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.