U Winnipeg Announces Institutional Sustainability Strategy

The university's second five-year plan outlines four overarching sustainability goals and 19 targets to ensure those goals are met, including exceeding Canada’s commitments under the Paris Accord, deriving five percent of total campus energy from renewable energy sources, and establishing a baseline and reduction target for emissions resulting indirectly from university activities, such as waste, paper use and air travel.

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.

EAUC Launches Sustainable Development Goals Accord

The SGD Accord supports the critical role that education has in delivering the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Signatories of the pact, which AASHE and many other organizations have endorsed, commit to implement the goals, annually report on progress, and share best practices and experiences.

AASHE Releases 2017 Higher Education Sustainability Staffing Survey Report

The 2017 staffing survey report examines sustainability positions at colleges and universities. It presents insights into salaries, funding, supervision, job satisfaction and challenges. For the first time, the report includes information from outside of the U.S. and Canada, and graphical data comparisons.

U North Carolina Charlotte Launches Bike Sharing System

In an effort to reduce pollution and traffic congestion, last month the university launched Charlotte Wheels, which provides 10 stations and 100 bicycles for checkout. The system offers two different pricing options.

Virginia Private Colleges Receive Solar Energy Funding

The Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia (CICV) has been awarded more than $807,000 in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative to help 16 member colleges develop comprehensive plans for implementing solar power on their campuses. The three-year program is designed to help the colleges navigate the legal, regulatory and technical challenges associated with installing solar systems, leverage group purchasing power, and create a learning network accessible by other organizations considering solar power.

APPA Sustainability Awards Given to Five Schools

APPA, previously known as the Association of Physical Plant Administrators, honored the following schools with its 2017 Sustainability Award: Arizona State University, The Ohio State University, San Mateo County Community College District, University of British Columbia, and University of Washington Bothell. The Sustainability Award is designed to recognize and advance sustainability in educational facilities.

North Carolina State U Adopts Sustainability Strategic Plan

After more than 18 months of cross-campus planning, input and analysis, the NC State Sustainability Council has completed development of the university's next five-year Sustainability Strategic Plan, guiding sustainability efforts through 2022.

Princeton Review Releases 2018 Green Honor Roll

The 2018 Green Honor Roll spotlights 24 schools that received the highest score in the Green Rating tallies this year out of 629 schools. This rating, on a scale of 60–99, looks at students quality of campus life, student preparation for a clean energy economy and citizenship, and the school's policies as they relate to environmental responsibility.

Stanford U Earns STARS Platinum

Earlier this month, Stanford University earned a Platinum rating in the Sustainability, Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS), which measures sustainability achievements in academics, campus and community engagement, operations, and planning and administration. Stanford joins Colorado State University as the only two higher education institutions to achieve STARS Platinum.

Sierra Magazine Releases Annual Cool Schools List

In 2017, Sierra magazine ranked 227 institutions based on information about their environmental practices in food and transportation systems, water and waste management, purchasing procedures, academics, investments and more. Participation in the Cool Schools ranking was open to all four-year undergraduate colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada.

Northwest Missouri State U and SUNY Oswego Win Sustainability Awards from AASCU

Northwest Missouri State University and the State University of New York Oswego won the American Association of State Colleges and Universities' (AASCU) Sustainability and Sustainable Development Award. The program honors member institutions for excellence and innovation in sustainability. Northwest Missouri State was cited for its Comprehensive Sustainability System, which has produced $15.4 million in energy savings, and SUNY Oswego's BikeShare and BusShare projects were highlighted.

SEPN Releases Study Results on Sustainability Assessment and Strategic Planning

According to a new study from the Sustainability and Education Policy Network (SEPN), an examination of strategic plans from 50 post-secondary institutions across Canada revealed that institutions that have undergone a sustainability assessment also incorporate sustainability into their strategic plans in a more significant way. The study is part of a larger study examining sustainability uptake across the Canadian formal education system.

Winona State U Hires First Sustainability Director

Nathan Engstrom will be directly responsible for collecting and analyzing data, developing implementation strategies, overseeing and assessing progress towards established metrics and standards, and reporting to all constituent groups on campus. Engstrom, who previously served as regional sustainability coordinator at Northland College, has a master’s degree in sustainable design from The University of Texas at Austin and a bachelor’s degree in sociology and environmental studies from Northland College.

