AASHE Appoints 43 Community Members to Governance Bodies

After AASHE's first governance election, Jay Antle with Johnson County Community College and Ben Champion from University of Arizona now hold two member-elected seats on the AASHE Board of Directors. Four members were appointed to the STARS Steering Committee, 17 and 22 were appointed or reappointed to the STARS Technical Advisors group and Advisory Council, respectively.

U Maryland to Jointly Host Climate Action 2016 Summit

The university recently announced Climate Action 2016: Catalyzing a Sustainable Future, a global summit to be held at the College Park campus and in downtown Washington, D.C., in May 2016. With global and multi-sector stakeholders, including World Bank and World Business Council for Sustainable Development, the summit's focus will be in developing methodologies for global climate implementation.

U Oregon Pilots Bulk Solar Purchasing for Employees and Community

The university's Sustainability Office partnered with Northwest SEED to work with local solar panel installers to negotiate a group rate and develop a streamlined design and installation process resulting in discounted rates to university employees and community members.

Indiana State U Creates Solar Art Installation

In honor of the university's 25th anniversary of its Recycle Center, two local arts organizations designed and constructed the Solar Sycamore, a leaf-shaped sculpture that includes grid-tied solar panels that power LED lights. Additionally, the surrounding grounds will be planted with native prairie grasses, include a water retention system and sidewalks will be completed using a porous surface.

Johns Hopkins U Commits to Reduce Local Economic Disparities

In an effort to reduce economic divisions in the Baltimore area, the university recently announced a commitment to direct 17 percent of construction projects to minority and women-owned or disadvantaged businesses, and hire 60 people each year from ZIP codes with high unemployment or poverty rates.

U District Columbia Builds Urban Farm Food Hub

This fall, over 1,000 volunteers united to build the East Capitol Urban Farm as part of a D.C community improvement day. A model for temporary use of vacant lots, the transformed, three-acre parcel of land will provide local residents with a food production, food preparation and distribution, water management and targeted community education programs.

Biomimicry Global Design Challenge Announces Finalists

The first food system-focused Biomimicry Global Design Challenge selected University of Oregon as top finalist with a design to help keep nutrients in the soil. In the student-only competition, a team from University of Calgary claimed first, University of California second and Wageningen University won third.

North Carolina State U Students Help Businesses Become More Sustainable

Through the Business Sustainability Collaborative of the university's Poole College of Management, the university launched the B Corp Clinic that assigns student teams to companies aiming to attain B Corp status. Students volunteer four to six hours a week evaluating their assigned company and present interim and final presentations with recommendations on how to achieve B Corp certification.

Eastern Mennonite U Partners to Grow Food Initiative Program

Recent partnerships have enabled the university's Sustainable Food Initiative to install solar panels on campus farm chicken coops and create a farm-to-table initiative with a locally-owned farm.

Indiana U Bloomington Sustainability Office Hosts Students from Istanbul

Following a 2014 program that brought together Turkish and American students from five universities, seven Turkish students spent time with sustainability offices at the Indiana University and University of Chicago to learn about campus gardens and composting, fossil fuel consumption and alternative utility initiatives, and first year experiences that incorporate sustainability.

Northwestern U Supports Local Charities With Move-Out Material

This spring’s move-out program collected nearly 10,000 pounds of clothing, household items and food and diverted it from the landfill by working with local charities to sell or use the items.

U Maryland Partners with Community on Renewable Energy Awareness

The university's Center for Young Children and the Energy Research Center recently hosted 14 students, ages 4 and 5 years old, offering them the opportunity to see how the university uses clean and renewable energy. The children visit photovoltaic panels, an electric car and a research lab.

Inside Higher Ed 'Town-Gown With a Global Twist'

The recent article from Inside Higher Ed cites research conducted on attitudes of owners and employees of local business and service providers toward the presence of international students in the community. This research was presented recently at a NAFSA: Association of International Educators conference session focused on integrating international students into the broader community.

U Minnesota Students Turn Lawn Into Community Garden

Dozens of students and community members gathered with shovels, rakes and hoes to transform the vacant piece of land into a project that will increase community members' access to affordable, healthy food and to serve as a teaching tool for students and faculty members.

U Manitoba Takes Action to Save Local Lake

The university formally joined the growing coalition to improve water quality in Lake Winnipeg, the 10th largest freshwater lake in the world, by signing the Lake Friendly Accord. The university's commitment in the agreement integrates research, education, planning and operations.

Champlain College Organizes Community Service Day

The college's faculty, staff and leadership team recently took an afternoon off from their regular duties to give back to the Burlington community with its second annual Dare to Contribute Day of Service that included social and equity initiatives.

