Northland College to Divest From Fossil Fuels
The college's Board of Trustees voted recently to fully divest the college’s endowment funds from fossil fuels in the next five years. Approximately 2.9 percent of the college’s $28 million endowment is currently invested in fossil fuels listed in the Carbon Underground 200. These investments will be replaced with more socially responsible investments and no new endowment funds will be invested in fossil fuel companies.
U California San Diego Tests Vehicle-to-Grid Charging Platforms
A San Diego-based company will use the university to pilot its new vehicle-to-grid technology, which allows a parked electric vehicle to become part of the electric grid by enabling charging from and discharging to the grid. Drivers will be paid for energy discharged from their car while still being guaranteed the expected level of charge needed to operate the vehicle.
Wilfrid Laurier U Receives $5K Grant for Planting Trees
Through a grant from Tree Canada, the university will be planting a small strand of mature trees on its Waterloo campus that will include national and provincial emblem trees, and symbolic First Nations trees. The tree-planting project commemorates the 150th anniversary of Canada.
U Virginia Signs 15MW Solar Agreement
Under a 25-year agreement, the university will purchase the entire output of a proposed 120-acre solar facility. It is expected to produce about 9 percent of the university’s electric demand. The university has pledged to reduce its carbon and nitrogen footprints by 25 percent below 2009 and 2010 levels, respectively, by the year 2025.
U Nevada Reno Launches Online Marketplace for Campus Produce
Students and the surrounding community now have the opportunity to access fresh fruits and vegetables through a new virtual farm stand, offered through the university's Desert Farming Initiative. A collaboration between three key groups, the Desert Farming Initiative seeks to support Nevada agriculture through education, research and outreach.
ACEEE Launches 'Shrink Your Dorm Print' Campaign
In preparation for the 2017-18 school year, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy recently released the Shrink Your Dorm Print campaign, which offers a tip sheet and shopping guide for students interested in reducing their carbon footprint.
Cornell U Ends Licensing Contract With Nike Over Labor Agreement
Cornell University has notified apparel-maker Nike and Branded Custom Sportswear, Nike’s exclusive licensee for collegiate apparel, that Cornell is ending its licensing relationship with them. Neither company is willing to sign a standard contract through IMG Collegiate Licensing, Cornell's licensing agent, attesting that they will follow a labor code of conduct vetted by Cornell and peer institutions.
U Maryland to Complete 2MW Photovoltaic Project
Three soon-to-be-completed solar canopies, totaling 2.17 megawatts, will help the campus exceed its on-campus renewable energy goal of generating 2.7 megawatts of solar power for university facilities by 2018. The solar canopies are a part of the President's Purchased Power Initiative, which aims to ensure 100 percent of purchased power comes from renewable sources by 2020.
U Notre Dame Installs Geothermal Wells
By the end of 2017, the university will have completed three geothermal well systems with a total capacity of 7,000 tons, which is approximately one-half of the university’s current peak demand during the cooling season. The three systems together will have the capacity to reduce Notre Dame’s carbon dioxide emissions by 11,803 tons, an 8 percent reduction compared to fiscal year 2016. The return on investment is about 15 years.
Indiana State U Hires Sustainability Coordinator
Nick McCreary has been hired to lead the university's Institute for Community Sustainability. He served as the sustainability coordinator at Saint Louis University while working on his master's degree in sustainability.
U Minnesota Purchases Community Solar
With recent approval from the university's Board of Regents, the Twin Cities campus will purchase 46 million kilowatt-hours of community solar garden subscriptions annually over the next 25 years. By the end of 2018, 14 percent of the university's annual electrical consumption will be tied to community solar, which is a centralized, shared solar electricity facility connected to the energy grid that has multiple subscribers.
Colgate U Students Place Two Honey Bee Hives
A collaboration between the university’s food service provider, Chartwells, and a group of students looking to support the local honey bee population led to the installation of two hives in a newly established apiary last month. The new endeavor also resulted in the creation of a student beekeeping club.
