The College of William & Mary Opens Campus Garden
The College of William and Mary (VA) Student Environmental Action Coalition recently started an on-campus garden. The garden was plowed and mulched in the fall of 2007, and students started seedlings in February. Campus Grounds gave the students the plot of land and allowed the students to use departmental garden tools. The garden also includes a compost bin in which Dining Services puts food daily. The garden is a result of SEAC, Dining Services, and members of the College's gardens and grounds division. Eventually, SEAC hopes to start a campus and community educational farm, teaching about sustainable agriculture and the farming process.
UC Santa Barbara Adopts Sustainability Plan
The University of California, Santa Barbara recently announced its adoption of a Campus Sustainability Plan, which aims to make significant contributions to energy conservation, resource management, environmental awareness, and sustainability education and research on the UCSB campus and beyond. Developed as a "living document" that will be updated on a regular basis, the plan was drafted by the Campus Planning Committee's 17-member Subcommittee on Sustainability. The group worked in consultation with a b
UC Santa Cruz Releases Sustainability Assessment
The University of California Santa Cruz recently released its 2007 Campus Sustainability Assessment, which identifies sustainability related successes and areas for improvement in sustainability efforts. The report establishes a basis for measuring progress over time, and is the work of over 60 staff, faculty, and students.
U Delaware to Conduct GHG Inventory, Unveils Sustainability Website
The University of Delaware recently announced that it will conduct a greenhouse gas inventory as part of its new commitment to sustainability on campus. The study, which will be lead by the Director of the University's Center for Energy and Environmental Policy, will be supported by the UD Class of 2008, which has chosen to support the initiative with its senior class gift. UD is also launching a campus sustainability website, which will provide information on current research and campus sustainability events.
U Kentucky Trustees Reject Student Approved Green Fee
The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees recently rejected a student approved green fee for the second time. A $6 - $8 green fee, approved by 67 percent of the students in 2006 to support renewable energy on campus, was voted on in 2007 and failed to pass. This year, although the proposed fee increase was reduced to 50-cents, the green fee was again rejected. The Board felt that the proposal did not specify in sufficient detail how the money would be spent. Students rejected this argument, claiming that the fee would be spent on renewable energy.
U Mary Washington Campaign Saves Energy
A University of Mary Washington (VA) student-led environmental campaign has saved an estimated 197 metric tons of carbon dioxide from going into the atmosphere as a result of a shift in energy-saving attitudes and behaviors on campus. Results of a survey showed that students wasted the most energy when taking long showers, leaving computer equipment on when not in use, and running fans and air conditioning units when no one was in the room. The University's energy services company, NORESCO, then designed and provided training for resident assistants to educate others about changing these three specific behaviors. Resident assistants then launched a campaign to change attitudes and behaviors by talking with their residents, modeling the behaviors, and posting flyers to remind students to conserve energy, among other activities. NORESCO plans to expand the program to other colleges and universities.
U Minnesota Morris Purchases Electric Vehicle
The University of Minnesota, Morris recently purchased a Zero Emissions Vehicle, or ZEV, for the campus' plant services work fleet. Plant services sold its gas powered vehicle to purchase the $12,500 electric vehicle. The ZEV is expected to require 90 percent less maintenance than a normal gas powered automobile.
UNC Launches Business Accelerator for Sustainable Entrepreneurship
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Center for Sustainable Enterprise at the Kenan-Flagler Business School has launched a business accelerator to speed the growth of firms with environmental and social objectives. The Business Accelerator for Sustainable Entrepreneurship will connect entrepreneurs to a range of sustainability resources with the aim of accelerating their growth and impact. Now in a pilot phase, BASE will work with seven early-stage Triangle-based sustainable businesses. The entrepreneurs will receive mentoring by BASE advisory board members; participate in networking events, training and workshops; get access to funding opportunities, service providers and the BASE resource network; and join a network of innovative sustainable entrepreneurs. The pilot phase of BASE will run through September 2008, when it will enter its full-scale phase, which will include a physical incubator with space for up to 10 businesses. Participants will benefit from access to faculty and students for consulting projects and internships; business support services, such as quarterly progress review sessions; and networking and learning opportunities.
