New Report Highlights Opportunities for Improvement in Support for Low-Income Students
A newly released report from the Institute of Higher Education Policy highlights selective colleges that do a good job enrolling and graduating low-income students and identifies institutions that could better support such students. The report also outlines ways institutions can improve access and attainment for underserved students, particularly Pell Grant recipients, who come from low-income backgrounds.
Canadian Alliance of College & University Sustainability Professionals Listserv
The Canadian Alliance of College & University Sustainability Professionals (CUSP) works to strengthen sustainability in higher education across Canada. The CUSP mailing list includes subscribers from higher institutions who are interested in sharing ideas that advance sustainability in the areas of teaching and research, education and outreach, and facilities and operations.
Student Travel Grants for Urban Food Systems Symposium
The Urban Food Systems Symposium happening June 22-25 at Kansas State University Olathe campus is offering at least six travel grants of $500 each to graduate and undergraduate students attending the conference. Students must have successfully submitted an abstract prior to applying for the grant. Deadline to submit an application for a travel grant is Nov. 24.
New Website: 'Going Green Begins in the Classroom'
This new website from tobecomeateacher.org provides an introduction on the importance of incorporating sustainability into schools and lists 15 strategies for doing so that include installing renewable energy, starting a recycling and/or composting program, focusing on indoor air quality, using natural cleaners, organizing carpools, and teaching the value of water conservation.
Transformative Dialogues Journal: Sustainability Education and Leadership
The new issue of Transformative Dialogues (Volume 8, Issue 2, September, 2015) is themed Sustainability in Post-secondary Education and Leadership. This international, peer-reviewed, open-source journal is a free resource. This issue's titles include: Sustainability in higher education teaches balance, critical thinking and transferable skllls; Sustainability education: three activities you can use or adapt to help educators; Teaching about consumption and sustainability; Beyond sustainability: A context for transformative curriculum development; and Sustainability-across-the-curriculum audit at George Brown College.
The State of Sustainability in Tertiary Education
A report on sustainability in tertiary education has recently been released by Environmental Association of Universities and College (EAUC), National Union of Students, University and College Union, and the College Development Network. The report is based on survey responses from 548 staff involved in sustainability in universities and colleges. The survey set out to identify how further and higher education institutions are responding to environmental sustainability and social responsibility challenges, as well as how staff perceive their institution’s efforts. The intention is to rerun the survey annually, producing an annual report that tracks perceptions and trends across tertiary education.
2015 Sustainable Campus Index
The 2015 Sustainable Campus Index highlights top-performing colleges and universities in 17 areas, as measured by the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS). The impact report spotlights best practices from over 50 U.S., Canadian and Mexican institutions that have submitted a STARS report in the last 12 months. Average trends in each impact area based on institution type and country are included. Participation in STARS surpassed 700 institutions in 2015, and annual reports submitted increased for a second year in a row. In January 2015, Universidad de Monterrey became the first institution outside the U.S. and Canada to earn a STARS rating. Submissions from Canadian institutions doubled in comparison to last year.
Survey of 25 Energy-Efficient Colleges and Universities
Electricchoice.com, owned by Eisenbach Consulting, LLC, recognized 25 colleges and universities, out of approximately 5,300 in the U.S., that engage in energy-efficient practices to conserve energy and lessen their environmental impact.
Inventorying Plug Load Equipment and Assessing Plug Load Reduction Solutions on a University Campus
A university campus presents a unique opportunity to understand plug load profiles across building types. In this study, an equipment inventory was performed in 220 buildings on Stanford University’s campus, totaling 8,901,911-square-feet of building space and encompassing lab buildings, office buildings, recreation facilities, public space and service buildings. Energy consumption estimates were developed from published values and used to evaluate the aggregate plug load energy consumption of this equipment by equipment type and by building type.
