College Divestment Campaigns Shaping Passionate Environmentalists
A recent National Public Radio story focuses on how student-driven fossil fuel divestment campaigns on about 300 campuses across the country are helping to prepare the environmental leaders of the next generation. "It's been really exciting for me to feel like this is the first time where I've seen how I can directly make a difference on my campus and force my administration to make a decision that could have reverberations around the country," says Brown University senior Emily Kirkland in the article.
Loyola Chicago Students Pass Green Initiative Fund
Led by the Unified Student Government Association, the new Green Initiative Fund will give students the opportunity to start green projects that require funding that is otherwise unavailable. After a multi-month campaign, 64 percent of students voted "yes" to the fund in March.
Sodexo Foundation Grants $150K to Food Recovery Network
The start-up funding will help the network of college students working to reduce hunger and food waste by recovering surplus food from their dining halls and delivering it to Americans in need of a meal. Since its inception at the University of Maryland, College Park in September 2011, the Food Recovery Network has expanded to 21 campuses in nine states plus Washington, D.C., recovering more than 140,000 pounds of food.
Texas State U San Marcos Announces Green Fee-Funded Projects
Thirteen projects have been approved for funding from the Environmental Service Committee including 3-D signage for the Bobcat Blend Composting program, which recently received a Texas Environmental Excellence Award. With the program, students have diverted 57 tons of organic waste from the landfill and reduced university costs and fuel usage through fewer waste hauls.
U Vermont Clean Energy Fund Awards $180K to Campus Projects
Pulling from the $225,000 generated each year from the university's Clean Energy Fund, $150,500 will go toward upgrading the existing solar array panels at the university's central heat plant and installing additional 30-kilowatt panels. Another $24,800 will enable a hybrid street lamp system on campus that uses LED lights powered by a combination of helix bamboo wind turbines and solar panels.
Southern Illinois U Carbondale Announces New Green Fee Projects
The university's Sustainability Council recently announced approximately $150,000 in awards for six projects to enhance campus sustainability. The projects, funded by a $10-per-semester student Green Fee, include solar trash compactors, rechargeable batteries and paperless medical records systems.
Dalhousie U College of Sustainability Receives $1.5M Gift
(Canada): In celebration of Earth Day, the Royal Bank of Canada announced that it will donate $1.5 million over 10 years to the university’s College of Sustainability to support the sustainability leadership certificate program. The program develops leaders in sustainability through workshops held on weekends during the school year.
Delta College Receives $40,000 Award for Rainwater Harvest System
(U.S.): Funded by Saginaw Bay Watershed Initiative Network, the rainwater harvesting system is expected to save 169,000 gallons of water each year. The system will benefit the newly renovated Health Professions facility by conserving water, saving money, protecting the watershed, and feeding a hydroponic green wall.
Rochester IT Sustainable Manufacturing Center Receives Funding
(U.S.): The institute’s Center of Excellence in Sustainable Manufacturing will receive $500,000 as part of the 2013-14 New York state budget agreement. The center, housed within the Golisano Institute for Sustainability, will enable expanded research and technology transfer activity between industry and the institute.
U Missouri Receives $2M Gift for Sustainability
(U.S.): The university will create a sustainability endowment from a gift of $2 million from Enterprise Holdings. The endowment will seed transformational research, education, and applications that sustain health, culture, economic vitality, and quality of life in a volatile global environment.
U Maryland Apiary to Add 8 Hives with New Grant Money
The beekeeping club has received a $9,600 grant from the Sustainability Fund to expand the university’s apiary with eight more hives. Members hope to develop a “Terps Bees” brand of honey products and beeswax candles to sell at the Maryland Food Co-op, farmers markets and the university’s convenience shops.
Kennebec Valley CC Receives Grant for Sustainable Ag Program
The college will receive a $2.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration to create an agriculture-oriented education hub. A two-year associate degree in sustainable agriculture will be one of the first programs to make its debut in the fall. The program will provide students with the technical and small business skills needed to manage or develop a small farm or agricultural business.
U Maine Machias New Green Fee Funds Sustainability Projects
The university’s new Green Fund Committee has selected its first set of campus sustainability projects to receive funding. Projects selected include installation of new recycling stations and water filling stations, distribution of reusable water bottles and new bins for electronic waste collection.
U New Hampshire Receives Grant to Expand Sustainability Institute
The university’s Sustainability Institute has received a $50,000 grant from the Verizon Foundation to expand its Sustainability Learning Collaborative initiative. The project will link university faculty with regional high school teachers and community college faculty to help develop sustainability curricula for classrooms.
