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Washington University in St. Louis’ goal is to foster a university culture in which sustainability is a defining element of institutional identity and daily practice.

2015 Strategic Plan for Sustainable Operations

Objectives & Progress

Green Offices | Achieved

The Green Office Program empowers office teams to reduce their impact and costs. The program features a self-assessment checklist that offices use to evaluate their current practices, set goals and track their progress. As offices reach certain milestones, they become a “certified green office.”

As of Fall 2019, 110 offices located across the university’s campuses have been certified as green offices, which is more than double than in 2015.

This achievement far exceed the goal to reach 100 certified green offices by 2017.

Student Engagement | Achieved

At WashU, sustainability is woven into all the aspects of the student experience.

During their first year in college, students can serve as their ResCollege EcoRep, and lead their team in the annual energy reduction competition Green Cup. As soon as their second year, students can become WUGAs, WashU Green Ambassadors. Supported by the Office of Sustainability, the WUGA program is a student-managed, peer-education program that orients new students to the WashU sustainability culture. Students enrolled in the WUGA program receive an in-depth sustainability training from the Office’s staff, allowing them to build high-impact initiatives such as the South 40 composting program started in 2018.

Anytime in their journey, students can join any of the 20+ student groups who work to advance different areas of sustainability on campus or in the St. Louis community. These groups have created dozens of new sustainability leadership positions in long-standing organizations, and have advocated for change locally and internationally.

To engage even more deeply with campus sustainability efforts, students can join the Environment, Energy, and Sustainability Internship (EES) program. The EES program was created in 2017, building upon the Office of Sustainability internship program that had originated in 2012. Together, these programs have graduated over 150 students, providing them with hands-on experience, professional growth opportunities, and access to a network of young and seasoned sustainability professionals.

Outreach and Communications | Achieved

Since 2015, the Office of Sustainability’ audience and reach have expanded leaps and bounds. The amount of newsletter subscribers has more than doubled, while its click and open rates have grown nearly 30%. Our social media presence has also increased thanks to the creation of an Instagram account in 2017, which organically grew over 1,100 followers.

In partnership with many Schools and departments, the Office of Sustainability also developped an innovative tool to orient prospective students and their families, as well as the current campus population, to all aspects of sustainability at WashU. The two large interactive touchscreens were installed in the summer of 2019, and feature content ranging from academic programs, community partnerships, university initiatives, campus sustainability efforts, ways to get involved, and even a quiz to test your knowledge!


Student Engagement

Employee Engagement

Equity and Justice

Regional Impact

Campus Partners

We would like to acknowledge and thank our campus partners who are instrumental in implementing and carrying forward the vision displayed on this page. The partners listed below have and continue to be committed to achieving the goals for alternative transportation on our campuses.