Free Project Tracking Tool for APPA Members
The Sustainable Endowments Institute is launching a new partnership with APPA that gives APPA members free access to the Green Revolving Investment Tracking System (GRITS). GRITS is a project-management web tool that allows users to track and analyze the energy, financial and carbon savings data from their energy and resource-efficiency projects, and access a library of over 1,150 projects completed by other GRITS users across the U.S. and Canada. While core features are available at no cost to institutions as part of this partnership, access to GRITS Unlimited, which allows users to input unlimited projects, create additional user accounts, and includes the ability to create comprehensive graphs from project data, will be available at a substantial discount if an institution decides to upgrade.
LEED Certification of Campus Buildings: A Cost-Benefit Approach
Written by Erin Hopkins and published in The Journal of Sustainable Real Estate, this article analyzes Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified buildings within the higher education sector. Findings focused on the upfront premium and down the line energy savings from 16 institutions. The net present value, internal rate of return and discounted payback period were calculated to determine the financial feasibility of LEED certification.
13th Annual Corporate Knights Better World MBA Ranking
The 2015 Corporate Knights Better World MBA Ranking includes the 100 schools from the 2015 Financial Times Global MBA Ranking and other business schools that were invited to participate due to their track record in business sustainability education. These schools were assessed on three indicators: curriculum, institutes and centers, and faculty research. Data for these three indicators was collected from publicly available sources. Outreach was conducted to each of those schools for verification and confirmation prior to completion of the ranking.
New Issue: Sustainable Business Magazine
The most recent issue of Sustainable Business Magazine, with an introduction from AASHE Executive Director Meghan Fay Zahniser, features the University of Ottawa discussing a new zero-waste dining hall, and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte highlights its sustainable building efforts.
'The Campus Wild' National Wildlife Federation Report
The new guide highlights how colleges and universities are playing a dynamic role protecting wildlife and restoring habitats in campus green spaces, including on-campus landscapes and natural areas, as well as distant campus-owned lands. It explores how such green places benefit the campus community through hands-on learning, energy and water conservation, and leadership opportunities.
College Value Online: Sustainable College-Operated Farms
College Value Online website sorted 30 college and university farm operations by student involvement, environmentally friendly methods, diversity of production, connection with college instruction, and farm sales targeting both the college and surrounding community.
New White Paper: Internal Carbon Charges for Colleges
Vassar College Sustainability and the Undergraduate Research Institute, with support from the Environmental Defense Fund's Climate Corps program, has released a white paper investigating the potential role of internal carbon charges in further campus climate action efforts.
AASHE Member Discount: Smart Power Strips
AASHE members can buy a 10 case of seven-outlet smart strips for $20.37 instead of the regular retail of $29.95. This includes the freight to your location. Discount offer expires Oct. 22.
Engaging Across Boundaries Webinar Series
Colleges and universities are increasingly being called upon to deepen their engagement, both internally and externally, to address economic, social and environmental challenges. This type of engagement includes partnering with external stakeholders, local communities, community agencies, local, national and international government bodies, nonprofit organizations and networks. The Engaging Across Boundaries webinar series provided by AASHE invites campus communities to brainstorm, discuss and share resources, skills, solutions and tools for a meaningful engagement of all campus constituents. The next webinar, listed below in the events section, is The Power of Civic Engagement in Sustainability on Sept. 29 from 3-4:30 p.m. Eastern.
Webinar Archive: Green Gigawatt Partnership: Ramping Up Renewables in Higher Education
Fall 2015, AASHE will be helping to launch a new initiative called the Green Gigawatt Partnership. The GGP seeks to catalyze one gigawatt of green power development by 2020 by recognizing colleges and universities who have signed long term contracts to purchase green power and helping more campuses do the same. The archived webinar discusses more about the partnership and how colleges and universities are using long-term power purchase agreements for green power to make major strides in cutting carbon, while also controlling energy costs and managing future energy price risk.
