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.
U Rhode Island Researchers to Study Impacts of Climate Change
Research of climate-driven impacts is a major focus of the Rhode Island Science and Technology Advisory Council's 2012 Research Alliance Collaborative Research Grants. The grants are designed to encourage entrepreneurship and new company creation. University of Rhode Island scientists are collaborators in seven of the eight funded projects, totaling $1.4 million. Studies include "Revealing Active Responses of the Ocean State's Marshes to Climate Change with Biogeochemistry & Environmental Genomics" and "Climate-Driven Impacts on the Formation and Persistence of Macroalgal Blooms."
Stonehill College Signs Climate Pledge, Creates Campus Farm
Stonehill College has become the twelfth Catholic college to sign the St. Francis Pledge of the Catholic Climate Covenant, committing the college to support campus sustainability efforts. The college has also created an organic farm that grows and distributes produce to local organizations and families who lack access to affordable fresh fruits or vegetables.
Second Nature Chooses 10 Climate Leaders
Second Nature and the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) have announced the 10 winners of the Third 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." The winning academic institutions include Arizona State University, University of South Florida, Allegheny College (Pennsylvania), Luther College, (Iowa), Austin Community College District (Texas), Haywood Community College (North Carolina), Florida Gulf Coast University, University of Central Missouri, Pratt Institute and PALS (New York), and the University of California System.
William Paterson U Wins Planet Forward Video Competition
The university's video, featuring climate innovations like a 12,000 solar panel-array, was selected by the public as the favorite of the 2012 Second Nature Climate Leadership Award finalists. The video is being featured in continued publicity with Planet Forward, which spotlighted the effort at its national Moving the Planet Forward conference in April. Twenty finalists are under consideration for this year's Climate Leadership Awards, which will be presented at the Climate Leadership Summit in June.
Saint John's U Announces Catholic Climate Covenant Partnership
The university recently became one of six colleges and universities to endorse the St. Francis Pledge to Care for Creation and the Poor, a nationwide effort led by the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change. The pledge is a commitment by Catholic individuals, families, parishes, organizations and institutions to advocate on behalf of people in poverty who face impacts of global climate change.
NASA Awards $137 M to Institutions to Study Climate Change
(U.S.): The Bay Area Environmental Research Institute of Sonoma will collaborate with California State University, Monterey Bay; the University of California, Davis; and the University of North Dakota to study changes in ecosystems, climate and biodiversity over a 10-year period. The findings will help develop products to aid land managers, agricultural producers and water managers throughout the U.S.
ACUPCC Reports Positive Growth toward Higher Ed Carbon Neutrality
The American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) is celebrating its five year anniversary with new data that reveals an annual average of 970 metric tons saved in carbon dioxide equivalent emissions by signatories that have submitted more than one greenhouse gas emissions inventory. Collectively, the ACUPCC network has purchased more than 1.28 billion kilowatt-hours of renewable energy credits, making it the third-largest buyer in the country. Eighty-two percent of signatories reported savings in the range of $46.8 and $246.7 million from their Climate Action Plans.
U Colorado Boulder Student-Fee Funded Bldgs Go Carbon Neutral
The Student Government at the University of Colorado Boulder has reached carbon neutrality with its student-fee funded facilities. The three facilities have reduced energy use by 15 percent over the last five years, when the goal was first announced, and saved about $1.6 million in energy costs. To offset the remaining emissions needed to reach zero, student fees were used for projects including solar thermal installations to heat water for low-income housing.
Maharishi U Management Reduces Carbon Count by 22%
With the help of energy efficiency measures including fixing gas leaks, replacing boilers with more efficient models and more efficient lighting, the Maharishi University of Management (IA) has reduced its carbon count by about 22 percent over the past three years. Stationary combustion (such as natural gas appliances) has been reduced by 23 percent; mobile combustion by 35 percent; and electricity usage by 22 percent.
66 Campuses Complete Greenhouse Gas Inventories
Sixty-five signatory campuses of the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) have submitted public greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories since the last update in the AASHE Bulletin on Nov. 8, 2011. The GHG inventory is the first major reporting requirement of the Commitment and is due within a year of signing. In alphabetical order, new inventories were submitted by: Albion College (MI); American University (DC); Austin College (TX); Bard College (NY); Bowdoin College (ME); Bowie State University (MD); Chatham University (PA); Clark University (MA); Coastal Carolina University (SC); Delta College (MI); DePauw University (IN); Eckerd College (FL); George Mason University (VA); George Washington University (DC); Gonzaga University (WA); Grand Valley State University (MI); Hamilton College (NY); Haverford College (PA); Indiana State University; Lorain County Community College (OH); Macalester College (MN); Maharishi University of Management (IA); Massachusetts College of Art & Design; Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts; McLennan Community College (TX); Montclair State University (NJ); Ohio University; Ohlone College (CA); Oregon State University; Phoenix College (AZ); Seattle University (WA); Sewanee: The University of the South (TN); Southern Polytechnic State University (GA); St. Lawrence University (NY); St. Louis Community College at Florissant Valley (MO); State University of New York College at Oswego; Stetson University (FL); The City College of New York; Trident Technical College (SC); University of Arizona; University of Arkansas; University of California, Irvine; University of California, Los Angeles; University of California, San Francisco; University of Colorado Boulder; University of Hawaii at Manoa; University of Maryland Baltimore; University of Maryland Baltimore County; University of Maryland College Park; University of Massachusetts Lowell; University of Minnesota-Crookston; University of Minnesota-Rochester; University of Minnesota-Twin Cities; University of Missouri-Columbia; University of Missouri-Kansas City; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; University of Vermont; University of Washington Tacoma; University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point; Valdosta State University (GA); Villanova University (PA); Wentworth Institute of Technology (MA); Wesley College (DE); West Chester University of Pennsylvania; and Western Washington University. In related news, State University of New York Institute of Technology has released a greenhouse gas inventory.
