U California Los Angeles Students Win Grant for Storm Water System

As part of the Sustainability Action Research program, five students from the Resilience Team received $18,000 from the Green Initiative Fund for a 200,000-gallon water capture system in order to save an estimated 1.22 million gallons of water per year. The system is intended to supplement water currently supplied by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power for the university's irrigation system.

U Massachusetts Amherst Divests Fossil Fuel Holdings

A recent announcement revealed a unanimous UMass Foundation Board of Directors' decision to divest its endowment, whose value was $770 million at the end of the last fiscal year, from direct holdings in fossil fuels. The move follows divestiture from coal companies in 2015.

St. Louis U Adjunct Faculty Vote to Form Union

Part-time faculty working in St. Louis University’s College of Education and the College of Arts and Sciences voted 89 to 28 in favor of unionizing, pushing for higher wages and access to health benefits.

La Trobe U Pledges to Divest from Fossil Fuels

(Australia) Over the next five years, a new university commitment says it will divest a A$40 million ($28.7 million) managed fund from the 200 most carbon-intense companies.

Northern Arizona U Eliminates Plastic Bags

Building on momentum gained from a 2010 decision to stop using plastic bags in campus dining locations, the bookstore recently switched to paper bags made from 100 percent Forest Stewardship Certified, recycled material. Now no retail store on campus gives out plastic bags.

EPA Reveals Battle of the Buildings Results

The 2015 ENERGY STAR National Building Competition results revealed Texas A&M University taking first place with an overall energy reduction of 35.5 percent while Emory University achieved a 12 percent reduction in energy use. Hosted by the Environmental Protection Agency, the competition brings together teams in order to reduce energy and water consumption. Learn about the strategies that Texas A&M and Emory employed in the competition's wrap-up report.

Knox College Building Receives LEED Gold

The recently certified, 2014 renovation of the university's Alumni Hall features LED lighting, water control systems, fresh air exchange, occupancy sensors for lighting and ventilation, and reused material from the original building.

SUNY New Paltz Bolsters Diversity & Inclusion Support with New Hire & Task Force

The university recently announced Tanhena Pacheco Dunn as chief diversity officer after being hired in 2012 as executive director of Compliance and coordinator of Campus Climate and Title IX. Pacheco Dunn came to SUNY New Paltz from Vassar College. Additionally, a new, 21-member Diversity and Inclusion Plan Task Force has been tasked with leading the development of a draft campus diversity and inclusion plan.

Cornell U and Iceland Sign Agreement to Model Geothermal Energy

The memorandum of agreement signed between the university and Geothermal Resource Park Iceland in April 2016 aims to employ a renewable energy park on the Ithaca campus that includes geothermal and hydro resources. Geothermal Resource Park Iceland will assist the university to design a facility that transforms the campus into a zero carbon model for other campuses.

Conscious Company Compiles Top 15 Affordable Conscious MBA Program List

Using Net Impact’s Business as UNusual report as a baseline, Conscious Company added affordability, social impact, environmental sustainability and social entrepreneurship filters to compile the top 15 impact-focused business programs in the U.S. today. Each costs less than $110,000 for two years.

Amherst College Receives $1M 'Cooke Prize for Equity in Educational Excellence'

The Cooke Prize was recently awarded to the college due to its record of eliminating arbitrary barriers to admission and promoting the success of high-achieving students from low-income families.

California State U San Marcos Commissions Fuel Cell System

The new fuel cell system, a device that utilizes a chemical reaction to convert fuel into energy, was installed to help the university meet a significant portion of its energy needs while helping reduce harmful emissions.

Three New York Schools Win $1M Each in Clean Energy Competition

Bard College, University at Buffalo and SUNY Broome Community College each won $1 million as part of Governor Cuomo's Energy to Lead Competition. The competition, first announced in October 2015, challenged student-led coalitions from New York colleges and universities to design and develop innovative plans for campus and community-wide clean energy projects. Applicants were required to demonstrate innovation in one or more of the following areas: project design, business model, partnerships and/or curriculum integration.

