Central College Attains Bee Campus USA Certification
Recently certified as an affiliate of the Bee Campus USA program, the college committed to a set of practices that support pollinators, including bees, butterflies, birds and bats. Efforts that led to certification included constructing a bee hotel, planning a series of bee education events, developing policies restricting toxins for pest management and installing signs highlighting pollinator-friendly habitats on campus.
U Northern Colorado Receives Grant for Solar Array
A $500,000 grant from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment will enable the university to purchase and install a solar electric system on the roof of Parsons Hall. The system will produce about 4.7 million kilowatt-hours of electricity with estimated savings of $176,500 over the expected 20-year life of the system.
U Maryland Joins National Program Supporting Monarch Butterfly Populations
The university's Golf Course has joined a national program called Monarchs in the Rough, which provides milkweed seeds in an effort to help save the declining monarch butterfly population. In May, just under an acre of land between the golf course's first and 18th holes was cleared and milkweed seeds were planted.
U Michigan Students Unveil Straw-Bale House at Campus Farm
A University of Michigan green building class recently unveiled an off-grid straw-bale house. The team of about 20 students built the house using sustainable building techniques and installed a 1.5 kilowatt solar electric array attached to eight golf cart batteries.
Indiana State U Rolls Out Bike-Share Option
For Earth Day, the Office of Sustainability launched a new bike-share pilot program with Spin by placing 100 bikes across campus. Bikes can be used for $0.50 every half-hour or unlimited 30-minute rides for $14 per month.
Arizona State U Partners With Lyft
Under a new agreement between the university and Lyft, ASU will replace a shuttle line with free Lyft rides to relevant individuals and will install marked ride-share pick-up and drop-off points on every campus. All ASU students, faculty and staff all will receive a one-time $15 credit on Lyft rides.
Penn State U University Park Reduces Plastic Bag Use
A new program called EcoCoin aiming to reduce the number of plastic bags used at the Penn State Bookstore give customers the option to take a plastic bag or receive an EcoCoin. Customers can then place the EcoCoin into one of three boxes, each one representing a student philanthropy organization engaged in social impact for sustainable development. Each EcoCoin represents a 5-cent donation. On top of the total amount collected through EcoCoins, the Penn State Bookstore will contribute $500 per semester to each organization.
U Virginia Students Pledge a Balloon-Free Graduation
A new pledge from the Office for Sustainability and Green Greeks is challenging the long-standing tradition of graduates letting balloons go during their graduation ceremony. The balloon-free pledge was introduced for the first time this year as a mental reminder to students to consider the consequences of using balloons. Instead of balloons, other more environmentally-friendly methods of celebration were suggested for graduation by the Green Greeks, such as bubble blowers or garden spinners.
Yale U Building Earns LEED Gold
Yale's Edward P. Evans Hall, housing the university's School of Management, features high-performance windows, interior and exterior solar shading, rooftop solar panels, a reflective white roof, additional insulation, LED and daylight-controlled lighting, carbon dioxide sensors that adjust circulation of fresh air as needed for the number of people in each space, and high-efficiency shower heads, urinals, and toilets. Potable water is not used for irrigation. Evans Hall provides covered parking for 104 bicycles and seven electric vehicle charging stations.
U Michigan Grants Target Sustainability Challenges in Puerto Rico & Michigan
The Graham Sustainability Institute at the University of Michigan has awarded more than $200,000 to support three sustainability-related research projects in Puerto Rico and Michigan. The projects vary in scale and address energy and food system resilience in Puerto Rico, stormwater management on tribal lands in Michigan, and plans for a green energy village in Detroit’s Eastern Market.
Maharishi U Management Student Farm Launches CSA
Students studying regenerative organic agriculture started a community-supported agriculture (CSA) program and are providing 20 memberships to community members. For $320, CSA members will receive a weekly box of fresh vegetables during the 16-week growing season.
SUNY New Paltz Creates Two Faculty Sustainability Funds
The two new funds are the Campus Auxiliary Services Sustainability Endowment Fund, and the Campus Auxiliary Services Sustainability Expendable Fund. The overall purpose of both funds is to empower New Paltz faculty members to develop course curricula that include sustainable lessons and activities that draw on the rich agricultural resources and infrastructure of the Hudson Valley.
