UC Davis Announces New High-Level Sustainability Initiative
The University of California, Davis recently launched the Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability Initiative. The project includes a new office to coordinate university-wide efforts on sustainability, seed money to support new projects, and the creation of a chancellor-level advisory committee. The new office, housed within the Office of Resource Management and Planning, will work with other units to develop strategies and plans to implement the UC regents' sustainability policies. Initial goals for the new committee include developing university principles of sustainability and environmental stewardship, fostering collaboration among the administrative and academic units, and developing fundraising opportunities.
7 Campuses Become Founding Reporters in The Climate Registry
Cornell University (NY), Syracuse University (NY), University of Hawai'i at Manoa, Davidson College (NC), Saint Olaf College (MN), Northland College (WI), and Vermont Technical College have all signed up to be "Founding Reporters" in The Climate Registry, a non-profit organization established to measure and publicly report greenhouse gas emissions in a common, accurate, and transparent manner consistent across industry sectors. By joining the group, the campuses have voluntarily committed to measure, indep
UC Berkeley Sustainability Projects Receive $2M
Students at University of California, Berkeley recently received $2 million in support for twenty-three projects aimed at helping people live more sustainably. Projects include cost-effective water purification and hygiene technologies, sustainable packaging, renewable fuels, and new courses and seminars on sustainability. The funding, provided by the Dow Chemical Co. Foundation, is part of a new Sustainable Products and Solutions Program that was created in late 2007 to provide students and faculty across campus with educational and research opportunities focused on sustainability.
Arizona State U Sustainability Institute Moves to Green Building
The Global Institute of Sustainability and the School of Sustainability at Arizona State University recently moved into a newly renovated green building. The building's carpet, resilient flooring, and gypsum sheathing are all made of high recycled content material, and the indoor air quality is enhanced through the use of GreenGuard certified furniture and low-emitting paints, coatings, and interior signage. The building also features waterless urinals, low-flow toilets, and automatically monitored landscaping irrigation. As landscaping work continues, native drought-tolerant plantings will reduce the demand for irrigation and the incorporation of porous paving will control the amount of storm water run-off from the site. Additionally, wind turbines have been mounted on the roof and solar panels will be installed soon. ASU is pursing LEED certification for the building.
CSU, Chico Bans Bottled Water & Passes Green Purchasing Policy
California State University, Chico students recently voted to ban the sale of bottled water on campus and to implement a Social and Environmental Purchasing Policy. The Take Back The Tap initiative passed with the support of 85 percent of voting students, and the SEPP, which encourages the Associated Students to buy environmentally and socially responsible products, passed with the support of 87 percent of voters. Both projects are the result of student campaigns.
U Maine, Farmington Donates 100% of its Waste Oil for Biofuel
The University of Maine at Farmington Dining Services recently began donating 100 percent of its waste cooking oil to a local biodiesel production company. The initiative is expected to recycle more than 1,600 gallons of waste cooking oil and grease annually.
Columbia U Establishes Center on Sustainable Intl Investment
Columbia University (NY) recently announced the establishment of the Vale-Columbia Center on Sustainable International Investment. The center aims to promote learning, teaching, policy-oriented research and practical work within the foreign direct investment (FDI) area, paying special attention to the sustainable development dimension of investments. The center will study outward FDI from emerging markets, while its practical work will include workshops on such topics as resource endowments, FDI sustainability in the mining industry, and sustainability and risk assessment/mitigation in the FDI area. A $1.5 million grant, provided by Vale over a five year period, will help to establish the center, which was a joint undertaking by the Columbia School of Law and the Columbia Earth Institute.
Southwestern U Students Form Bike Collective
Southwestern University (TX) students from a course titled "Introduction to Sustainability" recently formed a bike collective as part of a class project. Students from the course were asked to participate in a project that would make them think about ways of living that are more sustainable. The bike collective aims to teach bike safety and repair to anyone that is interested and gives refurnished bikes to people who need one, paying in work-trade rather than money. The bike collective obtained $2,500 in
U New Hampshire Students Install Green Landscaping
University of New Hampshire students recently completed their horticulture technology class project to install green landscaping around a university building. The 11 students in the class chose perennial plants that would be hardy in New Hampshire and low-maintenance throughout the year. They spent one month preparing the site by removing overgrown plants and testing and preparing the soil with compost obtained from UNH dining halls. The students were also expected to manage a staff of volunteers, work with vendors, and solicit donations from nearby nurseries.
