GUPES Green Gown Awards
The Global Universities Partnership on Environment and Sustainability (GUPES) Green Gown Awards are accepting applications for achievements in campus sustainability. Supported by the United Nations Environment Program, the GUPES Green Gown Awards are open to GUPES members only. Applications are due Oct. 12.
Luzerne County CC Enters $8M Energy Performance Savings Contract
The community college recently contracted with Ameresco to renew and upgrade its campus energy infrastructure and to institute energy efficiency measures. The nearly $8 million project is expected to save the college more than $576,000 annually in energy costs and operation and maintenance savings for the next 15 years. In addition, the college will earn $122,757 in energy rebates and incentives.
Winona State U Hires First Sustainability Director
Nathan Engstrom will be directly responsible for collecting and analyzing data, developing implementation strategies, overseeing and assessing progress towards established metrics and standards, and reporting to all constituent groups on campus. Engstrom, who previously served as regional sustainability coordinator at Northland College, has a master’s degree in sustainable design from The University of Texas at Austin and a bachelor’s degree in sociology and environmental studies from Northland College.
U Philippines Baguio Implements Carless Wednesdays
(Philippines) In an effort to reduce the university's carbon footprint, the university began Carless Wednesdays, prohibiting the campus community and visitors from parking cars on university property each Wednesday.
Bournemouth U Initiates Employee Sustainability Program
After a six-month pilot of a behavior change program reduced energy consumption by 14.6 percent across four departments, the university is expanding the program to all staff members. The initiative works by engaging employees on a range of themes through an online platform and app. Employees are rewarded with points for reducing their environmental footprint and improving their well-being through measures such as cycling, car-sharing or using re-usable cups and bottles.
MIT Prepares to Upgrade Cogeneration Plant
The upgrade project will soon replace an aging 22 megawatt turbine with a new one and install a second 22 megawatt gas turbine. Each will be equipped with a heat recovery steam generator. In addition, the upgrade includes changing fuel use scenarios for five existing boilers to eliminate the use of No. 6 fuel oil on campus and equip them to use cleaner fuels. The plant will switch to using natural gas for all normal operations, relegating fuel oil to backup emergency use only. Both new turbines are projected to be in service by 2020.
Duke U, Unity College & U Texas Austin Win Top Honors for Dining Practices
The National Association of College and University Food Services (NACUFS) Sustainability Awards recognize and honor institutions that have demonstrated outstanding leadership in the promotion and implementation of environmental sustainability in campus dining operations. The 2017 grand prize winner is Unity College, who also won top honors in the Waste Management category followed by Oregon State University and Georgia State University, respectively. The first, second and third place winners in Outreach and Education are respectively University of Texas at Austin, University of Massachusetts Amherst and College of Saint Benedict. In the Procurement Practices category, Duke University, University of Montana and Purdue University ranked first, second and third place respectively.
New Report: Mapping Sustainability Assessment and Reporting in the UK Tertiary Education
The Environmental Association of Universities and Colleges' (EAUC) new report helps sustainability professionals evaluate sustainability reporting and assessment tools in order to best determine the right tool for their institution. Released in tandem with the report is a dashboard that allows an institution to create a baseline map to identify gaps and further drive sustainability performance.
New Report: Assessing the Higher Education Sector’s Use of Renewable Energy
The report explores the extent to which U.S.-based institutions of higher education have engaged in voluntary purchases and production of renewable energy. The study, released by the University of New Hampshire and Edison Energy, utilized self-reported, publicly available data for a 10-year period from the nearly 500 colleges and universities participating in different national programs that collect information about campus energy use from participants.
MIT Energy Initiative Announces $10.3M Collaboration
The $10.3 million, five-year collaboration with energy company Iberdrola aims to advance technologies and policies that will help transition to clean energy and fight climate change. The agreement includes $5 million in funding for a professorship at MIT dedicated to research and education in power systems engineering.
Rhode Island to Offer Free Community College
The state's lawmakers passed the state budget proposal recently, which included $2.8 million to fund the free tuition program for one year. Graduating high school seniors who maintain a 2.5 GPA and go to school full-time will be eligible, regardless of income. Rhode Island joins three other states – New York, Tennessee and Oregon – that have approved plans to make community college free.
U Notre Dame Establishes Endowment for Sustainability Minor
The Otterbeck Family Endowment for Excellence in Undergraduate Sustainability Studies was established in March. The first major program supported by the endowment this past semester was a course development grant, which was awarded to six faculty members to support the creation of new sustainability courses. Other goals include student research support, alumni mentoring and career guidance.
U Michigan Serves Campus Farm Produce
The university's campus farm was able to begin supplying its produce to on-campus dining halls after attaining its USDA Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) food safety certification in June. This effort was in part made possible by the addition of a covered produce wash station built by volunteers and student farmers. Students volunteers work at the farm each week, engaging in hands-on learning about sustainable farming, the environment, equality and issues of justice surrounding food.
Emory U Class Revitalizes Pilot Green Roof
An abandoned rooftop garden was recently revamped through a class project and was funded by the university's Sustainability Incentives Fund grant through Emory's Office of Sustainability Initiatives. The original project in 2008 was part of a student-led pilot study exploring the benefits of vegetative roof coverings and had been largely unmaintained since.
Keep It Cool Student Campaign
Keep It Cool is a national campaign mobilizing students to help help retailers save energy. Students from campuses around the country can participate by identifying retailers that keep their front doors open. Campaign organizers will educate retailers who allow energy to escape through their open doors and will recognize shops that “Keep It Cool” with closed doors.
AASHE Announces Sustainability Award Finalists
The AASHE Sustainability Awards recognize sustainability achievements, research advancements and student leadership. This year, there were 35 finalists chosen across 10 categories. Entries were judged on overall impact, innovation and other criteria specific to each category. Winners will be announced during a special ceremony on Oct. 15 at the 2017 AASHE Conference & Expo.
Sustainability Across the Curriculum UMACS Faculty Workshop
This Upper Mid-West Association for Campus Sustainability (UMACS) pre-conference workshop will give participants tools to design a new sustainability-focused course, and/or redesign an existing course, course unit or assignment. The workshop will introduce key sustainability concepts, pedagogical approaches (e.g., integrating service learning & “campus as a living laboratory” projects), and strategies for transforming departmental or campus curriculum. Participants will be paired with discipline-specific mentors to support course and curriculum development both during and after the event. The deadline to register is Sept. 15.
AASHE Member Discount: 10% Off Sustainability & Behavior Change Certificate
AASHE members can receive a 10 percent discount on tuition for all courses associated with the Sustainability and Behavior Change Certificate through the University of California San Diego Extension. The new certificate in Sustainability and Behavior Change provides an online setting for an advanced educational training in conservation psychology, behavior change strategies and community engagement tools.
Turning the Page on Campus Paper Use
AASHE invites applications from institutions to join a cohort of 10 to 12 AASHE members that will receive in-depth training, guidance and tools to implement a behavior-based paper saving program on their campus. Representatives of these institutions will participate in a day-long, in-person training at the 2017 AASHE Conference and Expo. Participants will receive ongoing support over the course of the upcoming academic year to refine, implement and evaluate their paper saving campaigns. Applications are due by August 18.