US Composting Council Annual Awards
The U.S. Composting Council 2018 annual awards are comprised of eight different award categories that honor either individual or organizational efforts to increase the composting market. U.S. Composting Council members can submit a nomination by Oct. 1.
U Maryland Receives $3M NSF Grant to Launch Graduate Program
The $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation will be used to establish a new graduate training and research program, Global STEWARDS (STEM Training at the Nexus of Energy, Water Reuse and Food Systems). The program seeks to enable UMD to recruit and train more than 60 doctoral students in the life sciences, earth system sciences, engineering and computational sciences, natural resource management, and energy and environmental policy.
U Illinois Urbana-Champaign Launches Student-Written Environmental Publication
The first published issue of Q Magazine features articles from students enrolled in the undergraduate certificate in Environmental Writing, a joint venture of the university's Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment, the School for Earth, Society, and Environment, and the English department. Students enrolled in the capstone course learn about the latest scientific research on the environment and how to communicate that research effectively to the public.
U Strathclyde Begins Equity & Diversity Program
(U.K.) STEM Equals is a new program for enhancing equality and diversity in science and engineering. Aided by a grant totaling $704,125 (538,568 British pounds), the program will introduce a nursery so that staff can attend key research meetings while on leave, and will establish public and private social media platforms for female and LGBT staff within the university.
Free AASHE 2018 Workshop: Financing & Legal Strategies for Renewable Energy Procurement by Colleges & Universities
This no cost pre-conference workshop outlines new opportunities for energy procurement by colleges and universities. It will include panels on The Ohio State University's innovative 50-year energy management partnership with ENGIE Services and on options for the purchase of renewable energy (including on-site and off-site generation). Elizabeth Kocs, director of Energy Institute at University of Illinois-Chicago, will give the keynote address. The workshop will take place on Monday, Oct. 1 from 2-5 p.m. at the Pittsburgh office of the law firm K&L Gates.
U Strathclyde Begins Employee Well-Being & Sustainability Program
(U.K.) Following a successful five-month pilot period, the employee well-being and sustainability program will be offered to all employees in October 2018. Employees can earn points for tracking activity in areas such as fitness, commuting and waste. Employees who receive the most points are able to win individual voucher prizes, while teams with the most points can award a charity donation.
Washington Post Covers Rise of Campus Gardens
Citing a 2015 university food gardens study co-authored by a Southern Illinois University professor of geography and director of environmental studies, the article highlights a burgeoning trend over the past decade in which college students across the country volunteer their time to get back to the land or to forge a connection to the land for the first time.
U Montana Secures $1.5M Grant to Purchase Three Electric Buses
The university can now order three new zero-emission battery electric buses thanks to a $1.5 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). The Associated Students of UM’s UDASH transit system was awarded the competitive grant through the FTA’s Low and No Emission Bus Program. ASUM expects to order buses this fall and receive them sometime in 2020. The new electric buses will allow Associated Students of UM to replace several diesel buses.
U Wisconsin Green Bay Offers Bike-Sharing
In partnership with Lime, the campus community now has access to shareable bikes. Riders pay $1 for 30 minutes of riding, with discounts available for students. When the ride is finished, the rider can park the bike anywhere public, as long as it is not in way of traffic or pedestrians, and lock it to end the ride.
Bucknell U Prepares 5-Acre Campus Garden
Preliminary construction and site preparation began this summer on a 5-acre campus garden that will provide a platform for academic collaborations, sustainable food production, student life and wellness, and community engagement.
Western Carolina U Hosts Air Quality Monitors
Clean Air Carolina, a North Carolina advocacy group, recently provided air quality monitors at two university locations for both research and providing real-time data to the public about weather fluctuations and particle pollution in the region. Students will be involved in data collection and measuring environmental hazards, with applications for course work, research projects and regional ecological assessment.
Break Free From Plastic Campus Pledge
Post-Landfill Action Network (PLAN) has released a pledge to guide campuses through the long-term elimination of single-use disposable plastics. The Break Free From Plastic campus pledge and toolkit address accessibility and inclusivity concerns and generate a framework for college campuses to develop long-term systemic solutions to issues around waste.
Times Higher Education to Develop International SDGs Ranking
A new global university ranking that aims to measure institutions’ success in meeting the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals is under development by Times Higher Education (THE). The first edition of the ranking will include metrics based on 11 SDGs and the long-term goal is to measure performance against all 17 goals. The ranking will be open to all accredited universities that teach undergraduates, and the first edition will be launched at THE’s Innovation and Impact Summit in South Korea in April 2019. Data collection will begin this autumn.
Sustainability Case Studies: Best Practices in Campus Life
This is a collection of short case studies highlighting a range of best practices that enhance environmental stewardship, improve cost and energy efficiencies, and provide for greater collaborations among students, faculty and staff at colleges and universities. Compiled by APPA, this book includes 123 best practices from 92 separate colleges, universities or schools.
