Warren Wilson College & Bard College Collaborate on Five-Year Undergraduate/Graduate Program
Warren Wilson College has partnered with Bard College’s graduate programs in Sustainability to help environmental studies students graduate with a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in five years. Through the new agreement, undergraduates can opt to dual enroll at both campuses. For the first three years, students study, work and serve at Warren Wilson College and then complete their education at Bard.
U Florida Publishes Guidebook for Integrating Cultural Resources into Disaster Planning
With support from the National Park Service, the Conservation Clinic at the university's Levin College of Law recently released a guidebook to help Florida state and local governments better integrate cultural resources into hazard planning. It describes current emergency management and preservation planning frameworks, provides examples of disaster planning practices, and presents new policy and planning recommendations.
U Virginia Creates Online Solar Energy Tracker Tool
Multiple work groups at the university collaborated to develop and launch an online tool that displays real-time data on its renewable energy portfolio, which includes energy production on 1,700 panels installed in 2017. The goal of the tool is to raise awareness of the university’s investment in solar energy production and the environmental savings resulting from these initiatives, and to support learning opportunities for students, faculty and staff.
North Carolina State U Uses Compostable Cups
Through a new partnership between the University Sustainability Office and Waste Reduction and Recycling, NC State Dining started using compostable cups in early January at two major dining locations on campus. This expands an existing compostable selection at the student union that includes napkins, to-go containers and single-use bamboo plates.
Hampshire College Uses 100% Solar Electricity
The residential college now has 100 percent of its electricity sourced from 15,000 photovoltaic arrays on two fields that have a capacity of 4.7 megawatts. The college is buying the electricity at a fixed rate for about half the rate the college had been paying. The project is estimated to save the college about $400,000 a year in electricity costs for up to 20 years, for total estimated savings of $8 million.
Michigan State U Completes 11 MW Solar Carport
As of December 21, five parking lots spanning 45 acres now have fully operational photovoltaic arrays over them totaling 11 megawatts of electricity. The arrays are expected to save the university $10 million over 25 years, and provide approximately five percent of its annual electricity needs.
U Puerto Rico Partners to Deliver Clean Water
The university recently partnered with two organizations to provide continuous, clean water and power to some of those affected by the hurricanes this fall. A solar-powered system will provide long-term benefits to the local people while being used as a teaching instrument for the engineering students at the university campus.
U Illinois Chicago Hospitals Pilot Providing Shelter for Homeless
The university has concluded a 2015 pilot program that provides housing for 26 emergency room “super utilizers”. Health care costs per patient housed dropped 18 percent on average each month. The University of Illinois Hospital will expand the program to house 25 additional homeless patients. At least three other Chicago hospitals are launching or recently launched similar programs.
Emory U Students Create Educational Waste Diversion Videos
Multiple two-minute videos were created by Emory students that educate viewers about the importance of landfill waste diversion, including the social and environmental impacts of landfills. The videos were submitted on behalf of a video competition as part of the university's zero waste commitment, which aims to divert 95 percent of campus waste from municipal landfills by 2025.
Maharishi U Students Build Electric Vehicle Charging Station for Campus Use
Eleven students in a recent course on energy and sustainability built a charging station for electric cars that is attached to its Sustainable Living Center grid. The station uses some of the excess energy from the wind turbine and solar panels that power the building. The charging station, which is free for anyone to use, was set up for about $600.
Emory U Creates Zero Waste Policy
In an effort to divert 95 percent of campus waste from municipal landfills by 2025, the university recently formalized its commitment by publishing a new waste management policy that engages the entire campus in the push to enhance recycling efforts. The new policy calls for adding additional collection stations, making existing stations more efficient and creating a new team to assist with removal of compost and recycling at campus stations.
Broward College Adjuncts Form Union
Adjunct faculty members at the college in Florida recently voted to form a union affiliated with Service Employees International Union. The new unit has approximately 1,700 eligible members, and some 92 percent of those who voted approved of the union bid.
U California Davis Building Earns BREEAM Certification & LEED O+M Gold
The Plant and Environmental Sciences Building, completed in 2001, comprises 140,394 square feet, about 80 percent of which is lab space. A lab retrofit project in 2014 resulted in 36 percent energy savings from temperature setbacks and reduced ventilation rates during occupied hours. Other green features include occupancy-based lighting and heating-ventilation-air conditioning control for spaces and fume hoods, low-flow fixtures and Energy Star-rated computers. The university is using the building as a test case for comparing the LEED and BREEAM rating systems.
U Minnesota Replaces Old Heating Plant With Co-Gen Plant
A decommissioned 104-year-old heating plant on the university's Twin Cities campus has been resurrected as a 22.8 megawatt combustion turbine and heat recovery co-generation system that will generate electric power and steam. The university expects the system will reduce its net carbon footprint by 10 to 13 percent.
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.
Western Washington U Releases Sustainability Action Plan
The new plan, which was drafted with campus-wide input including three public input sessions, will serve as the university’s roadmap for protecting local and global ecology, upholding social equity, creating economic vitality, and maintaining human health.
