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.
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 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.
Columbia U Launches ‘Carbon Dioxide Removal Law’ Database
Researchers at the university recently launched a database of carbon dioxide removal laws. The database, which is publicly available at cdrlaw.org, contains resources on legal issues related to carbon dioxide removal, including such techniques as: direct air capture; enhanced weathering; afforestation/reforestation; bioenergy with carbon capture and storage; biochar; ocean and coastal carbon dioxide removal; ocean iron fertilization; and soil carbon sequestration. The database also includes resources on carbon capture and storage, utilization and transportation.
Colorado State U Curtails Landscape Irrigation
Through October and November, the university will curtail all landscape irrigation that uses domestic water and has voluntarily reduced raw water irrigation as well. This effort is in support of the citywide push for an early shift to winter levels of water use.
Villanova U Receives $5M Gift for DEI Curriculum Initiatives
A $5 million gift from the Lorenzini Family Foundation will support the new Intergroup Dialogue Center. The center will focus on curricular transformation and faculty training with a diversity, equity and inclusion lens. The Intergroup Dialogue Center will also amplify the existing Intergroup Relations program, which teaches students to create meaningful dialogue and relationships among people from different social, economic, racial and ethnic groups.
Aspen Institute Announces Ideas Worth Teaching Award Winners
An initiative of the Aspen Institute Business and Society Program, the Ideas Worth Teaching Awards highlight teaching that prepares students with the content, skills and mindset to respond to the complexity and rapidly changing issues embedded in economic and social systems. In 2020, 13 faculty received the award across nine categories.
California State U San Marcos Begins Post-Consumer Composting
The university recently began a post-consumer composting program at an apartment complex, after the initiative was halted in the spring due to the pandemic. Implementing a post-consumer program is part of the university’s effort to reduce organic waste by 50 percent of 2014 rates this year and 75 percent by 2025. Post-consumer organic waste includes any cooked food scraps and can include other compostable items such as plates, utensils and napkins.
California Lutheran U Launches Ethnic & Race Studies Major
The new program is designed to help students gain a deeper understanding of communities of color in the United States and build cultural competence in working with diverse groups. Additionally, the new associate provost for educational effectiveness is beginning a review of all curriculum to address equity, diversity and inclusion, including looking for ways to incorporate more on issues of race and racism.
Rutgers U Receives $15M Grant for Global Racial Justice
Rutgers president announced recently the receipt of a five-year, $15 million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support the establishment of the Institute for the Study of Global Racial Justice. The institute will support and amplify the scholarship of researchers who are based in the humanities or lean on humanistic methods and whose work has consequences in areas such as policy reform, K-12 education, social justice work and the carceral state. The institute will span the entire university and will include centers at Rutgers’ campuses in Newark, New Brunswick and Camden.
College Lake County Adds Solar Electricity
The college will soon add photovoltaic panels on two acres of land on the west side of campus and on six buildings. Once complete, the college will receive nearly 20 percent of its electricity needs from the solar installations.
Hood College Launches Sustainability Degree Program
The college recently announced the launch of a new Bachelor of Arts in sustainability studies. The Maryland E-Nnovation Initiative Fund Authority has granted $1 million to fund an endowed chair in the program. The program will emphasize three interrelated areas that form a framework for studying the complexities of sustainable societies: water, energy and food.
U Strathclyde Opens Center for Sustainable Development
(U.K.) The new Center for Sustainable Development aims to prioritize education and awareness of sustainable development, apply and build expertise and research capacity in sustainability, grow international partnerships, and contribute to and benefit from knowledge sharing and thought leadership.
U New Mexico Appoints Director of Sustainability Studies Program
In June, Dr. Melinda Morgan became the director of the sustainability studies program and now also holds the W.K. Kellogg Chair in Sustainable Environmental & Food Systems. In the role, Morgan aims to create a transdisciplinary research collaborative to look at the social-ecological system dynamics of water supply, climate change and wildfire in the Rio Grande watershed.
Wayne State U Pilots Composting
The university's Office of Campus Sustainability, grounds department and dining contractor began a collaboration in late September to collect pre-consumer food waste from Towers Café and yard waste from the university’s grounds department. The material will be composted and then returned to the university for use by the grounds department.
