U Virginia Begins Employee Sustainability Program
Seeking to reduce its environmental impact by building more efficient spaces, the university's sustainability committee has started its new, self-reporting Green Workplace Program, which uses a checklist of 60 actions that workplaces can implement to improve operations and reduce cost, and includes eight categories: energy, transportation, purchasing, zero waste, community, health, food and bonus credits.
U Florida Commences Workspace Sustainability Assistance
Called Green Recognition for Office and Workspaces (GROW), the new program is designed to help offices, labs and other facilities improve energy use, water use, transportation and waste to create more sustainable practices.
SUNY Cortland Hosts Weekly Wellness Events
The university recently began the Wellness Wednesday Series, for campus and the community, encouraging health and wellness through speakers and panels, informational fairs, self-help workshops and demonstrations.
Duke U to Raise Minimum Pay Rate for Regular Employees
An annual review of all pay ranges relative to local and national markets inspired the university to announce an increase in minimum wage pay rate to $12 per hour from the current rate of $10.91, which was last adjusted in 2012.
U Kentucky Launches Sustainability Radio Show
Green Talks, hosted by the the director of the Student Sustainability Council, interviews faculty, staff and students who have received funding for projects through the university's student green fee, which generates about $160,000 annually.
Manchester U Commits to Living Wage
(U.K.): The university student's union has confirmed that all of its workers will be paid at least the living wage of 7.85 pounds ($12.27) per hour.
Binghamton U Pledges to Improve Campus Nutrition
The university has recently teamed up with the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) to promote changes on campus that encourage healthy lifestyle practices for students. The university has agreed to 23 changes by joining the initiative including implementing a local food procurement program, offering at least five fruits and five vegetable choices in dining halls, and every platform serving meat must also offer a plant-based alternative.
U Utah Hires Wellness Officer
Robin Marcus, now the university's first chief wellness officer, is tasked with coming up with a broad vision for health and wellness on campus. Some of Marcus' first goals include linking, promoting and supporting various wellness initiatives already under way. Marcus has been an associate professor of Physical Therapy at the university for over 30 years.
U Winnipeg Offers Healthy Vending Options
The 23 new campus vending machines offer gluten-free and low sodium products, fair trade coffee, granola bars, fruit cups, trail mix, and hummus and crackers. The machines also display nutritional information, promotion of events, and are outfitted with LED lighting and motion sensors.
U Haifa Prohibits Food Containing Trans Fat
(Israel): The university, which hosts a school of public health, recently eliminated the sale of foods containing trans fats, a type of artificially created unsaturated fat that has been found to raise the risk of coronary heart disease. During the past year, the university has been checking nutritional values of food sold at campus restaurants and cafeterias and held seminars on health.
Laurentian U Hires Energy & Sustainability Manager
(Canada): The university recently hired a Manager of Energy and Sustainability. This brand new position will develop and execute sustainability goals with initiatives in energy consumption, waste diversion, outreach and education.
U Chichester to Pay Living Wage
(U.K.): The university recently agreed to pay the living wage to all staff based on its Chichester and Bognor campuses. This agreement includes firms that the university contracts for catering, cleaning and security.
Wells College Names Sustainability Director
The college recently welcomed Marian Brown as the director of the new Center for Sustainability and the Environment to address the increase in needs of an ecologically-conscious and sustainable approach to living.
Kentucky State U Raises Employee Wages
After learning that the lowest paid employees were earning $7.25 per hour, the university's interim president is recompensing those employees by forgoing $90,000 of his annual income in order to create a living wage.
MacEwan U Launches Green Certification Program
The university's new pilot program, Green Impact, allows teams to choose from hundreds of actions that cause the team to fall into one of three categories, bronze, silver or gold. Students trained as Green Impact project assistants helped teams implement their actions and served as auditors.
U Birmingham Announces Living Wage Adjustment
(U.K.): Following months of protests and strikes on campus, including student sit-ins, university officials recently announced the wage increase for the university's lowest paid workers for the next two academic years beginning in August 2014.
City U London to Pay Living Wage
(U.K.): Soon all third-party university contractors, including those in cleaning and catering, will receive the London living wage in an effort to change the lives of those most in need.
St. Mary's College Maryland Proposes Wage Policy
(U.S.): The newly proposed living wage scheme by campus campaigners aims to meet the schools' claims of social responsibility, respect and community maintenance, proposing a ratio of 10-to-1 for the highest to lowest paid employees.
U Louisville Sets Living Wage
The university just initiated a living wage program beginning November 1 that will increase the salary for regular staff employees to $10 per hour. Based on the cost of living in that community, the initiative is not a one-time raise, but rather a program that will be reviewed annually to make sure employees remain above the living wage threshold.
Yale U Partners on New Health Program
In commemoration of the city's 375th anniversary, the Yale School of Public Health, Yale-New Haven Hospital and Community Services have initiated the program aimed at reducing obesity by establishing working groups to strengthen nutrition and exercise in underserved communities.
American U Adopts Tobacco and Smoke Free Policy
(U.S.): After years of discussion and months of planning, the new policy aims to reduce the amount of cigarette butts and other tobacco product-related litter on campus, support the university’s LEED certification efforts, and create a cleaner environment throughout the campus. Effective August 15, the policy applies to students, faculty, staff and visitors.
Northeastern U Goes Smoke Free
(U.S.): Instigated by a 10-member committee of students, faculty and staff, the university has adopted a new campus-wide smoke-free policy which aligns with their its focus on solving global challenges in health.
Auburn U Adopts Smoke Free Policy
Based on a recommendation from the Campus Health and Wellness Committee, all members of campus including visitors may only smoke at the campus’ periphery.
