Mohawk Valley CC Installs 3 MW Solar Array
Projected to offset about $90,000 per year in electricity costs, the 3 megawatt project is net-metered, meaning that any excess energy the system produces beyond the needs of the campus will be sold back to the utility company.
U Minnesota Duluth to Purchase 100 KW Block From Solar Farm
Three Student Life units at the university are sharing the $213,215 cost of purchasing a 100 kilowatt block of solar electricity from an in-state community solar garden. In return, the units – Dining Services, Housing and Residence Life, and Transportation and Parking Services – will receive annual discounts on their electricity bills.
Second Nature & AASHE to Host Gathering at COP23
Second Nature and AASHE, along with the University of Connecticut and Tufts University, are hosting a reception and networking event at COP23, in Bonn, Germany, on Nov. 14 at the U.S. Climate Action Center. Along with networking, attendees will hear briefly from a select group of speakers about climate leadership programs within the higher education sector.
Princeton U Files Lawsuit Regarding DACA
In early November, Princeton University and Microsoft joined together to file a lawsuit against President Trump’s rescinding of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. A DACA-protected student at Princeton, Maria De La Cruz Perales Sanchez, is also listed as a plaintiff.
Southern Oregon U Introduces Dish Loan Program
The Sustainability Resource Center at Southern Oregon launched a new program to loan reusable dishes and utensils for free at campus events in an effort to move toward zero waste events.
2017 Sustainable Campus Index Lists Top Performers
The 2017 Sustainable Campus Index recognizes top-performing colleges and universities in 17 sustainability impact areas and overall by institution type, as measured by the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS). Top performers overall by institution type are Appalachian State University (master’s); Nova Scotia Community College (associate); Stanford University (doctoral/research); and Sterling College (baccalaureate). Also included in the report are innovative and high-impact initiatives.
Messiah College Offsets Printing With Planting
The college is participating in PrintReleaf, which allows organizations to reduce their environmental impact by automatically planting trees to offset their paper consumption. Through the program, Messiah plants an average of six trees per month in Madagascar.
Bucknell U Launches Sustainability Website
As part of increased sustainability programming, the university recently launched its first sustainability website as resource to the campus community. The website serves as a centralized place for the campus community to explore the institution's academic, research, engagement and operational goals.
U Notre Dame Teaches Course on Faith and Sustainability
The new sustainability class, offered each fall semester, integrates Catholic teachings into environmental studies to reflect on issues of sustainability. The course examines topics in theory and how to implement these theories in a practical way.
U North Carolina Chapel Hill Rolls Out Bike Sharing
The official launch of UNC’s new Tar Heel Bikes program happened in late October, offering students the opportunity to rent a bike from one of 18 hubs on campus. The new bike-share program is one of the latest efforts in the university’s Three Zeros Environmental Initiative, which aims to reduce waste, water use and carbon dioxide emissions on campus.
U West Indies Finishes Net Zero Energy Building
(Jamaica) The 2,300-square-foot structure, which will house a research center in photovoltaic, wind and biomass energy, is designed as a model to encourage construction of sustainable and energy-efficient buildings throughout the region.
Arizona State U Student Spearheads Lab-Glove Recycling Program
A junior majoring in sustainability and interning at Kimberly Clark, a paper company, started a lab glove recycling program in partnership with Kimberly Clark called RightCycle. Lab gloves are collected with special cardboard boxes, sent to recycling centers and processed into plastic pellets or nitrile powder, which can then be used to manufacture anything plastic.
Texas Tech U to Create Local Food Concentration
The department of Plant & Soil Science will establish a new undergraduate degree specialization in local food and wine production systems, the creation of which was a response to the continued growth of local-food sales.
U Edinburgh Invests Millions in Low Carbon Companies
(U.K.) The university recently moved $79.3 million (60 million pounds) of its investments into two funds that businesses that support a cleaner, more sustainable and climate-friendly future. One fund invests in companies that tackle a range of sustainability issues, including green products, low-carbon infrastructure, sustainable water, energy and food, while the second fund direct supports a global transition to low-carbon and renewable energy.
Campus Compact Announces Positive Engagement Grant Recipients
Campus Compact, a nonprofit organization working to advance the public purposes of higher education, recently announced 40 college and university recipients of grants from its Fund for Positive Engagement to bring people together across lines of difference.
