Goals and Objectives

The Campus Green Builder (CGB) online portal to green building information for academic institutions provides a one-stop online resource on campus green building that is free and accessible to all higher education institutions. Though the information provided is relevant to all higher education institutions, the CGB is particularly geared towards under-resourced colleges and universities. It aims to level the playing field for all institutions of higher education to gain access to funding and technical resources for green building.


Under-resourced colleges and universities are faced with multiple challenges that often make it difficult for them to embrace the shift to green building and sustainability initiatives on their campuses. The under-resourced institutions are building green, but at a slower pace than colleges and universities with larger endowments and higher tuitions. The primary impediments include financial constraints on brick and mortar projects, isolation from networks, inaccessibility of resources, and a lack of green building know-how. The goals of the Campus Green Builder are to:

Solar Installation at Lane Community College
Photo Credit: Jeremy Aasum and Lane Community College
  1. Advance green building at colleges and universities so that it becomes “business as usual."
  2. Level the playing field for all institutions of higher education in terms of accessing funding, technical resources, and networks for green building.
  3. Provide an up-to-date resource on relevant news, events and other opportunities, including grant opportunites.
  4. Provide opportunities for under-resourced institutions to share their experiences and learn best practices.


Second Nature, a nonprofit organization advancing sustainability in the higher education sector, launched a strategic outreach and education program, the Advancing Green Building in Higher Education Initiative, to assist under-resourced higher education institutions, such as many Minority-Serving Institutions, community and technical colleges, and small inner-city, rural, or religiously affiliated institutions to “build green” on their campuses. The Campus Green Builder web portal is one of the principal activities offered through this initiative.

TheAdvancing Green Building in Higher Education Initiative, in collaboration with The Kresge Foundation, aimed to provide long-term capacity for under-resourced higher education institutions to advance and become leaders in the field of green building and sustainability, while encouraging them to commit to climate neutrality through the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment

Based on the success of this initiative, Second Nature launched a new phase of its capacity building work. This comprehensive Education for Sustainability Innovation Program promoted innovation and leadership among financially strained and minority-serving colleges and universities. The Education for Sustainability Innovation Program helped ensure that graduates are prepared to lead the changes needed to overcome the interrelated social, environmental and economic challenges of the 21st century by driving innovative approaches to Education for Sustainability (EfS).

With a 2-year grant from The Kresge Foundation, Second Nature has recently launched the Sustainability Leadership, Capacity Building and Diversity Initiative (2013-14), to continue building sustainability capacity and leadership among financially strained and minority-serving higher education institutions (MSIs). Under this Initiative, Second Nature will strengthen and build on the success of its previous Kresge-funded initiatives, Advancing Green Building in Higher Education and Education for Sustainability Innovation.


The Campus Green Builder offers the following information and opportunities for networking:

  1. Links to green building resource websites as well as green building experts’ directories.
  2. Case Studies to serve as models and learning resources regarding campus green building at under-resourced colleges and universities.
  3. Announcements of green building and campus sustainability events, conferences, workshops, webinars, courses, meetings, summits, etc.
  4. Free user accounts in which individuals can save their favorite resources.
  5. Campus Green Builder Blog for peer-to-peer networking.
  6. Information on other Advancing Green Building activities and projects.