Metropolis Magazine Covers Carbon Neutral Campus Efforts
Metropolis Magazine published an article in its February issue entitled "Carbon Neutral U" which highlights growing efforts by colleges and universities to reduce their carbon emissions. The article notes that "higher education has emerged as a thrilling proving ground for a sustainable society" and describes the activities of the Ivy Plus Sustainability Working Group.
Princeton Announces Sustainability Plan and GHG Commitment
Princeton University (NJ) has released a Sustainability Plan that includes a commitment to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to below 1990 levels by 2020 through on-campus activities rather than purchasing off-campus offsets. The plan also mandates that all new construction and renovations be LEED Silver equivalent and commits to providing financial support for commuter use of public transportation, enhancing the campus shuttle system and ride share programs, creating better walking and biking paths, developing telecommuting policy, and replacing retired campus fleet vehicles with zero or low emission vehicles. The plan also includes goals on resource conservation, research, education, and civic engagement.
U Buffalo Releases Climate Action Report
The University at Buffalo Green Office recently released the UB Green Climate Action Report, a comprehensive greenhouse gas emissions inventory and set of recommendations for how the University can reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and move towards climate neutrality. UB found that the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions on campus are building energy use and transportation. The report recommends that the campus increase renewable energy purchases, maximize energy efficiency in new buildings and renovations, advocate for a better mass transit system, and increase carpooling.
U Buffalo Switches to 100% Recycled Paper
The University at Buffalo has a new Recycled Paper Purchasing Policy that will ensure that all the 8.5 by 11-inch paper purchased by the University will consist of 100 percent post-consumer content, chlorine-free paper. The new policy will cost the college approximately $10,000 extra per year.
U Minnesota Morris to Install 2 Wind Turbines & a Steam Turbine
The University of Minnesota, Morris has received three Clean Renewable Energy Bonds, a special type of tax credit bond providing the equivalent of an interest-free loan for financing qualified energy projects. Authorized by the Internal Revenue Service, the bonds will allow UMM to construct two more wind turbines and to add a steam turbine that will convert steam from the biomass facility, which is currently under construction, into electricity. One of the wind turbines will be located on-campus, while the other will be located in western Minnesota and is to be shared with the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe. Combined with a previously constructed wind turbine, the new campus turbine will allow UMM to be powered almost exclusively with wind.
U System Maryland Appoints Vice Chancellor of Env. Sustainability
The University System of Maryland recently appointed the president of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Sciences, Don Boesch, as the Vice Chancellor of Environmental Sustainability. Boesch will remain president of UMCES while devoting efforts to overseeing a system-wide sustainability initiative to develop policies, practices, and programs. The Vice Chancellor is charged with helping to coordinate a system-wide effort to institute sustainable practices that reduce the University's impact on the environment.
U Vermont Student Union Awarded LEED Gold
The University of Vermont's Davis Center was recently awarded LEED Gold certification. The first student union to receive a LEED Gold rating, the Davis Center features a natural chimney that evacuates smoke in the event of a fire without the use of a mechanical system, sensors that regulate electric lighting based on the amount of daylight entering the space, and air conditioning, heating, and ventilation regulated by occupancy sensors. Other green elements include waterless urinals, a green roof, and 175 sensors to provide data to students, faculty, and staff on energy used for heating and cooling, electricity, water usage, soil moisture, content, and temperature on the green roof. This data will soon be displayed on the web as well.
U Victoria to Host Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions
The provincial government of British Columbia recently allocated $94.5 million to create the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions, to be hosted and led by the University of Victoria (BC). PICS will bring together top scientists, government and the private sector to develop innovative climate change adaptation and mitigation solutions. The collaboration also includes the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University and the University of Northern British Columbia.
U Wisconsin-Stout Purchases Electric Vehicle
The University of Wisconsin-Stout recently purchased a zero-emission, no noise electric vehicle. The ZENN car will be used by Parking Services for security and safety patrol of campus parking lots.
