Stanford U Conducts Sustainability Awareness Survey
Aiming to determine baseline levels of environmental sustainability awareness and everyday practice on campus, the survey of Stanford University (California) students, faculty and staff included questions regarding habits and barriers focused on office and room lighting, computers, monitors, printer use, air conditioners and heaters, refrigerators, reusable products, water, recycling and composting, food choices, and the influence of others.
U Oregon Launches Green Office Certification Program
The University of Oregon's Office of Sustainability is promoting sustainability awareness on campus with a new campus-wide Green Office certification program. Offices can earn points in areas including energy and water use, purchasing and managing materials, computer and electronics usage, lighting, heating and cooling, transportation and special events to become bronze-, silver-, gold- or platinum-certified. The program also features an office-level transportation survey that generates automated reports for staff and a space-heater exchange.
Campus Sustainability Planning: A March Update
The University of California, Office of the President has released its annual report on sustainability practices in its system. To date, highlights include 87 LEED certifications (including new construction, renovations, homes and existing building certifications; more than $32 million in annual cost savings from energy efficiency projects; and nine campuses that are diverting at least 50 percent of municipal waste from landfills. The University of Winnipeg’s (MB) Board of Regents has approved a comprehensive new sustainability plan aimed at strengthening sustainability-minded practices in all aspects of campus life. Ten specific goals will guide actions over the next four years including the reduction of water consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, and diverting 65 percent of all waste through composting and recycling by 2014. McGill University (QC) has embarked on Vision 2020: Creating a Sustainable McGill, a year-long consultation process to build an overarching sustainability vision and action plan for the entire university community. The conversation will happen online and at various events on its two campuses throughout 2012. The collaborative, student-driven initiative is being carried out with funding from the university's Sustainability Projects Fund. Yale University's (CT) Office of Sustainability has released its 2011 Strategic Plan Progress Report, outlining long-term goals and the progress made to date. Progress in 2011 included a 20 percent reduction in campus waste, a 15.3 percent reduction in campus energy consumption since 2005 and $39,825 awarded to campus sustainability projects through its new microloan program. Michigan State University has unveiled its Energy Transition Plan, a strategic document to help the university toward 100 percent renewable energy. With this plan, the university will pursue aggressive, sustainable energy conservation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; invest in sustainable energy research and development; and work to become an educational leader in sustainable energy. The University of Michigan's Office of Campus Sustainability has released its 2011 Annual Sustainability Report covering more than 170 environmental metrics. Highlights include the completion of a Campus Sustainability Integrated Assessment and subsequent goals to reduce its environmental impact; an 8 percent reduction in campus energy use; and 3 percent drop in total waste production from fiscal year 2010.
Study Finds Disconnect between Athletics and Sustainability
A recent study of sustainability practices at NCAA athletics departments reveals that cost concerns and a large disconnect with other campus departments charged with advancing sustainability appear to be preventing green efforts in athletics. While some schools are replacing incandescent light bulbs and utilizing recycling bins at stadiums, the North Carolina State University study concludes that most haven't included long-term sustainability planning in athletics departments' strategic plans.
Duke U Encourages Sustainability with 'Green Devil Smackdown'
Duke University (NC) has launched the "Green Devil Smackdown," a wrestling-themed competition to encourage sustainable behaviors on campus. For eight weeks, teams of campus community members will earn points for "green" actions including taking public transportation or carpooling to campus. The team that earns the highest average points per participant will be named the champion with a Green Devil championship belt, among other prizes.
U Michigan Debuts Interactive Campus Sustainability Map
Developed from a student project in a "Sustainability and the Campus" course, the University of Michigan has unveiled an interactive map with information on sustainable sites and programs located on campus. Highlighting LEED buildings, campus improvement sites, academic programs and event locations, the map allows users to customize their search by selecting the categories they are most interested in.
Concordia College Moorhead Hires First Sustainability Coordinator
Concordia College, Moorhead (MN) has appointed Kristin Brethova as its first sustainability coordinator. Brethova will lead the charge for a more environmentally and economically streamlined campus and serve as a resource for student-driven sustainability projects. Initial projects include the implementation of an outdoors recycling program and collaborating with university officials to establish conservation goals.
