Sustainable Investment Challenge
The 2007-08 SustaInvest: Sustainable Investment Challenge is a virtual portfolio competition that calls for its student participants to jointly maximize profitability and sustainability in investment decisions. The competition is comprised of three categories: university student teams, undergraduate students, and graduate students and is open to all colleges and universities. Portfolio judging criteria rewards successful, sustainability-driven investments that promote a long-term, triple bottom line business strategy as a means of increasing investors' financial bottom line.
U Michigan Annual Environmental Report
The University of Michigan recently released its Annual Environmental Report, which lists the University's energy use, water use, emissions, waste production, mass transit systems, and total carbon footprint. The report finds that the institution's carbon output decreased by 40,000 pounds since 2004.
Johns Hopkins U Task Force on Climate Change Begins Work
The Johns Hopkins University (MD) President's Task Force on Climate Change recently held its first meeting. The group, which includes administrators, faculty, community leaders, and students, was formed to help guide the development of the university's new climate change policy. It is charged with developing a comprehensive strategic plan and creating an interdisciplinary working group of experts who will focus on innovative and novel approaches related to climate change.
Emerson Building Receives LEED Certification
Emerson College's (MA) new 14-story residence hall and campus center has received LEED certification. The building promotes density, is located on a redeveloped urban site, uses reduced-flow fixtures, provides maximum daylight to all of the living spaces, and was built with significant amounts of recycled and regionally-manufactured materials.
Michigan State U to Build On-Campus Recycling Facility
The Michigan State University Board of Trustees authorized building a new recycling facility on campus. The facility will triple the amount of materials currently being recycled by allowing the university to expand recycling collection in all buildings. The recycling facility will cost approximately $13.3 million and will pay for itself in 12 years. The Board also heard 26 recommendations to reduce MSU's ecological footprint presented by the Environmental Stewardship Systems Team, which is made up of faculty, staff, and students. The team recommended that MSU improve the way the campus monitors and tracks material waste, schedule classes more efficiently to reduce heating and energy costs in buildings, develop a "green" certification program for units and departments, and reduce energy use in all campus buildings by 9 percent through reducing heating, ventilation, and cooling system running time.
Chronicle of HE Calls for Guest Writers
The Chronicle of Higher Education is calling for guest writers for their new Buildings and Grounds blog. The Chronicle plans to feature one guest blogger per month, and asks that the blogger post at least one item per week about facilities, campus buildings, landscape, sustainability, energy, or anything relevant. Blogs must be 500 words or less.
Yale Reduces Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 17%
Yale University (CT) recently announced that it has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 17%, or 43,000 metric tons, since 2005. In 2005, Yale committed to cut its GHG emissions to 10% below the University's 1990 levels by 2020. Yale's strategy to shrink its carbon footprint calls for a mix of conservation measures, the use of renewable energy on campus, and direct participation in carbon offset projects. Yale has achieved its current reduction through projects and policies including the installation of more efficient heating and cooling systems in 90 buildings, new automatic controls for heating, cooling and lighting, the replacement of windows, new and modified power plant equipment, achieving LEED Silver or better certification for all new buildings and major renovations, the use of ground water for cooling, and a 10% yearly reduction in electricity consumption by students in Yale's undergraduate residential colleges.
Service Learning, Humanitarian, and Leadership Award Applications
The online application process for Campus Compact's Howard R. Swearer Student Humanitarian Award, Frank Newman Leadership Award and Thomas Ehrlich Faculty Award for Service Learning is now open. The awards aim to spotlight the work of students and faculty members who are dedicated to the principles of civic engagement. Winners will receive national recognition and a cash reward to support community work.
Call for Jane Goodall Youth Leadership Awards Nominations
The Jane Goodall Global Leadership Awards honor organizations and individuals who share Dr. Jane's values, vision and commitment to making a positive difference in the world for all living things. The awards are given in the categories of Youth Leadership, Excellence in Public Policy, Global Leadership, Corporate Social Responsibility and Responsible Activism in Media and Entertainment. The youth award recognizes an individual, age 14 to 24, who exhibit leadership and excellence through his or her work to help preserve our natural world, protect animals or benefit our human community. Nominations should be submitted by an adult who is closely acquainted with the nominee. Deadline is 5pm EST on February 15, 2008.