U New Hampshire Students Win Intl Environmental Design Contest
A team of University of New Hampshire business and engineering students recently won first place at the 2008 International Environmental Design Contest held at New Mexico State University. This year’s design tasks were based on real-world environmental challenges, focusing on technologies to tackle renewable energy innovation, sustainable building design, and water issues. The 14 member team, Retrolutions, developed the project EARTH (Education, Awareness, Reduction, Technology, and Holistic Approach), an integrated plan to retrofit a building in Phoenix. They conducted energy and water audits, and suggested reducing the demand of energy and water through education and awareness of the building’s occupants as well as by employing existing technologies. They also designed three technologies that could be implemented to minimize the buildings energy and water demands: a grey water recycling system, a solar concentrating energy production system, and a compressed air enhanced evaporative cooling system. Retrolutions has been invited to present their project at the Environmental Protection Agency Science Forum in May 2008.
Unity College Pledges to Purchase Local Carbon Emission Reductions
Unity College (ME) and the Maine State Housing Authority, also known as MaineHousing, recently completed an agreement which states that the College will purchase carbon emission reductions derived from MaineHousing's energy efficiency programs. MaineHousing will use the funds it receives to create additional affordable, environmentally sound, and energy efficient housing.
U Texas Austin Requires Students to Use Fluorescent Bulbs in Dorms
University of Texas at Austin recently announced that starting Fall semester 2008, students will be required to use fluorescent bulbs instead of incandescent bulbs. As part of this effort, the Division of Housing and Food Services has been in the process of replacing light fixtures with more energy efficient fluorescent models, replacing incandescent bulbs with more efficient fluorescent bulbs, and installing motion detector light switches where applicable. The University will also provide recycling boxes at center desks for students to dispose of burnt out fluorescent bulbs.
U Vermont Offers Full Tuition to Pell Grant Recipients
The University of Vermont recently announced that beginning with the 2008 entering fall class, the university will offer grants and scholarships covering all tuition and fees to Vermont undergraduates eligible for Federal Pell Grants. The program will be implemented over the next four years to cover all Pell-eligible Vermont undergraduates attending UVM. When fully implemented, the new initiative will represent an approximately $750,000 investment.
UW Oshkosh Sustainability Plan Aims for Fossil Fuel Independence
The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh recently released its Campus Sustainability Plan, which aims for complete independence from fossil fuels for electricity, heating, and cooling. UWO plans to install solar panels, biodiesel electric generators and small wind turbines to help reach this goal. The plan contains 18 major goals and 135 recommendations that aim to incorporate the principles of sustainability into all aspects of the university. UWO would also be a venue for fair-trade products, hire a campus sustainability director, and develop a community garden and composting site.
21 North Carolina Campuses Awarded State Energy Efficiency Grants
15 University of North Carolina campuses and six community colleges were recently awarded the state's first Energy Efficiency Reserve Fund grants to implement power-saving projects. The governor made the announcement at the 5th Annual North Carolina Sustainable Energy Conference. The grants are administered by the State Energy Office.
Central Piedmont CC Establishes Center for Sustainability
Central Piedmont Community College (NC) has established a Center for Sustainability to respond to the need for sustainability training. The Center will offer courses, workshops, and seminars, and plans to collaborate with various agencies to accomplish its goals. The Center for Sustainability aims to increase community awareness of the importance of living and working in an ecologically responsible manner, to conduct continuing education training and seminars for the general public which focus on teaching people how to live in an environmentally friendly manner, and to increase the presence and perspective of environmental sustainability into CPCC curriculum programs.
Duquesne University Purchases RECs
Duquesne University (PA) recently purchased 8,020,000 kW of Renewable Energy Credits. This purchase is equivalent to 100 percent of the University's purchased electricity.
Green Mountain College Course Wins VT Env. Excellence Award
The Green Mountain College (VT) Course, "Food, Agriculture, and Community Development in the Northeast," has received the Vermont Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence and Pollution Prevention. The course explored how food choices affect the community. The class visited roughly one dozen area farms and hosted several national food and agricultural experts as guest speakers. As a final project, the class created sustainable purchasing guidelines for an on-campus dining hall.
