Princeton Review Releases 2013 Guide to Green Schools
The Princeton Review, in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council, has released its annual guide to the greenest institutions in North America. The resource profiles 320 higher education institutions that demonstrate notable commitments to sustainability in their academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation. The free publication includes statistics and facts on each institution's use of renewable energy sources, recycling and conservation programs, availability of environmental studies programs and green jobs career guidance.
AASHE Guest Blog: Helpful Support Increases Impact
This latest guest blog features Susan Powers, director of sustainability for Clarkson University. She shares the university’s experience of participating in Focus the Nation’s Forums-to-Action framework and the support it provided to help develop students’ leadership skills.
AASHE Debuts Academic Programs Database
AASHE has transformed the various lists of academic programs related to sustainability into an interactive database. AASHE's Academic Program database currently contains 1335 sustainability-focused and related academic programs at 450 campuses in 62 states and provinces with the ability for new submissions and updates from website visitors. The database allows browsing by degree type and discipline along with advanced search features.
UC Berkeley Publishes Greek Energy Savings Competition Guide
The university's PowerSave Campus program and The Green Initiative Fund have published a guide to direct student groups through the process of creating and running energy-savings competitions within college or university Greek systems. The guide is based on Green Cup, a Greek energy-savings competition at the university.
Clean Air-Cool Planet, Sightlines Debut Campus Carbon Calculator
Clean Air-Cool Planet and Sightlines have launched Carbon Map, the new web-based Campus Carbon Calculator. The Carbon Management and Analysis Platform enables campuses to create a greenhouse gas baseline, benchmark performance, set goals and analyze progress.
New Issue of Sustainability: Journal of Record
The latest issue of Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.'s Sustainability: The Journal of Record features “Redefining Sustainability—or Practicing What We Preach,” an editorial by Fedele Bauccio; “The Living Landscape: Georgia Institute of Technology Transforms Its Campus into a Learning Laboratory of Sustainability” by Ted Mero; and “Building the Future: The Solar Decathlon as Education for Future Sustainability Leadership” by Maruja Torres-Antonini, among other articles.
AASHE Debuts Campus Sustainability Revolving Loan Funds Database
AASHE with support from the Sustainable Endowments Institute (SEI) has released a new Campus Sustainability Revolving Loan Funds database. The database reveals higher education as a leading sector for energy efficiency investments with revolving loan-funded energy efficiency improvements totaling over $117 million at nearly 80 institutions. The database provides detailed information about successful funds and allows for contributions from visitors. To learn more and contribute to this resource, visit the database.
AASHE 'Presidential Voices' Interview Series
AASHE has launched a "Presidential Voices" Interview Series featuring conversations with inspiring sustainability leaders who play unique roles as heads of their higher education institutions and offer valuable insights into the process of advancing sustainability. A recent interview with Wim Wiewel, President of Portland State University, is the second in the series, which kicked off with President James H. Mullen at Allegheny College. Please send suggestions of outstanding presidents and chancellors who should be interviewed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Platform for Sustainability Performance in Education
The Platform for Sustainability Performance in Education brings together AASHE alongside six additional international organizations which have created sustainability assessment tools designed to support universities and colleges around the world. The purpose of this platform is to promote sustainability assessment in education.
New Journal of Sustainability Education Issue
The Winter 2013 issue of the Journal of Sustainability Education, a peer-reviewed, open access interdisciplinary e-journal from the Institute for Sustainable Social Change, is themed "A Smorgasbord of Sustainability." Content includes “Higher Education: Features, Trends and Needs in Relation to Sustainability” and “The Greening of the Language Arts: Considering Sustainability Outside of the Science Classroom.”
Green Revolving Funds: A Guide to Implementation & Management
AASHE and the Sustainable Endowments Institute have released a joint publication that provides practical guidance for designing, implementing, and managing a green revolving fund (GRF) at a college, university, or other institution. The 27-page guide, supported by 14 organizations and 7 funders, also contains information on the Billion Dollar Green Challenge and related resources, and offers 10 steps to a successful GRF.
New Report: Building a Carbon-Free Portfolio
College-endowment managers who resist the growing call to divest their holdings in fossil-fuel companies may be doing so for little or no financial reason, according to a new report. An analysis released by the Aperio Group, an investment-management firm that offers its clients a “socially responsible index,” among other investment strategies, found that while divesting from fossil-fuel companies does not necessarily add value to a portfolio, it does not subtract value from it either, and it increases the risk to investors at such a modest level as to be negligible.
