8 Institutions Pilot UN Global Compact Reporting Process
(Worldwide): In addition to signing the Rio + 20 sustainability declaration, the State University of New York (SUNY) at Geneseo is one of eight universities from seven countries piloting the use of the Practical Guide to the United Nations Global Compact for Higher Education Institutions. The Global Compact is a call for institutions and corporations to voluntarily align their operations and strategies with 10 universally- accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption. Also using the guide and recommended reporting process are Bentley University (Massachusetts), Educatis University (Switzerland), Euromed Management (France), Istanbul Bilgi University (Turkey), La Trobe University (Australia), Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (Spain) and Université Laval (Canada).
Alfred State College Names Chief Sustainability Officer
Julian Dautremont-Smith has been named as the college's chief sustainability officer. Dautremont-Smith was most recently with Green Schools National Network, analyzing green school assessment and recognition tools, and developing recommendations for the creation of a new national green school rating system. Dautremont-Smith has also held an associate director position at AASHE and currently serves as a STARS Steering Committee member.
Yale U College Reunions Go Green
The university’s College Reunions department has achieved platinum-level certification by its Office of Sustainability for reducing the carbon footprint of its 2012 reunion weekends. The department worked with other groups on campus to promote green transportation methods, use renewable products, order locally produced food and dispose of waste carefully. The reunions are the largest on-campus events ever to receive the highest level of green event certification.
Columbia College Chicago Creates Sustainable Events Program
The college's Columbia Recycling Program has initiated a program to integrate sustainability in the events planning process for on-campus events. Using criteria defined by the Green Seal Event Checklist (points are allocated among promotion, catering and education), event planners are awarded a "green seal" designation.
Rice U Opens Energy, Sustainability Administrative Center
The university's new Administrative Center for Sustainability and Energy Management pulls together administration, staff, faculty and students from different parts of campus to tackle the future of energy and sustainability at Rice. Coming up, the center - also known as the "think-and-do-tank" - will create a holistic plan to guide future energy investments and decisions.
U Michigan Hosts Interactive Sustainability Fair
The university's Division of Student Affairs recently hosted an interactive sustainability fair showcasing its projects and programs in an effort to streamline sustainability efforts on campus and identify opportunities for collaboration. Activities included a "Swap & Shop," where participants swapped unwanted items for needed ones; Sustainability Jeopardy; and chef demonstrations with fresh, local food.
Campus Sustainability Planning: A Global Update
(Pakistan): The University of Agriculture, Faisalabad has created a campus master plan toward more sustainable operations. In the first phase, a 5-megawatt solid waste power generator will be constructed. The plan also highlights the advantages of generating electricity through the use of geothermal energy. (U.S.): Lehigh University has adopted its first campus sustainability plan. The creation of the plan was an interdisciplinary and interdepartmental effort to integrate the university’s Climate Commitment with the university's Campus Master Plan and Strategic Plan. (Australia): In related news , La Trobe University's 2010 sustainability report has received the "Best First Time" sustainability report award from the corporateregister.com global sustainability reporting awards.
Madurai Kamaraj U Creates Campus Greening Panel
(India): The university has formed a special committee to prepare proposals for “Go Green" campus initiatives including solar panels. The proposals will be submitted to funding agencies and the state government.
MIT Pilots Earth Day Challenge Focused on Individual Action
Nearly 100 students and staff performed 151 individual green actions for points and prizes as part of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's inaugural Earth Day Challenge. Sponsored by student organizations, departments, community groups and businesses, action projects ranged from taking public transportation, to joining a local clean-up, to performing an energy upgrade of a local community building. The grand prize winner earned $500 and the six highest point-earners received green-themed prizes provided by local businesses and organizations.
Ohio State U Hires Energy, Environment, Sustainability Director
The university's Office of Energy and Environment has hired Paul Laurent as its director of student services and programs, a new position created to enhance connections between university sustainability efforts and students. Laurent, who previously developed and managed renewable energy and energy efficiency programs at the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, will coordinate student groups interested in energy, environment and sustainability; develop student research and project initiatives; and connect students and industry.