Brown U Advisory Committee Votes to Recommend Coal Divestment
The Advisory Committee on Corporate Responsibility in Investment Policies (ACCRIP) has endorsed university divestment from 15 coal companies. The committee will send the recommendation and proposed guidelines for investment screening to the university’s president. The Corporation is expected to discuss coal divestment in May and will present ACCRIP’s recommendations.
U Missouri Secures Funding for Green Roof
The Student Fee Capital Improvement Committee has pledged $27,000 to fund the construction of a green roof atop the university’s Rollins Dining Hall. A 2,520-square-foot modular system will be installed by October 2013.
Canadian Students Launch New Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaign
On March 27, students from across the country participated in Fossil Fools Day, the first national day of action for the Fossil Free Canada campaign, an initiative led by the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition. More than a dozen campuses held marches and rallies in an effort to urge their university administrators to divest their endowments from fossil fuel and pipeline companies.
McGill U Reviews Petition to Stop Investments Linked to Oilsands
Divest McGill, a group of students and alumni, have presented the university’s board of governors with a petition of more than 700 signatures asking the governing body to remove companies that develop, transport, refine or sell oil from Canada’s oilsands from the university’s financial holdings.
College of the Atlantic to Divest all Fossil Fuel Investments
The college’s Board of Trustees has voted to divest from all fossil fuel-related investments, going into effect immediately. The move follows a student push to sell investments in companies whose businesses are believed to be harmful to the environment.
Yakima Valley CC Receives $600,000 in Grants for Energy Projects
The college has been awarded $503,000 from the state Department of Commerce’s Energy Efficiency Grants program to install new lighting and heating and air-conditioning systems at six buildings on campus. The college also received $97,476 from the Pacific Power Blue Sky renewable energy program to install a 30-kilowatt solar array and monitoring system.
Humboldt State U Receives $1.75M for Clean Energy Project
The university’s Schatz Energy Research Center in partnership with the Redwood Coast Energy Authority has received a $1.75 million grant from the California Energy Commission for a community-scale renewable energy implementation project. The clean energy initiative will include a biomass power system, community-wide energy upgrades and electric vehicle infrastructure.
Massachusetts CLA Student Government Passes Divestment Resolution
The Student Government Association has approved a resolution urging the President, Board of Trustees, and Foundation Board to divest from publicly traded fossil fuel companies. The divestment plan calls for the college to cease any new investments in fossil fuel companies and to end all holdings by February 2016.
Barnard College Senior Gift to Fund Sustainability on Campus
The college’s Senior Fund committee has announced that the 2013 senior gift will fund sustainability initiatives on campus. The committee asked students and groups last semester to submit proposals for how to use the fund, and members of the senior class voted online in favor of the sustainability initiative.
Longwood U Receives Grant to Study Biomass Fuel Processing
The university has received a $50,000 Dominion renewable energy grant to commission a pre-planning study for a biomass fuel processing center. The focus of the study is to find efficient ways to dry sawdust used to fuel the biomass boilers using alternative energy sources. The university has been using biomass to heat the campus for 30 years, and currently uses almost 26,000 tons of sawdust from local logging and sawmills annually.
Princeton U Students Participate in Investment Dialogue
In response to increased interest on campus in issues of socially responsible investing, the Resources Committee of the Council of the Princeton University Community will host a March 7 talk on ethical investment models for the 21st century. Following the talk, students chosen through an application process will have the opportunity to respond with their own thoughts on University investments. The event is open to the public.
Associated Students of U Cal Calls for Fossil Fuel Divestment
(U.S.): The Associated Students of the University California (ASUC) Senate has approved a bill ordering the divestment of its funds from fossil fuel companies while encouraging other institutions of higher education to follow suit. The bill binds the ASUC to complete the withdrawal of any of its $3 million in total investments from fossil fuel companies.
Students Hold National Conference on Fossil Fuel Divestment
(U.S.): Nearly 200 student organizers from across the country have gathered at Swarthmore College for a conference to unify the fossil-fuel divestment movement. In addition to building bonds among student campaigns, conference organizers connected students with other environmental activists who represent communities already being affected by fossil-fuel extraction.
Harvard U Creates New Position for Sustainable Investing
Harvard Management Company has created a new position devoted to researching and understanding sustainability issues related to the university’s $30.7 billion endowment. The new Vice President of Sustainable Investing will also serve as HMC’s primary liaison to other University offices on environmental, social, and governance investment issues.
New York U Receives $40M for Urban City Development Institute
The university has started a new institute dedicated to urban city development and sustainability upon receiving a $40 million private donation. The Marron Institute will focus on policies and initiatives aimed at creating more livable cities for their residents.
