U Connecticut 5K Race Benefits Campus Green Fund
The University of Connecticut recently held the third annual EcoHusky5000, a 5 kilometer race that benefits UConn's Green Campus Fund. Students and the public paid $5 and $15 respectively to enter the race, and Willimantic Waste Paper Co. promised to make a matching donation of up to $2,000. The event also served to collect old sneakers to donate to EcoHusky's sneaker recycling project. All participants received free water bottles made out of recycled materials.
Campus Sustainability Whitepaper Series: 10% off for AASHE Members
PaperClip Communications is offering a 10 percent discount to AASHE members on their recently released Campus Sustainability Whitepaper Series. The series is comprised of 6 whitepapers: Greening Your Events: How to Plan and Implement Sustainable Campus Events; Sustainable Campus Food Service Programs: From Little Changes to Large Initiatives That Change the Environmental Balance; Going Green in Residence Life: Putting Your Operation in Line with Sustainable Practices; Sustainable Campus Practices: Green Campus Facilities, Purchasing and Business Practices; Sustainable Student Initiatives: What's Working on Our Campuses; and Hosting a Campus Sustainability Day: 40 Campus Examples, How-to Tips & Resources. The whitepapers offer ideas, strategies, and best practices for moving toward sustainability.
Campus Environmental Resource Center
In collaborations with several other higher education associations, the National Association of College and University Business Officers recently launched an online environmental resource center called CampusERC. The site is designed as a multifaceted library of resources for college and university environmental officers to keep up with the latest news and information on environmental issues, study best practices in environmental management, view case studies, and better understand what institutions must do to comply with environmental regulations issued by the Environmental Protection Agenda.
U Wisconsin Superior Breaks Ground for Green Student Center
The University of Wisconsin Superior recently held a groundbreaking ceremony for the new student center building which will feature energy efficient design, a green roof, and rainwater collection. The University hopes that the building will achieve LEED certification. The building will house student dining services, the campus bookstore, offices for student organizations and university staff, an art gallery, meeting areas and lounges. It is expected to be complete by August 2009.
Cornell U Hires Sustainability Professor
Cornell University (NY) recently hired Jefferson Tester Ph.D. as the first Croll Professor of Sustainable Energy Systems in the College of Engineering. Tester is expected to play a leadership role in the Cornell Center for a Sustainable Future, which is bringing together experts in education and research from across campus to work toward common sustainability goals.
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.
Appropedia – Website for Solutions in Sustainability
Humboldt State University's (CA) Campus Center for Appropriate Technology recently partnered with Appropedia, a website for collaborative, free, open-source solutions in sustainability, to host the methods and lessons of the Center's sustainability projects. Appropedia uses the same format as Wikipedia to allow users to share and gain knowledge of appropriate technologies and sustainable living solutions. The site offers projects and information in water conservation, organic gardening, community organizing, and more.
AASHE Releases Draft of Campus Sustainability Rating System
AASHE has released the next draft of its rating system for sustainability in higher education called STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System). The release of STARS version 0.5 opens a public comment period that will last until May 9, 2008. STARS is designed to: help gauge the progress of colleges and universities toward sustainability in all sectors, from governance and operations to academics and community engagement; enable meaningful comparisons across institutions as well as benchmarking within institutions; create incentives for continual improvement toward sustainability; facilitate information sharing about sustainability practices and performance in higher education; and build a stronger, more diverse campus sustainability community. Over 90 colleges and universities are pilot testing STARS. They will provide feedback to AASHE throughout 2008 and inform the development of STARS version 1.0, planned for release in spring 2009.
U.S. Colleges Receive Energy Grants
The U.S. Department of Labor recently awarded President’s Community-Based Job Training Grants to Morrisville State College (NY), Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas, Western Iowa Tech Community College, Rend Lake College (IL), Central Piedmont Community College (NC), Columbia Gorge Community College (OR), and Navarro College (TX) for projects such as creating a renewable energy training center and other programs that are intended to serve as a workforce and economic development catalysts in each region. The grant initiative is designed to improve the ability of colleges to provide their regions’ workers with the skills needed to enter growing industries in their hometowns.
UC San Diego To Install 7.4 MW of Renewable Energy
The University of California, San Diego recently announced plans to build a 1 MW photovoltaic array on campus, to purchase up to 3 MW of electric power produced by Southern California wind farms, and to produce 2.4 MW from fuel cells powered by methane captured from a sewage treatment plant. The University also hopes to install an additional 1 MW photovoltaic array within the next year. The arrays will be built atop campus buildings and parking structures. Once complete, the 7.4 MW of renewable energy are expected to meet 10 - 15 percent of the campus's annual electrical needs. The projects are part of UCSD's effort to become the "Greenest University in the Nation.","1
Campuses Participate in Fossil Fools Day
Campuses from the U.S. and Canada participated in Fossil Fools Day events on April 1. Fossil Fools Day, organized by the Energy Action Coalition, brings together thousands of young people from around the world for a global day of action demonstrating the youth commitment to stop climate change. The University of Kentucky, Wilfrid Laurier University (ON), Clark University (MA), and others participated in the day of action through events such as raising a mock wind turbine on top of a pile of coal, blockading a Shell Gas Station, and hosting a wind turbine versus coal plant boxing match.
