Arizona State U to Establish Solar Power Laboratory
Arizona State University has announced plans to establish the Solar Power Laboratory to advance solar energy research, education, and technology. The goal of the lab is to improve the efficiency of solar electric power systems while making them more economically feasible. The laboratory will be a collaboration between the University’s Global Institute of Sustainability and the Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering. The initiative is a response to the Arizona Board of Regents’ Solar Energy Initiative.
BCSEA Launches Canadian Clean Energy Academic Program Directory
The BC Sustainable Energy Association, a non-profit organization committed to promoting sustainable energy and energy efficiency, has launched its "Clean Energy Classrooms" project. The initiative includes an online portal that features a directory to all of Canada's currently available training and education options in renewable energy. The Clean Energy Classrooms resource guide is meant to provide comprehensive information to prospective students, help schools ensure strong enrollment for their renewabl
Benedictine U to Offer 2 Concentrations in Sustainability
Benedictine University (IL) will offer two new concentrations focused on sustainability in its Master of Business Administration program - Sustainable Business and Sustainable Leadership. Both degrees will be obtained by choosing 12 or more credits from a list of sustainability-focused courses.
Christian Science Monitor Article on Green Campus Ratings
The Christian Science Monitor has published an article on campus sustainability rating systems and the importance of colleges and universities collaborating to improve their green ratings. The article mentions the Princeton Review, AASHE's Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS), the Sustainable Endowments Institute's College Sustainability Report Card, and Grist Magazine's ranking of the top fifteen green colleges and universities in 2007.
Fresno Pacific U Implements 4-day Work Week
Fresno Pacific University (CA) has implemented a compressed work week for the summer. The new schedule, which consists of four 10-hour days, was introduced as an initiative to help reduce the amount of money employees spend on gas each week. Approximately 200 of FPU's employees are taking advantage of the new schedule, which will last until early August when the University returns to the normal work schedule.
Grand Valley State U to Offer 4 Certificates in Sustainability
Grand Valley State University (MI) has begun an initiative to redesign the campus curriculum to incorporate sustainability. GVSU also plans to develop certificates in renewable energy, green chemistry, sustainable business, and urban sustainability; offer new sustainability-based courses; and establish a minor in environmental studies and a liberal arts major that emphasizes sustainability.
Hillsborough CC Opens Green Building
The Hillsborough Community College (FL) South Shore campus has opened its first building, a 55,000 square foot structure that was built to achieve LEED Gold. The building features an east-west footprint that limits heat absorption and maximizes light, a water reclamation system that allows for rainwater to be used for irrigation and plumbing, and indoor lighting that automatically dims in the presence of natural light.
Indiana U Students’ Energy Contest Website Wins Int'l Competition
Two Indiana University School of Informatics graduates took a first-place award at the Imagine Cup finals, an international competition sponsored by Microsoft Corp., for their residence hall energy reduction competition website. The theme of this year's Imagine Cup was the environment; specifically, participants were encouraged to "imagine a world where technology enables a sustainable environment." The pair’s website design won against 200,000 other entrants.
Macalester College Students Donate Graduation Gowns
Macalester College (MN) has begun a new program that allows graduates to donate their caps and gowns to a local high school. This year, students donated 109 caps and 130 graduation gowns, approximately 1/3 of the gowns worn at graduation. The program, which was initiated by a 2008 Macalester graduate, saved the local high school over $2,000.
Michigan Tech, Michigan State U to Develop Ethanol Plant
Michigan Technological University has been selected to partner with Michigan State University and the Mascoma Corporation in Michigan’s first Center of Energy Excellence. The three institutions will develop the state's first commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plant. Michigan Tech will contribute its knowledge of sustainable forestry management practices and access to its automotive engineering labs for analysis of the biofuels produced. MSU will provide expertise in pretreatment technology for cellulosic ethanol production and assistance with renewable energy crops that can be used by the bio-refinery. The universities will each receive an estimated $1 million to analyze issues related to the availability and cost of supplying the wood fiber and other plant materials to produce cellulosic ethanol.
Oakland U Offers 4-day Work Week
Oakland University (MI) has begun offering a four-day work week to its full-time employees. The optional program, which aims to help university employees save money on gas, is only offered in departments where the alternative week is feasible and does not hinder the University's overall goal of quality student services.
Saint Michael's College Names First Sustainability Coordinator
Saint Michael's College (VT) has hired Heather J. Ellis as the College's first Sustainability Coordinator. The new coordinator is tasked with developing and managing campus sustainability programs, and she plans to work towards a culture of sustainability on campus as well. Ellis graduated in 2007 from the University of New Hampshire with a degree in Environmental Conservation.