The Campus Wild: New Guide from National Wildlife Federation
National Wildlife Federation's Campus Ecology Program is pleased to share the release of the newest resource guide titled, The Campus Wild: How College and University Green Landscapes Provide Havens for Wildlife and “Lands-On” Experiences for Students. This richly detailed guide highlights how colleges and universities are playing a dynamic role in protecting wildlife and restoring habitats in campus green spaces, including on-campus landscapes and natural areas, and distant campus-owned lands. It explores how such green places dedicated to "The Wild" can also benefit students, faculty and staff with leadership opportunities, hands-on learning, energy savings, water conservation and much more. The Campus Wild features efforts from 85 higher education institutions, representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Journal of Education for Sustainable Development
The most recent issue includes event happenings, research, reviews and resources all related to education for sustainable development (ESD), including research about incorporating ESD into university curriculum, and what ESD is supposed to achieve. Resources include a report on skills for future leaders by International Sustainable Campus Network.
From Net Zero Energy to Net Zero Water
Net Zero Water (NZW) is a concept that aims to change the way water resources are managed. It focuses on making water resource planning decisions based on local conditions rather than targeting historical demand and allowing water quality impacts to flow downstream. The NZW Toolkit is a free user-friendly Microsoft Excel-based analysis tool and guidebook that helps users identify their water quality impact and evaluate opportunities to reduce water consumption.
Sustainability: The Journal of Record
The August 2015 edition of Sustainability: The Journal of Record includes an interview with Green Seal's board of director's chair, Joanne Fox-Przeworski, a review of non-major sustainability programs in North America, and a case study about lessons learned from a reciprocal agricultural sustainability degree program in Indonesia and Japan.
Food Day 2015 Guide for Campus Organizers
Food Day aspires to celebrate our food system when it works and fix it when its broken. The Food Day 2015 guide for campus organizers provides advice and steps for creating campus events that focus on a just, healthy and sustainable food system. The guide discusses why college campuses have a unique role in food issues, provides sample events and a planning guide, and talking points.
Undergraduate Understanding of Climate Change from The Journal of Environmental Education
A survey administered to U.S. undergraduate students covering the scientific and social aspects of climate change finds that students frequently confuse climate change with other environmental issues, and that a substantial majority of students do not have an understanding of climate change that closely matches the scientific model. Environmental group membership is shown to be a greater determinant of climate change knowledge than enrollment in a science major.
Second Nature 2014 Annual Report
The new interactive, web-based and fully digital report offers an overview of Second Nature's achievements and changes during the 2014 year, as well as a glimpse of things to come.
ISCN 2015 Conference Presentations
Conference presentations from the International Sustainable Campus Network 2015 conference, themed Expanding the Dialogue: Sustainability in a Connected World, held in Hong Kong are now available, including the pre-conference session. Topics include challenges and approaches of campus sustainability, dialogue between universities and cities, regional perspectives, and corporate and university engagement.
Benchmarking of Campus Sustainability Newsletters
Rice University published results from analyzing the design and content of over 30 campus sustainability newsletters, narrowing the list down to 10. Those 10 newsletters were benchmarked based on the frequency, reach, target audience, content, means of distribution, preparation time and measure of performance of sustainability office newsletters.
Second Nature Free Climate Action Planning Software Pilot Program
Second Nature has partnered with Confluenc, Inc. to offer the opportunity to pilot Fovea: CAP. Fovea: CAP is a tool for modeling, planning and visualizing energy and carbon management strategies resulting in an acceleration to solutions. Confluenc is now enrolling 15 institutions in this pilot program. The pilot program will provide an introduction to CAP Basic and 90-day access to the platform. Pilot participation is offered on a first come, first served basis.
Presentations from NECSC Conference: Strengthening Ties for Collective Impact
Some presentations from the Northeast Campus Sustainability Consortium's (NECSC) campus sustainability 2015 conference at University of Massachusetts Amherst are now available. Presentation topics range from procuring renewable energy to collaborating with the marketing office to food processing to finding green jobs.