UW Stout to Offer Minor in Sustainable Design & Development
The University of Wisconsin-Stout will offer a new minor in sustainable design and development beginning fall 2008. The new minor has an interdisciplinary approach that integrates the natural and social sciences with technical course work associated with environmental issues, and will be offered through the department of engineering and technology.
Warner Pacific C Lowers Tuition
Warner Pacific College (OR) recently announced that, starting fall 2008, tuition and fees for incoming traditional undergraduate students will be 23 percent lower than the 2007 – 2008 school year. The move is intended to improve student access.
Washington U St. Louis Eliminates Student Loans
Washington University in St. Louis (MO) has announced that it will eliminate need-based loans as part of its undergraduate financial aid awards to students from low- and middle-income families. Beginning in fall 2008, both entering freshmen and returning full-time undergraduate day-school students with parental incomes of less than $60,000 will not be expected to take out need-based loans and will instead receive grants from the University that will not have to be repaid. Families with parental income somewhat higher than $60,000 also may receive additional student loan relief based on demonstrated need and their financial circumstances. The additional grant aid will be funded by the increase in spending from scholarship and unrestricted endowments in the university's four schools with undergraduate programs, as well as from unrestricted university resources.
Whitman C to Establish $100,000 Revolving Loan Fund
Whitman College (WA) recently announced its plan to establish a $100,000 revolving loan fund for sustainability initiatives. The fund will be launched during the 2008 – 2009 school year and will correspond with a call for proposals from students, faculty and staff. Half of the money will come from Whitman's life cycle program, which is mainly for building maintenance. The additional $50,000 will come from year-end surpluses. The College also plans to hire a current student or recent graduate as Sustainability Coordinator for the campus.
3 NY Schools Form Green Purchasing Consortium
Cornell University, Ithaca College, and Tompkins Cortland Community College recently helped to form the Finger Lakes Environmentally Preferred Procurement Consortium. The New York based consortium was created to help negotiate pricing for environmentally friendly cleaning products, paper, and office supplies. The consortium will attempt to purchase local products as well. Tompkins County, the City of Ithaca, the Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce, and Tompkins-Seneca-Tioga Board of Cooperative Educational Services are also helped to form the consortium.
6 Institutions Receive Exemplary Community Service Award
Six colleges and universities recently received presidential recognition for extraordinary contributions to service in their communities in the second annual 2007 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. The University of Colorado at Boulder, the University of Pennsylvania, and Otterbein College (OH) received Presidential Awards for General Community Service. Syracuse University (NY), the University of Redlands (CA), and Chaminade University of Honolulu (HI) were recognized for Service to Youth from Disadvantaged Circumstances, a special focus area of this year's Honor Roll competition. In all, 528 schools were listed on the Honor Roll for their community service activities during the 2006-2007 academic year. This year, new Special Achievement Awards for outstanding service by minority serving institutions and community colleges were presented to California State University, Fresno, Lake Area Technical Institute (SD), Raritan Valley Community College (NJ), and Johnson C. Smith University (NC). In addition, the Honor Roll also recognized 127 schools as Honor Roll with Distinction members and 391 schools as Honor Roll members. The awards were presented by the Corporation for National and Community Service.
Babson C to Install Wind Turbine
Babson College (MA) plans to install a residential-scale wind turbine on the school's campus as a demonstration project. The 1.8 kW turbine is expected to be operational before the close of the spring 2008 semester. It is estimated that the turbine will produce enough energy to supply roughly 60% of the annual energy needs at the school’s entrepreneurship gallery after planned lighting renovations are completed within the space. The project is a result of a proposal by a team of three graduate students. Officials say that Babson will be the first college in the greater Boston area to utilize wind power through an on-campus installation.