Dalhousie U Launches Employee Sustainability Cert. Program
Employees who wish to increase their understanding of sustainability concepts, enhance sustainability related decision-making skills and identify potential projects can enroll in one or more of six, three-hour modules for free. The modules include Introduction to Sustainability, Sustainable Procurement, Transportation Demand Management, Being a Sustainability Leader, Green Building Management and Waste Management. Employees can earn the sustainability leadership certificate by completing all six modules. All courses are taught by Dalhousie Office of Sustainability staff and guest speakers.
U Iowa Net Impact Chapter Wins 'Greening Campus Challenge' Award
(U.S.): The university's Tippie College of Business MBA Net Impact Chapter recently won a Special Recognition Award for Marketing from the 2012 xpedx Greening Campus Challenge. The team developed a creative social media campaign to promote the first green roof on campus during its construction and opening phases as a way to involve the university community. The Net Impact Chapter at the Monterey Institute of International Studies (California) earned first place in the competition for its idea to reduce carbon emissions and create institutional policies that will favor energy efficiency upgrades and reduce water consumption on campus. Texas State University was the runner-up for its plan to conduct energy audits for small to medium businesses within the community and 41 small to medium buildings on campus.
Ivy League Partners with NRDC to Green Championship Events
The Ivy League will work with the Natural Resources Defense Council to reduce the environmental impacts of its championship events and provide greening resources to all Ivy athletics departments, with the goal of minimizing the environmental footprint of their operations and supply chains. A recent Ivy League Women’s Rowing Championship event kicked off the partnership, featuring recycling bins throughout the racecourse venue and event programs printed on 50 percent postconsumer recycled paper.
U Pennsylvania Launches Employee Home Greening Program
The university's new "Greening Penn at Home" initiative is designed to educate faculty and staff about best practices for energy efficiency at home. Penn Home Ownership Services has enlisted a regional provider of home energy efficiency analysis and improvement to present on-campus educational sessions, free home energy assessments and energy efficiency home improvements at preferred rates.
Emory U Hires New Sustainability Program Coordinators
To help fulfill the university's sustainability vision, Emily Cumbie-Drake will work with university committees and various campus groups and Kelly O’Day Weisinger will collaborate with university and Emory Healthcare leadership. The positions were funded via reductions in other administrative costs and direct funding from Emory Healthcare.
Macalester College President Signs UN Sustainability Declaration
The “Commitment to Sustainable Practices of Higher Education Institutions on the Occasion of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development” requires the college to share its education and operations sustainability goals with international frameworks like the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development.
U Calgary Launches Corporate Sustainability Center
The university has partnered with energy distributor Enbridge to open a new center in the Haskayne School of Business that will focus on aligning business and policy with environmental, social and economic considerations. Enbridge has committed $2.25 million over 10 years to the center for graduate student and faculty research, post-doctoral fellows and "research in action" seminars that will bring together researchers, practitioners and industry experts.
Chatham U Hosts Teaching Art Exhibit on Local Ecological Disaster
Celebrating the diversity of life in freshwater streams while raising questions about how water and resources are currently managed, “Reflections: Homage to Dunkard Creek” is a collaborative installation art project created by 90 regional artists. The project commemorates the lives of the many species that died in a local creek in September 2009 from a fatal combination of mine wastes and low water, exacerbated by industry water withdrawals, which introduced an alien toxic algae.
U Colorado Boulder Names 2012 Campus Sustainability Award Winners
The university has announced the campus individuals and departments that are being recognized this year for their commitment to reducing the burden that the university places on the environment. In addition to several individuals, awardees include Boulder Food Rescue, Fair Food Task Force, National Snow and Ice Data Center and Program for Writing and Rhetoric.
Portland State U Names New Sustainable Solutions Director
(U.S.): Jennifer H. Allen has been named as the new director of the Institute for Sustainable Solutions. Allen, who has served as the institute's interim director since October 2011, will lead sustainability research, education and community engagement efforts.
