UCSB Receives 'Go Beyond' Environmental Lab Award
The University of California, Santa Barbara Laboratory Research and Technical Staff (LabRATS) has received the "Go Beyond" Award, an award that honors individuals, organizations, projects, and laboratory manufacturers that "go beyond" the status quo to minimize the environmental impacts of laboratory and other high-technology facilities and laboratory equipment. The LabRATS won the award due to initiatives such as creating a free surplus chemicals website, using natural lighting in the lab, implementing fu
U Kansas Engineering Students Design Hybrid Car
Students enrolled in the University of Kansas Mechanical Engineering Senior Design Project class have used a 1974 Volkswagon Beetle to develop a hybrid car as part of a project called "EcoHawks." The students started by redesigning the engine to be able to use gasoline, biodiesel, and ethanol. This year's group used biodiesel that was produced in a chemical engineering laboratory on campus. The EcoHawks projects will continue after this academic year, choosing a different primary fuel source each year.
U Nebraska Omaha Expands Recycling Program
The University of Nebraska at Omaha has launched a new recycling program on campus. The new programs will use a single-stream system to recycle paper products, cardboard, water bottles, pop cans, and other various types of plastic and metal containers.
U Pennsylvania Commits to Increased National Service
University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann has announced that during the next four years Penn will fund an additional 400 community-service opportunities for its students. The President's announcement took place at the Service Nation Summit, a gathering of national leaders to mobilize a campaign for a new era of service and civic engagement in which all Americans will work together to solve the country’s most persistent societal challenges.
U Western Ontario Breaks Ground for Green Building
The University of Ontario has held a groundbreaking ceremony for a new green building at its Research and Development Park. The 75,000 square-foot office building will include natural lighting, energy efficient design, local materials and products, and recycled products. The $20-million building is designed to achieve a LEED certification. Construction is scheduled to be complete in early 2010.
UW Madison Book Store Sells Fair Trade Apparel
The University of Wisconsin-Madison University Book Store has begun selling eco-friendly and fair trade UW hooded sweatshirts. The University is purchasing the 100 percent organic certified cotton sweatshirts from a local firm that specializes in fair trade apparel. If the new item sells successfully, the line will be expanded to include sweatpants, t-shirts, and zip-up jackets.
40+ Higher Ed Insts Sign Petition for Long-term Energy Security
More than 40 higher education research institutions, along with several business and scientific organizations, have signed a petition, to be delivered to both Presidential campaigns calling on the next President of the United States to propose and implement a comprehensive basic energy research initiative to help lead the country toward long-term energy security. Noting that both presidential campaigns have focused on immediate steps to address the nation’s current energy crisis, the petition asserts that these measures alone are unlikely to produce energy sources that will meet the nation’s and the world’s long-term demand for abundant, environmentally friendly energy.
Auburn U Montgomery Produces Biodiesel
Auburn University at Montgomery (AL) has begun converting cooking oil into biodiesel for use in campus vehicles. The converter, known as the Freedom Fueler, will use cooking oil from the campus lunch counter to make biodiesel.
Dixon U Center to Upgrade Energy and Building Systems
Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education has announced that the Dixon University Center will undergo a $1.5 million energy and building system upgrade by NORESCO. The upgrade will include improved energy and water efficiency, reduced energy and operating costs, greater system reliability, and improved working and learning conditions for building occupants. Carbon dioxide emissions are expected to drop by more than 930,000 pounds each year as a result of the upgrade.
Dominican U of CA Announces Sustainable Practices Certificate
Dominican University of California has created a new certificate program in Sustainable Practices. The new certificate is designed for professionals who want to differentiate and enhance their practice; people seeking a career change to make a positive difference on the environment; high school graduates looking for new vocational opportunities; and policy makers, community leaders, activists, and advocates. The certificate includes two Dominican courses, elective courses, and a capstone project or internship.
