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Call to Action

Call to Action by HEASC (Higher Education Associations Sustainability Consortium) and its partner organizations

1. HEASC Final Call to Action-  Sustainability in Job Descriptions and Performance Reviews

The national trend to include sustainability in all areas of higher education is robust.  Sustainability is being integrated into planning, operations, procurement, governmental relations, curricular and co-curricular activities, and community partnerships. There is now an opportunity to institutionalize this progress. We call upon higher education administrators and their department of Human Resources to infuse sustainability principles and practices into job descriptions and most importantly, annual performance evaluations.  Each faculty and staff member can make contributions to the institution’s sustainability practices, and performance evaluations can encourage their efforts. Lead institutions have already moved in this direction, including Arizona State and Cornell University.  (Presidents and Executive Administrators have supported these endeavors with the assistance of Human Resources and offices of Sustainability.) 

2. Call to Action for Clean Energy Education (from HEASC)

The urgent societal need and potentials to use less polluting energies (ie renewable energies) and more energy efficiency,  and the need to change our energy wasteful behaviors can be connected to each discipline’s core concepts in both introductory and advanced courses. We can also include this in co-curricular activities. This call to action includes  key components of clean energy education, why clean energy education matters to all, and a list of resources.

3. CALL TO ACTION - Academic Librarians and Faculty (from sister organization DANS – Disciplinary Associations Network for Sustainability)

Facilitate the discovery, dissemination and preservation of student sustainability projects and research. Showcase student work in the library’s Institutional Repository!

SustainRT, the U.S. Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development (US Partnership) and the Disciplinary Associations Network for Sustainability (DANS)  have a Call to Action -- to showcase student sustainability projects and research in Institutional Repositories on campuses across the U.S.

Academic librarians and all faculty are in a unique and vital position to create a better future -- one with less pollution, healthier ecosystems and higher quality of life for all. We have a role to play in “Creating Sustainable Community,” as shown by the theme of the ACRL 2015 conference. 

You can contribute to solving urgent societal sustainability challenges by taking the time to:

  • Encourage faculty to invite students (with high quality sustainability projects and research) to submit their final work to the IR.
  • Use keywords such as “student sustainability research” and discipline-specific subject terms to make this work discoverable.
  • Creating a sustainability section on the IR specifically for sustainability projects and research (making it easier to track for STARS, too)
  • Add a “SUBMIT” button in library’s IR so students may submit their own sustainability work for later review by library staff (saving the library time and empowering students to play an active role).
  • Add OpenDOAR, an authoritative directory of academic open access repositories, to one of the library’s resource pages to increase discovery of other repositories. Try reviewing OpenDOAR to see how other repositories preserve student work.
  • Reach out to nearby colleges and universities if your institution does not have an IR and inquire about collaborating to meet this Call to Action.

Please send your questions, feedback or ideas to advance this Call to Action to: US Partnership Fellow and SustainRT Coordinator Elect, Madeleine Charney at or 413-577-0784. Your input will be appreciated and valued!