AASHE Blog: 'Presidential Voices' Interview Series
An interview with President James H. Mullen at Allegheny College marks the launch of AASHE's "Presidential Voices" Interview Series, featuring conversations with inspiring sustainability leaders who play unique roles and offer valuable insights as heads of their higher education institutions. Please send suggestions of outstanding presidents and chancellors you would like to see interviewed to email@example.com.
A Guide to Quality Education for Sustainability in Higher Ed
(U.K.): This resource is an attempt to make connections between education for sustainability and the practice of quality assurance and enhancement in the higher education curriculum. The University of Gloucestershire, working in collaboration with the UK Quality Assurance Agency and in partnership across a consortium with four other English higher education institutions, led the project.
Ecotech Institute Debuts Clean Jobs Index
(U.S.): The institute has made available a comprehensive database that provides information, via interactive maps, on clean jobs and various sustainability factors that affect them in the U.S., by state. Some of these factors include: renewable energy consumption, state incentives, LEED projects, air quality and alternative fueling stations.
New AASHE 2013 Blog: Greenest City in the Southeast
The first post in the new AASHE 2013 Blog explains why we chose Nashville as the host city for AASHE 2013: Resiliency & Adaptation. Befitting of this year's theme, Nashville is part of the U.S. Mayor’s Climate Protection Agreement, has a comprehensive strategy to ensure consistent access to an affordable, sustainable and nutritious food system, and features a new residential energy efficiency program that provides free in-home energy evaluations and other financial incentives to Nashville homeowners.
New Report: Knocking at the College Door
By the year 2020, minority students will account for 45 percent of the nation's public high-school graduates, up from 38 percent in 2009, according to new projections by the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education. The updated report includes national, regional, and state-by-state projections for graduates of public and private high schools through 2027-28, revealing the enrollment challenges colleges must adapt to.
AASHE Blog: Ways to Integrate Sustainability into the Curriculum
This article, reposted with permission from the Residence Earth blog by Clara Changxin Fang, Sustainability and Campus Planning Manager at Towson University, presents 10 ways that sustainability can be integrated into the curriculum to help build ecological awareness for students, staff, and faculty.
DOE Launches Web Tool to Explore Pathways to Clean Energy Economy
The U.S. Department of Energy has announced a new interactive online tool to help researchers, educators, and students explore future U.S. energy-use scenarios. The interactive Buildings, Industry, Transportation, and Electricity Scenarios (BITES) tool allows users to adjust inputs, such as electricity generation and transportation fuel use, to compare outcomes and impacts on carbon dioxide emissions and the U.S. energy mix.
EPEAT to Launch Standard for Printers, Copiers
The Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) has announced plans to launch a new standard that covers printers, copiers, fax machines, multifunction devices, digital duplicators, and mailing machines. Ratings will be available to purchasers this month.
AASHE Releases Winter STARS Quarterly Review
The winter 2012 edition of the STARS Quarterly Review series highlights evolutions in campus sustainability and changes that can be expected with the launch of STARS 2.0 in 2013. The fourth and final installment also spotlights Universidad de Monterrey (Mexico) as the first STARS International Pilot participant to submit a STARS report and earn a rating.
Sustainable Endowments Institute Releases Case Studies
The Sustainable Endowments Institute released the first of a series of white papers that investigates three aspects of green revolving fund (GRF) management and focus: student-led initiatives; food and dining projects; and capitalizing a GRF at an under-resourced institution. This first white paper explores a student leader's role in the formation and implementation of GRFs on three campuses: Saint John’s University (Minnesota), Whitman College (Washington) and the University of Montana at Missoula. The paper highlights successful strategies employed by students at these institutions, as well as their personal stories about the path to creating a GRF on their campus, the types of projects they focused on, and the GRF's ability to offer new leadership and educational opportunities for environmentally or finance-minded students.
New Report: Equity in Ed and the Future of the American Economy
The Alliance for Excellent Education has released a new report, ‘Inseparable Imperatives: Equity in Education and the Future of the American Economy.’ According to the report, the key to America’s future economic success relies on closing the educational gap between traditionally disadvantaged, minority students and thriving White students.
