Whole Systems Approach

University of Leeds

The Leeds Sustainable Curriculumn 

Sustainability is part of being a student at the University of Leeds, no matter what your discipline. Its undergraduate and postgraduate programmes cover broad social, economic, cultural and environmental sustainability topics. Additionally, there are more than 130 Creating Sustainable Futures Discovery modules and numerous dissertation and research projects which embed sustainability and a successful Annual Student Sustainability Research Conference now in its third year. The Leeds Sustainable Curriculum programme has helped to achieve this, bringing together students with operational and academic teams to embed sustainability throughout the Leeds Curriculum.

“Winning this award is a reflection of the hard work of a number of different people across the whole University including staff from research, teaching and professional services. Working in collaboration has been the key to our success. Our approach to the curriculum reflects the wider approach of how we do things at our University; by looking at the whole picture rather than individual projects.

We want to thank ISCN for the award and for providing the platform for us to share with and learn best practice from the other fantastic institutions.”

– Louise Ellis, Director of Sustainability Services



Partnerships for Progress

University of Melbourne

Greening the Wide Brown Land 

The University of Melbourne is a large global university with 8,500 staff and 50,000 students across its seven campuses, equivalent to the fifth largest city in Victoria. Operating at this scale necessitates a large energy demand for campus operations – @ 110,000 gigawatt hours of electricity in 2018. Working to reduce our impact through both the supply and demand side has been a high priority for many years.

The University completed negotiation of two consortium-based power purchase agreements (PPAs) in late 2017. This has enabled two new wind farms to be developed in regional Victoria in 2018-2019, contributing to the revitalisation of local economies, displacing coal-fired power generation and therefore reducing the carbon emissions from the electricity grid. The volume of the University’s purchases will match, on average, our current total electricity consumption.

These consortium arrangements demonstrate that partnerships between strategically aligned and progressive organisations can cause a shift from long-entrenched and perverse paradigms. Our projects demonstrate that well-constructed and executed PPAs can provide significant enduring financial, environmental and social benefits.

With one of the two wind farms now in operation, we have tangible evidence of the power of partnerships to reshape our institution and the Victorian economy for a more sustainable future.



Cultural Change for Sustainability

Yale University

Sustainability Action Planning Program

In 2016, Yale launched its Sustainability Plan 2025 (YSP25). The Plan’s vision is “a Yale where sustainability is seamlessly integrated into the scholarship and operations of the university, contributing to its social, environmental and fiscal excellence and positioning Yale as a local and global leader.” To help facilitate and act on this vision, in 2016 the Yale Office of Sustainability started the process of developing Sustainability Action Plans for key academic, cultural, and administrative units. The sustainability action plans are a set of tailored documents that support the ambitions of Yale University’s Sustainability Plan but reflect the unique context, needs, and capabilities of units. As a large research university, Yale has a multitude of programs, departments, schools, centers, museums, and affiliated organizations. Many of these units operate with a high degree of autonomy and therefore it is important to understand their unique connection and contributions to sustainability – in many cases this includes academic and operational connections. Both through the process of developing the Sustainability Action Plans and the resulting outcome documents, the plans help units to develop tailored and time-bound sustainability goals while spurring creativity, innovation, and collaboration. To date, the Yale Office of Sustainability has worked collaboratively to develop or is currently in the process of developing 36 action plans.




Honorary Member Award

CETYS University

Zero Waste

The project aims to achieve a Zero Waste Campus for CETYS Universidad in their Tijuana campus by diverting 90% of waste from landfill by adopting a Zero Waste philosophy and incorporating the 5R into everyday operations and consumption habits thus generating less waste and managing it more sustainably.The project aims to achieve a Zero Waste Campus for CETYS Universidad in their Tijuana campus by diverting 90% of waste from landfill by adopting a Zero Waste philosophy and incorporating the 5R into everyday operations and consumption habits thus generating less waste and managing it more sustainably.

The project scope is campus wide and considered all the direct academic and indirect operations of the university. The campus has over 4500 students and 600 faculty and staff members. It consists of 23 buildings in 8.8 hectare. CETYS generates over half a ton of waste per day, which was entirely sent to landfill.



2019 ISCN Award Finalists

Whole Systems Approach

KTH Royal Institute of Technology – Campus Plan 2018 – 2023 

University of British Columbia – UBC Green Building Action Plan 


Partnerships for Progress

University of British Columbia, on behalf of multiple institutions – BC Cool Campus Challenge 

University of Genoa – The UNIGE Living Lab of the Sustainable City 


Cultural Change for Sustainability 

École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne – Act for Change 

Hokkaido University – Asessment System for Sustainable Campus


Honorary Member Award

The Chinese University of Hong Kong – A Green Campus Master Plan 

McGill University – Sustainability Projects Fund