U Virginia Earns Green Ribbon for Sustainability Efforts
U.S. Department of Education recently awarded the university with the department’s Green Ribbon Schools Postsecondary Sustainability Award. The award recognizes institutions that reduce environmental impact and costs, improve the health and wellness of schools, students, and staff, and provide environmental education.
20+ Sustainability Networks Make Progress Toward Creating a Global Alliance
The overarching aim of the Global Alliance is to connect sustainability networks in the tertiary education sector and provide a collective voice to contribute to global developments such as the Paris COP21 taking place in December 2015. AASHE and others represented attendance from global and regional organizations from Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe and North America.
Harvard U Releases University-Wide Sustainability Report
The Harvard Sustainability Report updates the community progress in meeting the goals and priorities that were laid out in the earlier Harvard Sustainability Plan (released in 2014), including acting on climate change, green buildings, sustainable transportation, and human health and well-being.
Loyola U Chicago Supports Divestment in Fossil Fuel Holdings
The university's campus senate recently agreed to immediately freeze any new investment in fossil fuel companies and divest from direct ownership within 18 months. The decision also includes a five-year plan to divest from any commingled funds that include fossil fuel public equities and corporate bonds, and recommends investments in renewable energy technology.
U Massachusetts Lowell Formally Opens Sustainability Office
The new office sprouted from the efforts of a private consulting firm contracted by the university to assist in completing the campus' first STARS and Princeton Review assessment. The office aims to be a centralized place to provide support, services and advancement to university sustainability.
Curtin U Master Plan Receives Green Rating
(Australia): The Green Building Council of Australia recently awarded the campus a 5 Star Green Star - Communities rating for its master plan, which was assessed for best practice benchmarks for governance and innovation, design excellence, environmental sustainability, economic prosperity and live-ability. The master plan calls for 281 acres of the university campus transformed through urban regeneration over a 20-year period.
Amherst College Creates Statement on Sustainability
The newly adopted statement by the college's 21 trustees calls for the creation of a climate action plan, exploration of renewable sources of energy, investment in campus clean energy and energy conservation, and creating a revolving fund to support other clean energy projects.
U California Merced Hires First Sustainability Director
Colleen McCormick will preside over the university's first sustainability office. McCormick comes from Indiana University-Purdue University's office of sustainability where she served as director for 3-1/2 years. Her position's role includes developing communications and building collaborations among faculty, students, staff and community members in an effort to engage and advance campus and community sustainability initiatives.
U California System Approves Carbon Neutrality Projects
As part of its efforts to accelerate the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions across the school system, the university recently approved 20 research and outreach projects that focus on leveraging faculty expertise and student creativity to improve the energy efficiency of buildings and develop carbon neutral energy supplies. Some areas that the projects touch on are deep energy efficiency, a research summit, faculty climate action awards, student fellowships, and green labs certifications.
U Hawai'i Adopts Sustainability Policy
At the recent systemwide, annual summit on sustainability, the new executive policy on sustainability includes setting specific targets for reducing energy consumption and increasing utilization of renewable energy in 5-year increments, with a goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050, energy management systems, water conservation, transportation changes, and calls for an increase in local food products.
Bakersfield College Holds Campus Sustainability Symposium
In conjunction with a local recycling company, the symposium discussed current sustainability efforts underway and proposed ones, including a non-smoking campus designation, infrastructure improvements, and a new co-mingled recycling program.
Northwestern U to Release Strategic Sustainability Plan
Currently under development, five working groups from the university's Sustainability Council are evaluating areas of focus, assessing and prioritizing various initiatives within those areas, and establishing clear goals and metrics to evaluate progress. Their recommendations will inform the council who will, in partnership with university leadership, publish the Sustainability Strategic Plan in summer of 2015.
U North Carolina Wilmington Names First Diversity Officer
Currently serving as the vice president for diversity and inclusion at Georgia Regents University, W. Kent Guion, M.D., will begin his duties in April 2015. He has 25 years of experience in higher education as a research assistant, faculty member, dean and administrator.
U California Santa Cruz Faculty Receives Teaching Recognition
The Environmental Studies Department's current chair, Andrew Szasz, was selected as the recipient of the 2014 Environmental Sociology Teaching and Mentorship Award from the American Sociological Association (ASA) for providing dedicated service to the teaching of environmental sociology and the mentorship of students at the undergraduate and/or graduate level.
Cork U Hospital Earns Green Campus Designation
(Ireland): The university recently earned Green-Campus status by the Foundation for Environmental Education for its commitment to enhancing on-campus sustainability and environmental awareness.