UK Universities Partner With Rail Industry on New Research Center
The newly-created U.K. Railway Research and Innovation Network, a partnership of seven U.K. universities and the rail supply industry, secured 92 million pounds ($188 million) in funding to create three linked centers of research and innovation. The aim of the centers is to develop new technologies and products for trains, railway systems and infrastructure that will deliver a better, more reliable and efficient railway.
U Hyderabad Installs 1MW Photovoltaic System
(India) The newly connected 1,000-kilowatt solar-electric system is expected to reduce electricity costs by 15 percent. The university has set a goal to power 100 percent of campus with photovoltaic electricity.
Delaware Technical CC Completes Multi-Campus Solar Installation
The recently completed solar carport array is the last of nine solar projects at all four Delaware Tech campus locations. The statewide systems include carports, ground mounts and rooftop arrays. The solar arrays are expected to offset approximately 12 percent of the annual total energy needs for Delaware Tech and were funded as part of a 20-year power purchase agreement.
U Sussex Pledges to Cut Carbon Emissions 45 Percent by 2020
(U.K.) Working towards cutting its carbon emissions, the university has begun a multi-million pound program that will install over 3,000 photovoltaic panels, replace 27,000 light bulbs with more efficient LED lighting, improve heating and cooling systems, and install smart metering across the campus.
U Canterbury Earns Fair Trade Designation
(New Zealand) At the time of Fair Trade accreditation, the university was purchasing 80 percent Fair Trade tea and coffee purchases. The Fair Trade Association of Australia and Zealand awarded the new designation.
Swarthmore College Plus Three More Win the 'Sustainable Campus Excellence Award'
The International Sustainable Campus Network has bestowed the Sustainable Campus Excellence Award to four campuses. Chiba University (Japan) claimed the Student Leadership Award; National University of Singapore (Singapore) was honored with the Building and Innovative Infrastructure Award; Swarthmore College received the Innovative Collaboration Award; and the University of Applied Sciences Trier (Germany) earned the Campus Planning and Management Systems Award.
AASHE Receives Award for Exemplary Workplace Practices
AASHE was recently given the prestigious When Work Works Award, part of the Society for Human Resource Management’s When Work Works project, a national initiative that helps employers become more successful by transforming the way they view and adopt effective and flexible workplaces. AASHE was evaluated on factors associated with employee health, well-being and engagement; opportunities for learning; a culture of trust; work-life fit; supervisor support for work success; autonomy; and satisfaction with earnings, benefits and opportunities for advancement.
GSA Announces 'Environmental Innovators of the Year' Award Winners
The Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis received Environmental Innovator of the Year from Green Sports Alliance for converting one of its athletic facilities to zero waste, while Oregon State University won the award for creating a sustainability team of athletes that educate fans on recycling, seek to compost all team meals and install light timers on electronics to save energy.
NC BOG Attempts to Ban Students From Practicing Litigation in Law School
The North Carolina Board of Governors has proposed a ban on litigation efforts by the UNC Center for Civil Rights at the law school of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which takes on legal cases of school desegregation, fair housing and environmental justice for poor and minority clients. Several board members want to prohibit the center from filing legal claims and lawsuits, saying it is inappropriate for the center to represent clients in court against other government entities. Some UNC and N.C. Central University law school leaders say barring the centers and clinics from engaging in legal action would effectively end those student training opportunities, potentially leading to questions from the American Bar Association.
Purdue U, St. John's U & Towson U Win RecycleMania's 2017 Campus Engagement Case Study Competition
Purdue University won the Waste Minimization category; St. John's University won the Food Waste Reduction category; and Towson University won the Education and Awareness Campaign category. Unlike traditional RecycleMania categories that rank based on recycling, food waste or trash weights, this is a judged competition that recognizes schools based on the creativity and impact of their efforts. North Lake College and Stanford University won honorable mention.
Haverford College Requests Suppliers Use Pallets Made From Paper
Seeking innovative ways to reduce their carbon footprint, the college recently sent a letter to all its suppliers asking for deliveries to campus to be made on lightweight, recyclable corrugated paper shipping pallets. Haverford's initiative comes one year after Change the Pallet wrote to the presidents of more than 300 U.S. colleges and universities. The letter calls on colleges to use their buying power to encourage or require suppliers to ship to campuses on corrugated pallets to further reduce emissions and waste.
