National Wildlife Federation Campus Pollinator Pledge
The National Wildlife Federation is asking college and university students, faculty, and staff to take action on their campus to provide healthy habitat for pollinators. By taking the Campus Pollinator Pledge, campuses are committing to protect pollinators by providing healthy habitat through creation, restoration and protection efforts. Campuses that take the pledge are also committing to engage and educate their campus community.
U California Davis Releases Growth Plan Alongside an Environmental Impact Report
The university recently released an updated Long Range Development Plan and Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR), which assesses the potential environmental impacts of the proposed development plan along with new housing projects. The goal of the new development scheme is to plan for future growth in programs while targeting environmental goals in areas such as energy and water use, transportation, and waste management.
DePauw U Dining Hall Receives LEED Gold
The university's Hoover Dining Hall is a 48,600 square-foot facility that seats more than 600 people in the main dining room with an array of smaller dining rooms that provide additional seating options. Food Services implements zero waste initiatives, such as reusable carry-out boxes, trayless dining, composting and using leftover fruit peels to make infused water. The university also donates leftover food to those in need and gives a portion of its scraps to local farmers for livestock feed.
Eastern Kentucky U Introduces Dockless Bike-Share System
Designed to help students get around the Richmond campus, the university recently contracted with LimeBike to introduce 100 brightly painted green and yellow bicycles at no cost to the university, with plans to increase the fleet to 250 in the upcoming weeks.
31 Colleges & Universities Begin Higher Education Anchor Mission Initiative
The Higher Education Anchor Mission Initiative is a joint project of the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities and The Democracy Collaborative aimed at developing and sharing new strategies for deploying higher education’s intellectual and place-based resources to enhance the economic and social well-being of the communities they serve. The Higher Education Anchor Mission Initiative builds on and expands the work of The Democracy Collaborative’s Anchor Dashboard Learning Cohort, in which six urban universities—SUNY Buffalo State, Cleveland State University, Drexel University, Rutgers University-Newark, University of Missouri-St. Louis, and Virginia Commonwealth University—collaborated in a multi-year process to pilot effective metrics for tracking anchor mission impact.
Call for Contributions: Competencies in Education for Sustainable Development
This special issue of Sustainability will focus on education for sustainable development (ESD) competencies. Suggested topics include the integration of ESD competencies in policies, strategies and programs, innovative pedagogical approaches to ESD competencies, processes and tools to assess ESD competencies, and professional development in ESD. The deadline for manuscript submission is Nov. 30.
Cornell U Promotes Climate Literacy for Staff
Members of the university's Employee Assembly voted earlier this month to support staff involvement and participation in campus climate change literacy policy and programs, in an effort to ensure the success of the Climate Action Plan. Highlighting the scientific consensus of global climate change, the resolution notes the impact of climate change on employee happiness and well-being. Climate change literacy was defined in the resolution as an understanding of an individual’s influence on climate and climate’s influence on individuals.
California State U System Creates Healthy Food Working Group
In an effort to offer healthier food options on campus for students, the California State Universities' Food Systems Working Group convened had its inaugural meeting in March. The meeting was attended by students, professors, technical experts, dining management staff, food producers and administrators from all 23 campuses and their respective communities. Their goal is to get more real food, defined as local- and community-based, fair trade, ecologically sound and humane, on CSU campuses.
Western U Receives $11.6M Grant for Energy Upgrades
The grant will go toward a retrofit to modify heating systems from steam to hot water in an effort to increase efficiency and reduce the use of natural gas. The change is expected to result in a 12 percent reduction in emissions from 2016 levels and an estimated cost savings of $1.5 million annually. The funding is from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Program of the Ontario Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development.
Arizona State U Hosts 'Day Without Cars' Event
As part of a coordinated effort to further sustainable transportation efforts, nearly 400 university students and staff members signed a pledge to take an alternate, non-single occupancy vehicle mode of transit to campus on March 27.
Ball State U Students Create SGA Green Council
The Student Government Association voted recently to add a green council to its senate. This council will bring together environmentally-focused student organizations to collaborate on improving campus sustainability.
Call for Applications: Future Organic Farmer Education Grant
The California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) Foundation is now accepting applications for educational grant funding from students currently enrolled in the U.S. who are pursuing a career in organic agricultural production. Applications must be submitted by May 15.
