The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that American colleges are responding to student interest in sustainability by adding green courses at a “brisk” pace.
“Some professors compare it with the boom in information technology during the 1980s, while others liken the phenomenon to interest in the civil-rights movement of the 1960s and 1970s.” the Union-Tribune reports.
The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education estimates that about 100 new undergraduate programs in sustainability were created last year, and in May a 625-member group of university president published a report to help colleges incorporate sustainability into their curricula.
One force behind the trend is real estate. As more colleges build sustainability into their own facilities and on-campus programs (e.g. recycling, solar panels, lighting retrofits), students are noticing and asking to learn more about these initiatives. Since buildings represent about 40% of energy consumption, it’s logical that many of these new courses will focus on the real estate aspects of sustainability in areas like architecture and buildings systems.