19 Campuses Complete Climate Action Plans
Nineteen new campuses have submitted Climate Action Plans (CAPs) as part of the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) since the last update in the AASHE Bulletin on Nov. 1, 2011. CAPs illustrate the specific steps that institutions are taking to reach climate neutrality and are the second major reporting requirement of the Commitment, due within two years of signing. The new submissions are, in alphabetical order: Antioch University Seattle (WA); Castleton State College (VT); Community College of Baltimore County (MD); Edmonds Community College (WA); Gateway Technical College (WI); Lorain County Community College (OH); Montana State University – Bozeman; Northeast Lakeview College (TX); Northwest Vista College (TX); Palo Alto College (TX); San Antonio College (TX); School of the Art Institute of Chicago (IL); St. Philip's College (TX); University of Arizona; University of California, Santa Cruz; University of Maryland Baltimore; University of Wisconsin-Green Bay; and University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. In related news, Emory University (GA) has announced carbon reduction goals in a new Climate Action Plan.
40 Campuses Complete Greenhouse Gas Inventories
Thirty-eight signatory campuses of the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) have submitted public greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories since the last update in the AASHE Bulletin on June 21, 2011. The GHG inventory is the first major reporting requirement of the Commitment and is due within a year of signing. In alphabetical order, new inventories were submitted by: Arizona State University; Bentley University (MA); Carleton College (MN); Cedar Valley College (TX); Centre College (KY); College of Charleston (SC); College of Saint Rose (NY); Colorado State University; Hampshire College (MA); Heartland Community College (IL); Labette Community College (KS); Loyola University New Orleans (LA); Massachusetts Maritime Academy; Milwaukee Area Technical College (WI); Montgomery County Community College (PA); New Mexico State University Dona Ana Branch; Pomona College (CA); Pratt Institute (NY); Rochester Institute of Technology (NY); Rogue Community College (OR); Santa Clara University (CA); Southern Connecticut State University; State University of New York College at Cortland; State University of New York College at Geneseo; State University of New York at Stony Brook; The Ohio State University - Columbus Campus; The Universities at Shady Grove (MD); Truckee Meadows Community College (NV); University of Central Missouri; University of Louisville (KY); University of Minnesota-Duluth; University of Southern Maine; University of Southern Mississippi; University of Tennessee, Knoxville; University of Wisconsin-Green Bay; University of Wisconsin-River Falls; Virginia Commonwealth University; and Western Connecticut State University. In related news, Yale University (CT) and Bowdoin University (ME) have released greenhouse gas reduction progress reports.
18 Campuses Complete Climate Action Plans
Eighteen new campuses have submitted Climate Action Plans (CAPs) as part of the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) since the last update in the AASHE Bulletin on June 6, 2011. CAPs illustrate the specific steps that institutions are taking to reach climate neutrality and are the second major reporting requirement of the Commitment, due within two years of signing. The new submissions are, in alphabetical order: Bainbridge Graduate Institute (WA), Carleton College (MN), Chaffey College (CA), Colgate University (NY), Eckerd College (FL), Fairfield University (CT), Hiram College (OH), Illinois College, Messiah College (PA), Northern Kentucky University, Rochester Institute of Technology (NY), St. Lawrence University (NY), State University of New York College at Cortland, State University of New York at Orange, Trident Technical College (SC), University of Maryland Eastern Shore, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.
Duke U Makes Offset Purchasing Available to Students, Employees
Employees, students and departments at Duke University (NC) can now buy offsets through the Duke Carbon Offsets Initiative to lower the emissions they can't reduce or avoid. The offsets support university-sponsored greenhouse gas emission reduction projects. With offsets starting at $10 per ton of carbon dioxide equivalent, about $30 will offset a year of university-related carbon emissions by an average employee.
NSF Funds Climate Course at 100 Minority-Serving Institutions
The American Meteorological Society (AMS) has partnered with Second Nature to implement a climate studies course at 100 minority-serving institutions (MSI) across the country. The National Science Foundation awarded the AMS Education Program $1,028,705 to implement the course over a five-year period. The project will introduce and enhance geoscience coursework at MSIs with a focus on American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) signatories and/or members of the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation.
Michigan State U to Address Farming and Climate Change
A team of researchers at Michigan State University are working to give farmers the necessary tools to help cope with climate variability and lessen its negative impact on agriculture. The five-year project is funded by a $5 million grant from the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Spanning 12 states from North Dakota to Ohio, the study will develop models to predict how climate scenarios could affect corn and soybean growth and profits. The study will also identify the best ways to deliver the information to farmers.
U New Hampshire, Climate Counts Partner to Address Climate Crisis
The University of New Hampshire has partnered with independent nonprofit Climate Counts to expand the effort to bring consumers and companies together in addressing the climate crisis. Climate Counts will operate its main office on campus to take advantage of the university’s climate research, engaged scholarship and campus-wide Sustainability Academy. The partnership will provide new research opportunities for students and will advance the work of Carbon Solutions New England, which conducts independent analysis and research on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and growing economic opportunities.
British Universities Fail to Meet Carbon Emissions Targets
A new report released by the Guardian reveals that British universities are on track to fail to meet carbon emissions targets set by the government. Academic institutions have been told to reduce their emissions by 48 percent between 2005 and 2020. According to the People & Planet Green League of UK higher education institutions, the emissions from the 142 universities that provided data for the survey have risen 3.9 percent in total since last year, despite the fact that funding for English universities is linked to their ability to meet these targets.