Sierra, Princeton Review Announce Coordinated Reporting Deadline

AASHE has collaborated with Sierra Magazine and The Princeton Review to allow institutions to report all data in one place using the new and improved STARS 2.0. The new version of STARS offers a basic level of access at no cost to institutions. Simply follow these steps: 1) register for STARS (at the basic or full level of access), 2) report your data in the STARS Reporting Tool, and 3) save a “snapshot” to also share with Sierra Magazine and The Princeton Review. To help further address survey fatigue, Sierra Magazine and The Princeton Review have coordinated their deadlines. Register for STARS 2.0 and submit your data by Feb. 28, 2014 to be included in Sierra’s “Cool Schools” list or The Princeton Review's “Guide to Green Colleges.”

SUNY System Commits to Local Food

The university system recently committed to increase the procurement of fresh and minimally processed New York-grown produce by SUNY dining services at a competitive price that provides a sustainable profit margin for farmers. It will include an educational campaign to increase awareness among campus faculty, staff, and students on the benefits of purchasing locally grown fruits, vegetables, and meat.

U Hawai'i Proposes Sustainability Policy to Board of Regents

Students, faculty and community members' newly introduced policy calls for the recognition that the knowledge base in sustainable island systems resides in the indigenous people and residents of Hawaiʻi, and to commit to consult with local cultural practitioners and sustainability experts on best practices in sustainable resource allocation and use.

U Wisconsin Madison to Create Framework for Diversity & Inclusion

Now in process of updating its plan for diversity and inclusion through a series of engagement sessions, the university is asking for campus member feedback for guiding, shaping and strengthening the university’s commitment to inclusive excellence and innovation. The listening series will be held in Spanish, Hmong, Tibetan and Mandarin as well as English.

EAUC Announces 2013 Green Gown Awards Winners

(U.K.): Winners and commendations were bestowed across 13 categories at the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges’ 2013 Green Gown Awards. Now in its ninth year, the awards program recognizes exceptional initiatives being undertaken by universities and colleges across the U.K. to become more sustainable.

INSIGHT into Diversity Magazine Announces Higher Ed Awards

(U.S.): INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine has announced the 56 recipients of its first annual Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) award. The national award, open to all colleges and universities throughout the U.S., measures an institution’s level of achievement and intensity of commitment in regard to broadening diversity and inclusion on campus through initiatives, programs and outreach; student recruitment, retention, and completion; and hiring practices for faculty and staff.

'Sustainable Campus International Competition' Announces Winners

(Canada): In its inaugural year, the SCIC recognized sustainability innovations from worldwide post-secondary institutions. Superior Institute of Management (Dakar, Senegal) placed first for its Green'Act, a program that enables students and community members to collect waste and sell recyclables back to industry. Two Canadian institutions, McGill University and MacEwan University, competed for first alongside Superior Institute of Management. A total of 13 projects from seven universities located in five countries submitted works.

Gonzaga U Signs St. Francis Pledge to Protect Creation & the Poor

Responding to calls by Pope Francis, the Society of Jesus and the U.S. Catholic Bishops for mission-based sustainability consistent with Catholic ideals and values, the university recently signed the St. Francis Pledge to Protect Creation and the Poor, an initiative of the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change. The pledge addresses the impact of climate change on the socio-economically depressed population and advocates for behavior change.

U Michigan Completes First-Year Sustainability Survey

The recently released, first-year results of the university's sustainability awareness and behaviors evaluation were recently released. The program is tracking the “sustainability culture” on the university’s Ann Arbor campus over a six-year period, with particular focus on four campus sustainability goal areas: climate action, waste prevention, healthy environments and community awareness. Results revealed, among other points, student transportation behavior is more sustainable than faculty and staff, faculty tend to conserve energy and prevent waste, and staff members are most aware of the range of sustainability initiatives.

Creighton U Signs to Protect 'Creation and the Poor'

The university recently signed the St. Francis Pledge to Protect Creation and the Poor, an initiative of the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change. The pledge addresses the impact of climate change on the socio-economically depressed population and advocates for behavior change.