Thompson Rivers U Releases Strategic Sustainability Plan
(U.S.): The new five-year university roadmap indicates plans to reduce the amount of garbage going to the landfill, create on-campus gardens, have agreements with beverage and food companies closer to the university and with greener certification, reduce vehicles on campus through improved transit and car sharing, reduce water usage through better metering and monitoring, collect and use more renewable energy like solar and wind, and protect environmentally sensitive areas and species on campus land.
EAUC Announces 2014 Green Gown Award Winners
(U.K.): The Environmental Association of Universities and Colleges recently recognized 15 campuses in aspects of institutional activities including their teaching and research, leadership, buildings, food, and how students can benefit from the quality of life in the communities around them. As a benefit of AASHE membership, members have access to the member-only resources the United Kingdom's Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges.
Amherst College Hires First Sustainability Director
Laura Draucker started work as the college’s first director of environmental sustainability this month, leading the recently founded Office of Environmental Sustainability (OES). Draucker wants to help establish the OES as an office that actively incorporates environmental sustainability into the daily lives of members of the college community. Prior to her acceptance of this position, she worked for five years at the World Resources Institute and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Indiana State U Celebrates First Campus Sustainability Day
The event, organized by a graduate student, included several environmentally engaging activities for the campus community: a sustainability careers workshop, the Second Nature broadcast, a sustainability campus tour, and a community garden open house.
U Minnesota Morris Announces Fellows Program
The university's new Sustainability Leadership for the Future (SLF) program includes faculty, staff and student fellows that will be developing a sustainability leadership strategic plan and shaping the campus’ institutional approach to sustainability leadership by identifying and supporting promising curricular and program developments, create guidebooks and workshops, and develop infrastructure, practices and policies that promote coordination across offices.
Harvard U Unveils Sustainability Plan
The university's new five-year, living Sustainability Plan details a strategy to build on existing greenhouse gas reduction goals and sets priorities in five core areas: energy and emissions, campus operations, nature and ecosystems, health and well-being, and culture and learning.
U Maryland Student Coalesces Big Ten Sustainability Organization
Following the university's admission into the athletic conference in July, the director of the Student Government Association’s sustainability committee began contacting 160 different sustainability organizations at all 14 Big Ten schools, 11 of which have appointed representatives to participate. Several Big Ten university sustainability committees are proposing athletic program resolutions that include a carbon emission tax and zero waste athletic stadiums.
U Miami Starts Green Office Program
Officially launched this October, the program challenges offices around campus to become more ecologically conscious by following a voluntary checklist of recommendations for a greener workplace. The checklist gives green recommendations for sustainability in the areas of energy, transportation, outreach, water, waste and recycling, purchasing of office materials, and printing.
McGill U Releases Sustainability Vision
Released in October, the university's Vision 2020 strategy focuses on a long-range vision and goals, with 14 concrete actions identified to push sustainability forward over the next two years, ranging in scope from a waste management plan to the creation of a network for collaborative sustainability research.
U Calgary Provides Resource Center
Besides serving as a central resource hub, the Sustainability Resource Center provides a space for the Office of Sustainability to run its engagement programs and for other campus sustainability leaders to use for running events or as a gathering place for collaborating on projects, with the overall goal of growing communities of practice in sustainability.
U Pennsylvania Releases New Climate Action Plan
A roadmap for environmental improvement and sustainability on campus to 2019, the university's new Climate Action Plan 2.0 calls for an overall carbon reduction of seven percent and a building energy reduction of 10 percent by 2019 (using fiscal year 2014 as a baseline), the creation of a Faculty Working Group on Sustainability to provide outreach and support to faculty interested in researching and teaching sustainability, and an increase in the campus-wide recycling rate to 30 percent by 2019.
U Saskatchewan Commits to New Education & Research Initiatives
In celebration of Campus Sustainability Day, the university announced three new education and research initiatives, including an undergraduate certificate of Proficiency in Sustainability, two governance initiatives, including a revolving fund, and two community engagement and operations initiatives.
California State U East Bay Crafts Sustainability Website
(U.S.): The university's new sustainability website and social media pages offer information to campus about sustainability in academics, student engagement, operations, and displays the institution's mission, shared strategic commitments and institutional learning outcomes.
Five Colleges Receive Green Genome Awards
(U.S.): Recently awarded for exemplary support for sustainability practices, programs and training, the five colleges that received the recognition from the American Association of Community Colleges are Gateway Technical College, Greenfield Community College, Lane Community College, McHenry County College and Moraine Valley Community College. Each will receive $7,500 plus a set of tools and horticulture equipment.
