the other sustainability guides (e.g. the Sustainable building and design guide for information on constructing LEED-certified campus buildings).

Addison/ Summon

Use sustain** and campus (with the two asterisks as a wildcard) as a sample keyword search. (green campus leads to books on campus greens and green spaces, which is probably not relevant.)

Use a subject search for a more refined list of results. Use these sample subjects in WorldCat and Summon to search other libraries' collections for similar books, especially when looking for reports produced or published by other colleges and universities, which are not likely to be in the Virginia Tech Libraries' collection. Then use interlibrary loan to request these publications. Some Library of Congress subject headings to try include:

  • Campus planning -- environmental aspects
  • Education -- environmental aspects
  • Education, higher -- environmental aspects
  • Local transit -- environmental aspects
  • Universities and colleges -- environmental aspects


Education Research Complete from EBSCOhost

    EBSCOhost interface
This resource is restricted to Virginia Tech users only Sponsored by VIVA, the Virtual Library of Virginia This resource provides a mobile interface; see description for link Screencast tutorials available for this resource database provides Get VText links

Education Research Complete from EBSCOhost

Education Research Complete indexes citations, abstracts, and full text from journals, books, book chapters, case studies, essays, interviews, conference proceedings, product reviews, and experiments in all areas of education. You can limit to peer-reviewed journals. 1865-present.  

Full record


An advanced Google search, using the limiting options to restrict results to .edu sites can find reports and web pages on individual college and university efforts towards sustainability.

Virginia Tech Office of Sustainability
Coordinates programs for campus sustainability, oversees the implementation of the VTCAC Resolution and accompanying sustainability plan, monitors energy usage and GHG emissions, and manages a campus wide student internship and undergraduate research program.
Association of University Leaders for a Sustainable Future (ULSF)
The Secretariat for signatories of the Talloires Declaration (1990), which has been signed by over 400 college and university presidents and chancellors worldwide. ULSF supports sustainability as a critical focus of teaching, research, operations and outreach in higher education through publications, research, and assessment.
Campus Sustainability Discussion Forums from AASHE
Discussions on topics for creating sustainable campuses.

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