UC Berkeley Building Awarded LEED Silver
University of California, Berkeley's Haste Street Child Development Center was recently awarded LEED Silver certification. Green features include formaldehyde-free furniture, fabric carpets that don't off-gas harmful chemicals, and the use of green cleaning products. Additionally, ninety-eight percent of the waste materials left over from construction were diverted from landfills and recycled, and twenty percent of the center's materials came from within 500 miles of the site.
AASHE Student Sustainability Leadership Awards
AASHE is now accepting applications for the 2008 Student Sustainability Leadership Award, to be presented in November at AASHE 2008: Working Together for Sustainability – On Campus and Beyond. The Student Sustainability Achievement Award honors an undergraduate student from an AASHE member institution who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in promoting campus sustainability. Applications are due August 1, 2008. The Student Sustainability Leadership Award includes a $750 prize. In addition, the winner of this year's award will be featured in Sustainability: The Journal of Record .
List of Campus Bus Pass Programs
AASHE has prepared a new resource that lists campus programs that provide students with fare-free or highly discounted access to public transportation. The resource is available only for AASHE members.
USGBC Natural Talent Design Competition
The US Green Building Council's Emerging Green Builders Program is inviting submissions for this year's Natural Talent 2008 Design Competition. Participants compete in local competitions, and the top winner of each moves on to compete for a national award at USGBC’s annual Greenbuild International Conference and Exposition. Awards include green building scholarships, as well as travel and registration to Greenbuild, where finalists’ entries are displayed and final judging occurs.
Whitepaper on Retro-commissioning Existing Buildings
Environmental Health and Engineering recently published "The First (Big) Step to Reducing Your Campus Carbon Footprint," a whitepaper that discusses the importance of energy retrofits, explains the difference between performance improvements and energy reduction, lists the indicators for necessary energy improvements, and more.
Purdue U, Indiana U Students Donate Unwanted Items
Purdue University (IN) and Indiana University recently completed their end of the year move-out collections in which unwanted dorm room items were donated to local collection agencies. Purdue's "Project Move Out" expanded this year to include donations from a nearby neighborhood, whereas in previous years, the initiative only included residence hall student donations. Students from both schools were able to donate clothing, shoes, cleaning supplies, electronics, books, furniture, laundry soap, winter coat
Rice U Installs Rainwater Collection Tank
Rice University (TX) recently installed an 8,000 gallon, underground rainwater collection tank at the Rice Children's Campus which is currently under construction. The water collected in the harvesting tank will be filtered and used to irrigate the Rice Children's Campus' native trees and plants. The installation is part of several measures aimed at achieving LEED certification.
Maharishi University of Management Expands Composting Project
Maharishi University of Management (IA) recently announced plans to move its vermicomposting program to a larger space. The new space will provide hands-on experience in composting and vermicomposting for students. The end product will be used on the University's organic farms, the student garden, and campus landscapes.
Bowdoin to Use Organic Lawn Treatments, Hold Green Commencement
Bowdoin College (ME) recently announced that, this spring, it will start using organic lawn care products on parts of the campus that sit above the town aquifer. Organic fertilizer, liquid corn gluten, compost tea, and BT, an organic bacterium to fight insects, are examples of what will be used. In related news, Bowdoin has taken several steps to help make this year's graduation more environmentally friendly: biodegradable cups, bowls, plates, and utensils for all outdoor meals; recycle bins will be placed in outdoor areas, electricity for the weekend will be offset using Renewable Energy Credits from Maine low-impact hydro and wind power; and all programs will be printed on 100% recycled paper.
UCLA Students Vote for Green Fee
University of California, Los Angeles students recently voted on a referendum to raise student fees by $4 per quarter to fund green efforts on campus. The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF), which passed by a margin of 3 to 1, will provide over $200,000 per year to groups aiming to reduce UCLA's environmental footprint. The fund will go towards projects that address climate change, renewable energy, and educating the campus community on sustainability. The funds will be allocated by a committee comprised of faculty, staff, and students.