Ten Canadian Institutions Top 2016 Greenest Employers List

Organized by the Canada's Top 100 Employers project, the 10 colleges and universities are Dalhousie University, Humber College, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Mohawk College, Red River College, University of British Columbia, University of Alberta, University of Northern British Columbia, University of Toronto and York University. The Greenest Employer award recognizes employers that lead the nation in making environmental values part of their organizational culture.

Northern Arizona U Begins Food Scrap Composting

In addition to implementing the EPA's Food Recovery Challenge that diverts and tracks organic waste and the Food Recovery Network that helps move food to food banks, a new student-led collaboration at the university yielded machines that grind and dehydrate food waste so that it can be more easily composted and used in campus landscaping.

U California Los Angeles Becomes Fair Trade University

Fair Trade Colleges and Universities announced that after three years of working on the designation, the university received the title of Fair Trade University. The process involved forming a committee, offering Fair Trade products through campus dining outlets, and catering and hosting educational events on campus.

Wesleyan U Funds Sustainability Education and Social Justice Programs

Among this year's initiatives and projects that the student-run Green Fund allocated money to are the development of sustainability curriculum into existing courses, an event featuring a Stony Brook University professor about ecofeminism, eco-grief and climate justice, and funding to a pilot program that offers cooperative food shares to a local elementary school.

Emory U to Launch Sustainability Revolving Fund

The new $1.5 million Sustainability Revolving Fund will be a self-replenishing program that will be used to fund capital-intensive energy and water efficiency projects across campus. The program is made possible by a $500,000 grant from The Kendeda Fund. The grant was matched by a $1 million investment by the university.

Central Carolina CC to Offer Construction Program

Part of the community college's Sustainability Technologies Program, the newly approved Building Construction Technology program will attempt to help students build better using sustainable technologies.

U Dayton Establishes Green Revolving Fund

The university is investing $1 million to seed the new green revolving fund, designed to encourage the community to look at the entire campus as a laboratory, classroom and testing ground for energy-saving ideas. The idea originated from a 2012 student-led research project suggesting the fund could offer a payoff to the university in cost savings, innovation, learning opportunities and create a greener campus.

U Iowa Marks Progress on 2020 Sustainability Goals

Some areas of progress include net negative energy growth, with a nearly 15 percent reduction in per capita emissions of fossil fuel-produced carbon dioxide from university-related transportation and travel, a 42 percent waste diversion rate and 14.4 percent renewable energy use.

Suffolk CC Earns International Accolades for Energy Savings

The community college was recently lauded by the League for Innovation in the Community College, an international nonprofit organization that cultivates innovation at community colleges, for its sustainability and energy savings across the college's three campuses including 51 buildings and 1.6 million square feet.

SUNY New Paltz Establishes Student-Driven Green Revolving Fund

The university's new green revolving fund is a student-driven investment fund that will be used to implement energy efficiency and sustainability projects on campus. The idea and plan for the fund came from a course in the university's School of Business that introduces ideas for how sustainable practices can generate a competitive business advantage.

U Winnipeg Unveils Climate Change Website

The new Prairie Climate Atlas is an interactive, online tool that uses climate data, geovisualizations and multimedia to map the dramatic changes predicted for the Canadian Prairies. The Atlas is the flagship project of the Prairie Climate Center, which is a collaboration between the University of Winnipeg and the International Institute for Sustainable Development. The goal of the Atlas is to make the best climate science available to a broad spectrum of society.

Chatham U Opens Sustainable Building at Eden Hall

The two-floor, 23,000-square-foot center features a commercial teaching kitchen where food from the gardens and greenhouses will be prepared using inductive heating, recycled through a heat loop. Power is generated from a mix of solar panels and two, highly efficient, natural gas-powered turbines that feed electricity to the campus grid. Some of the building's walls are earthen using soil from the campus.

Green Mountain College and Audubon International Announce Partnership

Graduate students at Green Mountain College can apply their place-based education by exploring and implementing Audubon International’s programs alongside professional staff. Staff at any of Audubon International's member facilities will receive discounts to enroll in the college’s online graduate curriculum in one of four sustainability disciplines. The goal of the partnership is to improve training opportunities for sustainability professionals and students, and lead to new research on sustainability practices.