Tufts U Launches Community Supported Agriculture Project
Tufts University (MA) has partnered with a local sustainability-minded farm to launch a Community Supported Agriculture pilot program for the campus community. Fresh produce will be delivered to the campus weekly through April. The farm accepts food stamps and is willing to receive payments in installments.
Antioch U New England Sets Up Sustainability Blog, Facebook Page
Educating for Sustainability (EfS) faculty in the Department of Education at Antioch University New England (NH) have launched a new blog and Facebook site. Resources include videos, links, curriculum resources and discussions about issues in teaching, learning and sustainable practices.
Temple U Launches Green Rooms Rating System for Students
Temple University's (PA) Office of Sustainability has partnered with residential advisers in a campus residence hall to unveil a Green Rooms Rating System. Designed to motivate residents to adjust their living habits in accordance with LEED standards, students can reach silver, gold or platinum certification for their room depending on the number of points accumulated. Points are awarded for energy-conscious measures with kitchen appliances, laundry methods, lighting, transportation, air conditioning and heating units, water usage, electronic usage and waste management.
U South Carolina Green Dorm Initiative Goes Campus-wide
The University of South Carolina has launched a campus-wide Green Dorm Room initiative, which awards certifications of varying levels to students for green living habits. Launched as a pilot program by campus Eco Reps last fall, a university representative tells the Bulletin that a total of 70 rooms have submitted checklists of their green habits so far.
Bennett College, EPA Partner to Create Sustainability Center
Bennett College (NC) has announced a collaboration with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to launch a center on its campus that will focus on environmental justice, globalization, leadership and sustainable entrepreneurship. The EPA has also pledged to support on-campus initiatives including a campus garden, recycling program, energy audits and health literacy programs.
U Connecticut Commissions Sustainability Art Mural
In an effort to increase student awareness of its sustainability efforts and successes, the University of Connecticut's Office of Environmental Policy and Communications and ResLife departments worked with a graphic design firm to develop an informative display for campus. The wall-size mural, which includes three-dimensional pieces that can be updated, features a collage of pictures and short text paragraphs explaining what the university is doing to reduce its environmental impact.
Duke U 'Greens' Campus Holiday Season
As part of Duke University's (NC) effort toward a more sustainable holiday season, about 600 campus community members took the Green Devil Challenge, which encouraged meaningful gift-giving and waste minimization. As part of the challenge, students, faculty and staff made commitments to make donations to charities and volunteer time to help others.
Stanford U Unveils New Campus Energy Improvements Plan
Stanford University’s (CA) Board of Trustees has given concept approval for the Campus Energy System Improvements project, designed to meet the university’s energy needs through 2050. Under the proposed $438 million plan, the university will purchase electricity via direct access to the energy market; build a new central energy facility that recovers waste heat from the campus chilled water system to meet the bulk of campus heating needs; build a new and expanded electrical substation; and decommission the current aging power plant and the existing electrical substation. The largest component of the university's Energy and Climate Plan, the initiative is expected to reduce campus greenhouse gas emissions to less than half of what they are today.
Northwestern U Names First Director of Sustainability
Northwestern University (IL) has appointed Robert W. Whittier as its first director of sustainability. Whittier, who most recently was the manager of sustainability and climate change at Deloitte Consulting, will lead the effort to integrate sustainability into both operational and academic functions of the university. He will work closely with the Initiative for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern and develop partnerships with the cities of Evanston and Chicago.
USGBC Releases Inaugural 'Best of Green Schools' List
The U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC) Center for Green Schools has released its first annual Best of Green Schools list, recognizing school administrators and government leaders in 10 categories for their efforts to create sustainable learning environments. The University of Texas at Dallas was named "Higher Ed Innovator" of 2011 for its new LEED Platinum Student Services Building, designed to improve departmental efficiency and interaction, and completed $1.1 million under budget. From K-12 to higher education, recipient schools and regions in the U.S. were recognized for a variety of sustainable, cost-cutting measures including energy conservation, record numbers of LEED-certified buildings and collaborative platforms and policies to green the country's school infrastructure.