USGBC Announces Green Building Curriculum Award Winners
The U.S. Green Building Council recently announced the winners of its first annual awards and grants recognizing and encouraging green building curricula. The Recognition Grant recipients include Yavapai College (AZ), Grand Valley State University (MI), the University of Texas at Austin, and the University of Virginia, among others. The Incentive Grants were awarded to Eastern Iowa Community College District, Santa Fe Community College (NM), Cornell University (NY), the University of Maine at Farmington, and others. The Excellence in Green Building Curriculum Recognition Awards and Incentive Grants are open to any green building programs and curricula from pre-K to college level. The Incentive Grants provide $20,000 for each recipient to develop new curricula.
U New England Breaks Ground for Green Pharmacy Building
The University of New England (ME) recently broke ground for its new College of Pharmacy, an academic and research facility registered for LEED certification. Green features include highly efficient plumbing systems, appropriate landscaping, and chilled beams and heat recovery units that will optimize energy performance. Additionally, all construction waste will be recycled, reused, or otherwise diverted from landfills; building materials will have a high recycled content and be locally sourced; and building finishes will be low or no VOC and contain no urea formaldehyde.
New Cornell U Announces Sustainability Website
Cornell University (NY) has launched a new sustainability website. The goal of the website is to help the public explore Cornell's efforts in sustainability. The site provides both an overview and links to many specific programs and initiatives. The website features sustainability-related news, events, and activities in research, education, operations, and outreach.
San Francisco State to Launch Green Themed Living
This fall, San Francisco State University will launch ECO-Digs, a co-op project consisting of four campus houses dedicated to sustainable living. The four adjacent houses will allow residents to grow their own food, reduce their energy consumption, and conserve water. The houses are open to upper classmen and graduate students.
Georgia Tech Solar Decathlon House Used as Classroom
Georgia Institute of Technology recently installed its 2007 Solar Decathlon House on campus to be used as a classroom. The house will be used for education and research about solar power and other forms of sustainability energy for students in architecture, engineering, sciences, and management. The structure is on display for public viewing, but is still a work in progress for Georgia Tech students.
LA Community College District Launches Recycling Program
The Los Angeles Community College District (CA) recently launched a new recycling program at Los Angeles Valley College with plans to expand to the District's nine campuses. The program is part of a comprehensive plan to bring the District closer to its goal of becoming zero-waste, and will include clearly marked bins in every classroom and office space, as well as more user-friendly outdoor receptacles. To get the program off to a good start, campus clubs will be holding big visibility and educational events to raise awareness on campus for the new program and to make sure students start using it.
Furman U Receives Sustainability Award
Furman University (SC) recently received the Sam Johnson Leadership in Sustainability Award for its outstanding dedication and achievement in sustainability. In receiving the award, Furman was cited for its broad application of green cleaning practices, having the first building in the state to earn LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, proclaiming 2007 as the Year of the Environment, and mounting an educational outreach campaign aimed at building environmental awareness on campus and throughout the community. The Sam Johnson Leadership in Sustainability Award is given to a company or organization that displays a total commitment to sustainability. Criteria included a proven track record of sustainable facility care, green building practices and certifications, organizational commitment and communication to key constituents. A $5,000 gift is made to the World Wildlife Fund on behalf of the award winner.
Florida Atlantic U Receives Green Building Grant
Florida Atlantic University's College of Engineering and Computer Science recently received a $50,000 planning grant through The Kresge Foundation's Green Building Initiative to help fund a potential platinum level LEED certified engineering complex on campus. The groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for the fall of 2008, and the expected completion date is fall 2009.
Grand Rapids CC to Install Green Roof
Grand Rapid Community College (MI) recently announced its plans to install a green roof on campus. The roof will be used to grow cilantro, sage, basil, thyme, and other herbs. GRCC received a donation from the Steelcase Foundation to fund the project.
CSU Fresno Switches to Compostable Dinnerware
California State University, Fresno recently began serving campus food with compostable cups, lids, napkins, small plates, and beverage sleeves. These green products will also be used at all events catered by University Dining Services. Dining Services also plans to switch to compostable utensils and to-go ware in the near future. All items will be composted by the University Agricultural Laboratory.
Seattle U Launches Low-Carbon Campaign
Seattle University (WA) recently launched an initiative to reduce its carbon footprint by offering more local foods in its dining halls. An eatery on campus eliminated beef from its menu as part of the campaign. The initiative also aims to teach students to limit their meal portion size, purchase local food, and reduce packaged food consumption.
