Florida State U Enters Into Energy Conservation Contract

The university is partnering with Cenergistic LLC to create a five-year energy conservation program that is projected to save the university $12 million in energy costs. As part of the agreement, Cenergistic will hire at least four university student interns each summer.

Florida State U Marching Band Eliminates Paper Flip Charts

Band members are using an attachment called “eFlip” to mount smartphones with marching materials onto their instruments. The move is expected to save 200,000 sheets of paper a year.

Northwestern U Releases Inaugural Sustainability Plan

The comprehensive plan details the next five years of environmental stewardship at Northwestern, laying the groundwork for achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. The plan establishes goals to reduce energy consumption in campus facilities by 20 percent by 2020 (from a 2010 baseline); transition the campus fleet to run exclusively on renewable energy by 2030; and divert at least 50 percent of waste generated on campus from landfills by 2020.

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Begins Construction on 4.5MW Solar Farm

The 18.5-acre solar farm is expected to generate about a quarter of Cal Poly’s total power needs. It is being installed under a power purchase agreement with REC Solar, which will also provide funds for student and faculty involvement, help develop curriculum around the solar panels, and collaborate on applied research. Construction is expected to finish in late December.

Baker Center at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Wins 2017 Livable Buildings Award

The Baker Center for Science and Mathematics received the award from UC Berkeley’s Center for the Built Environment (CBE) for a sustainable design that includes operable windows, radiant heating/cooling in offices and conference rooms, chilled beams in laboratories, a green roof, active monitoring of laboratory air, and an atrium designed to take advantage of daylight and passive ventilation. The award - the only building industry honor that includes feedback from occupants in its selection criteria - recognizes buildings that demonstrate exceptional performance in occupant satisfaction, resource efficiency and overall design.

U Arkansas Pine Bluff Completes 321KW Solar Installation

The 321 kilowatt solar park is the largest public solar installation in Arkansas and is part of a $19.3 million energy performance contract that is expected to reduce the university’s energy consumption by 32 percent.

Loyola U Chicago and Portland CC Win Climate Leadership Awards

Awarded by Second Nature and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the Climate Leadership Awards recognize advanced leadership in sustainability, climate change mitigation and resilience. Bristol Community College and Georgia Southern University received Honorable Mentions.

Pomona College Provides Students With Free Access to Reusable Menstrual Care Products

The college has partnered with Diva International Inc. to provide its students with free access to a reusable, eco-friendly alternative to tampons and pads known as The Diva Cup.

SUNY Receives $800K Grant to Develop Sustainable Village in Haiti

With a nearly $800,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, 10 State University of New York campuses and five not-for-profit organizations will be working together to establish a sustainable village and learning community on 40 acres of land in Akayè, Haiti.

U Maryland Releases Climate Action Plan 2.0

The updated climate action plan that outlines new strategies and priorities to help the university become carbon neutral by 2050 and integrate sustainability into educational and research efforts across campus.

Acadia U Becomes Fair Trade Campus

The university's new designation that recognizes its commitment to Fair Trade, an alternative approach to business based on partnerships between producers and consumers.

U Maryland Center for Environmental Science Breaks Ground on 2 MW Photovoltaic Array

The two-megawatt solar array, expected to go live in spring 2018, will power approximately 50 percent of the university's Horn Point Laboratory campus. A third party will install and operate the solar panels and sell the energy they generate to the university under a 20-year power purchase agreement.

Northeastern U Dining Stops Using Trays and Plastic Bags

Thanks to student-led efforts, two sustainability-focused measures have been implemented: trayless dining halls and the elimination of single-use plastic bags in one of the residential dining facilities.

Humboldt State U Introduces Bike Sharing

The university, in conjunction with the city of Arcata, launched the Zagster bike-share service to help students, staff and faculty get around campus and town while reducing their carbon footprint. The university has two bike stations while the city is planning to host four stations.

U North Carolina Chapel Hill Expands Food Pantry to Include Perishable Food

The Carolina Cupboard reopened in September in a new space that is three times larger, adding refrigerators and freezers that allow it to offer perishable food. With this expansion, the pantry has also joined a partnership with Carolina Closet, providing professional clothes to students.

Northwestern U Earns LEED Platinum on 63-Year-Old Building

The building includes a 254-panel rooftop photovoltaic array that provides five percent of the building’s electricity, LED light sensors that automatically dim or brighten based on the amount of natural light, and radiant ceiling panels that use chilled water from the university's utility plant to reduce the amount of energy needed for air conditioning.

AASHE Releases Value of Sustainability in Higher Education Publication

AASHE announced the release of its latest publication, “Beyond the Right Thing to Do: The Value of Sustainability in Higher Education.” This publication aims to help sustainability practitioners more powerfully articulate the value sustainability offers their institutions.

U Maryland Expands Campus Compost Collection

The Office of Solid Waste and Recycling has successfully expanded campus waste diversion to include compost collection sites at 25 locations, including 12 residence halls.

