AASHE Announces Top Performers in 2016 Sustainable Campus Index
AASHE’s newly released 2016 Sustainable Campus Index recognizes top-performing colleges and universities in 17 distinct aspects of sustainability and overall by institution type as measured by the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS). Additionally, the report highlights innovative and high-impact initiatives from over 60 institutions.
U North Carolina Chapel Hill Announces Three Zeros Initiative
The university's new Three Zeros Initiative strives to achieve greenhouse gas neutrality, water neutrality and zero waste by addressing individual behaviors, teaching and how the campus can model new, innovative approaches while having a global impact. Three Zeros stemmed from the new Sustainability Plan, which is the university's framework for examining campus-wide sustainability efforts and identifying ways to integrate them into teaching, research and engagement activities.
Cleveland State U Appoints New Director of Sustainability
Jennifer McMillin will manage the university’s ongoing efforts to reduce emissions and waste, enhance alternative energy use and increase overall environmental quality on campus. McMillin will also lead multiple education and training initiatives designed to enhance sustainability among students, faculty and staff as well as the broader community. McMillin comes to CSU from the Australian National University where she led the development of the university’s internationally-recognized student and staff sustainability outreach program.
NCAA Encourages Divisions to Sign Diversity Pledge
The NCAA’s diversity and inclusion pledge, gaining approval from the NCAA's board of governors in August 2016, is now available online for presidents and chancellors to affirm their commitment to ethnic, racial and gender diversity in the hiring process for athletics. Colleges, universities and athletics conferences that commit to the pledge will be recognized in a public listing on the NCAA’s website. This comes after a 2014-15 NCAA employment survey shows slow progress toward addressing diversity initiatives.
Dalhousie U Adopts Sustainable Food Plan
The newly released framework from the university's Food Services and Office of Sustainability supports and adheres to the vision and principles identified in the Dalhousie University Sustainability Plan. The plan is primarily focused on but not limited to the food procurement, preparation, kitchen operation and end use, for which there are 11 goals spanning these four areas.
California State U, Northridge & Stockton U Receive Nat'l Sustainability Award
The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) recently awarded the Sustainability and Sustainable Development Award to California State University, Northridge (CSUN) and Stockton University. AASCU cited CSUN for incorporating sustainability into planning and administration, facilities and operations, education and curriculum, student government and life, research and innovation, and Stockton University was attributed on behalf of their natural-environment living laboratories and having sustainability as one of four pillars in its strategic plan.
Nine Community Colleges Win Green Genome Award from AACC
Cedar Valley College, Chesapeake College, College of Lake County, Guam Community College, Johnson County Community College, Lewis & Clark Community College, Lincoln Land Community College, Northeast Community College and Northeast Texas Community College are recipients of the 2016 Green Genome Awards for exemplary efforts to promote sustainability education, practices, programs and training. The winning colleges will each receive $10,000. The Green Genome Awards are part of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and its Sustainability Education and Economic Development (SEED) Center.
Kimberly-Clark Professional* Announces Sustainable Campus Competition LIVE! Finalists
Selected from over 220 entries, Oberlin College, University of Washington and a joint submission from Butler University and Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis have been named as finalists in the Sustainable Campus Competition LIVE! contest, which includes a $50,000 grand prize from Kimberly-Clark Professional*. The finalists will present their projects before a panel of judges on Oct. 10 at the 2016 AASHE Conference & Expo, where the grand prize winner will be announced.
Dickinson College and Town Partner to Measure Resilience
A beta tool developed by the Rockefeller Foundation and Arup International Development called the City Resilience Index was recently utilized by the college and the surrounding town of Carlisle to measure the community's ability to cope with, manage and adapt to change. The collaboration resulted from Carlisle asking various constituencies to suggest priority issues to address, of which resilience was one such issue.
Ohio U Building Earns LEED Gold Certification
The new building minimizes consumption of water and energy, project materials contained recycled content, almost 50 percent of materials were manufactured in the region, and the project diverted more than 75 percent of construction waste from entering a landfill.