U Alberta Student Creates Method to Save Water in Labs

To reduce water in the university's chemistry labs, undergraduate Alex Schoeddert in collaboration with faculty member Sarah Pelletier built a water reuse system that will save up to 1,900 gallons of water each year.

NACUFS Announces Sustainability Award Winners

The National Association of College & University Food Services announced the 2016 awardees for its four categories. Outreach and Engagement winners are Brown University Dining Services (Gold), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Silver) and Virginia Tech University (Bronze). Waste Management winners are Princeton University (Gold), Colorado State University (Silver) and Johnson County Community College (Bronze). Gold, Silver and Bronze winners in the Procurement Practices category are, respectively, Harvard University Dining Services, University of Massachusetts Amherst and University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Green Champion Student winner is Sarah Leann Ross at Colorado State University.

Tennessee Technological U Becomes REAL Certified

The REAL, or Responsible Epicurean and Agricultural Leadership, Certification from the United States Healthful Food Council uses a points-based system, implemented with assistance from independent, third-party registered dietitians and is based on nutritional benefit, food quality and experience, procurement from safe and high quality sources, and food that enables better choices.

Furman U Receives $95K Grant for Waterways

The new $95,000 grant from Duke Energy's Water Resources Fund will help the university to protect and enhance the region’s waterways and environment. With the funds, Furman will restore a wetland habitat and build floating marsh islands. The project will be the basis for student-faculty ecological research and community education. Matching funds from the university will construct a pedestrian bridge and provide educational signage. The grant is part of Duke Energy’s Water Resources Fund, a $10 million, multiyear commitment to improve water quality and conservation in the North and South Carolina and neighboring regions.

SUNY New Paltz Partnership Yields 217KW Solar Array

The university's new partnership with the New York Power Authority will result in a 217-kilowatt solar electric system with a hybrid power converter and battery storage for use during emergencies and times of peak demand.

Michigan State U Students Discover Solution for Polystyrene

A group of students from the Residential Initiative on the Study of the Environment (RISE) program is researching the use of mealworms to degrade this material beyond the industry standard of 20 percent. Funded by the Be Spartan Green Student Project Fund, the Meals for Mealworms project was proposed, researched and executed by freshman students, earning them an invitation to the Clinton Global Initiative University Conference.

College and University Campuses Celebrate Earth Day (Photos)

Thirty-five colleges and universities in 24 states and provinces across the U.S. and Canada submitted Earth Day-themed photos to the Campus Sustainability Hub that depict engagement and action within the community.

Southern Illinois U Carbondale Allocates $280K to Sustainability Projects

New lighting, a lactation station, vermicomposting, and t-shirt and paper recycling are among the projects selected as the newest recipients of Green Fund awards.

Trent U Environmental Studies Institute Receives $1.5M

Following his initial $165,000 gift in 2015 to help launch the university's International Institute for Environmental Studies, Dr. Justin Chiu '76 recently donated $1.5 million in support of the institute, which is in partnership with Nanjing University, to bring experts from universities around the world together to tackle international environmental issues.

U Gothenburg Receives Highest Ranking for Environmental Efforts

(Sweden) Announced in April 2016, the university topped the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency's assessment of environmental management. Environment certification, staff training, renewable energy requirements and reduced energy consumption are some of the criteria on which the assessment was based. The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences came in second.

Wilfrid Laurier U Claims First in Aspen Institute Competition

The university's Lazaridis School of Business & Economics claimed first place out of five finalists at the Aspen Institute's 2016 Business and Society International MBA Case Competition, for which it earned a grand prize of $15,000. Founded in 2009, the Aspen Institute’s Business and Society International MBA Case Competition provides an opportunity for MBA students from 25 leading business schools over three rounds to reflect on the significant influence and positive impact a well-managed business can have on society.

NextGen Climate Mobilizes Young Voters at 203 Campuses

NextGen Climate launched a national campaign to register and mobilize young voters at 203 college campuses in seven key battleground states to help elect climate champions to the White House and the Senate this fall. The campaign aims to show the size and scope of the enthusiasm for climate action among young voters.