North Carolina State U Installs Bee Hotels
New bee hotels on campus are providing vital habitat for North Carolina’s native bees, thanks to Jonathan and Sara June Giacomini, two N.C. State students who designed and built them for the campus community. Funding was provided by a grant from the NC State Sustainability Fund.
U Utah Building Earns LEED Gold
The building that houses the university's Department of Mechanical Engineering features a 34.2 kilowatt solar electric array, an energy-efficient air conditioning and heating system, energy-efficient elevators, and a new pedestrian walkway. The university's Revolving Loan Fund helped to offset the cost of making these changes to the building.
Education Dept. Announces 2018 Green Ribbon Schools
The U.S. Department of Education's 2018 Green Ribbon Schools program selected six postsecondary institutions, 46 schools, and six districts as honorees. They are being honored for their innovative efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, improve health and wellness, and ensure effective sustainability education.
Emory U Opens Biking & Pedestrian Trail
Developed through a partnership with Emory and the Path Foundation and opened on Earth Day, a new, 12-foot wide, paved bicycle and pedestrian trail opened that will eventually link Emory’s Clairmont Campus to a scenic, off-road trail system. The new trail replaces a previous section of narrow sidewalk.
Emory U Students Propose SDG 7 Solutions
21 student teams recently proposed solutions for implementing Sustainable Development Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy at the municipal scale as part of the Emory Sustainability Case Competition. The case competition is an annual academic challenge that seeks innovative and practical solutions to a real-world energy issues for the United Nations Regional Centre of Expertise (UN RCE) Greater Atlanta on Education for Sustainable Development and the city of Atlanta.
Seattle Colleges Hires Associate Vice Presidents for Equity, Diversity & Inclusion
For the first time in the history of Seattle Colleges, all colleges have established campus diversity officers for equity, diversity and inclusion. These positions will report directly to their respective college presidents. Each position will be tasked to work collaboratively across the district and to help establish and monitor the equity and inclusion goals in the Seattle Colleges strategic plan. D’Andre Fisher is at North Seattle College; Betsy Hasegawa is at South Seattle College; and Valerie Hunt is at Seattle Central College.
South Seattle College Hall Earns LEED Gold
Cascade Hall is 58,000 square feet of classroom and lab space serving 140 students. It features LED lighting throughout, a 72 kilowatt photovoltaic system, occupancy sensors, low flow toilets and other water efficiency technology, and rain gardens. During construction, more than 95 percent of construction and demolition waste was diverted from the landfill.
U Connecticut Expands Park Built on Landfill
The Hillside Environmental Education Park opened in 2008, following the remediation and closure of the former UComm landfill, which dates back at least 50 years. The park was recently expanded with the addition of land, trails, and more than a dozen trailhead and interpretive signs. The park is now 165 acres and includes three miles of trails through uplands, wetlands, meadows and woodlands.
Two Researchers Win Sustainable Chemistry Challenge
The 2018 first prize winner of the Elsevier Foundation Green and Sustainable Chemistry Challenge is Prajwal Rajbhandari, president of the Research Institute for Biosciences & Biotechnology in Nepal for his research into using guava leaves to combat food spoilage. The second prize was awarded to Dr. Alessio Adamiano, a researcher for the Italian National Research Council at the Institute of Science and Technology for Ceramic Materials, for his research into converting fish bones into phosphorous and reused as fertilizer.
Texas A&M International U to Save $15M Through Energy Efficiency Project
The university recently announced it has started construction on a $9.7 million, comprehensive campus-wide energy-efficiency project that will streamline facility operations and encourage sustainable behavior. The energy savings performance contract guarantees nearly $15 million in energy savings over the life of the project. Savings will come from improving the university’s irrigation system, interior and exterior LED lighting upgrades with occupancy sensors and automated dimming controls, and utility meter upgrades with user-friendly energy dashboards. Construction is underway and expected to be complete by fall 2019.
Auburn U to Launch a Sustainable Biomaterials & Packaging Bachelor’s Degree
In an effort to meet the demand for packaging professionals with diverse expertise in using forest products sustainably, the university’s School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences will launch a new sustainable biomaterials and packaging degree this fall to prepare students for careers in bio-based industries.
U Plymouth Wins Award for Greening Nursing Field
(U.K.) A team from the University of Plymouth received a Guardian University Award for the development and implementation of the NurSusToolkit, a teaching and learning resource for sustainability in nursing education that seeks to reduce the National Health Service's environmental impact.
