CSU System Adopts Policy on Single-Use Plastics
The California State University system released a new policy on single-use plastics that aims to eliminate the distribution and sale of plastic straws, bottled water, plastic carryout bags, and styrofoam food packaging by designated phase-out dates that align with recent state legislation. Plastic straws and single-use plastic carryout bags were eliminated in January 2019. Single-use plastic water bottles are to be banned no later than Jan. 1, 2023.
St. Joseph's College Switches to Biodegradable Straws
The college recently switched from plastic straws to biodegradable straws through an agreement between Student Government, the college’s Mission-Aligned Businesses, and Sustainable Enterprises. Additionally, in an effort to reduce single-use cups, one of the college's coffee stations now offers free coffee to students and employees who bring their own reusable cups.
St. Thomas Aquinas College Earns Fair Trade Designation
The college recently announced its official designation as a Fair Trade College as part of the national initiative by Fair Trade Campaigns to engage college and university students in issues of global poverty. This student-led initiative at the college began as a small independent study and grew into a collaborative team of students, faculty and administrators that worked to meet the campus certification requirements through further incorporating Fair Trade principles into our curriculum and serving fair trade products at campus dining facilities.
Chartwells Higher Education Announces Its Commitment to Sourcing Fair Trade Products
Chartwells Higher Education, in conjunction with Fair Trade Campaigns, recently announced its commitment to sourcing Fair Trade products at all 280 Chartwells locations across the U.S. As part of this commitment, Chartwells Higher Education began offering Fair Trade Certified food and beverage items such as coffee and tea, chocolate, energy bars, sugar and bananas in each of its dining operations this fall.
Boston U Pilots Reusable Tote Program for Office Supplies
In partnership with a local office supply store, BU Sourcing and Procurement is rolling out a reusable tote program for the delivery of office supplies on campus. The goal of the program is to reduce the amount of waste created from cardboard packaging.
Lynn U Becomes Fair Trade Certified
The university recently announced its official designation as a Fair Trade University, having completed the requirements in less than three months. Lynn met five essential requirements, which included making Fair Trade products available on campus and passing a Fair Trade resolution.
McGill U Bans Sale of Bottled Water on Campus
On the eve of World Water Day 2018, McGill has announced that it will phase out the sale of single-use bottled water over the coming year. By May 1, 2019, non-carbonated water will no longer be sold in retail and vending machine locations on the downtown and Macdonald campuses. The university also plans to work with event organizers to reduce the use of bottled water at McGill events.
U Alberta Releases Sustainable Purchasing Guide for Promotional Products
The new guide aims to assist procurers of promotional products in embracing sustainability criteria and principles into their purchasing processes. It contains best practices, a directory of suppliers, and a worksheet to determine the most sustainable choice among three different suppliers.
Lehigh U Signs Real Food Campus Commitment
By signing the Real Food Campus Commitment, the university pledges to purchase at least 20 percent of its food annually from local/community-based, fair, ecologically sound, and humane sources by 2020. Becoming a signatory is aligned with the food purchasing goal captured in its 2020 Campus Sustainability Plan.
My Green Lab Launches Environmental Label for Laboratory Products
My Green Lab recently announced the launch of ACT (accountability, consistency, transparency), an environmental impact factor label for laboratory products. The ACT label is designed to provide critical information on the environmental impact of laboratory products in an effort to increase transparency and assist customers in making sustainable choices in purchasing.
U Reading Reduces Vending Machine Waste
(U.K.) In an effort to prevent more than half a million plastic bottles from entering the landfill, new vending machines allow students to use a specially designed reusable bottle. The "Sustain It" bottle is a reusable bottle that contains a microchip that allows users to pre-pay for drinks that can be filled at the new vending machines.
Georgetown U Reaches Labor Rights Agreement With Nike
As part of a renewed contract, Georgetown now requires Nike, Inc to provide the Worker Rights Consortium, a labor rights group, access to supplier factories and ensure supply partners comply with new labor standards. The university's contract expired at the end of 2016 following concerns from students and members of the on-campus workers’ rights group Georgetown Solidarity Committee.
U Canterbury Earns Fair Trade Designation
(New Zealand) At the time of Fair Trade accreditation, the university was purchasing 80 percent Fair Trade tea and coffee purchases. The Fair Trade Association of Australia and Zealand awarded the new designation.
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.
