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 .
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.
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
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.
Emory U Residence Hall Awarded LEED Silver
The Emory University (GA) Turman Residence Hall, which opened to freshman last August, recently received LEED Silver accreditation from the U.S. Green Building Council. Turman is the first in a series of halls that will comprise Emory’s freshman housing complex. The second phase of the complex, Freshman 2 and 3, is currently under construction and is aiming to achieve LEED Gold certification.
Notre Dame Computer Processors to Heat City Greenhouse
University of Notre Dame’s (IN) Center for Research Computing and the City of South Bend have announced plans to relocate a cluster of high performance computer servers to the city's desert plant greenhouse. The relocation of the servers will substantially lower the cooling expenditures associated with high performance computing on the University’s campus. In turn, the heat associated with the computer cluster now provides a heating infrastructure for the Greenhouses at a cost much lower than the city would pay for natural gas.
WV Colleges Work with Nonprofit to Promote Green Business
Eight West Virginia colleges and universities recently partnered with the nonprofit, Center for Economic Options, to research how West Virginia can promote environmentally sustainable business. As part of the initiative, Marshall University plans to offer the interdisciplinary course, "Technology and Innovation: Creating Green Business Ventures in Appalachia." Other participating colleges include, Glenville State College, Fairmont State University, University of Charleston, West Virginia University, WVU In
U New England Hires Sustainability Coordinator
The University of New England (ME) recently hired Alethea Cariddi as the new Sustainability Coordinator. Cariddi will develop and implement a comprehensive plan of sustainability initiatives on UNE’s Portland and Biddeford campuses. She will serve on UNE’s Environmental Council and advocate for organizational awareness of and participation in sustainability projects.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Williams College to Install Solar Array, Receives Rebate
Williams College (MA) recently received a Commonwealth Solar grant from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative. This award recognizes the commitment to renewable energy the College has demonstrated by incorporating solar power on campus. As part of their library renovation project, Williams College is constructing a library shelving facility and will include a 26.88 kilowatt photovoltaic system. The award, a $92,670 Commonwealth Solar rebate, will help the College defray the total costs of the project.
College of William & Mary Unveils Sustainability Policy
The College of William and Mary (VA) recently unveiled its Sustainability Policy. The policy calls for the creation of a sustainability committee and establishes goals in the areas of energy, land use, water use, waste management, transportation, purchasing, and education.
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.
Dickinson College Building to Feature Green Roof, Light Sensors
Dickinson College (PA) recently announced its plans to install a green roof, light occupancy sensors, and other green features into the new science building on campus. The green roof will feature flowers of Dickinson's school colors, red and white, and the lighting system will include sensors that dim lights when it is bright outside and shut off the lights when there is no one in the room.
Williams College Receives Student Env'l Leadership Skills Grant
Williams College (MA) recently received a $24,800 grant from the Henry David Thoreau Foundation for building environmental leadership skills among students. The College's Center for Environmental Studies and the Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives will implement the project, "Using the Study of Green Building Practices at Williams College to Educate Environmental Leaders for Tomorrow." The aim of the program is to develop knowledge of sustainable building practices and create opportunities for col
SUNY Ulster to Launch Energy Conservation Project
The State University of New York at Ulster recently announced that it will undergo a $2.6 million energy conservation upgrade. The upgrade is expected to reduce the college’s energy use by almost 1.3 million kWh per year. Upgrades include retrofitting older, less energy efficient equipment with state-of-the-art energy using equipment. The project will also address water conservation and a renewable energy system in the form of a solar water heating system. The cost of the project is expected to be funded through energy savings over a 15 year period.
CSU Chico Farm to Grow Organic Produce for Dining Halls
California State University, Chico recently announced the Organic Vegetable Project, an initiative in which a section of the University Farm will be growing organic fruits and vegetables for the Associated Students Dining Services. The program hopes to have enough produce left over for an on-campus market.
Augsburg Launches Bike Share Program
Augsburg College (MN) recently launched a new bike share program on campus. The program gives students, staff, and faculty the chance to check out a bike for personal use, free of charge. Augsburg faculty and staff donated some of the bikes for the program, but most came from a local bike shop.
U Penn Appoints Environmental Sustainability Coordinator
The University of Pennsylvania recently appointed Daniel Garofalo as the University's first Environmental Sustainability Coordinator. Garofalo will be responsible for developing Penn’s long-range sustainability strategy by addressing energy conservation, waste management, green buildings, transportation and planning.
1.2 MW Solar Project Completed at East Los Angeles College
The Los Angeles Community College District (CA) recently completed a 1.2 MW solar power project at East Los Angeles College. The $9 million project, which will provide almost half of the college’s daytime power needs, is part of the District’s Renewable Energy Plan, which aims to take all nine of its colleges "off the grid.". The solar panels are located atop a seven large-scale carports.
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.
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.
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.