Villanova U Receives Gift for Interdisciplinary Initiative on Poverty & Inequality

Spurred by a $1 million gift from Villanova alum, a new interdisciplinary initiative will support programmatic efforts to generate ideas and policy solutions to address the systemic issues of inequality. The initiative will also include an annual symposium focused on identifying the most promising approaches to eradicating poverty and eliminating disparities associated with race, disability and difference.

U Virginia Launches 'Energy Transition Initiative'

The Energy Transition Initiative is a merger between the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service's Virginia Clean Energy Project and its Virginia Solar Initiative. The new collaboration aims to analyze energy systems to identify roadblocks and reduce barriers to achieving a net-zero carbon electric sector by 2050, and to promote informed, engaged and inclusive decision-making.

U Tasmania Commits to Fossil Fuel Divestment

The university announced in mid-October during Global Climate Change Week that it will divest from fossil fuel-exposed investment funds by the end of 2021. The university has committed to applying a negative investment screen to fossil fuels and a positive screen to companies and funds that contribute to the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals.

California Community Colleges Receive $100M for Students Facing Financial Hardships

The California Community Colleges chancellor’s office, in partnership with the Foundation for California Community Colleges, announced a $100 million pledge over 20 years to help eliminate regional educational gaps by providing scholarships to students who are on their way toward completion of a certificate or degree at a California community college or transferring to a university. The pledge also provides emergency financial aid to students facing unexpected financial hardships. The initiative is supported by a donation from the Jay Pritzker Foundation.

Loyola U Maryland Creates Institute for Race, Peace & Social Justice

Loyola University Maryland’s Office of Equity and Inclusion and Loyola College of Arts and Sciences are launching the Karson Institute for Race, Peace and Social Justice to address racial inequities locally and nationally. The institute aims to provide a space for researchers, students, social justice workers and activists to come together to research, discuss, debate and explore answers to critical questions on inequality, injustice and racial inequity in the United States.

American U Announces Wellness Platform for Students

All students at American now have access to a personalized wellness platform, You@American, with self-checks and evaluations to help each student assess their challenges, set their own goals, and support their emotional well-being. The portal provides tools, content and resources specifically for college students.

Georgetown U Signs Renewable Energy PPA

A new 15-year agreement allows the university to buy 100,000 megawatt-hours of electricity annually from 11 existing solar plants. Georgetown will purchase the electricity from the solar facilities without the associated renewable energy credits (RECs), and through a second financial transaction, purchase Green-e certified RECs through a broker for an equivalent amount of power for the first five of the 15-year agreement.

U Wisconsin Green Bay to Offer Sustainability Certificate

The new non-credit, online only Sustainability Certificate Program launching in January 2021 aims to educate business professionals to implement sustainable decisions into their everyday roles to make a positive impact on both their organization as well as the world around them.

U Oklahoma Building Earns LEED Gold

Gallogly Hall features energy-efficient HVAC systems, recycled and locally available materials, roof and hardscape materials that mitigate the heat island effect, and a storm water and condensate recovery system for reuse in the building purified water system. The landfill diversion rate of the on-site construction waste was 80 percent.

U California San Diego Receives $39M for Renewables Integration Research

The National Science Foundation recently awarded $39 million to a team of engineers and computer scientists at UCSD to build a testbed to better understand how to integrate distributed energy sources, such as solar panels, wind turbines, smart buildings and electric vehicle batteries, into the power grid. The goal is to make the testbed available to outside research teams and industry by 2025.

Illinois Wesleyan U Earns Bee Campus USA Designation

A coalition of students, faculty and Bloomington residents transformed the university's Peace Garden into a safe haven for bees and other native pollinators, enabling the university to become a newly designated affiliate of Bee Campus USA.

U Pittsburgh Partners to Deliver Meal Kits to Community

Pitt’s Dining Services and the Office of Community and Governmental Relations recently partnered with Pitt’s dining services provider to hand out 5,000 meal boxes provided through the USDA’s Farmers to Families Food Box program. The meal kits, made up of meat, dairy and produce boxes, plus a gallon of milk, are designed to provide enough food for 10 family meals. Items inside included chicken, butter, cheese, eggs, apples, potatoes and sweet potatoes.