Dartmouth College Introduces Paper Straws
Dartmouth Dining Services has transitioned from the use of standard plastic straws to red-and-white-striped biodegradable paper straws in an effort attain a higher certification level in the Green Restaurant Association program.
U Washington Postdoctoral Researchers Form Union
Postdoctoral researchers recently voted to form a union affiliated with United Auto Workers. More than 700 of the campus’ 1,100 postdocs participated in the election, with 89 percent of unchallenged ballots being cast in favor of unionization.
Chatham U Receives 2018 Best of Green Schools Award
Chatham University's Eden Hall earned the award in the Higher Education Institution category from the Center for Green Schools at USGBC, in collaboration with the Green Schools National Network. The hall was cited for its self-sustaining aspects, which include protecting the watersheds, incorporating surrounding land and agricultural resources, and rehabilitating existing farmland.
Three Universities Win International Green Gown Awards
University of Tasmania (Australia) won in the Community category; Canterbury Christ Church University (U.K.) won in the Continuous Improvement: Institutional Change category: and Chiba University (Japan) won the Student Engagement category. The awards recognize exceptional sustainability initiatives being undertaken by universities and colleges.
U California San Diego Receives 2018 Grid Edge Innovation Award
The university was recognized for providing a platform for companies to test new electric vehicle charging technologies with real customers. The university partners with 18 commercial EV charging companies to test a variety of technical configurations and models with the university's population of more than 400 EV commuters.
California State U Maritime Wins Collegiate Wind Competition
Claiming top honors in the U.S. Department of Energy's third biennial Collegiate Wind Competition, the CSU Maritime Academy beat out 11 other teams. The competition includes developing and delivering a business plan, siting a wind plant, and building and testing a wind turbine. The Pennsylvania State University came in second place and Kansas State University came in third.
Binghamton U Students Design & Build Solar Charging Station
Students from the university's Mechanical Engineering and Electrical and Computer Engineering departments unveiled a solar-powered charging station in May. Designed as part of their senior capstone design project, the system consists of a single solar panel attached a 10-foot-tall pole. The panel rotates, allowing it to track the sun from morning until night, increasing the power generated.
Northwestern U & U Tennessee to Receive $3M for Bio-Energy Research
The U.S. Department of Energy has selected projects from the University of Tennessee and Northwestern University that will receive between $1 million to 2 million each. The research aims to develop economically and environmentally sustainable sources of biomass and increase the availability of competitively-priced renewable fuels and bio-based products, while increasing and diversifying the U.S.'s domestic energy sources. The funding is provided through the Biomass Research and Development Initiative, a joint program from the Energy Department and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Bentley U Arena Earns LEED Platinum
The recently opened, 76,000-square-foot arena features a 504 kilowatt solar array that will generate 40 percent of the building's annual electricity needs, natural light that decreases the amount of electricity needed to light the building’s interior, high-efficiency LED lighting with smart, motion-detecting controls, and waterless urinals, dual-flush toilets, and low-flow faucets and showers. Additionally, at least 50 percent of wood used in the building is sourced from forests with certified sustainable forestry practices, about 10 percent of construction and finish materials were locally sourced, and about 20 percent of construction and finish materials contain recycled content.
Lynn U Becomes Fair Trade Certified
The university recently announced its official designation as a Fair Trade University, having completed the requirements in less than three months. Lynn met five essential requirements, which included making Fair Trade products available on campus and passing a Fair Trade resolution.
Second Nature Unveils 'Marks of Distinction' Program
Marks of Distinction is a new initiative for the Climate Leadership Network that recognizes a select group of higher education institutions that set high-performance goals and that demonstrate and report progress towards those goals. More than 175 institutions in 39 states have received Marks of Distinction in 15 categories.
Penn State Behrend Partners for Biofuel Research Opportunities
A $1 million investment by Hero Bx, an Erie-based biodiesel company, will create research opportunities for students and faculty members in the School of Science. Students will work in a new, 1,500-square-foot chemistry lab with Hero Bx chemists and other researchers to reduce the sulfur in biodiesel feedstocks, which are processed for reuse as transportation fuels and heating oil. Subsequent studies will focus on increasing the efficiency of biodiesel in cold-temperature applications, including commercial aviation.
