Wilfrid Laurier U Receives Recognition for Sustainable Energy Management
The Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change recently honored the university with its Minister's Award for Environmental Excellence for putting in place a series of innovative energy conservation measures to reduce energy consumption while improving efficiencies and functionality of space. To date, the initial phase of the Laurier Energy Efficiency Program (LEEP) has reduced the university’s current energy consumption by approximately 40 percent. LEEP is a multi-campus energy management program designed to reduce the consumption of all utilities across the Laurier’s campuses.
U Idaho College of Education Receives LEED GOLD
For the second time in less than a month, a University of Idaho building has received LEED Gold certification honors for its design and construction, this time for an innovative building renovation. The College of Education building, located on the Moscow campus, was built in 1969 and recently underwent a two-year, $17 million remodel that earned the building the sustainability certification. UI’s Integrated Research and Innovation Center (IRIC) also has earned LEED Gold honors. Features include glass walls throughout to allow for brightly lit space across all five floors; team rooms and classrooms with comfortable, moveable furniture conducive to implementing key principles in active learning; modern, interactive teaching audio-visual technology, which is the most advanced on campus.
East Carolina U Receives Tree Campus USA Designation
The university has officially earned the Tree Campus USA designation by the National Arbor Day Foundation for the first time in university history. University staff worked over the past year to meet Tree Campus USA standards, which include having a Campus Tree Advisory Committee and a tree care plan.
Delaware Technical CC Completes 1.3MW Solar Installation
The college has completed the installation of a 449-kilowatt carport and a 296-kilowatt (kW) rooftop array on its Terry Campus and two rooftop arrays totaling 585 kW on the Owens Campus. The four arrays, along with 806 kW of previously installed solar systems, provide approximately 12 percent of the annual energy needs of four of the college’s campuses.
U Rhode Island Launches Certificate in Energy Economics and Policy
Launched earlier this year, the university’s newest certificate program provides students with skills for the green energy sector by providing training in energy economics, management and policy. The program is open to full and part-time undergraduates and can be pursued as a stand-alone certificate, or combined with most academic majors to create an interdisciplinary learning experience.
Western Michigan U Earns LEED Platinum on Building Renovation
The university renovated Heritage Hall, which opened in 1905, in an effort to turn the least energy-efficient building on campus into one of the most efficient. The building now contains geothermal heating and cooling, LED lighting, energy-efficient windows and a high level of repurposed historic building materials. The energy-saving elements make make the hall more than 50 percent more efficient than buildings that use more traditional elements.
U Kentucky Scores LEED Gold on Academic Building
The building utilizes water-efficient plumbing fixtures, which reduce water use by 42 percent compared to a baseline model, and is 26 percent more energy efficient than the baseline model. More than 40 percent of materials used in the renovation were regional and all adhesives, sealants, paints, composite woods, sealers and floor systems are low- or no-VOC (volatile organic compounds) emitting materials.
Madison Area Tech College to Construct 1.4MW Photovoltaic System
The technical college plans to contribute $1.8 million to a grant from a local utility to build a 1.4-megawatt solar photovoltaic system, which is projected to avoid approximately $200,000 per year in electricity costs. The construction and maintenance of the system will contribute to the college's renewable energy curriculum program.
U Michigan to Roll Out Tuition-Free Program
The new financial aid program for in-state students offers a guarantee of free tuition for up to four years for students with family income of up to $65,000, which is roughly equal to the state's median family income. Recently approved by the university's Board of Regents, the new program will launch in January 2018.
U Virginia to Commemorate Slaves Who Built Campus
The university is planning to build a large memorial to commemorate the contributions of an estimated 5,000 enslaved people who helped build and maintain the school. With recent Board of Visitor approval, private fundraising for the project will begin immediately. This project is part of the UVA's President’s Commission on Slavery and the University.
Goucher College to Relocate Three Residence Halls
The college is relocating and repurposing three 1,300-ton residence halls to make room for two brand new buildings on its Towson campus. The three-week relocation will cost Goucher about $7.6 million, to be paid for through a combination of debt proceeds and donor contributions.
