Erhai Lake

One key way that China promotes environmental education is through leadership training and initiatives in higher education. Shanghai-based Tongji University cultivates support for environmental education through a range of training programs, leadership initiatives, and evaluation standards. In partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Tongji launched the Asia-Pacific Leadership Program, which has trained more than 300 emerging leaders in over 30 countries in education for sustainable development. It has also initiated a number of other university level programs (with more than 100 universities in the network) to introduce theories and practice in sustainable development education and create campus energy management systems with evaluation standards. China’s International Student Conference on the Environment for Sustainable Development attracts students from more than 40 countries across the globe and helps disseminate practical information about environmental education and sustainability practices among student communities. Ultimately, China’s efforts seek to integrate research, education, and social service to promote environmental education and sustainable behavior throughout the country.

Professional Development

China has developed the International Training Program on Education for Sustainable Development in Higher Education. This program introduces theories and practice on Sustainable Development Education and provides sustainable development education experiences for trainees. 

The International Student Conference on Environment and Sustainability (ISCES) Supported and funded by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and Beijing Green Future Environmental Foundation. As the flagship event co-organized by UNEP and Tongji, ISCES attracted nearly 400 students annually from more than 40 countries across the globe, contributing to the dissemination of good practices and concepts on environment and sustainability amongst student communities. It also gained the support from UNEP, the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP), the Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST), Xinhua News Agency, and the Global University Partnership on Environment and Sustainability (GUPES).

Launched by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Tongji University in 2004, the Asia-Pacific Leadership Programme on Environment for Sustainable Development trained more than 300 emerging leaders over 30 countries in the field of ESD and leadership. Their Sustainable Framework for Mindful Leadership includes three modules: Environmental (air, water, land biodiversity); Sustainable Development (social and economic dimensions); and Human (mind, body and soul).

The China Green University Network (CGUN) was established as an NGO in June 2011. It was  proposed by Tongji University and seven other leading Chinese universities. It is supported by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, Ministry of Education and American Energy Foundation. Over 200 universities have been involved in this network. The three phases to this program include energy use monitoring, energy auditing, and operation improvement. The National Guidelines on Campus Energy Management Systems was developed in 2009 by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development and the Ministry of Education. The Guidelines also offer a web-based online campus energy management system for energy consumption monitoring, energy audits, energy efficiency management, and low-carbon campus education resources.


Beijing FUQUN Environmental Research Institute
China Green University Network (CGUN)
International Training Program on Education for Sustainable Development in Higher Education
Tongji Institute of Environment for Sustainable Development