McGill University releases Sustainable Travel Guide

McGill University has released a new Sustainable Travel Guide to provide guidance for McGill travellers—students, staff, and faculty—on how to factor sustainability into travel decisions, from determining whether travel is necessary, to choosing the best mode of transport or reducing impact upon arrival. It was produced by the McGill Office of Sustainability, in Montreal, Canada, with the expertise of its Climate Officer Divya Sharma.

Travelling sustainably means considering present and future environmental, social, and economic impacts of travel. By reducing emissions of business-related travel, McGill community members contribute to the University’s long-term target to achieve carbon neutrality (net zero emissions) by 2040.

The Sustainable Travel Guide, designed as a checklist, guides readers through four questions that push them to think about how they choose to travel:

  1. Do I need to travel?
  2. Can I travel sustainably?
  3. Can I choose sustainable accommodations?
  4. Can I reduce my environmental impact further?

Throughout, the guide presents various options depending on the traveller’s needs, whether they are travelling locally or internationally, if they are able to bundle trips or reduce the number of travellers, and more.

Learn more at

Peer Exchange Event Report Back

We held our first ISCN members-only Peer Exchange in March to learn about UBC’s new Climate Action Plan 2030.

Thank you to John Madden, Director, Sustainability and Engineering, Campus and Community Planning from The University of British Columbia and Katrin Schweigel, Coordinator University Alliance for Sustainability, Freie Universität Berlin who led an interactive discussion with attendees.

The session provided an opportunity to engage in open dialogue with other members about climate action planning and was attended by representatives from 15 member institutions in 12 countries on 4 continents.

We plan to host regular member-only Peer Exchanges throughout the year, so if you are interested in convening a session please email your ideas to [email protected].


John Madden, The University of British Columbia“I really enjoyed the discussion and hope that folks were able to gain some insights and ideas for the work they are doing. I always enjoy hearing what others are working on and finding ways to accelerate solutions based on mutual learning”.  


John Madden, Director of Sustainability and Engineering, UBC

COP26 President convenes higher education sustainability and climate network leaders

On February 21, 2022, COP26 President Alok Sharma, in partnership with the UK COP26 Universities Network and the International Sustainable Campus Network, brought together leading global climate and sustainability networks to explore opportunities for collective impact in the run-up to COP27.

President Alok Sharma focused on the critical role that universities play in advancing climate action and emphasised that universities need to work together in order to maximise their climate impact. The session called on higher education institutions to unite under a collective vision to drive the Glasgow commitments forward and keep momentum going toward COP27.

ISCN Board President, Gisou van der Goot and ISCN Executive Director, Victoria Smith attended the meeting and will continue working with global network colleagues to plan for a coordinated presence at COP27.

Fund your project with an ISCN Grant!

We recognize that this is an exceptional time for all across the globe, and we hope you and your families are staying healthy and well.

As we think of ways of building resilience into our work in sustainability on our campuses, continued collaboration with ISCN members remains a top priority. With this in mind, we are pleased to announce the second round of ISCN Capacity Building Seed Funding for 2020.

These grants are designed to help ISCN members leverage the network and propel emerging projects forward. Given that much of our work is now virtual, we are keen to see projects with innovative engagement solutions for the near-term.

We are offering seed funding of up to $5,000 (USD) per project. To leverage the pool of funding for members most effectively, projects that can contribute match funding will receive a higher score (note - this is not a requirement to submit a proposal).

We are looking to fund projects across these three categories:

  • Ambassadors - a mentoring program for members and pilot institutions
  • Peer Exchange - a process for members to engage with other member schools
  • City-University - an opportunity for members to work with city partners to pilot joint initiatives

We are also open to new project streams, so please do share your ideas with us. Complete a letter of interest and identify your project partners, goals and budget by September 18th, 2020.

To download the ISCN Capacity Building Seed Funding Submission Template please click on this link: ISCN Capacity Building Seed Funding Template

Please fill out the project template and send to:

Victoria Smith,

Co-Executive Director, ISCN

[email protected]                                                      


The ISCN Leadership Team

ISCN establishes partnership with the Earth Day Network

As part of its strategic priorities, ISCN is actively working to:

  1. Enhance member value through robust exchange and engagement platforms
  2. Elevate ISCN’s presence with key peer networks, agencies and funders
  3. Mobilize the network around key themes/projects to focus activities, and to
  4. Increase student involvement with the network

In line with this priorities, ISCN has established a collaborative partnership with  the Earth Day Network.

For more information on the Earth Day Network and their current global campaign, Mobilize U,  please refer to the text below.

MobilizeU, Earth Day Network

Colleges and universities have been the central figures of Earth Day since its beginning in 1970. The higher education community is pivotal in creating the next generation of environmental leaders needed to protect our planet. Earth Day Network’s ever-growing international network of universities and students are creating change on their local campuses; through the MobilizeU campaign their voices are united and amplified, forming a global call for action that cannot be ignored.

