Harvard U Announces Fossil-Free Climate Action Plan
Recommendations from a climate change task force informed a new set of climate commitments that the university recently adopted - a long-term goal of being fossil fuel-free by 2050 and a short-term goal of climate neutrality by 2026.
California State U Northridge Rolls Out Bike Rental Program
In mid-January, LimeBike delivered 400 bicycles to the campus that are now part of a rental program to provide an alternative mode of transportation to the campus community. There is no membership fee required, however the rental fee is 50 cents per half hour with no time limit. Solar-powered GPS units will allow the university to determine where bike lanes are most needed.
Duke U Partners With Delta Airlines on Carbon Offset Initiative
The university and Delta Airlines covered the cost of 1,000 trees that will be planted in Duke's hometown of Durham, North Carolina. The purchase, facilitated by Urban Offsets, simultaneously offsets carbon from all university business travel on Delta in 2017. The 1,000 trees are equal to 5,000 carbon credits and will be planted during the 2017-18 planting season in neighborhoods found to have insufficient tree cover, according to a 2016 survey by Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment.
Parkland College Approves 2MW Solar Energy Farm
The board of the community college approved a contract in mid-January to build a 2 megawatt solar energy field on campus. Under terms of the agreement, Parkland expects to save $25,000 to $30,000 annually on its electricity costs and would pay none of the upfront or operating costs of the system. The solar field would provide between 10 and 15 percent of Parkland's energy use.
Raritan Valley CC Announces Carbon Neutrality
The community college has offset its Scope 1 emissions by acquiring carbon offsets, mostly from wind energy and some from landfill gas. Since 2014, the college has offset all Scope 2 emissions by purchasing renewable energy certificates.
U New South Wales to Go 100% Solar
(Australia) A 15-year power purchase agreement will enable the university to achieve its goal of carbon neutral energy use by 2020.. Starting in 2019, the university will purchase up to 140,000 megawatt-hours of electricity per year, enough solar energy to meet 100 percent of its electricity use.
U California Los Angeles Reduces Travel Emissions With Fee
A new university program reduces the impact of greenhouse gas emissions from university business-related air travel by assessing a carbon mitigation fee for these flights. A $9 fee will be applied to each domestic round-trip flight and a $25 fee to each international round-trip flight. Air travel mitigation fees will be placed into a fund, which will then be made available annually to the campus to finance university projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The pilot program will run from January 2018 through December 2020.
U Florida Publishes Guidebook for Integrating Cultural Resources into Disaster Planning
With support from the National Park Service, the Conservation Clinic at the university's Levin College of Law recently released a guidebook to help Florida state and local governments better integrate cultural resources into hazard planning. It describes current emergency management and preservation planning frameworks, provides examples of disaster planning practices, and presents new policy and planning recommendations.
Hampshire College Uses 100% Solar Electricity
The residential college now has 100 percent of its electricity sourced from 15,000 photovoltaic arrays on two fields that have a capacity of 4.7 megawatts. The college is buying the electricity at a fixed rate for about half the rate the college had been paying. The project is estimated to save the college about $400,000 a year in electricity costs for up to 20 years, for total estimated savings of $8 million.
U Virginia to Facilitate Governor's Environmental Justice Panel
Representatives from UVA’s Institute for Environmental Negotiation will serve as facilitators for the 15-member Environmental Justice Advisory Council, established by Virginia Govenor Terry McAuliffe in October. The mission of the council is to ensure that environmental policies around major issues like air quality or sea-level rise serve the interest of every Virginian, and that no area or group bears a disproportionate share of the burden.
Boston U Approves Climate Action Plan
The Boston University board of trustees recently approved a Climate Action Plan that aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions across both the Charles River Campus and the Medical Campus and fund broad infrastructure improvements in preparation for flooding or heat surges in the coming decades. The plan calls for capital improvements estimated to cost about $141 million over 10 years and the reduction of carbon emissions on the campuses to zero by 2040.
College William & Mary Uses $10K Grant for Lighting Upgrade
A $10,239 Green Fee grant awarded in fall 2017 will be used at the college's Virginia Institute of Marine Science to reduce electricity usage and improve working conditions by replacing 52 dated, energy-demanding bulbs with new light-emitting diode (LED) lamps in three buildings.
Brown U Launches Three-Year, $24M Project to Boost Thermal Efficiency
As part of its continued work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 42 percent below 2007 levels by 2020, the university will increase energy efficiency by replacing its steam-based central heating system with a medium-temperature hot water system. Completion is expected in October 2020.
U South Australia Receives $2.7M for Alternative Energy Installations
(Australia) The University of South Australia will soon receive 3.6 million Australian dollars ($2.7 million) for a project at its Mawson Lakes campus that is expected to cut campus emissions by 35 percent. The project includes hydrogen production with a 50 kilowatt hydrogen fuel cell and a 1.8 megawatt photovoltaic array.