U Cambridge Adopts Divestment Proposal
(U.K.) The University Council recently endorsed a set of proposals articulated by the university's Investment Office that seek to divest from all direct and indirect investments in fossil fuels by 2030 and ramp up investments in renewable energy. The proposal also says that the university will not accept funding from sources misaligned with its commitment to address climate change and achieve net zero emissions by 2038.
Miami U Names Building After First Black Graduate
Miami’s board of trustees announced in late September the renaming of the Campus Avenue Building to Nellie Craig Hall. The granddaughter of a Civil War veteran, Nellie Craig graduated from Miami University in 1905. She earned her two-year teaching certificate and was the first Black educator to student teach in the Oxford Public School system to a mixed-race classroom.
U Virginia Adopts Racial Equity Goals
The university's board of visitors recently endorsed goals recommended by the UVA Racial Equity Task Force. The goals include: doubling the number of underrepresented faculty by 2030; developing a plan for having the student population better reflect the racial and socioeconomic demographic of the state; reviewing policies related to staff hiring, wages, retention, promotion and procurement, in order to ensure equity; and developing a series of educational programs around racial equity and anti-racism, including leadership development programs.
William & Mary Students Fund New Composting Bins
In an effort to mitigate increased waste from food service operations resulting from the increase in take-out containers, the college's Student Assembly passed a bill that allocates funding for six new compost bins.
Lincoln U Receives $400K for Sustainability Curriculum
A team of university researchers from computer science, psychology and human services, and biology has received a three-year, $400,000 National Science Foundation grant allocated for an interdisciplinary sustainability studies project. The project, Lincoln University Food Intersectional Education Linked to Diversify Sustainability (LU-FIELDS), seeks to foster science thinking from a historically Black educational perspective. Outcomes include a new sustainability minor, a certificate course in sustainable food systems, student research projects in sustainable garden and food practices, and Black food sovereignty community leadership and mentoring.
Carnegie Mellon U Reports on SDGs
The university released a new report encompassing a voluntary review of the university's work across the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The report also includes opportunities to further strengthen its efforts toward the goals.
Miami U Becomes Climate Commitment Signatory
In mid-September, the university's president signed Second Nature's Presidents' Climate Leadership Commitments, which set the university on the path of adapting to climate change through campus and community engagement, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions to achieve carbon neutrality as soon as possible.
Cornell U Students Build Solar-Charging Trailer for Landscaping Equipment
Members of the university's Sustainable Design student group recently delivered to the grounds department a 7-by-12-foot trailer that will cart and power electric string trimmers, hedge clippers, chainsaws and an electric, heavy-duty commercial mower. The trailer will help Cornell reduce carbon emissions while raising awareness of its environmental initiatives, aimed at helping the campus achieve carbon neutrality by 2035.
Insight Into Diversity Recognizes 2020 HEED Award Recipients
The Insight Into Diversity Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award went to 91 colleges and universities across the U.S. and Canada this year that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. Specifically, this award seeks to measure an institution’s level of achievement and intensity of commitment in regard to broadening diversity and inclusion on campus through initiatives, programs and outreach; student recruitment, retention and completion; and hiring practices for faculty and staff.
Loyola U Chicago Announces School of Environmental Sustainability
The university's board of trustees recently announced the elevation of the Institute of Environmental Sustainability to the School of Environmental Sustainability, creating Loyola’s 11th school. In an effort to amplify cross-school interdisciplinary collaborations and research, there will be four new interdisciplinary areas of study introduced: the departments of energy and sustainability science, sustainable and equitable societies, sustainable economics and governance, and environmental toxicology and health equity.
NC A&T Receives $1.6M to Promote Inclusiveness in Agriculture
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture has awarded a $1.6-million grant to help implement the Center of Excellence to Motivate and Educate for Achievement based at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. The center aims to encourage and support young people from underrepresented minority groups to pursue studies and careers in food, agriculture and natural resources.
NC A&T to Rename Two Buildings
The North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University board of trustees voted recently to immediately remove the names from Morrison Hall and Cherry Hall, both named for former North Carolina governors who, in different ways, blocked civil rights and racial equity. University leaders said they plan to recommend new names for both buildings in early 2021.
