U Arkansas to Complete Energy Upgrades, Signs Energy Contract

The University of Arkansas has announced plans to begin a campus-wide energy conservation program. The University will begin installing energy-saving projects in 57 campus buildings in December or January. The measures will include installing sensors that regulate lighting and temperature when rooms are not occupied; low-flow bathroom fixtures; more efficient lighting; and more efficient heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems. The upgrades are expected to cost $32.8 million over 13 years, but the University expects the improvements to pay for themselves in energy savings. In related news, UA has signed a $22.9 million energy performance contract with Energy Systems Group to make the energy conservation improvements.

UCLA Hires Sustainability Coordinator

The University of California, Los Angeles has hired Nurit Katz as its first Sustainability Coordinator. Katz has an MBA and a Master's of Public Policy, both from UCLA, and a certificate for completing the four course "Leaders in Sustainability" program – a program that she helped develop. Her first task will be to finalize the campus' first climate action plan.

UI Chicago Establishes Community Garden, Replaces Light Bulbs

The University of Illinois, Chicago has established a new community garden on campus. The 40 foot by 30 foot plot is currently managed by one farmer, but the University hopes to open it up to more community helpers in the spring. In addition, the University's Office of Sustainability recently started an initiative to replace all incandescent light bulbs on campus with more efficient compact florescent bulbs. The Office estimates that by changing all of the bulbs in the main administrative building on campus, the University will save $170,000 annually.

U Lethbridge Opens Water & Env'l Science Research Facility

The University of Lethbridge (AB) has opened its new Water and Environmental Science Building. The 60,000 square foot facility will house an Aquatic Research Facility, offices, meeting rooms, classrooms, wet labs, dry labs, and an Analytical Lab. Environmentally friendly features of the $27 million structure include a rainwater collection system, natural airflow, efficient air-conditioning and heating systems, and a three-story vertical greenhouse. The rainwater collected in the cistern will be used in building toilets and for irrigation.

U Louisville to Help Kentucky Schools Reduce Energy Use

The Kentucky Pollution Prevention Center, located in the J.B. Speed School of Engineering at the University of Louisville (KY), has announced plans to work with all of the state’s school districts to help them reduce energy costs through the Kentucky Energy Efficiency Program for Schools (KEEPS). In a two-year pilot, KEEPS helped five school districts and three colleges and universities save more than $1 million, close to a 10 percent reduction, in energy costs during fiscal years 2006-07 and 2007-08.

UNC Wilmington Opens Student-Run Green Products Store

The University of North Carolina, Wilmington has opened ECOteal, a new student store devoted to environmentally friendly products and practices. The store offers transportation-related items, green products, and repair services; all merchandise is recyclable, biodegradable, or otherwise environmentally preferable; clothing is made from organic cotton or bamboo; and a local bike mechanic is available at the store by appointment every week.

U Wyoming Partners with GE for Cleaner Coal

The University of Wyoming and GE Energy have reached an agreement on a proposed development plan for the High Plains Gasification Advanced Technology Center. The Center is intended to enable researchers from both GE and UW to develop gasification and cleaner coal technologies for Powder River Basin and other coals. The center will include a small-scale gasification system.

Virginia Commonwealth U Purchases 2 Electric Trucks

Virginia Commonwealth University has purchased two small electric trucks. Facilities Management uses the electric trucks for collecting trash and recycling and maintaining the grounds on both of VCU’s campuses.

WKU Extends Breaks to Reduce Energy, Signs Energy Contract

Western Kentucky University has added a week to its winter break and has cancelled classes for one week in July in an effort to reduce energy consumption costs and to offset the shortfall in the utility budget. The December and July breaks are expected to save the University $80,000 and $60,000 respectively. In addition, WKU has signed an Energy Savings Performance Contract with Johnson Controls.

WVU Announces the Sustainable & Renewable Energy Grants Prgm

West Virginia University has announced the Sustainable and Renewable Energy Grants Program. The Program will offer $500 to $1,000 grants to teams of WVU students to further their energy research projects. WVU will announce the grant winners in December. Funding will be available January 7th, 2009.

