U California System Signs Montreal Carbon Pledge
In an effort to fully implement an environmental, social and governance (ESG) investment strategy, the pledge commits the university to measuring and annually disclosing the carbon footprint of its investments with the goal of using this information to inform carbon asset risk and management strategies. The university also recently joined two other sustainable investment efforts: the Investor Network on Climate Risk and the Carbon Disclosure Project.
St. Lawrence U Receives $5K to Combat Hunger
(U.S.): The university's Campus Kitchen Project, a student-led effort to combat food waste and hunger by collecting surplus food from on-campus dining halls, community gardens, restaurants and grocery stores and transforming it into meals, recently received $5,000 from CoBank for program development.
U California Merced Receives $103K Gift for Ecosystem Research
(U.S.): A new $103,000 gift from the Mitsubishi Corporation Foundation for the Americas allows the university's naturalist courses to expand by adding two part-time coordinators for the Central Valley courses, and buying equipment like field notebooks, binoculars and other supplies.
U Sydney Announces Fossil Fuel Investment Reduction
(Australia): After a recent review of global trends in green energy movement and a student referendum that resulted in 80 percent of students favoring fossil fuel divestment, the university recently stated that it will reduce its carbon footprint by 20 percent through divesting from fossil fuel investments over the next three years.
Five Schools Receive Grant to Bolster Sustainability Initiative
Albion College, Antioch College, DePauw University, Hope College and Oberlin College have received funding from the Great Lakes College Association for a collaborative project, Expanding Collaboration Initiative, that fosters programs of teaching, research and outreach across college campuses to heighten awareness of how human behaviors affect the well-being of the natural environment.
U Maine Presque Isle Completes Fossil Fuel Divestiture
As a result of the university's work on its new strategic plan and update of its statement of institutional values, the university's Foundation Board directed its investment managers to divest from all fossil fuel holdings.
Georgia Tech Receives $5M From Ray C. Anderson Foundation
Building on an initial three-year seed funding of $750,000 that established the Center for Business Strategies for Sustainability, the university's College of Business will now be known as the Ray C. Anderson Center for Sustainable Business after the foundation committed $5 million.
Utah State U Faculty and Student Projects Receive $15K
The university's Facilities recently awarded $15,610 to four projects that include moveable bike racks to increase biking as a mode of transportation, two electric vehicle charging stations in a student parking lot, a bike tire pump, and videos that raise awareness about alternative transportation options.
SUNY Oneonta Receives Grant for Stormwater Project
Administered by the New York State Environmental Facilities Corp., the university has received $910,000 Green Innovation Grant Program funding for the installation of a 1,700-foot-long vegetated swale to reduce the risk of flooding from a 21-acre, high-density area. The project is part of a larger university effort to address the issue of runoff by integrating stormwater management across the curriculum.
U California Merced Earns Solar & Water Research Grants
The recently awarded funding will go toward building a strategic base of water knowledge to help California and the nation achieve a water-secure future, and funding renewal for the university's Advanced Solar Technologies Institute.
Five Institutions Receive Ray C. Anderson Foundation Grant
Agnes Scott College, AASHE, EARTH University Foundation, Furman University and Georgia State University Foundation were five of 23 awardees to receive funding for projects that consist of employees and volunteers providing environmental education, conservation and remediation.
U Kentucky Awards $100K for Food and Transportation
The inaugural Sustainability Challenge Grants were dispensed by the President's Sustainability Advisory Committee to seven projects that will attempt to build sustainable food systems and bus stops on campus, plant trees, and revive a community garden.
Massachusetts Awards $873K for Zero Net Energy Building
Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) recently awarded $873,000 in Pathways to Zero Grant Program grants to construct or complete zero net energy buildings, which are optimally efficient, and over the course of a year, generate energy onsite using clean renewable resources in a quantity equal to or greater than the total amount of energy consumed onsite. Awardees include Endicott College, Massasoit Community College, Bristol Community College, Holyoke Community College, Cape Cod Community College and Clark University.
NSF Awards $810K for Collaborative Energy & Agriculture Research
Agricultural students at the University of Massachusetts, Hampshire College and Holyoke Community College will benefit from an $810,000 National Science Foundation grant to create collaborative programs combining clean energy studies with sustainable agriculture. The grant will also purchase new clean energy and agriculture equipment, a solar-powered, moveable greenhouse and a small wind turbine.