Sault College Installs 32 kW Wind Turbine on Campus
Sault College (ON) has constructed a 32 kW wind energy turbine on its campus. The turbine features 9-meter blades, a low noise level, and an aerodynamic blade design that was optimized for the highest annual production in areas with average winds of 3 – 6 meters per second.
Smith College Hires Sustainability Director
Smith College (MA) has hired Dano Weisbord as Sustainability Director, a new position tasked with integrating sustainability principles and practices into campus operations. Weisbord's responsibilities will include directing the development and implementation of the College’s sustainability plan, goals and standards; working with college departments and programs to develop a culture of sustainability; and researching and recommending environmentally sustainable technologies and practices. Weisbord will begin in August.
St. Lawrence U Sends Green Shopping List to Freshmen
St. Lawrence University (NY) has sent a list of suggested green dorm room items to freshman, offering advice to students about what "green" shopping means and what to look for. The Green Shopping List begins by encouraging students to share items with their roommates rather than to buy new items, and suggests Energy Star products and used products as well. The list also encourages students not to bring items such as TVs and refrigerators, which are already provided in common areas.
Tufts U Joins Clean Energy Development Program
Tufts University has signed an agreement with the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MTC) to join “Clean Energy Choice-On Campus,” a green energy development program coordinated by MTC, a Massachusetts development agency for renewable energy. For every dollar donated by individual members of the Tufts community, MTC will put aside a matching grant of $2. MTC will divide the matching funds three ways — one-third will be available to Tufts to use for future alternative energy sources on campus like solar panels and wind turbines, one-third will be put into a fund for renewable energy programs in the city, and the remaining funds will go into an account administered by MTC for green energy projects in low-income communities across the state. The original contributions from Tufts will be used to purchase renewable energy credits.
U Central Florida Students Build Biodiesel Reactor
A group of University of Central Florida Mechanical Engineering students have designed and constructed a system that converts restaurants' used vegetable oil into biodiesel fuel. The system, which can produce about 60 gallons of biodiesel every two days, is the result of a Senior Design class project. The University uses the biodiesel fuel produced to power its lawn mowers and heavy equipment. The students involved in the project have since graduated and started a company that will use the design for the biodiesel reactor that they constructed. Future UCF Mechanical Engineering students will be tasked with improving the current system.
U Kansas Installs Green Roof on Football Complex
The University of Kansas has installed a green roof on a portion of its new football complex. The weight room of the complex has been built underground, which reduces heating and cooling costs, so the green roof has been planted with grass and functions like a normal lawn. The University expects the green roof and underground building to save approximately $20,000 per year in energy costs.
U Maryland Baltimore Reduces Energy Load by 20 M kWh in 2 Years
The University of Maryland Baltimore has announced that it reduced its electricity load by more than 20 million kWh in two years as a result of its participation in Comverge, Inc's PJM (Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Maryland) Demand Response Programs, which helped UMB to reduce its peak demand and overall consumption. Examples of the strategies that UMB and Comverge are implementing include: using an existing 20,000 ton-hour/2,000-ton output thermal storage system to shift air conditioning load from daytime on-peak operation to night-time off-peak operation; remotely controlling all public area lighting and turning off all non-essential lighting loads during periods of high demand; and putting a portion of the campus chilled water production on a "current limiting" mode for short 30-minute periods.
UNC Charlotte Receives $57 M for Clean Energy Production Training Ctr
The University of North Carolina, Charlotte has received state funding for its Energy Production Infrastructure Center (EPIC) project in the amount of $57.2 million. EPIC will address the shortage of trained engineers capable of servicing and replacing an aging fossil fuel and nuclear infrastructure and developing future infrastructures for wind, solar, and biofuels. UNCC received $19 million last year for the center's design and planning.
U North Alabama to Reduce Energy Use
The University of North Alabama has undertaken a project designed to reduce the University's environmental impact and utility costs. UNA plans to replace windows and doors in older buildings, re-insulate heating and cooling ducts, and install motion-sensitive lighting where appropriate.
U South Florida Establishes Sustainability Ctte, Website, & Newsletter
The University of South Florida has established a Campus Sustainability Steering Committee comprised of 30 faculty, staff, student, alumni, and community members. Additionally, 14 subcommittees are in the process of being created to address such topics as waste recycling, food, landscaping, water and energy. USF has also created a sustainability website and published the first issue of its Sustainability Newsletter. The website features the latest copy of USF's Sustainability Report, campus sustainability news and events, and Sustainability Steering Committee documents. The first issue of the newsletter provides information on three upcoming green buildings, an update on the University's initiatives related to the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment, and a list of green transportation options on and around campus.