Campus Sustainability Planning: A December Update
The University of Notre Dame (IN) has adopted a new sustainability strategy to reduce campus carbon emissions by 50 percent per square foot by 2030. The strategy outlines goals to divert 67 percent of campus waste from landfills, improve water efficiency and expand sustainability education and outreach both on campus and beyond. Arizona State University has also released a Strategic Plan for Sustainability Practices and Operations with short- and long-term goals toward sustainability through 2035. Encouraging participation among campus community members, the plan serves as a living document that declares the university’s vision to be a leader in sustainable higher education operations. ">Cornell University's (NY) recently released Sustainability Plan outlines university-wide sustainability goals including furthering innovation in research and education, growing a green economy and achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. In related news, Princeton University (NJ) has released its 2011 Sustainability Report, kicking off accelerated efforts to bridge areas of operations and academics in sustainability problem-solving.
Harvard U Launches 'Greening IT' Case Study Series
Harvard University's (MA) Office for Sustainability has partnered with the university's Green IT committee to launch a "Greening IT" story series, which will chronicle the case studies and best practices being implemented across campus. Upcoming case studies include data centers and networks; endpoint devices; and intelligent building systems and green buildings.
Green Mountain College Appoints New Sustainability Coordinator
Green Mountain College (VT) has named Bethany Clarke as its new sustainability coordinator. Clarke has worked for the past four years in the sustainable energy industry. As an associate project manager for General Electric, she led a cross-functional team during the delivery, installation and commissioning of 336 wind turbines.
Marshall U Hires First Environmental Specialist
Marshall University (WV) has appointed Travis Bailey as its first environmental specialist. Bailey will work to incorporate better construction practices and green infrastructure into the university's pre-planned $100 million projects including bio retention sites, rain gardens and green roofs.
U Maryland Launches Environmental Council
The University of Maryland has created the Council on the Environment, which will draw on researchers and faculty from different departments to seek out new transdisciplinary research opportunities involving multiple campus units, and promote economic development related to environmental initiatives. Internationally, the council will interface with a new 10-year initiative on Earth System Sustainability, which aims to deliver knowledge to enable societies to meet their sustainable development goals in the next decades.
U Maryland Launches Green Office Program
The University of Maryland has started rewarding offices on campus for sustainability efforts through its new Green Office Program. The voluntary initiative is designed to generate campus-wide results by increasing sustainability consciousness on a personal level. After completing a checklist of five items including a green office pledge, an environmental audit, and the appointment of a green office representative to oversee sustainability efforts, participants can choose to pursue a gold, silver or bronze level of certification.
Yale U Names New Sustainable Food Project Director
Yale University's (CT) Sustainable Food Project has appointed Mark Bomford as its new director. Bomford, who previously led sustainable food efforts at the University of British Columbia, will lead the Sustainable Food Project's campus organic farm and educational programs.
Baylor U Launches Green Meeting Certification Program
Baylor University’s (TX) Department of Sustainability has launched a Green Meeting Certification program, which seeks to make on-campus meetings more environmentally friendly. Departments can apply for certification online and receive environmental scores ranging from “bronze” to “green” that are valid for one year. The website lists methods to reduce waste such as electronic communication, recycling, reusable utensils and saving leftover food.
Duke U Awards First Green Workplace Certifications
Duke University (NC) has awarded five office units with its first Green Workplace certifications. Recognizing work areas that formally assess how they are reducing their environmental footprint, the certification process includes a checklist of sustainable practices ranging from double-sided printing to using eco-friendly dishwashing soap in a break room. A work area that follows at least 40 of the checklist's 57 items can apply for certification and permission to post the Duke Green Workplace seal in its office and on materials.
Yale U Debuts Online Sustainability Campus Tour
The Yale Visitor Center has collaborated with Yale University's (CT) Office of Sustainability to launch an online sustainability tour of campus. Featuring Gardens & Grounds, Buildings and Energy sections, the tour highlights campus green roofs, LEED buildings, renewable energy installations, compost tea studies and rainwater capture systems.
Ecotech Institute Appoints First Director of Career Services
Ecotech Institute (CO), a college focused on preparing America's workforce for careers in renewable energy and sustainable design, has appointed its first director of career services to help graduates find green jobs. In her new position, Susan Pawlak will focus on creating long-term relationships with renewable energy and sustainable companies to match graduates with employers.