Marquette U Hires First Sustainability Coordinator
Hired to lead Marquette's sustainability efforts, Brent Ribble was recently brought on to advance campus sustainability as it relates to academics, operations, planning and engagement. In addition, the university announced a new interdisciplinary major in environmental studies, that began fall 2016, to help prepare students to address sustainability challenges in their lives and careers.
Sierra Magazine Releases 2016 Cool Schools List
Open to all four-year undergraduate colleges and universities in the U.S., the guide is produced for prospective and current students, administrators and alumni to compare higher education institutions' environmental commitments. The scoring key is a reflection of Sierra Club's broader priorities and awards more weight in the areas of campus energy use, transportation and fossil fuel divestment.
Princeton Review Announces 'Green College Honor Roll'
The recently released annual results tally 640 four-year institutions based on a measure of the school's performance as an environmentally aware and prepared institution, including these indicators: a campus quality of life, preparation of students for employment in the clean-energy economy, citizenship in a world now defined by environmental concerns and opportunities, and environmentally responsible policies.
Emory U Releases Sustainability Vision & Plan
The new plan, building off the university's strategic plan that calls for sustainability to be a guiding principle, outlines four action areas. Broadly, they are to support culture change, expand the sustainability network, model sustainability in landscape, buildings and operations, and create strategic, public partnerships that build resilient communities.
Arizona State U Receives Athletics Sustainability Honor
The National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and USG Corporation named the university as the winner of the 2016 USG NACDA Sustainability Award. Runners up were the University of Louisville and South Dakota State University. The USG NACDA Sustainability Award was designed to recognize NACDA member institutions across all divisions, honoring athletics directors and their universities for incorporating sustainable practices and materials into their athletics facilities.
ISCN Announces 2016 Award Winners
The International Sustainable Campus Network's (ISCN) Campus Excellence Awards recognize sustainable campus projects that demonstrate leadership, creativity, effectiveness and outstanding performance in the areas of campus, collaboration and student leadership. University of São Paulo (Brazil) won in the Excellence in Campus category; University of Oxford (England) came in first in the Excellence in Innovative Collaboration; and Excellence in Student Leadership was awarded to five Swedish universities that collaborate in "Sustainability Week".
Colorado State U Offers Bike Training to Older Staff
Faculty and staff 50 years old and older can get personalized training through university’s Parking and Transportation Services, thanks to a Kaiser Permanente grant. The Back on the Bike program is designed to get more people in active transportation and physical activity by offering bike tune-ups, safety gear and tricks to travel in traffic and overcome other safety or comfort obstacles through personalized travel training.
St. Louis U Adjunct Faculty Vote to Form Union
Part-time faculty working in St. Louis University’s College of Education and the College of Arts and Sciences voted 89 to 28 in favor of unionizing, pushing for higher wages and access to health benefits.
SUNY New Paltz Bolsters Diversity & Inclusion Support with New Hire & Task Force
The university recently announced Tanhena Pacheco Dunn as chief diversity officer after being hired in 2012 as executive director of Compliance and coordinator of Campus Climate and Title IX. Pacheco Dunn came to SUNY New Paltz from Vassar College. Additionally, a new, 21-member Diversity and Inclusion Plan Task Force has been tasked with leading the development of a draft campus diversity and inclusion plan.
Ten Canadian Institutions Top 2016 Greenest Employers List
Organized by the Canada's Top 100 Employers project, the 10 colleges and universities are Dalhousie University, Humber College, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Mohawk College, Red River College, University of British Columbia, University of Alberta, University of Northern British Columbia, University of Toronto and York University. The Greenest Employer award recognizes employers that lead the nation in making environmental values part of their organizational culture.
Wesleyan U Funds Sustainability Education and Social Justice Programs
Among this year's initiatives and projects that the student-run Green Fund allocated money to are the development of sustainability curriculum into existing courses, an event featuring a Stony Brook University professor about ecofeminism, eco-grief and climate justice, and funding to a pilot program that offers cooperative food shares to a local elementary school.
U Iowa Marks Progress on 2020 Sustainability Goals
Some areas of progress include net negative energy growth, with a nearly 15 percent reduction in per capita emissions of fossil fuel-produced carbon dioxide from university-related transportation and travel, a 42 percent waste diversion rate and 14.4 percent renewable energy use.
