Southern Illinois U Carbondale Funds Campus Lake Restoration
After spending over $400,000 to reduce cyanobacteria levels, the university's green fund allocated another $30,000 to implement features to help keep the lake healthy, including a solar-powered fountain and at least one stationary bike to help aerate the lake’s water.
Harvard U to Construct a District Energy Facility
Construction is underway on a new, 58,000-square-foot natural gas facility that will provide heating, cooling and 2.5 megawatts of electricity for the campus. With a focus on energy efficiency, an element of the facility will be a 1.3-million-gallon tank for storing chilled water that will be used to cool buildings with some limited other applications to support research. In order to minimize impacts from potential flooding the building is raised above projected flood levels.
U California Merced Receives Grant for Food Reduction Program
The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery will issue the university $100,000 over three years to develop and implement a mobile food-waste prevention and storage distribution center that diverts food waste from the landfill.
Radford U Begins Bags for Benches Program
The university's student government association and sustainability office have partnered to collect unwanted plastic bags. The bags will be mailed to an outdoor decking and furniture company to be recycled into benches that will be placed around campus.
George Washington U Announces a Sustainable Investment Fund
The Sustainable Investment Fund is a Student Association-driven initiative focused on responsible investment and student engagement. GW will establish the fund with an initial $2 million from the university endowment and aim to engage stakeholders on issues relevant to responsible investing, including promoting and producing innovation in sustainable practices and seeking to avoid investments in the top coal, oil and gas companies.
U California Santa Barbara Earns LEED Platinum EBOM on Bren Hall
Bren Hall was first certified as LEED Platinum for new construction in 2002, and in 2009, received its second LEED Platinum certification for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance (EB O+M). During the 2016-17 academic year, students from a LEED Living Lab class broke off into teams for each of the eight LEED categories, assumed responsibility for a credit within each category, and submitted a complete application in spring 2017. The building features a white roof, daylighting and energy-efficient fixtures, a 100 kilowatt photovoltaic system, and an energy-efficient lab exhaust system.
U Newcastle Installs 2 MW Photovoltaic Array
(Australia) The 2 megawatt system will have more than 6,000 panels installed across about 25 buildings at the Callaghan campus with additional panels installed at the Ourimbah campus. The system is projected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2,800 tons of carbon dioxide.
Purdue U Building Earns LEED Gold
The university's Honors College and Residences building features high-efficiency heating, cooling and ventilation equipment and water saving shower and faucet fixtures.
Webster U to Offer Bike-Share Service
The university will roll out a bike-share service to campus in March that will be free for short, two-hour trips and have a nominal cost for longer trips.
Lincoln College Upgrades 7000 Lights
(U.K.) As part of its commitment to improving its energy efficiency and reducing its carbon footprint, over 7,000 outdated light fixtures were upgraded to LED technology in 23 buildings across the college’s three campuses. The new technologies are predicted to reduce carbon emissions by over 605 tons annually.
U New Hampshire Appoints Professors of Practice in Sustainable Food Systems
In early February, the university named Curtis Ogden and Karen Spiller joint recipients of the Thomas W. Haas Professorship in Sustainable Food Systems, which was established in 2013 to deepen the ties between the university and the New England food system. Ogden and Spiller’s primary responsibility will be to connect the transdisciplinary work of Food Solutions New England, and in particular its racial equity work, to students, faculty and staff at UNH through lectures, workshops and collaborative scholarship.
University of Maryland Green Terp Program Expands to 13 Residence Halls
The Office of Sustainability and the Department of Resident Life partnered to expand a one-year-old pilot program, Green Terps, into 13 dorms. The Green Terps program helps students adopt sustainable practices by asking them to pick 10 different sustainable behaviors and submit their progress. Once completed, their name is written on a pledge board in the lobby of their dorm.
Columbia U Introduces Master's Program in Sustainability Science for Professionals
The new program is designed for full-time and aspiring sustainability professionals who wish to develop their skills in Earth systems observation, analysis, projection and environmental remediation. The program’s coursework is organized by the following five areas of study: integrative courses in sustainability science, methods of earth observation and measurement, analysis and modeling environmental conditions and impacts, scientific tools for responding to sustainability challenges, and sustainability policy or management.
Harvard U Installs Rails on Trucks to Protect Cyclists & Pedestrians
After a successful pilot to improve pedestrian and cyclist safety, university fleet technicians have begun installing side guards on all existing, eligible Harvard-owned trucks, including box trucks, and solid waste and recycling trucks. Harvard has also begun asking vendors that drive large trucks to campus to install side guards on eligible trucks as quickly as possible.