U Cincinnati to Sell Green Bonds
In December 2014, the university will enter the market to sell approximately $29 million in green bonds to fund a portion of the estimated $35 million renovation of one of its campus buildings, which is expected to earn a LEED designation.
EPA Announces $207K for Pollution Prevention
(U.S.): The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded Rutgers University $117,000 to develop an online tool to help communities and government agencies identify industrial facilities that may be especially vulnerable to releases and discharges of hazardous materials due to climate change impacts, such as storm surges. With the help of a $90,000 EPA grant, Rowan University will assist the specialty chemical industry in reducing the toxic chemicals they use by using green engineering.
Knox College Approves Funding for Additional Recycling Bins
(U.S.): With funding from the university's Sustainability Fund, five new bins, carrying a combined $6,800 price tag, will be permanently placed various sporting venues across campus after having been recently approved by the Student Senate.
U Wisconsin Oshkosh Implements Green Fund
(U.S.): After passing a student referendum in 2013, the university's sustainability fund committee, comprised of eight students, is now accepting proposals for projects that cost up to $60,000.
California Polytechnic State U Receives $2.5M Water Grant
The university's College of Engineering was awarded a $2.5-million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to promote graduate education for underrepresented minority students interested in water conservation and sustainability. The grant is dubbed MENTORES (Mentoring, Educating, Networking, and Thematic Opportunities for Research in Engineering and Science), and aims to encourage underrepresented minority students to pursue master’s and doctoral degrees by providing additional resources, such as tutoring, stipends and paid internships, as well as developing a pipeline with universities that have doctoral programs.
Michigan Technological U Receives $100K for Student Activities
The General Motors Foundation recently awarded Michigan Technological University a $100,000 grant through its University/Organization Partner Program that will support the university's Advanced Hybrid Electric Vehicle and Advanced Motorsports Enterprises, Environmental Engineering senior design programs, student groups and diversity initiatives.
U California Los Angeles Joins Billion Dollar Green Challenge
Joining the challenge created by Sustainable Endowments Institute and mitigating climate change through campus sustainability projects, the $15 million fund encourages changes and adaptations to the campus that replenish the initial loan amount through a return on the project investment.
Occidental College Begins $3.5M Revolving Fund
In an effort to minimize its environmental impact, the college's board of trustees recently created a $3.5 million Green Revolving Fund, part of a permanent endowment, that will make loans available to energy and water efficiency upgrades, renewable energy and other projects that are capable of generating significant savings.
Four Colleges Subscribe to GRITS Affiliates Program
Dickinson College, Emerson College, Wellesley College and Williams College are the first four subscribers to the new Green Revolving Investment Tracking System (GRITS) Affiliates program. GRITS Affiliates helps schools track their carbon, energy and financial data from their energy efficiency and resource conservation projects. For more information on accessing GRITS, go to http://greenbillion.org/gritsaffiliates/.
U Hawai'i Manoa Students Pass Sustainability Fund
Aligned with the university system's newly-adopted sustainability policy and the campus' strategic plan, the Associated Students of the University of Hawai'i passed the resolution in support of a $4 fee per student per semester. According to an associated survey, participants listed solar energy and waste management as top initiatives for which they would allocate funding.
U Montana Students and Faculty Encourage Fossil Fuel Divestment
Advocates for renewable energy recently held a rally to ask university administrators to remove fossil fuel investments in the endowment portfolio. The university responded and asked these advocates to remain engaged in these conversations moving forward.
U Dayton Receives Sustainability Gift to Boost Program
(U.S.): The university recently received a gift of $12.5 million that will increase sustainability education at the Hanley Sustainability Institute. This gift will be used to develop an interdisciplinary graduate certificate in sustainability, create an urban agriculture project and achieve a STARS Gold rating.
NPR: Grow Green Energy Along with Endowments
National Public Radio’s Marketplace segment recently discussed Sustainable Endowments Institute’s Billion Dollar Green Challenge and Green Revolving Investment Tracking System (GRITS 1.0).
NPR: How to Grow Green Energy and Endowments [Audio]
National Public Radio's Marketplace investigates Sustainable Endowments Institute's Billion Dollar Green Challenge and Green Revolving Investment Tracking System (GRITS) to advance the idea of a rolling green fund to finance sustainability projects.