Campus Sustainability Planning: A November Update
The University of Maryland has updated its Facilities Master Plan to include a more detailed environmental stewardship and sustainability section. The plan's nine new sustainability targets include carbon neutral building design; energy and water consumption reduction strategies; and an outdoor teaching plan to maximize the use of campus space. The University of California, Berkeley has released its 2011 Sustainability Report. Noteworthy achievements in the last year include a reduction of electricity usage by 14 million kilowatt-hours since 2006; the completion of six LEED-certified buildings; and a student vote to end the sale of bottled water on campus. North Carolina State University's Campus Environmental Sustainability Team has released its 2010-2011 Annual Sustainability Report. Highlights include the completion of an award-winning rain garden designed and installed by students, and the launch of Certified Wolfpack Green, a formal process for recognizing efforts to "green" campus events.
Indiana U-Purdue U Indianapolis Names Sustainability Director
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis has named Colleen J. McCormick as director of its new Office of Sustainability. McCormick, who previously worked in the university's Department of Environmental Health and Safety, will initially work to create the office's website, develop student internship opportunities and enhance the campus recycling program.
U Oregon Produces Campus Sustainability Tour App
The University of Oregon has released a new campus sustainability tour feature on its iPhone app. Users can tour the university's sustainable features through photos, descriptive text and web links. In its first month of release, the app has received about 1,000 downloads a day.
Arizona State U Expands Global Institute of Sustainability
Arizona State University has partnered with Tecnologico de Monterrey to launch the Latin America office of ASU's Global Institute of Sustainability. The Latin America office will conduct applied, transdisciplinary research to address Latin American issues, offer an innovative curriculum, and develop business solutions and governance models that accelerate the adoption of a sustainable culture.
Citrus College Launches Sustainability Pilot Program
In partnership with the California Community College Chancellor's Office, Citrus College will develop a pilot program to serve as a sustainability model for other California community colleges in the 112-college system. A committee of faculty and staff will create a sustainability template that addresses the areas of energy, transportation, recycling and curriculum.
Colo State U Students Call for Health, Sustainability Coordinator
The Associated Students of Colorado State University has proposed to split the current sustainability/health coordinator position into two separate positions. The split will ensure that all of the university's sustainability initiatives are maintained in response to a new health component that was added this year, which required the position to market health-related information and advocate for responsible drinking programming to students.
Georgia Perimeter College Appoints Sustainable Living Director
Georgia Perimeter College has named Dr. Joanne Chu as its first director of sustainable living and environmental studies. Most recently a scholar-in-residence in environmental and sustainability studies at Agnes Scott College (GA), Chu will work to integrate sustainable principles and practices into the college's academics, campus operations and student life.
North Carolina State U Debuts Green Events Certification
North Carolina State University has certified the first two events under its new "Certified Wolfpack Green" events program. The program includes food, waste, purchasing, education, marketing, transportation, energy and water, service and innovation categories that qualify campus events for a Contributor, Steward or Champion certification. The university's Sustainability Office has created a three-step process that event planners can complete toward certification.
Princeton U Develops Campus Sustainability Kiosk, Mobile App
The Office of Sustainability and the Office of the University Architect at Princeton University (NJ) have partnered with an architectural firm to develop an interactive sustainability kiosk. The kiosk will include multifunctional display cases, a video screen, demonstration space for rotating exhibits, green tour information, a bulletin board for student groups and energy monitoring dashboard. The university has also launched a new mobile application for smartphones that allows community members and visitors to take a sustainability tour of campus.
STARS Launches International Pilot
Due to growing interest at the international level, AASHE is implementing a pilot program to welcome higher education institutions worldwide to participate in STARS. The pilot will provide an opportunity for international institutions to share feedback and make suggestions for improvements to the system, and the results will help determine the eventual role of STARS in a global context.
U Michigan Announces $14 Mil Campus Sustainability Overhaul
The University of Michigan has announced plans to invest $14 million in campus sustainability initiatives. Plans include the purchase of a fleet of 37 hybrid vehicles, a 40 percent reduction in campus waste output, an "extensive" solar array installation and a formal commitment to support local farmers and producers. The university is aiming for a 25 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2025.