Green Mountain College and Audubon International Announce Partnership
Graduate students at Green Mountain College can apply their place-based education by exploring and implementing Audubon International’s programs alongside professional staff. Staff at any of Audubon International's member facilities will receive discounts to enroll in the college’s online graduate curriculum in one of four sustainability disciplines. The goal of the partnership is to improve training opportunities for sustainability professionals and students, and lead to new research on sustainability practices.
Northeastern U Shares Campus Sustainability Report
Released at the time of the COP21 climate talks in Paris, the report lists the university's 2025 goals and provides an update to the campus' climate commitment and progress, improvements to buildings and water infrastructure, and campus resilience and business continuity.
Southern Illinois U Carbondale to Open Sustainability Display
The new Innovation and Sustainability Hub will feature informational displays about current and future innovation and sustainability efforts on campus and serve as a collaborative space to share information and increase awareness and student participation.
Harvard U Provides 2015 Sustainability Report
The new report in an online format provides progress updates in the areas of emissions and energy, campus operations, nature and ecosystems, health and wellbeing, and culture and learning.
MIT Report Highlights Creation of Climate Action Advisory Committee
In a new report released in April, MIT announced a new Climate Action Advisory Committee to consult on the implementation of climate plans, develop a set of strategies and benchmarks for the school's engagement with industry, government and other institutions, and assist in finding ways to engage the broader community in climate action. The report also outlines progress on its five-year climate action plan released in October 2015.
EPA Honors Winners of Campus RainWorks Challenge
In April 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency announced four winners and two honorable mentions for the 2015 Campus RainWorks Challenge. University of Texas at Arlington (Master Plan category) and University of Maryland, College Park (Demonstration Project category) were first place winners, with Stevens Institute of Technology (Master Plan) and University of California, Berkeley (Demonstration Project) taking second place. The Campus RainWorks Challenge encourages students to learn about the current or potential impacts of climate change on campus and demonstrate how using green infrastructure practices on their campuses can build resiliency to those impacts while effectively managing stormwater runoff.
Education Dept Announces 2016 Green Ribbon Schools Award
This year's U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools recognition award went to Elon University; Georgia Institute of Technology; Hawkeye Community College; Macalester College; Raritan Valley Community College; Slippery Rock University; University of Colorado, Colorado Springs; University of Louisiana at Lafayette; University of Montevallo; and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The Green Ribbon Schools recognition award honors postsecondary institutions that are demonstrating progress in three pillars: environmental impact, health and wellness, and sustainability education.
Johns Hopkins Releases New Sustainability Report
Through efforts to meet the university's pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 51 percent by 2025, the newly released report reveals greenhouse gas emissions were down 30 percent from 2007 levels, despite a 9.3 percent increase in its building footprint and 4.6 percent increase in total energy consumption. A portion of the reduction is attributable to the regional electricity grid's fuel mix, which now uses less coal and more natural gas and renewable sources.
U Virginia Launches First Sustainability Plan
In honor of Earth Day, the university has launched its first comprehensive, strategic roadmap for sustainability that addresses pressing global challenges. The plan was developed by the University Committee on Sustainability and facilitated by the Office for Sustainability, representing over one hundred students, staff and faculty.
California State U Monterey Bay Uses Falcons in Demolitions
As the university prepares for demolition of some buildings, it is using a technique called bird abatement where birds of prey, in this case falcons, are used with handlers to deter other avian friends from making homes in the vacant, soon-to-be torn down structures. Simulating hunting patterns, the falcons do not hunt the other birds, their presence provides enough of a threat to warn other birds not to nest. If a nest is completed or found with eggs in or near any of the buildings, the demolition will have to be halted until the eggs hatch and the birds mature enough to fly on their own.
U Illinois Chicago Announces Four Climate Commitments
In a campus-wide ceremony, the university's chancellor presented four climate commitment action items that were developed by the university's Committee on Sustainability and Energy. The commitments include reducing carbon emissions yielding to a carbon-neutral campus, reducing, reusing and recycling material leading to a 90 percent waste diversion rate, increasing water efficiency to an amount equal to or less than what falls within the university's boundaries, and creating a resilient campus landscape that supports a biodiverse plant and animal ecosystem.