Washington State U to Implement Co-mingle Recycling
Washington State University Facilities Operations will introduce single stream recycling campus wide in early August. Recyclables at the WSU campus will be collected as co-mingled, with the exceptions of corrugated cardboard, white paper and glass, which will still be collected separately. WSU officials hope that the new program will increase the volume of recycling materials collected. The implementation of single stream collection follows a pilot program that started in February 2008.
Williams College Installs 26 kW Solar Array
Williams College (MA) has installed a 26.88 kW photovoltaic array on the college's new library shelving facility. The array is part of Williams College's campaign for greener buildings. The solar modules used in the project were built in Massachusetts.
2 Virginia Tech Dining Halls Go Trayless
Two of Virginia Tech's dining halls have gone trayless after a successful pilot program. During the pilot phase of the initiative, which took place in one dining hall during Earth Week, dining services saw a 38 percent reduction in food waste.
Adelphi U Receives Commuter Excellence Award
Adelphi University (NY) has received the 2008 Regional Commuter Choice Outstanding Achievement Award from the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council and Long Island Transportation Management. The award recognizes organizations who demonstrate a strong commitment to economic and environmental issues through a commuter benefits program. To be eligible for the Regional Commuter Choice Award, an organization must provide quality service and elicit high participation for their program through a marketing campaign that encourages the use of buses, carpools, bicycling, and/or walking as alternatives to driving.
Canadian Academic Programs Rated on Sustainability
Corporate Knights Magazine has released its fifth annual Knight School raking, a ranking that evaluates Canadian Business, Law, Engineering, Architecture, Urban Planning, Public Policy, and Journalism programs to see how they fare in integrating sustainability into the school experience. The survey, modeled after the US-based Beyond Grey Pinstripes Survey, scored the programs in the areas of institutional support, student initiatives, and course work. The following campus programs received a number one ranking: York University's (ON) MBA program; the University of Waterloo's (ON) Architecture, Urban Planning, and undergraduate Business programs; the University of Toronto's (ON) Law program; the University of Calgary's (AB) Engineering program' Carleton University's (ON) Public Policy program; and Ryerson University's (ON) Journalism program.
College of William & Mary to Implement Green Fee
This fall, the College of William and Mary (VA) will implement a $15 per semester green fee. The green fee, initially proposed by the Student Environmental Action Coalition (SEAC), will allow for facilities upgrades, student research grants for sustainability-related projects, and the creation of a new green endowment to fund further actions in the future. A student referendum showed 85 percent support for the measure, and the College’s Board of Visitors approved the proposal in May of 2008. The fees will be administered by the College’s newly-founded Committee on Sustainability.
Community College Times Covers Sustainability
The Community College Times has published an article on how community colleges are continuing to implement sustainability curriculum and other initiatives despite their tightening budgets. The article mentions Northeast Wisconsin Technical College's use of grants, Lane Community College's (OR) use of a revolving loan fund, Cape Cod Community College's (MA) green landscaping initiatives, Delta College's (MI) green cleaning initiatives, and Santa Fe Community College's (FL) installation of new cooling towers. Energy service companies are also mentioned as a way to implement energy saving initiatives without expensive upfront costs since they allow institutions to pay for the installation of energy-efficient technology through future savings in utility costs rather than up-front payments.
Emory U Installs Solar PV Array
Emory University (GA) has installed a 1 kW solar photovoltaic system on the roof of a job-site trailer on campus. The solar panels help power the construction of Emory’s New Psychology Building, and will generate an estimated average of 112 kWh per month of electricity. The solar system was supplied by Southern Energy Solutions.
FL Universities Form Renewable Energy Technologies Consortium
A Florida bill has been passed that will create the Florida Energy Systems Consortium, a group of Florida universities that will work to develop renewable energy technologies. The University of Florida will head the consortium receiving $15 million in funding. Florida Atlantic University, Florida State University, the University of Central Florida, and the University of South Florida will each receive $8.75 million as part of the consortium.
Frostburg State U to Offer Workshops on PV Systems
Frostburg State University (MD) has received approval from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) to offer workshops and entry-level certification exams on designing, installing, and maintaining residential photovoltaic generation systems. FSU is now the only NABCEP-approved provider of PV workshops and certification exams in Maryland.
Georgian Court U Purchases 100% of its Power from RECs
Georgian Court University (NJ) has purchased approximately 6,122,000 KWh of wind power, an amount equivalent to the University’s annual electricity consumption , in the form of Green-e certified Renewable Energy Certificates. University officials believe that GCU is the first higher education institution in New Jersey to purchase all of its electricity from renewable resources.