Duke U Approves Gender Confirmation Surgery Student Insurance
(U.S.): Administrators have signed a new contract with the university's health insurance provider, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, that will include up to $50,000 to cover gender confirmation surgery. All pivotal aspects of transgender health care such as counseling, hormone therapy and surgery will also be included in the coverage.
U Chicago Creates Sustainable Certification for Offices and Labs
(U.S.): The Office of Sustainability has created a certification process for sustainable offices, residence houses and laboratories. The certification will recognize those departments or houses that are reducing the environmental impact of their offices, homes or labs. Participants will be awarded a Silver, Gold or Platinum certification based upon the level of sustainability criteria they meet.
U Toledo to Create Green Office Certification Program
(U.S.): A new Green Office Survey will be used to determine which campus offices are conserving energy, recycling and reducing waste. Results from the survey will be used to create tiers for the Green Office Certification program, which will offer incentives to become eco-friendly.
Montgomery County CC Launches Green Office Initiative
The college has selected six offices to participate in a new Green Office pilot program. The four-tier, goal driven system requires that a minimum of 50% of an office’s staff must sign the registration to participate. Each participating office will have an internal office mentor who reports to the Green Office Committee and also serve as a conduit for goals and news from the Climate Council.
U Cincinnati Creates Environmental Literacy Certificate Program
The Sustainability Office has begun a non-credit Environmental Literacy Certificate of Achievement program this academic year with members of the housekeeping staff. In the fall semester, a new group of staff members will participate in the program, and a parallel program targeting students will begin. Participants will attend 20 events, including lectures, film discussions and sustainability supper discussions.
American Public U System Explores New Wellness Efforts
The university system has increased sustainability and wellness efforts that focus primarily on employees. Recent initiatives include a carpooling program and hosting walking clubs during lunchtime. The university also plans to host a wellness day that will feature information on composting, wellness clinics, vendors and yoga.
Wake Forest U Looks to Improve Students' Well-Being
In an effort to increase students’ overall well-being, the university recently revamped a campus quad by installing moveable tables, benches, board games, outdoor classrooms and a piano. The changes are being made to encourage students to take spontaneous breaks from routines, have one-on-one conversations and make time for self-reflection. The project is part of a long-term goal that will include polling to measure student well-being, hiring a director of student well-being and incorporating additional projects in spontaneity.
Harvard U Heroes Program to Recognize Sustainability Achievements
(U.S.): The Office of Sustainability has partnered with Human Resources to recognize staff achievements in sustainability through the university-wide Harvard Heroes Program. Recognizing sustainability leaders as Harvard Heroes is an effort to institutionalize sustainability across the university and incorporate green actions into the workplace culture on campus.
Portland State U Joins Fresh Air Campus Challenge
The university has signed on to the Fresh Air Campus Challenge, an effort that brings together campuses and local, state and national health organizations in a partnership to help all institutions of higher education begin the process of adopting a tobacco-free policy. Students and administrators are assessing tobacco issues on campus and working with the City of Portland to move toward a smoke-free campus.
Whitman College Approves Sustainability Coordinator Position
The Board of Trustees voted to hire a permanent sustainability coordinator that would oversee all green and sustainable efforts on campus. The decision is a result of several months spent by the Associated Students of Whitman College and student sustainability interns to convince the college that hiring a sustainability coordinator would be beneficial to the campus.
AAUP Seeks Better Policies on Preventing Sexual Assaults
The American Association of University Professors’ new report, “Campus Sexual Assault: Suggested Policies and Procedures” calls for clearer policies about what constitutes assault; coherent reporting procedures drafted in tandem with local law enforcement; more effective prevention campaigns targeted at both male and female students; and greater faculty awareness.
U Michigan Sustainable Workforce Expands to Health System
Sustainable Workplace, a certificate program that assists offices in creating greener workplaces, has expanded to the offices and units at the university’s Health System. The program focuses on behavioral changes to support waste prevention, energy reduction and increased awareness of sustainability.
U British Columbia Gives Raises to All Female Professors
The university has given all female, tenure-track faculty members a two percent raise following a series of studies that found female professors earning less than their male counterparts. Some of that gap is explained by factors that were not deemed to constitute gender bias. The raises are an attempt to remedy the portion of the salary gap that cannot be explained by legitimate factors.
Davidson College Appoints First Director of Sustainability
With funding from The Duke Endowment, the college has appointed Jeff Mittelstadt as the college’s first Director of Sustainability. Mittelstadt has worked on sustainability issues at the Environmental Protection Agency, Bank of America, the National Council for Advanced Manufacturing, his own non-profit and as a consultant. The director will lead the effort to integrate sustainability into both operational and academic functions of the college.
U California Los Angeles Launches Healthy Campus Initiative
(U.S.): The Healthy Campus Initiative will support the enhancement and expansion of current health and wellness efforts; offer new and interesting approaches to exercise, mental health and eating well; encourage the creation of new projects, programs and policies; foster synergies and coordination among the myriad groups and programs that support health and wellness at UCLA; and provide students, staff and faculty with fun and exciting ways to make it easy to be healthy and fit.
Cornell U Students Create Meditation Room
Students in the Department of Design and Environmental Analysis have designed and built a meditation and reflection space. Students applied lessons from practitioners of Zen, Hindu, Christian and Buddhist meditation and prayer about their faith’s mindfulness rituals to construct a room open to people of all religions and cultures. Applying universal design principles, the students also ensured that the area accommodates people with disabilities.
John C. Smith U Opens Health and Wellness Center on Campus
The university has opened HealthPlex, a new facility designed to provide health and wellness services that promote positive attitudes, healthy lifestyles and responsible self-care for the campus and surrounding community. The facility’s fitness center, teaching kitchen, yoga studio, and related wellness offerings are free to the campus, and are available to members of the community on a medical referral basis.