London U Freezes Fossil Fuel Investments
(U.K.): Following a recent campaign from more than 600 students, the university’s School of Oriental and African Studies has announced the hold on all future investments and is considering divesting all of its current holdings valued at 2 million pounds ($3.3 million).
U Dayton Releases Holdings in Fossil Fuel
The university recently announced its decision, after unanimous board of trustees approval, citing Catholic social teachings and values and its comprehensive campus-wide sustainability initiatives and commitments. The university's divestment is planned to occur in phases and will restrict future investments in private equity or hedge funds whose investments support fossil fuel or significant carbon-producing holdings.
Oxford U Faculty Urge Fossil Fuel Divestment
(U.K.): In an open letter presented during a university-wide consultation on divestiture, 59 academics requested the university divest its 3.8 billion pounds ($6.5 billion) from fossil fuel-based investments.
Second Nature Declares 2014 Climate Leadership Award Winners
The fifth annual Climate Leadership Awards presented top honors to Western Michigan University, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, California State University at Chico, University of Minnesota at Morris, Valencia College and Montgomery County Community College. The awards are presented annually to signatory institutions of the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) that demonstrate innovative and advanced leadership in education for sustainability, and climate mitigation and adaptation.
U Illinois Urbana-Champaign Sells Carbon Offsets to Chevrolet
(U.S.): After an impending carbon credit certification, the university expects to transfer approximately 150,000 tons of reduction from fiscal years 2012-14 to the Chevrolet initiative, which will enable the university to reinvest in clean energy technologies.
U Maryland Commits to Carbon Reduction Initiatives
The university recently committed to reduce electricity use on campus by 20 percent by 2020, offset new greenhouse gas emissions from new construction through energy-efficiency standards and renewable sources, and eliminate carbon emissions from purchased electricity by 2020 using strictly renewable sources.
Villanova U Commits to Catholic Climate Covenant
(U.S.): The university president recently signed the St. Francis Pledge to Care for Creation and the Poor, which is a pledge that asks individuals, families, parishes, organizations and universities to live their faith by protecting God’s Creation and advocates on behalf of people in poverty who face the harshest impacts of global climate change.
U Saskatchewan Commits to Building Temperature Control
In honor of International Polar Bear Day, the university announced its plans to raise the thermostat two degrees in spring and summer and one degree in winter in an effort to lower its carbon emissions from heating and cooling.
Wake Technical CC Builds New Walkways
Two new walkways were constructed that will alleviate shuttle transportation, preventing associated greenhouse gas emissions from entering the atmosphere, and encourage a healthier lifestyle.
Scotland Colleges and Universities Sign Carbon Commitment
(U.K.): All universities and colleges across Scotland have committed to addressing climate change and carbon challenges by signing the Universities and Colleges Climate Commitment for Scotland (UCCCfS), which offers a framework for institutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
U California Irvine Honored with EPA Climate Leadership Award
The university was recently honored with the Organizational Leadership Award by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for their leadership in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, including setting a goal of 40 percent reduction by 2020 from 2011 levels, and the Smart Lab Initiative, a program to safely reduce energy consumption in laboratories, which has dropped consumption by 60 percent.
UC Berkeley Graduate Assembly Calls for Fossil Fuel Divestment
The Graduate Assembly of the University of California, Berkeley voted with a two-thirds majority in favor of a resolution that calls on the university and the UC system to divest their endowments from fossil fuel companies. The resolution also commits the Graduate Assembly to divest its own funds of $475,000 from the greenhouse gas-emitting fuels.
Ball State U & Valencia College Partner with Chevrolet
(United States): As part of Chevrolet's new initiative to eliminate eight million metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the air over the next five years, the two schools were selected to use Chevy's new carbon-reduction performance methodology, which measures the "beyond-business-as-usual" carbon reductions. Chevy intends to then purchase these reductions as carbon credits. A geothermal system at Ball State University and four LEED buildings at Valencia College are eligible for the agreement.
U New Hampshire to House Clean Air-Cool Planet Programs
In 2014 Clean Air-Cool Planet will dissolve and the organization's two programs, Climate Fellows Program and the Campus Carbon Calculator (CCC), will be housed at the university's Sustainability Institute, where the CCC was developed in 2000.
Gonzaga U Releases First Climate Action Plan
The university's first plan calls for at least a 20 percent reduction of greenhouse gases by 2020 and 50 percent by 2035 from 2009 levels with the goal of climate neutrality by 2050.
St. Thomas Aquinas College Signs ACUPCC
Citing sustainability and climate change as reasons for recently signing the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment, the college will offer forums to students and employees about the causes and moral dimensions of climate change, and the assess college's impact.