Middlebury College to Buy Biogas From Local Cow Farm
A new college partnership will deliver renewable natural gas to the college's main power plant. The gas will be produced at a local farm in an anaerobic digester using cow manure and food waste, and will travel by pipeline to the college. The college will purchase approximately 100 million cubic feet (100 Mmcf) of gas annually.
Denison U to Construct 2.3 MW of Solar Electricity
In an effort to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels, the university is currently completing a solar project using 6,750 photovoltaic panels with a 2.3-megawatt capacity. The panels are on university-owned land while the arrays are owned by a power company. Under the agreement with the power company, the university will purchase all of the generated electricity.
U South Florida St. Petersburg Installs 40 KW Solar System
The university unveiled a 40-kilowatt solar array carport, which was completed in partnership with Duke Energy Florida and was funded by the Student Green Energy Fund. The system is projected to power about 15 percent of the new biology and chemistry labs on campus.
Bates College EcoReps Construct 3 KW Photovoltaic Project
Doubling the capacity of a system installed in 2016 on the Bates Coastal Center, the colleges EcoReps installed 12 new solar panels to complete a six-kilowatt photovoltaic array that is estimated to produce 100 percent of the building's electrical needs. Bates’ sustainability office covered the cost of the 2017 installation, which was approximately $10,000.
Gavilan College to Connect 1.4 MW of Solar Electricity
The 1.4-megawatt solar electric system will be installed across two of the college's largest parking lots before the end of 2017 and enhanced by a 250-kilowatt (500 kilowatt-hour) energy storage solution. The system is expected to save the college $12.5 million in energy costs over 30 years. The Gavilan Joint Community College District will own the solar power system along with the associated renewable energy credits.
U Buffalo Coordinates 100 MW RE Community Initiative
A renewable energy initiative being spearheaded by the university aims to invest in the city’s urban core, while reducing energy costs for some Buffalo-area anchor institutions. Called Localizing Buffalo’s Renewable Energy Future, the plan calls for the creation of 100 megawatts of renewable energy, mostly in the form of solar power, by 2020. Other participating higher education institutions are SUNY Buffalo State and Erie Community College.
Catawba College Participates in US EPA Air Quality Flag Program
The college now participates in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Quality Flag Program designed to help the community be aware of and respond to air quality conditions by flying one of five various colored EPA flags on a daily basis. The flag color is determined by the Air Quality Index (AQI) color that corresponds to the expected level of air pollution for that day.
Southern Connecticut State U to Install 3 Photovoltaic Arrays Totaling 1 MW
The 1 megawatt photovoltaic project is expected to provide approximately 4 percent of the university's annual electricity consumption. Planned for completion in 2018, the more than 3,000 panels will be installed in three arrays: as a combination ground mount and carport array, and a rooftop array on the west side of campus.
U New Hampshire Launches New Carbon/Nitrogen Measurement Tool
The university recently announced the launch of the Sustainability Indicator Management and Analysis Platform (SIMAP), a tool that offers campuses an online platform for tracking, reporting and managing their carbon and nitrogen footprints. The platform will also help identify trends across campus sustainability by tracking and sharing aggregated campus sustainability data.
Bates College Switches One Boiler to Renewable Fuel Oil
To aid the college's long-term carbon neutrality goals, it recently switched fuel sources on one of its three boilers from natural gas to renewable fuel oil, a proprietary product made by vaporizing wood feedstock (e.g., sawdust) at a very high temperature. The vapor, which retains the energy of the wood’s organic compounds, is then re-condensed into a fuel oil.
Mohawk Valley CC Installs 3 MW Solar Array
Projected to offset about $90,000 per year in electricity costs, the 3 megawatt project is net-metered, meaning that any excess energy the system produces beyond the needs of the campus will be sold back to the utility company.
U Minnesota Duluth to Purchase 100 KW Block From Solar Farm
Three Student Life units at the university are sharing the $213,215 cost of purchasing a 100 kilowatt block of solar electricity from an in-state community solar garden. In return, the units – Dining Services, Housing and Residence Life, and Transportation and Parking Services – will receive annual discounts on their electricity bills.
Second Nature & AASHE to Host Gathering at COP23
Second Nature and AASHE, along with the University of Connecticut and Tufts University, are hosting a reception and networking event at COP23, in Bonn, Germany, on Nov. 14 at the U.S. Climate Action Center. Along with networking, attendees will hear briefly from a select group of speakers about climate leadership programs within the higher education sector.
Radford U Building Earns LEED Gold
The university's College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences building was constructed with materials containing 20 percent recycled content. Ninety-nine percent of the facility’s wood products are Forest Stewardship Council certified. Water usage in the building is reduced through low-flow toilets, sinks and showers, creating an annual savings of about 221,000 gallons per year, and exterior shading helps reduce solar heat gain, which reduce energy use and cost.
Loyola U & Portland CC Win Climate Leadership Award
Loyola was chosen as the winner in the category for four-year institutions. It has reduced carbon emissions per-square-foot by 38 percent from a 2008 baseline at two of its locations. Portland Community College, recipient in the two-year category, has reduced energy consumption per-square-foot by 65 percent since 2006. The 2017 Climate Leadership Award was given by the U.S. Green Building Council and Second Nature.