Stetson U to Launch Minor in Sustainable Food Systems
Courses in the new minor will be taught by professors of public health, chemistry and other environmental sciences, as well as media and communication. The new minor can be paired with any undergraduate degree, and requires five courses and 20 credit hours. The new program is expected to launch fall 2018.
Stetson U Students Compile ESG Stock Index
Five university seniors in the Roland George Investments Program (RGIP) created a new index focused on environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors. In total, $300,000 was approved from the RGIP Growth Fund for investment in four of the six stocks comprising the index.
U Richmond Receives $75K Grant for Energy Management Plan
A $75,000 grant from the Jessie Ball duPont Fund will support the development of a comprehensive energy conservation management plan, including an energy audit to document energy usage and identify measures to increase efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
U Dayton Hires Executive Director of Sustainability Institute
Ben McCall was selected to be the first executive director of the University of Dayton's Hanley Sustainability Institute. Currently a professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, McCall helped develop a project to verify carbon credits from campus emission reductions, raising nearly $1.5 million for campus sustainability efforts. He also coordinated design of and fundraising for a biomass boiler system; advocated for the first wind energy power purchase agreement for the campus; and facilitated the initiation of a student-led program to convert used cooking oil from dining halls into biodiesel. His appointment begins in mid-August.
Still Hungry and Homeless in College: Results From an Annual National Basic Needs Insecurity in Higher Education Survey
A new report out of the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Wisconsin HOPE Lab summarizes survey results from a survey of 43,000 students at 66 institutions in 20 states and the District of Columbia. The report finds that 36 percent of university students and 42 percent of community college students were food insecure in the last 30 days. In the past year, 36 percent of university students and 46 percent of community college students were housing insecure, and 9 percent of university students and 12 percent of community college students were homeless. It also shows that basic needs insecurities disproportionately affect marginalized students. The report provides recommendations for what students, campuses and policymakers can do to ensure basic needs insecurities are addressed.
Cornell U Students Redesign Regional Bus Signage for Accessibility, Clarity
Students of the Cornell University Sustainability Design (CUSD) collaborated with the county-wide campus and regional bus system to redesign over 560 signs to incorporate responsive mobile phone text messaging to help riders understand routes and delays. The new signs are also compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Campus Sustainability Leadership Professional Certificate
The University of Vermont's Continuing and Distance Education program is offering a five-day on-campus Campus Sustainability Leadership course from June 18-22 focusing on change through transformative and financially sustainable initiatives to help campuses become sustainability models. Participants will have the opportunity to expand their professional network and learn from leaders in the field.
Northwestern U Earns Energy Star Partner of the Year Award
The award recognizes Northwestern’s achievements in energy efficiency, including its efforts to accurately track energy usage data and measure progress in reducing consumption. Northwestern recently completed a comprehensive energy audit of all 222 campus buildings in Evanston and Chicago, representing more than 14.5 million square feet of space. Northwestern is the first university in more than a decade to receive the award and the fourth university ever to be recognized. Previous higher education winners include the University of Michigan (2004), University of Virginia (2001) and University of Missouri-Columbia (1997).
March for Science
The March for Science, happening April 14, will bring people together who wish to hold U.S. political leaders accountable for passing equitable, evidence-based policies that serve all people and all communities.
Call for Earth Day Photos
To celebrate Earth Day, AASHE invites campuses to submit photographs from Earth Day activities and celebrations to the Campus Sustainability Hub. Use "Earth Day" as a tag.
AASHE Workshop: Sustainability Professionals Retreat
This retreat is designed to advance attendees’ vision, energy, capabilities and support system as a sustainability change agent on campus. This year’s focus is on flow, systems thinking, building your skills and strengthening relationships and community. In addition, attendees will explore important trends in the higher education and how to position sustainability as a solution driver. The deadline to apply is May 1.
Acadia U to Eliminate Plastic Straws
At the request of students, Chartwells, Acadia’s food service provider, committed to eliminating plastic straws from retail and dining hall operations. ASU food and bar services have also reduced straws in operations as part of a campaign led by several students in Environmental and Sustainability Studies.