U Western Ontario Switches to Biodegradable Food Packaging
As a result of efforts by the University Students' Council, the University of Western Ontario is transitioning from Styrofoam to 100% biodegradable food containers, plates, and garbage bags. The products, which come at no extra cost to students, are made mostly from sugar cane and corn starch and will biodegrade in 60 to 90 days.
Washington U in St. Louis Offers Hybrid-Only Car Share Program
Washington University in St. Louis (MO) recently introduced WeCar, a car sharing program that will exclusively utilize hybrid vehicles. Under the program, Enterprise Rent-A-Car will make 6 hybrid vehicles available to rent on an hourly basis by faculty, staff, and students over age 18.
Western Kentucky U Initiates Bike Share Program
Western Kentucky University has initiated Big Red's Bikes, a bike sharing program that was started by an on-campus student organization called GreenToppers. The program features bicycles that were refurbished through the donation of old bikes, chains, tires, tubes, and locks.
Yale Reduces Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 17%
Yale University (CT) recently announced that it has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 17%, or 43,000 metric tons, since 2005. In 2005, Yale committed to cut its GHG emissions to 10% below the University's 1990 levels by 2020. Yale's strategy to shrink its carbon footprint calls for a mix of conservation measures, the use of renewable energy on campus, and direct participation in carbon offset projects. Yale has achieved its current reduction through projects and policies including the installation of more efficient heating and cooling systems in 90 buildings, new automatic controls for heating, cooling and lighting, the replacement of windows, new and modified power plant equipment, achieving LEED Silver or better certification for all new buildings and major renovations, the use of ground water for cooling, and a 10% yearly reduction in electricity consumption by students in Yale's undergraduate residential colleges.
Andover Newton Trustees Vote to Cut Energy Consumption by 20%
The Andover Newton Theological School's (MA) Board of Trustees voted unanimously to reduce energy consumption by 20% over 5 years. The Board promised to publish annual progress reports and is hoping that entire community will take part in the effort.
Duke Hires Coordinator of Student Environmental Initiatives
Duke University (NC) has appointed Charlotte R. Clark to the newly created Coordinator of Student Environmental Initiatives position. Clark will work with the Nicholas School's Director of Undergraduate Studies and Duke's VP of Student Affairs to develop a strategic, university-wide plan to boost environmental awareness and encourage greater participation in environmental initiatives. Her main goals include promoting environmental literacy, promoting best practices for environmental management on campus, and increasing student engagement with each other and with faculty and staff around environmental topics and activities.
Laramie County CC Named Energy Innovator of the Year
Laramie County Community College (WY) has been named the Energy Innovator of the Year, an award presented by the Renewable Energy Coalition of Wyoming. The award is result of LCCC's leadership in the state regarding renewable energy. This leadership includes the installation of its own 100 foot wind turbine, energy-efficient construction practices, and the new Wind Technician Program.
MIT Announces Energy Research Partnership
MIT announced that it will be partnering with Italian energy company, Eni, to develop advanced solar technologies. The Eni-MITEI Solar Frontiers Research Program will focus on nano-structured thin film photovoltaics, luminescent solar concentrators, self assembling photovoltaic materials, water splitting, materials for solar energy capture and storage, and maximizing the return on investment for solar thermals plants. Eni will also support various other energy related projects such as research in evaluation methodologies for the commercial potential of energy startups and novel energy technologies.
National Law Journal Covers Law Schools Going Green
A recently article in the National Law Journal describes how law schools across the country are going green. The University of Colorado School of Law's Wolf Law Building and the University of Denver's Frank H. Ricketson Jr. Law Building have both been certified LEED gold in recently years, and many schools plan to follow suit. Environmentally and sustainably focused law courses and degrees have become more prevalent in recent years, and law schools are seeing increasing student interest in environmental law topics as well.
Ohio U to Reduce Off-Campus Energy Use
Ohio University has received a $50,000 grant from the Sugar Bush Foundation for a project that aims to reduce energy waste in off-campus student housing. The grant will support the University's Green House Project, which provides energy-efficiency audits of residential properties and disseminates information, recommendations, and financial support to students and landlords interested in making related improvements. The project will offset a portion of OU's carbon footprint as part of the University's participation in the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment.
Owens CC Offers Green Technology Program
Owens Community College (OH) Workforce and Community Services is offering a new Green Technology program. The program is designed to raise awareness of renewable energy technologies and provide students with enhanced knowledge about green living.
