The 10 annual Smart and Sustainable Campuses Conference will take place on March 30 – 31, 2015 at the Hyatt Regency Baltimore in Baltimore, MD. The event is subtitled, “Honoring Our Past, Charting Our Future.” In 2015 the conference will look back on sustainability transformation in higher education over the past decade. Celebrating 10 years of the Smart and Sustainable Campuses Conference allows us to reflect on the distance that colleges and universities have come in their path to a more sustainable future. The conference will celebrate success as we continue to learn, share, and explore emerging issues. As we journey forward together, we see many new opportunities to evolve and expand our focus and learn from our collective challenges and successes.
When the inaugural conference was held in 2005, our institutions were just beginning sustainability efforts. The American College and University President’s Climate Commitment and the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education were still on the horizon. The term “sustainability” was not well known and few institutions placed a high priority on the issue. The purpose of the first conference was to create a new focus and energy that largely centered on smart growth and operational sustainability.
Since 2005, institutions have incorporated sustainability into mission statements, strategic plans, and organizational structure. 680 schools have signed the President’s Climate Commitment, and many more have established carbon mitigation goals. Students have become organized, curricula has expanded to include sustainability outcomes, and community partners have also gotten on board.
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