Middlebury Institute International Studies Becomes Fair Trade Certified
Over the course of this past academic year, students worked to complete the fair trade campaign for the graduate school. This process entailed increasing the number of fair trade products for sale on campus, integrating fair trade dialogues into the classroom, and creating a resolution about the school’s commitment to fair trade.
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.
Green America Challenges Schools to Save One Million Trees
The nonprofit Green America’s Better Paper Project launched One Million Trees recently in an effort to encourage higher education institutions to publish alumni magazines on recycled paper in order to save trees and reduce landfill waste. Green America estimates that if all colleges used 100 percent recycled paper for their alumni publications, this could have annual savings up to one million trees and enough water to fill over 700 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
St. John's U Receives Fair Trade Designation
Meeting the requirements set forth by Fair Trade Campaigns, a grassroots movement mobilizing campuses to embed Fair Trade practices and principles into policy, the university recently earned the designation after three years of working toward that end.
Capilano U Gets Fair Trade Campus Designation
Canadian Fair Trade Campus recently honored the university with the designation after it's dining services provider, Chartwells, and the university’s food and beverage services group committed to a wide range of ethically-sourced food and beverage offerings and an educational component that highlights the impact that responsible buying has on producers and their communities.
Wilfrid Laurier U Gets Fair Trade Designation
University staff spent the past year developing a fair trade steering committee, making changes to product availability and working with retail managers and vendors. Under the designation, all food outlets operated by university and its Students’ Union in Brantford and Waterloo will serve fair trade certified coffee, and fair trade certified options for tea and chocolate bars.
Higher Education Institutions of Scotland Join Electronics Watch
(Scotland) All 44 universities and colleges in Scotland have become full affiliate members of Electronics Watch, an independent monitoring organization working to improve labor standards in the global electronics industry through socially responsible public purchasing.
U Illinois Urbana-Champaign Enters into Wind Power Purchase Agreement
In a 10-year power purchase agreement, the university will receive nearly nine percent of the total wind generation of a nearby utility-scale wind farm, which in combination with other renewable energy brings the campus' clean energy portfolio to about nine percent (33,200-megawatt-hours) of it's annual energy consumption. The university's climate action plan includes an objective to obtain at least 120,000-megawatt-hours per year from low-carbon sources by fiscal year 2020.
U Illinois Chicago Reduces GHGs from Waste
By selecting a new, in-state, waste vendor that bakes rather than incinerates the waste to recycle organic compounds and metals, the university is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with its hazardous waste.
Saint Mary's College Adopts Sustainable Purchasing Policy
Adopted summer 2016, the new sustainable purchasing policy supports products and companies that exhibit pro-environmental and social practices. Stakeholder workshops were held with staff to discuss the context of how a purchasing policy will work on campus and outline important next steps towards its implementation.
Orange Coast College to Fund Scholarship with Cup Recycling Revenue
Starting this fall, the college will use the revenue generated from selling used paper cups toward a new scholarship for an environmental or scientific studies student. This decision coincides with purchasing a new type of paper cup that is manufactured to be more easily recyclable.
Appalachian State U Becomes 'Workers Rights Consortium' Affiliate
As a result of one student's efforts to transform the university's purchasing practices of logo apparel, the new partnership means that Workers Rights Consortium (WRC) investigates working conditions at factories producing clothing and other products bearing the university's name and logo. Collegiate affiliates of the WRC have a manufacturing Code of Conduct that addresses, among other things, workers' wages and rights, and workplace safety and health.
Pennsylvania State U Sees Significant Reduction in Paper Use
By sharing helpful tips with students and faculty, students reduced paper usage by 44 percent and faculty by 10 percent in the 2015-16 academic year. A Paper Reduction Committee ran promotional campaigns on ways to reduce printing as well as promoted tips such as encouraging students to print double-sided, using the multiple pages per sheet printer function, and promoting use of an electronic document sharing solution.
Green Electronics Council Announces 2016 EPEAT Award Winners
Five higher education institutions were recognized by the Green Electronics Council (GEC) as winners of the 2016 EPEAT Sustainable Purchasing Awards. Winners, recognized for their procurement efforts, are Loyola University Chicago, McGill University, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, Bowdoin College and Laval University.
U New Hampshire Procures Hydro-Energy
The university now purchases energy from three hydro-energy facilities that provide over $200,000 in annual cost savings. Currently 88 percent of the university's total power comes from a combined heat and power plant.