Stony Brook U's 'Earthstock' Receives Student Affairs Award
The EarthStock program series at Stony Brook University (NY) received the 2007 Outstanding Student Affairs Award for Emerging Programs. EarthStock is a series of programs that educate the campus and local community on the environment and sustainability. The event, chosen from more than 40 entries, is designed to raise awareness and help provide solutions for climate change and global warming by involving local, regional and national government and business leaders in the discussion. It was started as a grassroots effort by students and staff to celebrate Earth Day in 2002, and is now a weeklong event featuring 32 departments on campus.
SUNY ESF Enlarges Alternative Fuel Supply
The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry recently had two 3,000 gallon alternative fuel storage tanks delivered to its campus in order to supply the college's growing fleet of alternative fuel vehicles. Over 34% of SUNY ESF vehicles run on fuels such as flex-fuel, biodiesel, electric hybrids, concentrated natural gas, and propane.
- Posted Jan 17, 2008
- Other News
SUNY ESF Introduces 2 Environmental Studies Grad Programs
The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry has established a master of science and a master of professional studies, both in environmental studies. The research focused MS program offers students an interdisciplinary understanding of environmental issues and the problems that underlie them, and is intended for students with a wide range of undergraduate degrees. The MPS program is a career-focused, non-thesis degree with less emphasis on research. It is aimed at professionals already working in various environmental fields. Both programs focus on the core areas of sustainability, policy, governance, conflict resolution, advocacy, ethics, and perception and behavior.
U Central Oklahoma Introduces Bike Share Program
The University of Central Oklahoma recently launched its "Bum-A-Bike" initiative, a program which allows UCO students, faculty, and staff to check out bikes free of charge for up to two weeks with a campus ID. The program was initiated when the manager of a local restaurant donated 10 bicycles to the University.
UC San Francisco Expands Composting Program
Retail Services at the University of California, San Francisco will introduce a "Going Greener" campaign, which will expand the current program to provide composting options to customers and the general public. Composting, recycling, and garbage bins complete with detailed signage will be made available in the plaza. Campus vendors will also participate by composting their compostable to-go ware. The program will be piloted for six months before it will be introduced to other campus locations.
UCSD Seeks to Reduce Water and Energy Use through Weather Sensors
The University of California, San Diego plans to install a network of up to 30 weather sensors on rooftops across campus. The data retrieved from the sensors will serve to provide an accurate display of weather conditions, which will allow for better control of the inside temperatures. The program could also help run the university irrigation system more efficiently and help determine the best placement for solar arrays.
U Florida Commits to Green Cleaning Practices
The University of Florida's Building Services Department of the Physical Plant Division announced its commitment to green cleaning practices throughout all of the campus buildings. UF Building Services and the Office of Sustainability have developed greener training programs for custodial supervisors and staff. The training will include discussion on minimizing energy consumption, recycling, waste reduction, ergonomics, the importance of proper maintenance of entryway matting, and other sustainable practices.
U Maine Art Students Participate in Global Warming Exhibit
University of Maine art students submitted their global warming and environmentally focused work to an exhibit hosted by the Kennebec Art Association. During the exhibition, participating artists will be accepting donations to purchase offsets for the carbon fuels and materials used for the event.
U New Hampshire Recycles Demolished Building Materials
The University of New Hampshire has recycled more than 98% of the rubble from the recently demolished DeMeritt Hall. Most of the masonry will be used as road fill, some of the wood was in good enough condition to sell, and much of the flooring will be re-milled and go back into the new building's floors. The new building will incorporate numerous energy efficient features as well.
19 New Campuses Sign Presidents Climate Commitment
19 new institutions have signed the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment since the last update in AASHE Bulletin. In doing so, these campuses have committed to develop comprehensive plans for achieving climate neutrality. The new signatories are: Michael Collins of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Michael S. Roth of Wesleyan University (CT), Charles E. Kupchella of the University of North Dakota, Leon Botstein of Bard College (NY), Daniel Weiss of Lafayette College (PA), Bruce Grube of Georgia Southern University, Thomas Cole of the University of Massachusetts at Worcester, Robert Bogomolny of the University of Baltimore (MD), Mickey L. Burnim of Bowie State University (MD), John E. Schwaller of the State University of New York - Potsdam, Jeffrey von Arx of Fairfield University (CT), Donald F. Boesch of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, R. Mark Sullivan of College of Saint Rose (NY), James La Calle of Harford Community College (MD), Richard F. Giese of Mount Union College (OH), Charles L. Shearer of Transylvania University (KY), Thelma B. Thompson of the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore, Randall R. Miller of Lake Michigan College (MI), and Rose B. Bellanca of St. Clair County Community College (MI). 468 college and university presidents and chancellors have now signed the Commitment.
