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 College of Education Receives LEED GOLD
For the second time in less than a month, a University of Idaho building has received LEED Gold certification honors for its design and construction, this time for an innovative building renovation. The College of Education building, located on the Moscow campus, was built in 1969 and recently underwent a two-year, $17 million remodel that earned the building the sustainability certification. UI’s Integrated Research and Innovation Center (IRIC) also has earned LEED Gold honors. Features include glass walls throughout to allow for brightly lit space across all five floors; team rooms and classrooms with comfortable, moveable furniture conducive to implementing key principles in active learning; modern, interactive teaching audio-visual technology, which is the most advanced on campus.
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.
New Issue of Sustainability: The Journal of Record
The most recent issue of Sustainability: The Journal of Record covers barriers to effectiveness of university sustainability offices, a case study about a campus sustainability social network, and an investigation about the importance of beliefs in environmental behaviors as they relate to pro-environmental behaviors.
Academia United on Climate Change Letter
Academia United on Climate Change is a sign-on letter open to all members of the academic community that encourages the leaders of U.S. colleges and universities to work together and with other coalitions in leading the U.S. effort to combat global climate change. The letter will be delivered to the leadership of colleges and universities nationwide.
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.
Global Climate Change Week 2017
Global Climate Change Week (GCCW), scheduled for Oct. 9-15, aims to encourage academic communities in all disciplines and countries to engage with each other, their communities and policy makers on climate change action and solutions. GCCW provides an open-ended framework for voluntary activities aimed at raising awareness, inspiring behavior change and driving political transformation in relation to climate policy.
Sustainability Across the Curriculum: Online Workshop from Moraine Valley CC
This online event, organized by Moraine Valley Community College in partnership with AASHE, is designed for higher education instructors wishing to infuse issues of sustainability (ecological stability, social equity and economic vitality) into their curriculum regardless of the discipline. Sustainability issues cross all disciplines, thus the intent of this course is to identify those areas of intersection. Solutions to real-world sustainability problems will be explored. Three graduate credits are available to participants through Aurora University. Participants must have earned a bachelor's degree in order to receive graduate credits. The deadline to register is June 25. Moraine Valley Community College is one of 13 regional AASHE Centers for Sustainability Across the Curriculum.
2017 AASHE Conference & Expo
Registration is open for the 2017 AASHE Conference & Expo, happening Oct. 15-18 in San Antonio, Texas. Themed "Stronger in Solidarity," sessions will highlight how the campus sustainability community can break down walls, build bridges and continue to make progress toward a healthy and equitable future for all. Participants will have access to effective models, policies, research, collaborations and transformative actions which advance sustainability in higher education institutions and surrounding communities. Rates increase on Aug. 1.
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.
U Arkansas Plans Interdisciplinary Resiliency Center
An interdisciplinary Resiliency Center is being developed under the university's School of Architecture and Design. Still subject to approval from the university's board of trustees, the new center proposes to coordinate graduate-level education, undergraduate sustainability coursework, research, and outreach programs in sustainable food, water, community and landscape systems.
CCREF Young Investigator Scholarship
The Composting Council Research and Education Foundation (CCREF) Young Investigator Scholarship, for $2,500, focuses on supporting undergraduate through Ph.D. students conducting research and education in the fields of composting and compost use. The application deadline is June 30.
Georgetown U Approves New Socially Responsible Investing Policy
The new policy, approved by the university board of directors, further aligns the university’s investment strategy with its commitment to social justice, protection of human life and dignity, stewardship for the planet and promotion of the common good. The new policy was developed by the board working group on socially responsible investments, which was formed in 2015 following the board’s decision to divest from direct investments in companies whose principal business is the mining of coal for use in energy production.
Behavior Change for Sustainability: Northwest Earth Institute's Approach
The paper explains why behavior change research is important and what it offers, and how the Northwest Earth Institute (NWEI) uses behavior change theory in their programs. The paper includes both survey data and stories from participant’s experiences of behavior changes in NWEI Discussion Courses and the EcoChallenge.
EAUC Publishes Living Labs Research
The Environmental Association of Universities and Colleges (U.K.) recently released new research on living labs. The research is broken into three reports: what living labs are and why they are important; making the case for living labs; and how living labs work.
Indiana U Purdue U Indianapolis Launches MS in Product Stewardship
Launching in fall 2017, the university's new Master of Science degree in product stewardship is designed to prepare students to address local, national and global issues relating to the environment, worker health and safety, and social accountability as they relate to the design, use and disposal of everyday products.
Indiana U to Offer Paid Parental Leave
Recently endorsed by the board of trustees, all university staff employees will receive six weeks of paid leave after a birth or adoption. The leave will be available to both mothers and fathers regardless of their marital or relationship status.
AASHE Member Discount: $25 Off Association of Climate Change Officers (ACCO) Membership
The Association of Climate Change Officers (ACCO) is a non-profit membership organization for executives and officials in industry, government, academia and the non-profit community. ACCO’s mission is to define, develop and support the functions, resources and communities necessary for effective organizational leadership in addressing climate-related risks and opportunities. AASHE members can now receive $25 off an individual ACCO membership. The discount expires June 30.
U Virginia Launches Environmental Resilience Institute
The new Environmental Resilience Institute aims to accelerate solutions to urgent social-environmental challenges, such as coastal flooding and storm impacts in coastal regions, and water security. The institute will be initially funded with a three-year, $2 million grant from the university, and spearheaded by the offices of the executive vice president and provost, and the vice president for research.
Portland CC Board Passes Divestment Resolution
The community college's board of directors passed a new resolution to divest college funds from socially irresponsible companies and investments, and fossil fuel-producing companies listed in the Carbon Underground 200. The movement to divest was started by student leaders in early 2016.
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.
AASHE Member Discount: Complimentary Access to ACCO Training Resources
AASHE members receive complimentary trial access to a subset of the Association of Climate Change Officers (ACCO) online training resources that can help address challenges related to climate change and sustainable energy. ACCO will provide up to 3 individual accounts on its online training portal to each institution. The offer expires June 30.