U Nebraska Kearney to Invest $11M in Solar Energy

The university is expected to meet 25 percent of its electrical energy through a new $11 million, 25-year contract for solar energy from a nearby 5.8-megawatt array that is expected to be completed in February 2018. The university anticipates saving more than $250,000 over the next 25 years of the contract.

U California Berkeley Historic Building Receives LEED Silver

The residence hall, a registered historic building, now performs 20 percent above the California Energy Commissions Title 24 energy efficiency standards.

Harvard U Achieves LEED Gold on Residence Hall Renovation

The newly renovated building features furniture and furnishings free of harmful chemical flame retardants and energy conservation measures including high-performing LED lighting, high-efficiency washer and dryers, and natural ventilation strategies.

Virginia Private Colleges Receive Solar Energy Funding

The Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia (CICV) has been awarded more than $807,000 in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative to help 16 member colleges develop comprehensive plans for implementing solar power on their campuses. The three-year program is designed to help the colleges navigate the legal, regulatory and technical challenges associated with installing solar systems, leverage group purchasing power, and create a learning network accessible by other organizations considering solar power.

U British Columbia Students Design & Install Pollinator Homes

Working with biologists, zoologists and local planners, students in the UBC school of architecture and landscape architecture (SALA) designed, built and installed three pollinator homes for bees and bats. The project will provide the opportunity for students to study sharing spaces with species in urban environments.

APPA Sustainability Awards Given to Five Schools

APPA, previously known as the Association of Physical Plant Administrators, honored the following schools with its 2017 Sustainability Award: Arizona State University, The Ohio State University, San Mateo County Community College District, University of British Columbia, and University of Washington Bothell. The Sustainability Award is designed to recognize and advance sustainability in educational facilities.

North Carolina State U Adopts Sustainability Strategic Plan

After more than 18 months of cross-campus planning, input and analysis, the NC State Sustainability Council has completed development of the university's next five-year Sustainability Strategic Plan, guiding sustainability efforts through 2022.

Princeton Review Releases 2018 Green Honor Roll

The 2018 Green Honor Roll spotlights 24 schools that received the highest score in the Green Rating tallies this year out of 629 schools. This rating, on a scale of 60–99, looks at students quality of campus life, student preparation for a clean energy economy and citizenship, and the school's policies as they relate to environmental responsibility.

Florida State U Alumni Donate Solar Array

The newly completed installation, comprised of 12 panels near the Seminole Organic Garden, was donated and installed by three alumni, each with roles in the sustainable energy sector.

Stanford U Earns STARS Platinum

Earlier this month, Stanford University earned a Platinum rating in the Sustainability, Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS), which measures sustainability achievements in academics, campus and community engagement, operations, and planning and administration. Stanford joins Colorado State University as the only two higher education institutions to achieve STARS Platinum.

Sierra Magazine Releases Annual Cool Schools List

In 2017, Sierra magazine ranked 227 institutions based on information about their environmental practices in food and transportation systems, water and waste management, purchasing procedures, academics, investments and more. Participation in the Cool Schools ranking was open to all four-year undergraduate colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada.

U Virginia Students Mobilize Against Hate

In repudiation of hate and bigotry, thousands of University of Virginia and Charlottesville community members retraced the steps that neo-Nazi and white supremacist protesters took on Aug. 11. The crowd displayed a message of solidarity as they chanted, sang hymns and held a moment of silence for those that lost their lives.

Red Deer College Breaks Ground on Alternative Energy Lab

When completed in 2018, the lab will be utilized for teaching, demonstration and applied research related to alternative energy opportunities. The space will also engage and support regional businesses wanting to explore alternative energy production options. The new lab is one of three key components of RDC’s Alternative Energy Initiative, which promotes environmental stewardship through the application of sustainable and energy efficient technologies.

Flinders U to Introduce Driverless Electric Bus

(Australia) The new autonomous, solar-powered bus will be used at the university's Tonsley campus. A 320,000 Australian dollar ($253,000) solar garage will be built, capable of recharging about six electric vehicles at once, including the new autonomous bus. The university won AU$1 million in state government funding to trial the autonomous bus technology, and will also use another AU$3 million from other investors to run the project over the next five years.