Duke U, Unity College & U Texas Austin Win Top Honors for Dining Practices

The National Association of College and University Food Services (NACUFS) Sustainability Awards recognize and honor institutions that have demonstrated outstanding leadership in the promotion and implementation of environmental sustainability in campus dining operations. The 2017 grand prize winner is Unity College, who also won top honors in the Waste Management category followed by Oregon State University and Georgia State University, respectively. The first, second and third place winners in Outreach and Education are respectively University of Texas at Austin, University of Massachusetts Amherst and College of Saint Benedict. In the Procurement Practices category, Duke University, University of Montana and Purdue University ranked first, second and third place respectively.

AASHE Announces Sustainability Award Finalists

The AASHE Sustainability Awards recognize sustainability achievements, research advancements and student leadership. This year, there were 35 finalists chosen across 10 categories. Entries were judged on overall impact, innovation and other criteria specific to each category. Winners will be announced during a special ceremony on Oct. 15 at the 2017 AASHE Conference & Expo.

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.

Cornell U Ends Licensing Contract With Nike Over Labor Agreement

Cornell University has notified apparel-maker Nike and Branded Custom Sportswear, Nike’s exclusive licensee for collegiate apparel, that Cornell is ending its licensing relationship with them. Neither company is willing to sign a standard contract through IMG Collegiate Licensing, Cornell's licensing agent, attesting that they will follow a labor code of conduct vetted by Cornell and peer institutions.

U Maryland to Complete 2MW Photovoltaic Project

Three soon-to-be-completed solar canopies, totaling 2.17 megawatts, will help the campus exceed its on-campus renewable energy goal of generating 2.7 megawatts of solar power for university facilities by 2018. The solar canopies are a part of the President's Purchased Power Initiative, which aims to ensure 100 percent of purchased power comes from renewable sources by 2020.

Indiana State U Hires Sustainability Coordinator

Nick McCreary has been hired to lead the university's Institute for Community Sustainability. He served as the sustainability coordinator at Saint Louis University while working on his master's degree in sustainability.

Swarthmore College Plus Three More Win the 'Sustainable Campus Excellence Award'

The International Sustainable Campus Network has bestowed the Sustainable Campus Excellence Award to four campuses. Chiba University (Japan) claimed the Student Leadership Award; National University of Singapore (Singapore) was honored with the Building and Innovative Infrastructure Award; Swarthmore College received the Innovative Collaboration Award; and the University of Applied Sciences Trier (Germany) earned the Campus Planning and Management Systems Award.

AASHE Receives Award for Exemplary Workplace Practices

AASHE was recently given the prestigious When Work Works Award, part of the Society for Human Resource Management’s When Work Works project, a national initiative that helps employers become more successful by transforming the way they view and adopt effective and flexible workplaces. AASHE was evaluated on factors associated with employee health, well-being and engagement; opportunities for learning; a culture of trust; work-life fit; supervisor support for work success; autonomy; and satisfaction with earnings, benefits and opportunities for advancement.

GSA Announces 'Environmental Innovators of the Year' Award Winners

The Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis received Environmental Innovator of the Year from Green Sports Alliance for converting one of its athletic facilities to zero waste, while Oregon State University won the award for creating a sustainability team of athletes that educate fans on recycling, seek to compost all team meals and install light timers on electronics to save energy.

NC BOG Attempts to Ban Students From Practicing Litigation in Law School

The North Carolina Board of Governors has proposed a ban on litigation efforts by the UNC Center for Civil Rights at the law school of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which takes on legal cases of school desegregation, fair housing and environmental justice for poor and minority clients. Several board members want to prohibit the center from filing legal claims and lawsuits, saying it is inappropriate for the center to represent clients in court against other government entities. Some UNC and N.C. Central University law school leaders say barring the centers and clinics from engaging in legal action would effectively end those student training opportunities, potentially leading to questions from the American Bar Association.

Purdue U, St. John's U & Towson U Win RecycleMania's 2017 Campus Engagement Case Study Competition

Purdue University won the Waste Minimization category; St. John's University won the Food Waste Reduction category; and Towson University won the Education and Awareness Campaign category. Unlike traditional RecycleMania categories that rank based on recycling, food waste or trash weights, this is a judged competition that recognizes schools based on the creativity and impact of their efforts. North Lake College and Stanford University won honorable mention.