AASHE Holds Largest Campus Sustainability Gathering

AASHE recently held its second biannual conference, "Working Together for Sustainability – On Campus and Beyond." With over 1,700 registrants from over 400 colleges and universities in 48 states and 15 countries, the conference was the largest gathering focused on campus sustainability to date in North America. The conference featured over 300 presentations, more than 100 posters, and over 120 exhibitors. Blog posts, photos, and podcasts from the event can be found on the Live at AASHE 2008 webpage. The

Auburn U Begins Converting Vegetable Oil into Biodiesel

Auburn University (AL) has begun a program to convert used vegetable oil from campus fryers into biodiesel fuel. The AU Biosystems Engineering Department collects the oil from the new Student Center and converts it into fuel. The biodiesel is then used in trucks that transport materials to and from one of the college's rural studios.

Bucknell U Launches Bike Share Program

Bucknell University (PA) has launched Bison Bikes, a community-bike share program. The goal of the pilot program is to promote the use of bicycles as a safe, efficient, and environmentally sound campus transportation option. The program provides bikes to undergraduate students for a one-time non-refundable fee of $10 and attendance at a bicycle safety seminar. The student can then check out a bike for the remainder of the academic year. Bison Bikes has begun with a fleet of 30 bicycles.

College of William & Mary Funds Projects with Green Fee

The Committee on Sustainability at the College of William and Mary (VA) has awarded the first round of green fee funding to campus projects. Initial projects include additional funding for the campus recycling program, seed money for student and faculty research on solar cell development and storm water runoff, and facility improvements such as the installation of occupancy sensors and electric metering.

Dalhousie U Receives Green Purchasing Award

Dalhousie University (NS) has received the EcoLogo Environmental Stewardship Award, an award that recognizes organizations for their commitment to environmental protection through green purchasing. Dalhousie is the first university in North America to receive this award from the EcoLogo program.

Green Mountain College Receives $250,000 for Biomass Facility

Green Mountain College (VT) has received a $250,000 grant from the Vermont Clean Energy Development Fund to install a biomass co-generation facility. The College estimates that the biomass plant will save GMC over $250,000 per year in heating costs, and will meet about 20 percent of GMC's electricity needs. GMC plans to have the new plant operational by January 2010.

Indiana U, Purdue U Partner for Energy Research

Indiana University and Purdue University have partnered to form the Indiana Consortium for Research in Energy Systems and Policy to spur development and research in energy solutions. The Consortium aims to advance interdisciplinary research related to energy systems as well as environmental and energy policy issues. The Consortium joins the efforts of IU's new Center for Research in Energy and the Environment, Purdue's Center for Research in Energy Systems and Policy, and IUPUI's Richard G. Lugar Center for Renewable Energy. Its primary goals include facilitating the formation of interdisciplinary and multi-institution research teams; securing funding for research team projects; and conducting objective research focused on meaningful solutions to challenges resulting from increased demand for energy resources.

Ithaca College Dining Hall Implements Trayless Tuesdays

Towers Dining Hall at Ithaca College (NY) has announced Trayless Tuesdays, a program in which the hall forgoes trays each Tuesday. The weekly program is an effort to reduce the amount of food being wasted in the dining hall.

LaGrange College Earns Energy Star Rating

Three residence halls at LaGrange College (GA) have earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star rating. So far, only 16 dormitories in the country, including LaGrange’s three dorms, have received the Energy Star. To earn it, a professional engineer must perform an audit on a building, measuring the energy-efficient products and practices on a 1 to 100 scale. Facilities achieving a score of 75 or higher are eligible for the award.

Marlboro Colg Accepted into Co-op America's Green Business Network

Marlboro College (VT) has announced that it has been accepted into the Co-op America Green Business Network. The application was initiated by the program coordinator for Marlboro’s MBA in Managing for Sustainability. A screening committee investigated Marlboro’s familiarity with and commitment to social and environmental responsibility, looking for significant evidence of this commitment in its practices and policies.

Marshall U Students Approve Green Fee

Students at Marshall University (WV) have approved a mandatory fee to fund green projects on campus. The $5 per semester fee was approved by approximately 69 percent of students who voted. The new fee could generate up to $90,000 per year. The fee still awaits approval by the Board of Governors.