Emory U, Georgia Tech & Spelman College Lead Regional Center for Expertise on Sustainability
Emory University, Georgia Institute of Technology and Spelman College will lead the newly designated regional sustainability network, RCE Greater Atlanta. Seven sustainable development goals were deemed to be priority for the Greater Atlanta region. Designated by the United Nations University, the Regional Centers of Expertise (RCE) on Education for Sustainable Development are networks of multidisciplinary stakeholders committed to implementing the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals at the local level. Other higher education institutions collaborating on the RCE Greater Atlanta include Agnes Scott College, Atlanta Metropolitan State College, Clark Atlanta University, Georgia State University, Kennesaw State University, Morehouse College and University of Georgia.
U Illinois Urbana-Champaign Launches Campus as Lab Seed Funding Program
The Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE) at the university recently announced that it will provide seed funding for faculty members to assist in preparing a proposal for external funding that will include using campus sustainability features and projects in their research related to sustainability. Specifically, iSEE wants to leverage this seed money to attract external funds that are relevant to objectives from the Illinois Climate Action Plan.
Chaffey College Installing Solar Carports Totaling 5.5MW
The soon-to-be-connected solar shade structures totaling 5.5 megawatts have been installed on parking lots at the college's main campus in Rancho Cucamonga as well as the Fontana and Chino campuses. The installation is projected to offset more than 90 percent of the college district’s annual electricity usage.
New York U Appoints Assistant Vice President for Sustainability
Cecil Scheib returns to NYU after nearly six years during which he served as the managing director of the Building Resiliency Task Force for the City of New York and chief program officer at Urban Green Council. He previously served as director of Energy and Sustainability at NYU from 2007 to 2012. Scheib holds a bachelor's degree in civil and environmental engineering from Stanford University, is a New York State licensed professional engineer, and is a LEED Accredited Professional.
U St. Thomas Hires First Sustainability Director
The university recently welcomed Amir Nadav as its new assistant director of campus sustainability. Nadav’s first task will be assessing the full scope of St. Thomas’ current sustainability work and using that to inform a sustainability plan.
U Toronto Commits $26.7M for Sustainability Projects
As part of a program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the university will combine $26.7 million in new funding with $15.3 million already earmarked for energy efficiency projects to complete energy measures across its three campuses. Projects include a geothermal well and upgrades to a 106-year-old central steam plant.
Loyola U Maryland Implements Zero-Tolerance Policy on Plastic Bags
In an effort to avoid being fined for recycling contamination, on Jan. 1, 2018, Loyola implemented a zero-tolerance policy on plastic bags found in campus recycling bins. The university could be fined $950 for contamination, which also includes food, liquids or non-recyclable material.
Appalachian State U Connects Outdoor Solar Charging Tables
Solar-powered picnic tables were installed outside of the university's College of Business. A gift from the Appalachian State University Renewable Energy Initiative, a student-led, student-funded organization that installs renewable energy and energy efficiency projects on campus, the three tables feature wireless charging, USB ports and regular outlets.
Tufts U Starts Degree in Sustainable Water Management
Beginning in fall 2018, the university will offer a new 12-month Master of Science degree in Sustainable Water Management that aims to prepare graduates for leadership positions in the nongovernmental, public and private sectors. The new program offers four tracks: urban water infrastructure, the water-energy-food nexus, water diplomacy, and international development and emergency response.
Ohio Wesleyan U Adopts Sustainability Plan
The university's new sustainability plan was seeded by student research on sustainability initiatives at the university. It contains four overarching goals, each of which contains measurable objectives.
U Bergen Announces Plans to Go Carbon Neutral by 2030
(Norway) At a recent sustainable development goals conference held at the University of Bergen, the university announced a plan to become carbon neutral by 2030. It also committed to holding an annual Sustainable Development Goals conference.
Lewis & Clark College Votes to Divest From Fossil Fuel Companies
The Lewis & Clark College board of trustees recently voted unanimously to divest from all fossil fuel holdings in the endowment by the end of 2022. Additionally, no new investments will be made in any fund that has exposure to fossil fuel companies. An annual update will be made to the broader campus community on holdings of fossil fuel securities in the endowment portfolio.