Emory U Opens Green Residence Halls
Emory University (GA) has opened two new green freshman residence halls, both of which are registered for LEED Gold certification. The residence halls, which are adjoined to each other, incorporate a "Living Green: Sustainability in the 21st Century" theme and required all residents that were selected to live there to submit an application on sustainable living. Green features include a roof storm water collection system, solar panels that power water cistern pumps, regionally produced construction materi
Furman Establishes Office of Sustainability
Furman University (SC) has established the office of Sustainability and Environmental Education. The office will focus on curricular activities, co-curricular activities, communication, and climate commitment and assessment.
Harvard U Offers New Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Design
The Harvard University (MA) School of Design has unveiled its new concentration in Sustainable Design within the school's one-and-a-half-year Master in Design Studies (MDesS) program. The new concentration focuses on strategies and technologies for constructing ecologically balanced and energy and resource-efficient design.
Humboldt State U Announces 2 Energy Use Reduction Initiatives
Humboldt State University (CA) has announced two new projects, funded by the Energy Efficiency Partnership with California State University and the University of California, that are expected to save almost $60,000 and cut 253 metric tons of campus greenhouse gas emissions annually. HSU will install energy management software to power down computers when they are not in use in labs and in faculty, staff, and department offices. The second initiative will tighten controls on the Wildlife Building’s heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment to reduce energy wasted by aging systems. The two projects are scheduled for completion in mid-November.
Inside Higher Ed Publishes Article on Alternative Transportation
Inside Higher Ed has published an article on colleges' and universities' efforts to increase the use of alternative transportation options. The article reports that Augsburg College (MN) increased carpooling by moving the reserved carpooling parking spaces to the center of campus. Other campuses have created "carpool only" and "hybrid only" parking spaces. Not only do these initiatives encourage the use of greener transportation options, reports the article, they also cut down on the amount of sin
Kansas Wesleyan U Receives Recycling Grant
Kansas Wesleyan University has received a $26,233 grant from the Salina City Commission and a matching grant of $7,205 from the University to be used for waste reduction initiatives. The funds will be used to help purchase an electric recycling truck, multiple large recycling bins, vermin-composting units, and educational material that will be used at elementary school presentations. The group also plans to create a video of what happens to waste when it goes into the trash can.
Massachusetts Maritime Academy to Install Solar Lights
The Massachusetts Maritime Academy has announced plans to install 62 solar-powered lights around campus by the end of September. The project was largely funded with a $325,000 state energy grant. Another $34,000 came from the Massachusetts Technology Council.
Michigan State U Dining Hall Offers Local, Organic Foods
The Michigan State University Yakeley Dining Hall has started a pilot program to offer local and organic foods. The program, which offers local and organic foods whenever possible, aims to address concerns about environmental sustainability and to teach students where their food is grown. Additionally, the University has invested in a new hoop house to grow salad greens and cooking greens for the dining halls.
Mills College Creates Center for Socially Responsible Business
Mills College (CA) has established the Center for Socially Responsible Business at its Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business. The center plans to examine how businesses can improve social conditions in practical ways that do not harm and may even help their bottom lines. Created in part by a three-year grant from the Elfenworks Foundation, the Center aims to advance the study and practice of socially responsible business, promote its values, foster social responsibility in graduate business education, and build alliances with like-minded Bay Area companies, nonprofits, academic institutions, and government agencies.
More U.S Institutions Offer Domestic Partner Benefits
Inside Higher Ed has reported that the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources found in a recent survey that 42 percent of U.S. colleges and universities offer health care benefits for same-sex domestic partners, up from 40 percent a year ago. In addition, 34 percent of institutions offer benefits to opposite-sex domestic partners, up from 31 percent one year ago.
Purdue U to Launch Carpooling Website
Purdue University (IN) has announced plans to offer a new Web-based program to help employees and students carpool. The University has signed a contract with Ecology and Environmental Inc. for implementation of a carpool/rideshare application called GreenRide. The program is designed to help faculty, staff, and students find carpooling partners by searching for other Purdue employees and students who live close by or on the same commute route and who have similar work or class schedules. It is expected that the program will be available for use by the end of the fall semester.