My Green Lab Launches Environmental Label for Laboratory Products
My Green Lab recently announced the launch of ACT (accountability, consistency, transparency), an environmental impact factor label for laboratory products. The ACT label is designed to provide critical information on the environmental impact of laboratory products in an effort to increase transparency and assist customers in making sustainable choices in purchasing.
Smith College Establishes a $100K Student Managed Fossil Fuel-Free Fund
Smith College has provided $100,000 to the Smith College Investment Club to create and manage a new portfolio of fossil-fuel-free investments. Students will set criteria for what meets the standard of a fossil-fuel-free portfolio, and will make investment decisions. The new fund, which grew out of a recommendation from the Study Group on Climate Change, offers students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the growing field of impact investing.
Fort Lewis College Receives $355K to Further Food Security
The Environmental Center at Fort Lewis College, along with community partners, have been awarded a $355,000, three-year U.S. Department of Agriculture Local Food Promotion grant to launch a Durango Regional Food Recovery Hub. The initiative will address food insecurity, create secondary markets for farmers, and offer student learning opportunities.
U California Berkeley Partners to Improve Animal Welfare Through Purchasing
Cal Dining at the University of California Berkeley and Farm Forward recently announced the launch of the Leadership Circle, a program that leverages the buying power of institutions to change the way animals are raised for food. Members of the Leadership Circle commit to purchase only third-party certified, higher-welfare products in at least one product category within two years.
Radford U Building Earns LEED Gold
The university's College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences building was constructed with materials containing 20 percent recycled content. Ninety-nine percent of the facility’s wood products are Forest Stewardship Council certified. Water usage in the building is reduced through low-flow toilets, sinks and showers, creating an annual savings of about 221,000 gallons per year, and exterior shading helps reduce solar heat gain, which reduce energy use and cost.
Southern Oregon U Launches Botanical Tour
The tour includes GPS coordinates for trees located across the university’s 175-acre campus, along with a printed tour brochure and a web-based tour. The tour serves to educate southern Oregon residents about the campus' biodiversity, inspire people to expand sustainability efforts and foster engagement with groups throughout the community.
U Colorado Boulder Receives LEED Gold on Three New Buildings
The Sustainability, Energy and Environment Laboratory, a hub for environmental and sustainability research, features a high-performance energy recovery system that captures waste exhaust from labs and utilizes it in the heating and cooling of the building. The East District Energy Plant features a rain gardens that captures all stormwater from the roof and a yellow roof to reduce light pollution. The Grounds and Recycling Operations Center building features include an 11-kilowatt rooftop solar array, exterior LED lighting and an electric-truck charging station.
AASHE Announces 2017 Sustainability Award Winners
Announced at the annual AASHE Conference & Expo, 10 awards were handed out to those that rose to the top in the juried program. The three award categories were Campus Sustainability Achievement, Student Sustainability Leadership and Campus Sustainability Research. There were 230 total entries in 2017.
Monash U to Become 100% Renewable Energy Powered
(Australia) The university is investing $135 million in a project called Net Zero in an effort to generate all of the energy used on its campuses from renewable resources. In addition, Monash has committed that it will be carbon neutral by 2030, meaning residual emissions from operations, such as plane travel, will be mitigated by purchasing certified and socially-conscious carbon offsets.
Loyola U & Portland CC Win Climate Leadership Award
Loyola was chosen as the winner in the category for four-year institutions. It has reduced carbon emissions per-square-foot by 38 percent from a 2008 baseline at two of its locations. Portland Community College, recipient in the two-year category, has reduced energy consumption per-square-foot by 65 percent since 2006. The 2017 Climate Leadership Award was given by the U.S. Green Building Council and Second Nature.
U Reading Reduces Vending Machine Waste
(U.K.) In an effort to prevent more than half a million plastic bottles from entering the landfill, new vending machines allow students to use a specially designed reusable bottle. The "Sustain It" bottle is a reusable bottle that contains a microchip that allows users to pre-pay for drinks that can be filled at the new vending machines.
Blackburn College to Meet 100% of Student Financial Need
The Blackburn Promise is a new program that meets the full amount of each individual student's financial need after they have paid their estimated family contribution as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Direct college costs covered by the Blackburn Promise financial aid package include tuition, fees, room and board.
EPA Announces Green Power Leadership Award Winners
The University of California and University of Tennessee, Knoxville won the Excellence in Green Power Use award, while Stanford University and University of Missouri won the Direct Project Engagement award. The Excellence in Green Power Use Award recognizes Green Power partners that use green power in amounts that exceed the minimum benchmark requirements or can demonstrate a distinct market impact through innovation, communications and stakeholder engagement. The Direct Project Engagement Award recognizes partners that use financing structures with on- and off-site projects to access renewable energy certificate-based green power.