Bowdoin College to Purchase Local Renewable Energy Credits
Bowdoin College (ME) recently announced that UPC Wind will provide the College with renewable energy certificates from its Mars Hill wind project in northern Maine. Bowdoin is currently offsetting approximately 70 percent of its campus electricity use with voluntary renewable energy certificates produced in Maine. These voluntary REC purchases complement the green power already provided pursuant to Maine's Renewable Portfolio Standard law. So far in 2008, 31 percent of Bowdoin's electricity comes from qualifying renewable sources, bringing Bowdoin's total to 100 percent green electricity. Bowdoin is focusing on switching to lower carbon fuels and increased energy efficiency, but plans to purchase RECs in the mean time.
Burlington College Joins Energy Efficiency Project
Burlington College (VT) recently joined an energy-efficiency project composed of the Association of Vermont Independent Colleges. The goals of the Burlington College part of the project are to retrofit existing older buildings on campus to significantly improve energy efficiency, and to carry out a site analysis and design of a new LEED-certified building. The college also plans to replace its four boilers with two Energy Star-rated boilers, three 50-gallon hot water tanks with a 200-gallon gas hot water tank, 104 fluorescent light fixtures with more energy-efficient models, and 70 of the 102 windows on campus buildings. The school said it will also carry out an architectural study on constructing a LEED-certified, climate-specific and site-specific building using energy-efficient construction materials. The study will explore incorporating passive solar and wind energy, as well as natural day-lighting.
U Utah Offers Organic, Fair Trade Coffee
The University of Utah recently began offering organic, fair trade coffee in the student union food court. Customers will have to pay 10 to 15 cents extra for the new coffee. The rest of the campus still offers non-organic, non-fair-trade coffee, but will consider making the switch after receiving student input.
U Buffalo Dining Begins Local Food Program
University at Buffalo (NY) Campus Dining and Shops recently began the new Local Food Program, which aims to bring more locally produced food products on campus. The new program will offer local produce, syrups, sauces, cheese, honey, meats, pasta and baked goods, and is a result of a partnership with Pride of New York.
CSU President Calls for Increased Sustainability Research
Colorado State University President Larry Edward Penley recently published an article in Inside Higher Ed that discusses the leadership role higher education institutions need to take in advancing sustainability research and solutions. He argues that research universities have an obligation and an opportunity to use their resources to educate green collar workers and create ground-breaking climate change solutions. Penley believes that universities should focus less on installing greener goods and creating climate change awareness, and focus more on preparing students for the up and coming green economy, advancing green research, and inputting new technologies into the free market. Once this research enters the marketplace, he says, it can create jobs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve health and living conditions worldwide, and stimulate the economy.
AASHE Staff Blog about the Smart & Sustainable Campuses Conf.
The 2008 Smart and Sustainable Campuses Conference was held last week at the University of Maryland. AASHE staff members were on hand to blog about the majority of the sessions. Topics include campus sustainability rating systems, why your campus needs an office of sustainability, channeling student power, vision planning for campus sustainability and more. The Chronicle of Higher Ed and the National Wildlife Federation also blogged about the conference.
Opportunity to Become an AASHE 2008 Supporting Institution
In an effort to encourage strong student participation at its 2008 conference, AASHE is inviting colleges and universities to become Supporting Institutions. Supporting Institutions offer to cover the cost of participation in the conference for at least one of their students, and provide $250 to support the conference. In exchange, they will be recognized in the conference website, printed program, signage and other publicity materials.
People, Ecology & Development Study Abroad Program, Thailand
The International Sustainable Development Studies Institute is now accepting applications for its Spring 2009 People, Ecology and Development study abroad program in Thailand. The program focuses on the links between culture, ecology and sustainability through the experiential study of specific communities and ecosystems. ISDSI Expedition Field Courses are upper division courses which require living cross-culturally and traveling in remote areas--villages, islands, rivers and mountains; while traveling by foot, sea kayak or canoe. Students earn a semester of academic credit while on the program. The Spring semester includes the intensive study of Thai, as well as studies of rivers, human rights and the environment; islands, reefs and mangrove ecosystems; and ethnic peoples and forests. The deadline for applications is October 10, 2008.