Bowie State U Install Edible Landscaping

At the end of October, students, faculty and staff planted a fruit tree orchard on campus consisting of 25 apple and pear trees donated by a non-profit charity. Food from the trees will be used by dining services, while also combating hunger and enhancing plant services curriculum.

U Massachusetts Amherst Begins Equity & Climate Change Project

The new project called Elevating Equity Values in the Transition of the Energy System (ELEVATE) unites scholars from across disciplines to conduct research at the intersection of electricity technology, climate science, social equity, and energy economics and policy, with the aim of ensuring transformation of the electric grid is both sustainable and benefits all members of society equitably. The program was awarded two grants totaling $6.3 million from the National Science Foundation.

U North Carolina Charlotte Uses $20M Grant to Expand Center for Youth With Disabilities

With a five-year award of more than $20 million from the U.S. Department of Education, the university's National Technical Assistance Center on Transition for Students and Youth with Disabilities will expand their national effort to improve employment, education and community integration for students and youth with disabilities.

Concordia U Launches Sustainability Action Plan

The recently launched Sustainability Action Plan includes five-year plans around five topics: food, waste, climate, research and curriculum.

AASHE Announces Top Performers in 2020 SCI

The recently released Sustainable Campus Index (SCI) recognizes top-performing colleges and universities in 17 sustainability impact areas and overall by institution type as measured by the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS). The report also includes innovative and high-impact initiatives. Top performers overall by institution type are Nova Scotia Community College (associate), Colby College (baccalaureate), Thompson Rivers University (master’s), and Colorado State University (doctoral/research). Details about the 25 top-performing institutions for each impact area can be found within the report.

AASHE Announces 2020 Sustainability Award Finalists

The AASHE Sustainability Awards provide global recognition to the individuals and organizations leading the higher education sustainability movement through sustainability achievements, research advancements and student leadership. Across 10 categories, 40 finalists were chosen from more than 400 submissions. Winners for all categories, including the Lifetime Achievement Award, will be announced at the free, virtual 2020 AASHE Sustainability Awards Ceremony on Dec. 3 starting at noon U.S. Eastern time.

LSE Releases Sustainability Strategic Plan

(U.K.) The London School of Economics and Political Science launched the new plan focusing on six key themes: education, research, engagement and leadership, investment, carbon and environmental impact, and collaboration.

U Edinburgh Pilots Plastic Reduction Lab Initiative

(U.K.) A research group replaced single-use plastics, such as tools used to collect and transfer samples, with reusable equipment incorporating wood or metal. Where alternatives were not available, the group decontaminated plastic equipment for reuse with chemical cleaning before a second level of decontamination under heat and pressure. In implementing these practices, they avoided using 3,000 plastic items of equipment during a four-week period and saved more than $500 (400 British pounds) over a three-month period.

Colorado State U Signs On-Campus Solar Agreement

The university recently signed a formal agreement with two companies to identify campus site feasibility for installation on rooftops, carports and ground mounts. Construction and installation is slated to begin in the first half of 2021 with project completion set for late 2022. Photo by William A. Cotton/CSU Photos.

Illinois State U Rolls Out Water Sustainability Studies Minor

Available for student enrollment in fall 2021, the minor is through the Center for a Sustainable Water Future and is meant to include all departments with interest and expertise on water issues, including overlap with climate change.

U Wisconsin Green Bay Creates Office of Sustainability

The Office of Sustainability recently opened and the university named John Arendt as its director. The office will be housed in the Environmental Management and Business Institute (EMBI), where Arendt will also continue to serve as director.

Loyola U Maryland Offers Sustainability Management Degree

The Loyola University Maryland Sellinger School of Business and Management recently introduced a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in sustainability management. In addition to liberal arts and business foundations courses, sustainability management students will take four business management courses and four courses addressing topics including poverty, human rights, justice and equality, the climate crisis, biodiversity, and scarcity of natural resources.

U Guam Adopts 10-Year Sustainability Plan

Titled the Guam Green Growth (G3) Action Framework, the plan contains hundreds of goals and objectives focused on five categories: healthy and prosperous communities; educated, capable, and compassionate Island; sustainable homes, utilities and transportation; thriving natural resources; and sustainable alliances.