Temple U Hosts Sustainability Week
Focused on a call to action to "learn by doing," the week’s events included workshops and demonstrations that offer staff, students and faculty an opportunity to develop useful pursuits that can lead to a more sustainable lifestyle.
U Florida Launches Adopt-A-'Swamp' Program
Student organizations will have an opportunity to clean and maintain conservation areas on campus through the Office of Sustainability’s new Adopt-A-"Swamp" program. At the start of the 2012-2013 academic year, participants will be responsible for keeping a selected area clean by picking up litter, removing invasive species and other tasks, for one year.
SEI Suspends College Sustainability Report Card
The Sustainable Endowments Institute (SEI) has announced that it is suspending the production of its College Sustainability Report Card, reports the Chronicle of Higher Education, to focus on its Billion Dollar Green Challenge. “Funders are giving preference to the proactive mission of the Billion Dollar Green Challenge, thus leaving limited resources to produce the next edition of the Report Card,” the SEI founder wrote in a letter to institutions.
U Wisconsin-Oshkosh Hosts Social Justice Week
To reinforce that being "green" is only one dimension of being "sustainable," the university's Social Justice Week will introduce campus and community participants to a variety of thought leaders and topics related to social justice on the local, state and national level.
Western Michigan U Kicks Off First SustainabiliBASH
The university’s Office for Sustainability has collaborated with Students for a Sustainable Earth to launch this event, which will include gardening activities, composting demonstrations, community and campus presentations, nature walks and bike rides. The free event is open to the students, faculty, staff and community members.
York U Launches Sustainability Website
The new website hosts several new campus sustainability initiatives including sustainability ambassadors and green office programs. The campus community also has the opportunity to take sustainability pledges through the website.
La Trobe U Appoints Ed for Sustainable Development Fellow
(Australia): La Trobe University has appointed Jeremy Baskin as its education for sustainable development principal research fellow. Baskin, who brings a range of experience in sustainability related teaching and research to the position, will working to implement new cross-department postgraduate degrees and undergraduate majors and minors in social responsibility and environmental sustainability.
Georgian Court U, EPA Partner for Sustainability Initiatives
Georgian Court University (New Jersey) has partnered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for a range of voluntary programs designed to broaden the university’s sustainability initiatives. As part of the agreement, the university will use the EPA’s Greenscapes landscape planning recommendations, improve its stormwater management, work within the EPA’s WasteWise program and participate in the Labs21 Partnership Program.
Stanford U Conducts Sustainability Awareness Survey
Aiming to determine baseline levels of environmental sustainability awareness and everyday practice on campus, the survey of Stanford University (California) students, faculty and staff included questions regarding habits and barriers focused on office and room lighting, computers, monitors, printer use, air conditioners and heaters, refrigerators, reusable products, water, recycling and composting, food choices, and the influence of others.
U Oregon Launches Green Office Certification Program
The University of Oregon's Office of Sustainability is promoting sustainability awareness on campus with a new campus-wide Green Office certification program. Offices can earn points in areas including energy and water use, purchasing and managing materials, computer and electronics usage, lighting, heating and cooling, transportation and special events to become bronze-, silver-, gold- or platinum-certified. The program also features an office-level transportation survey that generates automated reports for staff and a space-heater exchange.