Towson U Achieves Energy Goal Three Years Early
The university joined the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge in 2013, setting a goal to reduce energy consumption 20 percent by 2020, which it achieved this spring. The energy savings were achieved through a mix of major projects and smaller improvements that resulted in incremental energy reductions year after year, such as a lighting upgrade to nearly 35,000 light fixtures and installation of over 10,000 occupancy sensors.
Northwestern U Performs Outdoor Lighting Upgrade
As part of its commitment to reducing its carbon footprint, the university is replacing all of its outdoor lighting with energy-efficient LED bulbs and installing a dimming system. When the two-part project is completed in 2019, the university expects to save over 300,000 kilowatt-hours per year, avoiding roughly $40,000 in energy costs.
Hawai'i CC Pālamanui Gets LEED Platinum
The 24,000-square-foot classroom building includes: on-site photovoltaics for electricity; sustainable water technology, including a living, natural wastewater recycling system; certified sustainable wood; and low-emitting paints and adhesives.
U Wisconsin Madison Meets Student Needs With Food Hub
The UW Campus Food Shed is a new program that gives students and faculty access to free vegetables and produce, stocked by university agriculture researchers and local farms with excess crops. Many of these excess crops would otherwise be composted or thrown out.
U Winnipeg Regents Approve New Responsible Investment Policy
Created and approved by the university’s foundation, the responsible investing policy ensures that environmental, social and governance factors guide endowment investment decisions. The foundation plans to include regular updates on the application of its responsible investing policy in its quarterly investment reports.
Pennsylvania State U Professor Earns Climate Communication Award
Michael Mann, distinguished professor of atmospheric science and director of the Earth System Science Center at The Pennsylvania State University will receive the seventh annual Stephen H. Schneider Award for Outstanding Climate Science Communications from Climate One. The $15,000 award is given to a natural or social scientist who has made extraordinary scientific contributions and communicated that knowledge to a broad public in a clear and compelling fashion.
Johns Hopkins U to Receive $150M for Civic Engagement
The Stavros Niarchos Foundation has committed $150 million to establish the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Agora Institute at Johns Hopkins University, a joint effort to address the deterioration of civic engagement worldwide and facilitate the restoration of open and inclusive discourse. As an academic and public forum, the institute will bring experts from different fields together to examine the dynamics of societal, cultural and political polarization and develop ways to improve decision-making and civic discourse.
U North Carolina Chapel Hill Wins $1M Prize for Commitment to Equity
The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation recently awarded the university the 2017 Cooke Prize for Equity in Educational Excellence, an honor that bestows a $1 million gift. The Cook Prize recognizes achievement in enrolling low-income students and supporting them through graduation. The university will match the foundation’s award through private funding, and will use the $2 million to support efforts that benefit low-income students.
California State U San Marcos to Go Smoke/Tobacco-Free
In an effort to protect and promote the health and well-being of the campus community, the university will become a completely smoke- and tobacco-free campus beginning in fall 2017. Electronic cigarettes will also be banned. The effort will be aided by a $20,000 grant as part of the American Cancer Society and the CVS Health Foundation’s Tobacco-Free Generation Campus Initiative, a $3.6 million effort to accelerate and expand smoke- and tobacco-free campuses. The funding will be used for educational material, supplies and personnel essential to implement and evaluate the initiative.
Wilfrid Laurier U Receives Recognition for Sustainable Energy Management
The Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change recently honored the university with its Minister's Award for Environmental Excellence for putting in place a series of innovative energy conservation measures to reduce energy consumption while improving efficiencies and functionality of space. To date, the initial phase of the Laurier Energy Efficiency Program (LEEP) has reduced the university’s current energy consumption by approximately 40 percent. LEEP is a multi-campus energy management program designed to reduce the consumption of all utilities across the Laurier’s campuses.
U Idaho Receives LEED Gold for College of Education Building
The College of Education building was built in 1969 and recently underwent a two-year, $17 million remodel, which features glass walls throughout to allow for daylighting across all five floors and incorporates design elements that help create community.