U North Carolina Greensboro Tackles Local Food Access Issues

University students, staff, faculty and community members recently took part in FOODSTORM, a local brainstorm about Greensboro’s food needs. The purpose of the event was to host interdisciplinary conversations about local food needs and then to catalyze action to gear up for the local growing season.

Rice U Faculty Lead Guerilla Environmental Public Art Campaign

To raise awareness of climate change and its impact on the world’s species, two university faculty organized the Fossilized in Houston art campaign that hosts 15 local artists' represenations of species that are expected to go extinct as a result of climate change in the near future. With the help of dozens of concerned Houstonians, they’ve been placing these images around the city.

U Illinois Chicago Promotes Transboundary Water Sharing

The university's Institute for the Humanities & Institute for Environmental Science & Policy sponsored Water after Borders: Global Stakes, Local Politics, a summit that brought humanities scholars into dialogue with international policy to explore the political, ethical, cultural, economic and environmental dimensions of water management. The focus was on transboundary waters.

The George Washington U Announces Winners of Eco-Equity Challenge

On Earth Day, the university celebrated the Power of Partnerships by announcing the winners of the new Eco-Equity Challenge initiative, funded by Siemens, that provides up to $15,000 in grants for students to partner with community organizations and pursue original environmental and social justice projects during the 2015-16 academic year.

Morehead State U Hosts Community Earth Day Festival

The university's Sustainability Committee hosted a Community Earth Day Festival at the city park that included local food and craft vendors. The purpose of the festival was to bring awareness to the community of environmental & sustainability issues in the community. Information on local watershed protection programs, bicycle safety, local food, and energy conservation were provided.

Emory U Program Partners with Farmworkers to Give Healthcare

A service-learning project that includes more than 200 students, faculty members, and community volunteers, the annual South Georgia Farmworker Health Project clinics use teams of students and faculty from different Emory School of Medicine programs to treat people who have never seen a doctor before, women in labor, and workers with acute illnesses and chronic conditions.

Paul Smith's College Students Communicate About Climate Change

A climate communication class recently organized a science, art and music festival, where students developed creative, place-based presentations on climate change in the Adirondacks for influential members of the region who can pass the information along to their constituents.

U Maryland Sorority Transforms Plastic Bags Into Sleeping Mats

The sorority members have been slowly piecing together the plastic strips to create material that they will use to crochet sleeping mats for the homeless population.

U Kansas Launches Local Produce Delivery to Campus

The new campus program allows the campus community to sign up to receive weekly produce deliveries from four certified-organic area farms.

Northern Arizona U Helps Feed Food Insecure Population

(U.S.): University students recently had the opportunity to collaborate with Campus Dining and the campus' Food Recovery Network chapter to make sandwiches that were delivered to a local food center whose mission is to feed those who face food insecurity.

Seattle Pacific U Opens Campus to Homeless

(U.S.): For three months, the university will house about 80 homeless people in a tent city. The university has added educational and service programs so that students can learn about the issue of homelessness and provide direct help to those who are living on campus.

Northern Arizona U Initiates 'Food Recovery Network' Program

Helping the university reduce food waste, the four-month old program permits students to collect and redistribute extra prepared food from on-campus dining and donate it to local food and homeless shelters.

Penn State U Students Initiate Community Projects

Projects selected through the university's Sustainable Communities Collaborative include an exploration of net-zero energy strategies from an engineering and a human resources perspective, stormwater mitigation tools for residential neighborhoods, composting evaluation and marketing studies, communication strategies to increase participation in recycling, and marketing strategies for a farmer’s market. Sustainable Communities partnerships are formed through agreements developed between local governments and the university's Sustainability Institute to link community-based sustainability projects with existing courses across the university.

Carnegie Foundation Designates 'Community Engagement' Schools

(U.S.): The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has selected 240 U.S. colleges and universities to receive its 2015 Community Engagement Classification. Community engagement describes collaboration between institutions of higher education and their larger communities for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity. Of this number, 83 institutions are receiving the classification for the first time, while 157 are now re-classified. These 240 institutions join the 121 institutions that earned the classification during the 2010 selection process.

Champlain College to Offer Housing for Homeless

Due to frigid temperatures, the college is donating one of its vacant buildings to a local organization that will soon be using it as a night shelter for homeless people through April.

Eastern Connecticut State U Partners to Offer Solar to Community

In an effort to make solar affordable and accessible, the university recently brought the Solar U program online. Part of the Solarize Connecticut program, Solar U offers faculty, staff and students' families the opportunity to compare online competitive bids from pre-screened installers of solar energy systems.

Delta College Offers Urban Gardening Class to Community

The college recently introduced the new series about practical and easy-on-the-earth methods of modern day urban agriculture including six topics: soil health and amendments, starting seeds and companion plants, growing in small spaces, raising chickens, building farm equipment, and sharing goods.