American U Offsets Study Abroad Air Travel Emissions With International Project
The Paradigm Project, an endeavor that benefits communities in Africa by empowering women and reducing greenhouse gas emissions through reduced deforestation, is the university's new investment to reduce emissions from study abroad-related travel. The Office of Sustainability announced that this is the first project in what will be a portfolio of offset investments aligned with certain remaining sources of emissions that cannot be fully managed through efficiency and other mitigation strategies.
Northern Arizona U Launches Sustainable Citizen Program
After piloting the Sustainable Citizen Program in the 2016/17 academic year, the university has now expanded the program to include all students. The program measures and increases sustainability literacy and engagement by offering a path that includes a pre- and post-literacy test, two basic sustainability seminars, volunteer work and short, required reflection paper. Students have their entire time at the university to complete the program, and at graduation are given a Sustainable Citizen pin.
Tufts U Installs Two Solar Arrays Totaling 3.8MW
A 2.5-megawatt photovoltaic system covering eight acres and a 1.27-megawatt photovoltaic system covering four acres now provides the university with approximately 40 percent of the school’s electric power and are expected to save the university up to $5.3 million over the next 20 years. An outside company will own, operate and maintain the projects, as well as retain the renewable energy credits.
U Arkansas Plans Interdisciplinary Resiliency Center
An interdisciplinary Resiliency Center is being developed under the university's School of Architecture and Design. Still subject to approval from the university's board of trustees, the new center proposes to coordinate graduate-level education, undergraduate sustainability coursework, research, and outreach programs in sustainable food, water, community and landscape systems.
Georgetown U Approves New Socially Responsible Investing Policy
The new policy, approved by the university board of directors, further aligns the university’s investment strategy with its commitment to social justice, protection of human life and dignity, stewardship for the planet and promotion of the common good. The new policy was developed by the board working group on socially responsible investments, which was formed in 2015 following the board’s decision to divest from direct investments in companies whose principal business is the mining of coal for use in energy production.
EAUC Publishes Living Labs Research
The Environmental Association of Universities and Colleges (U.K.) recently released new research on living labs. The research is broken into three reports: what living labs are and why they are important; making the case for living labs; and how living labs work.
Indiana U Purdue U Indianapolis Launches MS in Product Stewardship
Launching in fall 2017, the university's new Master of Science degree in product stewardship is designed to prepare students to address local, national and global issues relating to the environment, worker health and safety, and social accountability as they relate to the design, use and disposal of everyday products.
Indiana U to Offer Paid Parental Leave
Recently endorsed by the board of trustees, all university staff employees will receive six weeks of paid leave after a birth or adoption. The leave will be available to both mothers and fathers regardless of their marital or relationship status.
U Virginia Launches Environmental Resilience Institute
The new Environmental Resilience Institute aims to accelerate solutions to urgent social-environmental challenges, such as coastal flooding and storm impacts in coastal regions, and water security. The institute will be initially funded with a three-year, $2 million grant from the university, and spearheaded by the offices of the executive vice president and provost, and the vice president for research.
Portland CC Board Passes Divestment Resolution
The community college's board of directors passed a new resolution to divest college funds from socially irresponsible companies and investments, and fossil fuel-producing companies listed in the Carbon Underground 200. The movement to divest was started by student leaders in early 2016.
Three Michigan Universities Partner on Water Quality Research & Solutions
Michigan State, the University of Michigan and Wayne State University are partnering on a new program called IN-Water, Infrastructure Network for Water, in part due to aging water infrastructure as witnessed in the Flint, Michigan water crisis. The idea behind the program is to bring water leaders together to draw up a road map for how to help communities update their water systems.
U Michigan Launches Environmental Health Masters Degree Program
The university's School of Public Health has launched a new Masters of Public Health degree program called Environmental Health Promotion & Policy that will integrate the principles of environmental health sciences, with health policy and health promotion approaches to address and reduce environmental and occupational health risks.
