AASHE Welcomes Board and Advisory Council Members

In the fall of 2016, AASHE held governance elections that resulted in the appointment of two new board members, Ann Erhardt, director of Energy Programs and director of sustainability at Michigan State University, and Cynthia Klein-Banai, associate chancellor for sustainability at University of Illinois at Chicago, and 45 new Advisory Council members.

Fairfield U Releases Inaugural Sustainability Plan

The university's first Campus Sustainability Plan includes actions to enhance education and student engagement, manage energy use and other university resources, and build new facilities to increase sustainability all over campus.

The Chronicle Features the 'Sustainable Campus Index'

The Chronicle of Higher Education recently covered AASHE's 2016 Sustainable Campus Index, an impact report that spotlights top-performing colleges and universities in 17 distinct aspects of sustainability and overall by institution type. The report used data from AASHE's Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS).

U Kentucky Announces New Faculty Sustainability Committee

The newly formed Faculty Sustainability Council is a technical advisory group to the President’s Sustainability Advisory Committee charged with evaluating the state of sustainability curriculum and establishing short, medium and long-term goals for integrating sustainability further into the curriculum.

Michigan State U Receives $2.3M to Diversify Economics Profession

The American Economic Association chose the university, after a national competition, to house the two-month residential program until 2020. The university has received more than $2.3 million in grants from the National Science Foundation and other organizations to continue operating an economics-training program for undergraduates designed to increase diversity in economics doctoral programs and professions.

HEIs Pen Letter to President-Elect Regarding Climate Action

Collaboratively developed by a diverse group of higher education institutions and Second Nature, an open letter to the incoming President and members of Congress asks for participation in international climate efforts, support for climate research and investment in climate solutions. Any institution of higher education can add their name to the letter by Dec. 9, to be included in the national release of this letter.

League of American Bicyclists Announces 2016 Campus Designations

Bicycle Friendly University award designations grew this year with 37 campuses obtaining a designation for the first time. Eleven campuses moved up from one designation to another, with a total of 51 campuses now having the Bicycle Friendly Designation, a program of The League of American Bicyclists.

U Chicago Releases First Sustainability Report

The new report provides data on greenhouse gas emissions, food preparation, waste management, transportation and grounds that will help guide efforts to meet goals in each area.

California State U, Northridge Breaks Ground on Sustainability Center

Construction began in September on a new Associated Students Sustainability Center, a multi-functional space serving as an expanded collections station for campus recyclables, the administrative hub of the Associated Students' sustainability programs and services and the administrative offices of the Institute for Sustainability. The building will include photovoltaic and solar hot water panels, a gray-water collection system and composting toilets.

Princeton Review Releases Guide to 361 Green Colleges

The Princeton Review's Guide to 361 Green Colleges: 2016 Edition is a free guide that profiles universities and colleges with commitments to sustainability based on their academic offerings, campus policies, initiatives and activities. The edition includes a list of the Top 50 Green Colleges.

AASHE Announces Board of Directors Slate and Election

The slate of candidates for the 2016 AASHE Board of Directors election is now open for voting. Thirteen applications were received, of which two will be chosen by majority vote. Each member organization is eligible to vote for up to two candidates for the Board of Directors. Voting takes place by the primary contact for each AASHE member institution/organization.

McGill U Creates Advisory Council on Sustainability

The new Advisory Council on Sustainability, co-chaired by senior academic members, is charged with making recommendations on the implementation and evolution of the university's sustainability strategy and related plans, policies, and performance indicators. Consisting of 17 individuals, including administrators, staff, students and external members, the council will meet for the first time in early November 2016.

Amherst College Sets Up Green Revolving Fund with $2M Gift from Alumnus

The college recently joined the Billion Dollar Green Challenge, an initiative of the Sustainable Endowments Institute, after Prince Albert Grimaldi ’81 of Monaco gifted $2 million toward the establishment of a fund to support operational and facilities environmental initiatives. The overarching purpose of the green revolving fund is to aid the college in reducing greenhouse gas emissions by providing the resources to implement energy conservation measures.

North Carolina State U Reaches State-Mandated Energy & Water Goal

Despite a more than 50 percent increase in campus square footage, the university reduced campus energy use by 33 percent and water use by 50 percent per gross square-foot, as indicated by a piece of legislation that became law in 2007. The legislation calls for a 30 percent reduction in energy use per gross square foot from the 2003 baseline and a 50 percent reduction in water use per gross square foot from the 2002 baseline.