Dalhousie U Hires Sustainability Office Director
Dalhousie University (NS) recently hired Rochelle Owen as the Director of the Office of Sustainability. Her first tasks will be to develop a strategic plan for the office and to help draft a university-wide sustainability policy. Other duties include supporting, implementing, maintaining, and communicating campus-wide sustainability programs. Owens plans to focus on water use, electricity use, and eliminating paper coffee cups. She also plans to create a sustainability advisory board for the campus that will include faculty, students, and staff.
Farmingdale State C Purchases 6 Electric Vehicles
Farmingdale State College (NY) recently purchased six all electric vehicles to be used by the physical plant staff. The College plans to replace their older fleet vehicles with electric automobiles later this year and hopes to test an electric truck as well.
Furman U Receives Sustainability Grant
Furman University (SC) recently received a $250,000 grant to support environmental sustainability initiatives and stewardship. The grant will provide scholarship aid for students engaged in environmental projects on campus and in the community through a student fellowship program. The Fellows will be charged with promoting sustainable practices on campus, with includes the production of biodiesel fuel, the development of the organic garden, and the creation and maintenance of environmentally friendly living spaces. In addition to the fellowships, the grant will also go towards the completion of Cliffs Cottage, the new Southern Living Showcase Home on campus that will model green design, renewable energy, and sustainable products, processes and materials. The grant was awarded by The Bank of America Charitable Foundation.
Indiana U Holds Recycling Bin Design Contest
The Indiana University Task Force for Sustainability is holding a contest for the best recycling bin design. The project is intended to raise awareness about the importance of student participation in a successful campus-wide recycling system. The top 10 winning designers will get the chance to paint their artwork on one of the recycling bins to be displayed throughout campus. The decorated bins will serve as the first-ever outdoor recycling receptacles.
Indiana U Offers Grad Concentration in Sustainable Development
The Indiana University School for Public and Environmental Affairs recently announced that students in the Master of Public Affairs degree program can now pursue an academic concentration in sustainable development. To complete the concentration, students must take eighteen credit hours in courses such as sustainable development, natural resource management, urban or economic development, data analysis, applied ecology, and international environmental policy. SPEA faculty approved the proposal last fall, and campus officials gave final approval last week.
Lewis & Clark College to Install Solar Panels
Lewis & Clark College (OR) recently reached an agreement with Honeywell International to supply the campus sports facility with solar power. Under the agreement, Honeywell will install solar panels on the roof of the Pamplin Sports Center and sell to the college the electricity produced by the panels. Lewis and Clark officials say that the power purchase agreement is the first of its kind for a college or university in Oregon. The panels are expected to generate more than 97,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, produce enough power to meet approximately 15% of the electricity needs for the sports center, and cut carbon dioxide emissions by an estimated 1.8 million pounds over the course of the 20-year agreement. Lewis and Clark expects the solar installation to be completed by August 2008.
Macalester C Holds Green Light Bulb Contest
Macalester College (MN) recently held "The Light Bulb Switchout," a competition between freshman and upperclassmen to see who could replace the most four-foot florescent bulbs with higher efficiency bulbs. The 2,200 newly installed light bulbs are estimated to save the College up to $30,000 per year. The first-year students won the competition, switching 1,300 bulbs in one building. The old light bulbs were recycled by a local recycling company.
Macalester C Subsidizes Bus Passes
Macalester College (MN) is offering a 50% discount on bus passes to faculty, students, and staff. The goal of the initiative is to encourage the Macalester community to use public transportation in order to reduce carbon emissions.
Michigan Student Sustainability Coalition Launches Energy Campaign
The Michigan Student Sustainability Coalition recently announced the launch of the Energy Future Campaign at a press conference at the state capitol. During the event, the MSSC dropped off Valentine's Day cards to the Michigan Legislature in support of the Energy Future Campaign. The cards, along with the online cards sent by youth through cleanenergylove.com, called for a renewable energy standard of at least 25% by 2025 and an energy efficiency standard that would require 2% annual energy efficiency increases in this state between now and 2015, with a commitment to the renegotiation of a stronger standard after 2015. The letters also asked for a moratorium on new coal-fired power plants in Michigan and Integrated Resource Planning, which would require state regulators to consider demand-side options like energy efficiency programs as well as supply-side options in their efforts to meet Michigan's needs for energy, equity, and the environment.
