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  • About Us

    About Us

    UAB Sustainability understands that our future belongs to the present. We focus on sustainability and the triple bottom line theory to empower our leaders to make data-driven decisions. We partner across our institution to ensure the decisions we make now will have a positive impact on the quality of life of the UAB community for generations to come.

    UAB has a special responsibility to act as a driver of sustainable solutions in our region and beyond. Our urban campus is a living laboratory, because of its:

    • more than 200 classroom, office, research, and hospital buildings,
    • space occupying more than 100 city blocks,
    • role as one of the top employers in the region,
    • role as the largest electricity user in the state, and
    • responsibility as the single-biggest contributor to Birmingham’s economy

    • Sustainability Defined

      UAB uses the United Nation’s definition of sustainability: meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

    • Sustainability Triple Bottom Line Theory

      This theory shows how we can view all business decisions to make better, more sustainable choices. The theory encourages decision-making based on effects among the interrelated dimensions of People, Planet, and Profit. For example, selecting the type of paper to use in offices may include not just the cost of the paper (economy), but also the way the trees are harvested to make the paper (environment) and how the paper company’s employees are treated (society).

  • Sustainability Strategic Plan

    Sustainability Strategic Plan

    UAB’s Sustainability Strategic Plan for 2025 is the result of campuswide collaborative effort. The Plan reflects a vision that aligns with the university’s shared values and the global standard for higher education institutions as set by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).

    See the Plan


    The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS®) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. STARS is intended to engage and recognize the full spectrum of colleges and universities – from community colleges to research universities – and encompasses long-term sustainability goals for already high-achieving institutions as well as entry points of recognition for institutions that are taking first steps toward sustainability.

    STARS is designed to:

    • Provide a framework for understanding sustainability in all sectors of higher education.
    • Enable meaningful comparisons over time and across institutions using a common set of measurements developed with broad participation from the international campus sustainability community.
    • Create incentives for continual improvement toward sustainability.
    • Facilitate information sharing about higher education sustainability practices and performance.
    • Build a stronger, more diverse campus sustainability community.

    UAB has completed the STARS report in 2016 and in 2020. UAB’s latest assessment is available on the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s website..