California State U, Northridge & Stockton U Receive Nat'l Sustainability Award

The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) recently awarded the Sustainability and Sustainable Development Award to California State University, Northridge (CSUN) and Stockton University. AASCU cited CSUN for incorporating sustainability into planning and administration, facilities and operations, education and curriculum, student government and life, research and innovation, and Stockton University was attributed on behalf of their natural-environment living laboratories and having sustainability as one of four pillars in its strategic plan.

Pennsylvania State U Contracts with Ride-Sharing Service

A service of Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Zimride is now being offered to the campus community. Zimride, an online ride-matching service that connects drivers and passengers heading to the same area, helps reduce vehicle emissions, traffic congestion and fuel consumption while splitting transportation costs.

U Montana Professor Receives Award for Civic Engagement

Robin Saha, associate professor of Environmental Studies, has been selected by Campus Compact as the recipient of the 2016 Thomas Ehrlich Civically Engaged Faculty Award, which recognizes faculty for exemplary leadership in advancing student civic learning, conducting community-based research, fostering reciprocal partnerships, building institutional commitments to engagement and enhancing higher education’s contributions to the public good. The focus of Saha's scholarship is environmental justice and health policy, emphasizing advocacy for marginalized communities. Four finalists were also named: David Berle (University of Georgia), Christopher Janson (University of North Florida), Ellen Percy Kraly (Colgate University) and Susan Needham (California State University, Dominguez Hills).

Nine Community Colleges Win Green Genome Award from AACC

Cedar Valley College, Chesapeake College, College of Lake County, Guam Community College, Johnson County Community College, Lewis & Clark Community College, Lincoln Land Community College, Northeast Community College and Northeast Texas Community College are recipients of the 2016 Green Genome Awards for exemplary efforts to promote sustainability education, practices, programs and training. The winning colleges will each receive $10,000. The Green Genome Awards are part of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and its Sustainability Education and Economic Development (SEED) Center.

U Texas Austin Offers New Sustainability Baccalaureate Degree

Beginning in fall 2016, students will be able to obtain a new baccalaureate degree in Sustainability Studies, an interdisciplinary study of sustainability themes across areas ranging from weather and climate to anthropology and urban studies.

U Virginia Professor Teaches Sustainability with Soccer Analogy

Professor Leidy Klotz in the university's schools of Engineering and Applied Science and of Architecture uses his professional soccer career as an analogy to teach students about sustainability topics such as climate change and and tipping points.

Sacred Heart U Earns REAL Certification

The university earned the Responsible Epicurean and Agricultural Leadership (REAL) certification from United States Healthful Food Council for its foodservice providers' commitment to holistic nutrition and environmental stewardship.

Ten Universities Tackle Gender Inequality

The inaugural HeForShe IMPACT 10x10x10 University Parity Report highlights the progress of 10 global universities that signed a gender equality pledge. Launched in 2015, the HeForShe IMPACT 10x10x10 is an initiative that convenes 10 university presidents as well as heads of state and CEOs to fast-track gender equality. The group of 10 universities span across eight countries on five continents.

Boston U to Avoid Investments in Carbon-Intensive Fuels

The university's board of trustees recently approved a Climate Action Plan that includes avoiding investments in companies that extract coal and tar sands oil. Additionally, the board calls for the university's endowment investment office to include managers with expertise in renewable energy and technology.

U Southern California Student Center Hires Wellness Dog

The Student Health Center within the university's Office for Wellness and Health Promotion hired its first, full-time wellness dog trained to work with a multitude of people on a regular basis. Research suggests that positive interactions with dogs can create a sense of calm and well-being, and can help remove barriers for students around accessing resources at the student center.

State College Florida Manatee-Sarasota Faculty Vote to Unionize

A recent vote of more than 90 percent of the faculty revealed 75 to 24 were in favor of joining a union affiliated with the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers. The vote comes a year after the college’s board of trustees voted to eliminate its rolling contract system, which means now even long-serving faculty members are on one-year contracts.