Middlebury C Switches to 100% Recycled Paper
Middlebury College (VT) recently adopted a policy to switch from 30 to 100 percent recycled content and chlorine free paper in all printers, copiers, and outsourced publications. The policy encourages the use of Forest Stewardship Council certified paper and calls for the highest percentage of recycled content suitable for jobs that cannot be printed on 100% PCW-PCF paper. The increase in cost is estimated to be $100 per month.
Occidental C Offers Green Alternative to Dry Cleaning
The Occidental College (CA) Urban and Environmental Policy Institute recently began a program that offers an on-campus professional environmentally friendly wet cleaning service. Wet cleaning is an alternative to dry cleaning that uses energy efficient computer controlled washers and dryers, nontoxic biodegradable detergents, and finishing equipment to safely clean garments that have a dry clean label. To kick off the green cleaning service, Occidental will be hosting a fashion show featuring green designers and an informational session about alternatives to toxic dry cleaning. The program is offered by the UEPI's Pollution Prevention Center and a local clothes cleaning service, Sunny Brite Natural Cleaners.
Pomona C Buildings Receive LEED Gold
The Lincoln and Edmunds buildings at Pomona College (CA) recently received LEED Gold certification. The buildings feature waterless urinals, high-efficiency lighting, water-efficient landscaping, partial bamboo flooring, and a photovoltaic system that provides 22.4% of the buildings' power.
Stanford U Eliminates Student Loans
Stanford University (CA) recently announced a new undergraduate financial aid program that will eliminate the need for student loans. Under the new program, parents with incomes of less than $100,000 will no longer pay tuition. Parents with incomes of less than $60,000 will not be expected to pay tuition or contribute to the costs of room, board and other expenses. Students will still be expected to contribute their earnings from work during the summer and academic year. The plan will go into effect in fall 2008.
U College of the Fraser Valley Opens Green Building
The University College of the Fraser Valley (BC) recently opened the Trades and Technology Centre, a building that was built within the shell of an existing building using large portions of recycled material. The building also features energy-efficient electrical and mechanical systems.
U Puget Sound Offers Free Bus Passes
The University of Puget Sound's (WA) Transportation Task Force recently announced that it is distributing 75 free bus passes to members of the campus community in an effort to promote alternative transportation methods. The passes are available from February to April for three local bus lines. In exchange for the passes, commuters will share their bus-riding adventures via a blog for the duration of the program. The program is the result of a funding from the University's Sustainability Advisory Committee to purchase bus passes for faculty, staff, or students. One local transit operator, Pierce Transit, donated a matching number of passes to expand the program.
U.S. House Passes Higher Education Sustainability Act
The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed the College Opportunity and Affordability Act, HR 4137, which includes all the provisions of the Higher Education Sustainability Act with a few minor amendments. The final higher education act will now be addressed in the conference between the House and the Senate. So far, Senators Kennedy, Dodd, Bingaman and Kerry have co-sponsored Senator Murray's Senate version of HESA, and are looking for more support. These Senators are asking for colleges and universities to contact their senators about the importance of HESA.
U System Maryland Launches Sustainability Initiative
The University System of Maryland has launched a new initiative to promote environmental stewardship and sustainable practices across the system's universities, research institutions, and regional higher education centers. Goals of the initiative include reducing energy consumption system-wide by 15 percent and greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020, conducting audits of greenhouse gas emission for all USM institutions and using best practices to reduce these emissions, and developing a system-wide strategy for campus sustainability and energy efficiency, including green building guidelines and sustainability benchmarks for all new construction and major facility renovations. The chancellor's Environmental Sustainability and Climate Change Initiative will focus on developing policies, practices, and programs to support these goals.