Cornell U Receives $1.5M to Help Increase Digital Tech Access
Cornell engineers and researchers were recently awarded $1.5 million from the National Science Foundation to collaborate with community partners to design the nation’s first statewide Internet of Things public infrastructure in an effort to reduce the barriers to access to digital technology.
U Sydney Publishes Sustainability Strategy
(Australia) Key targets in the university's new sustainability strategy are 100 percent renewable energy by 2025, cut air travel 20 percent by 2025, compost 80 percent of food waste by 2025, reduce single-use plastics to zero by 2030 and reduce potable drinking water 30 percent by 2030.
U Notre Dame to Procure Solar Electricity
The university partnered with a power company to purchase 40 percent of the total output from a 22-megawatt solar electric project, which is equal to about 10 percent of the university's overall electrical usage.
Tulane U Launches Renewable Energy Degree Program
The university's business school launched a new program in renewable and sustainable energy, a specialization within the master of management in energy program. The new degree program will focus on the knowledge and skills needed to bring renewable energy projects from concept to completion.
U Pittsburgh Partners to Upgrade Fleet to Electric & Hybrid
The university is now leasing a total of 268 electric and hybrid vehicles through an expanded partnership with a national car rental agency. Overall, the agreement is projected to save the university $750,000 over the next five years while supporting the university's carbon neutrality commitment.
Five Washington U St. Louis Buildings Earn LEED Platinum
Four buildings–Sumers Welcome Center, Weil Hall, Schnuck Pavilion and Jubel Hall–were certified as part of the East End Transformation, of which highlights include buildings that are designed to be 30 percent more efficient than standard buildings; heat recovery chillers that harvest waste heat for heating needs; a living green wall in Weil Hall; furniture that is compliant with the Healthier Hospitals Initiative; and a green roof over the underground garage. A fifth building–January Hall–originally built in 1922, features improvements to its building envelope and an energy-efficient mechanical system. More than 60 percent of the historic furniture and wall paneling in the hall's East Asian Library was preserved and reused, substantially minimizing the embodied carbon of the project.
I2SL Announces Lab Freezer Challenge Winners
The organizational and individual laboratory winners of the 2020 International Laboratory Freezer Challenge are, respectively, the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Learning and Research Laboratory at the University of Bristol. Honorable mentions include the University of Alabama Birmingham in the organizational category and, in the individual lab category, the BioSpecimen Processing Facility at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, the Biology Teaching Laboratories at the University of California Santa Cruz; and the Van Der Pol Lab at the University of Alabama Birmingham. Together, the 2020 challenge participants saved a combined total of roughly 3.2 million kilowatt-hours per year.
MIT Partners to Improve State Pension Investment Data
A new partnership between the MIT Sloan Sustainability Initiative and the Massachusetts state pension fund aims to provide data to investors who want to make decisions based on things like the way a company treats its workers, its carbon emissions or its product safety record. For MIT, the partnership will inform research questions and methodology to refine the challenges of integrating environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues into the investment process.
Washington Monthly Publishes 'Best Colleges for Student Voting' List
Compiled from information through All In Campus Democracy Challenge and the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE) at Tufts University, the Washington Monthly ranking measures how well colleges encourage their students to vote, boosting democratic participation and civic engagement. This year, a total of 157 schools made the list, which was ordered by the voter registration rate.
Aarhus U Approves 44 Actions to Reduce Emissions
(Denmark) The university recently announced 44 activities to reduce carbon emissions, some of which are waste-sorting pilot projects in study areas, libraries and canteens, electricity meters on IT equipment, assessing the feasibility of solar-electric, and using fixed temperature settings for all university buildings in the winter. The four focus areas of the actions are campus, transportation, procurement and waste.
City Glasgow College Purchases Food Composter
(U.K.) The college recently invested in equipment to allow it to compost food waste on campus rather than hauling it to a facility. The new process allows food waste to be collected by staff in the on-campus kitchens, then processed through their dewatering system, before the substance is fed into the composter to create a nutritious compost resource in 14 days.