The 2021 virtual Global Conference on Sustainability in Higher Education took place October 12 - October 14th. With the theme of "The future is..." leaders from around the world shared research, strategies, and ideas to help advance sustainability in higher education both locally and globally.
The Office of Sustainability interns were among those who attended and they gained many insights and ideas from the sessions.
Sam Bosio, a senior in the office, attended a session called “A Zero Waste Plan ‘Of the People, By the People, For the People’”. He learned that Boston University acquires and analyzes their waste statistics closely and they use OZZI reusable containers to reduce food and beverage packaging waste. He also said they value feedback from students, faculty, and staff about the university’s sustainability efforts. According to Sam, “it was extremely valuable insight.”
Senior Jess Staggs attended a session detailing the collaboration between Climate Vault (CV) and two American universities - Vanderbilt and Swarthmore. Climate Vault is a company that purchases carbon permits or essentially “green lights” to pollute one ton of CO₂. Every permit purchased is one less permit in circulation. Vanderbilt and Swarthmore buy permits from Climate Vault and at the same time, stimulate research of carbon removal technologies. Jess also learned that Vanderbilt has eliminated all plastic bottles and Swarthmore will open an all-electric dining hall next fall.
Other sessions at the event spoke about opportunities for graduate students in the area of sustainability and a talk by young climate activists. Overall, the conference was inspirational to individuals, universities and organizations.
If you signed up for the event, you can access all sessions at 2021 AASHE Conference Session Portal until December 31, 2021.