U System Maryland Launches Sustainability Initiative

The University System of Maryland has launched a new initiative to promote environmental stewardship and sustainable practices across the system's universities, research institutions, and regional higher education centers. Goals of the initiative include reducing energy consumption system-wide by 15 percent and greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020, conducting audits of greenhouse gas emission for all USM institutions and using best practices to reduce these emissions, and developing a system-wide strategy for campus sustainability and energy efficiency, including green building guidelines and sustainability benchmarks for all new construction and major facility renovations. The chancellor's Environmental Sustainability and Climate Change Initiative will focus on developing policies, practices, and programs to support these goals.

19 New Campuses Sign Presidents Climate Commitment

19 new institutions have signed the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment since the last update in AASHE Bulletin. In doing so, these campuses have committed to develop comprehensive plans for achieving climate neutrality. The new signatories are: James L. Oblinger of North Carolina State University, Geoffrey Gamble of Montana State University, Richard I. Gouse of New England Institute of Technology (RI), Gretchen M. Bataille of University of North Texas, Brian C. Mitchell of Bucknell University (PA), Robert Weisbuch of Drew University (NJ), Michael J. Graham of Xavier University (OH), Charles M. Edmondson of Alfred University (NY), David S. Wolk of Castleton State College (VT), Chui L. Tsang of Santa Monica College (CA), P. George Benson of College of Charleston (SC), Maria Klawe of Harvey Mudd College (CA), Benjamin B. Dunlap of Wofford College (SC), David J. Ramsay of University of Maryland at Baltimore, Jennie C. Hunter-Cevera of University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute, James Collins of Loras College (IA), Sean A. Fanelli of Nassau Community College (NY), Patricia C. Donohue of Mercer County Community College (NJ), and Joseph T. Barwick of Carteret Community College (NC). 492 college and university presidents and chancellors have now signed the Commitment.

U Colorado Boulder Students to Purchase Local Offsets

University of Colorado at Boulder students have switched from purchasing wind energy credits to purchasing all locally-generated offsets to mitigate a portion of campus carbon emissions. The offsets are being purchased through Colorado Governor Bill Ritter's "Colorado Carbon Fund" program. The $50,000 of student funding will support Colorado projects that fight climate change while increasing economic prosperity, assisting local communities and creating service learning opportunities for students.

U Saskatchewan Completes GHG Inventory

The University of Saskatchewan recently completed its greenhouse gas inventory, which was initiated to establish a baseline total for campus GHG emissions. The survey found that the University's 2006 CO2 emissions amounted to 198,000 tons, which is up 4.5% since 1990. The report also found that, at 80% of the total, purchased electricity was the largest source of GHGs.

UT Architecture College Pledges Carbon Neutrality by 2010

The College of Architecture and Design at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, has committed to make its own building as well as all its studio projects more environmentally friendly. By a unanimous vote of the faculty, the college has adopted a plan to achieve a carbon-neutral design community and include the elimination or reduction of the need for fossil fuel as a central tenet in its design education. This plan is part of the 2010 Imperative, a challenge issued to colleges of design across the U.S. to incorporate environmental principles by 2010. Strategies involving waterless plumbing fixtures and occupancy sensors for lights already are being implemented. Future plans include the purchase of carbon offsets and potential LEED Existing Building certification.

Brown U Announces GHG Emissions Reduction Plan

Brown University (RI) has announced a plan to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 42% below 2007 levels for all existing buildings by 2020. Brown also promised to reduce energy consumption up to 50% for all newly constructed and acquired facilities. The university plans to achieve these goals through initiatives such as switching the fuel that powers the central heating plan to cleaner natural gas when available, implementing new lighting technologies, improving the energy efficiencies of buildings, increasing co-generation of electricity, and using renewable energy sources where appropriate.

Yale Reduces Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 17%

Yale University (CT) recently announced that it has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 17%, or 43,000 metric tons, since 2005. In 2005, Yale committed to cut its GHG emissions to 10% below the University's 1990 levels by 2020. Yale's strategy to shrink its carbon footprint calls for a mix of conservation measures, the use of renewable energy on campus, and direct participation in carbon offset projects. Yale has achieved its current reduction through projects and policies including the installation of more efficient heating and cooling systems in 90 buildings, new automatic controls for heating, cooling and lighting, the replacement of windows, new and modified power plant equipment, achieving LEED Silver or better certification for all new buildings and major renovations, the use of ground water for cooling, and a 10% yearly reduction in electricity consumption by students in Yale's undergraduate residential colleges.

19 New Campuses Sign Presidents Climate Commitment

19 new institutions have signed the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment since the last update in AASHE Bulletin. In doing so, these campuses have committed to develop comprehensive plans for achieving climate neutrality. The new signatories are: Michael Collins of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Michael S. Roth of Wesleyan University (CT), Charles E. Kupchella of the University of North Dakota, Leon Botstein of Bard College (NY), Daniel Weiss of Lafayette College (PA), Bruce Grube of Georgia Southern University, Thomas Cole of the University of Massachusetts at Worcester, Robert Bogomolny of the University of Baltimore (MD), Mickey L. Burnim of Bowie State University (MD), John E. Schwaller of the State University of New York - Potsdam, Jeffrey von Arx of Fairfield University (CT), Donald F. Boesch of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, R. Mark Sullivan of College of Saint Rose (NY), James La Calle of Harford Community College (MD), Richard F. Giese of Mount Union College (OH), Charles L. Shearer of Transylvania University (KY), Thelma B. Thompson of the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore, Randall R. Miller of Lake Michigan College (MI), and Rose B. Bellanca of St. Clair County Community College (MI). 468 college and university presidents and chancellors have now signed the Commitment.

UC San Diego Joins Chicago Climate Exchange

The University of California, San Diego has joined the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX), a voluntary, legally binding program for reducing and trading greenhouse gas. UC San Diego is the first university on the west coast to join and is the seventh campus member in the US. UC San Diego expects that it will be able to cut its emissions below the limit and sell the surplus credits.

College of the Atlantic Achieves Carbon Neutrality

As of December 19, 2007, College of the Atlantic (ME) has fulfilled its net-zero pledge to become carbon neutral. The College has offset the entirety of its carbon output over the past 15 months. The College has also taken reduce its carbon emissions, including a comprehensive energy audit and extensive work to improve energy efficiency in all buildings. Where possible, incandescent lightbulbs have been replaced with compact fluorescents. Alternative commuting methods, such as carpooling and biking, have been promoted, as have flexible work plans so employees can work from home. In addition, the College is obtaining all of its electricity through a low-impact hydroelectric generator in Maine.