UC Boulder Online Course: Carbon Neutral University Planning
February 4-April 18, 2008
Dave Newport, the Director of the CU Environmental Center, will lead a web-based course on Carbon Neutral University Planning. The course will explore the concepts and methodologies involved in analyzing and planning for campus climate neutrality, and the opportunities and barriers to achieving climate neutrality. Participants will learn how to develop an analytical framework by which to evaluate emissions mitigation options, and draft a proposed strategic plan that would guide implementation of climate neutrality.
U Alabama Implements Recycling Program
The University of Alabama is planning to implement a recycling program across campus. The program, which comes after a successful pilot phase, will first be implemented in the residences halls, academic buildings, and administrative buildings. Once the program has enough support, the number of bins will be increased and the athletic buildings will receive bins as well.
U Penn Launches Car Share Program
The University of Pennsylvania is launching a car sharing program which will include 40 vehicles and a Penn Sustainability Fund for special environmental projects. Officials say that this is the largest university car sharing program in the North America. The program, supported by PhillyCarShare, will be available to the University's faculty, staff, and students, age 18 and above.
2008 Citizen Science Paper Competition
SustainUS is holding the 2008 Citizen Science Paper Competition. Participants are asked to submit a paper related to the discussion topics of the upcoming UN Commission on Sustainable Development. This year's discussion topics are: Africa, Agriculture, Desertification, Drought, Land, and Rural Development. The purpose of the competition is to make technical aspects of those topics relevant and understandable to the general public and influence sound public policy. Winners have their work published in the online journal Citizen Science, and are given the opportunity to present at the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development to be held May 5-16, 2008 in New York City. Papers will be accepted in three categories, based upon education and experience, with a winner chosen within each: 1) Middle and high school; 2) Undergraduate, including all two- and four-year institutions; and 3) Graduate, including all masters, professional and doctoral programs. All participants must be residents of the United States (this includes international youth studying at a US academic institution) and between 13-26 years of age. The application deadline has been extended to February 15, 2008.
U Penn Eliminates Student Loans
The University of Pennsylvania announced a new initiative that will replace student loans with grants for undergraduates, making it possible for students from a broad range of economic backgrounds to graduate debt-free. The new program will be phased in beginning September 2008, and will include all eligible undergraduates, not just entering freshmen. Students with family incomes under $100,000 will receive loan-free aid packages, while families above that level will receive a 10 percent reduction in need-based loans. By fall 2009, all undergraduate students eligible for financial aid will receive loan-free aid packages, regardless of family income level.
SUNY-ESF Hires Director of Renewable Energy Systems
The State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry hired Michael Kelleher as the Director of Renewable Energy Systems. In this new position, Kelleher will focus on finding and adopting technologies to help the College save energy and produce energy from sustainable and renewable sources. Kelleher also serves as co-director of the SUNY Center for Sustainable and Renewable Energy and is a member of the ESF Campus Climate Change Committee.
Dartmouth Announces New Financial Aid Program
Dartmouth College (NH) recently announced a new financial aid initiative that will begin in the fall of 2008. The program includes: free tuition for students who come from families with annual incomes below $75,000, replacing loans with scholarships, need-blind admission for international students, and scholarships of $2,950 to allow financial aid recipients to take advantage of research or internship opportunities in their junior year. The new initiative will cost an additional $10 million per year, which will be paid for through the reallocation of resources and the use of funds generated by an increase in the distribution from endowment.
Northampton CC to Use 100% Recycled Paper
Northampton Community College (PA) will switch to using 100% recycled paper. Although the per-carton cost will increase, the college plans to purchase the recycled paper in bulk to offset the costs. In addition to this effort, NCC has also set all campus printers to print double-sided and capped the amount of pages one computer can print within a given time frame.
Campus Sustainability Planning Network
The Society for College and University Planning has created a social networking website for people to connect and share knowledge about campus sustainability planning. The site will also serve to manage and promote campus-based Campus Sustainability Day events.
New Resource on Academic Programs in Urban Sustainability
AASHE has compiled a list of undergraduate and graduate programs that focus on urban sustainability. The resource also features a list of academic centers and research initiatives related to urban sustainability. The resource is only available to AASHE members.
NC State Begins 'Year of Energy' with Solar Array Dedication
North Carolina State University initiated its 'Year of Energy' with the dedication of a new 75.6 kW photovoltaic array that will serve as an educational project for students. The 'Year of Energy' is a program in which the University plans to focus on energy-related issues throughout 2008. The array, which is owned by Carolina Solar Energy, is believed to be the largest privately financed solar photovoltaic array in North Carolina. The power it generates is sold to Progress Energy. The dedication ceremony was followed with NCSU's inaugural Energy Fair, which served to show attendees how NCSU and its partners foresee solutions to energy issues.
