Students from Maryland Universities Design Mobile Teaching Labs
The Washington D.C. Metropolitan Area Transit Authority recently donated four dirty emissions transit buses to Biodiesel University, a nonprofit affiliated with the University of Maryland dedicated to providing hands-on renewable energy experiences and to inspiring students to pursue careers in science and technology. The four buses will be recycled into mobile teaching laboratories and will travel to schools, colleges, and public events in the Washington, D.C. region and beyond. Students from regional colleges and universities, including the University of Maryland and the Maryland Institute College of Art, have been designing the mobile labs and their contents since late 2006 as part of a multi-institutional collaboration. The labs will educate visitors on the sustainability issues of food versus fuel, the carbon cycle, unintended economic consequences, pollution, and land and water use. Each lab will include a hands-on feedstock section, where visitors learn about dozens of renewable sources for biodiesel and compare the benefits and tradeoffs of each one.
Students Launch Cross-Canada Campus Sustainability Tour
Students across Canada recently joined together to launch the Generations Campaign and cross-Canada tour to send a message to federal policy makers that greater action is needed to combat climate change. The Canadian Federation of Students and the David Suzuki Foundation have teamed up to bring events to universities and colleges across the country. The Generations Campaign will bring keynote speakers to over 30 Canadian campuses this fall to discuss the importance of action in the fight against climate change. The tour will highlight ways in which students across the country are making a difference in their homes, campuses and local communities, and pressure the federal government to take action against climate change.
Tulane U Dining Services Goes Trayless
Tulane University (LA) Dining Services recently removed trays from its dining facilities on campus. The initiative is an effort to reduce food waste, to conserve water that would be used to wash the trays, and to conserve energy that would normally be used to prepare more food. Additionally, the campus dining facilities now offer fresh Louisiana produce and seafood, recycled-content paper napkins, and environmentally friendly cleaning products.
U Kansas Architecture Students Design and Build Green Building
A University of Kansas architecture class recently designed and built a green building and transported it to Greensburg, Kansas, a community in western Kansas that was destroyed by a tornado last spring. The graduate students from the School of Architecture and Urban Planning built the structure as seven prefabricated modules that were hauled by truck to the Greensburg building site. The students will assemble the modules themselves, and hope to complete the structure by early May. When the building is complete, it will feature solar panels, wind turbines, geothermal heating, thermal massing and other green systems. KU expects the building to achieve LEED certification.
USA Today Covers Increasing Student Awareness of Global Warming
USA Today recently published an article on the increasing number of students who are concerned about the effects of global warming. More and more students are participating in national events, such as Focus the Nation and Powershift, and creating their own campus initiatives aimed at reducing global warming and increasing knowledge about the problem.
Vassar College Expands Financial Aid Program
Vassar College (NY) recently announced that it will eliminate loans from the financial aid packages of students with calculated family incomes of up to $60,000. The college will replace those loans with additional Vassar scholarship grants. The policy will take place in the fall of 2008. The College will also return to a need-blind admissions policy, with admissions decisions being made without regard to the student's ability to pay.
Wright State U Hires Director of Sustainability
Wright State University (OH) recently hired Huntting W. Brown as the first Director of Sustainability. Brown's responsibilities include exploring collaborations with other organizations throughout the Miami Valley and, with faculty, staff, and student involvement, explore potential new initiatives. With degrees in anthropology-sociology, zoology and law, Brown has focused his life’s work on environmental issues. Following jobs with the State of Florida’s Department of Natural Resources and with utility companies operating in the mid-west, Brown brought his diverse background to Wright State’s Center for Groundwater Management in 1989.
Auburn U Partners with City to Produce Biodiesel
Auburn University (AL) recently partnered with the city of Gadsden and Gadsden Waterworks and Sewer Board to convert cooking oil into biodiesel fuel. Auburn University plans to document the cost and the conversion process in order to provide other cities with the information.
Business Officer Magazine Covers President's Climate Commitment
The National Association of College and University Business Officers' February Business Officer Magazine features an article urging college and university presidents to sign the American College and University President's Climate Commitment. The article includes ideas on how to fund the commitment, reduce the campus carbon footprint, and convince students, faculty, and staff to participate.
Dalhousie U Implements Trayless Policy
Dalhousie University (NS) recently implemented a policy that eliminates trays from all four of its campus dining halls. The initiative serves to reduce food waste and water and detergent consumption during the cleaning process.