Saint Mary's College Creates Center for Environmental Literacy
Saint Mary's College of California has announced the launch of its new Center for Environmental Literacy. The new center will explore and promote educational programming and professional development opportunities for educators to integrate nature and the arts into K-12 academic curricula and collaborate with faculty seeking to merge environmental issues into their research and coursework.
Yale U Revitalizes Green Event Certification
Yale University's (CT) Office of Sustainability has developed a new and improved green event certification to encourage, recognize and celebrate the voluntary sustainable efforts of campus event organizers. Participants interested in certifying their event can complete a green event checklist with action items in categories including transportation, stationery and handouts, catering, energy efficiency and offsets, waste, and event communications. A total score is calculated based on applicable action items for a bronze, silver, gold or platinum award.
Dickinson College Appoints Sustainability Ed Assistant Director
Dickinson College (PA) has named Lindsey Lyons as its new Center for Sustainability Education (CSE) assistant director. Lyons, who previously taught environmental science at Wilson College (PA), will focus on communicating the sustainability vision on campus including an upcoming organic farming conference and the redesign of the CSE website.
U Buffalo Creates Chief Sustainability Officer Post
The University at Buffalo (NY) has announced a new position of chief sustainability officer. Ryan McPherson, currently associate vice president for government and community relations, has been named to the position to provide leadership and direction for university sustainability initiatives. In his new role, McPherson will coordinate university-wide environmental efforts through UB Green, the campus environmental office, partnering with the Environmental Stewardship Committee.
Washington U St. Louis Names Director of Sustainability
Phil Valko has been named director of sustainability at Washington University in St. Louis (MO). Valko will work with senior administrators, faculty, staff and students to incorporate and implement sustainable practices into the university's operational procedures, resource management and strategic planning, and provide leadership and support for the university's current sustainability initiatives and programs. Valko was previously the active living program manager for Trailnet, an organization that promotes walking, bicycling, hiking and conservation events throughout the St. Louis, Mo. region.
Earlham College Launches Center for Environmental Action
Earlham College (IN) has launched the Center for Environmental Action with the aim of enhancing teaching and learning in relation to environmental issues. The central focus of the center is to develop and promote experiential, field-based learning opportunities both on and off campus for students and faculty.
NY Times Takes Stock of Campus Sustainability
In the rush to go green, colleges and universities across the country have primarily focused on the environment, largely ignoring the social and economic pillars of sustainability, reports a recent article in The New York Times. “In the U.S., unlike much of the world, the organizing paradigm of sustainability [began] with an environmental orientation and then added on environmental justice and ecological economics,” notes Paul Rowland, executive director of AASHE in the article. Oberlin College’s (OH) the Oberlin Project is highlighted as an example of a higher education project that aims to implement a vision of full-spectrum sustainability.
San Francisco State U Creates Guidelines for Green Campus Living
San Francisco State University (CA) has created guidelines for greener campus living. Geared toward for incoming students, the university issued a flyer, Top Ten Tips for a Sustainable Move-In and Life at SF State, which includes ways to curb energy use. Students can also take a survey to find out their carbon footprint.
Ball State U Launches Sustainability Guide for Students
Ball State University (IN) has released "Students + Sustainability," a guide that provides recommendations for ways that students can implement sustainable practices into their everyday lifestyles in areas including home, class, traveling, eating and shopping. The guide includes a brief narrative illustrating the importance of sustainability in the campus community and highlights several key initiatives toward the university's goal of becoming sustainable. The initiative also features a Facebook page with weekly "green challenges."
Sierra Magazine Names 2011 'Coolest' Schools
Sierra, the official magazine of the Sierra Club, has released its fifth annual ranking of America's greenest campuses. Climbing up from number four last year, the University of Washington takes the top spot in 2011. The list was created out of 182 schools that responded to a Sierra survey that included questions in categories including energy supply, efficiency, food, academics, purchasing, transportation, waste management, administration and financial investments. The remaining top 10 schools, in order, are: Green Mountain College (VT); University of California, San Diego; Warren Wilson College (NC); Stanford University (CA); University of California, Irvine; University of California, Santa Cruz; University of California, Davis; Evergreen State College (WA); and Middlebury College (VT).