U California System Researchers Vote to Unionize
The 5,000-member union of researchers who are not faculty members or postdoctoral fellows filed representation petitions with California’s Public Employment Relations Board in September, with about two-thirds supporting unionization. The state board must certify the union before collective bargaining can begin.
Call for Proposals: 2019 Greenbuild International Conference and Expo
Greenbuild organizers encourage education session proposals through Jan. 4. Greenbuild 2019 is a conference and expo dedicated to green building that includes three days of educational sessions, green building tours, special seminars and networking events. The conference will take place in Atlanta, Georgia, from Nov. 20-22, 2019.
STARS 2019 Data Quality Boot Camp Series
The STARS Data Quality Boot Camp Series is a set of webinars that will provide insights into submitting a high-quality STARS report by the deadline for the 2019 Sustainable Campus Index, Princeton Review and Sierra. There is an overview webinar, which will focus on general tips that apply across all STARS categories and credits, and one webinar for each of the STARS categories - Academics, Engagement, Operations, and Planning and Administration - that will focus data accuracy tips for credits that are commonly misinterpreted.
Yale U Maps Teaching to SDGs
According to a new report by the Yale Office of Sustainability, 44 percent of its teaching and research relates to at least two Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Using the database that was created for the report, the Office of Sustainability can generate multidisciplinary lists of faculty and researchers by SDG or by interdisciplinary interests.
U Montreal Reduces Leftover Food Waste
In an effort to reduce food waste, the university's food service provider launched a new project to sell meals, sandwiches, salads and other surplus food at cost to students living in residence.
U Alabama Birmingham Releases 6-Year Sustainability Plan
The new Sustainability Strategic Plan outlines the goals and strategies for 13 different objective areas targeting the university’s academic and medical campus. The plan commits the university to acquire 20 percent of the university’s energy needs from renewable sources of power and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent by 2025.
Cleveland State U Begins Campaign to Reduce Plastic Straw Use
CSU Dining implemented a new initiative to reduce the amount of plastic and single-use waste generated on campus. The “Skip the Straw” program, which began in early November, gives straws only for select beverages such as a smoothie. Most retail outlets will keep straws behind the counter and made available by request only.
Silliman U Adopts Environmental Policy
(Philippines) The university recently adopted a new environmental policy framework consisting of Environmental Principles, Policies, Guidelines, and Best Practices that will be implemented by its faculty, staff, and students as well as by concessionaires, booth operators, event organizers, sponsors and visitors. Nine components that the guidelines encompass are teaching, research, service, worship and fellowship, culture and sports, outreach, planning and development, administration, and operations.
Call for Chapter Proposals: Civil Society and Social Responsibility in Higher Education
Higher Education Teaching and Learning encourages chapter submissions for an upcoming book titled Civil Society and Social Responsibility in Higher Education. The editors are looking at three potential volumes under the subheadings of: International Perspectives on Curriculum and Teaching Development; International Perspectives on University Community Partnerships; and International Perspectives on Leadership and Strategies. The chapter proposal submission deadline is Jan. 15.
Cloud County CC Students to Install 200 KW Solar Array
Students enrolled in the college's Solar Energy Technology program will install a 200-kilowatt photovoltaic array on single-axis solar trackers, which will increase electricity production efficiency. The system will be installed on campus-owned land.
West Texas A&M U Enters Energy-Efficiency Contract
The university entered a partnership for a $14.4 million Campus Energy Reduction and Modernization Project throughout 31 campus buildings. Scheduled for completion by September 2019, the conservation and modernization measures include high efficiency LED lighting, improvements to the campus heating and cooling systems, water conservation measures, and automated controls that allow for improved tracking of energy consumption.
U California Los Angeles Partners to Fund Water & Energy Research
Through a new partnership, UCLA and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power will identify research that would move the city to greater use of recycled water, increase water and energy conservation and efficiency as well as electrification of the transportation network. The partnership also seeks to use and produce local water and strengthen climate adaptation planning.
Central Michigan U Begins Composting Pizza Boxes
Because grease and food toppings on pizza boxes largely exempt the material from being recycled, the university began a program to compost pizza boxes. The initiative was spearheaded by Residence Life.
College William & Mary Announces 2019-2024 Sustainability Plan
As part of the the university’s first long-range, comprehensive Sustainability Plan, the university has signed onto the Sustainable Endowments Institute’s Billion Dollar Green Challenge, pledging to grow its green revolving fund for environmental efforts from $200,000 to $1 million by 2025. Other components of the W&M Sustainability Plan include a commitment to creating a climate action plan by 2020 and exploring renewable energy for the campus. Individual departmental efforts include elimination of single-use plastics by dining services and implementation of electric vehicle charging stations by transportation.