Arizona State U Student Develops New LEED Pilot Credit
A 2016 alumnus who received a Masters in Sustainability Solutions (MSUS) did a capstone project suggesting a new USGBC Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Pilot Credit, which was recently accepted and published. The new LEED BD+C credit is Residential Energy Sub-Metering and Real-Time Usage Data.
Cornell U Partners on Climate and Jobs Initiative
A new partnership between Cornell University and Climate Jobs NY has led to the Clean Climate Careers initiative, a multi-pronged strategy to grow New York's emerging clean energy economy and prepare the workforce for the long-term careers associated with this industry. Focused on accelerating energy efficiency and renewable energy growth, the initiative aims to create 40,000 new, good-paying clean energy jobs by 2020.
Indiana U Adds Electric Vehicles to Fleet
The first all-electric cars were recently added to university fleet operations. Four 2017 Nissan Leafs will be used in various campus operations, including one that employees can rent for university business.
U Dayton Receives $500K in Energy Rebates
The university was recently awarded $500,000 in energy efficiency rebates from the local utility provider, which will seed the university's Green Revolving Fund and be used for sustainability projects on campus. The funding came from energy-efficient initiatives implemented during the last decade.
Middlebury Institute International Studies Becomes Fair Trade Certified
Over the course of this past academic year, students worked to complete the fair trade campaign for the graduate school. This process entailed increasing the number of fair trade products for sale on campus, integrating fair trade dialogues into the classroom, and creating a resolution about the school’s commitment to fair trade.
City of Boston Announces Tuition-Free College Program
Massachusetts' Republican governor and the Democratic Mayor of Boston recently launched a new college affordability program for high school graduates in the city. The aim is to allow eligible students to complete four-year degrees without paying tuition or mandatory fees. The program, open to 2017 high school graduates who live in the city, will cover students' tuition and fees.
SUNY New Paltz Earns Tree Campus USA Designation
The university has joined other U.S. colleges and universities that have met campus environment standards established by the Arbor Day Foundation, a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees. A small group of students, faculty, staff and community members came together this year to work toward earning Tree Campus USA designation, an honor reserved for schools that meet five requirements focused on strategic and long-term plans to care for and manage trees on campus.
SUNY New Paltz Launches Sustainability Track for Business Management
SUNY New Paltz has launched a new line of business courses designed for students interested in applying sustainable practices to their future careers. The new sustainability track for management majors will provide opportunities for students to work with local companies on sustainability assessments to achieve cost savings and reduce environmental footprints.
U Idaho Research Building Receives LEED Gold
The university's new interdisciplinary research facility features include dedicated bicycle parking and electric vehicle charging spaces; metal paneling and automatic window shades that let in natural light while reducing glare and heat; and a 3,500-cubic-feet rainwater catchment system used to water trees, native grasses and plants.
U Illinois Urbana-Champaign Expands Energy Saving Campaign
With the support of a grant from the Student Sustainability Committee, a one-time, energy-saving initiative now happens monthly. Student volunteers walk through campus buildings to turn off lights that were left on at the end of the day. During seven scheduled walk-throughs during the 2016-17 school year, teams turned off more than 11,000 light fixtures, avoiding approximately $3,400 in energy costs.
U Wyoming Lighting Upgrade Creates Efficiency & Saves Money
Thanks to a proposal by a student pursuing a sustainability minor, the university is now taking advantage of cost avoidance by using energy-efficient LEDs in place of metal halide lighting. The lighting retrofit has an estimated payback of eight years.
San Diego State U Building Achieves LEED Silver
The university's newest residence hall features a lighting control system with occupancy sensors, photo-sensors for daylight harvesting and 100 percent LED lighting. The two towers also have an automated heating and cooling system and water-saving shower heads in the resident rooms.