CUNY Joins Statewide Solar Energy Consortium
The City University of New York (CUNY) recently joined The Solar Energy Consortium (TSEC) of New York State, a not-for-profit group of private and public companies and institutions that will research and develop new ways to efficiently and effectively deliver energy from the sun. TSEC plans to research ways to install economically sensible photovoltaic systems and to create a solid solar industry in the state of New York. Other participating institutions include Cornell University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Clarkson University, Binghamton University and The State University of New York at New Paltz.
Ferrum College Creates Environmental Science Scholarship Fund
Ferrum College (VA)has established a scholarship fund for high school students planning to pursue studies in environmental science. West Development Group, a manufacturer of roofing products, made the initial contribution to the "Scientia Terrae Causa" (Knowledge for the Earth) Environmental Science Scholarship Fund and will donate a percentage of all future sales of its environmental products to the fund.
Green 4-H Center Opens at Ohio State U
Ohio State University recently opened the Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau Ohio 4-H Center, a building that was designed to achieve LEED certification. The first "green" building on campus, the 4-H center features a geothermal heating and cooling system, recycled building materials, natural lighting, a bicycle storage area and showers, and a highly reflective white membrane roof which makes the building easier to cool in during the summer months.
NJIT to Promote Green Chemistry in Local Schools
New Jersey Institute of Technology has committed to spend at least $125,000 to showcase greener lab practices and to measure the amount of solvents and energy reductions that can be achieved when such practices are used in school laboratory experiments rather than traditional chemistry practices. As part of the initiative, NJIT will purchase equipment to help three local high schools get started using enhanced microwave technology, and will promote this faster, cleaner and less polluting lab technique to science educators throughout New Jersey through publications, seminars and the Internet. This initiative is a result of a settlement between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and NJIT.
Savannah College of Art and Design Forms Sustainability Council
Savannah College of Art and Design (GA) has formed the Sustainability and Eco Practices Council to support its sustainability initiatives. The council, which is comprised of faculty and staff, has made double-sided printing a standard procedure across campus and is in the process of developing a new major called Design for Sustainability.
U Arkansas Hires Sustainability Coordinator
Nick Brown has been appointed as the Executive Assistant for Sustainability in the Facilities Management Department at the University of Arkansas. As the first person in this newly-created position, Brown will be responsible for sustainability efforts across the U of A campus with an emphasis on Facilities Management, and will report to the Associate Vice Chancellor for Facilities. Brown has a significant amount of experience in the environmental field, and holds a Ph.D. in Ecology from Cornell University.
UC San Diego Joins Chicago Climate Exchange
The University of California, San Diego has joined the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX), a voluntary, legally binding program for reducing and trading greenhouse gas. UC San Diego is the first university on the west coast to join and is the seventh campus member in the US. UC San Diego expects that it will be able to cut its emissions below the limit and sell the surplus credits.
UC San Diego Joins The Green Grid
The University of California, San Diego recently joined The Green Grid, a global consortium of companies that aims to reduce energy consumption in data centers and computing ecosystems. Through this membership, UCSD plans to green the on-campus San Diego Supercomputer Center, which will re-open next year.
U Oregon Promises Free Tuition to Low-Income Incoming Freshman
University of Oregon has announced PathwayOregon, a plan to cover tuition and fees for lower-income Oregonians entering the University as freshmen next fall. The plan guarantees that qualified Oregonians from lower income families can attend the UO tuition-free by covering any remaining tuition costs not picked up by federal and state financial aid. It also provides students with comprehensive academic support and in some cases room and board. Lower income Oregonians who are eligible for Federal Pell Grants and are entering the UO next fall as freshman qualify for the program.
UW Oshkosh Switches to Cage-Free Eggs
Under a new policy, all shell (whole) eggs that UW Oshkosh serves will be cage-free. The switch to cage-free eggs follows a successful student-voter referendum and dining services-committee vote to switch the eggs sold on campus to cage-free.
