Harvard U & U California San Diego Win 2017 Freezer Challenge
The University of California San Diego was identified as the organizational winner by saving an estimated 500,000 kilowatt-hours per year. Harvard University's Hoekstra Lab was the individual laboratory winner, saving an estimated 13,000 kilowatt-hours per year. Individual labs at the University of Alberta and the University of California San Diego received honorable mention. The Freezer Challenge encourages researchers to implement sustainable practices around cold storage management. Labs received points for taking actions such as properly maintaining freezers and refrigerators, discarding old samples and retiring unneeded units.
U California Riverside Fellows Help Reduce Carbon Emissions
As part of the Carbon Neutrality Initiative Student Fellowship Program, five participating fellows will receive a stipend of $3,000 to fund a project that reduces greenhouse gas emissions produced by UCR buildings and vehicles. An additional student engagement fellow will serve as the initiative’s ambassador, receiving a $4,000 stipend plus $1,000 to fund campus event programming geared toward educating and inspiring other students.
Cornell U Launches Free Online Climate Change Course
The new course on climate change science, communication, and action focuses on equipping learners with the tools they need to understand climate science and policy fundamentals, and how to take action to communicate and implement climate change related projects in their community and work.
Indiana U Launches $300M Grand Challenges Program
The university's Grand Challenge program announced the new Prepared for Environmental Change initiative. The new multi-million dollar initiative seeks to gather an interdisciplinary team of researchers that will engage government, business, nonprofit and community leaders to implement actionable solutions to the impacts of environmental change.
U British Columbia Students Design & Install Pollinator Homes
Working with biologists, zoologists and local planners, students in the UBC school of architecture and landscape architecture (SALA) designed, built and installed three pollinator homes for bees and bats. The project will provide the opportunity for students to study sharing spaces with species in urban environments.
Bournemouth U Initiates Employee Sustainability Program
After a six-month pilot of a behavior change program reduced energy consumption by 14.6 percent across four departments, the university is expanding the program to all staff members. The initiative works by engaging employees on a range of themes through an online platform and app. Employees are rewarded with points for reducing their environmental footprint and improving their well-being through measures such as cycling, car-sharing or using re-usable cups and bottles.
U Michigan Serves Campus Farm Produce
The university's campus farm was able to begin supplying its produce to on-campus dining halls after attaining its USDA Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) food safety certification in June. This effort was in part made possible by the addition of a covered produce wash station built by volunteers and student farmers. Students volunteers work at the farm each week, engaging in hands-on learning about sustainable farming, the environment, equality and issues of justice surrounding food.
Emory U Class Revitalizes Pilot Green Roof
An abandoned rooftop garden was recently revamped through a class project and was funded by the university's Sustainability Incentives Fund grant through Emory's Office of Sustainability Initiatives. The original project in 2008 was part of a student-led pilot study exploring the benefits of vegetative roof coverings and had been largely unmaintained since.
Mount Royal U & Simon Fraser U Designated as Changemaker Campuses
Ashoka U recognized the institutions for having embedded social innovation as a core value. Along with the Colombian Institute of Administration, a business school in Colombia, they join a network of 40 institutions across eight countries. MRU and SFU are the first Ashoka U Changemaker Campuses in Alberta and British Columbia, respectively.
California State U Receives $250K for Clean Tech Workshops
The university received a $250,000 grant from the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator's new Energize California initiative that will fund clean technology innovation workshops and events at five Los Angeles-area CSU campuses over the next five years. The workshops are intended to help students learn about resources and programs that could help them bring new clean energy technologies to the market.
Thompson Rivers U Installs Sidewalk Made of Solar Panels
A professor from the university's Geography and Environmental Studies department and students helped install photovoltaic panels on a sidewalk in July. The solar sidewalk project is meant to demonstrate the role sidewalks and other everyday structures can play in generating energy.
U Illinois Chicago Students Plant Urban Garden
Aiming to address issues of sustainability and food security in low-income Chicago communities, the new urban garden was developed and implemented by two undergraduate students in the university's Human Development and Learning program. During the spring 2017 semester, the two students acquired access to the plot of land and earned funding from the university to partner with a local sustainable garden-to-table organization.