Second Nature Announces Climate Leader Finalists
(U.S.): Second Nature and the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) have announced the finalists of the Fifth Annual Climate Leadership Awards, presented to ACUPCC signatory schools that demonstrate "unparalleled campus innovation and climate leadership that helps transition society to a clean, just and sustainable future." Second Nature is partnering with Planet Forward in a public voting competition featuring the finalists' climate leadership and campus innovations during Earth Month.
Wilfrid Laurier U Partnered with Regional Climate Action Plan
(Canada): Highlighted in a recent release of a regional climate action plan, proposal cited the university's collaborative efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, the university's sustainability coordinator chaired a committee focusing on institutional, commercial and industrial areas.
U California Berkeley Meets 1990 Carbon Emissions Level
Through investing in energy efficiency, sustainable transportation practices, purchasing sustainable power, and improving data and inventory methods, the university successfully reduced its carbon emissions to 1990 levels two years earlier than targeted.
Moraine Valley CC Signs ACUPCC
The community college recently signed the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment, pledging to eliminate net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
U Virginia Develops New Model to Measure Nitrogen Footprint
(U.S.): Working with students from multiple disciplines, a professor of environmental sciences recently released the results of a university nitrogen footprint analysis. Predominantly coming from energy use and food production, nitrogen can contribute to smog, acidifying water and weakening the ozone layer.
U Victoria Releases Carbon Neutral Action Report
(Canada): The university has reduced total greenhouse gases by 8 percent and natural gas use by 10 percent. These reductions are the result of increasing energy efficiencies in campus buildings, lighting upgrades and behavior changes among staff, students and faculty.
Cornell U Opens Institute for Climate Change and Agriculture
Developed from a need to help farmers adapt to changing climates, the institute will act as a clearinghouse for research, climate monitoring, decision‐support tools and applications at the intersection of climate and agriculture. An early step will be developing a website for disseminating and gathering information on farm-level impacts and trends, losses and gains resulting from warming and extreme weather. Allison Morrill Chatrchyan, who most recently served as environment and energy program leader with Cornell Cooperative Extension, will step in as the institute's first director effective September 1.
U Rhode Island to Lead National Climate Change Education Project
The university's Graduate School of Oceanography has received a $1 million National Science Foundation grant to serve as the national hub for a Climate Change Education Partnership Alliance. The school will work to build a network of climate change scientists, educators, communication professionals and government and private-sector stakeholders to educate the public about the science of climate change and its implications.
San Francisco State U to End Coal Investments
The foundation of San Francisco State University has agreed to not invest in companies "with significant production or use of coal and tar sands." The foundation will also seek to limit investments in fossil fuel companies.
UC Santa Cruz Students Help City Meet Climate Action Goals
The Impact Designs: Engineering & Sustainability through Student Service Bicycle Transit Planning Team has identified high priority resolutions to unsafe bicycling areas in the City of Santa Cruz including the addition of more lighting, improving streets as a bicycle boulevards and intersection improvements. The study aimed to help the City achieve its biking and carbon emission goals by 2020.
Second Nature Recognizes 10 Institutions for Climate Leadership
Presented annually to signatory institutions of the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), the Climate Leadership Award celebrates schools that demonstrate innovative and advanced leadership in education for sustainability and climate mitigation and adaptation. This year's winning institutions include Missouri University of Science & Technology, Portland State University, SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry, Chatham University, Goddard College, Middlebury College, Oberlin College, Bellevue College, University of Hawaii Kauai Community College and Pratt Institute.
Stanford U Students Campaign for Fossil Fuel Divestment
The group aims to convince university officials to freeze all new fossil fuel investments and to fully divest from fossil fuel companies within the next five years. The group's online petition to rally support from the campus community and make students more aware of the divestment movement recently reached 1,045 signatures.
MIT, Harvard, Cambridge Sign 'Compact for a Sustainable Future'
The “Community Compact for a Sustainable Future” lays out a framework for the signatories — and other organizations that choose to join — to work in a more coordinated fashion to tackle local sustainability challenges. The compact aims to generate new solutions in the areas of waste reduction, energy efficiency, climate mitigation and adaptation, water management, renewable energy and green tech incubation.
Missouri S&T Wins Climate Leadership Video Competition
Second Nature and Planet Forward have announced Missouri University of Science and Technology as the winner of the video voting component of the 2013 Second Nature Climate Leadership Awards. The video, which details how the university's solar village, community energy storage bank and geothermal energy system will save an expected $2.8 million per year in energy and operational costs, collected 16,374 votes and will be featured across Planet Forward media platforms over the next few months.
U Maine Machias Releases Carbon Emissions Report
The university has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions from heating and electricity by 44 percent between 2006 and 2012. Campus-wide oil consumption was reduced by 48 percent over the seven-year period. Electricity use dropped by 11 percent, resulting in fewer upstream emissions from utility production, and the campus saw a 26 percent reduction in water use.