Yale to Release New 2025 Sustainability Plan

The university announced that it will soon release the new university sustainability plan, Yale Sustainability Plan 2025, that aims to connect the broader Yale community under one long-term Yale Sustainability Vision. Expanding the scope of the previous two plans, the Yale Sustainability Plan 2025 is the result of broad stakeholder engagement across the university community.

AASHE Announces Top Performers in 2016 Sustainable Campus Index

AASHE’s newly released 2016 Sustainable Campus Index recognizes top-performing colleges and universities in 17 distinct aspects of sustainability and overall by institution type as measured by the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS). Additionally, the report highlights innovative and high-impact initiatives from over 60 institutions.

U North Carolina Chapel Hill Announces Three Zeros Initiative

The university's new Three Zeros Initiative strives to achieve greenhouse gas neutrality, water neutrality and zero waste by addressing individual behaviors, teaching and how the campus can model new, innovative approaches while having a global impact. Three Zeros stemmed from the new Sustainability Plan, which is the university's framework for examining campus-wide sustainability efforts and identifying ways to integrate them into teaching, research and engagement activities.

Cleveland State U Appoints New Director of Sustainability

Jennifer McMillin will manage the university’s ongoing efforts to reduce emissions and waste, enhance alternative energy use and increase overall environmental quality on campus. McMillin will also lead multiple education and training initiatives designed to enhance sustainability among students, faculty and staff as well as the broader community. McMillin comes to CSU from the Australian National University where she led the development of the university’s internationally-recognized student and staff sustainability outreach program.

NCAA Encourages Divisions to Sign Diversity Pledge

The NCAA’s diversity and inclusion pledge, gaining approval from the NCAA's board of governors in August 2016, is now available online for presidents and chancellors to affirm their commitment to ethnic, racial and gender diversity in the hiring process for athletics. Colleges, universities and athletics conferences that commit to the pledge will be recognized in a public listing on the NCAA’s website. This comes after a 2014-15 NCAA employment survey shows slow progress toward addressing diversity initiatives.

Dalhousie U Adopts Sustainable Food Plan

The newly released framework from the university's Food Services and Office of Sustainability supports and adheres to the vision and principles identified in the Dalhousie University Sustainability Plan. The plan is primarily focused on but not limited to the food procurement, preparation, kitchen operation and end use, for which there are 11 goals spanning these four areas.

California State U, Northridge & Stockton U Receive Nat'l Sustainability Award

The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) recently awarded the Sustainability and Sustainable Development Award to California State University, Northridge (CSUN) and Stockton University. AASCU cited CSUN for incorporating sustainability into planning and administration, facilities and operations, education and curriculum, student government and life, research and innovation, and Stockton University was attributed on behalf of their natural-environment living laboratories and having sustainability as one of four pillars in its strategic plan.

Nine Community Colleges Win Green Genome Award from AACC

Cedar Valley College, Chesapeake College, College of Lake County, Guam Community College, Johnson County Community College, Lewis & Clark Community College, Lincoln Land Community College, Northeast Community College and Northeast Texas Community College are recipients of the 2016 Green Genome Awards for exemplary efforts to promote sustainability education, practices, programs and training. The winning colleges will each receive $10,000. The Green Genome Awards are part of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and its Sustainability Education and Economic Development (SEED) Center.

Kimberly-Clark Professional* Announces Sustainable Campus Competition LIVE! Finalists

Selected from over 220 entries, Oberlin College, University of Washington and a joint submission from Butler University and Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis have been named as finalists in the Sustainable Campus Competition LIVE! contest, which includes a $50,000 grand prize from Kimberly-Clark Professional*. The finalists will present their projects before a panel of judges on Oct. 10 at the 2016 AASHE Conference & Expo, where the grand prize winner will be announced.

Dickinson College and Town Partner to Measure Resilience

A beta tool developed by the Rockefeller Foundation and Arup International Development called the City Resilience Index was recently utilized by the college and the surrounding town of Carlisle to measure the community's ability to cope with, manage and adapt to change. The collaboration resulted from Carlisle asking various constituencies to suggest priority issues to address, of which resilience was one such issue.

Ohio U Building Earns LEED Gold Certification

The new building minimizes consumption of water and energy, project materials contained recycled content, almost 50 percent of materials were manufactured in the region, and the project diverted more than 75 percent of construction waste from entering a landfill.

