AASHE’s roots go back to the Education for Sustainability Western Network (EFS West), established by Second Nature in 2001 with funding from the Compton Foundation. EFS West served college and university campuses in the western U.S. and Canada, providing resources and support for their sustainability efforts.
In 2004, EFS West held the first North American Conference on Sustainability in Higher Education in Portland, Oregon. The success of this conference and increasing demand for EFS West’s resources led it to transition from a regional network to an independent higher education association serving all of North America – the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. AASHE was officially launched in December 2005, serving as the first professional higher education association for the campus sustainability community in North America.