U Florida Launches Paper Saving Campaign
The University of Florida recently launched "Think Before You Ink," a campaign to reduce the amount of pages faculty, students, and staff print and/or copy on campus. The campaign has three separate parts: Save the Paper, Print to Web, and Printer Certification. Save the Paper is designed to reduce the waste and inefficiency associated with campus photocopies and printouts. Print to Web, which is scheduled to launch in the coming weeks, will encourage the use of the Internet and e-mail for distribution o
Princeton Review to Issue Green Ratings for Colleges
The Princeton Review recently announced that it will publish a green rating in future editions of its annual college guide starting with the 2009 issue which will be released this summer. The decision came after 63 percent of the 10,300 respondents to the 2008 College Hopes & Worries Survey said that they would value having information about a college’s commitment to the environment and that it might impact their decision to apply to or attend the school.” A full 23 percent said this information would "st
U Iowa Announces Sustainability Initiative
The University of Iowa President Sally Mason recently announced plans to establish a Sustainability Steering Committee that will report directly to the President and an Office of Sustainability that will be located in the Facilities Management division. In addition, the University will be hiring five new tenure-track faculty who are devoted to interdisciplinary sustainability studies. The University also plans to review current course offerings and consider expanding its sustainability curriculum. Additionally, UI also announced that sustainability will be an underlying principal in the next university strategic plan.
Calvin College Course Prepares Carbon Neutrality Plan
Calvin College (MI) students from the Engineering 333 and Biology 354 courses recently completed an analysis of what it would take to make the College carbon neutral. Throughout the semester, the classes completed a carbon emissions inventory, a sequestration potential investigation, and a financial analysis of how the campus could reduce its carbon output. As a result, the students developed a plan to reach carbon neutrality within 11 years through a Green Energy Fund and installing a wind turbine.
Schools Meet on Responsible Investing
Finance officials, faculty and students that serve on campus-based Committees on Investor Responsibility recently came together for the first time to participate in a day-long conference focused on sharing best practice models for corporate engagement and the leveraging of school endowments for social and environmental justice. The event, hosted by the Responsible Endowments Coalition, the Advisory Committee on Socially Responsible Investing at Columbia University, and the Columbia University Human Rights Law clinic, included three sessions: Goals and Strategies of Corporate Engagement, Social Responsibility as Part of Fiduciary Responsibility, and Models of Collaboration. The Responsible Endowments Coalition will use ideas generated during the meeting to help investment staff and students at colleges and universities stay connected on such topics as shareholder resolutions, proxy voting and corporate engagement.
UT Austin Adopts Campus Sustainability Policy
The University of Texas at Austin recently adopted a Campus Sustainability Policy to integrate sustainability in academic programs, operations, campus planning, administration, and outreach. The Campus Sustainability Policy requires that university policies, practices, and curricula should, when possible, embody approaches that reduce life cycle costs, restore, or maintain the functioning of natural systems, and enhance human well-being. It also calls for the establishment of procedures and mechanisms, including an oversight body, to guide its implementation and ensure accountability.
UC Davis Energy Efficiency Center Receives $1M
The University of California, Davis Energy Efficiency Center recently received three grants totaling $1.1 million to help bring new energy efficiency technologies to the market. Chevron and Wal-Mart have each pledged $100,000 per year for five years, and Goldman Sachs is providing $100,000 this year.
MIT Receives $10M to Fund Solar Energy Research
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology recently launched a partnership with the Chesonis Foundation to transform solar power to an affordable, dependable, and mainstream energy solution. The Solar Revolution Project, funded by a $10 million gift from the Foundation, will explore new materials and systems that could dramatically accelerate the availability of solar energy. Specifically, the SRP will focus on the capture, conversion, and storage of solar energy with the goal of making solar power a viable, near-term energy source. The SRP will initially support 30 energy fellowships for students on a range of solar-related studies, from the development of novel materials for energy conversion and storage to using solar energy to produce hydrogen fuel from water. Each fellowship will last five years.
AASHE Student Research on Campus Sustainability Award
AASHE invites undergraduate and graduate students currently enrolled at U.S. or Canadian institutions of higher education to submit research papers of any length on campus sustainability that have not been previously published, are written in English, and were completed after August 1, 2007. A version of the winning paper will be published in Sustainability: The Journal of Record (subject to editorial review). Longer papers will be edited to meet the Journal's length standards. Papers are due August 1, 2008.