Duke U Adds Electric Buses to Fleet
The two new battery-electric buses will replace two diesel vehicles, saving Duke about $924,000 in maintenance, fuel and vehicle costs over the lifespan of the two buses. Each bus can carry up to 40 seated passengers and operate for about 200 miles on a single charge. Besides zero greenhouse gas emissions, the buses require no oil changes and use no liquid fuels.
U Massachusetts Amherst Launches Student-Run Organic Vineyard
The new vineyard received an initial $3,000 grant from the university's Sustainability Innovation and Engagement Fund in spring 2017, which supported preparatory steps such as soil analysis and installing an irrigation system. The professor that teaches viticulture received a Sustainable Curriculum Initiative award from UMass Libraries to enhance the sustainability aspect of viticulture courses.
Hope College Student Completes Campus & City Tree Inventory
A Hope College sophomore student completed a summer research project that was a collaboration between the city of Holland, Hope College Biology Department, and the Holland-Hope College Sustainability Institute. Taking 10 weeks, 3,500 trees on public property in the city of Holland were inventoried. The inventoried trees are projected to provide more than $16,166 in environmental value annually, according to preliminary calculations that do not factor in electricity offset yet. Using information from the trees, a faculty member and two students of computer science released a phone app that helps users identify Holland trees.
Wellesley College Commits $24M to Energy Initiatives
Based on recommendations from a task force assembled to assess the energy needs of the college, the Board of Trustees has committed approximately $24 million to be spent over the next three years on a multipart energy initiative. The college will make the following improvements in its buildings and central utility plant: replace the steam absorption chiller plant with an electric chiller plant; decommission five natural gas electricity generators and increase renewable energy; construct a power plant that will generate electricity during peak electrical-use periods and during power grid failures; and improve energy efficiency in campus buildings.
U Washington Uses E-Bikes to Deliver Campus Mail
The university's Mailing Services now uses a fleet of electric-assist cargo bicycles to deliver nearly all mail to 455 departments on the Seattle campus. Mailing Services used a grant from the Campus Sustainability Fund to purchase five of the bikes. Since phasing out trucks, deliveries now take 10 percent less time and 30 percent fewer miles traveled.
Dalhousie U Opens Biomass Energy Plant
The new Biomass Energy Plant is a $26.5 million project that burns biomass fuel to create electricity using a new 1-megawatt turbine. Additionally new piping for a district hot water system was installed that will use waste heat from electricity generation to heat the campus. Overall, the steam system is now 30 percent more energy efficient.
Fair Trade Campaigns 2019 National Conference Campus Partner Program
Fair Trade Campaigns encourages campuses to cover the registration for three or more students or staff to attend its annual conference, taking place from March 1 - 3 in Chicago, in exchange for being recognized as a campus partner. The Fair Trade Campaigns National Conference convenes local, national and global leaders to inspire and equip attendees with practical tools to drive conscious consumerism.
Discussion on Role of Business in Education for Sustainable Development
Business Fights Poverty is hosting a live written discussion with a panel of experts to discuss the role of business in education and training for sustainable development. This discussion will take place on Nov. 29 from 11:00 a.m. - noon Eastern (4 - 5:00 p.m. U.K.). All are welcome to participate.
Patagonia Case Competition
Patagonia and the Berkeley Haas Center for Responsible Business are partnering to host the fourth annual Patagonia Case Competition. Graduate students from across the world tackle the interconnected business and sustainability aspects of a current, real-life issue facing the outdoor gear retailer Patagonia. First place teams win $15,000, second $5,000 and third place $2,500. The deadline for team sign-up is Jan. 13 and case proposals are due Feb. 10.
U Arkansas Launches Interdisciplinary Sustainability Minor
Open to all undergraduate students, the sustainability minor is an 18-credit program drawing instruction from faculty and courses across all colleges and schools at the university. The purpose of the minor in sustainability is to provide foundational knowledge and skills related to the discipline of sustainability and to prepare students to become innovators within their diverse fields.
Bucknell U Building Earns LEED Silver
The repurposed Hildreth-Mirza Hall, a building that originally opened in 1941 as a fraternity house, features occupancy sensors, air quality monitors and automated ventilation systems. Together, these measures reduce the building's energy consumption by 35 percent.
ACTS Announces 2018 Green Gown Awards Australasia Winners
(Australia) The Australasian Campuses Toward Sustainability (ACTS) recently announced 10 winners across nine categories. The Green Gown Awards Australasia is an awards program dedicated to recognizing excellence in sustainability within the tertiary education sector in Australasia.
IEN Case Study: Sustainable Investing at Arizona State University
This case study, produced and published by Intentional Endowments Network, discusses the university's move toward sustainable investing, specifically how analysis of sustainable investing strategies allow the foundation to fulfill its fiduciary duty while aligning with the university’s values and sustainability leadership.