President's Award for Sustainability

Arizona State University recognizes faculty and staff who foster and demonstrate excellence in sustainability as departmental or transdisciplinary teams. This award recognizes the development, implementation and promotion of sustainability principles, solutions, programs and services. 

The university’s vision is for a sustainability program that encompasses all of ASU, engages the internal and external communities alike, and integrates its teaching, learning, research, and business missions. Sustainability projects or programs may be related to one or more of the following actions: use-inspired research; teaching and learning; active engagement; or campus operations. Sustainability is a concept with as much transformative potential as justice, liberty and equality. ASU’s global approach to sustainability uses solutions, engagement, education and research to enable better lives and drive transformational global change for current and future generations. 

President Michael M. Crow will recognize recipients of the award at an awards ceremony. Each team will receive a team award, and each team member will receive an award certificate. The team’s accomplishments will be featured online in ASU News. A review group made up of sustainability leaders at ASU will evaluate submissions and determine which projects will receive the award. There may be multiple recipients.

President’s Awards workshops 

All applicants are strongly encouraged to attend the workshop. Teams will learn tips about organizing and writing submissions to represent the team and the best project efforts. Shelly Potts and Alison Cook-Davis of the University Office of Evaluation and Educational Effectiveness will conduct a workshop about measuring and reporting results. You will learn how to present your information in a concise, clear manner that makes it easy for award examiners to review your submission against the award criteria. Visit Career EDGE to register for the January and February workshops.  


Teams must demonstrate excellence in implementing sustainability principles, programs, solutions or services for internal or external communities.

The sustainability solution might be socially motivated, economically motivated, artistically motivated, intellectually motivated, or have some combination of these characteristics. 

Sustainability projects and programs must address one or more of the following sustainability actions: 

  • Active engagement: Connections among scientists, scholars, humanists, artists, engineers, technologists, policymakers, business leaders, students and community leaders to enhance the capacity to address sustainability challenges, such as urban growth, environmental protection, resource management, and social and economic development. Increase the knowledge and participation of the ASU community in sustainability or sustainability-related efforts on campus or in the broader community.
  • Campus operations: The development of university business practices and policies that promote and enhance climate neutrality and zero waste. For example, achieving net-zero carbon emissions from energy, transportation, refrigerants and waste-related sources or eliminating solid waste and water waste from our facilities.
  • Teaching and learning: Involvement of faculty, staff and students in promoting sustainability practices and solving sustainability problems locally, nationally or globally.
  • Use-Inspired research: Interactive collaboration of university research initiatives and their internal and external partners to address and solve environmental, economic and societal challenges of sustainability.

Submission requirements

Email the following documents to us by April 2, 2021. Failure to submit a complete packet will lead to disqualification. Review, selection and notifications will occur from April through May 2021. The President’s Recognition Ceremony happens in the fall. 

  1. Submit contact information and team roster form

  2. Describe the project or program. Include how it was designed and implemented and measurable results in 10 or fewer typewritten pages. We encourage you to consider the consistent font and formatting in your document. Make sure to include any charts or graphs, and the description should address the award criteria listed on page five of this application. 

  3. Include a short abstract of 200 words or less that summarizes the project. This abstract will be used for promotional purposes. The abstract is not counted towards the 10-page submission. 

  4. Provide digital photos or links to webpages that show your work in action. Images or multimedia are not counted towards the 10-page submission. These references will be used at the President’s Recognition Ceremony. 

Sustainability award recipients 


Produce Rescue at ASU is a partnership program between ASU and the nonprofit Borderlands Produce Rescue. The program helps reduce fresh produce waste by distributing it to students and families across Arizona.


Banner Bag Program turns discarded vinyl banners into stylish, upcycled tote bags. ASU’s goal is to divert 100% of its banners from going to landfills.


The Poly Community Garden promotes academic engagement, community service and wellness within a sustainable food system. 


Bike ASU is a comprehensive campus program that includes three bike valet stations, five card-access bike parking facilities and a more accurate bicycle registration process.

New Student Orientation Zero Waste Lunches is a model for lunch operations that informs and engages event attendees about proper waste disposal while at the event.