Campus Sustainability Planning: A March Update
The University of California, Office of the President has released its annual report on sustainability practices in its system. To date, highlights include 87 LEED certifications (including new construction, renovations, homes and existing building certifications; more than $32 million in annual cost savings from energy efficiency projects; and nine campuses that are diverting at least 50 percent of municipal waste from landfills. The University of Winnipeg’s (MB) Board of Regents has approved a comprehensive new sustainability plan aimed at strengthening sustainability-minded practices in all aspects of campus life. Ten specific goals will guide actions over the next four years including the reduction of water consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, and diverting 65 percent of all waste through composting and recycling by 2014. McGill University (QC) has embarked on Vision 2020: Creating a Sustainable McGill, a year-long consultation process to build an overarching sustainability vision and action plan for the entire university community. The conversation will happen online and at various events on its two campuses throughout 2012. The collaborative, student-driven initiative is being carried out with funding from the university's Sustainability Projects Fund. Yale University's (CT) Office of Sustainability has released its 2011 Strategic Plan Progress Report, outlining long-term goals and the progress made to date. Progress in 2011 included a 20 percent reduction in campus waste, a 15.3 percent reduction in campus energy consumption since 2005 and $39,825 awarded to campus sustainability projects through its new microloan program. Michigan State University has unveiled its Energy Transition Plan, a strategic document to help the university toward 100 percent renewable energy. With this plan, the university will pursue aggressive, sustainable energy conservation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; invest in sustainable energy research and development; and work to become an educational leader in sustainable energy. The University of Michigan's Office of Campus Sustainability has released its 2011 Annual Sustainability Report covering more than 170 environmental metrics. Highlights include the completion of a Campus Sustainability Integrated Assessment and subsequent goals to reduce its environmental impact; an 8 percent reduction in campus energy use; and 3 percent drop in total waste production from fiscal year 2010.
Study Finds Disconnect between Athletics and Sustainability
A recent study of sustainability practices at NCAA athletics departments reveals that cost concerns and a large disconnect with other campus departments charged with advancing sustainability appear to be preventing green efforts in athletics. While some schools are replacing incandescent light bulbs and utilizing recycling bins at stadiums, the North Carolina State University study concludes that most haven't included long-term sustainability planning in athletics departments' strategic plans.
Duke U Encourages Sustainability with 'Green Devil Smackdown'
Duke University (NC) has launched the "Green Devil Smackdown," a wrestling-themed competition to encourage sustainable behaviors on campus. For eight weeks, teams of campus community members will earn points for "green" actions including taking public transportation or carpooling to campus. The team that earns the highest average points per participant will be named the champion with a Green Devil championship belt, among other prizes.
U Michigan Debuts Interactive Campus Sustainability Map
Developed from a student project in a "Sustainability and the Campus" course, the University of Michigan has unveiled an interactive map with information on sustainable sites and programs located on campus. Highlighting LEED buildings, campus improvement sites, academic programs and event locations, the map allows users to customize their search by selecting the categories they are most interested in.
Concordia College Moorhead Hires First Sustainability Coordinator
Concordia College, Moorhead (MN) has appointed Kristin Brethova as its first sustainability coordinator. Brethova will lead the charge for a more environmentally and economically streamlined campus and serve as a resource for student-driven sustainability projects. Initial projects include the implementation of an outdoors recycling program and collaborating with university officials to establish conservation goals.
Tufts U Launches Community Supported Agriculture Project
Tufts University (MA) has partnered with a local sustainability-minded farm to launch a Community Supported Agriculture pilot program for the campus community. Fresh produce will be delivered to the campus weekly through April. The farm accepts food stamps and is willing to receive payments in installments.
Antioch U New England Sets Up Sustainability Blog, Facebook Page
Educating for Sustainability (EfS) faculty in the Department of Education at Antioch University New England (NH) have launched a new blog and Facebook site. Resources include videos, links, curriculum resources and discussions about issues in teaching, learning and sustainable practices.
Temple U Launches Green Rooms Rating System for Students
Temple University's (PA) Office of Sustainability has partnered with residential advisers in a campus residence hall to unveil a Green Rooms Rating System. Designed to motivate residents to adjust their living habits in accordance with LEED standards, students can reach silver, gold or platinum certification for their room depending on the number of points accumulated. Points are awarded for energy-conscious measures with kitchen appliances, laundry methods, lighting, transportation, air conditioning and heating units, water usage, electronic usage and waste management.
U South Carolina Green Dorm Initiative Goes Campus-wide
The University of South Carolina has launched a campus-wide Green Dorm Room initiative, which awards certifications of varying levels to students for green living habits. Launched as a pilot program by campus Eco Reps last fall, a university representative tells the Bulletin that a total of 70 rooms have submitted checklists of their green habits so far.