Smith College Invests $8.5M of Endowment in Sustainability

In her annual welcome letter, Smith College President Kathleen McCartney announced the college will invest $8.5 million of its endowment in a private equity fund focused on energy efficiency and sustainable manufacturing processes. McCartney's welcome letter also mentions a commitment to a just and inclusive campus and highlights a few key events during the upcoming year to build a campus of inclusion.

Suffolk CC Joins Community Car-Free Day

The community college and Suffolk County jointly hosted a Car Free Day Long Island Summit. The event, which SCCC President Shaun McKay kicked off, included discussion about sustainable transportation options available to the community in an effort to reduce transportation-related carbon emissions, which is 30 percent according to a regional sustainability plan.

U Louisville Trustees Approve Sustainability Major

Announced in September 2016, a new Bachelor of Arts in Sustainability will be designed to prepare students for careers in sustainability-related areas such as the environment, energy, climate change, public policy, transportation and urban and regional planning.

Kimberly-Clark Professional* Announces Sustainable Campus Competition LIVE! Finalists

Selected from over 220 entries, Oberlin College, University of Washington and a joint submission from Butler University and Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis have been named as finalists in the Sustainable Campus Competition LIVE! contest, which includes a $50,000 grand prize from Kimberly-Clark Professional*. The finalists will present their projects before a panel of judges on Oct. 10 at the 2016 AASHE Conference & Expo, where the grand prize winner will be announced.

Central Connecticut State U Building Receives LEED Silver Designation

The new 640-bed, residential building includes views to the outdoors for 95 percent of occupied spaces, 90 percent of wood used was Forest Stewardship Council-certified and on-site filtration of storm water.

Dickinson College and Town Partner to Measure Resilience

A beta tool developed by the Rockefeller Foundation and Arup International Development called the City Resilience Index was recently utilized by the college and the surrounding town of Carlisle to measure the community's ability to cope with, manage and adapt to change. The collaboration resulted from Carlisle asking various constituencies to suggest priority issues to address, of which resilience was one such issue.

Ohio U Building Earns LEED Gold Certification

The new building minimizes consumption of water and energy, project materials contained recycled content, almost 50 percent of materials were manufactured in the region, and the project diverted more than 75 percent of construction waste from entering a landfill.

Brandeis U Composts at All-Campus Event

An early-August barbecue event yielded just one bag of trash despite more than 700 participants due to the university's commitment to increase waste diversion rates. The event featured composting and recycling.

Otto Beisheim School Mgt Opens Building with Sustainable Energy System

(Germany) The new building features a climate control system that includes two wells for groundwater that is used to cool the building. This is coupled with a software-controlled ventilation system that allows the air inside the building to mix with outside air to result in an even distribution of temperature without temperature stratification.

ACC Moves Games Out of North Carolina

In response to a recent North Carolina law that makes it illegal for a person in a publicly owned building to use a restroom that does not correspond with the gender listed on their birth certificate, the ACC Council of Presidents recently joined the NCAA when they announced the relocation of all neutral site championships for the 2016-17 academic year. The ACC and NCAA expressed a desire to promote an inclusive atmosphere for all college athletes, coaches and fans.

California State U East Bay Helps Under-Resourced Students

After a recent study from the chancellor’s office revealed a small number of the university’s students is homeless, a member of the university's Care Team was appointed to design a program that helps students who are homeless, face food insecurity and/or are financially unstable. In addition to launching a food pantry, organizing drives to provide clothing and toiletries, and addressing emergency housing and financial insecurity, the program aims to also provide students with a sense of community and support.

Brown U Will Consider Undocumented & DACA Students as Domestic Applicants

Beginning with the class entering in fall 2017, the university will consider first-time, first-year undergraduate applicants who hold undocumented or DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) status and graduate from a U.S. high school as if they were a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. The change means that like first-time, first-year domestic students, undocumented and DACA applicants will be considered under the university’s need-blind admission policy and that Brown will meet 100 percent of each student’s demonstrated financial need upon matriculation.