Duke Bans Future Investments With Sudan-Linked Companies
The Duke University (NC) Board of Trustees recently approved a resolution that prohibits Duke from making future direct investment in companies engaged in business with the government of Sudan. The resolution, in protest against that government’s human rights violations in the war-torn region of Darfur, covers the $8.2 billion in endowment and assets of Duke University that is invested by the Duke Management Corporation. The policy is effective immediately and will remain in effect until the United States government lifts sanctions against Sudan.
Emory U Opens Organic Coffee Cart
Emory University (GA) recently opened the Green Bean Coffee Cart outside of the University Center. The cart provides Fair Trade and organic coffee and tea during morning hours throughout the week. Customers who bring their own cup receive a $.20 discount. The cart hopes to offer pastries and cookies within the next few weeks.
Green Chemistry Bill Introduced into Congress
5 U.S. Senators recently introduced the Green Chemistry Research and Development Act of 2008 into Congress. The bi-partisan legislation would leverage federal green chemistry initiatives in an effort to advance research and development at universities and at federal agencies. The Act would create an inter-agency working group lead by the National Science Foundation and the Environmental Protection Agency, and in coordination with the Department of Energy and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, to advance green chemistry research. The bill also provides grant funding for private sector and academic projects for environmentally friendly chemicals.
Green Mountain College Announces Sustainability Website
Green Mountain College (VT) recently published a sustainability website that is linked to the GMC homepage. The website features the college's environmentally focused curriculum, a list of environmental leaders, and the campus's green mission, projects and partnerships, campus initiatives, and awards.
Maharishi U Dining Hall Goes 100% Vegetarian, 90% Organic
Maharishi University of Management's (IA) new student center dining hall is serving 100 percent vegetarian and 90 – 95 percent organic food. Campus farms provide the school with fruits and vegetables during the summer, and campus greenhouses offer tomatoes and greens during the winter. The school has spent the past eight or nine years replacing foods grown with herbicides and pesticides with organic food. Most of the remaining food comes from local producers.
Oregon State U Increases Financial Transparency
Inside Higher Ed recently published an article on Oregon State University's new online budget reporting system. This new system allows students, faculty, and staff connected with the University to view budgeted allowances, actual expenditures, and available balances for income, salaries and wages, other payroll expenses, and other expenses for each department. Additionally, campus members can view the invoices of each completed purchase. The name of the employee associated with the transaction is not shown in the database. The data are updated each night.
St. Lawrence U Science Building Receives LEED Gold
St. Lawrence University's (NY) Johnson Hall of Science was recently awarded LEED Gold certification. The building features passive/active solar design, energy and water conserving technologies, efficient lighting strategies, on-site recoverable energy systems, and a planning process that involved students and faculty in collaboration. In addition, the building was designed for "sustainable transition," anticipating the incorporation of 100 percent renewable technology (biofuel and photovoltaic) use in the
U Arkansas Implements Football and Basketball Recycling Program
The University of Arkansas recently began Recycling with the Razorbacks, a program that places green recycling boxes at all home football and basketball games. During the football season, clean-up crews collected more than 36.5 tons of recyclables and reduced the amount of trash going to the landfill to only 61.5 tons.
U Chicago Hires Sustainability Project Manager
The University of Chicago (IL) Sustainability Council has hired Eric Heineman to fill the newly created project manager position for the Council. Responsibilities of the position will include increasing communication among campus organizations and units to streamline collaboration on sustainability projects. The Council and University administrators hope to eventually make Heineman’s six-month position a permanent addition to sustainability efforts on campus.
U Chicago Holds Energy Reduction Competition
University of Chicago (IL) recently completed a Battle of the Bulbs Competition. Green Campus Initiatives, a student environmental awareness organization, created the February competition to encourage student housing residents to reduce their energy consumption. Breckinridge Residence Hall, the winner of the month-long competition, reduced their overall energy consumption by 24 percent. The entire residence hall system reduced their energy consumption by an average of 2.8 percent per person.
U Maryland Receives Grant for Endowed Sustainability Professor
The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science recently received a $750,000 challenge grant from the France-Merrick Foundation. This gift will establish the Center’s first endowed chair, a professorship in Sustainable Ecosystem Restoration, which will research ecosystem restoration in the face of growth and climate change.
