U Illinois Chicago Students Plant Urban Garden
Aiming to address issues of sustainability and food security in low-income Chicago communities, the new urban garden was developed and implemented by two undergraduate students in the university's Human Development and Learning program. During the spring 2017 semester, the two students acquired access to the plot of land and earned funding from the university to partner with a local sustainable garden-to-table organization.
North Carolina State U Architecture Class Builds Facility for Campus-Grown Food
The student-designed and built facility will bolster productivity of the university's Agroecology Education Farm by offering a place to wash and store produce grown for university dining halls. The building includes integration of reused materials, such as a sink basin, cedar siding and three steel coolers that will be modified to function with brand-new cooling systems. The building will also include a rain garden, a small herb garden, a cistern to collect rainwater for irrigation and exterior landscaping with native plants.
Saint Mary's College California Utilizes Solar Trailers
The college now has six mobile solar generators that contribute to exterior lighting and electric vehicle charging. At no cost to the college, each solar generator consists of two solar panels, a backup biodiesel generator and battery storage.
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.
MIT Announces Inaugural Incubator Fund Recipients
The school's Office of Sustainability announced the recipients of the first-ever Campus Sustainability Incubator Fund, with $200,000 awarded between four multi-departmental projects, all of which use the MIT campus as a test bed for research in sustainable operations, management and design. The four selected projects include water recapture at the power plant, modeling the environmental impact of buildings, evaluating the benefits of recycling laboratory gloves, and eliminating wasted energy in HVAC systems.
U Notre Dame Connects 145KW Solar Array to Grid
A new 144.72 kilowatt ground-mounted photovoltaic array is expected to generate approximately 194,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity annually. This would offset nearly one-third of the total electricity used by the 5.77 acre warehouse to which it is connected.
Loyola Marymount U Signs Principles for Responsible Investment Pledge
In an effort to promote and support ethical decision-making, the university recently announced its decision to sign onto the U.N.-supported Principles for Responsible Investment, a set of guidelines for incorporating environmental, social and governance factors into investment decisions.
Western Michigan U Receives LEED Gold for Residence Halls
The Western Heights housing complex includes energy-efficient HVAC and other mechanical systems, occupancy sensors for common areas and low-flow plumbing fixtures. Amenities within the new halls are strategically located in communal spaces to encourage students to have more interpersonal interactions with their peers.
Northland College to Divest From Fossil Fuels
The college's board of trustees voted recently to fully divest the college’s endowment funds from fossil fuels in the next five years. Approximately 2.9 percent of the college’s $28 million endowment is currently invested in fossil fuels listed in the Carbon Underground 200. These investments will be replaced with more socially responsible investments and no new endowment funds will be invested in fossil fuel companies.
U California San Diego Tests Vehicle-to-Grid Charging Platforms
A San Diego-based company will use the university to pilot its new vehicle-to-grid technology, which allows a parked electric vehicle to become part of the electric grid by enabling charging from and discharging to the grid. Drivers will be paid for energy discharged from their car while still being guaranteed the expected level of charge needed to operate the vehicle.
Wilfrid Laurier U Receives $5K Grant for Planting Trees
Through a grant from Tree Canada, the university will be planting a small strand of mature trees on its Waterloo campus that will include national and provincial emblem trees, and symbolic First Nations trees. The tree-planting project commemorates the 150th anniversary of Canada.
U Virginia Signs 15MW Solar Agreement
Under a 25-year agreement, the university will purchase the entire output of a proposed 120-acre solar facility. It is expected to produce about 9 percent of the university’s electric demand. The university has pledged to reduce its carbon and nitrogen footprints by 25 percent below 2009 and 2010 levels, respectively, by the year 2025.
U Nevada Reno Launches Online Marketplace for Campus Produce
Students and the surrounding community now have the opportunity to access fresh fruits and vegetables through a new virtual farm stand, offered through the university's Desert Farming Initiative. A collaboration between three key groups, the Desert Farming Initiative seeks to support Nevada agriculture through education, research and outreach.