New Paper: Reframing the Game: The Transition to a New Sustainable Economy
This free, special issue of Building Sustainable Legacies brings together key voices in business and academia to expound on the role that business in society, responsible education, leadership techniques, and legal reform will have in shaping the new sustainable economy, featuring authors from University of Technology, Sydney; University of Oslo; University of Exeter, U.K.; and Pinchot University.
Marine Debris & Plastic Source Reduction Toolkit for Colleges & Universities
Recently released by Product Stewardship Institute after being piloted at three University of California campuses, the toolkit was designed to be replicable and easily implemented by other colleges and universities around the country. Its goal is to take four specific steps to reduce the amount of plastic waste through source reduction. The four steps are determining the plastic footprint, creating a reduction plan, changing procurement practices, and establishing a source reduction policy.
New Research Paper: Environmental Sustainability in Higher Education
Published in the Environmental Education Research journal, this paper presents one part of a larger study that sought the views of approximately 6 percent of the entire university teaching workforce of Australia. The findings suggest that academics are supportive of education for sustainability (EfS) for all university students. Support, perceived relevance and reported difficulties with EfS are discipline specific; academics would respond positively to EfS framed within their disciplinary world views.
Inside Higher Ed Booklet on Diversity in the Student Body
Inside Higher Ed recently released Diversity in the Student Body, a print-on-demand booklet. Articles focus on demographic and legal issues and the strategies used by different institutions. This print-on-demand booklet is free to download.
Customized Course Books Through Northwest Earth Institute
Northwest Earth Institute now offers customized NWEI course books drawing on existing curriculum. Faculty can pick and choose from different NWEI course book sessions and will assemble a custom course reader for classes. Longer course books spanning broader topic areas is also feasible.
NWEI New Course Book Change Is Our Choice: Creating Climate Solutions
Change Is Our Choice: Creating Climate Solutions is a brand new five-session course book on climate disruption and how to increase resilience and mitigate the impacts of climate change. Presented in an interactive ebook, this new course book integrates video, audio and printed content with action planning ideas. Sessions address the climate of denial, tackling climate disruption from a systems perspective, the local-global movement, and examples of positive changes underway.
2015 Green Transitions Scoreboard Report: Breakdowns Driving Breakthroughs
The new report tracks renewable energy, energy efficiency, green construction, life systems and corporate green research and development, representing broad areas of investment in green technologies. Each sector covers an area of substantial capital investment in technologies that are contributing to the growing green economy.
Impact of Environmental Policy Consistency on Other Sustainable Behaviors
The working paper from the University College London published by Language, Action and Brain Lab evaluates the likelihood of students and staff to engage in pro-environmental behaviors in relation to the school's consistency with its environmental policy statement. These results imply that perceived inconsistencies between environmental policy and actions could be leading university staff and students to engage in fewer pro-environmental behaviors. Interpretation of interactions further suggest that when individual attitudes are not strong, university community members, especially students, reference the university's inconsistency and decide to perform fewer pro-environmental behaviors than they might otherwise. Given increasing global awareness of environmental problems, this interpretation leads to the suggestion that the university should either consider adding caveats to its environmental policy statement or bring its actions in line with that policy (e.g. divest from fossil fuels).
Tradepal App: Increase Student Engagement on Campus
The Tradepal App now allows sustainability coordinators to list all volunteer opportunities, zero-waste challenges, fundraising initiatives in the Events/Activities category in less than 30 seconds and connect directly with students on their smartphones.
AASHE Research in Sustainability Webinar Series
Our urgent sustainability challenges require integrated, cross-disciplinary thinking. By researching sustainability issues and refining theories and concepts, higher education institutions can lead the transition to a sustainable future and continue help the world understand sustainability challenges while developing new technologies, strategies and approaches to address those challenges. Through the Research in Sustainability Webinar Series, AASHE invites you to explore the current models of research in sustainability, the future of engaged sustainability education, and how to institutionalize research in sustainability.