Northwest Earth Institute Sustainability Salon Discussion Tool
The Northwest Earth Institute (NWEI) has released its Fall 2012 Sustainability Salon Discussion Tool. The resource includes article excerpts from NWEI course books and accompanying discussion questions on a variety of sustainability topics. This short, informal resource is intended to engage students in discussion and critical thinking on complex sustainability topics, as a discussion starter amongst faculty or staff during sustainability-focused meetings, as a tool for curriculum trainings and workshops around how to integrate sustainability into the curriculum, and as a way to spark conversation and introduce key concepts of sustainability.
Updated NWF Campus Sustainability Database
The National Wildlife Federation has added 112 new case studies to its campus sustainability case study database, which now includes more than 800 studies from higher education campuses across the U.S. Highlighted efforts include reducing pollution, waste, and costs; energy efficiency improvements; renewable energy installations; and green jobs training programs. The database is searchable by topic, year and school, and includes information on project goals, successes, challenges, funding strategies and project leaders.
National Food Charter
(Canada): The National Food Charter was launched to unite the Canadian student food movement and is intended to help students engage stakeholders in discussions, collective actions, and the development of strategies for food systems’ change. Meal Exchange will provide resources and support to students who take the charter to campus.
AASHE Blog: A New Era for Green Procurement
“Sustainable procurement work has never been more exciting. New data, science and processes are coming together with years of on-the-ground experience to create a new paradigm,” writes AASHE’s Sam Hummel. In this article, Hummel discusses a new higher education pilot project that is laying the groundwork for a sustainable procurement leadership recognition program, modeled on the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED rating system.
‘Greening the Bottom Line 2012’ Report: Green Revolving Funds
A report by the Sustainable Endowments Institute shows strong growth of green revolving funds (GRFs) within the higher education sector. The 2012 report shows that 36 new GRFs have been created since 2010 with a median reported return on investment of 28 percent. Since 2010, GRFs have been launched in 31 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces.
New Report: ‘Our Common Ground: Campus Food Sustainability’
Real Food Real Jobs has released a new report, ‘Our Common Ground: Food Workers, Sustainable Food Advocates, and Institutions of Higher Education,’ which outlines the opportunities for college and university communities to create a model of campus food sustainability that will serve as an example for other large institutions across the country.
AASHE 2012 on Storify
This compilation of Tweets, Facebook posts and images provides an overview of the AASHE 2012 experience through the lens of attendees and AASHE staff.
New Issue of Sustainability: Journal of Record
The latest issue of Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.'s Sustainability: The Journal of Record features “Laura’s Lean Beef and Beyond: A Sustainable Ag Journey,” an editorial by Laura Freeman; “On the Record” with Jam Attari, general manager of AMSOLAR; and a program profile: “Sheridan College: Building Foundations for Sustainability through Creativity and Innovation,” among other articles.
AASHE Fall 2012 STARS Quarterly Review
“The Role of Institutional Diversity” explores how the diversity of STARS institutions has changed over time and how participation in STARS according to institution type compares to U.S. demographics. Findings in this review suggest that the institutional characteristics that make higher education institutions distinct also play a role in how campuses are advancing sustainability. With six institutions highlighted, this issue covers data from reports submitted through Sept. 1, 2012.
Renewable Choice Energy Debuts Free GHG Inventory Software
Renewable Choice Energy has unveiled the data import feature for its web-based Mosaic carbon accounting software. The program provides users with an automated carbon accounting process, complete with an interface and decision-making dashboard. The software supports campuses with effective, transparent, and ongoing management of energy and carbon emission data, allowing schools to integrate the information and activities required to easily analyze, optimize, and mitigate their energy consumption and carbon emissions across facilities
Student Guide: How Oil, Gas & Coal Money Influences U.S. Policy
National Wildlife Federation’s Campus Ecology Program has announced the release of a new report, “A Student’s Guide to How Corporate Oil, Gas and Coal Money Influences U.S. Energy Policy.” The guide is designed to help students understand the influence that the corporate fossil fuel industry has on U.S. energy policy and public decision-making.
Updated Version: ‘Choices for Sustainable Living’
(U.S.): The 2012 edition of this book provides updated information and resources on topics including ecological principles, food, community, consumption and the economy, along with a new session on transportation. Also new in this edition is the Iceberg, a systems thinking exercise that can be used to dive more deeply into the issues. In seven sessions, "Choices for Sustainable Living" helps participants explore the meaning and vision of sustainability from individual, societal and global perspectives.