U California Expands Systemwide Sustainability Goals
As part of its Carbon Neutrality Initiative, the university now aims to provide 100 percent of its electricity across its campuses and medical centers from clean sources by 2025. Additional goals include reducing energy-use intensity by 2 percent year over year and discontinuing on-site fossil fuel combustion for water and space heating in new buildings and major renovations after June 2019. Enhanced purchasing requirements supporting sustainable sourcing were adopted and each campus will reduce municipal solid waste 25 percent by 2025, and by 50 percent by 2030.
Free Online Green Office Course
Through a series of four 60-90 minute phone calls, the Green Office Course aims to help participants start or improve a green office program at a college or university. The learning goals of the course include pitching the green office model to students and staff, making the case for institutional sustainability, and designing an initial design for a green office. The English version of the course begins on Oct. 24. The deadline to apply is Oct. 16.
Campaign Calls on Food Contractors to Invest in Real Food
The Community Coalition for Real Meals recently launched a nationwide campaign urging the higher education divisions of Aramark, Compass Group and Sodexo to commit to serve 25 percent "Real Food" as defined by Real Food Challenge, reduce carbon emissions and industrial animal products, invest in racial justice and equity, and increase transparency and accountability. The coalition will publish report cards on the progress of each company. The coalition is a grassroots alliance of farmers, ranchers, fishers, food workers, students and environmental advocates.
Chronicle of Higher Ed Showcases Sustainable Campus Index
In early September, The Chronicle of Higher Education highlighted AASHE's 2018 Sustainable Campus Index, an impact report that spotlights top-performing colleges and universities in 17 distinct aspects of sustainability and overall by institution type. The Chronicle piece features the top 10 schools by overall score for doctoral, master's, baccalaureate and associate institutions, along with seven of 10 subcategories, which are sortable by score.
Teams From Two Universities Win Affordable Housing Design Competition
Teams from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte won first and third, while a team from California College of the Arts won second place in the 2018 Steel Design Student Competition, put on by the American Institute of Steel Construction and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture. The Affordable Housing category is socially oriented to challenge students to design affordable multi-family housing in an urban context.
U Washington Researchers Help Government Building Get Fitwel Certification
Two researchers in the university's Civil & Environmental Engineering department assisted the city of Bellevue with Fitwel certification of its city hall. Administered by the Center for Active Design, Fitwel encourages the adoption of 63 strategies that support healthy behavior by occupants. Out of a total possible 144 points, Bellevue City Hall earned 92 points, receiving a one-star rating.
U Illinois Urbana-Champaign Launches Green Laboratory Program
Launched in August 2018, the Certified Green Lab Program is for university labs that commit to sustainability through actions like reducing waste, conserving energy and abiding by the 12 Principles of Green Chemistry from the American Chemical Society. The lab program is managed by the university's Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment.
Washington & Oregon Higher Education Sustainability Conference Call for Proposals
The call for proposals is open for the Washington and Oregon Higher Education Sustainability Conference (WOHESC), happening Feb. 25-27, 2019 at the University of Washington. Examining systemic change and generating dialogue, WOHESC 2019 aims to continue its work advancing equity, diversity and inclusion through thematic elements, speakers and attendees. The submission deadline is Oct. 5.
2018 AASHE Sustainable Campus Index
The 2018 Sustainable Campus Index recognizes top-performing colleges and universities overall by institution type and in 17 sustainability impact areas as measured by the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS). The report also highlights innovative and high-impact initiatives from institutions that submitted STARS reports in the most recent calendar year.
U North Carolina Charlotte Adopts Air Quality Measures for Construction
The university, with assistance from Clean Air Carolina, recently changed its Design and Construction Manual to require contracted companies to reduce diesel fuel emissions while working on campus. These new standards, which apply to all future construction projects on campus, discourage prolonged idling of equipment on construction sites and require all equipment to use the lowest exhaust emissions possible.
2018 Campus Sustainability Month
Celebrate Campus Sustainability Month (CSM) this October by engaging and inspiring incoming students and other campus stakeholders to become sustainability leaders. The theme for this year’s CSM is Nonpartisan Engagement and the November Elections. Complementing Earth Day, CSM aims to provide campus sustainability advocates with a platform through which to deepen campus engagement around sustainability.
Three Days Left to Apply: Turning the Page on Campus Paper Use
Apply to be part of a new cohort of 10-12 institutions of higher education who will receive training and support to implement a behavior-based strategy to reduce paper use. This new cohort will focus specifically on campaigns to reduce the number of personal desktop printers, which AASHE and Root Solutions have identified as a high impact strategy for reducing costs and paper use. The deadline for applications is Sept. 7.
U Missouri Announces Ban on All Tobacco Use
The new policy prohibits all use of tobacco and electronic cigarettes on campus. The university applied for and won a grant from the American Cancer Society to help implement it.