12 sustainability teaching resources about green campuses

Summary: Many academic publications on sustainability in higher education exist. But those are often highly conceptual and cost money to access. Check out our list of 12 sustainability teaching resources (in English and German). You will get practical insights on how to create a green campus and sustainable university. Educators can use these readings for their classes. Practitioners can use the list to get new project ideas.

Sustainability teaching resources that provide a good introduction

These sustainability teaching resources provide a good introduction into the topics of green campus and sustainable university:

Make your university greener through a Green Office!

Case studies and project overviews

You will find many case studies also in the other sustainability teaching resources in this post. Still, we highly suggest you check out these two documents:

  • Case studies: Learn from 30 universities on their whole-institution approach towards sustainability. The publication also includes examples of how to embed sustainability in education or research. (74 pages)
  • Good practice guide (In German): The German NGO netzwerk n compiled an overview of 27 good practice projects on how to advance sustainability in education, research, operations and governance. So far, the overview is in German only.

Curriculum change

Two good sustainability teaching resources on how to embed education for sustainable development in the curriculum:

  • Global citizens for sustainable development: What do students need to learn to address the social, economic and environmental challenges of the 21st century? Many frameworks exist to define the competencies that students need. But it was only after we read this UNESCO publication that the light in our heads went on (34 pages). Especially pages 8-14 are insightful.
  • From Art to Zoo Management: The sustainability team of the National Union of Students UK compiled a great overview of how different UK universities embed sustainability into courses (31 pages).

Governance, reporting and assessment

Read these three sustainability teaching resources on governance, reporting and assessment:

  • Sustainability governance: The Environmental Association of Universities and Colleges (EAUC) compiled an excellent overview of sustainability governance approaches. (30 pages)
  • Green Office Model: Leuphana University Lüneburg and rootAbility published an e-Book on the Green Office Model. This is a useful resource for everyone who is looking for a way to improve sustainability student engagement.
  • Assessment and reporting tools: This EAUC publication is useful for everyone who wants to get an overview of what tools are out there that you could use to assess sustainability at your university and report about it. Be prepared: There are a lot! (50 pages)


Many publications exist on how to improve the environmental footprint of running any organisation. Many of them are also useful for universities. Below you find two sustainability teaching resources specifically developed for green campus projects:

  • Green Guide for Universities: The International Alliance of Research Universities compiled a 148 pages guide that covers just about everything, from buildings, laboratories, purchasing, transportation to student and staff engagement.
  • Campus Green Fund Toolkit: Financing sustainability initiatives is often a challenge and setting up a revolving loan fund can be a great way to do it. Savings from reduction programmes are funnelled back into the fund. Those are then reused to finance new efficiency projects that generate new savings (30 pages).
Make your university greener through a Green Office!

Resource hubs

You’ve skimmed through the publications above and still want to learn more? Then explore these resource hubs, to find more sustainability teaching resources on the topic of green campus and sustainable university:

  • Sustainability Exchange: The EAUC collected over 4,000 resources on sustainability in higher education and makes them accessible to everyone for free.
  • Campus Sustainability Hub: This is the US-American equivalent to the Sustainability Exchange. A downside is that to access many resources you need paid AASHE membership.
  • Portal: The International Association of Universities maintains a resource base with different readings on sustainable higher education.
  • Mediathek (in German): This resource hub is interesting for all German-speaking students and staff.