MIT Appoints First Sustainability Director

Prior founding director of Yale University's sustainability office, Dr. Julie Newman will lead Massachusetts Institute of Technology's first Office of Sustainability. She achieved her doctorate in natural resources and environmental studies from University of New Hampshire while establishing its office of sustainability beginning in 1997.

Emerson College Hires First Sustainability Coordinator

Strengthening its commitment to sustainability, the college named Eric Van Vlandren to the new position within Facilities Management. Vlandren, whose career experience is in the nonprofit sector, stated his first priority as energy reduction. Under his leadership the college recently instituted its first EcoReps program, which uses student employees to administer sustainability awareness and education within four residence halls and off campus.

Washington U St. Louis Employs First Transportation Coordinator

Hoping to improve the alternative transportation services already in place, Andrew Heaslet plans to expand the car sharing program from nine to 18 cars, and improve public transportation.

U South Pacific Announces New Green Campus

(Solomon Islands): The new Solomon Island campus will be self-sufficient with regards to water and renewable energy, and will reflect the culture and local traditions of the island people.

Bowling Green State U Begins Green Office Program

The new points-based Green Office Certification program advises departments and offices around energy efficiency, waste and transportation. Managed by the Office of Campus Sustainability, the program’s website offers resources and suggestions on how to become office certified.

Loyola U Chicago Opens New Environmental Center

The university’s new Institute of Environmental Sustainability offers students opportunities to study policy, land management, conservation and restoration, environmental science, business, sustainable food systems, and public health care. The new building houses biodiesel production labs, a greenhouse, a geothermal heating and cooling system and rainwater harvesting.

U.S. News & World Report Releases Diversity Ranking

The newly released Campus Ethnic Diversity ranking identifies colleges where students are most likely to encounter undergraduates from racial or ethnic groups different from their own.

U System of Georgia Strategic Plan Focuses on Affordability

The university’s Board of Regents released an updated strategic plan for its 31 colleges and universities with a focus on the cost of operational efficiencies including space management and reducing amenities.

Washington Monthly Magazine Releases Affordability Ranking

Called the Best Bang for the Buck ranking, the magazine’s newest issue ranks schools that help non-wealthy students attain degrees at affordable prices. The rankings are based on percent of students receiving Pell Grants, graduation rate and student loan default rate.

Indiana U Child Center Receives Environmental Certification

The Campus View Child Care Center received the Children’s Environmental Health Network’s Eco-Healthy Child Care Certification in recognition of its work to implement environmentally healthy best practices. The center’s efforts include use of nondisposable eating ware and nontoxic cleaning supplies, and participating in a service learning project to create a wildlife area near the center.

Manhattan College Names Coordinator of New Env Science Program

Yelda Balkir will develop the college’s new environmental science bachelor and master programs, planned to begin fall 2014. She holds a doctorate from Carnegie Mellon University, a Master of Science from Duquesne University, and a Bachelor of Science from Istanbul Technical University.

Whitman College Appoints New Sustainability Coordinator

Beginning July 1, Tristan Sewell will coordinate projects including waste management, long-term planning in campus sustainability, climate action planning and student engagement. She is the first to hold this position at the college.

Fleming College Rolls Out Corporate Sustainability Plan

(Canada): The new plan details the college’s goals and strategies for implementing sustainability initiatives and metrics into the college’s operations, curriculum and administration. Also a first for the college, as part of the plan, it established an Office of Sustainability.

UK Schools Receive Green Flag Award

(U.K.): Judged each year in areas including cleanliness, sustainability and conservation. Winners include Nottingham Trent University; University of Nottingham; Edge Hill University; Lancaster University; Heriot Watt University; Oxford Brookes University; University of Reading; University of Exeter; and The University of York.

U Nottingham Receives BREEAM Outstanding Rating

(U.K.): The campus’ Energy Technologies Building has achieved the highest rating for environmental sustainability from the international Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method. This science building features low carbon emissions and the UK’s first hydrogen refueling facility.