North Carolina State U Architecture Class Builds Facility for Campus-Grown Food
The student-designed and built facility will bolster productivity of the university's Agroecology Education Farm by offering a place to wash and store produce grown for university dining halls. The building includes integration of reused materials, such as a sink basin, cedar siding and three steel coolers that will be modified to function with brand-new cooling systems. The building will also include a rain garden, a small herb garden, a cistern to collect rainwater for irrigation and exterior landscaping with native plants.
Indiana U Purdue U Indianapolis Earns Bee Campus Designation
The university recently obtained Bee Campus USA certification for its activities designed to support pollinators. The designation was announced during the university's second year participating in Pollinator Count Week, a Keep Indianapolis Beautiful event that seeks to take inventory of pollinators and raise awareness of their role in the human food system.
MIT Announces Inaugural Incubator Fund Recipients
The school's Office of Sustainability announced the recipients of the first-ever Campus Sustainability Incubator Fund, with $200,000 awarded between four multi-departmental projects, all of which use the MIT campus as a test bed for research in sustainable operations, management and design. The four selected projects include water recapture at the power plant, modeling the environmental impact of buildings, evaluating the benefits of recycling laboratory gloves, and eliminating wasted energy in HVAC systems.
Wilfrid Laurier U Receives $5K Grant for Planting Trees
Through a grant from Tree Canada, the university will be planting a small strand of mature trees on its Waterloo campus that will include national and provincial emblem trees, and symbolic First Nations trees. The tree-planting project commemorates the 150th anniversary of Canada.
U Nevada Reno Launches Online Marketplace for Campus Produce
Students and the surrounding community now have the opportunity to access fresh fruits and vegetables through a new virtual farm stand, offered through the university's Desert Farming Initiative. A collaboration between three key groups, the Desert Farming Initiative seeks to support Nevada agriculture through education, research and outreach.
ACEEE Launches 'Shrink Your Dorm Print' Campaign
In preparation for the 2017-18 school year, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy recently released the Shrink Your Dorm Print campaign, which offers a tip sheet and shopping guide for students interested in reducing their carbon footprint.
Colgate U Students Place Two Honey Bee Hives
A collaboration between the university’s food service provider, Chartwells, and a group of students looking to support the local honey bee population led to the installation of two hives in a newly established apiary last month. The new endeavor also resulted in the creation of a student beekeeping club.
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.
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.
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.
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.
U Hong Kong Expands Smart Meter Program
A student-focused carbon reduction and behavioral change pilot project included the installation of smart meters in select student rooms and a real-time data dashboard. The technology and science-based program will be scaled up this year to include 1,800 users from four residential colleges. Students in the college led the development of data-driven solutions that reduced electricity use by over 25 percent in the pilot project.
Wesleyan U Receives $4M Gift for College of the Environment
An alumnus and his wife recently donated $4 million to the university’s College of the Environment. The endowment will fund seminars, workshops and faculty-student research grants, internship learning opportunities for students with financial need who are pursuing studies related to environmental research, and an endowed scholarship for those who have demonstrated exceptional academic accomplishment and are pursuing the environmental studies linked major or the environmental studies certificate through the College of the Environment.
UK Student Union Renews Efforts to Fight Climate Change
(U.K.) Delegates at National Union of Students National Conference voted in favor of a motion to renew the drive for student action against climate change. One of the two key resolutions in the motion is to support protests against the President Donald J. Trump's rollback of progress on climate change.
MIT Opens Energy Dashboard Data to Students, Faculty & Staff
Massachusetts Institute of Technology has launched a new website that makes available detailed information about energy use and carbon emissions on campus. This resource is available to the institute’s students, faculty and staff, for education, research and decision-making purposes. The rollout of this central data dashboard, called Energize_MIT, helps the school meet the goals and commitments set out in its 2015 Plan for Action on Climate Change.
Maharishi U Management Receives $10K Grant for New Trees
Thanks to a $10,000 grant from Alliant Energy, a local electric power distribution company, volunteers were able to plant 100 trees on campus. This is the third such grant from Alliant, bringing the total number of new trees planted in the past two years to approximately 240.
Saint Michael's College Earns Bee Campus USA Certification
The college has become the 23rd educational institution in the nation to be certified under the Bee Campus USA program. The Bee Campus USA designation recognizes educational campuses that commit to a set of practices that support pollinators, including bees, butterflies, birds and bats.