There are 3 main ways to contribute to the collective impact on April 22nd, the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.

  1. By organizing Earth Day teach-ins, forums, and cleanups and, most importantly, registering them on our global map, your campus can join thousands of others around the world standing up for our planet and empowering students to further this mission.
  2. The innovation and organizing capacity of your students cannot be underrated. Encourage your passionate students to register as the MobilizeU Ambassador for your campus. These students will receive the support and tools they need to lead their peers in activism on Earth Day.
  3. Finally, join the MobilizeU Newsletter to stay updated with resources, opportunities and tips for universities to make the most impact on Earth Day.

ISCN direction image , International Sustainable Campus Network

Special Announcement: ISCN Presidency Transition

Dear All,

After three very enjoyable years as president of the ISCN Board I am pleased to hand over this exciting task to Etienne Marclay from EPFL who I am sure will be an excellent president and who will help to further develop the network with great enthusiasm. Over the past three years ISCN has taken important steps towards reaching its ambitious goal, i.e., to become the global network for sustainable transformation within universities. Much of the achievements have been due to some outstanding people who have put a lot of passion and enormous efforts into building a community that has now taken ownership of the network, which is a prerequisite for being successful in the future. In particular, I would like to thank Victoria Smith as well as Heather Vickery and Bernd Kasemir who have done a marvelous job in running the network and who have made it very easy for me to “play” president of the board. ISCN would also not be where it is today without Melissa Goodall, Heather Henriksen and the whole AC who have made sure that the network has kept its momentum and continues to do so. Thank you all very much! And, last but not least, I thank my colleagues of the ISCN Board for a very pleasant and fruitful collaboration. I am leaving the board with one laughing and one crying eye since being involved in the leadership of this great network has been a real pleasure which I will miss, at least a little bit ……. I wish ISCN all the best for the future and KEEP GOING!

René Schwarzenbach
ISCN outgoing President

Dear ISCN Members,

It is my great pleasure to take over ISCN Presidency as of 1 October 2019 and I would like to thank the Board and the Advisory Committee for this vote of confidence.

First of all I would like to express my warmest and most sincere thanks to René and Bernd for having made ISCN what it is today: an outstanding global network of academic institutions dedicated to working together to shift the world to a more sustainable path.

The ISCN team at EPFL and myself are very much looking forward to working with all of you to further strengthen the network as a global leader and make it an example of transparency, inclusiveness and diversity providing strong value for the ISCN members. I’m very pleased to be able to continue to count on the very important support of Victoria Smith from UBC and the contributions of the AC under the  leadership and strong dedication of Melissa Goodall from Yale, and Heather Henriksen from Harvard.  One of the key instruments to implement these goals is the ISCN strategic plan that has been developed by Victoria through a wide consultation process of ISCN members. The strategic plan will be shared with all of you in the next ISCN newsletter.

We are also very excited to announce the next ISCN conference that will take place at EPFL in Lausanne, Switzerland from 24-26 June 2020. The conference will focus on Sustainability in Education: Institutional and Student Perspectives. We really encourage you to be an active part of the ISCN community and attend the conference to jointly identify efficient solutions for a more sustainable future.

Etienne Marclay,
ISCN incoming President

EPFL new logo, ISCN partner, International Sustainable Campus Network

Special Announcement: ISCN Secretariat Transition

Dear ISCN members,

It has been a great pleasure and privilege to be able to work with all of you over the last years in developing the ISCN into the organization for experience sharing and innovation concerning campus sustainability. As discussed at the São Paulo conference, after 13 years of building up the ISCN together, we have the bittersweet task to say goodbye to you and wish you all the best in your further development as a network. With many exciting new initiatives in the pipeline, we are confident that the ISCN will continue to strengthen its collective efforts and bolster the impact of network in the years to come.

As of October 1, the team of Silvia Hostettler at EPFL, in collaboration with Victoria Smith at the University of British Columbia, will be taking the executive lead of the ISCN, at the same time that the ISCN Board presidency changes over to Etienne Marclay of EPFL.

For further information, please direct your inquiries to [email protected].

If you would like to keep in touch for issues beyond the ISCN, you may reach us at the following addresses:

Bernd Kasemir: [email protected]
Heather Vickery: [email protected]
Charlotte Meissner: [email protected]

Warm regards,
ISCN Secretariat

Seed Funding Announcement

We are very excited to announce that six projects, detailed below, have been selected to receive funding from the ISCN Capacity Building Seed Fund.

Harvard University and ETH Zurich (Peer Exchange)

This project will help support the development of the ISCN peer exchange program, documenting lessons learned and recommended guiding principles based on a peer exchange case study with Harvard and ETH Zurich.