U British Columbia Earns First Place in GUPES Green Gown Awards

University of British Columbia was the North American Student Engagement winner of the inaugural Global Universities Partnership on Environment for Sustainability (GUPES) Green Gown Awards for its Social Ecological Economic Development Studies (SEEDS) Sustainability Program, which reports to have engaged over 6,000 students and staff. The highly commended winner of this category was McGill University for its Sustainability Projects Fund that aims to build a culture of sustainability through the development and seed-funding of interdisciplinary projects.

Marquette U Hires First Sustainability Coordinator

Hired to lead Marquette's sustainability efforts, Brent Ribble was recently brought on to advance campus sustainability as it relates to academics, operations, planning and engagement. In addition, the university announced a new interdisciplinary major in environmental studies, that began fall 2016, to help prepare students to address sustainability challenges in their lives and careers.

U Louisville Efficiency Measure Yields Paper Waste Reduction

A new model of streamlining transactional business processes that were previously being done in different spaces has resulted in measurable savings from resource use and staff time reduction, and waste reduction.

Sierra Magazine Releases 2016 Cool Schools List

Open to all four-year undergraduate colleges and universities in the U.S., the guide is produced for prospective and current students, administrators and alumni to compare higher education institutions' environmental commitments. The scoring key is a reflection of Sierra Club's broader priorities and awards more weight in the areas of campus energy use, transportation and fossil fuel divestment.

Princeton Review Announces 'Green College Honor Roll'

The recently released annual results tally 640 four-year institutions based on a measure of the school's performance as an environmentally aware and prepared institution, including these indicators: a campus quality of life, preparation of students for employment in the clean-energy economy, citizenship in a world now defined by environmental concerns and opportunities, and environmentally responsible policies.

Emory U Releases Sustainability Vision & Plan

The new plan, building off the university's strategic plan that calls for sustainability to be a guiding principle, outlines four action areas. Broadly, they are to support culture change, expand the sustainability network, model sustainability in landscape, buildings and operations, and create strategic, public partnerships that build resilient communities.

U Central Florida Seeks Sustainability Guidance from Walt Disney Co.

Serving millions of guests a year and employing over 70,000 individuals, the Walt Disney Company spoke with the university about how to reduce a large environmental footprint.

Arizona State U Receives Athletics Sustainability Honor

The National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and USG Corporation named the university as the winner of the 2016 USG NACDA Sustainability Award. Runners up were the University of Louisville and South Dakota State University. The USG NACDA Sustainability Award was designed to recognize NACDA member institutions across all divisions, honoring athletics directors and their universities for incorporating sustainable practices and materials into their athletics facilities.

ISCN Announces 2016 Award Winners

The International Sustainable Campus Network's (ISCN) Campus Excellence Awards recognize sustainable campus projects that demonstrate leadership, creativity, effectiveness and outstanding performance in the areas of campus, collaboration and student leadership. University of São Paulo (Brazil) won in the Excellence in Campus category; University of Oxford (England) came in first in the Excellence in Innovative Collaboration; and Excellence in Student Leadership was awarded to five Swedish universities that collaborate in "Sustainability Week".

U Cambridge Announces Fossil Fuel Divestment Decision

(U.K.) A university working group, charged in 2015, recently announced its plans to blacklist all investments in coal and tar sands, although currently it has no direct holdings in either. At this time, however, the university refuses to completely divest from fossil fuel investments. This decision follows a petition signed by more than 2,000 students calling for divestment and a student union council vote 33-to-1 in favor of divestment. Nearly 100 Cambridge academics signed an open letter in April 2016 calling for divestment.

Colorado State U Offers Bike Training to Older Staff

Faculty and staff 50 years old and older can get personalized training through university’s Parking and Transportation Services, thanks to a Kaiser Permanente grant. The Back on the Bike program is designed to get more people in active transportation and physical activity by offering bike tune-ups, safety gear and tricks to travel in traffic and overcome other safety or comfort obstacles through personalized travel training.

St. Louis U Adjunct Faculty Vote to Form Union

Part-time faculty working in St. Louis University’s College of Education and the College of Arts and Sciences voted 89 to 28 in favor of unionizing, pushing for higher wages and access to health benefits.

