Cornell U Passes Resolution to Lower Lab Carbon Emissions
(U.S.): The university's Graduate and Professional Student Assembly unanimously passed the resolution to create an ad hoc sustainability committee focused on lowering carbon emissions, particularly those in laboratories by educating graduate students, the main users of lab space, about how to reduce carbon emissions.
U Alberta Offers Carbon Offsets to Resident Guests
The university's Hospitality Services has recently partnered with a third-party organization that allows overnight guests in its university-owned hotel to add an optional $2 fee used to support emissions-reducing projects and environmental improvements. The university expects to use the savings garnered from the optional program to fund low-flow bathroom fixtures, water bottle refill stations and an energy audit.
Appalachian State U Introduces Carbon Offsets
(U.S.): Called the Carbon Neutral Commuter Program, students, faculty and staff commuters can voluntarily pay an additional fee, tagged onto their annual campus parking pass cost, that is used to purchase carbon offsets through a third party broker. The funds are used to purchase offsets through methane capture and destruction, and intermodal transport, which uses shipping containers via rail instead of trucks.
Carnegie Mellon U Students to Urge for Fossil Fuel Divestment
Inspired by the AASHE 2014 Conference & Expo, student attendees from the university's environmental organization Sustainable Earth are launching the divestment initiative, which will call for the university to freeze any investments into fossil fuel companies and to completely divest from the industry within five years.
Boston U Reaches 2020 Goal Six Years Early
In July 2014 the university reached its 2020 goal to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by three ways: a regional electrical grid fuel change from coal to natural gas, reducing heating oil use from 24 percent in 2006 to 3 percent, and energy efficiency improvements as indicated in the university's climate mitigation plan.
Six Schools Partner with Chevrolet for Carbon Reductions
Marking Campus Sustainability Day Portland State University, Spelman College, Boston University, Rochester Institute of Technology, University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point and University of Illinois at Chicago announced their partnership with the Chevrolet Carbon Reduction Initiative, a new carbon methodology for campuses that measures and sells their greenhouse gas reductions to fund even deeper campus efficiency measures. These campuses join Ball State University, Valencia College, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, Grand Valley State University and Southern Oregon University.
Glasgow U Divests from Fossil Fuels
(U.K.): After 12 months of campaigning led by the university's Climate Action Society, the university sets precedent in Europe as it becomes the first academic imstitution to divest from the fossil fuel industry.
U Georgia to Decommission Coal Fired Boiler
(U.S.): In a recent announcement from the university's president, the decision came after a third-party study revealed a more economically appealing option for the 50-year-old boiler, the single largest source of pollution in the town.
U North Carolina Chapel Hill Targets Clean Energy Investments
(U.S.): After three years of campaigning by the university's Sierra Student Coalition Beyond Coal team for coal divestment, the university's board of trustees unanimously passed a resolution to target clean energy investments in the management of its $2.2 billion endowment.
Boston U Faculty Encourages Fossil Fuel Divestment
245 university faculty have teamed together to sign a petition that encourages divestment from fossil fuel companies to combat climate change. The petition is now under review with the university's Board of Trustees.
Higher Education Leaders Address Climate Change
A new initiative called Solution Generation was recently launched by ecoAmerica and MomentUS to provide communications tools, research and resources for higher education leaders to design and implement strategies to inspire, educate and engage their faculty, staff, students, peers and communities on climate change solutions.
U California to Combat Climate Change
Through direct investments following United Nation guidelines and the establishment of a framework for sustainable investments and solar energy purchases, the university will continue to take steps toward carbon neutrality by 2025 for a cleaner environment through solar energy.
London U Freezes Fossil Fuel Investments
(U.K.): Following a recent campaign from more than 600 students, the university’s School of Oriental and African Studies has announced the hold on all future investments and is considering divesting all of its current holdings valued at 2 million pounds ($3.3 million).
U Dayton Releases Holdings in Fossil Fuel
The university recently announced its decision, after unanimous board of trustees approval, citing Catholic social teachings and values and its comprehensive campus-wide sustainability initiatives and commitments. The university's divestment is planned to occur in phases and will restrict future investments in private equity or hedge funds whose investments support fossil fuel or significant carbon-producing holdings.