Rush U Medical Center Breaks Ground on Green Hospital Building
The Rush University (IL) Medical Center has broken ground on its new green hospital. The new structure, which will be registered for LEED certification, will feature multiple green roofs, extensive use of recycled materials, and use of energy efficient systems for lighting, heating, and cooling. The 14-floor, $575 million, 806,000-square-foot building will house Rush's acute and critical care patients as well as surgical, diagnostic, and therapeutic services utilizing the most advanced technology available.
Rutgers U Breaks Ground on 1.4 MW Solar Farm
Rutgers University (NJ) has broken ground on its seven acre, 1.4MW solar farm. The farm will generate approximately 10 percent of the electrical demand of the Livingston Campus and reduce the university’s carbon dioxide emissions by more than 1,200 tons per year. Rutgers will fund approximately half the $10 million cost of the project, and the balance will be subsidized by a rebate through the Board of Public Utilities' Clean Energy Program.
Saint Mary's College of California Establishes Campus Garden
Saint Mary's College of California has established a half-acre student-run garden plot to grow pesticide-free food for the student dining hall. The goals of the project are to increase students' understanding of the food production process and the nutritional and environmental benefits of local, pesticide-free food.
SEI Releases 2009 Sustainability Report Card, Launches Website
The Sustainable Endowments Institute has launched an interactive website for the newly released College Sustainability Report Card 2009 . The new website provides sustainability profiles and grades from the Report Card for 300 schools with the largest endowments. It allows users to create side-by-side comparisons of schools, using a broad range of sustainability criteria. Users can also search for schools with specific programs, ranging from green dorms and car sharing to shareholder advisory committees and renewable energy investments. The average grade for all schools surveyed came to “C+,” with more than 75 percent of colleges and universities earning sustainability grades in the “B” and “C” range. In related news, the Sustainable Endowments Institute has announced the winners of the Sustainability Innovator Awards and the Champions of Sustainability in Communities Awards. Recipients of the Champions of Sustainability in Communities Award include: Dalhousie University (NS), University of Chicago (IL), University of Minnesota, University of New Hampshire, and University of Oregon. Recipients of the Sustainability Innovator Awards include: Green Mountain College (VT), Northland College (WI), and University of Prince Edward Island (PE).
Stony Brook to Run Campus Buses Off of Vegetable Oil
Stony Brook University (NY) has started an initiative to convert campus bus engines to run off of used vegetable oil. The project will use leftover vegetable oil from one of the campus dining halls to fuel the buses. Once the project is up and running, the University plans to expand the program to include vegetable oil from other dining facilities on campus.
St. Xavier U Begins Bike Share Program
St. Xavier University (IL) has begun a campus bike share program, the Green Bike Program. The new initiative, which offers 65 bicycles, allows faculty, staff, and students to rent bikes from computerized docking stations by using their campus IDs or gaining a code via text message. Through the program, renting a bike is free for the first 15 minutes and costs $.60 for every 15 minutes after.
Syracuse U Changes Temperature Policy to Reduce GHG Emissions
Syracuse University (NY) has changed its temperature policy to conserve energy and reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions released through the heating and cooling processes. By reducing the temperature of University-occupied spaces by two degrees in the heating season, and raising the temperature threshold one degree in the cooling season, the University will realize an annual reduction of 1,683 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions. The new temperature policy for the heating season will have a set point at 68 degrees, and the cooling season set point will be 76 degrees.
Syracuse U, SUNY ESF Partner to Create Green Energy Coop
Syracuse University (NY) and the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry have partnered to create a green-energy cooperative. The student-run project, funded by a grant from the Syracuse Campus-Community Entrepreneurship Initiative, aims to produce biodiesel by the spring 2009 semester that would be sold back to SU and SUNY ESF for use in their vehicles.