U Maryland to Establish Green Real Estate Development Institute
The University of Maryland's real estate development program, which has a broad-based approach to sustainability, has received a $3 million gift that will help establish the Colvin Institute of Real Estate Development in UM's School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation. The Institute will be the academic home for the school's two year-old Masters in Real Estate Development, giving the program a solid financial foundation, creating a new track with an even greater focus on sustainable development, expanding its leadership training, and extending the program's public outreach and international presence.
U New Hampshire Receives Top Lean and Green Award
The University of New Hampshire has received New Hampshire Magazine's Lean and Green Overall Judges Award, which recognizes the school's extensive sustainable practices. The campus's cogeneration plant and initiatives such as the reuse of purified landfill gas to power the Durham campus and transitioning its public transit system to alternative fuels help to win the award.
Utah State University Unveils Covered Bike Parking
Utah State University recently unveiled a new covered bike parking structure on campus. The ceremony commemorated the Utah State and Aggie Blue Bikes, a 90 bicycle program that provides bike rentals for up to one full semester. The structure, although finished in November, has been out of use until recently because of the weather.
York U Pledges to Establish No-Sweatshop Policy After Sit-in
The York University (ON) president recently pledged to create a no-sweatshop purchasing policy for university apparel by April after protesters participated in a 2 day sit-in outside of the president's office. The sit-in was inspired by the 100th anniversary of International Women's day, when 15,000 immigrant women garment workers protested to receive shorter hours, better pay, and voting rights.
3 Michigan Universities to Fund Energy Projects
The University of Michigan, Michigan State University, and Wayne State University, the state's three largest research universities, will invest $900,000 to encourage their faculty to work collaboratively on novel renewable energy research that could help shape energy policy. The energy initiative is an attempt to usher inventions from labs to the marketplace and attract fresh jobs to the state. Faculty from the three universities will have until April 14, 2008 to submit their proposals for research in materials, nanomaterials, clean energy sources, transmission and storage that is environmentally safe, cost-effective, and secure, and energy policy. Funding to the winning proposal or proposals should begin in June.
Brown U Enhances Financial Aid
Brown University (RI) recently announced its plan to expand its undergraduate financial aid program. Beginning in the fall of 2008, students from families with incomes of less than $100,000 will no longer have loans as part of their financial aid packages, and most parents who earn less than $60,000 will not be expected to make a financial contribution to fund their child’s Brown education. The new financial aid also sharply reduces loan expectations for all students who receive financial aid, regardless of family income. The new provisions apply to all current students who receive financial aid, as well as to the Class of 2012, which matriculates next fall.
Cape Cod CC Awarded Wind Turbine Grant
Cape Cod Community College (MA) has received a $2.4 million grant to install a 600 kW wind turbine. The grant will also allow CCCC to pay a fixed price per kilowatt hour for turbine-generated electricity that will be paid to the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, the grant provider. The savings CCCC sees will be shared with MTC’s Low Income Energy Assistance Network. The LEAN program works with other energy programs and provides benefits to low-income populations in the area including on-site housing improvements for energy efficiency.
Eastern Kentucky U to Reduce Energy Consumption
Eastern Kentucky University recently announced their goal to reduce annual utility costs by 30 percent. EKU plans to reach the goal through energy-efficient lighting, water-conserving technologies and methods, and heating, ventilation and air conditioning system retrofits. These and other initiatives will result in an estimated reduction of more than 76 million pounds of carbon dioxide, more than 120,000 pounds of nitrogen oxides and more than 400,000 pounds of sulfur dioxide. The project is the result of funding provided by an agreement with Siemens Building Technologies.
Lake Land College Receives 2 Renewable Energy Grants
Lake Land College (IL) has been awarded a $30,000 grant to help determine what type of wind turbine would fit the needs of the college. The college also plans to install solar hot water heaters, natural lighting via skylights with reflective lenses, and prairie grasses into the landscaping. The projects are expected to begin in the spring of 2008. The College also recently received a $45,000 grant that enabled it to complete the installation of a geothermal system in the Student Fitness Center, which is now heated and cooled entirely with geothermal energy. The geothermal grant was provided by GeoAlliance as part of a $1 million program to further the proliferation of geothermal technology. The wind turbine grant was provided by the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation.