Sterling College Divests from Fossil Fuel Companies
The college has announced that it will soon divest its endowment from the two hundred fossil fuel companies identified by 350.org in its effort to move higher education toward fossil free investment. The Board of Trustees voted unanimously to instruct the investment team to take this action and to move swiftly to divest.
U District of Columbia Receives Grant to Create 4 Gardens
The university has received a $25,000 Verizon Foundation sustainability grant to create four “Gardens of the Senses” on campus. The gardens will serve as an educational tool on environmental literacy. There will be a garden of colors and sights; one of smells and scents; another of touch; and an additional garden dedicated to plant research.
Edmonds CC Receives Grant for Sustainable Agriculture Education
The college has been awarded a $900,000, three-year grant from the National Science Foundation for the Sustainable Agriculture Education Collaborative (SAgE). In partnership with Skagit Valley College, Seattle Central Community College, and Washington State University, the college will lead the SAgE Collaborative in preparing students for emerging green careers in sustainable agriculture and related environmental fields.
York U Launches Initiative to Provide Higher Ed to Refugees
The university has received more than $4.5 million from the Canadian International Development Agency to lead the Borderless Higher Education for Refugees project in Dadaab, Kenya. The initiative aims to provide higher education to primary and secondary school teachers in six refugee camps on the Kenya-Somalia border.
Davidson College Receives Grant for Sub-Metering Project
The college has been awarded a $150,000 grant from the Jessie Ball DuPont Fund to install water and electricity sub-meters in the campus’s main twelve residence halls. The grant allows the college to engage students in reducing their energy and water consumption and will provide baseline energy data for future energy efficiency projects.
East Tennessee State U Sustainability Fee Funds New Projects
Nine projects have been approved to receive $150,000 in funding from the Campus Sustainability Fee. Project winners include self-powered treadmills and photovoltaic panels for the Center for Physical Activity, a bike repair station, hydration station, and a sustainable bus shelter.
U Arkansas Little Rock Funds Garden Irrigation, Concrete Projects
The Sustainability Committee has awarded micro-grants for two university projects that incorporate sustainability into academics: A rooftop rainwater catchment and irrigation system would provide water and onsite storage for the campus garden. Research for the creation of smog-eating concrete involves the use of nano-particles that enable concrete to absorb and break down smog and air pollutants.
Nottingham Trent U Future Factory Program Receives Funding
(U.K.): The university’s Future Factory program, which helps small businesses to improve their green credentials, has been awarded an extra £2.2 million in funding to continue until June 2015. The sustainable design project was launched in 2009 to help businesses find creative solutions to enable them to adopt new products, services and business practices that ‘design out’ unnecessary or unsustainable materials and processing, and ‘design in’ features such as environmentally neutral technologies and materials, recyclability and sensitive disposal.
Syracuse U Faculty Group to Support Fossil Fuel Divestment
(U.S.): In a letter in the university’s Daily Orange, Associate Professor of Political Science Sarah Pralle details why she is leading a faculty group in support of student organizing that is pushing the university to divest its endowments from fossil fuel companies. The letter encourages faculty to support the SU Fossil Fuel
U Chicago Campus Dialogue Fund Receives Funding
(U.S.): The Campus Dialogue Fund has been allocated $15,000 annually to bring speaks on social justice issues to campus. The fund was created by students to help raise awareness of issues of race, power, gender and privilege.
Oakland U Receives Grant for Organic Urban Farm
The university’s Student Organic Farming Program has received a $20,400 grant from the Americana Foundation. The funding will be matched by the university and will be used to support the hiring of a farm manager to oversee farm production, coordinate student volunteers and assist with community outreach programs designed to improve access to fresh, local produce.
U California San Diego Awarded $1.9 M for Microgrid Projects
The California Energy Commission has approved a $1.6 million award to increase its previously awarded funding of $1.3 million for the university's electric microgrid. The Commission also approved funding of $220,554 to expand the campus' charging network for plug-in electric vehicles, through the Commission's Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program.
U Georgia Awards Sustainability Grants to Student Projects
The Campus Sustainability Grants Program has awarded $26,000 to seven student projects, including a composting program, a project to reduce stormwater runoff, an automated system for bike sharing, and an after-school gardening and nutrition education program.
Utah State U Awards Sustainability Grants for Student Projects
The Sustainability Office has awarded $20,946 in Blue Goes Green Student Grant funds for student projects. Project winners include an organic farm program, a master plan for recreation and open space, a new bicycle rack, and a Greek organization recycling program.
Colorado State U Receives Grant to Help Low-Income Students
The university’s Academic Advancement Center has received a $377,282 grant to help students who are low-income, first-generation or disabled transition into academic life and succeed. The funding was one of 1,021 continuation awards given by the Department of Education to universities across the nation as part of a total $2.5 million commitment that supports 202,750 students overall.