ACEEE Launches 'Shrink Your Dorm Print' Campaign
In preparation for the 2017-18 school year, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy recently released the Shrink Your Dorm Print campaign, which offers a tip sheet and shopping guide for students interested in reducing their carbon footprint.
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 2 MW 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.
U Notre Dame Installs Geothermal Wells
By the end of 2017, the university will have completed three geothermal well systems with a total capacity of 7,000 tons, which is approximately one-half of the university’s current peak demand during the cooling season. The three systems together will have the capacity to reduce Notre Dame’s carbon dioxide emissions by 11,803 tons, an 8 percent reduction compared to fiscal year 2016. The return on investment is about 15 years.
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.
U Minnesota Purchases Community Solar
With recent approval from the university's Board of Regents, the Twin Cities campus will purchase 46 million kilowatt-hours of community solar garden subscriptions annually over the next 25 years. By the end of 2018, 14 percent of the university's annual electrical consumption will be tied to community solar, which is a centralized, shared solar electricity facility connected to the energy grid that has multiple subscribers.
Colgate U Students Place Two Honey Bee Hives
A collaboration between the university’s food service provider, Chartwells, and a group of students looking to support the local honey bee population led to the installation of two hives in a newly established apiary last month. The new endeavor also resulted in the creation of a student beekeeping club.
UK Universities Partner With Rail Industry on New Research Center
The newly-created U.K. Railway Research and Innovation Network, a partnership of seven U.K. universities and the rail supply industry, secured 92 million pounds ($188 million) in funding to create three linked centers of research and innovation. The aim of the centers is to develop new technologies and products for trains, railway systems and infrastructure that will deliver a better, more reliable and efficient railway.
U Hyderabad Installs 1MW Photovoltaic System
(India) The newly connected 1,000-kilowatt solar-electric system is expected to reduce electricity costs by 15 percent. The university has set a goal to power 100 percent of campus with photovoltaic electricity.
Delaware Technical CC Completes Multi-Campus Solar Installation
The recently completed solar carport array is the last of nine solar projects at all four Delaware Tech campus locations. The statewide systems include carports, ground mounts and rooftop arrays. The solar arrays are expected to offset approximately 12 percent of the annual total energy needs for Delaware Tech and were funded as part of a 20-year power purchase agreement.
U Sussex Pledges to Cut Carbon Emissions 45 Percent by 2020
(U.K.) Working towards cutting its carbon emissions, the university has begun a multi-million pound program that will install over 3,000 photovoltaic panels, replace 27,000 light bulbs with more efficient LED lighting, improve heating and cooling systems, and install smart metering across the campus.
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.
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.
Towson U Achieves Energy Goal Three Years Early
The university joined the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge in 2013, setting a goal to reduce energy consumption 20 percent by 2020, which it achieved this spring. The energy savings were achieved through a mix of major projects and smaller improvements that resulted in incremental energy reductions year after year, such as a lighting upgrade to nearly 35,000 light fixtures and installation of over 10,000 occupancy sensors.
Northwestern U Performs Outdoor Lighting Upgrade
As part of its commitment to reducing its carbon footprint, the university is replacing all of its outdoor lighting with energy-efficient LED bulbs and installing a dimming system. When the two-part project is completed in 2019, the university expects to save over 300,000 kilowatt-hours per year, avoiding roughly $40,000 in energy costs.
Hawai'i CC Pālamanui Gets LEED Platinum
The 24,000-square-foot classroom building includes: on-site photovoltaics for electricity; sustainable water technology, including a living, natural wastewater recycling system; certified sustainable wood; and low-emitting paints and adhesives.
U Wisconsin Madison Meets Student Needs With Food Hub
The UW Campus Food Shed is a new program that gives students and faculty access to free vegetables and produce, stocked by university agriculture researchers and local farms with excess crops. Many of these excess crops would otherwise be composted or thrown out.
U Winnipeg Regents Approve New Responsible Investment Policy
Created and approved by the university’s foundation, the responsible investing policy ensures that environmental, social and governance factors guide endowment investment decisions. The foundation plans to include regular updates on the application of its responsible investing policy in its quarterly investment reports.
