Gotham 360 Attends AASHE 2017
October, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) held its annual conference, this year in San Antonio, Texas. Gotham 360 attended the conference to hear news from the Association, learn from and exchange ideas with other conference attendees, and stay on the forefront of campus sustainability solutions in order to best serve our higher education clients.
The conference kicked off on a Sunday evening with an incredible keynote address by renowned climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe. Hayhoe discussed the impact of political polarization on how we talk and think about climate change. A major takeaway from this keynote address (as well as many sessions throughout the conference) was that, regardless of one's preconceived notions on the topic of 'Climate Change,' the real solutions are truly something that everyone in this country can agree upon. Everyone wants sustainable jobs, reliable and low-cost energy, livable cities, food on the table, etc. So even if you aren’t striving for these goals under the framework of combatting the climate crisis, we can and must come together as a country to work towards a better future.
The conference sessions covered every topic under the sun when it comes to campus sustainability, and we wish we could have been able to attend them all. In just one day, the Gotham 360 team heard about carbon offsets, plastic water bottle bans on campus, how to engage students and the community, and more! The conference also served as a training ground for learning how to use the newest tools in campus greenhouse gas emissions accounting, something that is relevant not just for higher education institutions but any building or campus setting of multiple buildings.
Another great aspect of the conference was the amount of time carved out, outside of education sessions and panels, for networking and talking with other attendees in a casual way. The Gotham 360 team connected with individuals representing schools, consultants, and other industry stakeholders in the conference Expo Hall to discuss different approaches to campus sustainability. We love these opportunities to connect with sustainability professionals from across the country to learn best practices, share concerns, or raise questions to explore later.