U Colorado Boulder Salvages Computers for Low Income Communities

The university's Computers for Youth program, now ongoing and year-round, provides middle and high school students from low-income communities around Colorado with upgraded computers and basic computing programs. Surplus computer equipment is gathered, tested and re-furbished to original specifications and loaded with the latest software to assist students' academic achievement.

Emory U Students Combat Community Food Insecurity

After nearly two years of planning, students from the newly formed Campus Kitchens Project, a Washington, D.C.-based community service program, recover food from university dining venues that otherwise would be wasted and prepare and deliver meals to several community organizations fighting hunger.

Seattle U Adopts Initiative to Provide Food to Homeless

Part of the new Food with Spirit initiative, students recently delivered 40 boxes of produce, grown by students, to feed homeless through a local church kitchen.

U California Santa Cruz Hosts Land Management Program

A collaboration between the university arboretum and the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, the relearning program taught the importance of traditional resource management and uses of native plants to Tribal members and the public.

Clarkson U Partners on Electricity Reliability and Resiliency

(U.S.): Funded by a $1.2 million grant from the Energy Department's Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability and $300,000 from General Electric, the newly formed partnership will conduct research and implement solutions to improve the reliability and resiliency of electricity delivery in northern New York.

Black Hills State U Requires Projects for Scholarships

A recent $1 million gift will enable the university's Make a Difference Initiative, which requires scholarship recipients, in exchange for scholarship funding, to lead sustainable community projects designed to make a difference in the lives of others.

Indiana State U Hosts Community Sustainability Poster Competition

In an effort to encourage sustainability within the community, the university recently announced the Terre Haute Sustainability Championship 2014 in which participating students from kindergarten through college will be given a question related to sustainability that they will have to answer using a poster.

Manhattan College Reports Two Engineering Certificates

As part of the university's continued focus on advancing science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in the classroom, two new graduate certificates offered are energy systems and green building engineering.

U Bristol Partners for Year as Green Capital 2015

(U.K.): The city in which the university resides is set to become the European Green Capital 2015, and as such, the university has committed to ensuring the legacy of the year by aiming to become a net carbon neutral campus by 2030, decreasing the university’s transport footprint, and ensuring that its students have the opportunity to undertake education for sustainable development. The university will host or co-host over 100 public events across the city including major conferences, seminars, debates and art installations.

Colorado State U Donates to Local Food Bank

Landscaped campus beds this year provided vegetables and herbs that were donated to the community in addition to food from the university's community-supplied agriculture horticulture farm.

Loyola U Chicago Promotes Healthy Communities

The university recently collaborated with the City of Chicago, Cook County Department of Public Health, and Great Lakes Centers at the University of Illinois at Chicago to host a multidisciplinary summit to raise awareness about the burdens of unhealthy housing and begin the work of developing a blueprint for the city and county to address indoor environmental toxins, especially as they relate to children.

U Central Oklahoma Partners for Community Sustainability

Overlapping sustainability goals helped form the new partnership between the university and Sustainable Oklahoma City bringing the city's grassroots sustainability campaign under the university's foundation nonprofit umbrella.

Portland State U Hosts Sustainability Accelerator Program

The university's Urban Sustainability Accelerator program is hosting a 2014 cohort of partners, including the University of Minnesota Duluth, New Mexico State University and Auburn University, in a five-day workshop to guide participants through implementation of sustainability projects. The 2014 theme is city-university sustainable redevelopment projects.

Two Universities to Lead U.S. Contribution in Global Initiative

The University of Colorado at Boulder and Colorado State University have been selected as the U.S. hub for Future Earth, an ambitious 10-year research initiative to address global environmental change solutions and actions by linking scientists, decision makers and private sector for change at local and regional levels. Other global hubs are located in Canada, France, Japan and Sweden.

Auburn U Partners on Urban Sustainability

The university and the City of Auburn recently began working to implement a downtown master plan that includes pedestrian safety enhancements, rain gardens, transportation efforts and a feasibility study of daylighting local streams.

AASHE Executive Director Attends MomentUs Leadership Summit

AASHE Executive Director Stephanie A. Herrera attended MomentUs last month to develop actionable solutions to climate change with over 140 other leaders from faith, business, health, higher education and communities. Herrera said, "At AASHE we take the issue of climate change very seriously. We believe the MomentUs initiative is in line with our goals, vision and mission. This is why we provide the inspiration and resources to help create a cleaner, greener and environmentally sustainable transformation, one college campus at a time."

Governors State U Opens Organic Community Garden

The newly opened 52-plot garden gives area residents a chance to use organic methods to grow the vegetables of their choice while building a sense of community with fellow gardeners. A subset of the garden area will be designated for a student food pantry and the on campus childcare facility.