Sustainability education

The information given here is supposed to help interested students to engage more deeply with sustainability education as a professional and academic field. The list does not claim to be exhaustive, but aims to provide entry points for future learning. Descriptions are borrowed from the respective websites.

Professional Associations

  • NAAEE – North American Association for Experiential Education
    The North American Association for Experiential Education is a US-based nonprofit organization founded in 1971. NAAEE spans 54 state, provincial, and regional Affiliate organizations in the United States, Canada, and Mexico with more than 16,000 members. These members are professionals with environmental education responsibilities and interests across business, government, higher education, formal (K–12) education, nonformal education, early childhood education, science education and STEM, and other sectors of society. 
  • AASHE – Advancing Sustainability in Higher Education
    AASHE is the leading association for the advancement of sustainability in higher education. It serves a full range of higher education faculty, administrators, staff and students who are change agents and drivers of sustainability innovation. Established in 2005, AASHE is comprised of over 900 members across 48 U.S. states, 1 U.S. Territory, 9 Canadian provinces and 20 countries. 
  • CIES – Education for Sustainable Development Special Interest Group (ESD SIG)
    The Environmental and Sustainability Education (ESE) Special Interest Group (SIG) of the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) was founded in 2010. Its goal is to promote the scholarly research and professional activities of those concerned with the intersections of sustainability and education (broadly defined). Members of the group examine ways in which sustainability and environmental discourse and practice interacts with educational institutions and the ways educational institutions facilitates the development of knowledge, skills, behaviors and attitudes necessary for sustainability. 
  • ESER – Environmental and Sustainability Education Research
    The Network in Environmental and Sustainability Education Research (ESER) is part of the European Educational Research Association (EERA). It covers research in Environmental Education (EE), Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and Sustainability Education (SE), etc., and aims to facilitate a network of European researchers who will critically investigate and discuss the dynamic relations between education, learning, environment and sustainability issues. The network contributes to conceptual and methodological development in this field, as well as enhance empirical research in formal and informal educational settings from pre-school to higher education and other adult learning contexts. The research area is wide and includes curriculum, whole school approaches, teacher competencies, and implementation and policy discussions on the one hand, and learning outcomes and learner participation on the other, which include non-formal and informal learning. 


  • UNESCO UNITWIN Network on Teacher Education for Sustainable Development
    The UNESCO UNITWIN Network was founded in 1992 and comprises over 700 institutions in 116 countries around the world. The aim of the network is to strengthen international inter-university cooperation through knowledge exchange and collaborative work. By offering the opportunity to share their human and material resources the network enables institutions to address current challenges and the development of their societies. Thus, the network contributes to supporting the goals of the UNESCO Chairs in important areas such as education, natural and social science, culture and communication. The network often functions as a so-called thinktank and connects various actors from academia, civil society, local communities, research and policy makers. In the past, the network has thus been able to support political decisions, establish new teaching initiatives, generate innovations in research and lead to more diversity in existing universities. Through its wide-ranging activities, the network contributes to cultural diversity and strengthens North-South cooperation. 
  • PERL – Partnership for Education and Research for Responsible Living
    PERL is a network currently composed of educators and researchers from over 140 institutions from more than 50 countries working together to empower citizens towards a responsible and sustainable lifestyle. According to their mission statement, the power to initiate change lies in the hands of responsible consumers and active citizens who initiate change through their everyday choices. By focusing on consumer citizenship, education for sustainable consumption, social innovation, and sustainable lifestyles, PERL seeks to help uncritical consumers adopt a more sustainable and conscious lifestyle. 
  • GUNi – The Global University Network for Innovation
    GUNi is an international network founded in 1999, which currently consists of over 210 members from over 78 countries. The network includes the UNESCO Chairs in Higher Education, higher education institutions, research centers and networks related to innovation and the social commitment of higher education. The aim of GUNi is to exchange ideas on emerging issues on higher education and its impact on society, contributing to the renewal of the visions and policies of higher education across the world from a perspective of public service, relevance and social responsibility. The network aims to promote innovation in higher education policies and systems worldwide and to share the UNESCO’s principles and values. 
  • Copernicus Alliance
    The Copernicus Alliance is a European network founded in 1993 when the Copernicus campus was launched and the CRE Copernicus charter was published. 326 universities signed this document, committing themselves to follow its principles of sustainable development. In 2011, the network was re-launched as Copernicus Alliance and a new charter was developed. Today, the network consists of European universities and colleges committed to transformational learning and change for sustainable development. 
  • ASPnet – UNESCO Associated Schools Network
    The ASP network connects over 11,500 educational institutions from 182 countries around the world to build the defenses of peace in the minds of young people. The network focuses on international understanding, peace, intercultural dialogue, sustainable development, and quality education in practice. The network is recognized as a driver for innovation and quality of education and contributes to achieving target 4.7 on Global Citizenship Education (GCED) and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) of Sustainable Development Goal 4 – Education 2030
  • ENSI – Environment and Sustainability Schools Initiative
    ENSI was founded in 1986 under the umbrella of the OECD’s Centre for Educational Research & Innovation (CERI). Its members are governments, international organizations, institutions such as universities, schools, NGO’s, and persons from civil society. The network is committed to the implementation of Education for Sustainable Development throughout the educational system through research-based projects in the fields of quality development, competence enhancement for teachers and students, cooperation among schools and the civil society and development of new skills for students. The network cooperates with major international organizations such as UNESCO, UNECE, UNEP and others. 
  • SCC – Sustainability Curriculum Consortium
    SCC is an American nonprofit organization focused on education for sustainable development (ESD) in the field of higher education. Its activities are aligned around the following three key themes: pedagogy: innovative approaches for ESD educators; substantive content: building capacity and sharing resources on both fundamental topics and emerging trends; leadership: understanding the significance of leadership in the ESD context. The organization enables experts to share their skills, knowledge and passion to shift the sustainability paradigm in higher education. 
  • Green Schools Alliance
    This network links over 13,000 individuals across 9,000 schools, districts, and organizations from 48 U.S. states and 91 countries who are committed to sustainability in schools. The mission of this global network is to connect people and empower schools to strive for a sustainable future. To achieve this goal, the network follows a systems-level approach based on whole-school sustainability. This means that schools integrate sustainable solutions into their physical place, organizational culture, and educational programs. In cooperation with schools, the network develops innovative tools for how this can be achieved and supports its members in its implementation. 
  • GSNN – Green Schools National Network
    GSNN works with schools and school districts to document best practices on how sustainability can be integrated into K-12 education. The network demonstrates how educators rethink current models and helps schools to replicate new approaches. Key components of the new approaches are problem solving, systems thinking, deep conceptual understanding, creativity, and innovation to implement sustainability initiatives. 
  • Eco Schools USA
    Eco Schools USA is a national program for grades PreK-12 to empower students for a sustainable future. The program was started in 1994 by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) with support by the European Commission. Today more the 59 countries around the world are participating in the program. The network provides a framework to help educators integrate sustainability principles throughout their schools and curriculum. 
  • School Sustainability Leaders Network
    Since 2011 the Center for Green Schools supports a growing network of K-12 school district sustainability staff. The network now has over 200 members from across the United States. With the help of the network, the members work for a transformation of their school. The aim is to use resources more efficiently, foster healthy policies and practices, and help students be environmentally literate when they graduate. 

Academic Journals

General Sustainability Journals

Teaching Sustainability

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