Survey on College Sustainability Report Card
The Sustainable Endowments Institute has launched a web survey to gain feedback on its annual College Sustainability Report Card . The short survey seeks input on the Report Card's content and focus as well as suggestions for improvement. Participants are also invited to share stories about how they have used the Report Card or how they have seen it used. The survey is open to everyone.
U Minnesota Video on Campus Composting Efforts
The University of Minnesota Dining Services Green Team has posted a video on their recent effort to teach students how to compost in the dining halls on campus. The initiative produced more than 80 tons of compost during the fall semester. The video also explains how the composted material from the dining halls is mixed with animal waste in a manure facility, and is then returned to the UM fields as fertilizer. The video also tells about a recent initiative to hand out compact florescent light bulbs on campus.
Sustainability 101 in Trusteeship Magazine
Trusteeship Magazine, a publication of the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, recently published an article entitled, "Sustainability 101," by President David Shi of Furman University (SC). The article describes why higher education institutions should model sustainability and inspire students to embrace a more sustainable lifestyle. It also highlights how Furman is working to achieve this goal.
New APPA Books on Env. Sustainability & Green Practices
APPA, the association promoting leadership in educational facilities, recently published two books on environmental sustainability and green practices. "The Green Campus: Meeting the Challenge of Environmental Sustainability" is an anthology that explores the meaning of environmental sustainability, in global and local terms, while profiling exemplary campus environmental programs. The second edition of the "Environmental Compliance Assistance Guide for Colleges and Universities" updates the key environme
U British Columbia Students Market Energy Conservation
A University of British Columbia Sauder School of Business team of students recently won a competition to create a marketing plan using new technologies and other innovative practices to help universities and colleges reduce energy consumption. The group of students surveyed nearly 100 students and found that 70 percent of students are unaware that leaving an appliance such as an unused cell phone charger plugged into the wall consumes energy, and 60 percent of students were unaware of the benefits of energy-efficient compact florescent light bulbs. The team's marketing plan included developing an application that posts daily conservation tips on Facebook and on UBC’s Web Course Tools website, where students download assignments and other class content. They also recommended selling CFLs and other energy-efficient household items in booths in UBC’s Student Union Building, and hosting an energy conservation competition in the residence halls.
Duquesne University Purchases RECs
Duquesne University (PA) recently purchased 8,020,000 kW of Renewable Energy Credits. This purchase is equivalent to 100 percent of the University's purchased electricity.
U Miami Switches to Local Produce & Antibiotic-Free Pork
University of Miami's (FL) on-campus dining halls recently began purchasing locally-grown tomatoes, peppers, watermelons, oranges and antibiotic-free pork. The University has also switched to cage-free whole eggs, and is currently exploring its options to start composting within the next year. The changes are part of Green U, a program designed to minimize the university's environmental impact.
Princeton U Installs Water-saving Toilets in Dorms
Princeton University (NJ) recently installed water-saving toilets in two residence halls on campus. The new dual-flush toilets allow users to push the flush handle one way to use less water for liquid waste and another way to release more water for solid waste. Facilities Management installed water-saving shower heads as well.
MIT Buildings To Undergo Energy Conservation Improvements
Several Massachusetts Institute of Technology buildings will undergo a variety of basic energy conservation improvements in the next few months. Pilot projects include retrofitting light bulbs and fixtures, adding and adjusting motion sensors, monitoring buildings to gauge energy use, and automating fume hood controls. The projects have been made possible by $500,000 in seed funding from the Executive Vice President, the Department of Finance, and the Department of Facilities. Additionally, students in a recent Sloan School of Management course partnered with the Department of Facilities to identify an additional $14 million of potential investments with a three-year return. These include a major revamping of the heating system in one building to include heat recovery; continuous building commissioning that assesses and optimizes building energy systems in real time; and strategic maintenance to improve energy efficiency in existing ventilation systems.
Lock Haven U of PA Clearfield Breaks Ground on Green Building
The Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania, Clearfield campus recently held a groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of a new academic building. Plans for the building features design elements that permit high standards of energy efficiency and the use of local building materials. The University plans to use 50 to 75 percent recycled building materials and incorporate other components that are environmentally friendly. The University hopes to receive LEED Silver certification for the new building.
MIT Science Building Awarded LEED Silver
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Brain and Cognitive Sciences Complex recently received LEED Silver certification. The building features gray-water recycling for toilets, heat recovery on the exhaust air stream, and interior finishes that impose a minimal impact on indoor air quality.
Portland State U Greenhouses Awarded LEED Silver
The Portland State University (OR) Biology Research Greenhouses have received LEED Silver certification. Sustainability features include: on-site treatment of all runoff from the roof before it enters the city's stormwater system; flow-through planters populated with native plants that are watered with rainwater; a driveway that is made of permeable pavers; and a covered patio that is enclosed by bamboo fencing. Inside the greenhouses, the lumber used for cabinets and counters is Forest Stewardship Council certified. The certification is for Phase 1 of a two-phase project of ten modular interconnected greenhouses.
