Los Angeles, Calif. – (Oct. 17, 2012) – The Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) today announced the University of Wisconsin – Madison as the winner of the 2012 Innovation in Green Building Award. The award recognizes a leading college or university that is transforming the built environment and examines how the school is using LEED® as a tool for campus greening.

“The University of Wisconsin – Madison is trailblazing the type of innovative partnerships the higher education community needs to transform the built environment,” said Rachel Gutter, director of the Center for Green Schools at USGBC. “We’re proud to give this award to such a deserving school, and thank AASHE for their support in highlighting outstanding sustainability initiatives taking place at colleges and universities across the country.”

The University of Wisconsin – Madison received the award for its innovative work on the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, a world-class research facility that houses twin interdisciplinary institutes, the private non-profit Morgridge Institute for Research and the university’s Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, along with a public space for science that spans the main floor. This visionary building is designed to foster collaboration and innovation among all researchers and building occupants, and contribute to its mission of accelerating new knowledge and improving human health and well-being. The building includes interactive displays and civic spaces, three teaching labs for educational outreach, offices, research support areas and core research facilities.

“Sustainability in higher education continues to gain momentum and projects like these continue to raise the bar,” said Paul Rowland, executive director of AASHE. “Our award winners have demonstrated a commitment to creating a better society for all of us and for future generations.”

“We are committed at UW–Madison to increasing our sustainability as a campus and as a community, and we are so pleased that our integrated team effort on sustainability for this project has been so successful. This award is a gratifying recognition of our efforts and progress toward our goals,” says Angela Pakes Ahlman, external relations coordinator, UW-Madison Office of Sustainability, and formerly with UW-Madison Capital Planning & Development.

The winners of the 2012 Sustainability Leadership Awards will be featured in the December issue of Sustainability: The Journal of Record. The applications and papers received for each of the award categories are available on the AASHE website.


About the Center for Green Schools at USGBC
The Center for Green Schools at USGBC is making sure every student has the opportunity to attend a green school within this generation. From kindergarten to college and beyond, the Center works directly with staff, teachers, faculty, students, administrators, elected officials and communities to drive the transformation of all schools into sustainable places to live and learn, work and play. For more information, visit or find us on Twitter and Facebook.


AASHE is helping to create a brighter future of opportunity for all by advancing sustainability in higher education. By creating a diverse community engaged in sharing ideas and promising practices, AASHE provides administrators, faculty, staff and students, as well as the business that serve them, with: thought leadership and essential knowledge resources; outstanding opportunities for professional development; and a unique framework for demonstrating the value and competitive edge created by sustainability initiatives. For more information, visit

About the University of Wisconsin – Madison
In achievement and prestige, the University of Wisconsin–Madison has long been recognized as one of America's great universities. A public, land-grant institution, UW–Madison offers a complete spectrum of liberal arts studies, professional programs and student activities. The university enrolls more than 42,000 students on a campus spanning 935 acres along the southern shore of Lake Mendota in the city of Madison. For more information, visit