Yale University and Fundación Universitaria Católica Lumen Gentium (Ambassador Mentorship)

This project will support a mentorship relationship between Yale University and Fundación Universitaria Católica Lumen Gentium (Unicatolica) in order to connect Unicatolica to regional and global contexts. The project will enhance student involvement in sustainability on campus and in the communities near both main campuses.

University College Cork Climate and National University of Columbia (Peer Exchange/Ambassador Mentorship) 

UCC has been working with the National University of Colombia (UNAL) for the past two years to develop Capacity Building for Sustainable Universities and Campuses in Colombia. UCC will mentor UNAL in implementing the program and seeking accreditation.

University of Edinburgh and Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile (Ambassador Mentorship)

The aim of this project is to support Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile’s ambition to become a leading institution in social responsibility and sustainability within the Latin American region through a program of peer-to-peer mentoring delivered by the University of Edinburgh.

Universite Libre Bruxelles (Peer Exchange)

Universite Libre Bruxelles (ULB) is integrating sustainability teaching at the level of the whole institution so that all students have the opportunity to understand, systemically, sustainability challenges before leaving university. To support this process, ULB is seeking advice from practioners experienced in this field. This project requires a partner for exchange. Please contact ISCN if you are interested in partnering with ULB.

TU Delft (City-University)

This project aims to extend the work of ISCN members with relation to their cities, to create an inventory and organize a knowledge exchange on partnerships between cities and universities, such as that which is now currently being done in Amsterdam with the TUD/MIT inspired AMS Institute: how to solve metropolitan solutions.  The work will gather universities of ISCN around this theme, and identify and initialize a Community of Practice.

For more information, please contact [email protected].

ISCN welcomes interim Executive Director, Victoria Smith

We are delighted to welcome Victoria Smith as interim Executive Director of the ISCN! As part of the ISCN leadership team, Victoria will work closely with the ISCN’s Board, Advisory Committee, and Secretariat team over the next year to deliver on the key strategic priorities identified during the 2018 conference at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden.

Victoria joins us from the University of British Columbia, an ISCN member school, where she has served as Director of Regional and International Engagement, UBC Sustainability Initiative. She has over 20 years of experience working in both the private and public sectors on energy and sustainability issues. The ISCN looks forward to the strong support she will provide throughout the 2018/19 program year. Welcome, Victoria!

A note from the ISCN's interim Executive Director:

Dear ISCN Members,

I would like to extend my warmest greetings to you as the new interim Executive Director of ISCN. I feel very excited and privileged to step into this role during such an important time of transition and opportunity for our network. Coming out of the very successful KTH 2018 conference, we left with an ambitious set of priorities and I look forward to working with many of you to deliver on this agenda.

There is great potential to transform how we collaborate, innovate and engage as members. We need to look for new ways to advance the very important work we are doing on our respective campuses and increase our global impact.

Our network has several exciting new projects and initiatives planned this year, aimed at strengthening our collective efforts and bolstering the impact of ISCN. Together we will launch the new Charter and finalize the reporting framework, develop a strategic plan, pilot several new capacity building programs and work with our colleagues at the University of São Paulo to plan the 2019 conference. I look forward to reaching out to you in the months ahead to help inform and guide our work, update you on progress and share our successes along the way.

I invite you to contact me ([email protected]) if you have questions, ideas to share, or want to get involved in any of these exciting network activities.

Warm regards, Victoria


For more information on the ISCN, please visit:

For inquiries, please email: [email protected]



Please note this article is out of date. Contact us at our new email address [email protected].

ISCN Membership on the Rise: 90+ Members!

We are thrilled to formally announce that for the first time in the International Sustainable Campus Network (ISCN)’s 11 years, our network now hosts 91 members!

With members in the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia, the ISCN achieves higher education sustainability through its global presence and local impact on individual campuses.

New members that joined the ISCN in 2017 and 2018 and helped us achieve our 90+ member milestone include:

With the addition of our new members, the ISCN expands its geographic reach and increases the opportunity for cross-collaboration between schools. “We are delighted to achieve 91 members in the ISCN! With a large member base spanning the globe, we’re furthering our mission of promoting the exchange of information, ideas, and best practices for achieving sustainable campus operations and integrating sustainability in research and teaching” says Bernd Kasemir, Secretary of the ISCN Board.

About the ISCN:
The International Sustainable Campus Network (ISCN) is a non-profit association of over 90 globally leading colleges and universities representing over 30 countries and working together to holistically integrate sustainability into campus operations, research and teaching. The mission of the ISCN is to provide a global forum to support leading colleges, universities, and corporate campuses in the exchange of information, ideas, and best practices for achieving sustainable campus operations and integrating sustainability in research and teaching.

For more information on the ISCN, please visit:

For inquiries, please email: [email protected]