Sierra Magazine Ranks ‘Coolest Schools’

The seventh annual ranking of America’s greenest colleges and universities measures environmental achievements and goals based upon Sierra’s value of environmental priorities. This year’s top 10 includes the University of Connecticut; Dickinson College; University of California, Irvine; University of California, Davis; Cornell University; Green Mountain College; Stanford University; Georgia Institute of Technology; American University; and University of California, Santa Barbara.

U California, Santa Barbara Opens Ocean Conservation Center

Overfishing, climate change and ocean acidification are a few of the areas that will be researched at the university’s new Ocean Science Education Building. A collaboration between the university’s Marine Science Institute and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the new building will house researchers specializing in marine ecology and environmental management.

EPA Releases Quarterly List of Top 20 Green Power Partners

The latest quarterly report from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency highlights the top 20 colleges and universities using power from renewable energy. They are University of Pennsylvania, University of Oklahoma, The Ohio State University, Carnegie Mellon University, Georgetown University, Oklahoma State University, Northwestern University, University of Utah, Drexel University, University of Tennessee at Knoxville, University at Buffalo, University of Wisconsin, University of Phoenix, The City University of New York, American University, Texas A&M University System, The Catholic University of America, Quinnipiac University, University of St. Thomas.

Pace U Launches EarthDesk Blog

Based on the belief that higher education has a duty to advance the global conversation about the relationship between human and nature, Pace Academy for Applied Environmental Studies has published a new blog that examines environmental issues with the objective of advancing creative thought and innovative solutions.

Princeton Review Releases Green Rating Honor Roll

Twenty-two colleges and universities received the highest possible score of 99 in this year's tallies including, in alphabetical order: American University; California State University, Chico; College of the Atlantic; Columbia University; Cornell University; Dickinson College; Georgia Institute of Technology; Green Mountain College; Lewis & Clark College; Middlebury College; Pomona College; Portland State University; Stanford University; University of California, Irvine; University of California, Los Angeles; University of California, Santa Barbara; University of California, Santa Cruz; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; University of Massachusetts Amherst; University of South Florida; University of Washington and University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point. Among 9,955 college applicants The Princeton Review surveyed in 2013 for its "College Hopes & Worries Survey," 62 percent said having information about a college's commitment to the environment would impact their decision to apply to or attend a school.

Virginia Tech Opens Center For Natural Resources Support

In response to local natural resource stakeholders calling for improved data, models, and analytical techniques in their field, the College of Natural Resources and Environment has created a new center to provide data sets of forest resource conditions and computer modeling designed for use by industry, government, and policymakers.

Georgia Piedmont Technical College Signs Sustainability Agreement

The college has partnered with nonprofit Emerald Cities to create and implement a comprehensive campus-wide sustainability program designed to transform institutional operations and create a demonstration center for green technologies-related skills training and environmental education.

Yale School of Public Health Releases Sustainability Plan

Aimed at enhancing the relationship between environmental, fiscal and public health, the new Sustainability Strategic Plan is accompanied by a website that features successes to date and participation opportunities.

Indian Institute Kansbahal Awarded Green Campus of the Year

(India): The institute recently received the honor at the 33rd World Environment Congress in New Delhi and its director, Niranjan Nayak, received the International Association of Educators for World Peace's Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to educational planning and administration.

Chatham U Sustainability Efforts Receive International Accolades

In recognition of the upcoming fall opening of its Eden Hall Campus, built for sustainable development, living, and learning, the university has received a Sustainable Campus Excellence Award from the International Sustainable Campus Network (ISCN).

UC Santa Barbara Installs Natural Area Signage

Funded by Associated Students, Coastal Fund and the university's Housing and Residential Services, the eight new interpretive signs inform visitors and answer common questions about stormwater management and whale migration as they travel through designated natural areas on campus.