Michigan State U, U Iowa Partner in Chicago Climate Xchge
Michigan State University and the University of Iowa have agreed to a partnership involving the transaction of carbon credits through the Chicago Climate Exchange program. MSU has agreed to purchase 5,000 tons of carbon dioxide credits from UI in order to meet the requirements of 2007, its first membership compliance year. Next year, MSU hopes to increase the use of alternative fuels so that purchasing additional credits will be less of a necessity. In 2007, UI accumulated excess credits by burning oat hulls, a byproduct of Quaker Oats, instead of coal.
Mount Vernon Nazarene U Uses Biodiesel
Mount Vernon Nazarene University (OH) recently purchased a machine that converts waste vegetable oil into biodiesel. Since the purchase, MVNU has switched to using 100 percent biodiesel in university maintenance equipment and in a few buses.
Princeton U Helps Fund Town Bus Service
Princeton University (NJ) has agreed to cover the costs of the new community jitney bus service until Princeton Borough receives its permanent vehicle and funding from New Jersey Transit at the end of the year. The jitney bus service will be free to riders and will run Monday through Friday during peak commuting hours. The service also has a direct connection with the newly modified University shuttle routes.
Rochester Inst. of Tech. to Host Pollution Prevention Institute
The Rochester Institute of Technology (NY) has been chosen to host New York State's Pollution Prevention Institute, a research and development center that will design and test green manufacturing methods and provide technical support to businesses for pollution prevention measures. RIT’s primary mission will be to promote cost effective pollution prevention techniques so that large and small business can reduce energy costs, hazardous substances, and wastes. The Institute will assist industry in reducing its environmental impact by decreasing the use of toxic chemicals, cutting waste generation, decreasing exposure risks to workers, and promoting more efficient use of raw materials and energy. A key part of RIT’s proposal to host the Institute is the creation of 16 research and development technological laboratories across the State, through partnerships with Clarkson University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and the State University of New York at Buffalo.
Stanford Helps Create the Center for Ocean Solutions
Stanford University (CA), the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute have joined together to create the Center for Ocean Solutions, a new collaboration that will bring together international experts in marine science and policy to find innovative ways to protect and restore oceans. Although based in California, the center will confront problems that affect oceans worldwide, including climate change and overfishing. Made possible by a $25 million grant from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Center for Ocean Solutions will be managed by Stanford's Woods Institute for the Environment.
Stanford U Dedicates Green Building
Stanford University (CA) recently dedicated the new Jerry Yang and Akiko Yamazaki Environment and Energy Building. Known as Y2E2, the new green building is said to be LEED Platinum-equivalent and uses 56 percent less energy than a typical building of its size. Y2E2 offers natural lighting, features natural ventilation for cooling, and uses 90 percent less potable water for fixtures than an equivalent building. Stanford plans to build 3 more buildings with the same goal of 50 percent reduction in energy use for each.
U Maine Presque Isle Forms Green Campus Committee
The University of Maine at Presque Isle has formed the Green Campus Committee, a group that will focus on ways to save energy, raise awareness, and educate the campus community on sustainability issues. The committee hopes to work with students as well.
U Oregon Offers Statement of Completion in Sustainable Business Law
The University of Oregon School of Law will offer a Statement of Completion in Sustainable Business Law for students wanting to develop a specialty in the field. The new concentration focuses on emerging sustainability businesses and the regulation of energy and the environment. To earn a Statement of Completion in Sustainable Business Law, students must satisfactorily complete a business law curriculum, selected courses addressing environmental and sustainability issues, and an appropriate paper, clinic, externship, business plan, or similar project approved by a faculty committee.
Wesleyan U & U Vermont Students Renounce Kimberly-Clark Products
Wesleyan University (CT) and the University of Vermont students have taken steps towards banning Kimberly-Clark products, particularly Kleenex, due to the lack of recycled fibers in the company's goods. A WU campus grocery store has discontinued the selling of Kleenex after two students sent a message condemning the lack of recycled fibers in Kimberly-Clark's paper products, in the facial tissue in particular. The ban will remain in effect until the company increases the recycled content in its goods. The UVM student group, UVM Forest Crimes Unit, is also boycotting Kimberly-Clark products for the same reasons. The group is collecting signatures for a campus-wide ban on the company's products and is meeting with the director of custodial services to consider alternative tissue products.
Cleveland State U Opens Green Bistro
Cleveland State University (OH) recently opened a new restaurant that will use local products when feasible. Elements Bistro on Euclid will serve cheeses, locally produced sausages and pastas, and eventually will feature Ohio wine and beer.
