Two Researchers Win Sustainable Chemistry Challenge
The 2018 first prize winner of the Elsevier Foundation Green and Sustainable Chemistry Challenge is Prajwal Rajbhandari, president of the Research Institute for Biosciences & Biotechnology in Nepal for his research into using guava leaves to combat food spoilage. The second prize was awarded to Dr. Alessio Adamiano, a researcher for the Italian National Research Council at the Institute of Science and Technology for Ceramic Materials, for his research into converting fish bones into phosphorous and reused as fertilizer.
Texas A&M International U to Save $15M Through Energy Efficiency Project
The university recently announced it has started construction on a $9.7 million, comprehensive campus-wide energy-efficiency project that will streamline facility operations and encourage sustainable behavior. The energy savings performance contract guarantees nearly $15 million in energy savings over the life of the project. Savings will come from improving the university’s irrigation system, interior and exterior LED lighting upgrades with occupancy sensors and automated dimming controls, and utility meter upgrades with user-friendly energy dashboards. Construction is underway and expected to be complete by fall 2019.
Auburn U to Launch a Sustainable Biomaterials & Packaging Bachelor’s Degree
In an effort to meet the demand for packaging professionals with diverse expertise in using forest products sustainably, the university’s School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences will launch a new sustainable biomaterials and packaging degree this fall to prepare students for careers in bio-based industries.
U Plymouth Wins Award for Greening Nursing Field
(U.K.) A team from the University of Plymouth received a Guardian University Award for the development and implementation of the NurSusToolkit, a teaching and learning resource for sustainability in nursing education that seeks to reduce the National Health Service's environmental impact.
Dartmouth College Introduces Paper Straws
Dartmouth Dining Services has transitioned from the use of standard plastic straws to red-and-white-striped biodegradable paper straws in an effort attain a higher certification level in the Green Restaurant Association program.
U Washington Postdoctoral Researchers Form Union
Postdoctoral researchers recently voted to form a union affiliated with United Auto Workers. More than 700 of the campus’ 1,100 postdocs participated in the election, with 89 percent of unchallenged ballots being cast in favor of unionization.
Chatham U Receives 2018 Best of Green Schools Award
Chatham University's Eden Hall earned the award in the Higher Education Institution category from the Center for Green Schools at USGBC, in collaboration with the Green Schools National Network. The hall was cited for its self-sustaining aspects, which include protecting the watersheds, incorporating surrounding land and agricultural resources, and rehabilitating existing farmland.
New Book: Academic Social Responsibility: Sine Qua Non for Corporate Social Performance
The book makes the case that responsible management education is essential not only for academic stakeholders, but for the whole of society. Divided into three parts – “Towards the Socially Responsible University”, “Socially Responsible Education for Enterprise Development” and “Human Voice in Responsible Management Education” – it is a combination of theories, studies and experiences gained by authors from different countries and institutions who function in various institutional and cultural conditions.
Three Universities Win International Green Gown Awards
University of Tasmania (Australia) won in the Community category; Canterbury Christ Church University (U.K.) won in the Continuous Improvement: Institutional Change category: and Chiba University (Japan) won the Student Engagement category. The awards recognize exceptional sustainability initiatives being undertaken by universities and colleges.
U California San Diego Receives 2018 Grid Edge Innovation Award
The university was recognized for providing a platform for companies to test new electric vehicle charging technologies with real customers. The university partners with 18 commercial EV charging companies to test a variety of technical configurations and models with the university's population of more than 400 EV commuters.
Webinar About AASHE Connect Online Community
AASHE Connect is a platform for members to exchange ideas, engage meaningfully with peers and find solutions to questions. The webinar on May 31 from 2-3:00 p.m. Eastern will help users get the most out of this new member benefit. Presenters will demonstrate key features of the new system, including how to post and reply to an online discussion, update your profile, change communications preferences and find colleagues.
AASHE Event: Sustainability, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Workshop
Designed for faculty, administrators, staff and student activists of all disciplines, as well as community organizers, city officials and planners, this workshop aims to give attendees the tools to interconnect and integrate sustainability, diversity, equity and inclusion into their campus, curriculum and departments. Participants will learn about diversity and sustainability models from Bemidji State University, North Hennepin Community College, and the University of Minnesota. The deadline to register is June 8.
AASHE 2018 Workshop: Research for Sustainability: Investigating Sustainable Urban Systems
This workshop will advance the research agenda described in the National Science Foundation’s “Sustainable Urban Systems: Articulating a Long-Term Convergence Research Agenda”. Presented by Stephen Boss and Tahar Messadi of the University of Arkansas, this full-day pre-conference workshop will dive into trends in urbanization and opportunities to redesign urban systems for improved sustainability.
Net Positive Symposium for Higher Education
In partnership with AASHE, the International Living Future Institute will host the Net Positive Symposium for Higher Education at Hampshire College from June 25-26. The event will highlight Hampshire College, Smith College and Williams College as adopters of the Living Building Challenge and the Living Community Challenge. Attendees will explore case studies from these campuses to understand the design, development and implementation of these living laboratories. This symposium will inspire, instruct and engage in order to provide attendees with the tools, information, partnerships and lessons to turn values into practice and ideas into action at their own institutions and in their own communities.