U Washington Creates Sustainability Engagement Games
A group at the university held the Sustainability Game Jam, an event that brought together dozens of students, faculty and staff over a weekend to create game prototypes that communicate concepts around sustainability. It was funded by a Campus Sustainability Fund (CSF) grant.
College William & Mary Facilities Management Receives CIMS Sustainability Certification
In late October, ISSA, a trade association for the cleaning industry, awarded William and Mary's Facilities Management the Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS)-Green Building Certification, which means that Facilities Management administration and a staff of 165 custodians offer environmentally friendly cleaning across the campus' 170 buildings.
Johns Hopkins U to Divest Holdings in Major Coal Producers
Following a recent vote of its board of trustees, the university will divest from its separately managed holdings in thermal coal recently. The board's vote directs the university to stop buying the stocks and bonds of companies that produce coal for electric power as a major part of their business, and to sell from its endowment or other investments any securities it directly owns from those companies, on a schedule that minimizes financial loss.
Rutgers U Raises Pay to $11 Per Hour for Student Workers
The minimum wage for student workers will go from $8.44 an hour to $11 an hour, starting Jan. 1, Rutgers President Robert Barchi said in a letter to students. The 30 percent raise affects more than 13,000 students who work in dining halls, libraries, offices and other facilities on the New Brunswick-Piscataway, Newark and Camden campuses.
U Virginia to Facilitate Governor's Environmental Justice Panel
Representatives from UVA’s Institute for Environmental Negotiation will serve as facilitators for the 15-member Environmental Justice Advisory Council, established by Virginia Govenor Terry McAuliffe in October. The mission of the council is to ensure that environmental policies around major issues like air quality or sea-level rise serve the interest of every Virginian, and that no area or group bears a disproportionate share of the burden.
Boston U Approves Climate Action Plan
The Boston University board of trustees recently approved a Climate Action Plan that aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions across both the Charles River Campus and the Medical Campus and fund broad infrastructure improvements in preparation for flooding or heat surges in the coming decades. The plan calls for capital improvements estimated to cost about $141 million over 10 years and the reduction of carbon emissions on the campuses to zero by 2040.
Project Green Challenge Announces Winners
Students from Dickinson College, Rice University and Yale University won Project Green Challenge, a 30-day lifestyle competition from Turning Green that seeks to inspire students to transition from a conventional to a conscious lifestyle by calling for students to complete daily challenges focused on sustainability-related themes.
North Carolina State U Uses Campus Buildings for Energy Management Living Lab
Working together with the university's energy management team, engineering professors and students were able to identify opportunities to reduce electricity use at times when costs are highest. The collaboration also revealed that if the university had a 1.2 megawatt solar array and 400 kilowatt-hour battery there would be a 5 percent reduction in electricity costs over the summer months.
Southern Illinois U Edwardsville Center Ranks Top Illinois HEIs for Underserved Students
The Illinois Education Research Council at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville has published a new report that identifies the state’s top seven, four-year postsecondary institutions that are good investments for underserved students. Motivated by the need to provide an equitable education, the study analyzed publicly available institutional data on graduation rates, earnings, student loan debt and loan default rates to rank 55 public, nonprofit private, and for-profit private institutions in the state of Illinois.
Cornell U Launches Staff Sustainability Champions Program
The university's Employee Assembly and Campus Sustainability Office staff created the new recognition program as a way to capture and better recognize the hundreds of daily acts that staff demonstrate to reduce waste, create a more welcoming environment, save resources and champion new ideas for sustainability.
College William & Mary Uses $10K Grant for Lighting Upgrade
A $10,239 Green Fee grant awarded in fall 2017 will be used at the college's Virginia Institute of Marine Science to reduce electricity usage and improve working conditions by replacing 52 dated, energy-demanding bulbs with new light-emitting diode (LED) lamps in three buildings.
Brown U Replaces Loans With Scholarships
Having achieved its initial fundraising goal of $30 million, the university will replace loans with scholarship funds in financial aid packages for all returning and incoming undergraduate students starting in the 2018-19 academic year.
Brown U Launches Three-Year, $24M Project to Boost Thermal Efficiency
As part of its continued work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 42 percent below 2007 levels by 2020, the university will increase energy efficiency by replacing its steam-based central heating system with a medium-temperature hot water system. Completion is expected in October 2020.
Johns Hopkins U Building Earns LEED Gold
Sustainability features of the university's Malone Hall are heat reutilization, an energy recovery wheel, radiant panels and LED lighting. Water conservation measures include low-flow fixtures, dual-flush toilets and electronic faucets that are estimated to reduce water consumption by 40 percent. The building landscape incorporates a bioretention swale, which is a shallow, vegetated, landscaped depression with sloped sides that manages storm water runoff.
U South Australia Receives $2.7M for Alternative Energy Installations
(Australia) The University of South Australia will soon receive 3.6 million Australian dollars ($2.7 million) for a project at its Mawson Lakes campus that is expected to cut campus emissions by 35 percent. The project includes hydrogen production with a 50 kilowatt hydrogen fuel cell and a 1.8 megawatt photovoltaic array.