Energy Dept Funds Building Energy Efficiency Research
The University of Florida at Gainesville, Stony Brook University, University of Maryland, Case Western Reserve University and the University of Tennessee at Knoxville were selected by the U.S. Department of Energy for nearly $6 million toward incubator projects to improve heating, ventilation and air conditioning, water heating, sensors and controls, and building energy modeling.
Portland State U Receives Grant for Energy Plant Upgrade
A new $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration will enable the university to replace old, inefficient boilers with more efficient ones, install energy metering software and meters, and offer seven visualization monitors with the ability for students, staff, and energy officials to model energy use scenarios for individual buildings and the district as a whole.
Greenfield CC Receives $225K for Sustainable Ag & Energy Programs
(U.S.): The newly acquired $225,000 in funding by the college's Sustainable Agriculture and Green Energy Education Center will be used to pay some staff costs, develop new courses, add new physical improvements to the school’s greenhouse, and to plan a one-acre botanical garden on campus.
Joliet Junior College Receives $296K Rebate for Sustainable Bldgs
(U.S.): The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity recently awarded the $296,243 rebate to the college for sustainable features of its buildings, which exceed the state's Energy Conservation Code. The rebate money will be reinvested into future energy saving modifications at the college.
North Carolina A&T State U Enters into Energy Efficiency Contract
(U.S.): The recently signed contract will be funded by reductions in energy usage over a 17.25-year contract term, with no upfront cost to taxpayers for improvements to university buildings and systems. It includes lighting, steam system and weatherization improvements, installation of new heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) controls, and a preventive maintenance program.
California Polytechnic State U Pomona Earmarks $100K to Programs
The university's Associated Students Inc. sustainability chair recently announced a new reserve of $100,000 for sustainable programs, events and implementations on campus that promote sustainability and help reduce the university's negative environmental impact.
Montclair State U Awarded $1M Grant for Sustainability Studies
Recently awarded, the three-year funding will support future research activities and collaborative educational programs that are directed at fostering a sustainable and resilient New Jersey through the university's PSEG Institute for Sustainability Studies, which is dedicated to achieving a better understanding of how New Jersey can work to balance a clean environment with economic growth and social justice.
Portland State U Receives $630K for Building Research
The National Science Foundation awarded $630,978 through the university's Interdisciplinary, Research-based Engineering and Design (IRED) Green Building Scholars project for new interdisciplinary educational opportunities focused on reducing the environmental impact of buildings.
North Carolina State U Awards Inaugural Sustainability Grants
(U.S.): The student-led board of the Sustainability Fund recently allocated funding toward 12 new bikes, a solar art installation, start-up funding for a Food Recovery Network chapter, installation of a solar trash compactor, and an on-campus community garden.
Stanford U to Divest from Coal Companies
The university recently announced it will not make direct investments of endowment funds in publicly traded companies whose principal business is the mining of coal for use in energy generation. The Board of Trustees endorsed this recommendation from the university's Advisory Panel on Investment Responsibility and Licensing, which conducted an extensive review over the last several months of the social and environmental implications of investment in fossil fuel companies.
Humboldt State U Adopts Investment Pledge
The recently embraced Humboldt Investment Pledge, adopted through the university's Advancement Foundation Board, comes on the heels of stakeholder meetings including students and lays out a 10-point pledge with goals for investment activity that limit its holdings in fossil fuel companies.
Macalester College Awarded $650K Sustainability Grant
The $650,000 Margaret A. Cargill Foundation grant is aimed at expanding sustainability and sustainable thinking beyond Environmental Studies and the Sustainability Office and potential projects include engaging faculty in creating new courses with a focus on sustainability, incorporating the topic into a future International Roundtable, training faculty, staff and students, establishing a sustainability fellowship, and hiring additional student workers in the sustainability office.
MRIT U Launches Energy and Water Reduction Retrofit
(Australia): The Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University will invest AU$98 million ($92 million) in its Sustainable Urban Precincts Program over three campuses, which will work with two corporations to reduce its water and energy use through improved, more efficient equipment, saving money and lessening greenhouse gas emissions. A portion of the funding will support teaching and research in sustainability including 10 doctorate of psychology scholarships.