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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. 

AU Joins Campus Race to Zero Waste

Race to Zero Waste 2023 small

American University is participating in this year's Campus Race to Zero Waste, a national competition between colleges and universities to reduce waste and increase diversion rates. Throughout the eight-week competition, we will share data about how much waste our campus is generating (recycling, compost, and trash) and provide resources that you can use to help AU reduce the amount of waste being sent to landfill and incineration. If you are member of the American University community, get involved and help us reach zero waste!

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

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