Middlebury College Building Awarded LEED-NC Platinum

Middlebury College’s (VT) Franklin Environmental Center has been awarded LEED-NC Platinum certification. The Center, which is used for classes, seminars, faculty offices and student study areas, features locally supplied slate, stone, granite, and Forest Stewardship Council certified hardwood.

MSU & USU Receive Grant to Study Biofuel Sourced from Algae

Montana State University and Utah State University have received a $900,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to study the oil produced by algae, which could be a renewable source of biodiesel. The MSU and Utah State project will screen different kinds of algae to learn which species produce the most oil and which can produce those oils most efficiently.

Notre Dame, Syracuse U Compete to Reduce Energy

The University of Notre Dame (IN) and Syracuse University (NY) have begun a competition to reduce energy consumption as part of NBC Universal's "Green is Universal" consumer campaign. The two teams, comprised of students, faculty, alumni, and fans from each university, are competing during the month of November in a variety of eco-challenges posed by Carbonrally.com. NBC Universal will donate $10,000 to the rival who can build the largest Carbonrally team. The winnings will support green campus initiative

O.A.R. Launches Campus Sustainability Tour

Reverb, an environmentally focused non-profit, has announced O.A.R. as the featured band of its third annual Campus Consciousness Tour. The Tour aims to promote environmental sustainability among students and administrators at each college campus they visit. Each stop on the tour has an "interactive Eco-Village" featuring campus environmental groups. In addition, O.A.R. has begun using buses than run on biodiesel.

Pace U to Reduce Emissions by 30%, Announces Climate Change Track in LLM

Pace University has accepted New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s challenge to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent within the next ten years. As a 2030 Challenge Partner under the City’s PlaNYC initiative, Pace University will conduct comprehensive carbon inventories on all its campuses, devise a plan to attain the reductions, and begin implementing and supplementing measures to reduce its carbon footprint. Pace has also announced plans to launch a climate change track in its Master's of Environmental Law curriculum. The new track will be available to students in the spring of 2009 and will provide students the opportunity to focus their studies on climate topics such as eco-markets and trading, climate and insurance, disaster management, and coastal adaptive management. Pace has also joined the Clinton Climate Initiative, a program that helps implement large scale energy saving building retrofits.

Peterson's Begins Survey of Sustainability Efforts in Higher Education

Peterson's is conducting an online survey of sustainability efforts in higher education. The survey, which is not intended for ranking purposes, gives institutions an opportunity to present profiles of their ongoing green initiatives to prospective students online on the Peterson's website. In addition, the profiles will be included in a new print publication in 2009. For more information, contact sustainability@petersons.com.

Princeton U Announces New Transit System

Princeton University (NJ) has announced the TigerTransit system, a new addition to the campus's current shuttle system. The new system will have three major lines and a campus circulator. The three main lines will run between graduate housing and main campus, while the circulator will focus on transportation on main campus and along Nassau Street and Washington Road.

SFSU, UCSB Establish Sustainability Committees

San Francisco State University (CA) has formed a committee to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and work towards environmental sustainability. The 14-member committee is made up of students, faculty, and staff. Similarly, the University of California, Santa Barbara has formed a new Sustainability Committee. The group, which will meet for the first time later this month, will work to enable the campus to reduce its environmental impact. The Committee's goals include uniting existing sustainability efforts on campus, finding new ways to promote energy conservation, and transitioning the campus to employ alternative energy sources.

U Arkansas Holds Student Contest for Campus Sustainability Plan

The University of Arkansas has announced a sustainability contest for its campus. The Students First Sustainability Competition offers student teams the opportunity to win up to $15,000 in prizes for submitting the winning plan to make UA more sustainable. Students will form teams to develop practical innovations that will provide the UA campus with financial and energy savings, reduce the negative environmental impacts of campus activities, and develop policies and business plans that will improve UA's energy and environmental performance. The competition will be judged based on students' ability to prescribe energy savings, water savings, recycling improvements, policy improvements and business strategies that will make the campus more sustainable.