Stanford U Energy System Innovation Receives Award
Stanford Energy System Innovations (SESI) was awarded with the Engineering News-Record Editor's Choice & Best Energy/Industrial awards. The SESI system transformed the university's energy supply from a 100 percent fossil-fuel-based combined heat and power plant to grid-sourced electricity and a more efficient electric heat recovery system.
Arizona State U Appoints Sustainability Operations Officer
Nichol Luoma is the new University Sustainability Operations officer and associate vice president for University Business Services at the university. Before her associate vice president interim appointment, Luoma served as the university's chief procurement officer, responsible for procurement and contracting. Under her leadership, university procurement was recognized by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education's (AASHE) Sustainable Campus index as No. 1 in the purchasing category.
U Calgary & York U Make '2016 Future 40' List
The Corporate Knights 2016 Future 40 Responsible Corporate Leaders of Canada holds University of Calgary at No. 8 and York University at No. 22. In its third year, the Future 40 is a ranking of Canadian organizations and institutions based on 12 key performance indicators covering resource, employee and financial management. The Future 40 shortlist is derived from companies with revenues under $2 billion or maintaining fewer than 2,000 employees in 2014.
U Connecticut Names Chief Diversity Officer
Joelle A. Murchison has recently been named chief diversity officer and associate vice president to the university. Murchison, who begins her new role in July, will serve as the university’s main strategist responsible for guiding efforts to define, assess, and promote diversity, inclusion, and educational and employment opportunity. She will develop programs and coordinate activities to recruit and retain faculty, students and staff from diverse backgrounds.
U Michigan Reports on Sustainability Progress
The newly released progress report highlights funding for sustainability-related research in the areas of water, climate and communities, greenhouse gas emissions reductions and expansion of the university's food waste composting program.
U Oregon Earns National Accolades for Sustainable Event Planning
The university events staff helped the football game earn Gold certification from the Council for Responsible Sports, which advocates for environmentally and socially responsible events. Highlights include 40-plus percent waste diversion, 100 percent renewable resources for electricity, reduced water use and food donation totaling 850 pounds.
McHenry County College Wins IGEN Award
The college won the College Leadership and Sustainability Award from the Illinois Green Economy Network (IGEN) at the 2016 IGEN Sustainability Conference held in January 2016. IGEN's awards program honors colleges across the state for incorporating sustainability as a measure of success.
Frostburg State U Allocates Funding to 12 Sustainability Projects
Twelve projects, about half of which were student proposals, recently received grant funding from the university’s President’s Advisory Council on Sustainability. Funded projects include increasing sustainability awareness, performing environmental research, presenting research at academic conferences and making direct environmental impacts on campus. Funding preference was given to those projects that involve and benefit students, are linked to an academic class offering experiential learning, provide long-term campus benefits and address the university's Climate Action Plan.
Kentucky State U Director Earns Environmental Education Honor
Jennifer Hubbard-Sánchez, director of the center for environmental education at Kentucky State University in Frankfort and state specialist for sustainable programs, was selected from nominees across the U.S. as one of five Outstanding Educators by Project Learning Tree. Hubbard-Sánchez connects Kentuckians with a special interest in teaching about climate change. Project Learning Tree is the national environmental education program of the American Forest Foundation.
Higher Education Institutions Under Pressure to Disclose Investments
The Associated Press reports that Congress and campus activists have stepped up pressure on colleges and universities to reveal financial investments made through their endowments. While lawmakers are questioning whether to tax colleges on investment portfolios, activists, including alumni and students, are demanding to know if investments are held in certain industries. An inquiry by The Associated Press to 50 public and private universities asking them to disclose their investments revealed "most schools issue annual reports with broad information and few details about specific investments".
Bucknell U Buildings Earn LEED Gold
The university's South Campus Apartments and Student Commons building, now displaying the Gold designation, feature natural light and energy-efficient lighting technology, FSC-certified wood, efficient plumbing fixtures, wind power and native plant landscaping.