Oxford U Faculty Urge Fossil Fuel Divestment
(U.K.): In an open letter presented during a university-wide consultation on divestiture, 59 academics requested the university divest its 3.8 billion pounds ($6.5 billion) from fossil fuel-based investments.
Second Nature Declares 2014 Climate Leadership Award Winners
The fifth annual Climate Leadership Awards presented top honors to Western Michigan University, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, California State University at Chico, University of Minnesota at Morris, Valencia College and Montgomery County Community College. The awards are presented annually to signatory institutions of the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) that demonstrate innovative and advanced leadership in education for sustainability, and climate mitigation and adaptation.
U Illinois Urbana-Champaign Sells Carbon Offsets to Chevrolet
(U.S.): After an impending carbon credit certification, the university expects to transfer approximately 150,000 tons of reduction from fiscal years 2012-14 to the Chevrolet initiative, which will enable the university to reinvest in clean energy technologies.
U Maryland Commits to Carbon Reduction Initiatives
The university recently committed to reduce electricity use on campus by 20 percent by 2020, offset new greenhouse gas emissions from new construction through energy-efficiency standards and renewable sources, and eliminate carbon emissions from purchased electricity by 2020 using strictly renewable sources.
Villanova U Commits to Catholic Climate Covenant
(U.S.): The university president recently signed the St. Francis Pledge to Care for Creation and the Poor, which is a pledge that asks individuals, families, parishes, organizations and universities to live their faith by protecting God’s Creation and advocates on behalf of people in poverty who face the harshest impacts of global climate change.
U Saskatchewan Commits to Building Temperature Control
In honor of International Polar Bear Day, the university announced its plans to raise the thermostat two degrees in spring and summer and one degree in winter in an effort to lower its carbon emissions from heating and cooling.
Wake Technical CC Builds New Walkways
Two new walkways were constructed that will alleviate shuttle transportation, preventing associated greenhouse gas emissions from entering the atmosphere, and encourage a healthier lifestyle.
Scotland Colleges and Universities Sign Carbon Commitment
(U.K.): All universities and colleges across Scotland have committed to addressing climate change and carbon challenges by signing the Universities and Colleges Climate Commitment for Scotland (UCCCfS), which offers a framework for institutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
U California Irvine Honored with EPA Climate Leadership Award
The university was recently honored with the Organizational Leadership Award by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for their leadership in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, including setting a goal of 40 percent reduction by 2020 from 2011 levels, and the Smart Lab Initiative, a program to safely reduce energy consumption in laboratories, which has dropped consumption by 60 percent.
UC Berkeley Graduate Assembly Calls for Fossil Fuel Divestment
The Graduate Assembly of the University of California, Berkeley voted with a two-thirds majority in favor of a resolution that calls on the university and the UC system to divest their endowments from fossil fuel companies. The resolution also commits the Graduate Assembly to divest its own funds of $475,000 from the greenhouse gas-emitting fuels.
Ball State U & Valencia College Partner with Chevrolet
(United States): As part of Chevrolet's new initiative to eliminate eight million metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the air over the next five years, the two schools were selected to use Chevy's new carbon-reduction performance methodology, which measures the "beyond-business-as-usual" carbon reductions. Chevy intends to then purchase these reductions as carbon credits. A geothermal system at Ball State University and four LEED buildings at Valencia College are eligible for the agreement.
U New Hampshire to House Clean Air-Cool Planet Programs
In 2014 Clean Air-Cool Planet will dissolve and the organization's two programs, Climate Fellows Program and the Campus Carbon Calculator (CCC), will be housed at the university's Sustainability Institute, where the CCC was developed in 2000.
Gonzaga U Releases First Climate Action Plan
The university's first plan calls for at least a 20 percent reduction of greenhouse gases by 2020 and 50 percent by 2035 from 2009 levels with the goal of climate neutrality by 2050.
St. Thomas Aquinas College Signs ACUPCC
Citing sustainability and climate change as reasons for recently signing the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment, the college will offer forums to students and employees about the causes and moral dimensions of climate change, and the assess college's impact.
Second Nature Announces Climate Leader Finalists
(U.S.): Second Nature and the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) have announced the finalists of the Fifth Annual Climate Leadership Awards, presented to ACUPCC signatory schools that demonstrate "unparalleled campus innovation and climate leadership that helps transition society to a clean, just and sustainable future." Second Nature is partnering with Planet Forward in a public voting competition featuring the finalists' climate leadership and campus innovations during Earth Month.