Bucknell U Earns LEED Silver on Campus Health & Wellness Building
The seventh campus building to obtain LEED Silver, the Graham Building diverted more than 93 percent of construction waste from landfills through recycling while incorporating more than 10 percent recycled and more than 20 percent regionally sourced materials into the building's design. It also features technology to ensure efficiency such as occupancy sensors, daylighting and low-flow water fixtures.
U Nottingham Agrees to Living Wage to Low-Paid Staff
(U.K.) Two weeks after protesters asked the university to pay a living wage, the university agreed to do so for the 2017-18 academic year. The agreement guarantees the lowest-paid staff 8.75 pounds ($11.72) an hour.
Utah Valley U Completing Sustainability Communications Wall
In an effort to educate students and staff about sustainability measures on campus, a soon-to-be completed wall will include an interactive display that will allow students to see the current energy usage for different buildings as well as information about green features of campus such as geothermal energy, recycling, transportation and water.
U Waterloo Publishes Environmental Sustainability Strategy
After two years of consultation and planning, the president's Advisory Committee on Environmental Sustainability released the university's first environmental sustainability strategy, which seeks to strengthen organizational sustainability across academics, operations, and student and employee engagement.
Barnard College Affiliates With the Worker Rights Consortium
The college's president recently announced its decision to affiliate with the Worker Rights Consortium. The affiliation will assist Barnard in implementing a manufacturing code of conduct with which apparel vendors contracting with Barnard will be asked to comply.
U Michigan Building Receives LEED Gold
The Stephen M. Ross School of Business' Kresge renovation and Jeff T. Blau Hall project has received LEED Gold certification. The project includes energy and water conservation measures such as occupancy sensors for lighting control, energy-efficient light fixtures, the incorporation of natural daylight and low-flow bathroom fixtures. Energy measures are expected to allow for energy savings of an estimated 30 percent.
Six Universities Receive Energy Dept CHP Research Funding
North Carolina State University, Pace University, Pennsylvania State University-University Park, University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Maine, Washington State University, Houston Advanced Research Center and the Center for Sustainable Energy will split a U.S. Department of Energy $25 million grant to further the installation of cost-effective, highly efficient combined heat and power (CHP) technologies. These institutions will, among other things, become regional CHP Technical Assistance Partnerships that will assist in the development of strategies to increase resilience to natural disasters and improve grid and electric delivery reliability.
Penn State U Offers Energy Storage & Microgrid Training
A new training program is part of the university's GridSTAR Center, a smart-grid education and research center at Penn State at The Navy Yard. The program is intended to help instructors prepare to teach electrical workers about safe and productive energy storage and microgrid construction. A unique element of the program is that the curriculum is based on lessons learned in the design and construction of multiple energy storage and microgrid systems at Penn State.
Colorado State U Receives $50K for Campus Sustainability & Water Research
The $50,000 grant will be split between campus sustainability research and collaboration, and STEM opportunities for diverse and underrepresented students. The university's National Western Center Sustainability Team will use $37,500 to develop innovations in water, energy, food systems, and health and recreation, and improve the natural environment. The second part of the grant, $12,500, supports the CSU Water Fellows program. First-generation CSU students from diverse and often underrepresented backgrounds will team with neighboring high school students to work on water issues.
AASHE Asks Elected Officials to Protect the Graduate Student Tuition Waiver
AASHE has joined more than 30 other organizations in opposing the repeal of the Graduate Student Tuition Waiver that is included in the House of Representatives' Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1). Reclassifying these waivers as taxable income will significantly increase the cost of a graduate education and make it even more difficult for working class and low income students to pursue advanced degrees.
Cornell U Living Lab Waste Project Reduces Contamination
The student club WasteNot prototyped designs for waste sorting signage that is more user-friendly and inclusive of the international community by featuring clear directions in several languages and visual cues. In the first pilot with the redesigned signage, total contamination dropped by 10 percent for landfill, 17 percent for recycling and 19 percent for compost. Plans are underway to roll out piloted designs across campus facilities.
Cornell U Launches Food Security Grocery Store
Based on results of a Cornell University survey indicating a high percentage of students were regularly without access to food, the Center for Transformative Action launched Anabel's Grocery to provide nutritious, affordable food that includes low-priced meals, daily meal kits and fresh staples. The store is student-led and has served over 1,000 students in the first semester of operations. The store also offers educational programs around quality food, food choices, wellness and positive social change.
York U Releases Inaugural Institutional Sustainability Strategy
The university's first published sustainability strategy was led by a working group comprised of members of the university president’s Sustainability Council and included participation from more than 1,000 community members. The goals of the strategy are divided into three key categories: people, focusing on a culture of collaboration; knowledge, using its strengths in sustainability research to inform teaching; and place, creating a pedestrian-oriented campus.
McGill U Releases Climate & Sustainability Action Plan
In its new plan, the university commits to carbon neutrality by 2040 and sets a long-term goal of earning AASHE STARS Platinum by 2030. The result of an extensive consultation process, the plan includes offsetting air travel emissions and recruiting an Indigenous scholar or artist-in-residence.