Haverford College Requests Suppliers Use Pallets Made From Paper

Seeking innovative ways to reduce their carbon footprint, the college recently sent a letter to all its suppliers asking for deliveries to campus to be made on lightweight, recyclable corrugated paper shipping pallets. Haverford's initiative comes one year after Change the Pallet wrote to the presidents of more than 300 U.S. colleges and universities. The letter calls on colleges to use their buying power to encourage or require suppliers to ship to campuses on corrugated pallets to further reduce emissions and waste.

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.

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.

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.

250 Institutions Commit to Climate Leadership

More than 250 colleges and universities have signed the We Are Still open letter to declare their intent to ensure the U.S. remains a global leader in reducing carbon emissions. Private and public universities and community colleges, despite the lack of federal leadership, have agreed to pursue ambitious climate goals and to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy. Senior college and university leaders are still welcome to sign on. AASHE is proud to support the leadership of these committed schools.

U Pennsylvania Wins 2017 Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Award

The University of Pennsylvania won the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council's (SPLC) 2017 Supplier Engagement Award for its collaboration with a local enterprise, Wash Cycle Laundry, to create local jobs, foster the growth of an innovative local business, and reduce the environmental impact of the university’s laundry services. In total, the SPLC recognized ten organizations and one individual for their leadership in the sustainable purchasing movement.

Pennsylvania State U Earns Tree Campus Designation

The university's new designation as a Tree Campus, a program of Arbor Day Foundation, recognizes its commitment to effective urban forest management and for engaging staff and students in conservation goals. The university currently has more than 17,000 trees in its canopy.

U Adelaide Announces Multi-Million Dollar Sustainability Plan

(Australia) The university's new Campus Sustainability Plan earmarks 14.4 million Australian dollars ($10.7 million) over four years to sustainability, with more than AU$12.8 million dedicated to carbon emissions reduction projects at the university's three campuses. While the university's goal is net zero emissions by 2050, its interim 2020 goals include two megawatts of installed solar, a 15 percent improvement in energy performance and a 50 percent reduction in waste to landfill.

Education Dept Announces '2017 Green Ribbon Schools' Recipients

Nine post-secondary institutions were among 63 honorees nationally to receive the U.S. Department of Education's Green Ribbon Schools award, an awards program that acknowledges a commitment to sustainable practices among schools, districts and institutions of higher education. Recipients of the award demonstrated leadership across three pillars: reduced environmental impact and costs, improved health and wellness, and effective environmental and sustainability education.

West Virginia State U to Sue Dow Chemical for Polluting Groundwater

The university announced in early May that it is pursuing litigation against Dow Chemical Company, among others, for contaminating the groundwater under the university’s campus. Though the pollution does not pose a direct threat to anyone on campus, the university says the company should be responsible for cleanup of the contaminants.

Pennsylvania State U Names Chief Sustainability Officer

Paul Shrivastava, recent executive director of Future Earth, a global environmental change research program, and researcher in the fields of sustainability, risk and crisis management, has been named the university’s chief sustainability officer and director of the Penn State Sustainability Institute. Shrivastava received his doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh.

Dartmouth College Sets Goals for Low-Carbon Future

Dartmouth’s president has announced new principles, standards and commitments in the areas of energy, waste and materials, water, food, transportation, and landscape and ecology. Based on a report developed by the Sustainability Task Force, these commitments include a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from campus operations by 50 percent by 2025, and by 80 percent by 2050.

Columbia U Releases First Sustainability Plan

The university's inaugural Sustainability Plan, released for Earth Day 2017, is its first formalized document bringing together sustainability efforts. It is the result of a 16-month focused collaboration with students, faculty, administrators and scientists working across departments to create a three-year, operations-focused roadmap to a more sustainable campus. The plan’s overarching goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 35 percent in the next three years through focusing on energy use and conservation, transportation and waste management.