Bennett College, EPA Partner to Create Sustainability Center
Bennett College (NC) has announced a collaboration with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to launch a center on its campus that will focus on environmental justice, globalization, leadership and sustainable entrepreneurship. The EPA has also pledged to support on-campus initiatives including a campus garden, recycling program, energy audits and health literacy programs.
U Connecticut Commissions Sustainability Art Mural
In an effort to increase student awareness of its sustainability efforts and successes, the University of Connecticut's Office of Environmental Policy and Communications and ResLife departments worked with a graphic design firm to develop an informative display for campus. The wall-size mural, which includes three-dimensional pieces that can be updated, features a collage of pictures and short text paragraphs explaining what the university is doing to reduce its environmental impact.
Duke U 'Greens' Campus Holiday Season
As part of Duke University's (NC) effort toward a more sustainable holiday season, about 600 campus community members took the Green Devil Challenge, which encouraged meaningful gift-giving and waste minimization. As part of the challenge, students, faculty and staff made commitments to make donations to charities and volunteer time to help others.
Stanford U Unveils New Campus Energy Improvements Plan
Stanford University’s (CA) Board of Trustees has given concept approval for the Campus Energy System Improvements project, designed to meet the university’s energy needs through 2050. Under the proposed $438 million plan, the university will purchase electricity via direct access to the energy market; build a new central energy facility that recovers waste heat from the campus chilled water system to meet the bulk of campus heating needs; build a new and expanded electrical substation; and decommission the current aging power plant and the existing electrical substation. The largest component of the university's Energy and Climate Plan, the initiative is expected to reduce campus greenhouse gas emissions to less than half of what they are today.
Northwestern U Names First Director of Sustainability
Northwestern University (IL) has appointed Robert W. Whittier as its first director of sustainability. Whittier, who most recently was the manager of sustainability and climate change at Deloitte Consulting, will lead the effort to integrate sustainability into both operational and academic functions of the university. He will work closely with the Initiative for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern and develop partnerships with the cities of Evanston and Chicago.
USGBC Releases Inaugural 'Best of Green Schools' List
The U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC) Center for Green Schools has released its first annual Best of Green Schools list, recognizing school administrators and government leaders in 10 categories for their efforts to create sustainable learning environments. The University of Texas at Dallas was named "Higher Ed Innovator" of 2011 for its new LEED Platinum Student Services Building, designed to improve departmental efficiency and interaction, and completed $1.1 million under budget. From K-12 to higher education, recipient schools and regions in the U.S. were recognized for a variety of sustainable, cost-cutting measures including energy conservation, record numbers of LEED-certified buildings and collaborative platforms and policies to green the country's school infrastructure.
Campus Sustainability Planning: A December Update
The University of Notre Dame (IN) has adopted a new sustainability strategy to reduce campus carbon emissions by 50 percent per square foot by 2030. The strategy outlines goals to divert 67 percent of campus waste from landfills, improve water efficiency and expand sustainability education and outreach both on campus and beyond. Arizona State University has also released a Strategic Plan for Sustainability Practices and Operations with short- and long-term goals toward sustainability through 2035. Encouraging participation among campus community members, the plan serves as a living document that declares the university’s vision to be a leader in sustainable higher education operations. ">Cornell University's (NY) recently released Sustainability Plan outlines university-wide sustainability goals including furthering innovation in research and education, growing a green economy and achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. In related news, Princeton University (NJ) has released its 2011 Sustainability Report, kicking off accelerated efforts to bridge areas of operations and academics in sustainability problem-solving.
Harvard U Launches 'Greening IT' Case Study Series
Harvard University's (MA) Office for Sustainability has partnered with the university's Green IT committee to launch a "Greening IT" story series, which will chronicle the case studies and best practices being implemented across campus. Upcoming case studies include data centers and networks; endpoint devices; and intelligent building systems and green buildings.
Green Mountain College Appoints New Sustainability Coordinator
Green Mountain College (VT) has named Bethany Clarke as its new sustainability coordinator. Clarke has worked for the past four years in the sustainable energy industry. As an associate project manager for General Electric, she led a cross-functional team during the delivery, installation and commissioning of 336 wind turbines.