U New Hampshire Releases Updated GHG Report
The university has lowered its greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 26 percent compared to a 2001 baseline. Emissions are expected to continue their downward trajectory in coming years as more efficiency projects on campus are completed, new policies and practices are considered, and the university’s transportation demand management and outreach and behavioral programs continue to expand.
Colby College Reduces GHG Emissions, Declares Carbon Neutrality
The college met its climate neutrality goal in the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, becoming the largest institution to reach that goal to date. Climate neutrality was achieved through several initiatives including a switch to 100-percent renewable electricity, use of sustainably harvested wood biomass as its primary fuel for heat and hot water, increasing energy efficiency, lowering temperatures in buildings and waste management initiatives.
U California Santa Cruz Announces Carbon Fund Awards
The university’s Carbon Fund Committee has awarded over $30,000 to six projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions on campus and the surrounding community. Projects include installing LED lighting; working with at-risk youth to build bike generators; improving the BLEST machine, which is used to convert waste plastic into bio-diesel; conducting a bike route quality and safety index; and the development of a new smart phone application that will show on-campus residents how much energy their building is consuming.
Yeshiva U Releases Updated GHG Report
(U.S.): Greenhouse gas emissions have decreased by seven percent since 2008 according to an updated report. The university is in the process of converting boilers from oil to cleaner burning natural gas, is installing efficient lighting and water upgrades, and is introducing other HVAC upgrades in an effort to lower emissions 20 percent by 2020.
NCADAC Releases Draft Climate Report for Public Review
The National Climate Assessment and Development Advisory Committee (NCADAC) has released a draft climate report that includes more than 240 authors. Following extensive review by the National Academies of Sciences and by the public, this report will be revised by the NCADAC and, after additional review, will be submitted to the Federal Government for consideration in the Third National Climate Assessment Report.
Oberlin College Plants Trees in Carbon Offsetting Initiative
Students have planted 26 new trees as part of a larger Carbon Offsetting Initiative designed to create ways to offset the college’s carbon output. Students and administrators had already planted the first tree of the project in September. With the addition of 30 trees planted in collaboration with the Oberlin Rotary Club and the city of Oberlin, the project now totals 57 new trees in the Oberlin area.
Vanderbilt U Releases Updated GHG Report
(U.S.): Despite an increase in square footage, students, and staff; the university’s overall greenhouse gas emissions have decreased by 12 percent since 2008. These findings were released in recognition of Campus Sustainability Day by the university’s Sustainability and Environmental Management Office.
American U Cairo Measures Carbon Footprint
(Egypt): The university has conducted a comprehensive study of its own impact on climate change. The report, prepared by the Desert Development Center and the Office of Sustainability, is the result of campus-wide efforts incorporating the work of faculty, students and staff. It identifies many strategies for reducing the university’s carbon footprint and energy expenditures.
ACUPCC Network Reduces Collective GHG Emissions by 25%
A recent five-year report released by the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) reveals that collectively, the ACUPCC network of almost 700 signatories has reduced gross greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent since 2007. Released in conjunction with the ACUPCC's annual Climate Leadership Summit, the report also states that more than 30 percent of signatories have targeted climate neutrality within 20 years and, by 2022, signatories are projected to reduce their gross emissions by more than 50 percent.
U North Carolina System Commits to Carbon Neutrality by 2050
During a recent a three-day Appalachian Energy Summit hosted by Appalachian State University and Rocky Mountain Institute, representatives from all 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina system and five private colleges made a signatory commitment to work toward carbon neutrality by 2050. The inaugural event was designed to aid in the creation of actionable energy plans that benefit students, the environment and the local economy. The summit launches a multi-year process in which participating campuses will collaborate to set goals, share best practices and educate leadership on integrated design and the latest technologies. The five private colleges include Catawba College, Davidson College, Duke University, Warren Wilson College and Wake Forest University.
'Students on Ice Alumni Delegation' Lobby for Arctic at Rio+20
The Students on Ice Alumni Delegation, an international group of students under the age of 24, recently lobbied for sustainability in the Arctic and Antarctica at the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. The organization, which received full United Nations accreditation, created a global agreement that addresses the sustainable development challenges facing the Polar Regions.
U Chicago Climate Scientists Release Climate Change Music Video
"You might not see it in person, but climate's changing just the same," sings University of Chicago geophysical sciences assistant professor Dorian Abbot in a new music video that is a ZZ Top-influenced Chicago rendition of last year's "I'm a Climate Scientist." Abbot collaborated with two other climate scientists at the university to capture the importance of the issue with humor. "We are so concerned about issues on global climate change that we are willing to make absolute fools of ourselves," said professor David Archer, who also appears in the video.
U Oregon Produces Campus Energy Conservation Outreach Video
The university Office of Sustainability has produced a three-minute animated video that summarizes recent efforts to conserve energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The video is part of an outreach campaign that will ask faculty, staff and students for suggestions regarding improvements to the university's Climate Action Plan.