U Florida Passes Green Fee for Renewable Energy
The University of Florida Board of Trustees has approved a student-proposed green fee that will charge students $.50 per credit hour and will be used to support renewable energy projects. The fee, which will not go into effect until approved by the Board of Governors, would generate approximately $645,000 in revenue each year to fun such projects as solar panels and building energy upgrades. In a spring referendum, 78 percent of students voted in favor of the fee.
U Illinois at Chicago Receives $750K Grant to Green Brownfield
The University of Illinois at Chicago's Institute for Environmental Science and Policy has received a five-year, $750,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to identify best management practices for redeveloping brownfields, gauge the benefits, and get the information to the public and policymakers. Through the grant, researchers at UIC will team up with two outside technical advisers and colleagues at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to define what it means to turn a brownfield into a new green development and the value of doing so.
Westminster College Offers Free Public Transit Pass
Westminster College (UT) has begun offering a free UTA Premium Transit Pass to all students, faculty, and staff who will commit to using alternative transportation at least four days per month. The pass works for both bus and TRAX train services.
3 Campus Laundry Facilities Go Carbon Neutral
Keene State College (NH), Salisbury University (MD), and Stonehill College (MA) are all participating in Mac-Gray Campus Solutions' new "Lighten the Load" program to operate carbon neutral laundry rooms. Mac-Gray Campus Solutions, a contract operator of card- and coin-operated laundry facilities in college and university residence halls, has announced a partnership with Carbonfund.org aimed at making its college and university accounts carbon neutral. The "Lighten the Load' program is offered to all of Ma
Appalachian State U Begins Tailgate Recycling Initiative
Appalachian State University (NC) has begun a new initiative to recycle at every home football game. The Recycling at the Rock initiative will provide tailgaters with green bags to use for recycling and black bags to use for trash. ASU expects to save $60 per ton of recyclables that are recycled.
Brigham Young U Announces Several Green Initiatives
Brigham Young University (UT) has begun a program to recycle plastics. Receptacles have been placed throughout campus. BYU has also announced that the Blue Line Deli, which will open this fall, will use biodegradable plates, utensils, and napkins for all of its meals. The dinnerware will be composted in the campus' compost piles and eventually will be used for campus landscaping. In addition, Brigham Young has purchased all Energy Star-rated appliances for its new cafeteria.
Brunswick Community College to Produce Biodiesel from Algae
Brunswick Community College (NC) has announced plans to begin a project to grow enough algae to produce approximately 75 pounds of oil each month. The oil will then be converted into biodiesel to power campus tractors and utility vehicles. The project is being funded by a grant that will also fund six student lab positions.
Business Week Article Features Green Business School Buildings
Business Week has published an article on the increasing number of green buildings at business schools across the U.S. The article mentions the University of Illinois' new $60 million business school building, green features at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth's Tuck School of Business, and the Thunderbird School of Global Management's (AZ) initiative to recycle the Thunderbird Veterans & Alumni Tower which was closed in 2006. The article also mentions upcoming green business school initiatives at New York University and Harvard Business School (MA).
Coastal Carolina U Names Sustainability Coordinator
Coastal Carolina University (SC) has named alumna Marissa Mitzner as the campus' first sustainability coordinator. Mitzner, who graduated from the University in May, will be responsible for helping to tranform Coastal Carolina University into a more environmentally-friendly university. Mitzner also manages the EcoReps program of student workers and is developing a plan for making Coastal Carolina University more bike-friendly.
Colorado State U to be Carbon Neutral by 2020
Colorado State University has announced the goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2020 without the use of carbon credits. The University plans to reach its goal by reducing its greenhouse gas emissions through conservation and alternative energy sources. The University has already begun a carbon footprint assessment and plans to spend the next three years placing an emphasis on conservation.