East Carolina U Receives Tree Campus USA Designation
The university has officially earned the Tree Campus USA designation by the National Arbor Day Foundation for the first time in university history. University staff worked over the past year to meet Tree Campus USA standards, which include having a Campus Tree Advisory Committee and a tree care plan.
Delaware Technical CC Completes 1.3MW Solar Installation
The college has completed the installation of a 449-kilowatt carport and a 296-kilowatt (kW) rooftop array on its Terry Campus and two rooftop arrays totaling 585 kW on the Owens Campus. The four arrays, along with 806 kW of previously installed solar systems, provide approximately 12 percent of the annual energy needs of four of the college’s campuses.
U Rhode Island Launches Certificate in Energy Economics and Policy
Launched earlier this year, the university’s newest certificate program provides students with skills for the green energy sector by providing training in energy economics, management and policy. The program is open to full and part-time undergraduates and can be pursued as a stand-alone certificate, or combined with most academic majors to create an interdisciplinary learning experience.
Western Michigan U Earns LEED Platinum on Building Renovation
The university renovated Heritage Hall, which opened in 1905, in an effort to turn the least energy-efficient building on campus into one of the most efficient. The building now contains geothermal heating and cooling, LED lighting, energy-efficient windows and a high level of repurposed historic building materials. The energy-saving elements make make the hall more than 50 percent more efficient than buildings that use more traditional elements.
U Kentucky Scores LEED Gold on Academic Building
The building utilizes water-efficient plumbing fixtures, which reduce water use by 42 percent compared to a baseline model, and is 26 percent more energy efficient than the baseline model. More than 40 percent of materials used in the renovation were regional and all adhesives, sealants, paints, composite woods, sealers and floor systems are low- or no-VOC (volatile organic compounds) emitting materials.
Madison Area Tech College to Construct 1.4MW Photovoltaic System
The technical college plans to contribute $1.8 million to a grant from a local utility to build a 1.4-megawatt solar photovoltaic system, which is projected to avoid approximately $200,000 per year in electricity costs. The construction and maintenance of the system will contribute to the college's renewable energy curriculum program.
U Michigan to Roll Out Tuition-Free Program
The new financial aid program for in-state students offers a guarantee of free tuition for up to four years for students with family income of up to $65,000, which is roughly equal to the state's median family income. Recently approved by the university's Board of Regents, the new program will launch in January 2018.
U Virginia to Commemorate Slaves Who Built Campus
The university is planning to build a large memorial to commemorate the contributions of an estimated 5,000 enslaved people who helped build and maintain the school. With recent Board of Visitor approval, private fundraising for the project will begin immediately. This project is part of the UVA's President’s Commission on Slavery and the University.
Goucher College to Relocate Three Residence Halls
The college is relocating and repurposing three 1,300-ton residence halls to make room for two brand new buildings on its Towson campus. The three-week relocation will cost Goucher about $7.6 million, to be paid for through a combination of debt proceeds and donor contributions.
American U Offsets Study Abroad Air Travel Emissions With International Project
The Paradigm Project, an endeavor that benefits communities in Africa by empowering women and reducing greenhouse gas emissions through reduced deforestation, is the university's new investment to reduce emissions from study abroad-related travel. The Office of Sustainability announced that this is the first project in what will be a portfolio of offset investments aligned with certain remaining sources of emissions that cannot be fully managed through efficiency and other mitigation strategies.
Northern Arizona U Launches Sustainable Citizen Program
After piloting the Sustainable Citizen Program in the 2016/17 academic year, the university has now expanded the program to include all students. The program measures and increases sustainability literacy and engagement by offering a path that includes a pre- and post-literacy test, two basic sustainability seminars, volunteer work and short, required reflection paper. Students have their entire time at the university to complete the program, and at graduation are given a Sustainable Citizen pin.
Tufts U Installs Two Solar Arrays Totaling 3.8MW
A 2.5-megawatt photovoltaic system covering eight acres and a 1.27-megawatt photovoltaic system covering four acres now provides the university with approximately 40 percent of the school’s electric power and are expected to save the university up to $5.3 million over the next 20 years. An outside company will own, operate and maintain the projects, as well as retain the renewable energy credits.