Case Western Reserve U Receives $3.6M for Institute for Energy Innovation
Case Western Reserve University (OH) has received a $3.6 million grant from the Cleveland Foundation to support the University's new Great Lakes Institute for Energy Innovation. Based at the Case School of Engineering, the Institute will work to develop economically viable, reliable, and sustainable energy resources. Three major areas of research are envisioned: renewable power, energy storage, and efficiency of larger energy systems. The Cleveland Foundation funds will support recruitment of new faculty for the Institute.
College of the Atlantic Achieves Carbon Neutrality
As of December 19, 2007, College of the Atlantic (ME) has fulfilled its net-zero pledge to become carbon neutral. The College has offset the entirety of its carbon output over the past 15 months. The College has also taken reduce its carbon emissions, including a comprehensive energy audit and extensive work to improve energy efficiency in all buildings. Where possible, incandescent lightbulbs have been replaced with compact fluorescents. Alternative commuting methods, such as carpooling and biking, have been promoted, as have flexible work plans so employees can work from home. In addition, the College is obtaining all of its electricity through a low-impact hydroelectric generator in Maine.
Energy Bill Authorizes $750M in Assistance for Campus Energy
The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which was signed into law in late December, authorizes $250 million annually in grants and another $500 million in direct loans for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects at higher education institutions as well as public schools, or local governments. The legislation allows for grants of up to $1 million for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, and grants of up to $500,000 for innovative energy sustainability projects. Smaller grants for feasibility studies and other technical assistance are also authorized. The law directs that at least 50 percent for the grant money be awarded to higher education institutions, and at least half of that go to institutions with endowments of less than $100 million. The law also authorizes another $100 million in annual funding for higher education research on renewable energy, including $50 million for marine renewable energy, and $25 million for biofuels.
Haverford to Replace Loans With Grants
In an effort to make a Haverford College (PA) education as accessible as possible, Haverford's Board of Managers has approved a sweeping overhaul of the College's financial aid program that will eliminate student loans for all incoming freshmen and to reduce the loan burden for continuing students. The College is chartering a new endowment fund -- called the Next Generation Fund -- to help pay for the plan. All students who receive grants will be asked to make a pledge to support the Fund throughout their lives as their means allow, with no pre-set expectation of how much they contribute.
Mills College Science Building Earns LEED Platinum Certification
Mills College's (CA) new Natural Sciences Building has received LEED Platinum certification. The $17 million, 26,000 square-foot facility is almost 90 percent more energy efficient than a typical lab in the Bay Area and 45 percent more energy efficient than required by state law. Sustainability features include: recycled carpeting; automatic sensors to switch lights on or off; tall windows to increase the depth of natural light and decrease the use of artificial lights; energy efficient glass windows; and photovoltaic panels on the roof that provide 30 percent of the building's electrical needs. The building also has a rainwater collection system that collects up to 60,000 gallons of water a year to be used for flushing toilets.
Missouri, Auburn and Clemson Universities Join to Protect Tigers
University of Missouri, Auburn University (AL) and Clemson University (SC) have initiated a friendly competition to see which school and its alumni can raise the most money to protect tigers around the world. Beginning December 13, 2007, and running through December 13, 2008; students, faculty and alumni from all three schools - each of which has a tiger for its mascot - are being encouraged to make donations in their schools' name for the "Tigers for Tigers Challenge." The competition is being carried o
Portland State Announces Major Hiring Initiative in Sustainability
Portland State University (OR) has announced plans to hire up to 10 faculty specializing in sustainability. The hires will be in a variety of disciplines, and are intended to deepen Portland State's commitment to sustainability. Funding for the new positions comes from a recent state appropriation of $2 million to Portland State for faculty recruitment and retention.
SUNY ESF Installs 23 kW Solar Array
The State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry recently turned on a 23 kW photovoltaic array built on the south wall of ESF's Baker Laboratory. Combined with another photovoltaic array installed earlier this year and the carbonate fuel cell that went to full power this past spring, the new system means 20 percent of the college's electricity needs now come from alternative energy resources.
Swarthmore Eliminates Loans in Financial Aid Awards
In an effort to reduce the financial pressures facing students and their families, Swarthmore College's (PA) Board of Managers has decided to replace all loans with scholarships in financial aid awards, effective the 2008-09 academic year, for both continuing and new students.