Maharishi U Management to Install 1.1 MW Photovoltaic Array With Storage
Construction is set to begin in June on a 1.1 megawatt solar array on university-owned land that will provide approximately one-third of the electricity used on campus. The five-acre field of solar panels will track the sun throughout the day. Excess energy will be stored in a battery bank for use during the night and during times of peak energy needs.
U Richmond to Enlist Goats for Invasive Species Removal
Part of a four-part eco-corridor project, the goats will be used for 12 weeks to help remove invasive species. The full project includes the removal of invasive species, stormwater management, stream restoration and the construction of a multi-use recreational trail.
Rice U Collaborates to Restore Native Habitat
The university's Arboretum Committee, an Ecology and Evolutionary Biology class, and several community partners collaborated to plant an urban prairie on campus that will help retain flood water, sequester carbon and sustain a variety of native species.
Northern Arizona U Collaborates With Flagstaff on Bike-Share Program
In conjunction with the City of Flagstaff, the university launched a new bicycle share program through Spin as part of an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The city is testing the bike-share program fee-free for six months, which allows people to use one of 300 dockless bikes for 50 cents per hour.
American College Greece Launches Sustainable Events Guidelines
(Greece) The college's Center of Excellence for Sustainability recently launched the Sustainable Events Guidelines in an effort to help reduce the environmental and financial costs of events. The guidelines include key performance indicators that focus on policy, catering, energy, and materials and waste.
U Illinois Urbana-Champaign Announces Inaugural Campus as Lab Seed Funding
Launched in February 2018, the Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment's (iSEE) Campus as a Living Lab program is designed to link campus sustainability targets to national and global sustainability, energy and environment challenges. Inaugural funding is going to two research projects: a study to examine redirecting waste heat from industrial processes using a thermochemical battery, and testing a no-waste system for turning food scraps into biofuel while also treating wastewater and creating natural fertilizers. Funding covers startup costs for the researchers to prepare larger proposals for substantial external funding.
St. John's U Students Introduce Bike-Share Program
Two students introduced Johnnie Bennie Bikes to campus, which provides 12 bikes available for use between St. John's University and the College of St. Benedict. The bikes are available for six-hour stretches, 24/7. The university's Outdoor Leadership Center is in charge of the bikes.
DePauw U to Invest $12M in Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy
In an effort to reduce the university’s carbon footprint and improve energy efficiency, the university will spend $12 million on new HVAC technology, upgraded heat and water delivery systems, LED lighting throughout campus, and solar panels. The changes, as indicated by the Campus Energy Master Plan, are estimated to save $750,000 annually in energy expenditures and reduce greenhouse gas emissions 28 percent.
Wesleyan U Offers Bike Sharing Service
In mid-April, the university placed 100 orange bikes on campus through a company called Spin, a bike sharing program that allows students to use the bikes for a small fee. The system works with an app that allows registered users to scan a QR code on any bike, which unlocks the bike for use. In the first seven days, nearly 1,000 individuals used the bikes for 2,082 total trips.
Southern Oregon U Implements Meatless Monday
In celebration of Earth Day, the university recently implemented quarterly Meatless Mondays in its main dining hall with hopes to expand the program on a monthly or weekly basis pending student feedback. The meatless proposal was headed by the Ecology and Sustainability Resource Center (ECOS,) who helped with advertising the event and demonstrating the pros and cons of meat consumption.
U Nottingham Divests From Fossil Fuels
(U.K.) Any investments in coal and tars sands will be removed immediately and the university will completely divest its financial portfolio from fossil fuels within the next 12 months. Currently around 6 percent of the university’s $67.6 million (50 million British pounds) endowment fund is invested in the oil and gas sector.
EPA Announces Green Power Challenge Results
At the end of April, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency concluded the Green Power Challenge and recognized the Champion Green Power Conference, as well as the largest single green power users within each participating conference. At more than 496 million kilowatt-hours, the Big Ten Conference topped the list with the largest total amount of green power used among all conferences. The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, belonging to the Southeastern Conference, was the single largest user of green power at 250 million kilowatt-hours.
U Maryland Students Develop Educational Recycling App
In an effort to reduce contamination in recycling and compost bins, three university students created an app, Recyclify, that teaches users how to properly separate their waste. The app provides users with a full list of recyclable and compostable items from each restaurant at the food court. It tracks students' recycling behavior and awards points that are redeemable for discounts at certain restaurants.