Harvard Aims to Reduce GHG Emissions 30% by 2016
Harvard University has released the report of its Task Force on Greenhouse Gas Emissions. In the report, the task force, appointed by President Drew Faust in February, proposes elements of a framework for much-intensified efforts to reduce the University's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, as part of a broader effort to promote environmental sustainability. In a statement following the release of the report, President Faust outlined a set of substantive intentions and procedural next steps drawing on the report's analysis and proposals. As an initial short-term goal, Harvard will aim to reduce its GHG emissions, including those associated with prospective growth, by 30 percent - relative to its 2006 baseline - by 2016, as the task force recommended.
Indiana Tech to Establish Degree in Renewable Energy
Indiana Institute of Technology has announced that, this fall, it will begin offering a degree program that focuses on the science and application of generating renewable energy. Students in the Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree program will investigate the most recent developments in renewable energy systems, analyze designs, and conduct experiments via computer models and real-world settings. Additionally, the program will prepare students to manage the business aspects of implementing renewable-energy solutions.
Indiana U Announces Student Sustainability Internship Program
The Indiana University Sustainability Task Force has appointed 18 undergraduate interns and graduate fellows to its second Summer Program in Sustainability. Under the mentorship of IU faculty and staff, students will work on a broad array of academic and operational issues related to sustainability. Building upon the work done by their predecessors last summer and through the past academic year, the students will engage in research and lay the groundwork for new initiatives aimed at further improvement of sustainability on the Bloomington campus. In addition to their individual projects, the undergraduate interns and graduate fellows will participate in an academic seminar focused on sustainability. Building on the last summer's program, the seminar is designed to build a cohesive cohort of interns and fellows as well as a learning community of individuals interested in issues related to sustainability.
Intl. Higher Ed Institutions Sign Sustainability Declaration
Leaders from University of British Columbia, University of Alberta, University of California, Los Angeles, Yale University (CT), and other institutions attended the G8 University Summit in Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan, prior to the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit, to discuss the responsibility of universities to contribute toward the attainment of sustainability, and the specific actions they must undertake to fulfill that responsibility. In all, Presidents, Rectors, Chancellors, Vice-Chancellors and representatives of 27 educational and research institutions in the G8 member nations attended the summit and signed the Sapporo Sustainability Declaration. The declaration emphasizes the vital role of research institutions in sharing knowledge and serving as models to advance sustainability worldwide. It calls for universities to work collaboratively with governments, surrounding communities and each other to synergize research, policy and public programs, and commits them to establishing a new international network capable of addressing the broad and complex range of sustainability issues. The declaration also calls on G8 leaders to recognize the contributions of universities in solving the most pressing issues facing the global community today, to adopt an effective framework for implementing scientifically appropriate countermeasures, and to pursue partnerships in implementing sustainability initiatives.
LA Times Covers the Increase of Green Buildings in Colleges
The Los Angeles Times recently published an article on the increasing number of environmentally friendly buildings being constructed at colleges and universities across the U.S. The article mentions green building initiatives at East Los Angeles College (CA), Santa Clara University (CA), Santiago Canyon College (CA), Stanford University (CA), Grinnell College (IA), the Los Angeles Community College District (CA), the University of California system, Mills College (CA), Warren Wilson College (NC), Northern Arizona University, Yale University (CT), and the University of Michigan. The piece also mentions the increase in student-initiated green fees that exist to help pay for green building initiatives.
Long Island U Purchases Electric Vehicle
The Long Island University (NY) Facilities Services department at the C.W. Post Campus added an electric vehicle to its fleet. The electric powered vehicle can travel an average of 50 miles on an estimated $2 worth of electricity, saving money and reducing emissions.
Maharishi U of Mgmt to Construct Self-Sustaining Green Building
The Maharishi University of Management (IA) has announced plans to construct a self-sustaining building on its campus. The structure will feature mechanical systems that allow the building to generate and use its own electricity, treat its own fresh water and wastewater, and conserve enough energy and water to be self-sustainable. Wind and solar energy will produce the building's electricity, but there will also be a backup biodiesel generator. In addition, a collection system on the roof will route 90 percent of rainwater into a cistern for non-potable uses and the rest into a treatment system for consumption. Drinking water will be treated by ozone, ultraviolet light or a combination of both methods, and wastewater will be treated in a septic field that drains into a wetland, where plants filter out any excess nutrients. The Sustainable Living Center, which is being built to earn LEED Platinum, will house classrooms, a research lab, a greenhouse, a metal and wood workshop, a kitchen, and offices.