Johns Hopkins Invests in Faculty Diversity
Johns Hopkins University (MD) will provide at least $5 million over the next five years in matching funds for departments seeking to improve faculty diversity, which will include hiring and retaining outstanding women and underrepresented minority scholars. The Mosaic Initiative, as the pilot program will be called, will be funded initially at a minimum of $1 million per year, to be increased as the project generates external support.
Lock Haven U of PA Clearfield Breaks Ground on Green Building
The Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania, Clearfield campus recently held a groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of a new academic building. Plans for the building features design elements that permit high standards of energy efficiency and the use of local building materials. The University plans to use 50 to 75 percent recycled building materials and incorporate other components that are environmentally friendly. The University hopes to receive LEED Silver certification for the new building.
MIT Buildings To Undergo Energy Conservation Improvements
Several Massachusetts Institute of Technology buildings will undergo a variety of basic energy conservation improvements in the next few months. Pilot projects include retrofitting light bulbs and fixtures, adding and adjusting motion sensors, monitoring buildings to gauge energy use, and automating fume hood controls. The projects have been made possible by $500,000 in seed funding from the Executive Vice President, the Department of Finance, and the Department of Facilities. Additionally, students in a recent Sloan School of Management course partnered with the Department of Facilities to identify an additional $14 million of potential investments with a three-year return. These include a major revamping of the heating system in one building to include heat recovery; continuous building commissioning that assesses and optimizes building energy systems in real time; and strategic maintenance to improve energy efficiency in existing ventilation systems.
MIT Establishes Center to Reduce Cost of Solar Energy
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology recently announced its partnership with Fraunhofer, a German research organization, to establish a research center in Massachusetts focused on significantly reducing the cost of solar energy over the next five years. The MIT-Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems aims to develop progressive technologies and materials for designing and producing better solar modules. Located adjacent to the MIT campus, the center will be active in other areas of sustainable energy research as well, including developing new technologies to substantially reduce the energy consumption of new and retrofitted structures.
MIT Science Building Awarded LEED Silver
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Brain and Cognitive Sciences Complex recently received LEED Silver certification. The building features gray-water recycling for toilets, heat recovery on the exhaust air stream, and interior finishes that impose a minimal impact on indoor air quality.
NWF 'Chill Out' Contest Winners Announced
The National Wildlife Federation has announced the winners of its 2008 Chill Out: Campus Solutions to Global Warming national competition. The program honors U.S. schools that are show leadership in addressing global warming and do so in a creative manner. Butte College (CA) was named the Grand Prize winner for employing energy efficiency measures in all campus facilities. Butte also runs the largest community college transportation system in California, recycles more than 75 percent of its operations waste stream, and has a solar array that generates for 28% of the campus' electricity use. Other campus winners include the University of Missouri in the Energy Efficiency category, University of Montana, Missoula in the Transportation category, and Cascadia Community College (WA) and University of Washington in the "Habitat Restoration, Waste Reduction, Educational Awareness and More" category. Berea College (KY) and Daemen College (NY) were the YouTube Video Winners.
Portland State U Greenhouses Awarded LEED Silver
The Portland State University (OR) Biology Research Greenhouses have received LEED Silver certification. Sustainability features include: on-site treatment of all runoff from the roof before it enters the city's stormwater system; flow-through planters populated with native plants that are watered with rainwater; a driveway that is made of permeable pavers; and a covered patio that is enclosed by bamboo fencing. Inside the greenhouses, the lumber used for cabinets and counters is Forest Stewardship Council certified. The certification is for Phase 1 of a two-phase project of ten modular interconnected greenhouses.
Princeton U Installs Water-saving Toilets in Dorms
Princeton University (NJ) recently installed water-saving toilets in two residence halls on campus. The new dual-flush toilets allow users to push the flush handle one way to use less water for liquid waste and another way to release more water for solid waste. Facilities Management installed water-saving shower heads as well.