New Book: ‘Occupy Education: Living and Learning Sustainability’
Motivated by the sustainability crisis and energized by the drive for social justice that inspired the Occupy Movement, this book by AASHE Advisory Council member Tina Evans draws on scholarship in critical theory, economics for sustainability and resilience, deep ecology and ecopsychology.
New Report: ‘How the Sports Industry is Saving the Environment’
Written by the Natural Resources Defense Council and published in partnership with the Green Sports Alliance, this report provides a collection of successful sports industry greening initiatives across North America. The case studies highlight what teams, venues and league jewel events are doing to protect the planet and educate fans.
AASHE Guest Blog: Submitting a STARS Report 2 Years in a Row
This latest AASHE guest blog features Dallase Scott and Lea Lupkin, sustainability program managers for GreenerU at Babson College. They share their experience of how completing a STARS report two years in a row has been an effective community building tool toward campus sustainability.
A Reader’s Guide to 'The Nature of College'
The guide for each chapter of "The Nature of College: How a New Understanding of Campus Life Can Change the World" includes a "Coming to Terms" section with concepts and ideas in the book, and a set of "Questions for Consideration" to help readers connect the book to their own lives, college culture and cultural patterns. A companion website includes The Ecologician’s Dictionary, related essays and discussions.
AASHE 2011 Annual Report
During 2011, AASHE launched a new website, expanded and enhanced its resources to include a campus solar PV database, created new publications including its first e-book, and expanded the STARS program to offer data displays. The hiring of an education manager expanded activities addressing education for sustainability and professional development opportunities. At the end of 2011, AASHE's 1,103 institutional members were advancing sustainability in all 50 U.S. states, seven Canadian provinces, and 18 other countries.
E-Book Version of AASHE '2011 Higher Ed Sustainability Review'
AASHE's "2011 Higher Education Sustainability Review" is now available from Amazon Kindle to members and non-members at $1.99. Looking through the lens of AASHE Bulletin stories in 2011, this review reveals an increased focus on higher education access, affordability and success; more green building efforts than ever; and growing campus community engagement with food security initiatives, among many other achievements. Contributors include Lumina Foundation's James Applegate, Sustainability Education and Economic Development (SEED) Center's Todd Cohen, Ball State University Council on the Environment's Robert J. Koester, and the University of Vermont's Mieko A. Ozeki. The review also takes a look at "what's next," profiling four innovative campus-community partnerships toward resilient, secure, sustainable communities - initiatives to keep an eye on in the coming years.
New Book: Higher Education for Sustainability
Edited by Lucas F. Johnston with contributions from many higher education sustainability leaders including a forward by AASHE Executive Director Paul Rowland, this book provides a glimpse at the ways colleges and universities have integrated sustainability across the curriculum. The research-based chapters provide empirical studies of both traditional and innovative degree programs, as well as case studies from institutions.
AASHE Guest Blog: 9 Rules for a Successful Green Revolving Fund
This new blog from Joe Indvik, a consultant for ICF International's Climate Change and Sustainability Division, presents nine rules for students to live by when designing and pitching a green revolving fund (GRF) on campus. In addition to his work for ICF International, Indvik's rules are informed by his experience co-leading a student team that successfully established a $1 million GRF at Dartmouth College.
The Sustainable University: Goals, Challenges for HE Leaders
Published by The Johns Hopkins University Press, this book includes 19 chapters authored by leading higher education sustainability experts. The book identifies four challenges to establishing sustainable policies and programs facing higher education chief executive officers and leadership teams. Editors/authors James Martin and James E. Samels also look at solutions to the challenges including: effectively institutionalizing sustainability thinking; developing an efficient, flexible system of sustainability benchmarks; implementing an accountable university budget model; and engaging boards of trustees in the campus sustainability agenda.
Beyond Rio+20: What It Means for Global Higher Education
Originally found on the Chronicle of Higher Education's WorldWise blog, this guest post by Pamela Chasek, professor of political science and director of the International Studies Program at Manhattan College in New York, argues that higher education plays a key role in building more sustainable societies and creating new paradigms. In addition to educating and training future decision makers, "we need to be more involved at the local, national and global levels," says Chasek.