U British Columbia Earns First Place in GUPES Green Gown Awards

University of British Columbia was the North American Student Engagement winner of the inaugural Global Universities Partnership on Environment for Sustainability (GUPES) Green Gown Awards for its Social Ecological Economic Development Studies (SEEDS) Sustainability Program, which reports to have engaged over 6,000 students and staff. The highly commended winner of this category was McGill University for its Sustainability Projects Fund that aims to build a culture of sustainability through the development and seed-funding of interdisciplinary projects.

U New Hampshire Opens Network Leadership Institute

As part of the university's Food Solutions New England (FSNE) initiative, the inaugural Network Leadership Institute aims to raise awareness for the emerging New England food system. The Network Leadership Institute will help stakeholders gain an understanding of how to use the FSNE network, learn skills in facilitative leadership, network leadership and stakeholder engagement, and gain an understanding of the emerging New England food system.

Portland State U Authors Book on University-Community Engagement

Released August 2016 and written by more than 25 university faculty and staff, the book shares the university’s collective successes and challenges in building collaborative campus-community sustainability programs. It aims to help other schools develop programs that connect students and faculty with the needs of local communities.

Michigan State U Students Test Solar Hot Water on Campus

Located in a cold-weather climate with an average of 174 sunny days per year, students, in collaboration with the Sustainability Office, are involved in testing the efficacy of flat plate collectors versus evacuated tubes to determine the best renewable energy solution for campus' hot water.

Marquette U Hires First Sustainability Coordinator

Hired to lead Marquette's sustainability efforts, Brent Ribble was recently brought on to advance campus sustainability as it relates to academics, operations, planning and engagement. In addition, the university announced a new interdisciplinary major in environmental studies, that began fall 2016, to help prepare students to address sustainability challenges in their lives and careers.

U New Hampshire Stadium Transitions to Zero Waste

The new football stadium houses 14 concession windows where snacks and beverages are served in either compostable or recyclable containers. Members of student groups and other volunteers, called bin goalies, will be on hand during events to educate guests and keep the zero-waste system working.

U Louisville Efficiency Measure Yields Paper Waste Reduction

A new model of streamlining transactional business processes that were previously being done in different spaces has resulted in measurable savings from resource use and staff time reduction, and waste reduction.

U Oregon Adopts ESG Investment Considerations

The university's chief investment officer recently mentioned its new environmental, social and governance considerations for investments, which state that carbon-based investments will expire without renewal. The investment management statement also indicates the university owns no investments in coal.

U Illinois Chicago Reduces GHGs from Waste

By selecting a new, in-state, waste vendor that bakes rather than incinerates the waste to recycle organic compounds and metals, the university is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with its hazardous waste.

U Michigan Hosts Zero Waste Event for 5,500 New Students

In an effort to convey a culture of sustainability, more than 5,500 freshmen attended the zero waste picnic sponsored in part by the Office of Sustainability. The event used only recyclable or compostable items, including food, napkins, plates, silverware, compostable plastics and featured the use of a mobile hydration station.

U Calgary Expands Campus Recycling Program

Beginning in fall of 2016, the university will convert all paper & cardboard recycling bins to accept all recyclables, including paper, cardboard, plastics, tin and foil. This expansion to the university's waste reduction and recycling program aligns with a new City of Calgary bylaw requiring all businesses and organizations to recycle a broader list of materials.

Elon U Installs Solar-Powered Unbrellas

The newly installed umbrellas include three weather-proof ports that can charge as many as three devices simultaneously and an LED display indicating how much solar energy is currently stored for charging needs. The umbrellas can also be used at night for six to 16 hours

U Calgary Building Achieves LEED Gold

The university's High Density Library features rainwater and snowmelt capture from the roof and landscaped areas in a stormwater pond that's used then treated through a constructed wetland, high-efficiency lighting and mechanical systems, a light-colored roof membrane to reduce heat absorption and for most staff, a direct line of sight to windows to contribute to a healthy workplace.