National Recycling Coalition Announces 2017 Award Winners

The University of Florida received this year's Outstanding Higher Education award from the National Recycling Coalition (NRC), while the University of Illinois at Chicago was recognized as honorable mention. The NRC mentioned UF’s Hinkley Center for Solid and Hazardous Waste Management and curricular opportunities for waste professionals. The University of Illinois at Chicago was cited for its Sustainability Internship Program.

Cleveland State U Earns LEED Silver on Medical Building

The building reduces the heat island effect through shading, hardscape materials and green space. It also improves stormwater management and reduces runoff with the use of pervious concrete pavers. The project diverted over 99 percent of demolition materials from landfills through recycling and reuse.

Cleveland State U Receives Grant to Expand Recycling Program

Thanks to a new $3,000 grant from the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District, the university installed 24 battery recycling receptacles across campus. A portion of the grant also will be used to obtain additional recycling bins for bottles, cans and paper.

U New Hampshire Earns STARS Platinum

The University of New Hampshire recently earned a Platinum rating in AASHE STARS, which measures sustainability achievements in academics, campus and community engagement, operations, and planning and administration. Some highlights of the university’s sustainability achievements include powering the main campus with 100 percent renewable energy and composting 25,000 pounds of food waste every month.

Orange Coast College Debuts $7.5M Recycling Center

The new facility accepts a variety of recyclable materials from the community. It also houses classrooms and offices, a conference room, a first aid room, men’s and women’s showers, as well as solar panels and solar tubes for indoor lighting.

Yale U Implements Carbon Charge for Buildings & Departments

After three years of study, discussion and experimentation, the university has implemented a carbon charge that affects more than 250 buildings and nearly 70 percent of campus carbon dioxide emissions. A university carbon charge pilot program ran from December 2015 to May 2016 in 20 buildings and tested four approaches to reducing carbon.

U North Carolina Asheville Earns Green Restaurant & Fair Trade University Status

One of the university's dining halls is now certified as a Three Star Certified Green Restaurant by the Green Restaurant Association. Additionally, the university's Dining Services worked together with a committee of student, faculty and staff volunteers to achieve Fair Trade University designation by Fair Trade Campaigns.

Saint Anselm College Hires First Chief Diversity Officer

The college recently hired Ande Diaz, Ph.D., to lead its diversity efforts. Coming from Princeton University as an assistant dean for Multicultural Affairs for seven years, Dr. Diaz is responsible for increasing diversity and inclusivity in the campus community.

U California System Takes Legal Action in Defense of DACA

The University of California System has filed suit in federal court against the Trump administration for its recent decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA allows undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children to remain in the country without fear of deportation. Approximately a quarter of the country’s 800,000 DACA individuals, commonly known as DREAMers, live in California. Of those, roughly 4,000 are enrolled in the University of California System.

Pennsylvania State U Greater Allegheny Breaks Ground on Community Garden

In early September, a crew at the Greater Allegheny campus broke ground on a new community garden with the hopes of helping to combat food insecurity on campus and in the local neighborhoods.

INSIGHT Into Diversity Acknowledges 2017 HEED Award Recipients

This year's Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award was given to 80 higher education institutions, 15 of which were categorized as Diversity Champions by exemplifying an unyielding commitment to diversity and inclusion throughout their campus communities, across academic programs, and at the highest administrative levels.

New Senate Bill Addresses Access for Homeless Students

A recently announced senate bill directs colleges and universities to publicize financial aid and resources available for those students and to set up a single point of contact on campus to help them find and obtain assistance. It also attempts to streamline the verification process to determine that a student is independent.

Pitzer College Launches ESG-Focused, Fossil-Free Fund

This August, the college became the founding investor in a new global equity index fund that is both environmental, social and governance focused and fossil fuel free. The fund is designed to help endowments, foundations and other nonprofit organizations meet their responsible investment goals.

Yale U Announces Academic Initiative to Improve Corporate Reporting

Recognizing the critical role that private capital flows will play in moving society toward a more sustainable future, the university recently launched a new academic effort to provide high-quality research on the flow of capital into sustainability-oriented projects and sustainable companies. Called the Yale Initiative on Sustainable Finance, the initiative will focus on three initial sustainable finance issues: impediments to the movement of mainstream capital into sustainability-related projects, needs of sustainability-minded investors, and standards in the sustainability bonds market.

U Albany Renovates Building to LEED Standards

The $10.3 million project on the 51-year-old residence hall included mechanical, plumbing, electric and lighting systems replacement, new energy-efficient windows, a new roof, new bathrooms, updated laundry facilities, and community study and recreation spaces. Recycled content and low-VOC materials were used.

Appalachian State U Installs Community Garden Space

A new garden space at the university brings together people from across campus and throughout the community to share knowledge about gardening, seed-saving, beekeeping and solar energy. Currently the gardening program has seven interns, who work to build, maintain, plan and educate.