2018 State of Sustainability Survey
Sightlines and the University of New Hampshire Sustainability Institute are conducting a survey that will inform the 2018 State of Sustainability report. The survey asks about institutional operational goals, processes and outcomes. Sightlines has pledged to donate $5 to AASHE for every survey completed.
How to Start and Run a Student-Managed Socially-Responsible Investment Fund
This toolkit from Intentional Endowments Network is designed to aid in the creation of new student-managed funds, expand current student-managed funds, and increase the number of funds that include socially-responsible investment (SRI) strategies in the investment process. It highlights the different ways student-managed funds can be designed, as well as the growing interest in how new and existing funds address sustainability factors in the investment process.
California State U Maritime Wins Collegiate Wind Competition
Claiming top honors in the U.S. Department of Energy's third biennial Collegiate Wind Competition, the CSU Maritime Academy beat out 11 other teams. The competition includes developing and delivering a business plan, siting a wind plant, and building and testing a wind turbine. The Pennsylvania State University came in second place and Kansas State University came in third.
Binghamton U Students Design & Build Solar Charging Station
Students from the university's Mechanical Engineering and Electrical and Computer Engineering departments unveiled a solar-powered charging station in May. Designed as part of their senior capstone design project, the system consists of a single solar panel attached a 10-foot-tall pole. The panel rotates, allowing it to track the sun from morning until night, increasing the power generated.
AASHE 2018 Workshop: Developing and Utilizing a Social Justice Lens in Order to Achieve Global Goals for Sustainability
Doing sustainability work through a social justice lens supports the urgent need for national and global collaboration with respect to climate, environmental and sustainability issues and greatly improves the likelihood of the development of deeply rooted and long-term climate, environmental and sustainability solutions. Presented by Heather Hackman of the Hackman Consulting Group, this full-day pre-conference workshop is designed to take campus sustainability work to a deeper level, via the use of a critical social justice lens, so as to improve its efficacy, deepen its reach and power, and ultimately align it more closely with 21st century climate realities.
Northwestern U & U Tennessee to Receive $3M for Bio-Energy Research
The U.S. Department of Energy has selected projects from the University of Tennessee and Northwestern University that will receive between $1 million to 2 million each. The research aims to develop economically and environmentally sustainable sources of biomass and increase the availability of competitively-priced renewable fuels and bio-based products, while increasing and diversifying the U.S.'s domestic energy sources. The funding is provided through the Biomass Research and Development Initiative, a joint program from the Energy Department and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Bentley U Arena Earns LEED Platinum
The recently opened, 76,000-square-foot arena features a 504 kilowatt solar array that will generate 40 percent of the building's annual electricity needs, natural light that decreases the amount of electricity needed to light the building’s interior, high-efficiency LED lighting with smart, motion-detecting controls, and waterless urinals, dual-flush toilets, and low-flow faucets and showers. Additionally, at least 50 percent of wood used in the building is sourced from forests with certified sustainable forestry practices, about 10 percent of construction and finish materials were locally sourced, and about 20 percent of construction and finish materials contain recycled content.
Lynn U Becomes Fair Trade Certified
The university recently announced its official designation as a Fair Trade University, having completed the requirements in less than three months. Lynn met five essential requirements, which included making Fair Trade products available on campus and passing a Fair Trade resolution.
Second Nature Unveils 'Marks of Distinction' Program
Marks of Distinction is a new initiative for the Climate Leadership Network that recognizes a select group of higher education institutions that set high-performance goals and that demonstrate and report progress towards those goals. More than 175 institutions in 39 states have received Marks of Distinction in 15 categories.
Penn State Behrend Partners for Biofuel Research Opportunities
A $1 million investment by Hero Bx, an Erie-based biodiesel company, will create research opportunities for students and faculty members in the School of Science. Students will work in a new, 1,500-square-foot chemistry lab with Hero Bx chemists and other researchers to reduce the sulfur in biodiesel feedstocks, which are processed for reuse as transportation fuels and heating oil. Subsequent studies will focus on increasing the efficiency of biodiesel in cold-temperature applications, including commercial aviation.
Maharishi U to Install 1.1 MW Photovoltaic Array With Storage
Construction is set to begin in June on a 1.1 megawatt solar array on university-owned land that will provide approximately one-third of the electricity used on campus. The five-acre field of solar panels will track the sun throughout the day. Excess energy will be stored in a battery bank for use during the night and during times of peak energy needs.
U Richmond to Enlist Goats for Invasive Species Removal
Part of a four-part eco-corridor project, the goats will be used for 12 weeks to help remove invasive species. The full project includes the removal of invasive species, stormwater management, stream restoration and the construction of a multi-use recreational trail.
Academic Bicycle Challenge
The Academic Bicycle Challenge is for college and university staff, faculty and students to track their cycled miles for a chance to appear on one of eight different leaderboard types. There are two competition cycles from which to choose: June and September. Each cycle will reveal a global comparison of cycling activities between universities, academic disciplines, self-generated teams and individuals.