Santa Ana College Announces Tuition-Free First Year

Building on the past 33 years of the Santa Ana Partnership, a pathway for students in the Santa Ana Unified School District to attend Santa Ana College, the college will now include a guaranteed tuition-free freshman year for all full-time students from the Santa Ana Unified School District.

Northeastern U Shares Campus Sustainability Report

Released at the time of the COP21 climate talks in Paris, the report lists the university's 2025 goals and provides an update to the campus' climate commitment and progress, improvements to buildings and water infrastructure, and campus resilience and business continuity.

Northern Arizona U to Install 720KW Solar Array

The university has signed a 20-year agreement on a soon-to-be constructed 723-kilowatt solar electric system that will be mounted on a parking garage. A separate 20-year agreement with another agency will provide six cents per kilowatt-hour produced by the system. The student-funded NAU Green Fund will contribute $100,000 a year for the first 10 years to offset the cost of purchasing the generated electricity.

U Maryland & City Launch Bike Share Program

The university and City of College Park, in partnership with Zagster, Inc., launched mBike, a bike-sharing program for students, faculty, staff, visitors and community members that includes 120 bikes at 14 stations throughout campus and the city.

Southern Illinois U Carbondale to Open Sustainability Display

The new Innovation and Sustainability Hub will feature informational displays about current and future innovation and sustainability efforts on campus and serve as a collaborative space to share information and increase awareness and student participation.

North Carolina State U Awards $161,000 to Sustainability Projects

Fifteen sustainability projects will be implemented on campus over the next year after $161,000 in grants were recently awarded by the student-led advisory board of the university's Sustainability Fund. Some of the projects include raising awareness for political and social issues through music, stormwater management and water treatment, pollinator-friendly landscaping and a new Alternative Spring Break trip to install solar-electric panels in underserved communities.

Five Universities Place in Shell Eco-Marathon Americas

This year's Shell Eco-Marathon Americas, a global program that challenges high school and college student teams to design, build and test the most energy-efficient vehicles, concluded with the following winners: Queens University (Canada), University of Alberta (Canada), University of Colorado at Boulder, Université Laval (Canada), and Université de Sherbrooke (Canada). The win qualifies the teams to compete at the Shell Ecomarathon Europe and the Drivers World Championship in London this summer.

U Illinois Urbana-Champaign Starts Styrofoam Recycling Program

Styrecycle, a specialty recycling program created in 2016 by the university, aims to reduce the volume of expanded polystyrene headed to the landfill by using a Styrofoam densifier, a machine that grinds the plastic into small beads and extrudes it in a very dense tube. A local company in Urbana houses and operates the University-owned densifier for free in exchange for the proceeds from the sale of densified Styrofoam.

Colby College Begins 1.9MW Solar Electricity Project

The 1.9-megawatt project will feature over 5,500 grid-connected photovoltaic panels. NRG Energy, Inc., will build and own the project built on land leased from the college over a 27-year agreement period. The college will purchase all the electricity back at a predetermined rate.

College of William & Mary Establishes Green Revolving Fund

Founded with an initial pool of $200,000, the college's new Green to Gold revolving fund will finance sustainability projects that reduce resource use or greenhouse gas emissions. First in the queue is a lighting retrofit for a campus parking garage that will replace inefficient metal halide and high-pressure sodium fixtures with LED lights, providing a 70 percent energy reduction for that deck.

U Manitoba Concludes International Bee House Design Competition

The university's international bee house design competition called BEE / HOUSE / LAB aimed to address the rapid decline in bee populations due to pesticide use and severe winters brought on by climate change. Participants were challenged to design a bee house for 80-100 solitary nesting bees. In the Open category, first place went to a team from University of Manitoba and McGill University, and Ryerson University placed second. In the Student Competition category, a student from University of Toronto won top honors, with two students from Carleton University taking second.

Australian Universities Push for Fossil Fuel Divestment with Creative Action

In April 2016, Fossil Free Universities released a video compilation on Facebook about higher education students in Australia that used creative and powerful actions to signal their preference for universities to divest from fossil energy.