U Virginia Launches Nitrogen Footprint Tool Network

The University of Virginia, along with Brown University, Colorado College, Colorado State University, Dickinson College, Eastern Mennonite University, Marine Biological Laboratory and the University of New Hampshire, has launched the Nitrogen Footprint Tool Network, a group of higher education institutions that are measuring and attempting to reduce their output of reactive nitrogen. The Nitrogen Footprint Tool Network is working with the University of New Hampshire Sustainability Institute to build the nitrogen footprint tool into the Campus Carbon Calculator.

U Virginia to Publish Greenhouse Gas Action Plan

The soon-to-be released Greenhouse Gas Action Plan seeks to shift energy generation and distribution to renewable energy sources, employ conservation measures in existing buildings, increase energy efficiency in labs, employ sustainable building standards in new construction and major renovations, improve efficiencies in transportation and promote awareness of individual actions.

U Maryland Approves Carbon Neutral Air Travel Initiative

The university president recently approved a strategy to offset the greenhouse gases caused by university-related student, faculty and staff air travel, which have increased 52 percent over the past decade and now account for 20 percent of the university's carbon footprint. The goal is to completely and permanently eliminate the university air travel carbon footprint, likely through the purchase of carbon offsets at a cost of approximately $5 for each domestic trip.

Georgia Tech Publishes Inaugural Strategic Sustainability Plan

The new Strategic Plan for Sustainable Practice lays out the long-term vision and goals that will guide energy and emissions, water resource use, materials management, the built environment and community engagement on campus for the next 10 years.

EAUC Announces International Green Gown Award Winners

The International Green Gown Awards, administered by the Environmental Association of Colleges and Universities (EAUC), announced the 2017 winners, who were selected by an international panel of judges. The University of the West of England, Bristol (U.K.) won the Continuous Improvement: Institutional Change category; Fiji National University, (Fiji) won in the Community category; and University of West of England, Bristol and University of Bristol (U.K.) won in the Student Engagement category. Winners of the regional Green Gown Awards competed internationally for top international honors.

U Wisconsin-Stevens Point Introduces Educational Sustainability Doctoral Program

The new doctoral program in Educational Sustainability is designed to challenge students to educate for sustainability, by understanding and responding to problems in economic, ecological and social justice contexts. Sustainability learning and leadership theories are used to enable graduates to transform educational systems and foster citizen engagement.

AASHE Endorses March for Science

AASHE joins hundreds of other organizations supporting the March for Science, happening on Earth Day, April 22, in Washington, D.C., and at satellite marches around the globe. The March for Science aims to unite as a diverse, nonpartisan group to call for science that upholds the common good and for political leaders and policymakers to enact evidence based policies in the public interest.

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.

MIT Creates Sustainability Incubator Fund

The new Campus Sustainability Incubator Fund seeks to enable MIT community members to use the MIT campus as a test bed for research in sustainable operations, management and design. It is intended to support the generation of breakthrough sustainability solutions.

U Michigan Launches Three Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Initiatives

As part of its ongoing strategic efforts to enhance diversity in higher education and society, the university's National Center for Institutional Diversity is starting the Distinguished Diversity and Social Transformation Professorship, Grants to Support Research and Scholarship for Change, and the Distinguished Diversity Scholar Career Award and initiatives. Through these initiatives, the center is actively working to highlight the interconnections of diversity and excellence in research and scholarship in ways that positively affect knowledge production and its use for societal change.

Three Higher Ed Groups to Implement Open Access Initiative

The Association of American Universities, Association of Research Libraries, and Association of American University Presses are implementing a new initiative, expected to launch spring 2017, to advance the wide dissemination of scholarship by humanities and humanistic social sciences faculty members by publishing free, open access, digital editions of peer-reviewed and professionally edited monographs. To date, there are 12 institutions that have committed to participate in this initiative.

U Bristol Announces Fossil Fuel Divestment & Carbon Reduction Plans

(U.K.): The university's board of trustees has agreed to end investment in companies that derive more than five per cent of turnover from the extraction of thermal coal or oil and gas from tar sands by January 2018, and actively manage other areas of its portfolio of energy investments, including those in oil and gas, to achieve a material reduction in carbon emissions from these investments. This will include investing in companies at the leading edge of carbon management and in companies with strong, deliverable commitments to improving their carbon efficiency, as well as a greater investment focus on non-fossil fuel energy providers.