January 15, 2021

The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) announced the researchers, Ana Rita Amaral (UC, ADAI), Eugénio Rodrigues (UC, ADAI), Adélio Gaspar (UC, ADAI) and Álvaro Gomes (UC, INESCC), as the winners of the 2020 AASHE Sustainability Award, in the Campus Sustainability Research category.

AASHE awards individuals or institutions that stand out in supporting Higher Education Institutions towards a more sustainable future, with overall impact being one of the valued criteria. 

A critical review of the literature on the most internationally implemented actions on university campuses, as well as their inclusion in local contexts through comparison with national indicators, earned the UC team of researchers international recognition. This work intends to help institutions that are starting their way towards a sustainable campus. The research catalogs and classifies the actions and initiatives in higher institutions that are implementing sustainable actions (as reported in scientific publications and case studies). It finds that increasing energy generation on campus and decreasing energy consumption in buildings are by far the most commonly implemented strategies, though there is limited information about the impact of these strategies.

The EfS team of researchers - that develops relevant work in matters of Education for Sustainable Development - has been studying ways to accelerate the successful implementation of actions on university campuses, more specifically in the areas of energy and buildings, and with a particular focus on ways to overcome the challenges that our University may face. 

“The 2020 award winners demonstrate an inspiring passion for solving some of the most complex challenges in the world. They are truly pioneers in the sustainability movement on campus, ” said AASHE Executive Director Meghan Fay Zahniser. 
So far, more than 100 campuses have been recognized through this program since its inception in 2006, however, it is the first time that a team of Portuguese researchers has been awarded. 

AASHE held a live award ceremony on December 3rd, 2020 to celebrate the 2020 winners.

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