Purdue U Launches Student Aid Campaign
Purdue University (IN) recently announced that it is starting a $304 million fundraising campaign for student scholarships. The programs being funded include Purdue Promise, which will provide scholarships to students whose families make less than $40,000 per year; the Purdue Marquis Scholarship Program, which will provide for students whose families make $40,000 to $70,000 per year and qualify for little or no state and federal aid; Presidential and Trustee Scholarships, which will be awarded to the highest-achieving students in an effort to recruit and retain them at Purdue, and more. All programs are expected to start in fall 2009.
RecycleMania Winners Announced
RecycleMania wrapped up its 2008 competition with 58.6 million pounds of recyclables and organics recovered from 400 colleges and universities across the U.S. For the 2008 competition, schools were divided into two divisions, those participating across their entire campus (Whole Campus Division) and those competing with only a subsection (Partial Campus Division). Within each division, schools chose to participate in any of eight categories. Schools that participate in both the Per Capita Classic, which recognizes the institution with the largest amount of recyclables per person, and the Waste Minimization competition, which recognizes the institution with the lowest amount of waste per person, can earn the title of RecycleMania Grand Champion. This year, Kalamazoo College (MI) achieved a recycling rate of 58.93 percent and was crowned the RecycleMania Grand Champion in the Whole Campus Division for excelling in source reduction, waste prevention and recycling. In the Partial Campus Division, California State University, San Marcos claimed the Grand Champion first place for the fourth year in a row, recycling 75.69% of its waste stream. North Lake College (TX), Northwest State Community College (OH), Stanford University (CA), Rutgers University (NJ), Stephens College (MO), Oregon State University, Mills College (CA), Rhode Island School of Design, and United States Coast Guard Academy (CT) were also awarded first place in specific categories.
U British Columbia Students Market Energy Conservation
A University of British Columbia Sauder School of Business team of students recently won a competition to create a marketing plan using new technologies and other innovative practices to help universities and colleges reduce energy consumption. The group of students surveyed nearly 100 students and found that 70 percent of students are unaware that leaving an appliance such as an unused cell phone charger plugged into the wall consumes energy, and 60 percent of students were unaware of the benefits of energy-efficient compact florescent light bulbs. The team's marketing plan included developing an application that posts daily conservation tips on Facebook and on UBC’s Web Course Tools website, where students download assignments and other class content. They also recommended selling CFLs and other energy-efficient household items in booths in UBC’s Student Union Building, and hosting an energy conservation competition in the residence halls.
U Delaware Offers Renewable Energy Undergraduate Internships
The University of Delaware Department of Chemical Engineering and the Center for Catalytic Science and Technology will administer a three-year, $300,000 National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates grant, which will enable 10 exemplary students per year in chemical engineering to work with UD researchers on such projects as designing new fuel cells and engineering novel nanomaterial coatings to reduce the drag on ships in water. Under the mentorship of faculty advisers, students selected for the program will not only conduct research, but also learn how to present their findings in scientific seminars and poster sessions.
U Miami Switches to Local Produce & Antibiotic-Free Pork
University of Miami's (FL) on-campus dining halls recently began purchasing locally-grown tomatoes, peppers, watermelons, oranges and antibiotic-free pork. The University has also switched to cage-free whole eggs, and is currently exploring its options to start composting within the next year. The changes are part of Green U, a program designed to minimize the university's environmental impact.
U Michigan Launches Carpool Program
The University of Michigan recently launched GreenRide, a Web-based, geographic information system ride-matching application. GreenRide helps a potential carpooler or vanpooler find ride-sharing partners by searching for other UM staff who live close by or on the commute route and who have similar work schedules. Participants will get a map of the general area showing potential ride matches near them and along their commute route, and it calculates potential fuel savings for the carpool or vanpool. Additionally, effective July 1, the University's Carpool Program will allow fellow carpoolers to split the cost of one parking permit using payroll deduction. For a fee, carpoolers will be able to request a reserved parking space. New University carpoolers will get a 10-percent reduction in the shared parking permit fee for the first six months of the program and they will be entered in weekly drawings for $25 gas card prizes.
U Minnesota Video on Campus Composting Efforts
The University of Minnesota Dining Services Green Team has posted a video on their recent effort to teach students how to compost in the dining halls on campus. The initiative produced more than 80 tons of compost during the fall semester. The video also explains how the composted material from the dining halls is mixed with animal waste in a manure facility, and is then returned to the UM fields as fertilizer. The video also tells about a recent initiative to hand out compact florescent light bulbs on campus.