U Texas Dallas Earns Tree Campus USA Designation

The university's Grounds department and the Office of Sustainability helped the university earn the certification from the Arbor Day Foundation by establishing a tree maintenance and management program, designating a budget for trees, and holding tree-related service projects and educational outreach on campus. The Tree Campus USA program helps colleges and universities establish and sustain healthy community forests.

U California San Diego Wins Freezer Challenge

Over 200 labs representing 34 organizations across North America competed in the Freezer Challenge, which encouraged researchers to implement best practices in cold storage management. Labs received points for taking actions, such as properly maintaining freezers and refrigerators and discarding old samples. UC San Diego saved an estimated 500,000 kilowatt-hours per year. Honorable mention goes to the University of Colorado Boulder and the University of Virginia. An individual lab at Harvard University won top honors by saving an estimated 13,000 kilowatt-hours per year.

U Texas Austin Removes Three Confederate Monuments

After protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, turned violent in mid-August, the university’s president said in a letter to the campus' community “that Confederate monuments have become symbols of modern white supremacy and neo-Nazism." After speaking with the campus community, the president decided to remove and relocate three Confederate statues on campus, indicating the statues "represent the subjugation of African Americans" and are not in alignment with the university's core values.

U Virginia Student Council Releases Statement in Response to Charlotteville Incident

After the recent protests that turned deadly in Charlottesville, Virginia, the University of Virginia Student Council released a statement condemning the violent actions that took place, and communicated its resolve to speak out against hatred and create an environment where all feel safe and welcomed.

Texas A&M U Cancels Speaker Event Over Safety Concerns

After consultation with law enforcement, the university has cancelled an on-campus event scheduled for September by Preston Wiginton, a Texas-based white nationalist. Wiginton linked the events of Charlottesville, Virginia, with his planned protest, which raised concerns about the safety of the university's students, faculty, staff and the public.

Northwest Missouri State U and SUNY Oswego Win Sustainability Awards from AASCU

Northwest Missouri State University and the State University of New York Oswego won the American Association of State Colleges and Universities' (AASCU) Sustainability and Sustainable Development Award. The program honors member institutions for excellence and innovation in sustainability. Northwest Missouri State was cited for its Comprehensive Sustainability System, which has produced $15.4 million in energy savings, and SUNY Oswego's BikeShare and BusShare projects were highlighted.

Duke U Removes Robert E. Lee Statue

After recent vandalization of a statue of Robert E. Lee at the entrance to the university's chapel, Duke University president recently authorized its removal after conferring with students, faculty, staff and alumni. The statue will be preserved so that students can study Duke’s complex past and take part in a more inclusive future. The president also announced that a commission will be assembled to understand how best to memorialize individuals on campus and recommend principles drawn from Duke’s core values as a guide when questions arise.

AAC&U Selects Ten Institutions as Sites for Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation

The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) announced today the ten institutions selected to serve as sites for the first Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) Campus Centers. The TRHT Campus Centers are part of a multi-year initiative to educate, prepare and inspire the next generation to advance justice and build equitable communities. Selected through a competitive process, the institutions are: Austin Community College; Brown University; Duke University; Hamline University; Millsaps College; Rutgers University-Newark; Spelman College; The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina; University of Hawai’i at Mānoa; and University of Maryland Baltimore County.

SEPN Releases Study Results on Sustainability Assessment and Strategic Planning

According to a new study from the Sustainability and Education Policy Network (SEPN), an examination of strategic plans from 50 post-secondary institutions across Canada revealed that institutions that have undergone a sustainability assessment also incorporate sustainability into their strategic plans in a more significant way. The study is part of a larger study examining sustainability uptake across the Canadian formal education system.

Luzerne County CC Enters $8M Energy Performance Savings Contract

The community college recently contracted with Ameresco to renew and upgrade its campus energy infrastructure and to institute energy efficiency measures. The nearly $8 million project is expected to save the college more than $576,000 annually in energy costs and operation and maintenance savings for the next 15 years. In addition, the college will earn $122,757 in energy rebates and incentives.

Winona State U Hires First Sustainability Director

Nathan Engstrom will be directly responsible for collecting and analyzing data, developing implementation strategies, overseeing and assessing progress towards established metrics and standards, and reporting to all constituent groups on campus. Engstrom, who previously served as regional sustainability coordinator at Northland College, has a master’s degree in sustainable design from The University of Texas at Austin and a bachelor’s degree in sociology and environmental studies from Northland College.