CSU Stanislaus Science Building Receives LEED Silver
California State University, Stanislaus' Nora and Hashem Naraghi Hall of Science has received LEED Silver certification. The 115,000-square-foot building includes laboratories, classrooms, faculty and department offices, and a roof-top observatory. The structure features program controls for heating, air conditioning, venting, and air purification systems as well as programmable light-dimming switches; recycled materials and wood products from environmentally-endorsed lumber harvesting practices; and drought-resistant landscaping and a watering system with conservation features.
DOE Awards 6 Higher Ed Biofuels Projects
The U.S. Department of Energy has selected six advanced biofuels projects in which it plans to invest up to $4.4 million, subject to annual appropriations. These awards to U.S. institutions of higher education will support research and development for cost-effective, environmentally friendly biomass conversion technologies for turning non-food feedstocks into advanced biofuels. Combined with the minimum university cost share of 20 percent, more than $5.7 million is slated for investment in these six projects. The institutions selected include the University of Toledo (OH); Stevens Institute of Technology (NJ); Montana State University; University of Georgia; University of Maine; and Georgia Tech Research Corp. By engaging these partners, the DOE is working to meet the Renewable Fuel Standard mandated by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which has a requirement of producing at least 36 billion gallons of U.S. renewable fuels by 2022.
Posted Sep 22, 2008
Drury U Habitat for Humanity House Earns LEED Platinum
A Habitat for Humanity house designed and built by students at Drury University (MO) has received LEED Platinum certification. The house features solar panels that heat water and the radiant floor, native landscaping, rain gardens, and pervious paved surfaces.
Earth Island Institute Awards Brower Youth Awards
The Earth Island Institute has awarded its 2008 Brower Youth Awards to six young environmental leaders. Marisol Becerra, Jessie-Ruth Corkins, Timothy Den Herder-Thomas, Kari Fulton, Phebe Meyers, and Ivan Stiefel were selected from 122 applicants for projects such as battling industrial polluters, stopping mountaintop coal mining, and restoring a migratory bird corridor in Costa Rica. The winners each received a $3,000 cash prize, will be honored at a formal awards ceremony in San Francisco, and will participate in skills-building and mentoring workshops geared toward furthering their leadership development.
Emory U Named 'Conservationist of the Year'
Emory University (GA) has been named the "2008 Distinguished Conservationist of the Year" by the Georgia Conservancy. The annual award is considered the highest honor bestowed by the conservancy and is given in recognition of Emory's efforts to incorporate sustainability as a way to restore the global ecosystem, promote healthy living, and reduce the University's impact on the surrounding environment.
Florida Gulf Coast U Launches Carpooling Website
Florida Gulf Coast University has launched a new carpooling website for students and staff to share rides. The goal of the website is to reduce traffic and pollution. The website allows participants to calculate their annual greenhouse gas emissions per pound.
Harvard U to Install Wind Turbines on Campus
Harvard University (MA) has announced plans to install small-scale wind turbines on top of the Holyoke Center, one of the University's administrative and student buildings. The system is not expected to generate much energy - the project's main purpose is to serve as a symbol of Harvard's commitment to sustainability.
Inside Higher Ed Compares Campus Sustainability Rating Systems
Inside Higher Ed has published a review of the various campus sustainability ranking and rating systems. The article compares reports, articles, and assessments by the National Wildlife Federation, the Sustainable Endowments Institute, The Princeton Review, Kaplan, Forbes , Sierra , and AASHE.
Kiwi Magazine Releases 2008 Green College Report
Kiwi Magazine has released its "2008 Green College Report," which profiles 75 colleges and universities committed to sustainability. The report is intended to help high school students and parents choose a green higher education institution.
North Carolina State U to Host Renewable Energy Research Center
North Carolina State University has announced that it will host the National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center for Future Renewable Electric Energy Delivery and Management (FREEDM) Systems. The center will be supported by an initial five-year, $18.5 million grant from NSF with an additional $10 million in institutional support and industry membership fees. The new center will develop technology that transforms the nation's centralized power grid into an alternative-energy-friendly "smart grid"