• Overview

    LightWorks pulls light-inspired research at ASU under one strategic framework. It is a multidisciplinary effort to leverage ASU’s unique strengths, particularly in renewable energy fields including artificial photosynthesis, biofuels, and next-generation photovoltaics.


ASU recognizes that promoting sustainability begins internally with our own business practices and university policy. ASU is committed to sustainability in all facets of university life, from conserving energy in classrooms to constructing new lab facilities. The university has earned numerous accolades for its green policies, including:

  • An overall grade of A- from the Sustainable Endowments Institute. More information can be found within the 2011 College Sustainability Report Card.
  • Named one of "America's Coolest Schools" by Sierra Magazine. ASU, ranking #23 on the Sept/Oct 2011 list, was praised for its green efforts by the national magazine.
  • The honor of being one of sixteen schools to receive the "2012 Green College Honor Roll" from The Princeton Review – a list that salutes the institutions that received the highest possible score – 99 – in this year's rating tallies. 768 institutions were reviewed. ASU rating information will be printed in the 2012 edition of "Best 376 Colleges” and “The Princeton Review's Guide to 311 Green Colleges.”
  • A STARS Gold rating. STARS®, the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System, is a transparent, self-assessment framework for colleges and universities to gauge relative progress toward sustainability. Institutions report their achievements in three overall areas: Education and Research; Operations; and Planning, Administration and Engagement. ASU earned its highest points in Planning, Administration and Engagement. Click to view full July 2011 report.

ASU’s sustainability initiatives, spearheaded by the Global Institute of Sustainability, are advanced by the efforts of people and departments from across the university. Sustainable practices are addressed and implemented in the areas of energy, water, buildings and grounds, carbon neutrality, food services, transportation, waste and recycling, and purchasing and policies.

For example, ASU now exceeds 10 megawatts (MW) of solar-energy capacity – enough to power 2,500 Arizona homes. ASU is the only higher education institution in the United States to have a solar capacity of this size.

In addition to generating renewable energy, the university is committed to reducing its energy consumption, increasing efficiency, and minimizing harmful emissions related to energy consumption.

Following a 2005 order by the governor of Arizona, ASU now requires, to the fullest extent practicable, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification or better for all new construction of university-owned and operated buildings. As of 2011, ASU boasts 36 LEED silver or better certified buildings on its four campuses. LEED certification rates the energy efficiency of buildings, along with other criteria such as water efficiency, indoor air quality, and sustainably produced construction materials.

Learn about all of ASU’s sustainability practices at: http://sustainability.asu.edu/practice