Smith College Trustees Approve Responsible Investment Recommendations
At its October meeting, the college's board of trustees adopted four strategic recommendations regarding climate change and the Smith endowment, which are designed to support the college’s commitment to environmental sustainability while also ensuring the continued health of the endowment.
Michigan State U to Test Algae-Based Carbon Capture on Power Plant
With the support of a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, university researchers will test a novel technique for capturing power plant emissions while producing high-value chemicals and biofuels with algae. The test will take place at the T.B. Simon Power Plant on MSU’s campus.
U Maryland Releases Climate Action Plan 2.0
The updated climate action plan that outlines new strategies and priorities to help the university become carbon neutral by 2050 and integrate sustainability into educational and research efforts across campus.
Yale U Implements Carbon Charge for Buildings & Departments
After three years of study, discussion and experimentation, the university has implemented a carbon charge that affects more than 250 buildings and nearly 70 percent of campus carbon dioxide emissions. A university carbon charge pilot program ran from December 2015 to May 2016 in 20 buildings and tested four approaches to reducing carbon.
U Albany Renovates Building to LEED Standards
The $10.3 million project on the 51-year-old residence hall included mechanical, plumbing, electric and lighting systems replacement, new energy-efficient windows, a new roof, new bathrooms, updated laundry facilities, and community study and recreation spaces. Recycled content and low-VOC materials were used.
Georgetown U to Install 32.5 MW of Solar Energy
The university recently signed a power purchase agreement to develop a 32.5 megawatt photovoltaic project in La Plata, Maryland. The project is expected to supply about 49 percent of Georgetown’s electricity load annually for its Washington, D.C., campus. The power plant is expected to be completed in summer 2019.
Monroe County CC Cuts Ribbon on Geothermal System
The $16.1 million ground source heating and cooling system is comprised of 288 wells that are 350-400 feet deep. The community college will save an estimated $275,000 per year over the next 20 years.
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.
Northeastern U Opens New Science Building
The university’s new science and engineering building features triple-glazed windows to reduce glass condensation and prevent heat loss, variable air volume (VAV) fume hoods, and occupancy-based airflow controls.
Pomona College Releases 2030 Carbon Neutrality Plan
The college's new plan, known as SAVE: Sustainable Action Visible Effects, strives for carbon neutrality by 2030 through energy, water, waste, transportation, buildings, and landscaping and food initiatives. The college intends to reach net-zero carbon emissions without purchasing carbon credits, but rather by reducing its greenhouse gas emissions to zero and then offsetting remaining emissions by retrofitting buildings, installing solar panels, investing in off-site renewables and promoting alternative transportation programs. The plan was crafted by the Office of Sustainability and the President's Advisory Committee on Sustainability.
Bucknell U Earns 'Performance Excellence in Electricity Renewal' Certification
The recent Performance Excellence in Electricity Renewal (PEER) certification, administered by the Green Business Certification, Inc., recognizes the university for reliable delivery of electricity, reducing the environmental impact of electricity generation, leveraging value gap analysis to identify and eliminate waste, and assessing customer contribution to grid service, investment and innovation. PEER is a framework for continuous energy improvement and performance assessment that leads to greater efficiency, reduction in carbon emissions and greater power quality.
U Kentucky Introduces Car Sharing
University students and staff can now check-out one of two vehicles parked on campus through a university partnership with Zipcar. The car sharing program is part of a suite of alternative transportation options available to the campus community designed to simplify the process of shifting from driving a single-occupancy vehicle to campus to an alternative form of transportation, and to reward those individuals who make the change in their routine.
Colorado College Opens Net-Zero Library
Adding 25,000 square feet, the $45 million renovation also made the building net-zero energy. A geothermal energy field, 115-kilowatt rooftop solar array, 400-kilowatt off-site solar array, green rooftop garden, and 130-kilowatt combined heat and power system contribute to the net-zero energy library. The net-zero energy library recently received a 2017 Innovation Awards from the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO).
College Marin Switches to 100% Renewable Energy
As of mid-August, all electricity accounts at the college were switched to a 100 percent renewable energy program through a California not-for-profit, public electricity provider. Now the college’s power bills will reflect zero emissions from the consumption of purchased electricity.
Binghamton U Opens Sustainable Building
Features of the new building, which house the departments of chemistry and physics, include photovoltaic panels on the roof to produce electricity, hydronic radiant heating in the floor, controlled LED lighting, individual space monitoring to reduce air flows and energy use, and water-cooled equipment wherever possible to conserve energy.
U Brighton Completes 150KW Photovoltaic Array
(U.K.) Two systems with a combined capacity of just under 150 kilowatts have now been installed at no cost to the university. A third party energy cooperative is leasing university roof space for 20 years. The university will pay the cooperative for the electricity generated by the panels, which will cost approximately one third less than grid electricity. At the end of the lease, the university will take ownership of the panels at no cost and will benefit from the free electricity they generate.