Pac-12 Releases Zero Waste Bowl Results
The Pac-12 Road Zero Waste Bowl provides a friendly and spirited platform for Pac-12 universities to engage on best practices in waste diversion and to learn how each campus strives toward zero waste goals. The winners of the Zero Waste Bowl for the 2016-17 basketball season, in order of rank, are the University of California, Berkeley, diversion rate of 94 percent; the University of Colorado, Boulder, diversion rate of 92 percent; and University of Arizona, with a diversion rate of 65 percent.
Harvard U Awards Inaugural Campus Sustainability Innovative Fund Grants
The new fund supports projects that use the campus or the neighboring community as a test bed for envisioning and piloting innovative solutions to sustainability challenges. The projects align with one of the five topics in the university-wide Sustainability Plan: emissions and energy, campus operations, nature and ecosystems, health and well-being, and culture and learning.
Ohio State U Student Uses Grant Funding to Give Away LED Bulbs
After hearing Dominic Frongillo, Student Summit keynote speaker at AASHE 2016 in Baltimore, speak about the impact that young people can have in their community, a third-year student used a $4,500 grant to begin the Light Up with LED program this semester. The Light Up with LED program allows students to bring in up to five non-LED light bulbs in exchange for five LED light bulbs.
Energy Department Announces 2018 Collegiate Wind Competition Participants
The 12 collegiate teams selected to participate in the third Collegiate Wind Competition are California State University Maritime Academy; California State University, Chico; Iowa State University; James Madison University; Kansas State University; Northern Arizona University; The Pennsylvania State University, University Park; Seattle University; Texas Tech University; Universidad del Turabo (Puerto Rico); University of Wisconsin, Madison; and Virginia Tech University. This competition, led by the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory, challenges undergraduate students to design and build a model wind turbine, develop a business plan to market the products, and test the turbines against a set of rigorous performance criteria.
U North Texas Taps Green Fund for RECs & Renewable Energy Education Campaign
A class submitted a request to the university's We Mean Green Fund that resulted in funding to purchase 107-megawatt-hours of renewable energy credits (RECs) and for an educational campaign focused on increasing renewable energy use that includes an educational website and classrooms and student organizations visits.
Ball State U Class Installs Photovoltaic System
In fall 2017, a $2,000 grant allowed an immersive learning class to install a solar panel system that powers a display case where students can charge their phones and learn more about solar energy via a television screen.
Harvard U and U Pennsylvania Students Stage Divestment Protests
Student protesters at both universities recently held sit-ins asking administrators to divest from fossil fuels. Harvard students are demanding that school officials divest its endowment from the coal industry, while Penn students are seeking immediate divestment from coal and tar sands, and full divestment from fossil fuel corporations within six months. In previous responses to student divestment advocates, officials at both schools have indicated that while they share the students’ concerns about climate change, they disagree on the strategy and will not be divesting money from the fossil industry.
U Wyoming Launches Waste Reduction Initiative Aimed at Athletic Events
The Conservation Cowboys, an initiative that aims to reduce waste and resource use at athletics facilities and events, was recently piloted at an athletic event that resulted in the diversion of 266 pounds of the total 659 pounds of waste materials. A total of 35 volunteers from eight student organizations and four operational and academic units volunteered in the event.
Northwestern U Alumnus Donates $3M to Support Social Justice Reporting
Northwestern University alumnus David F. Freedman ’81 has made a $3 million commitment to further the study of reporting on social justice issues. Freedman’s gift will establish the David F. Freedman Fund for Social Justice Reporting Initiatives to support research, students, curricula, conferences and other activities at the intersection of journalism and social justice.
U Arizona Publishes Online Campus Sustainability Map
More than 600 projects, programs and features are presented on the university's new web-based map. Launched to illustrate campus-wide sustainability efforts in an accessible and centralized way, the map visualizes efforts meant to reduce energy and water consumption, and aid in waste diversion and recycling.
U Maryland Student Launches Ride-Sharing App
A sophomore accounting major launched CarPo on March 1 after almost a year and a half of planning and developing the app. Through the app, students looking for rides to and from their hometowns and colleges are able to see registered students with cars who are already driving to the same place.
U Maryland Farm Registers 30K Pounds of Food in Three Years
Located about 15 miles from the university, the campus farm concluded its three-year pilot program in late 2016 registering more than 29,000 pounds of vegetables, the majority of which went directly to campus dining halls. Six thousand pounds of produce were donated to hunger relief organizations, including the Campus Pantry, a program that provides emergency food to university students, faculty and staff.