Cornell U Launches Interactive Sustainability Campus & Community Map

The new interactive map features over 200 data points organized in topical map layers with sustainability features across campus, including green buildings, bottle water filling stations, bike-share and car-share locations, sustainability landscape sites, electric-vehicle charging stations, sustainability centers and institutes, and reuse centers. Through joint funding between the Campus Sustainability Office and the Office of Engagement Initiatives, the map was developed with living laboratory and engagement opportunities in mind.

Georgetown U to Install 32.5 MW of Solar Energy

The university recently signed a power purchase agreement to develop a 32.5 megawatt photovoltaic project in La Plata, Maryland. The project is expected to supply about 49 percent of Georgetown’s electricity load annually for its Washington, D.C., campus. The power plant is expected to be completed in summer 2019.

Arizona State U to Implement Bike-Share Program

A new regional bike rental program with four stations will soon be available to the campus community. A unique aspect to this service is the freedom to park bikes at either the service's hubs or at a public rack.

Monroe County CC Cuts Ribbon on Geothermal System

The $16.1 million ground source heating and cooling system is comprised of 288 wells that are 350-400 feet deep. The community college will save an estimated $275,000 per year over the next 20 years.

U Rochester Rolls Out Bike Sharing Service

For as little as $1, students can now rent a bike from two stations on campus.

Duke U Raises Minimum Wage to $15 Per Hour

Duke will increase its minimum wage to $15 per hour for all regular university and health system staff, according to an Aug. 25 university statement. Over 2,300 staff members will get a pay raise by 2019.

SUNY New Paltz to Divest From Fossil Fuel Companies

The SUNY New Paltz Foundation board voted recently to remove endowment funds from direct investment in fossil fuel companies. The initial request to consider divestment came from a group of students who raised the issue with the college president in September 2016. The SUNY New Paltz Foundation endowment currently stands at about $20 million. Data as of June 30, 2017, show that about 4.5 percent, or $920,055, was directly invested in fossil fuel companies.

AthleteAlly Releases Report on LGBTQ Inclusion Policies & Practices in NCAA

The Athletic Equality Index inaugural report, measuring LGBTQ inclusion policies and practices in athletic spaces, provides a comprehensive look at how member programs of the NCAA Power Five conferences are supporting their LGBTQ student-athletes, coaches, administrators, staff and fans.

U Nottingham Wins ‘University of the Year’ Accolade From MSC

(U.K.) The university received the honor at the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Awards 2017 for serving students with the most MSC-certified seafood. The MSC’s annual awards recognize U.K. retail and foodservice providers for improving the world’s oceans.

U California Davis Pilots Energy Saving Technology to Keep Cows Cool

In an effort to demonstrate an effective alternative to cooling cows that consumes less energy and water, the university's new pilot program uses chilled water and air cooling. The project is part of a four-year, $1 million grant from the California Energy Commission to help improve water and energy efficiency in California’s dairy industry.

U Winnipeg Announces Institutional Sustainability Strategy

The university's second five-year plan outlines four overarching sustainability goals and 19 targets to ensure those goals are met, including exceeding Canada’s commitments under the Paris Accord, deriving five percent of total campus energy from renewable energy sources, and establishing a baseline and reduction target for emissions resulting indirectly from university activities, such as waste, paper use and air travel.

U California Merced Launches Sustainable Careers Initiative

The university's sustainability office launched an internship program earlier this year that gives students applied learning and internship opportunities in sustainability-related careers.

Harvard U Renovations Achieve LEED Gold Certification

Harvard’s historic Memorial Church includes access to natural light, energy-efficient heating and cooling systems, LEDs, occupancy sensors, low-flow water fixtures and Energy Star rated appliances.

American U Receives Energy Star Certification

By managing the energy related practices of its College of Arts and Sciences building, the university was awarded with its first U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Energy Star certification. The EPA’s Energy Star certification recognizes buildings that have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by using more energy-efficient products and implementing energy savings practices.

Harvard U & U California San Diego Win 2017 Freezer Challenge

The University of California San Diego was identified as the organizational winner by saving an estimated 500,000 kilowatt-hours per year. Harvard University's Hoekstra Lab was the individual laboratory winner, saving an estimated 13,000 kilowatt-hours per year. Individual labs at the University of Alberta and the University of California San Diego received honorable mention. The Freezer Challenge encourages researchers to implement sustainable practices around cold storage management. Labs received points for taking actions such as properly maintaining freezers and refrigerators, discarding old samples and retiring unneeded units.

U California Riverside Fellows Help Reduce Carbon Emissions

As part of the Carbon Neutrality Initiative Student Fellowship Program, five participating fellows will receive a stipend of $3,000 to fund a project that reduces greenhouse gas emissions produced by UCR buildings and vehicles. An additional student engagement fellow will serve as the initiative’s ambassador, receiving a $4,000 stipend plus $1,000 to fund campus event programming geared toward educating and inspiring other students.