Northern Arizona U Eliminates Plastic Bags
Building on momentum gained from a 2010 decision to stop using plastic bags in campus dining locations, the bookstore recently switched to paper bags made from 100 percent Forest Stewardship Certified, recycled material. Now no retail store on campus gives out plastic bags.
U California Los Angeles Becomes Fair Trade University
Fair Trade Colleges and Universities announced that after three years of working on the designation, the university received the title of Fair Trade University. The process involved forming a committee, offering Fair Trade products through campus dining outlets, and catering and hosting educational events on campus.
Tennessee Technological U Becomes REAL Certified
The REAL, or Responsible Epicurean and Agricultural Leadership, Certification from the United States Healthful Food Council uses a points-based system, implemented with assistance from independent, third-party registered dietitians and is based on nutritional benefit, food quality and experience, procurement from safe and high quality sources, and food that enables better choices.
Arizona State U Appoints Sustainability Operations Officer
Nichol Luoma is the new University Sustainability Operations officer and associate vice president for University Business Services at the university. Before her associate vice president interim appointment, Luoma served as the university's chief procurement officer, responsible for procurement and contracting. Under her leadership, university procurement was recognized by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education's (AASHE) Sustainable Campus index as No. 1 in the purchasing category.
Appalachian State U Becomes Styrofoam-Free
Moving one step closer to its zero waste goal (90 percent waste diversion), Appalachian Food Services eliminated the use of Styrofoam in its facilities as of April 2016.
Portland State U Offers Free Art Supplies
University art students looking for free supplies and materials have a new outlet on campus that is populated with unused and donated art supplies. Called the Supply Studio, the initiative is a collaboration between the School of Art + Design and the Campus Sustainability Office.
Northern Arizona U Raises Nearly $7K for Bike Safety
The university's first crowdfunding effort, Lights for Yellow Bikes, raised $6,704 for lights to be installed on bikes in its free bike program. Citing inclement weather and night riding, installing yellow lights on the bikes aims to help protect riders from harm.
Seven Higher Education Institutions Earn Green Cleaning Accolades
The American School & University Magazine, in conjunction with the Green Cleaning Network and Healthy Schools Campaign, recently awarded Georgia Tech as grand winner, North Carolina State U as silver, and Montgomery College; Northwestern University; Texas Tech; University of California, Irvine; and University of Tennessee, Knoxville as honorable mentions. The award recognizes schools and universities for healthy and sustainable cleaning approaches, such as chemical and equipment choices, procedures and training, that protect human and environmental health, while still cleaning at a high level.
Duke U Dining Brings Sustainable Seafood to Campus
Now Marine Stewardship Council-certified, the university sources food from suppliers that are also certified in the MSC Chain of Custody, which ensures that seafood can be traced back to a certified fishery and is confirmed by random DNA testing of seafood samples. MSC is an international nonprofit organization that safeguards seafood supplies to help create a more sustainable seafood market.
Students Send Aramark Letter of Support for Sustainable Tuna
Opening with the peril of our ocean's, the letter asking that Aramark make a prompt switch to serving sustainable tuna warns of problems associated with many tuna fisheries and mentions alternative means that are fully traceable and socially responsible.
Brandeis U Purchases 'Conflict Free' Computers & Electronic Equipment
The Massachusetts-based university is the 19th institution worldwide to sign on to ensure that the computers and electronic equipment the university buys have no connection to the mining sector of conflict-ridden areas, such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Photo courtesy of Tulane Public Relations
U Illinois Secures Deal on Recycled Paper
Offices on the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus can now buy a ream of 30% recycled paper for less cost than a ream of virgin paper. University Housing, a participant in the new campus Certified Green Office program, is the first customer lining up to take advantage of the newly priced environmental paper option.
St. Mary's U Receives Fair Trade University Status
The university's new designation signals the 28th institution of higher education in the nation to receive the designation by Fair Trade Colleges and Universities. The university has worked with its food service contractor to make fair trade-certified foods, beverages and items available in its dining facilities, convenience stores, and university-hosted catered meetings.
Colgate U Student Government Restricts Styrofoam Use
(U.S.): The university's Student Government Association unanimously passed a resolution and bill against styrene, the non-biodegradable substance that is used to make Styrofoam. The bill prohibits certain student group funding to go toward purchasing foam products, and the resolution informs all university offices and departments that the student body dissuades the use of Styrofoam and suggests action to reduce Styrofoam purchasing.