Wilfrid Laurier U Partnered with Regional Climate Action Plan
(Canada): Highlighted in a recent release of a regional climate action plan, proposal cited the university's collaborative efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, the university's sustainability coordinator chaired a committee focusing on institutional, commercial and industrial areas.
U California Berkeley Meets 1990 Carbon Emissions Level
Through investing in energy efficiency, sustainable transportation practices, purchasing sustainable power, and improving data and inventory methods, the university successfully reduced its carbon emissions to 1990 levels two years earlier than targeted.
Moraine Valley CC Signs ACUPCC
The community college recently signed the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment, pledging to eliminate net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
U Virginia Develops New Model to Measure Nitrogen Footprint
(U.S.): Working with students from multiple disciplines, a professor of environmental sciences recently released the results of a university nitrogen footprint analysis. Predominantly coming from energy use and food production, nitrogen can contribute to smog, acidifying water and weakening the ozone layer.
U Victoria Releases Carbon Neutral Action Report
(Canada): The university has reduced total greenhouse gases by 8 percent and natural gas use by 10 percent. These reductions are the result of increasing energy efficiencies in campus buildings, lighting upgrades and behavior changes among staff, students and faculty.
Cornell U Opens Institute for Climate Change and Agriculture
Developed from a need to help farmers adapt to changing climates, the institute will act as a clearinghouse for research, climate monitoring, decision‐support tools and applications at the intersection of climate and agriculture. An early step will be developing a website for disseminating and gathering information on farm-level impacts and trends, losses and gains resulting from warming and extreme weather. Allison Morrill Chatrchyan, who most recently served as environment and energy program leader with Cornell Cooperative Extension, will step in as the institute's first director effective September 1.
U Rhode Island to Lead National Climate Change Education Project
The university's Graduate School of Oceanography has received a $1 million National Science Foundation grant to serve as the national hub for a Climate Change Education Partnership Alliance. The school will work to build a network of climate change scientists, educators, communication professionals and government and private-sector stakeholders to educate the public about the science of climate change and its implications.
San Francisco State U to End Coal Investments
The foundation of San Francisco State University has agreed to not invest in companies "with significant production or use of coal and tar sands." The foundation will also seek to limit investments in fossil fuel companies.
UC Santa Cruz Students Help City Meet Climate Action Goals
The Impact Designs: Engineering & Sustainability through Student Service Bicycle Transit Planning Team has identified high priority resolutions to unsafe bicycling areas in the City of Santa Cruz including the addition of more lighting, improving streets as a bicycle boulevards and intersection improvements. The study aimed to help the City achieve its biking and carbon emission goals by 2020.
Second Nature Recognizes 10 Institutions for Climate Leadership
Presented annually to signatory institutions of the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), the Climate Leadership Award celebrates schools that demonstrate innovative and advanced leadership in education for sustainability and climate mitigation and adaptation. This year's winning institutions include Missouri University of Science & Technology, Portland State University, SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry, Chatham University, Goddard College, Middlebury College, Oberlin College, Bellevue College, University of Hawaii Kauai Community College and Pratt Institute.
Stanford U Students Campaign for Fossil Fuel Divestment
The group aims to convince university officials to freeze all new fossil fuel investments and to fully divest from fossil fuel companies within the next five years. The group's online petition to rally support from the campus community and make students more aware of the divestment movement recently reached 1,045 signatures.
MIT, Harvard, Cambridge Sign 'Compact for a Sustainable Future'
The “Community Compact for a Sustainable Future” lays out a framework for the signatories — and other organizations that choose to join — to work in a more coordinated fashion to tackle local sustainability challenges. The compact aims to generate new solutions in the areas of waste reduction, energy efficiency, climate mitigation and adaptation, water management, renewable energy and green tech incubation.
Missouri S&T Wins Climate Leadership Video Competition
Second Nature and Planet Forward have announced Missouri University of Science and Technology as the winner of the video voting component of the 2013 Second Nature Climate Leadership Awards. The video, which details how the university's solar village, community energy storage bank and geothermal energy system will save an expected $2.8 million per year in energy and operational costs, collected 16,374 votes and will be featured across Planet Forward media platforms over the next few months.