U Philippines Baguio Implements Carless Wednesdays

(Philippines) In an effort to reduce the university's carbon footprint, the university began Carless Wednesdays, prohibiting the campus community and visitors from parking cars on university property each Wednesday.

Bournemouth U Initiates Employee Sustainability Program

After a six-month pilot of a behavior change program reduced energy consumption by 14.6 percent across four departments, the university is expanding the program to all staff members. The initiative works by engaging employees on a range of themes through an online platform and app. Employees are rewarded with points for reducing their environmental footprint and improving their well-being through measures such as cycling, car-sharing or using re-usable cups and bottles.

MIT Prepares to Upgrade Cogeneration Plant

The upgrade project will soon replace an aging 22 megawatt turbine with a new one and install a second 22 megawatt gas turbine. Each will be equipped with a heat recovery steam generator. In addition, the upgrade includes changing fuel use scenarios for five existing boilers to eliminate the use of No. 6 fuel oil on campus and equip them to use cleaner fuels. The plant will switch to using natural gas for all normal operations, relegating fuel oil to backup emergency use only. Both new turbines are projected to be in service by 2020.

Eastern Kentucky U Athletics Launches Litter Prevention Program

The university and the EKU Athletics Department will start a litter prevention initiative this fall that allows student athletics to use their community service hours to clean up designated parts of campus.

Duke U, Unity College & U Texas Austin Win Top Honors for Dining Practices

The National Association of College and University Food Services (NACUFS) Sustainability Awards recognize and honor institutions that have demonstrated outstanding leadership in the promotion and implementation of environmental sustainability in campus dining operations. The 2017 grand prize winner is Unity College, who also won top honors in the Waste Management category followed by Oregon State University and Georgia State University, respectively. The first, second and third place winners in Outreach and Education are respectively University of Texas at Austin, University of Massachusetts Amherst and College of Saint Benedict. In the Procurement Practices category, Duke University, University of Montana and Purdue University ranked first, second and third place respectively.

MIT Energy Initiative Announces $10.3M Collaboration

The $10.3 million, five-year collaboration with energy company Iberdrola aims to advance technologies and policies that will help transition to clean energy and fight climate change. The agreement includes $5 million in funding for a professorship at MIT dedicated to research and education in power systems engineering.

Rhode Island to Offer Free Community College

The state's lawmakers passed the state budget proposal recently, which included $2.8 million to fund the free tuition program for one year. Graduating high school seniors who maintain a 2.5 GPA and go to school full-time will be eligible, regardless of income. Rhode Island joins three other states – New York, Tennessee and Oregon – that have approved plans to make community college free.

U Notre Dame Establishes Endowment for Sustainability Minor

The Otterbeck Family Endowment for Excellence in Undergraduate Sustainability Studies was established in March. The first major program supported by the endowment this past semester was a course development grant, which was awarded to six faculty members to support the creation of new sustainability courses. Other goals include student research support, alumni mentoring and career guidance.

U Michigan Serves Campus Farm Produce

The university's campus farm was able to begin supplying its produce to on-campus dining halls after attaining its USDA Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) food safety certification in June. This effort was in part made possible by the addition of a covered produce wash station built by volunteers and student farmers. Students volunteers work at the farm each week, engaging in hands-on learning about sustainable farming, the environment, equality and issues of justice surrounding food.

Emory U Class Revitalizes Pilot Green Roof

An abandoned rooftop garden was recently revamped through a class project and was funded by the university's Sustainability Incentives Fund grant through Emory's Office of Sustainability Initiatives. The original project in 2008 was part of a student-led pilot study exploring the benefits of vegetative roof coverings and had been largely unmaintained since.

U Alberta Augustana Installs Solar Array

The university completed the second stage of a solar roof project. The new array is comprised of 469 panels with a capacity of 130 kilowatts.

AASHE Announces Sustainability Award Finalists

The AASHE Sustainability Awards recognize sustainability achievements, research advancements and student leadership. This year, there were 35 finalists chosen across 10 categories. Entries were judged on overall impact, innovation and other criteria specific to each category. Winners will be announced during a special ceremony on Oct. 15 at the 2017 AASHE Conference & Expo.