Michigan State U Student Organic Farm Sells Produce on Campus
Michigan State University students from the Institute of Agricultural Technology have started selling organic produce at a farm stand on campus. The food is grown and sold by students in the organic farming certificate program, which consists of 44 credits of on-campus coursework and hands-on practical farm training at the 10-acre Student Organic Farm.
Northland College Establishes New Recycling Collection Center
Northland College (WI) has established a new collection center for a variety of hard-to-recycle items. Members of the Northland community and the general public will be able to recycle used non-alkaline batteries other than car batteries, used cell phones, and spent computer printer ink cartridges. The center will also collect used clothing that is still in good condition. Chartwells, the food service provider at the college, helped to establish the new recycling center.
Suffolk U Joins Massachusetts Clean Energy Program
Suffolk University has joined the "Clean Energy Choice-On Campus Program," administered by the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative. Through the program, Suffolk will help grow the demand for alternatives to fossil fuel-generated electricity, earn funds for on-site renewable energy projects at Suffolk, and generate a double-matching grant from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative to provide clean energy funds for the City of Boston and low income communities throughout Massachusetts.
U Arkansas Little Rock Expands Recycling Program
The University of Arkansas at Little Rock has expanded its recycling program to include all types of paper. In the past, students, faculty, and staff have only been able to recycle white paper in bins throughout campus. Now, the UALR community can recycled colored paper, card stock, magazine, cardboard, and paper sacks as well. Additionally, recycling bins for aluminum and plastic have been placed in areas of high traffic to encourage students, faculty, and staff to recycle their drink cans and bottles.
UC San Francisco Partners to Install a 250 kW Solar System
The University of California, San Francisco has partnered with MMA Renewable Ventures and Wells Fargo to install a solar energy system in San Francisco that will provide renewable power to UCSF’s Mission Bay campus. MMA Renewable Ventures will own and operate the 250 kW system through a long-term Power Purchase Agreement with UCSF. MMA Renewable Ventures will also arrange equity investment for projects through its Solar Fund III, a financing commitment with Wells Fargo to fund 10-15 MW of solar energy projects nationwide. This agreement allows UCSF to receive power from renewable energy sources without having to pay the upfront installation costs or ongoing maintenance expenses.
U Florida Chooses Environmental Book for Common Reading Prgm
The University of Florida has chosen When the Rivers Run Dry: Water – the Defining Crisis of the Twenty-First Century , by Fred Pearce, as this year's Common Reading Program book. The program is geared not only to first-year students but it is also marketed to the entire campus to stimulate discussion about an important global topic and encourage a sense of community among students, faculty and staff. All incoming students will receive a copy of the book at orientation and are expected to read it by the start of their first semester of college. Each year the book is chosen by a 20-person committee comprised of faculty, administrators, and students. This committee is charged with finding a non-fiction book that is interdisciplinary, global, recently published, and relatable to both first-year students and the campus community. Additionally, faculty members who teach classes of primarily first-year students are highly encouraged to use the book in their classes.
UMD Strategic Plan Includes Sustainability as a Guiding Principle
The University of Maryland has adopted a strategic plan that includes sustainability and environmental stewardship as guiding principles, stating "We will be a campus that is a model for the sustainability of its environment, and we will be a university that seeks solutions to the world's most challenging and vexing problems." The plan includes the milestones of the Presidents Climate Commitment and outlines the role of the Office of Sustainability as the coordinator of "a bold plan to become carbon neutra
U Southern Mississippi to Establish Office of Sustainability
The University of Southern Mississippi has announced plans to establish an Office of Sustainability to direct campus sustainability initiatives and to help the University meet the American College & University President's Climate Commitment. The newly created office will be a part of the Division of Business and Finance and will report to the Director of Human Resources. Southern Miss hopes to have a sustainability officer in place by mid-July to establish the office.
U Victoria Opens Green Building
The University of Victoria's (BC) has opened its new social sciences and mathematics building which features two green roofs and several patio gardens that help insulate and capture rain and moisture. Other features include using grey water for watering greenery, energy efficient lighting, natural ventilation and recycled materials in its construction. UVIC hopes the new building will achieve LEED Gold.
Wilfrid Laurier U Launches Institute for Water Science
Wilfrid Laurier University (ON) has launched the Laurier Institute for Water Science (LIWS), an institute that will develop solutions-based research and policy recommendations to protect and sustain Canada’s water supply. Researchers at the LIWS will examine the competition for water access within Canada, the effects of changing climate on water resources, and the sustainability of healthy aquatic and coastal ecosystems. In addition to its research activities, the LIWS will issue a bi-annual research newsletter and hold seminar series, conferences and symposia.