Pennsylvania State U Professor Earns Climate Communication Award
Michael Mann, distinguished professor of atmospheric science and director of the Earth System Science Center at The Pennsylvania State University will receive the seventh annual Stephen H. Schneider Award for Outstanding Climate Science Communications from Climate One. The $15,000 award is given to a natural or social scientist who has made extraordinary scientific contributions and communicated that knowledge to a broad public in a clear and compelling fashion.
Johns Hopkins U to Receive $150M for Civic Engagement
The Stavros Niarchos Foundation has committed $150 million to establish the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Agora Institute at Johns Hopkins University, a joint effort to address the deterioration of civic engagement worldwide and facilitate the restoration of open and inclusive discourse. As an academic and public forum, the institute will bring experts from different fields together to examine the dynamics of societal, cultural and political polarization and develop ways to improve decision-making and civic discourse.
U North Carolina Chapel Hill Wins $1M Prize for Commitment to Equity
The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation recently awarded the university the 2017 Cooke Prize for Equity in Educational Excellence, an honor that bestows a $1 million gift. The Cook Prize recognizes achievement in enrolling low-income students and supporting them through graduation. The university will match the foundation’s award through private funding, and will use the $2 million to support efforts that benefit low-income students.
California State U San Marcos to Go Smoke/Tobacco-Free
In an effort to protect and promote the health and well-being of the campus community, the university will become a completely smoke- and tobacco-free campus beginning in fall 2017. Electronic cigarettes will also be banned. The effort will be aided by a $20,000 grant as part of the American Cancer Society and the CVS Health Foundation’s Tobacco-Free Generation Campus Initiative, a $3.6 million effort to accelerate and expand smoke- and tobacco-free campuses. The funding will be used for educational material, supplies and personnel essential to implement and evaluate the initiative.
Wilfrid Laurier U Receives Recognition for Sustainable Energy Management
The Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change recently honored the university with its Minister's Award for Environmental Excellence for putting in place a series of innovative energy conservation measures to reduce energy consumption while improving efficiencies and functionality of space. To date, the initial phase of the Laurier Energy Efficiency Program (LEEP) has reduced the university’s current energy consumption by approximately 40 percent. LEEP is a multi-campus energy management program designed to reduce the consumption of all utilities across the Laurier’s campuses.
U Idaho Receives LEED Gold for College of Education Building
The College of Education building was built in 1969 and recently underwent a two-year, $17 million remodel, which features glass walls throughout to allow for daylighting across all five floors and incorporates design elements that help create community.
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.
Delaware Technical CC Completes 1.3 MW Solar Installation
The college has completed the installation of a 449-kilowatt carport and a 296-kilowatt (kW) rooftop array on its Terry Campus and two rooftop arrays totaling 585 kW on the Owens Campus. The four arrays, along with 806 kW of previously installed solar systems, provide approximately 12 percent of the annual energy needs of four of the college’s campuses.
U Rhode Island Launches Certificate in Energy Economics and Policy
Launched earlier this year, the university’s newest certificate program provides students with skills for the green energy sector by providing training in energy economics, management and policy. The program is open to full and part-time undergraduates and can be pursued as a stand-alone certificate, or combined with most academic majors to create an interdisciplinary learning experience.
Western Michigan U Earns LEED Platinum on Building Renovation
The university renovated Heritage Hall, which opened in 1905, in an effort to turn the least energy-efficient building on campus into one of the most efficient. The building now contains geothermal heating and cooling, LED lighting, energy-efficient windows and a high level of repurposed historic building materials. The energy-saving elements make make the hall more than 50 percent more efficient than buildings that use more traditional elements.
U Kentucky Scores LEED Gold on Academic Building
The building utilizes water-efficient plumbing fixtures, which reduce water use by 42 percent compared to a baseline model, and is 26 percent more energy efficient than the baseline model. More than 40 percent of materials used in the renovation were regional and all adhesives, sealants, paints, composite woods, sealers and floor systems are low- or no-VOC (volatile organic compounds) emitting materials.