St. Joseph College Maine Launches Local Food Institute With $4M in Funding
The Institute for Local Food Systems Innovation seeks to develop the state’s food and beverage industry and meet regional food security goals. The institute will encompass five enterprises: a food manufacturing incubator, a hydroponic farm, a traditional crop and livestock farm, an agri-tourism event center, and a complementary entrepreneurship development and education program offering certificates.
HEI Presidents Urge Congress to Pass Legislation Protecting Dreamers
Nearly 800 college and university presidents and chancellors signed onto the letter sent to U.S. Senate and House leaders, urging Congress to pass legislation as soon as possible to permanently protect Dreamers. Citing widespread public support, the letter argues that individuals covered under DACA have made valuable contributions to US economy and security and should continue to be able to do so.
U Utah Announces LEED Gold Certification on Athletics Building
The 102,000-square-foot basketball facility was completed with over 23 percent of recycled materials and resources selected from the Utah region, and a stormwater management plan that resulted in a 25 percent decrease in the volume of stormwater runoff. All interior and exterior light fixtures are LEDs, and the HVAC systems, building insulation and windows were selected to minimize energy waste, which has resulted in exceeding the LEED baseline energy performance rating by 38 percent.
Saint Joseph’s U & PRME to Develop Business Education Assessment Tool
In mid-October, Saint Joseph’s University’s Erivan K. Haub School of Business announced a partnership with the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) initiative. Both organizations will develop a new data analytics tool, the PRME SDG (Sustainable Development Goal) Dashboard, to assess business schools’ success in delivering socially and environmentally sustainable management education. The tool will measure the participating business schools’ fulfillment of the SDGs based on its curriculum, academic research, community and global outreach, and campus integration of the goals.
Penn State U Berks Chancellor Establishes Endowment for Ethics & Sustainability
Penn State Berks Chancellor R. Keith Hillkirk and his wife have established the Hillkirk Family Program Endowment for Ethics and Sustainability, which will provide ongoing support to increase awareness and education and to encourage action in the campus community and beyond, regarding issues related to ethics and sustainability. This endowment was funded with an initial gift of $25,000 and will provide resources for programs and initiatives to engage the campus community. The college has established a committee that will review funding requests, which can be initiated by faculty, staff and students.
U Maryland Celebrates 2 MW Solar Carport Installations
More than 7,000 solar panels now sit atop Regents Drive, Terrapin Trail and Mowatt Lane parking garages, with a combined capacity of 2 megawatts. The project was funded by a $250,000 grant from the Maryland Energy Administration and matched funding from the university's Facilities Management.
Smith College Trustees Approve Responsible Investment Recommendations
At its October meeting, the college's board of trustees adopted four strategic recommendations regarding climate change and the Smith endowment, which are designed to support the college’s commitment to environmental sustainability while also ensuring the continued health of the endowment.
North Carolina State U Introduces Professional Clothes Exchange
Through the Wolfpack Styled clothing reuse program, the university’s Career Development Center connects students with free professional clothes while also reducing textile waste. Student interns and volunteers organize and sort donations, which have come from faculty, staff, alumni and a local, alumni-owned consignment store.
Northern Arizona U Installs Tree Education Project
In an effort to educate the community about the value of urban trees, this time-limited installation included 23 "price tags" in Wheeler Park and NAU’s North Quad that describe the financial contributions of the trees as a result of their various ecosystem services and health benefits.
U California Los Angeles Launches Bike Share Program
Developed in partnership with CycleHop, Bruin Bike Share will start with 130 bikes distributed at 18 hubs. Cyclists can rent the bikes for $7 an hour or purchase a plan that includes 90 minutes of daily riding time.
Michigan State U to Test Algae-Based Carbon Capture on Power Plant
With the support of a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, university researchers will test a novel technique for capturing power plant emissions while producing high-value chemicals and biofuels with algae. The test will take place at the T.B. Simon Power Plant on MSU’s campus.
Five Colleges and Universities Receive 2017 Higher Education Civic Engagement Awards
Guilford College, Keene State College, Northern Arizona University, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and the State University of New York, College at Plattsburgh received the award from The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars. The award celebrates institutions where the commitment to leadership extends into civic roles in the communities beyond their own campuses.