Wilfrid Laurier U Announces New Sustainable Food Systems Center

Led by Alison Blay-Palmer, associate professor of geography and environmental studies at Laurier and leader of the Nourishing Ontario research and community outreach project, the center will open opportunities for cross-disciplinary collaboration in local and sustainable community food initiatives with the goal of creating positive change through food.

Int'l Sustainable Campus Network Announces Excellence Awards

Recognizing institutions for exceptional sustainability efforts in campus planning, integration with academics, student leadership, and exemplary building projects, this year's program honored the University of Gothenburg (Sweden), Lappeenranta University of Technology (Finland), Anglia Ruskin University (U.K.), Zhejiang University (China) and Chatham University (U.S.).

U Michigan Athletics Establishes Sustainability Strategy

In partnership with the university's Office of Campus Sustainability and Michigan Student-Athletes for Sustainability, the Athletic Department will focus on waste reduction and recycling; energy efficiency and sustainable building infrastructure; water conservation, chemical usage and sustainable cleaning practices; and education and awareness.

People & Planet Green League Releases Top U.K. Green Institutions

(U.K.): The People & Planet Green League 2013 has assessed the environmental and ethical performance of 143 universities in the United Kingdom.

Teens Turning Green Launches Freshman Awareness Campaign

The youth-led nonprofit's newest initiative, Freshman Green 15 (FG15), will launch on campuses nationwide in the fall for implementation during their orientation weeks. Student leaders at campuses including Columbia University, Johns Hopkins University, New York University, University of Delaware, University of Southern Mississippi and the University of North Texas will help pilot the campaign, which is focused on raising awareness about conscious living, mindful consumption and the collective impact of individual actions.

Williams College Releases Environmental Center Update

The report features campus energy efficiency wins including building renovations and weatherization projects, as well as student engagement programs focused on community engagement and sustainable food choices.

AASHE Names Wendy W. Scott, CAE as Interim Executive Director

With more than 30 years combined experience as an executive director and advisor to international, North American, and state-level associations, Wendy will be instrumental in moving AASHE forward to reaching goals related to member and partner services, leadership and governance, financial sustainability and organizational development.

Appalachian State U Kicks Off Sustainability Awards Program

With nine recipients in the inaugural year, the university's new awards program recognizes individuals and groups that have made outstanding efforts to initiate or support sustainability efforts on campus or in the community. Recipients were noted for leadership, waste reduction and recycling, water quality work, research advancements, and activism.

Texas A&M College of Medicine Names First Dean of Diversity

David McIntosh, recently named assistant dean for diversity, has become the college’s first dean to be focused exclusively on issues of diversity.

U Exeter Debuts Environment and Sustainability Institute

The university's Tremough campus is now home to the new institute, which will aid environmental change research focused on solutions.

Cornell U Sustainability Center Appoints First Dev Director

Katy Noonan has joined the university's David R. Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future as its first development director. Noonan is overseeing fundraising and major gifts programs in collaboration with Cornell’s Division of Alumni Affairs and Development, building the center’s relationships with donors who support the university's sustainability activities and contributions.

York U Named Among Canada’s Greenest Employers

The distinction recognizes the university's creation of a President’s Sustainability Council, Green Office and Sustainability Ambassador programs, and student residence energy consumption reduction competition.

Auburn U Announces First Spirit of Sustainability Award Winners

(U.S.): This campus-wide awards program recognizes students, faculty, staff, and alumni that demonstrate accomplishments promoting sustainability on campus or in the community at large. The awards program was created in part to generate awareness of sustainability initiatives and to acknowledge those who are making significant contributions toward economic, social, and environmental well-being.

Georgetown U to Open Office of Sustainability

(U.S.): The university has announced plans to debut its Office of Sustainability this summer in an effort to centralize student and administration sustainability initiatives. The creation of the office was first recommended in 2012 by the Visions for a Sustainable Georgetown Initiative, a project led by small focus groups of undergraduate students and administrators that brainstormed ways the university could become more sustainable in both the immediate and long-term future.