SUNY New Paltz Bolsters Diversity & Inclusion Support with New Hire & Task Force

The university recently announced Tanhena Pacheco Dunn as chief diversity officer after being hired in 2012 as executive director of Compliance and coordinator of Campus Climate and Title IX. Pacheco Dunn came to SUNY New Paltz from Vassar College. Additionally, a new, 21-member Diversity and Inclusion Plan Task Force has been tasked with leading the development of a draft campus diversity and inclusion plan.

Amherst College Receives $1M 'Cooke Prize for Equity in Educational Excellence'

The Cooke Prize was recently awarded to the college due to its record of eliminating arbitrary barriers to admission and promoting the success of high-achieving students from low-income families.

Ten Canadian Institutions Top 2016 Greenest Employers List

Organized by the Canada's Top 100 Employers project, the 10 colleges and universities are Dalhousie University, Humber College, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Mohawk College, Red River College, University of British Columbia, University of Alberta, University of Northern British Columbia, University of Toronto and York University. The Greenest Employer award recognizes employers that lead the nation in making environmental values part of their organizational culture.

Wesleyan U Funds Sustainability Education and Social Justice Programs

Among this year's initiatives and projects that the student-run Green Fund allocated money to are the development of sustainability curriculum into existing courses, an event featuring a Stony Brook University professor about ecofeminism, eco-grief and climate justice, and funding to a pilot program that offers cooperative food shares to a local elementary school.

U Iowa Marks Progress on 2020 Sustainability Goals

Some areas of progress include net negative energy growth, with a nearly 15 percent reduction in per capita emissions of fossil fuel-produced carbon dioxide from university-related transportation and travel, a 42 percent waste diversion rate and 14.4 percent renewable energy use.

Green Mountain College and Audubon International Announce Partnership

Graduate students at Green Mountain College can apply their place-based education by exploring and implementing Audubon International’s programs alongside professional staff. Staff at any of Audubon International's member facilities will receive discounts to enroll in the college’s online graduate curriculum in one of four sustainability disciplines. The goal of the partnership is to improve training opportunities for sustainability professionals and students, and lead to new research on sustainability practices.

Northeastern U Shares Campus Sustainability Report

Released at the time of the COP21 climate talks in Paris, the report lists the university's 2025 goals and provides an update to the campus' climate commitment and progress, improvements to buildings and water infrastructure, and campus resilience and business continuity.

Southern Illinois U Carbondale to Open Sustainability Display

The new Innovation and Sustainability Hub will feature informational displays about current and future innovation and sustainability efforts on campus and serve as a collaborative space to share information and increase awareness and student participation.

Harvard U Provides 2015 Sustainability Report

The new report in an online format provides progress updates in the areas of emissions and energy, campus operations, nature and ecosystems, health and wellbeing, and culture and learning.

MIT Report Highlights Creation of Climate Action Advisory Committee

In a new report released in April, MIT announced a new Climate Action Advisory Committee to consult on the implementation of climate plans, develop a set of strategies and benchmarks for the school's engagement with industry, government and other institutions, and assist in finding ways to engage the broader community in climate action. The report also outlines progress on its five-year climate action plan released in October 2015.

EPA Honors Winners of Campus RainWorks Challenge

In April 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency announced four winners and two honorable mentions for the 2015 Campus RainWorks Challenge. University of Texas at Arlington (Master Plan category) and University of Maryland, College Park (Demonstration Project category) were first place winners, with Stevens Institute of Technology (Master Plan) and University of California, Berkeley (Demonstration Project) taking second place. The Campus RainWorks Challenge encourages students to learn about the current or potential impacts of climate change on campus and demonstrate how using green infrastructure practices on their campuses can build resiliency to those impacts while effectively managing stormwater runoff.

Education Dept Announces 2016 Green Ribbon Schools Award

This year's U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools recognition award went to Elon University; Georgia Institute of Technology; Hawkeye Community College; Macalester College; Raritan Valley Community College; Slippery Rock University; University of Colorado, Colorado Springs; University of Louisiana at Lafayette; University of Montevallo; and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The Green Ribbon Schools recognition award honors postsecondary institutions that are demonstrating progress in three pillars: environmental impact, health and wellness, and sustainability education.

Johns Hopkins Releases New Sustainability Report

Through efforts to meet the university's pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 51 percent by 2025, the newly released report reveals greenhouse gas emissions were down 30 percent from 2007 levels, despite a 9.3 percent increase in its building footprint and 4.6 percent increase in total energy consumption. A portion of the reduction is attributable to the regional electricity grid's fuel mix, which now uses less coal and more natural gas and renewable sources.