Mount Royal U & Simon Fraser U Designated as Changemaker Campuses

Ashoka U recognized the institutions for having embedded social innovation as a core value. Along with the Colombian Institute of Administration, a business school in Colombia, they join a network of 40 institutions across eight countries. MRU and SFU are the first Ashoka U Changemaker Campuses in Alberta and British Columbia, respectively.

Oakton CC Installs 25KW Solar Array

The roof-mounted photovoltaic system on the college's Skokie campus consists of approximately 80 solar panels. The Skokie campus is also home to a test system that is accessible for enrolled students and provides them with hands-on experience working with solar panels.

U Northampton Opens Biomass Energy Facility

(U.K.) The 6.5 million British pound ($8.4 million) facility uses woodchip biomass and gas to provide hot water and heating to buildings around the university's Waterside campus via a 1.6-kilometer district heating network.

U College London Pilots Paper Cup Recycling

(U.K.) The two month pilot is intended to determine the viability of rolling out a permanent paper cup recycling service. During the pilot, paper cups, including those used for coffee and soft drinks, will be collected separately and taken to a mill where the polymer plastic liner will be separated so all the paper fiber can be recovered and recycled.

Monroe CC Installs Green Roofs

The 22,000 square feet of newly installed green roof on the college's Downtown Campus is capable of capturing 13,000 gallons of rainwater during a single rain event. It will also decrease the urban heat island effect and reduce electricity usage needed to cool and heat the campus.

Eastern Kentucky U Creates Scholarship With Solar Savings

The Photons for the Future scholarship program uses the monetary savings generated by 25 solar panels on campus to provide $1,000 scholarships to students pursuing degrees in scientific fields. A donation helped pay for the solar panels and provide scholarship seed funding.

Santa Fe CC Receives $351K for Building Energy Automation & Microgrid Training Center

Awarded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration, the funding will support the purchase of critical equipment for the Building Energy Automation and Microgrid Training Center, which provides specialized hands-on training in the fields of building automation and microgrid energy distribution systems. The college is leveraging an additional $326,000 in state appropriations and $111,661 in donated equipment and engineering expertise from industry partners to support the project.

Queen's University Receives $11M for Renewable Energy Research

(Ireland) The $10.9 million (9.3 million euros) funding will be used to create a "virtual center of competence" to support research into bio-energy and marine-based renewable energy sources. Working with a number of cross-border partners including the Letterkenny Institute of Technology, Ulster University, and University of Highlands and Islands, the center will research wave and tidal power, ocean power, and energy produced through anaerobic digestion of food waste.

Australian Catholic U Raises AU$200M Through Sale of Sustainability Bonds

(Australia) The university has secured 200 million Australian dollars ($158.5 million) in investor funds earmarked for projects that deliver positive social and environmental outcomes. The funds will go toward teaching and research in areas including education and healthcare and green property projects that are in alignment with the International Capital Market Association’s Sustainability Bond Guidelines. The ACU Sustainability Bonds are the first sustainability bonds issued in Australia.

U Illinois Chicago Receives $450K to Help Chemistry Teachers Tackle Heavy Metals

UIC has received a nearly $450,000 National Science Foundation grant that will help high school chemistry students and teachers from seven Chicago public schools study and address urban heavy metal contamination in their communities. The project, called “The Poisoned Onion,” will support educators to teach chemistry within the context of heavy metal contamination in the soil and water of Chicago neighborhoods.

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Earns LEED O+M Silver for Three Buildings

The oldest of the three buildings that achieved LEED Silver certification for Operations and Maintenance (O+M) is 1941, while the other two are 1999 and 2008. The three buildings comprise over 117,000 square feet.

U Washington Utility Plant Receives Gold Designation From ISI

The new West Campus Utility Plant has received an Envision Gold award from the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI). The ISI Envision system measures sustainable infrastructure in five categories: quality of life, leadership, natural world, resource allocation, and climate and risk. Sustainable elements of the plant include natural rain gardens and enhanced pedestrian infrastructure, measures to prevent pollutants from contaminating surface and groundwater, and increased energy efficiency.

Unity College Launches Sustainable MBA Degree

Launching January 2018, the college's new MBA degree program is a 14-month online program that seeks to educate students on how to make the business case for applicable sustainability innovations in industry.