Washington U in St. Louis Offers Hybrid-Only Car Share Program
Washington University in St. Louis (MO) recently introduced WeCar, a car sharing program that will exclusively utilize hybrid vehicles. Under the program, Enterprise Rent-A-Car will make 6 hybrid vehicles available to rent on an hourly basis by faculty, staff, and students over age 18.
Colby Replaces Student Loans with Grants
Colby College (ME) recently announced that, beginning in the fall of 2008, the school will replace all student loans with grants. The loan elimination program will apply to new and currently enrolled students and will take about $1.5 million per year to implement.
U Western Ontario Switches to Biodegradable Food Packaging
As a result of efforts by the University Students' Council, the University of Western Ontario is transitioning from Styrofoam to 100% biodegradable food containers, plates, and garbage bags. The products, which come at no extra cost to students, are made mostly from sugar cane and corn starch and will biodegrade in 60 to 90 days.
Bowdoin Converts Student Loans to Grants
Bowdoin College (ME) has announced that, starting in the 2008-09 academic year, it will replace loans with grants for all new and current students receiving financial aid. Bowdoin President Barry Mills assured that the program would not cause the college to abandon its commitment to educate lower-income students. The initiative is part of The Bowdoin Campaign, a five-year effort that seeks to raise $250 million for the college.
Call for EPA Environmental Justice Awards Nominations
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will recognize academic institutions that undertake environmental justice initiatives to make a positive impact in a community. The goals of the award include, but are not limited to promoting positive behavior on environmental justice issues by all stakeholder groups, documenting EJ models of success for other to emulate, encouraging achievement of environmental results in communities having EJ issues, and encouraging collaborative problem solving by all stakeholder organizations to address significant EJ concerns. Nominees will be evaluated based on innovation, community responsibility, community, equity, and public involvement, partnership and collaboration, environmental justice integration, and demonstrated results in effectiveness or sustainability. Nominations must be postmarked by February 11, 2008.
Oxfam America Student Leadership Program
Oxfam America, an international relief and development organization, is currently accepting applications for the CHANGE Initiative, their national student leadership program. CHANGE offers students entering their sophomore or junior year at US based colleges the opportunity to become effective social change agents. CHANGE Leaders are exposed to the international development issues that inform Oxfam's work, and apply their skills and insights to run Oxfam campaigns on their campuses and in their communities. Selected students are required to participate in a week-long training in Boston, July 19-25, 2008, which is organized and paid for by Oxfam. Students must also implement an Oxfam campaign on their campus and communicate regularly with Oxfam staff about the work they are undertaking during the 2008-2009 academic year. Applications are due April 1st, 2008.
Western Kentucky U Initiates Bike Share Program
Western Kentucky University has initiated Big Red's Bikes, a bike sharing program that was started by an on-campus student organization called GreenToppers. The program features bicycles that were refurbished through the donation of old bikes, chains, tires, tubes, and locks.
Call for Applications: Community Engagement Classification
The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has announced the call for applications for the 2008 Community Engagement Classification process. The program provides a way for institutions to describe commitments to their community with a public and nationally recognized classification. The documentation framework's purpose is to honor the diversity of institutions and their approaches to community engagement. The deadline for declaring intent to apply is March 1, 200
Higher Education in a Warming World
The National Wildlife Federation has released "Higher Education in a Warming World: The Business Case of Climate Leadership on Campus." The new publication highlights the business, educational, and moral arguments for reducing greenhouse gas emissions on campus, with best practices from US colleges and universities. The report includes case examples on implementing climate action solutions in the areas of energy efficiency, renewable energy, cogeneration, transportation, green buildings, renewable energy
Owens CC Offers Green Technology Program
Owens Community College (OH) Workforce and Community Services is offering a new Green Technology program. The program is designed to raise awareness of renewable energy technologies and provide students with enhanced knowledge about green living.
Laramie County CC Named Energy Innovator of the Year
Laramie County Community College (WY) has been named the Energy Innovator of the Year, an award presented by the Renewable Energy Coalition of Wyoming. The award is result of LCCC's leadership in the state regarding renewable energy. This leadership includes the installation of its own 100 foot wind turbine, energy-efficient construction practices, and the new Wind Technician Program.