Goshen College Rieth Village Awarded LEED Platinum
The Goshen College (IN) Rieth Village has been awarded LEED Platinum. Reith Village, an ecological field station for undergraduate environmental study at the Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center, features a passive solar design, cisterns for recycling rainwater, tulip poplar siding harvested locally, solar panels, and a wind generator. 2 cottages at the field station provide housing for up to 32 students and a third cottage serves as the initial classroom and office building.
Harvard To Create Climate Task Force
Harvard University (MA) recently announced that President Drew G. Faust will soon appoint a task force to study how to reduce the University's greenhouse gas emissions. The recommendations of the task force will form the basis of a commitment to reduce emissions that will be unveiled in June 2008.
Macalester College Hires Sustainability Manager
Macalester College (MN) has hired Suzanne Savanick Hansen as its first Sustainability Manager. Hansen's responsibilities include coordinating sustainability efforts and making connections on campus, and she hopes to create a sustainability website. The new manager has already begun her duties by co-teaching a senior level Environmental Studies seminar that will complete a greenhouse gas inventory for the College.
Metropolis Magazine Covers Carbon Neutral Campus Efforts
Metropolis Magazine published an article in its February issue entitled "Carbon Neutral U" which highlights growing efforts by colleges and universities to reduce their carbon emissions. The article notes that "higher education has emerged as a thrilling proving ground for a sustainable society" and describes the activities of the Ivy Plus Sustainability Working Group.
Princeton Announces Sustainability Plan and GHG Commitment
Princeton University (NJ) has released a Sustainability Plan that includes a commitment to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to below 1990 levels by 2020 through on-campus activities rather than purchasing off-campus offsets. The plan also mandates that all new construction and renovations be LEED Silver equivalent and commits to providing financial support for commuter use of public transportation, enhancing the campus shuttle system and ride share programs, creating better walking and biking paths, developing telecommuting policy, and replacing retired campus fleet vehicles with zero or low emission vehicles. The plan also includes goals on resource conservation, research, education, and civic engagement.
U Buffalo Releases Climate Action Report
The University at Buffalo Green Office recently released the UB Green Climate Action Report, a comprehensive greenhouse gas emissions inventory and set of recommendations for how the University can reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and move towards climate neutrality. UB found that the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions on campus are building energy use and transportation. The report recommends that the campus increase renewable energy purchases, maximize energy efficiency in new buildings and renovations, advocate for a better mass transit system, and increase carpooling.
U Buffalo Switches to 100% Recycled Paper
The University at Buffalo has a new Recycled Paper Purchasing Policy that will ensure that all the 8.5 by 11-inch paper purchased by the University will consist of 100 percent post-consumer content, chlorine-free paper. The new policy will cost the college approximately $10,000 extra per year.
U Minnesota Morris to Install 2 Wind Turbines & a Steam Turbine
The University of Minnesota, Morris has received three Clean Renewable Energy Bonds, a special type of tax credit bond providing the equivalent of an interest-free loan for financing qualified energy projects. Authorized by the Internal Revenue Service, the bonds will allow UMM to construct two more wind turbines and to add a steam turbine that will convert steam from the biomass facility, which is currently under construction, into electricity. One of the wind turbines will be located on-campus, while the other will be located in western Minnesota and is to be shared with the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe. Combined with a previously constructed wind turbine, the new campus turbine will allow UMM to be powered almost exclusively with wind.
U System Maryland Appoints Vice Chancellor of Env. Sustainability
The University System of Maryland recently appointed the president of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Sciences, Don Boesch, as the Vice Chancellor of Environmental Sustainability. Boesch will remain president of UMCES while devoting efforts to overseeing a system-wide sustainability initiative to develop policies, practices, and programs. The Vice Chancellor is charged with helping to coordinate a system-wide effort to institute sustainable practices that reduce the University's impact on the environment.
U Vermont Student Union Awarded LEED Gold
The University of Vermont's Davis Center was recently awarded LEED Gold certification. The first student union to receive a LEED Gold rating, the Davis Center features a natural chimney that evacuates smoke in the event of a fire without the use of a mechanical system, sensors that regulate electric lighting based on the amount of daylight entering the space, and air conditioning, heating, and ventilation regulated by occupancy sensors. Other green elements include waterless urinals, a green roof, and 175 sensors to provide data to students, faculty, and staff on energy used for heating and cooling, electricity, water usage, soil moisture, content, and temperature on the green roof. This data will soon be displayed on the web as well.