Lehigh U Releases 10-Year Sustainability Strategic Plan

The university's new 10-year sustainability plan focuses on 113 goals across six focus areas. The plan’s six focus areas include climate action, campus operations, educational experience, culture and engagement, health and wellness, and focused leadership. Each goal is tied to one or more of the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals.

HEC Paris Launches Waste Reduction Initiatives

(France) The university rolled out a new initiative aimed at supporting a zero waste campus. It is sorting non-biodegradable from biodegradable waste in a 200 square meter space known as the Greenzone.

Concordia U Joins SDG Networks

The university recently joined the University Global Coalition, a global platform of universities and other higher education organizations committed to working together in support of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) through our education, research and service missions. The university also joined Sustainable Development Solutions Network Canada, part of a movement of higher education institutions that aims to develop and promote practical solutions for sustainable development.

Princeton Review Releases 2021 Guide to Green Colleges

The Princeton Review "Guide to Green Colleges, 2021 Edition" profiles 416 colleges with a commitment to sustainability. Of the 416 institutions, 393 are in the U.S., 22 are in Canada, and one is in Greece. The 416 schools are listed alphabetically in the guide and not ranked. However, institutions that earned a score of 99 are recognized in The Princeton Review's Green Honor Roll.

NCAA Hosts Diversity & Inclusion Social Media Campaign

The Diversity and Inclusion Social Media Campaign, happening Oct. 26 - 29, is a social media initiative aimed at raising awareness and engagement, and educating about importance of inclusive environments in college sports.

Frostburg State U Launches Life Cycle Facilities Management Major

A new a bachelor degree in lifecycle facilities management will educate students about the application of environmental, societal and long-term sustainability goals in the construction and management of buildings, manufacturing processes and products. The interdisciplinary program builds on knowledge in project management, finance, engineering and sustainability.

New York U Commits to Reduce Food-Related GHGs

In honor of World Food Day 2020, the university announced that it has committed to reducing food-related greenhouse gas emissions on all its campuses by 25 percent by the year 2030. Through a comprehensive, 10-year plan devised in partnership with its dining services partner, NYU dining halls and catering operations will gradually promote a shift to more sustainable food products through a combination of enhanced plant-based offerings and educational outreach.

MIT Building Earns LEED Platinum

The MIT.nano building, a research facility for nanoscience and nanotechnology, features extensive indoor environmental controls and monitoring systems, open space, use of low-emitting materials, and design efforts to increase natural light throughout the building.

Eight Institutions Form 'Canadian Colleges for a Resilient Recovery'

British Columbia Institute of Technology, Okanagan College, SAIT Polytechnic, Mohawk College, Seneca College, Nergica, Nova Scotia Community College, and Holland College formed the Canadian Colleges for a Resilient Recovery. The Canadian Colleges for a Resilient Recovery will help young people receive training needed to take part in a sustainable, climate-focused post-COVID-19 economic recovery. They will have quarterly online meetings to allow participating institutions to share their recovery solutions and will host webinars by faculty and researchers from the eight institutions.

Syracuse U Installs Solar-Electric on Student Center

A recent renovation of the university's Schine Student Center included installation of a 50-kilowatt, roof-mounted photovoltaic system.

Haverford College Dedicates Funding to Address Racial Justice & Inclusion

New funding was recently allocated to justice and equity fellowships; to support for faculty research and teaching that engages students in the study of anti-racism, racial equity, and racial justice; and to support for staffing and resources to assist and celebrate students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, transgender, gender fluid, or nonbinary so that they can thrive in all aspects, including academics.

U Virginia Publishes Sustainability Plan

The university’s new plan, the 2020-30 Sustainability Plan, includes these goals: carbon neutral by 2030 and fossil fuel-free by 2050; reducing waste to 30 percent of 2010 levels by 2030; reducing the nitrogen footprint by 30 percent by 2030; partnering to advance equity; building accountability in leadership; and enhancing sustainability research. The plan also provides seed funding for sustainability projects.

Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College Launches Sustainable Energy Program

The new Associate of Science degree program in sustainable energy technologies will provide students the opportunity to become installers, technicians and operators of both solar and wind technologies.