U California Merced Launches Food Exchange & Engagement Program
To help address issues ranging from food waste to food insecurity and resource scarcity, the university recently launched CropMobster Merced County, an online food and agricultural exchange and community engagement program. CropMobster, an online platform introduced in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2013, aims to bring together farmers, producers, hunger relief organizations and community members. Part of the program's funding comes from the UC Office of the President as part of its ongoing Global Food Initiative.
U Illinois Urbana-Champaign Residence Hall Earns LEED Gold
The residence hall opened in fall 2016 and features locally manufactured construction materials, products with recycled content, wood products certified in accordance with the Forest Stewardship Council, roof mounted solar panels to provide renewable energy that offsets one percent of the energy costs, and landscaping that includes native and drought-tolerant plants to reduce dependency on potable water.
Wege Center for Sustainable Design Announces Winners of Wege Prize 2017
Wege Center for Sustainable Design, housed at the Kendall College of Art and Design at Ferris State University, announced the winners of Wege Prize 2017, the fourth iteration of the annual design competition challenging transdisciplinary teams of college and university students to rethink and redesign the way economies work. Three multi-institutional teams were selected as winners out of the five finalist teams.
U Oregon Releases Videos From Summit on Ethical Investing
A recent symposium about ethical investing was organized by students, faculty, staff and the University of Oregon Foundation in early April 2017, largely in response to the student divestment campaign. The gathering tackled the question of how climate change is affecting businesses and investors. The sessions were recorded and can be viewed for free.
Harvard U to Retrofit Home as Model of Ultra-Efficiency & Affordability
The Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities announced plans to retrofit its headquarters, a pre-1940s house, into an ultra-efficient, healthy, positive-energy structure. Called HouseZero Project, the prototype will be designed to require almost zero energy, rely on natural daylighting, and produce no carbon emissions. The center aims to show how any existing building can become a model of efficiency and cut emissions without requiring a huge investment.
Three Schools Win Green Cleaning Award
The 2017 Green Cleaning Awards, hosted by American School & University, recognized Western Michigan University as the grand prize winner, University of Michigan for the silver award, and Folsom Lake College as honorable mention. The juried competition highlights education institutions whose green cleaning programs go above and beyond using green products to protect health without harming the environment.
U Colorado Boulder Creates 'Social Justice Living Environment' in Dorm
In fall 2018, the Social Justice Living Environment will house communities for students who identify as black, LGBTQ and those passionate about diversity. The new program stemmed from student concerns following a campus climate survey revealing only a quarter of African-American undergraduates and less than half of undergraduates, in general, felt welcome on campus.
Webster U Publishes Interactive Eco-Map
In early May, the university published a campus map that highlights the spectrum of green infrastructure and resources on campus. The map allows viewers to navigate different layers, such as solar panels, bike racks or water bottle refill stations.
California State U Sacramento Becomes First Keep America Beautiful Collegiate Affiliate
Keep America Beautiful announced that Sacramento State is now its first collegiate affiliate and that it hopes the partnership will result in a model that can be adopted at colleges and universities across the nation. Through the partnership, students will have access to volunteer and internship opportunities. The university will be able to share data from student and faculty research, as well as tap additional resources such as grants, research and programmatic resources available through Keep America Beautiful.
Salisbury U to Build 544KW Solar Carport Project
The 543.9-kilowatt photovoltaic project will feature three solar canopies and five electric vehicle charging stations. The canopies will cover a parking lot and electricity from the system will be sent to the adjacent educational buildings. Standard Solar, the university's partner, will own, operate and maintain the system for 20 years, after which ownership will revert to the university.
U Birmingham Pilots Coffee Grounds Reuse Program
(U.K.) The 12-month pilot program aims to collect spent coffee grounds from catering outlets across campus that will be sent to a recycling company for processing into biofuels, such as fuel starter logs and pellets for industrial use.
Indiana U Pennsylvania Receives $44K Grant for Watershed Management
Several university faculty will use the new funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to work with area agencies and schools to develop a water quality and stormwater monitoring plan. In addition to providing watershed educational experiences, the project will generate baseline water quality data for 12–15 key watershed locations that will be utilized to make governmental and environmental policy decisions.