Project update (3/1/2023):
The Office of Sustainability (OS) has implemented a new virtual attribute to identify courses with sustainability-related content, and they invite you to submit courses that you teach to this list as well as let students and colleagues know about this resource. The virtual attribute allows students to easily identify courses that have a focus on sustainability across many departments and majors, without requiring changes to course learning outcomes. The list of such courses is now hosted on the OS website and will be updated periodically.
Note: If your course previously carried the sustainability attribute, it has already been included in the new list and no action is required on your part. If you would like to change the learning outcomes for your course (now that specific sustainability outcomes are no longer required for the attribute), please contact Sara Hagen before Thanksgiving 2023.
Courses qualify for the list if they meet a broad definition of sustainability, following guidelines articulated by AASHE. Your course qualifies if it covers “sustainability in a pluralistic and inclusive way, encompassing human and ecological health, social justice, secure livelihoods, and a better world for all generations.” Additionally, it qualifies if it discusses major sustainability challenges including (but are not limited to) climate change, global poverty and inequality, natural resource depletion, and environmental degradation. If your course includes the sustainability challenges described in the Earth Charter and/or the targets embedded in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), it also qualifies.
The attribute helps the university measure its sustainability efforts. By tracking the number of sustainability-focused courses offered and the enrollment numbers in these courses, we at UW-Madison can demonstrate our commitment to sustainability and showcase the impact of our initiatives.
The Office of Sustainability would greatly appreciate it if you would share the above information with students and colleagues interested in sustainability, and/or submit your own course(s) for the virtual attribute. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to Matt Ginder-Vogel or Nathan Jandl in the Office of Sustainability.