U Georgia Rolls Out Bike Sharing Program

The new Bulldog Bike Share features a fleet of electric pedal-assist bicycles accessible from 22 hubs across campus. It costs $2 to unlock and 10 cents per minute of ride time, with the option of monthly and annual subscriptions. The bikeshare is a partnership between UGA Transportation and Parking Services and the Office of Sustainability.

College Redwoods to Install 2.1 MW Solar System & Battery Storage

The College of the Redwoods board recently approved a proposal for a 2.1-megawatt photovoltaic system with an additional 500 kilowatts of battery storage that will cover about three acres of open field space on campus, about a third of campus parking, and the roof of the Learning Resource Center. The energy generated by the system is expected to provide about 90 percent of the campus’s electricity demands.

U Illinois Urbana-Champaign Publishes Climate Action Plan

The newest version of the Illinois Climate Action Plan led by the Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment commits the campus to divest from fossil fuels, switch to clean energy sources, and reduce net air travel emissions by 100 percent by fiscal year 2030. Its objectives are organized into eight key themes: energy, transportation, land & water, zero waste, education, engagement, resilience and implementation.

Loyola U Chicago Center to Focus on Supply Chain Sustainability

Housed in the university's Business Leadership Hub, the Supply and Value Chain Center changed its name recently to the Supply Chain and Sustainability Center to reflect the increased importance of sustainability across industries. The center will continue to offer programs, education and applied research to its members, including the supply chain and sustainability management essential certificate program.

William & Mary Partners to Offer Scholarships

A recent partnership with The Posse Foundation will enable the college to provide full scholarships to diverse cohorts of students, many of whom will be the first in their families to attend college.

Catholic U America Unveils Campus Sustainability Plan

In celebration of Campus Sustainability Month, the Catholic University of America recently released a five-year sustainability plan. The initiatives and actions listed in the plan are intended to generate positive environmental change, promote education and research, preserve resources, raise awareness, reduce expenditures, generate dialogue and create new community engagement touchpoints.

U California Santa Cruz Uses Grants for Bike Path Upgrades

Grants totaling $1.13M have enabled the university to widen the bike path to allow for safer bike travel, and install a multi-use trail to accommodate both two-way pedestrian and bike traffic.

U Wisconsin Madison Places Solar Panels on Arboretum

The university's Arboretum Visitor Center will soon house an array of 66 photovoltaic modules that are projected to produce 32,300 kilowatt-hours in the first year of operation. The solar energy system will cover about eight percent of the arboretum’s current energy needs, resulting in a projected $3,750 decrease in annual electricity cost.

U California Los Angeles Develops Anti-Racism Hub Focusing on Asian Americans

A new website, the Movement Hub, was developed by the UCLA Center for Neighborhood Knowledge to serve as a centralized platform to amplify on-the-ground activism and organizing by Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. The website offers resources for and by AAPI organizations to promote cross-racial unity.

U California San Francisco Educates on Racism in Health Care

In response to growing awareness of racism in medicine and health research, UCSF schools have created new courses and expanded existing curriculum that address issues of structural racism in science and health care. They take an explicitly anti-racist approach, advocating for interventions against racism instead of merely being not racist.

Saint Louis U Establishes Institute for Healing Justice & Equity

A new institute at Saint Louis University has been established to help eliminate disparities caused by systemic oppression and to promote healing. The Institute for Healing Justice and Equity will begin its work with a founding investment by SLU of more than $1.7 million. Through research, training, community engagement and public policy development, the institute will help build equitable communities by assessing and promoting best practices that foster healing from social injustice, trauma and oppression.

EPA Honors 2020 Green Power Leadership Awardees

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and Madison Area Technical College as winners in the Direct Project Engagement category. Saint Louis University won in the Excellence in Green Power Use category. The Direct Project Engagement Award recognizes partners that distinguish themselves through direct project engagement using a variety of financing structures to access green power. The Excellence in Green Power Use Award recognizes partners that distinguish themselves by using green power in amounts that exceed the minimum benchmark requirements, or where the partner can demonstrate a distinct market impact through innovation, communications and stakeholder engagement.