U Calgary to Launch Certificate in Sustainability Studies

Expected to launch in 2017, the embedded certificate requires that students take a combination of core courses that explore sustainability in all dimensions and choose elective hours from a listing of over 350 sustainability-focused and -related courses.

US Higher Education Institutions Drastically Reduce Coal Use

According to the Energy Information Administration, coal consumption fell in each of the 57 colleges and universities that used the fuel in 2008, with 20 of these institutions cutting it out of their energy mix completely.

Salisbury U Begins New Bike Sharing Service

The new alternative transportation service has been launched with a fleet of 100 bicycles, each individually named after a musician or band, such as Katy Perry or Grateful Dead. The program charges $1 per hour with no distance restrictions. However, when bicycles are returned to the university campus, they must be locked to a sanctioned bike rack.

Seattle U Adjuncts Vote in Favor of Unionizing

The final vote count was 73 to 63 in favor of forming a bargaining unit with Service Employees International Union (SEIU), with some votes from those who teach courses with religious content and specific roles in maintaining the university’s religious educational environment being excluded.

Ohio U Building Earns LEED Silver

The building features a focus on water use reduction, the optimization of the building’s energy performance and indoor environmental quality.

Iona College Completes Green Roof Installation

The result of approximately two years of planning resulted in planters set up on the college's student union roof filled with varietals of Sedums, which are plants well suited to rooftop gardens. The planters are supposed to absorb heat and ease the thermal load of the building.

U North Dakota Launches Social Justice Living Learning Community

The new social justice living learning community is designed for students interested in learning more about and practicing principles of social justice, including issues of equality and diversity involved in promoting a more inclusive and just society and those interested in bringing about positive social change.

California State U Long Beach to Construct 4.8MW Solar Canopy

Estimated to offset approximately 15 percent of the campus' electrical demand, the 4.8-megawatt photovoltaic system will provide shade and 50 electric vehicle charging stations to the campus community.

Arizona State U & Johnson County CC Win 2016 Climate Leadership Awards

The Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council, in partnership with Second Nature, recently announced that Arizona State University and Johnson County Community College have been recognized for their innovative and advanced leadership in sustainability, climate change mitigation and resilience. Honorable mentions include Huston-Tillotson University, Milwaukee Area Technical College, Santa Fe Community College and Southern Oregon University.

Sierra Magazine Releases 2016 Cool Schools List

Open to all four-year undergraduate colleges and universities in the U.S., the guide is produced for prospective and current students, administrators and alumni to compare higher education institutions' environmental commitments. The scoring key is a reflection of Sierra Club's broader priorities and awards more weight in the areas of campus energy use, transportation and fossil fuel divestment.

INSIGHT Into Diversity Recognizes 82 Institutions for Diversity

The INSIGHT Into Diversity recently announced the 2016 recipients of the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award, which recognizes colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion through initiatives, programs and outreach; student recruitment, retention and completion; and hiring practices for faculty and staff.

U Washington to Install Three Solar System Test Projects

Three residence halls will be the recipients of photovoltaic arrays to support research on how solar energy can be combined with other demand-side resources, resources such as battery systems. Seattle City Light's Green Up program is contributing $225,000, which enabled the university to compete for the Washington State Department of Commerce Solar Grant Program that is providing $225,000 in matching funds.

Georgetown U President Responds to Its History of Slavery

After a new report was published by the university's Working Group on Slavery, Memory, and Reconciliation, which cites the school's involvement in the institution of slavery when it sold 272 enslaved people in 1838, Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia announced that it will issue an apology, give the descendent community the same admissions process considerations as the Georgetown community, develop a public memorial to the enslaved, and establish a new Institute for the Study of Slavery and Its Legacies. In addition, two campus buildings will be renamed.

Princeton Review Announces 'Green College Honor Roll'

The recently released annual results tally 640 four-year institutions based on a measure of the school's performance as an environmentally aware and prepared institution, including these indicators: a campus quality of life, preparation of students for employment in the clean-energy economy, citizenship in a world now defined by environmental concerns and opportunities, and environmentally responsible policies.