The U.S. Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development

Higher Education


The U.S. Partnership created and facilitates the following networks of national associations. Both networks are over 15 years old, and are committed to help integrate sustainable development into higher education and the larger society:

Higher Education Associations Sustainability Consortium (HEASC)

Disciplinary Associations Network for Sustainability (DANS)

HEASC members include national professional associations for:

  • College Presidents and Chief Academic Officers

  • Business Officers, Facilities Directors, and Procurement Officers

  • Student Life, Housing, Recreation and Environmental, Health and Safety
    Sustainability Staff


DANS members include over forty academic societies for faculty, including but not limited to:

  • Psychology, Sociology, Humanities, Chemistry, Biology, Physics and Engineering
    Architecture, Ecological Economics, Environmental Science, Geoscience, Math


Initiatives from HEASC and DANS:

The US Partnership is collaborating on multiple international initiatives, including:

UNEP's Youth and Education Alliance Green Jobs Initiative  - view the Global Guidance Document for all educators, governments, employers and NGOs on Green Jobs and Inclusive Workforce Development

Higher Education Sustainability Initiative

SDG Publishers Compact - aligning research and teaching with the Sustainable Development Goals
    The US Partnership coordinates the SDG Publishers Compact Fellows - see their Bios

Green Learning Network
Co-sponsored event on Changing Curricula to Educate for Sustainable Development  - recording  and resource guide

World Bank event on Getting the Green Workforce We Need: Connecting Educators and Clean Energy Busineses - recording, highlights  report and the resources guide

Internationally, the U.S. Partnership works with many higher education networks and nonprofits to move forward education and actions for sustainable development across the planet.  


Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education - inspiring higher education to lead the sustainability transformation

Second Nature - accelerating climate action, in and through higher education


Science magazine, the esteemed journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, published an early policy forum article highlighting this national trend authored by USP President Debra Rowe.

Green and Sustainability Jobs: Career Resources is an updated and international version of an article originally published by the National Career Development Association. It includes key resources and perspectives about green/sustainability careers for use by students, graduates, faculty, career staff and anyone else interested.

Sustainability Learning Outcomes, and the need to educate students in systems thinking and change skills have been highlighted in articles by the U.S. Partnership President.

Search Google Scholar and similar sites for other publications by Debra Rowe.


History of Involvement
The U.S. Partnership has worked with national and international associations for many years to make education for sustainable development the norm. For examples, a presidential panel on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) was part of the American Association of Community Colleges’ annual conference over a decade ago. An article in the convention issue (April ‘05) of their journal was also published. The American Association of State Colleges and Universities has also had multiple panel presentations on ESD for both Presidents and Chief Academic Officers and has an active Sustainability Presidents' Committee. The National Association of College and University Business Officers was an early leader for ESD and regularly publishes articles and a Key Metrics initiatives. These are just a few of the thousands of examples showing the commitment of college and universities and their professional associations to educate for a more sustainable future for all.


Media Interest
Over the years, there has been a noticeable interest from the media in the national trend toward sustainability. Leaders from DANS, HEASC, and the U.S. Partnership have received multiple calls from national television news, newspapers and magazines (e.g. NBC Nightly News,
 Time, Newsweek) asking for information for articles documenting the national trend to integrate sustainable development into curricula, operations and community partnerships.


Contact: Debra Rowe 
For many more resources relating to higher education and sustainability, please visit the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.