Tufts U Eliminates Loans for Lower Income Students
Tufts University (MA) has announced that it is replacing loans with scholarship grants for all undergraduates whose annual family income is below $40,000, starting with the class of 2011. The new program is expected to help Tufts achieve a more socio-economically diverse student body.
U Arizona Launches Research Institute for Solar Energy
The Arizona Board of Regents have approved $3.35 million in funding for Arizona Research Institute for Solar Energy (AzRISE). The new institute was established at University of Arizona this summer with the goal of fully developing solar energy's potential through research, industry partnerships, and policy solutions. The research goals of AzRISE include identifying, funding and coordinating Arizona-specific solar energy research opportunities, developing intellectual property and promoting development and widespread adoption of solar energy. The new funding approved by the regents will allow AzRISE to support individual research efforts and continue its outreach efforts to promote solar energy adoption.
U Central Oklahoma Receives Award from Keep Oklahoma Beautiful
Keep Oklahoma Beautiful has awarded University of Central Oklahoma with a "Vanguard Award" in recognition of the University's efforts to protect the environment. Specifically, UCO received the award for mitigating 100 percent of its electricity consumption through wind power purchases, producing and using biodiesel fuel, making energy efficient improvements to its physical plant, moving to paperless processes, and comprehensive campus-wide recycling.
UCSF Names Sustainability Manager
John Pihl has been named as the University of Califorina, San Francisco's first Sustainability Manager, a new position within Capital Programs & Facilities Management. Prior to joining the University, Pihl worked for Kaiser Permanente, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and Hewlett-Packard in various positions related to sustainability. Pihl is a licensed architect and a LEED accredited professional.
Unity College Offers $2,000 Scholarships to All Maine Students
Unity College (ME) has announced that it will offer $2,000 scholarships to all Maine students who apply for enrollment in 2008. The move is intended to improve access to higher education and help increase the number of Maine residents who go to college.
U Rhode Island Enters Into $18M Energy Performance Contract
The University of Rhode Island has entered into an $18 million energy performance contract designed to reduce its energy usage through the replacement of lighting fixtures, windows, heating/air conditioning systems and other equipment, as well as improvements to building energy management control systems. The upgrades are expected to save over 7 million kWhs of electricity and 42 million pounds of steam per year. The cost of the two-year contract will be paid over 12 years from the savings on the University's utility bills.
Vermont Campus Sustainability Network Formed
The Vermont Campus Energy Group has launched the Vermont Campus Sustainability Network (VCSN) and an associated website. VCSN aims to serve as a clearinghouse for sustainability-related information for Vermont's college and university communities. The Network's overarching objective is to create a cohesive community among Vermont's colleges and universities based on environmental sustainability. The VCSN website features a comprehensive sustainability profile for each Vermont campus, highlights projects and achievements. The website also features state and national news and events related to campus sustainability; a sign-up for VCEG's monthly newsletter; links to campus sustainability resources and project ideas; and an online forum that allows the website's users to discuss sustainability issues and ideas.
Walsh U Receives Grant for Green Chemistry
Walsh University (OH) has been awarded an $111,795 grant from the Herbert W. Hoover Foundation to develop, implement, and disseminate protocols for environmentally friendly chemistry labs. The project has been designed to involve students, under the supervision of trained faculty researchers/educators, in the development of each lab procedure. This initiative will create a system of teaching green chemistry that participants hope will be used at other colleges and universities.
West Virginia U to Invest $12.5M in Energy Conservation
The West Virginia University Board of Governors have approved a $12.5 million plan of capital improvements designed to significantly reduce the amount of energy and water consumed at three of the University's campuses. The effort, which is phase two of an energy savings performance contract, is expected to lead to savings of $1.48 million annually over the next 15 years. Planned changes include: replacing thousands of traditional fluorescent light bulbs with newer bulbs that use less energy and produce more light; installing low flow toilets, urinals and shower heads to reduce water usage; installing computer controlled monitoring systems that can more effectively control temperatures by utilizing outside/fresh air for heating and cooling; and updating motors on fans, blowers and air handlers with variable speed that can reduce speed and energy usage when full speed is not needed. Additional improvements include the installation of chiller units in several buildings that will replace less efficient natural gas absorbers, replacement of old boiler units with more energy efficient units and improvement of power factor capacitance to reduce the amount of power the University needs to purchase.