U Washington Begins Doctoral Biofuels Program
The University of Washington recently began its new doctoral program in sustainable energy that focuses on biofuel technologies. Students in the program will work on the engineering challenges of sustainable energy. The program is sponsored by the Integrative Graduate Education and Research Training award, which funds six interdisciplinary doctoral students for five years and requires the school to recruit students from Native American communities.
U Washington Expands Biofuel Program
The University of Washington Motor Pool is switching from B5 to B20 fuel, which includes 20 percent biodiesel. The University plans to use B90 fuel in the future. The change is part of the Green Fleet Initiative, a program which aims to reduce the institution's environmental footprint.
Wellesley College Increases Financial Aid
Wellesley College (MA) recently announced a new initiative in its financial aid policies which will replace loans with grants for students from families who have calculated annual incomes below $60,000 and will reduce loans by one-third for those with incomes between $60,000 and $100,000. Under the new plan, eligible students from families with higher incomes will continue to benefit from Wellesley’s low loan packages, which will continue to cap the four-year maximum debt at $12,825. The new initiative will increase Wellesley’s spending on financial aid to about $40 million per year, 80 percent of which comes directly from its endowment.
Yale U Develops Sustainable Event Guidelines
Yale University (CT) has developed Sustainable Event Guidelines for campus events. The guidelines provide sustainable energy, waste, transportation, materials and food strategies to help reduce the environmental footprint of the occasion. Events will be awarded a bronze, silver, or gold sustainability rating depending on how many of the guidelines to which they adhere. The program was launched in an effort to make sustainability part of the campus culture, and was created by the Yale Sustainability Office, the Yale Sustainable Food Project, Yale Recycling, and Yale Catering.
Posted Feb 21, 2008
19 New Campuses Sign Presidents Climate Commitment
19 new institutions have signed the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment since the last update in AASHE Bulletin. In doing so, these campuses have committed to develop comprehensive plans for achieving climate neutrality. The new signatories are: James L. Oblinger of North Carolina State University, Geoffrey Gamble of Montana State University, Richard I. Gouse of New England Institute of Technology (RI), Gretchen M. Bataille of University of North Texas, Brian C. Mitchell of Bucknell University (PA), Robert Weisbuch of Drew University (NJ), Michael J. Graham of Xavier University (OH), Charles M. Edmondson of Alfred University (NY), David S. Wolk of Castleton State College (VT), Chui L. Tsang of Santa Monica College (CA), P. George Benson of College of Charleston (SC), Maria Klawe of Harvey Mudd College (CA), Benjamin B. Dunlap of Wofford College (SC), David J. Ramsay of University of Maryland at Baltimore, Jennie C. Hunter-Cevera of University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute, James Collins of Loras College (IA), Sean A. Fanelli of Nassau Community College (NY), Patricia C. Donohue of Mercer County Community College (NJ), and Joseph T. Barwick of Carteret Community College (NC). 492 college and university presidents and chancellors have now signed the Commitment.
Ball State U Awarded for Use of Biofuels on Campus
Ball State University (IN) recently received the Stakeholder Achievement Award for its use of biodiesel and ethanol in campus shuttles, trucks, and cars, which began in 2003. BSU's 78 diesel-powered shuttles and trucks run on soybean-based biodiesel, while 57 flex-fuel cars run on E85, a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. The award was presented by the Central Indiana Clean Cities Alliance.
College of the Sequoias to Open Organic Dairy Plant
College of the Sequoias (CA) recently leased a local dairy processing plant in order to provide hands-on experience for students studying organic dairy certification. The plant will allow for up to 30 student positions and will produce 150 organic milk products. Some of these products will be offered in COS campus dining halls. COS expects the plant to be open in early March.