U New Hampshire Launches Sustainability Blog
The University of New Hampshire Office of Sustainability recently launched a new blog, entitled "Discover(ing) Sustainability." The goal of the blog is to share UNH's commitment to being a sustainable learning community while helping readers discover how sustainability connects us all. Currently authored by several University Office of Sustainability and communications staff at UNH, Discover(ing) Sustainability will seek voices from around the university, including students, researchers, and administrator
U Southern Mississippi Announces Plan to Go Green
The University of Southern Mississippi recently announced a plan to reduce the impact on the environment through updating building designs on campus and completing an assessment to improve operations with the campus Physical Plant. USM also recently held its first Sustainability Committee meeting, in which 23 members were in attendance. The University also plans to create an Office of Sustainability on campus in the future.
AASHE Releases Draft of Campus Sustainability Rating System
AASHE has released the next draft of its rating system for sustainability in higher education called STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System). The release of STARS version 0.5 opens a public comment period that will last until May 9, 2008. STARS is designed to: help gauge the progress of colleges and universities toward sustainability in all sectors, from governance and operations to academics and community engagement; enable meaningful comparisons across institutions as well as benchmarking within institutions; create incentives for continual improvement toward sustainability; facilitate information sharing about sustainability practices and performance in higher education; and build a stronger, more diverse campus sustainability community. Over 90 colleges and universities are pilot testing STARS. They will provide feedback to AASHE throughout 2008 and inform the development of STARS version 1.0, planned for release in spring 2009.
Arizona State U Offers 'Edible Campus' Internships
Arizona State University recently began offering a plant biology internship, "The Edible Campus," which charges interns with harvesting ASU's fruit and nut trees, maintaining their individual organic garden plots, and marketing the harvested products. The internship program, which meets regularly as a class, aims to connect students to their campus landscape and help students understand the reasoning behind composting and eating locally.
Borough of Manhattan CC Increases Energy Efficiency
The Borough of Manhattan Community College of the City University of New York and the Green Buildings Collaborative of state agencies recently announced a joint effort to help increase green and energy efficiency measures at a BMCC’s building in Lower Manhattan. The effort includes a feasibility assessment for potential green and energy efficiency upgrades to the 450,000-square foot, eight-story building’s mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems as well as its facade. It also provides assistance in exploring potential alternative energy generation such as solar panel arrays and wind turbines.
Cornell U Hires Sustainability Professor
Cornell University (NY) recently hired Jefferson Tester Ph.D. as the first Croll Professor of Sustainable Energy Systems in the College of Engineering. Tester is expected to play a leadership role in the Cornell Center for a Sustainable Future, which is bringing together experts in education and research from across campus to work toward common sustainability goals.
Eckerd College Switches to Reusable To-Go Containers
Eckerd College (FL) recently switched to using the EcoClamshell, a reusable to-go cafeteria container made out of a dishwasher-safe plastic material. Students can sign up for an EcoClamshell in the cafeteria during any meal. The student's account is charged five dollars, covering the student's four years at Eckerd, unless the container is lost or destroyed. The student checks out an EcoClamshell, fills it with food and exits the cafeteria. Upon returning to the cafeteria, the student checks the container back in and places it on the dishwasher conveyor, where it is sanitized and put out for reuse. The initiative is the result of a $32,000 grant from the Environmental Research and Education Foundation.
Georgia Tech Receives National Recycling Award
The Georgia Institute of Technology recently received the 2008 American Forest and Paper Association College and University Recycling Award. AF&PA chose to recognize Georgia Tech for their innovative and creative recycling program. Since the recycling program began at Georgia Tech in 1996, recycling has been successfully integrated into virtually all components of campus life. Last year, the school recovered more than 376 tons of paper products for recycling. AF&PA’s awards program recognizes outstanding school, business, and community recycling efforts.