The Summer of Solutions Program for Students
Grand Aspirations is inviting youth across the nation to attend The Summer of Solutions, an experiential training and community organizing program run by college students who are pioneering systemic and transformative solutions to global warming. This summer, the program will apply the vision of a renewable energy society and a just and sustainable economy in ways that will give students the tools to generate concrete and sweeping changes in their communities nationwide. The Summer of Solutions will take place June 1 – August 1, 2008 in St. Paul, MN. Applications are due April 1, 15, and 29, 2008.
U British Columbia Building Received LEED Gold
The National Research Council Institute for Fuel Cell Innovation, located on the campus of the University of British Columbia, has been awarded LEED Gold certification. The building features a ground source heat pump to provide natural-source heating and cooling, a 5KW solid oxide fuel cell system powered by natural gas and a photovoltaic array to capture energy from sunlight. UBC officials anticipate a 34 percent energy usage savings, which amounts to an annual reduction of 184 tons of greenhouse gas emissions. The centre also promotes alternative transportation options through easy access to public transportation, bicycle storage stalls, and shower facilities. There is also a hydrogen refueling station and parking spaces for car or van-pools.
Oberlin College Announces New Financial Aid Initiative
Oberlin College (OH) recently announced the Oberlin Access Initiative, which promises to eliminate the annual loan requirements for those members of the incoming class of 2012 who are eligible to receive federally funded Pell Grants. In addition, the new policy will extend to all current, Pell-eligible students returning to Oberlin next fall.
U Maryland Plan to Develop Climate Action
The University of Maryland has released its schedule for developing a Climate Action Plan. The plan includes conducting a greenhouse gas inventory, identifying possible climate mitigation and education strategies, including stakeholder input, and selecting neutrality targets and timelines.
Johns Hopkins U Approves Funding for Green Initiatives
Johns Hopkins University (MD) recently approved the Sustainable Hopkins Infrastructure Program, a program created to provide a way for students, faculty, and staff to secure funding for green projects on campus. JHU plans to form a committee of campus members that will review project proposals based on compliance to certain criteria, which have yet to be finalized. Once a project is approved, it will be handed off to the Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration where funds will be allocated. SHIP is not a revolving loan fund, and the money does not come from a predetermined fund; instead, money will be taken from excess funds, which will be determined on a case by case basis.
Loyalist College Starts Recycling Program
Loyalist College (ON) recently launched a recycling program. As an incentive, on the opening day of the program, environmentally-friendly prizes were given to students who recycled or chose to do something green for the day.
Ohio State U Adopts New Recycled Paper Policy
Ohio State University recently adopted a new policy that increases the use of recycled content paper on campus. The new policy aims to ensure that copy paper used on campus contains at least 30 percent recycled materials. Officials say that the new initiative will help the university protect more than 8,000 trees and save enough energy to power 62 homes.
San Diego State U Students Vote for Green Fee
San Diego State University (CA) Students recently voted to increase the current mandatory Student Body Association Fee to fund, among other initiatives, new green program and facility upgrades. 64.6 percent of students voted for a $20 increase per semester. 8.66 percent of the total student body voted.
3 University Leaders Testify in Senate to Limit GHG Emissions
University of California at Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau, University of Minnesota at Morris Chancellor Jacqueline Johnson, and Yale University (CT) President Richard C. Levin recently testified at the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Hearing, "Examining Strategies to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions at U.S. Colleges and Universities." Each university leader discussed the important role of colleges and universities in battling climate change and the necessity for the federal gove
Colorado State U Hires VP for Energy & the Environment
Colorado State University Research Foundation has hired Ron Sega as the Vice President for Energy, Environment, and Applied Research. Sega will also serve as CSU President Larry Edward Penley's special advisor on energy and the environment and the chairman of the advisory committee on Sustainability and the Environment.
Arizona State U Implements Green Purchasing Policy
Arizona State University recently implemented a green purchasing policy which states that all companies that want to do business with ASU must pass a stringent test of their environmental practices. Vendors who wish to sell products to ASU first must fill out an 11-point “Green Profile Questionnaire,” which includes such questions as, “What policies are in place to monitor and manage your supply chain regarding environmental issues?”, “Does your company have a Green Transportation Plan?” and “Has your company ever been cited for non-compliance of an environmental or safety issue?” The policy also requires that all bidders, proposers and contracts use recycled paper and double-sided copying for all documents they create in doing business with ASU. Additionally, all packaging materials have to meet at least one, but preferably all, of the following criteria: made from recycled materials, be recyclable or reusable, be non-toxic or biodegradable. ASU also has committed to buying only wood materials that have Forest Stewardship Council certification, or are previously used products (or bamboo products such as bamboo mop handles); to re-use every scrap of stone and brick possible; and to buy carpet only from distributors who have an ASU-approved carpet recycling plan.