CSU Chico Cafes Go Green
Two cafes at California State University, Chico are switching to fair trade, organic coffee beans and 100% biodegradable coffee cups. The two coffee shops, Creekside Café and Common Grounds, are also hoping to feature compost trash cans as well.
Gallaudet U Offers Car Share Program
Gallaudet University (DC) recently started a car share program for its campus. The program, which will be available to community members as well, is a result of a request made by the Green Gallaudet student organization and was implemented by the executive director of business and support services. The car share program will be run by Zipcar.
George Washington U Launches Affordability Program
The George Washington University (DC) Board of Trustees recently approved a five-year plan to address affordability and costs for undergraduates. The program includes moderating tuition increases, improving fund-raising efforts for student-aid, providing additional funding for institutional grants to incoming freshman, lowering the average student debt burden upon graduation, and continuing its fixed-tuition guaranteed financial aid program. Under the plan, GWU will provide $118 million in institutional financial assistance for undergraduates in 2008-2009, offer 50% tuition discounts for siblings, and reduce average student debt to $20,000.
Georgia Colleges Offer Local Produce
Several institutions from Georgia have recently switched to local produce in their dining halls. Wesleyan College recently signed an agreement to receive southeast regional produce whenever possible. This could result to as much as 85% locally grown fruits and vegetables offered during the summer months. Mercer University, Macon State College, and Central Georgia Technical College offer local produce as well.
Green Labs Recognized by R&D Magazine
R & D Magazine recently published an article highlighting green design as a trend in laboratory designs over the past year. Three quarters of entrants in the 2007 Lab of the Year competition mentioned green design in their applications, indicating that many submitters now believe a project must display at least some sustainable strategies to have a chance at winning an award. The article gave examples from laboratories at Arizona State University, SUNY Buffalo, SUNY Geneseo, the University of Washington, and Georgia Institute of Technology.
Louisiana State U Expands Bike Share Program
The Louisiana State University Environmental Conservation Organization recently added 20 bikes to the campus bike-share program called Gold Bike, which started in 2007 with a fleet of 8 bicycles. All bikes used in the initiative are second-hand and painted gold to keep the bikes from being stolen.
Mount St. Mary's U Dedicates Green Building
Mount St. Mary's University (MD) recently dedicated Bicentennial Hall, a green residence hall that celebrates the University's 200th year. Completed in January, the building features passive solar energy systems, geothermal heating and cooling, and recycled carpet tiles.
Northern Arizona U Pledges Support of Local Renewable Energy
Northern Arizona University, Coconino Community College, and several other large electrical power users in northern Arizona have signed a Power Purchasing Plan Memorandum of Understanding pledging their intent to pay a small premium for renewable energy to support the development of green generation facilities in the region. NAU has pledged to purchase 5 percent of its power from renewable sources. Participants, known as the Northern Arizona Renewable Energy Purchasing Group, include NAU, Coconino Community College, the city of Flagstaff, Coconino County, Flagstaff Medical Center, Flagstaff Unified School District, Foresight Wind Energy, Hozho International, Nestle Purina Co., Xanterra Parks and Resorts and Arizona Public Service.
Ripon College to Give Free Bikes to First Year Students
Ripon College (WI) recently announced that it will give a free bike, helmet, and bike lock to the first 200 incoming freshman who agree to leave their cars at home for the first year. Student must sign an honor code in order to receive the $400 worth of equipment. The program, called the Ripon Velorution Project, was created to address problems such as fuel consumption, pollution, traffic congestion and parking limitations on campus. The project was made possible by college donors, trustees, alumni, a local lock company, and a local bicycle corporation.
Senator Sanders Discusses Campus Sustainability
AASHE recently posted an interview with Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders about the campus sustainability related provisions that he introduced into the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. In the interview, Sanders talks about how the legislation will offer $1 million and $500,000 grants for renewable energy projects and innovative energy sustainability projects respectively to higher education institutions. The programs has been authorized and is awaiting appropriation.