Mary Schrott

The 2018 Climate Leadership Awards nominations are now open to colleges and universities.

Each year, USGBC partners with Second Nature to recognize higher education institutions for their work with climate mitigation and sustainability practices on campus and in their communities. Nominations are now open for the 2018 Climate Leadership Awards, which celebrates colleges and universities for efforts on climate neutrality, curriculum integration, partnerships and innovative leadership.

In the past, these awards have received nominations from many diverse projects. To ensure this diversity is showcased fully, three new categories will be recognized in this year’s awards: Student Preparedness, Climate Innovation and Cross-Sector Collaboration.

Also for the first time this year, videos and photo materials will be accepted with nominations and may be used by USGBC and Second Nature in future promotions.

Deadlines and eligibility

Applications will be accepted through October 31 at 11:59 pm PT.

The winners will be presented at the 2019 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit, February 10–12 in Tempe, Arizona.

To be eligible, institutions must be a signatory of Second Nature’s Presidents' Climate Leadership Commitments and in fulfillment of those requirements. If you are unsure about your institution's status, please contact Second Nature.

What to emphasize in your application

  • Innovation. Show us how your institution’s sustainability strategy or partnerships can set an example for the rest of the Climate Leadership Network. Focus on aspects like cross-functionality, student engagement and emission and consumptions reduction.
  • Precision. Answer each question as concisely as possible. All essay questions are weighted equally, so tailor each answer accordingly and do not repeat information.
  • Context. Submit photos or videos with your campaign to best show us your work. Take advantage of the 250-word limit as well, but don’t go over.


When will I know if my institution has been selected?

Finalists will be notified by early November, and winners and honorable mentions will be announced in December.

What should I do if my institution is selected?

Begin gathering photos and videos that highlight your project, if you did not submit them with your application. If ultimately selected, look out for outreach efforts from USGBC and Second Nature about gathering materials for promoting your institution.

See more tips, recommendations and FAQs.

Apply for the Climate Leadership Awards