U New Hampshire Launches Sustainability Blog
The University of New Hampshire Office of Sustainability recently launched a new blog, entitled "Discover(ing) Sustainability." The goal of the blog is to share UNH's commitment to being a sustainable learning community while helping readers discover how sustainability connects us all. Currently authored by several University Office of Sustainability and communications staff at UNH, Discover(ing) Sustainability will seek voices from around the university, including students, researchers, and administrator
Purdue U Launches Student Aid Campaign
Purdue University (IN) recently announced that it is starting a $304 million fundraising campaign for student scholarships. The programs being funded include Purdue Promise, which will provide scholarships to students whose families make less than $40,000 per year; the Purdue Marquis Scholarship Program, which will provide for students whose families make $40,000 to $70,000 per year and qualify for little or no state and federal aid; Presidential and Trustee Scholarships, which will be awarded to the highest-achieving students in an effort to recruit and retain them at Purdue, and more. All programs are expected to start in fall 2009.
MIT Establishes Center to Reduce Cost of Solar Energy
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology recently announced its partnership with Fraunhofer, a German research organization, to establish a research center in Massachusetts focused on significantly reducing the cost of solar energy over the next five years. The MIT-Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems aims to develop progressive technologies and materials for designing and producing better solar modules. Located adjacent to the MIT campus, the center will be active in other areas of sustainable energy research as well, including developing new technologies to substantially reduce the energy consumption of new and retrofitted structures.
Eckerd College Switches to Reusable To-Go Containers
Eckerd College (FL) recently switched to using the EcoClamshell, a reusable to-go cafeteria container made out of a dishwasher-safe plastic material. Students can sign up for an EcoClamshell in the cafeteria during any meal. The student's account is charged five dollars, covering the student's four years at Eckerd, unless the container is lost or destroyed. The student checks out an EcoClamshell, fills it with food and exits the cafeteria. Upon returning to the cafeteria, the student checks the container back in and places it on the dishwasher conveyor, where it is sanitized and put out for reuse. The initiative is the result of a $32,000 grant from the Environmental Research and Education Foundation.
Arizona State U Offers 'Edible Campus' Internships
Arizona State University recently began offering a plant biology internship, "The Edible Campus," which charges interns with harvesting ASU's fruit and nut trees, maintaining their individual organic garden plots, and marketing the harvested products. The internship program, which meets regularly as a class, aims to connect students to their campus landscape and help students understand the reasoning behind composting and eating locally.
U California Merced Building Receives LEED Gold
The University of California, Merced Classroom and Office Building has received LEED Gold certification. The building, which is one of the primary classroom buildings, is the third on campus to receive LEED Gold certification.
Presidio School Partners to Advance Sustainability in the Curriculum
The Presidio School of Management (CA) recently formed a partnership with ClimateCHECK, a firm that provides greenhouse gas management services and solutions. The partnership, which integrates environmental, social, and financial sustainability in all Presidio courses, will enable ClimateCHECK to better train the next generation of environmental and business leaders on issues surrounding climate change and the management of greenhouse gas emissions. As part of the agreement, ClimateCHECK will provide learning opportunities to students through internships and Presidio’s project oriented learning program, which will offer students the chance to work with the company on climate change-related projects as part of their coursework.
Borough of Manhattan CC Increases Energy Efficiency
The Borough of Manhattan Community College of the City University of New York and the Green Buildings Collaborative of state agencies recently announced a joint effort to help increase green and energy efficiency measures at a BMCC’s building in Lower Manhattan. The effort includes a feasibility assessment for potential green and energy efficiency upgrades to the 450,000-square foot, eight-story building’s mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems as well as its facade. It also provides assistance in exploring potential alternative energy generation such as solar panel arrays and wind turbines.
Suffolk U Wins City of Boston Green Business Award
Suffolk University (MA) was recently selected as the recipient of the City of Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino Green Business Award. The award recognizes businesses located in the city of Boston that demonstrate extraordinary environmental practices in the areas of water conservation, wastewater management, solid waste reduction, alternative transit, energy conservation, on-site renewable energy production, and the purchase of renewable energy credits. Suffolk was named the winner of the category for Academic, Cultural, and Healthcare Institutions.
UT Arlington Volunteers Install Campus Green Roof
The University of Texas at Arlington recently installed a 1000 square feet experimental green roof with the help of volunteers. The project included the installation of the roofing systems, irrigation, plants and about 30,000 pounds of soil.
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.
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.
Georgia Tech Receives National Recycling Award
The Georgia Institute of Technology recently received the 2008 American Forest and Paper Association College and University Recycling Award. AF&PA chose to recognize Georgia Tech for their innovative and creative recycling program. Since the recycling program began at Georgia Tech in 1996, recycling has been successfully integrated into virtually all components of campus life. Last year, the school recovered more than 376 tons of paper products for recycling. AF&PA’s awards program recognizes outstanding school, business, and community recycling efforts.
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.
Facilities Manager Magazine: Sustainability & Environmental Stewardship
APPA's Facilities Manager Magazine dedicated their March/April 2008 issue to "Sustainability and Environmental Stewardship." The issue includes articles on AASHE's STARS: Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating System for Colleges and Universities, green building, climate change, and reducing your carbon footprint.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.