UC Boulder, Skidmore Launch Energy Conservation Competitions

The University of Colorado at Boulder's Baker and Libby residence halls have begun a competition to reduce electricity use. The Power Showdown, which began in October and will last three weeks, features a website that shows electricity usage in the two halls in real time, in historical time, and by a per person average. The website also contains a list of ways students can reduce their electricity use in their dorm room. Twenty prizes will be awarded to students in the winning hall that registered for the competition. Similarly, Skidmore College (NY) has launched Skidmore Unplugged, a 3 week energy conservation competition between its eight residence halls. In preparation for the competition, a Communications Design class designed a logo, brochures, a "Skidmore Unplugged" page on Facebook, a ‘Captain Kill-a-Watt’ costume, and a website that reports in real time each residence hall’s consumption of electricity.

U Chicago, Unity College, U Iowa Hire Sustainability Officers

The University of Chicago (IL) has hired Ilsa Flanagan as the University's first Sustainability Director. Flanagan will work to develop a program to help the University incorporate sustainability into its academic pursuits. She will also work with the campus's Sustainability Project Manager, Associate Vice President, and the Sustainability Council to establish a campus-wide definition of sustainability. Unity College (ME) has announced the hiring of Rob Beranek as the campus's new Sustainability Coordinator. Beranek was the Managing Director of the Unity Center for Environmental Education, and he holds an undergraduate degree in physics and a Master's of Science in Environmental Studies. The University of Iowa has named Liz Christiansen, currently the deputy director of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, as its Director of the Office of Sustainability. In her new role, Christiansen will coordinate and develop programs to promote sustainability and resource conservation; lead or coordinate efforts to formulate institutional goals, policies, practices and measure progress; seek grants and other funding to financially support campus sustainability efforts; and work to enhance and enlarge the UI community's understanding of the importance and feasibility of sustainability initiatives from an ecological and financial perspective.

UC Merced Redesigns Construction Plans to Increase Green Space

The University of California, Merced has redesigned its plans to construct student housing, a sports complex, and a research and development park to incorporate more green space and reduce environmental damage. The University decreased the size of the new campus and accompanying student neighborhoods from 3,025 to 2,766 acres. In addition, buildings have been relocated within the plan to reduce wetland impact by one third. The University also plans to undertake mitigation measures for the damage the new construction will cause.

UC Santa Barbara, Colorado College Win Green Cleaning Awards

Custodians at the University of California, Santa Barbara and Colorado College have received the Grand Award for their green cleaning practices as part of a contest sponsored by American School & University magazine, The Green Cleaning Network, and the Healthy Schools Campaign. The campuses will be featured in AS&U magazine's December edition.

U Georgia Receives Green Cleaning Certification

The University of Georgia has become one of only two universities in the country to earn ISSA's Cleaning Industry Management Standard Certification with Honors. The University received the award for the Physical Plant Building Services Department's work in the 28 buildings on North Campus which comprise UGA's new "green corridor." The University of Michigan is the other school which has obtained this distinction.

U Illinois Breaks Ground for Supercomputer Center

The University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign has broken ground for its new 88,000 square foot building that will house a new petascale supercomputer, which will be online in 2011. UI plans to keep the new machine cool by routing chilled water into the frame that holds the computer’s processors, which should reduce energy use by approximately 40 percent. The facility is expected to earn LEED Gold.

U Mass Dartmouth Begins Energy Use Reduction Campaign

The University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth Sustainability Office has launched a new campaign to encourage the campus community to reduce the amount of energy used on campus. To launch the five month campaign, the Office of Sustainability held an event at which it announced tips on how students, staff, and faculty can reduce the amount of energy they use in dorms, offices, and on campus.

UM Morris Receives Energy Grant

The University of Minnesota, Morris has received one of eight Next Generation Energy Grants, awards given by the Minnesota Governor to accelerate the development of renewable energy projects and advanced biofuels in the state. UMM, in partnership with the University's College of Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS), received $50,000 to study the economics of businesses that store and supply biomass to energy facilities such as the one on the Morris campus. In addition, the University's CFANS Forestry Department received $100,000 to study the sustainability of the state's forests as a source of woody biomass for energy.