INSIGHT into Diversity Magazine Recognizes 83 Honorees
(U.S.): INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine has announced the 83 recipients of its annual Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) award. The national award, open to all colleges and universities throughout the U.S., was dispensed based on an institution’s diversity and inclusion initiatives, and include all aspects of diversity including gender, race, ethnicity, veterans, people with disabilities, and members of the LGBT community.
Michigan State U Launches New Website
(U.S.): The university's new virtual Sustainability Guidebook organizes the school's environmental efforts and illustrates to other communities how initiatives can be emulated.
Northwestern U Offers Green Office Certification
(U.S.): The university's new Green Office program helps decrease a department or office’s environmental impact by offering guidance on energy and water conservation, waste reduction, and increasing environmental awareness in the workplace. The certification requires that 75 percent of an office or department agree to participate in the program.
U Oregon Releases Seven Year Progress Report
(U.S.): The recently released new report, Sowing Change, details the growth and evolution of the university's environmental improvement projects on campus. Categorized by five areas identified in the university's Office of Sustainability mission statement, leadership, policy development, projects and programs, monitoring, and outreach, some of the projects featured include the climate action plan, student sustainability fund and green office program.
Weber State U Sustainability Center Gets Board Approval
(U.S.): The proposed Sustainability Practice and Research Center, with support from a half-time faculty director and a full-time sustainability coordinator, will include workshops, lectures, student projects, field-based courses and guest speakers.
Northwestern U to Recognize Campus Sustainability Champions
University community members who have identified innovative initiatives to reduce energy, water or waste, or engage their fellow employees in greening their physical environment will now be honored at a quarterly Service Excellence luncheon. The three types of awards to be dispensed are the Student Excellence in Sustainability, Faculty and Staff Excellence in Sustainability, and the Green Office Excellence Award.
George Mason U Achieves STARS Gold
Through new and recent efforts such as a Sustainability Learning Living Community, a Green Job Networking Fair and new certificates available to students that are related to sustainability, the university improved their STARS rating from silver to gold in September.
STARS 2014 Annual Review Released
(U.S.): AASHE's most recent publication uncovered some new and notable trends such as an increase in the reports submitted from Associate and Baccalaureate colleges, and an increase in average scores within subsequent STARS reports.
Cornell U Aims to Revise Climate Neutrality Target Date
In an effort to achieve carbon neutrality, the university's Climate Neutrality Acceleration Working Group recently proposed moving the target date from 2050 to 2035 by enhancing education and engagement of student learning, faculty research and staff participation in an updated plan.
Forbes: STARS Must Know Resource
AASHE's STARS program was recently named as one business metric that is vitally important to use in the sustainably focused economy.
Two Institutions Submit STARS Ratings
University of California Santa Barbara and Saint Mary's College of California submitted and received ratings in AASHE's Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) during August.
Sustainable Endowments Institute Analyzes STARS [LINK UPDATED]
An analysis was recently released of STARS data from institutions that earned at least one of the six investment credits. AASHE was briefed about the research process, but the report was developed independently and AASHE has not partnered nor endorsed the report.
Joliet Junior College to Take on STARS
In order to promote a sustainable culture, economy and social environment, and to capture current sustainability efforts as a baseline for improvement, the college recently formed a committee to complete a STARS assessment as part of its strategic goals.
Clark Atlanta U Releases HBCU Green Report
The Building Green Initiative at the university and the North Carolina Institute of Minority Economic Development recently released the HBCU Green Report, a scan of campus sustainability initiatives underway at Historically Black Colleges and Universities that reveal innovations and growing determination among students, faculty and administrators. The survey used for the report included five categories: administration, green building, student involvement, food and recycling, and climate change and energy.
Gonzaga U Hires First Director of Sustainability
The university furthers its commitment toward sustainability through the recent hire of Jim Simon acting as the first director of sustainability. Prior to this position, he served as the sustainability engagement coordinator at University at Buffalo. His work will support the university’s commitments to the Real Food Challenge, St. Francis Pledge to Care for Creation and the Poor and the Environmental Protection Agency’s Food Recovery Challenge.
Sierra Magazine Ranks ‘Coolest Schools’
The eighth annual ranking of 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 California, Irvine; American University; Dickinson College; Loyola University, Chicago; Lewis and Clark College; Stanford University; University of South Florida; Green Mountain College; University of Connecticut and Georgia’s Institute of Technology.