Presidio School Partners to Advance Sustainability in the Curriculum
The Presidio School of Management (CA) recently formed a partnership with ClimateCHECK, a firm that provides greenhouse gas management services and solutions. The partnership, which integrates environmental, social, and financial sustainability in all Presidio courses, will enable ClimateCHECK to better train the next generation of environmental and business leaders on issues surrounding climate change and the management of greenhouse gas emissions. As part of the agreement, ClimateCHECK will provide learning opportunities to students through internships and Presidio’s project oriented learning program, which will offer students the chance to work with the company on climate change-related projects as part of their coursework.
Suffolk U Wins City of Boston Green Business Award
Suffolk University (MA) was recently selected as the recipient of the City of Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino Green Business Award. The award recognizes businesses located in the city of Boston that demonstrate extraordinary environmental practices in the areas of water conservation, wastewater management, solid waste reduction, alternative transit, energy conservation, on-site renewable energy production, and the purchase of renewable energy credits. Suffolk was named the winner of the category for Academic, Cultural, and Healthcare Institutions.
U California Merced Building Receives LEED Gold
The University of California, Merced Classroom and Office Building has received LEED Gold certification. The building, which is one of the primary classroom buildings, is the third on campus to receive LEED Gold certification.
U Connecticut 5K Race Benefits Campus Green Fund
The University of Connecticut recently held the third annual EcoHusky5000, a 5 kilometer race that benefits UConn's Green Campus Fund. Students and the public paid $5 and $15 respectively to enter the race, and Willimantic Waste Paper Co. promised to make a matching donation of up to $2,000. The event also served to collect old sneakers to donate to EcoHusky's sneaker recycling project. All participants received free water bottles made out of recycled materials.
UC San Diego To Install 7.4 MW of Renewable Energy
The University of California, San Diego recently announced plans to build a 1 MW photovoltaic array on campus, to purchase up to 3 MW of electric power produced by Southern California wind farms, and to produce 2.4 MW from fuel cells powered by methane captured from a sewage treatment plant. The University also hopes to install an additional 1 MW photovoltaic array within the next year. The arrays will be built atop campus buildings and parking structures. Once complete, the 7.4 MW of renewable energy are expected to meet 10 - 15 percent of the campus's annual electrical needs. The projects are part of UCSD's effort to become the "Greenest University in the Nation.","1
U.S. Colleges Receive Energy Grants
The U.S. Department of Labor recently awarded President’s Community-Based Job Training Grants to Morrisville State College (NY), Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas, Western Iowa Tech Community College, Rend Lake College (IL), Central Piedmont Community College (NC), Columbia Gorge Community College (OR), and Navarro College (TX) for projects such as creating a renewable energy training center and other programs that are intended to serve as a workforce and economic development catalysts in each region. The grant initiative is designed to improve the ability of colleges to provide their regions’ workers with the skills needed to enter growing industries in their hometowns.
UT Arlington Volunteers Install Campus Green Roof
The University of Texas at Arlington recently installed a 1000 square feet experimental green roof with the help of volunteers. The project included the installation of the roofing systems, irrigation, plants and about 30,000 pounds of soil.
U Wisconsin Superior Breaks Ground for Green Student Center
The University of Wisconsin Superior recently held a groundbreaking ceremony for the new student center building which will feature energy efficient design, a green roof, and rainwater collection. The University hopes that the building will achieve LEED certification. The building will house student dining services, the campus bookstore, offices for student organizations and university staff, an art gallery, meeting areas and lounges. It is expected to be complete by August 2009.
3 University Leaders Testify in Senate to Limit GHG Emissions
University of California at Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau, University of Minnesota at Morris Chancellor Jacqueline Johnson, and Yale University (CT) President Richard C. Levin recently testified at the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Hearing, "Examining Strategies to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions at U.S. Colleges and Universities." Each university leader discussed the important role of colleges and universities in battling climate change and the necessity for the federal gove
AASHE Staff Blog about the Smart & Sustainable Campuses Conf.
The 2008 Smart and Sustainable Campuses Conference was held last week at the University of Maryland. AASHE staff members were on hand to blog about the majority of the sessions. Topics include campus sustainability rating systems, why your campus needs an office of sustainability, channeling student power, vision planning for campus sustainability and more. The Chronicle of Higher Ed and the National Wildlife Federation also blogged about the conference.