Washington U Phases out Bottled Water

Washington University in St. Louis (MO) has begun phasing out all bottled water sales on campus. The University's beverage dispenser, Coco-Cola Co., has agreed to stop selling bottled water in most campus locations by the end of the fall semester. The company will eliminate bottled water sales in all remaining locations by the end of the spring semester.

Wright State U Laboratory Awarded LEED NC-Gold

The Wright State University (OH) Matthew O. Diggs III Laboratory for Life Science Research has been awarded LEED NC-Gold. The laboratory building, which features a white roof, white concrete, water-efficient landscaping, waterless urinals, low-flow plumbing fixtures, designated parking spaces for car-pooling and fuel-efficient vehicles, and the use of green cleaning methods and recycled paper products.

Baylor U to Recycle at Homecoming Game

Baylor University (TX) has announced plans to recycle at its homecoming football game this year. Recycling will also be available at the post-parade float breakdown area and at catered events. Volunteers will director recyclers to the correct bin.

Binghamton U Receives $4 M in Funding for Solar Research

The State University of New York at Binghamton Center for Autonomous Solar Power (CASP) has received $4 million. CASP will work to address the scientific challenges of reducing the cost of solar power and enhancing efficiency. The multidisciplinary center will draw expertise from engineering, computer science, chemistry and physics to focus on areas such as solar conversion efficiency, storage capabilities, solar module stability and power system cost reduction.

Carnegie Mellon Receives Environmental Fellowship Grant

Carnegie Mellon University (PA) has received a $25,000 environmental research grant from AT&T. As a result, faculty members H. Scott Matthews and Deanna H. Matthews were named AT&T Faculty Fellows in Industrial Ecology. The grant will support the team's research project, "The Role of Information and Communications Technology in Carbon Risk Management," which will analyze the impact information and communications technology can have in helping other industries manage risk of carbon emissions.

Centre College to Purchase Renewable Energy Credits with Green Fee

The Centre College (KY) Board of Trustees has accepted a student-initiated proposal that will support green energy production through the purchase of renewable energy credits from a local provider. The plan, which will increase the cost of tuition by $20 annually, was approved by 82 percent of students during campus voting last spring. The College's faculty and staff subsequently affirmed their support for the initiative by introducing a voluntary program in which employees could elect to donate a portion of their salary to the cause.

College of Southern Idaho Launches Composting Program

The College of Southern Idaho has launched a composting program on campus. Food waste from the campus dining hall is placed in a horticultural worm bin and once processed, is moved to CSI's compost pile located on its 38 acre farm. The compost is then used in the campus' community garden. The program is the result of a partnership between CSI and its food service provider.

CU Boulder Receives Donation of 50 Bikes

The Adopt-A-Bike Program at the University of Colorado was granted 50 Schwinn cruiser bicycles, expanding its fleet to 150 available bikes. The bikes were originally ridden at the 2008 Democratic and Republican National Conventions.

Dalhousie U Expands Recycling Program

Dalhousie University (NS) has announced that it is adding another recycling stream to its existing campus program. As of October 2008, electronic products are collected, wiped of data, and transported to an approved provincial recycling depot. Materials from the depot are transferred to a plant where metals, glass, and plastic are recycled into new products. The new program includes exhausted desktop computers, computer periphery, computer components, laptop computers, monitors, desktop printers, and televisions.

Delta College Develops Wind Technology Program

Delta College (MI) has announced plans to offer a wind technology training program. Delta hopes that the two-year program will begin enrolling students in the fall of 2009.

Florida Atlantic U Unveils Solar Power System

Florida Atlantic University's College of Engineering and Computer Science has unveiled a solar power system on the south side of its building. The system was designed and built as a class project in a solar engineering course, and it controls the solar energy lab’s computers. FAU plans to add on to the system in the future so that all of the mechanical engineering labs operate via solar energy.

Florida Gulf Coast U Begins Construction on 2 MW Solar Farm

Florida Gulf Coast University has begun construction on its 16-acre solar energy farm. The 2 MW farm, which is located on the FGCU campus, will provide electricity for the entire campus. The project is projected to save the institution $22 million in energy over a 30 year period.