California State U, Northridge Building Earns LEED Platinum
The new Associated Students Sustainability Center at CSUN features solar thermal hot water for domestic use, a 24-kilowatt photovoltaic system for electricity, daylighting combined with photosensors to control indoor lighting, and low-flow water technology along with composting toilets. Additionally, water from the lavatories, showers, and the heating and cooling system are captured and treated for irrigation use, and an existing paved service yard devoid of landscaping was transformed into a regionally appropriate drought-tolerant garden.
U California Merced Releases Sustainability Plan
The university's new strategic sustainability plan highlights campus sustainability goals through 2022 and defines the roles of campus stakeholders. It was designed as a living document that will be reviewed at least annually, with a progress report that outlines accomplishments distributed each spring. Designed as a living document, it covers academics, research, engagement and operations, all of which have action items, metrics and implementation strategies.
Portland State U to Offer Free Tuition
Low-income Oregonian college students transferring to the university will no longer have to pay tuition beginning fall 2018 if they are eligible for the federal Pell Grant and enroll full-time upon transferring. Called Transfers Finish Free, the program will cover base tuition and mandatory fees for up to 15 credits per term to eligible transfer students from any four-year college or community college.
AASCU Announces Program to Assess Political Learning & Engagement
The American Democracy Project (ADP), a program of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), recently announced a new two-year initiative to work with 12 AASCU campuses over two years to pilot processes for engaging campus communities in measuring, understanding and improving campus climates in order to prepare students to be informed, engaged citizens.
U Wisconsin-Madison Introduces Free Tuition Program
Beginning in fall 2018, Wisconsin residents admitted as a new student with an adjusted gross family income of $56,000 or less will have tuition and some fees waived. Those that qualify, however, will have to pay for books, housing and other living expenses.
Creighton U Welcomes Inaugural VP for Institutional Diversity & Inclusion
Christopher M. Whitt, Ph.D., joins the university this month as the its first vice provost for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion. Most recently, Whitt served as an associate professor and department chair in Political Science at Augustana College. He also founded and directed the Center for Inclusive Leadership and Equity at Augustana.
13 North American Universities Form Climate Action Coalition
The University Climate Change Coalition (UC3) is a group of 13 North American research universities, each of whom will convene a climate change forum in 2018 tailored to meet local and regional objectives shared across sectors and will aim to speed the implementation of research-driven climate policies and solutions. A coalition-wide report, to be released in late 2018, will synthesize the best practices, policies and recommendations from all UC3 forums into a framework for continued progress on climate change goals across the nation and the world. The UC3 will operate in close partnership with Second Nature’s Climate Leadership Network.
U Edinburgh Divests Fossil Fuel Holdings
(U.K.) The university recently announced that it will sell its final $8.7 million (6.3 million British pounds) of fossil fuel holdings, making it completely free of all coal, oil and gas holdings. This announcement comes after its 2015 decision to divest from companies involved in coal and tar sands.
College William & Mary Installs Water Bottle Filling Stations
Under a new plan, W&M and the student group Take Back the Tap are working together to install water bottle filling stations in every high-traffic building on campus. New buildings and major renovations on campus now include a requirement for at least one bottle-filling station. Currently there are 52 filling stations on the W&M campus and three at W&M’s Virginia Institute of Marine Science.
Harvard U Announces Fossil-Free Climate Action Plan
Recommendations from a climate change task force informed a new set of climate commitments that the university recently adopted - a long-term goal of being fossil fuel-free by 2050 and a short-term goal of climate neutrality by 2026.
U Helsinki Establishes Institute of Sustainability Science
(Finland) The newly formed Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science seeks to solve global sustainability issues by focusing primarily on the study of cities, the global south and Arctic areas, systems of sustainable consumption and production, and the theory and methods of sustainability science. Ten new professorships are being established in conjunction with the new institute, connecting nearly 200 researchers from six different faculties.
Northern Arizona U Initiates Collaboration to Benefit Pollinators
The Office of Sustainability manages the Northern Arizona Pollinator Habitat Initiative, an initiative that promotes the creation, protection and registration of pollinator habitat across Northern Arizona. Two pollinator gardens have been installed–one on campus and one in the community. The program recently secured a grant that will pay wages to the part-time director and for the creation of a regional pollinator plan.
AASHE Publishes 2017 Annual Report
AASHE’s recently released annual report details accomplishments and progress throughout 2017, spotlighting STARS, educational and professional development opportunities, the AASHE Sustainability Awards, the 2017 conference and expo, resources, a membership profile and information about two news initiatives launched last year – a mentorship program and the AASHE Affiliates program.