Presidents Climate Commitment Reaches All 50 States
With recent signings from college and university presidents in Mississippi, Nebraska, and the District of Columbia, the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment now has signatories in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. 20 institutions have signed the 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: Robert C. Khayat of the University of Mississippi, Martha Dunagin Saunders of the University of Southern Mississippi, Brian L. Friedrich of Concordia University (NE), Steven Knapp of George Washington University (DC), Cornelius M. Kerwin of American University (DC), Michael K. Young of the University of Utah, Kenneth E. Peacock of Appalachian State University (NC), Ann Weaver Hart of Temple University (PA), Cassandra Manuelito-Kerkvliet of Antioch University Seattle (WA), Gerald Pumphrey of South Puget Sound Community College (WA), Thomas Hellie of Linfield College (OR), Roy Nirschel of Roger Williams University (RI), Phoebe K. Helm of Hartnell College (CA), Jack Oharah of Edmonds Community College (WA), Juan R. Olivarez of Grand Rapids Community College (MI), Roy A. Church of Lorain County Community College (OH), Cliff L. Wood of Rockland Community College (NY), Carl E. Haynes of Tompkins Cortland Community College (NY), Sandra Kurtinitisof the Community College of Baltimore County (MD), and William G. Ingram of Durham Technical Community College (NC). 539 college and university presidents and chancellors have now signed the Commitment.
Rochester Inst. of Tech. Announces Transportation Research Initiative
The Rochester Institute of Technology (NY) Laboratory for Environmental Computing and Decision Making recently announced a new program aimed at exploring the environmental, economic, and energy impacts of global and domestic freight transportation. The Sustainable Freight Transportation Research Initiative plans to help build tools and conduct research necessary for improving the environmental footprint from moving goods around the globe. The LECDM will work on projects such as developing a Geospatial Intermodal Freight Transportation tool that allows shippers and policymakers to identify the easiest ways to move freight throughout the country. This mapping tool allows for the analysis of moving goods from origin to destination and can identify the greenest routes, as well as the fastest and least expensive routes.
Rochester Inst. of Tech. Sustainability Center Receives $2M Donation
The Rochester Institute of Technology (NY) Golisano Institute for Sustainability recently received a $2 million donation from Xerox Corporation to further the research of new sustainable technologies. As a new founding partner of the institute, Xerox will spread the $2 million over five years. RIT launched the Golisano Institute for Sustainability in 2007.
Temple U to Establish Office of Sustainability & Hire Sustainability Dir.
Temple University (PA) recently announced that it will establish an Office of Sustainability in the office of the Vice President for Operations. A new director of sustainability will be appointed to integrate sustainable principles into Temple’s operational, academic and service functions. The director will work with students, faculty and staff to develop sustainable programs and activities, and to implement a comprehensive sustainability strategy.
U Central Florida Establishes Dept of Sustainability & Energy Mgmt
The University of Central Florida recently established a Department of Sustainability and Energy Management within its Facilities and Safety division, to dedicate resources to improving energy and water efficiency and conservation on campus. This reorganization will build on the successes of UCF’s former Center for Energy and Sustainability. Plans for the new department include eco-friendly competitions among residence halls, a LEED silver certification for all new buildings policy, and a 20 percent reduction in energy consumption by 2010.
UC Irvine Establishes New Environment Institute
The University of California, Irvine has established a new research institute dedicated to the study of how the environment and society interact. The UC Irvine Environment Institute: Global Change, Energy, and Sustainable Resources will bring together scientists from across campus to work on projects specific to these areas. For example, projects could include studying how climate change will alter public health and welfare; whether people will accept the living patterns of green cities; and the environmental impacts of new energy technologies. The institute will award seed grants on a competitive basis to teams of UCI researchers from diverse schools and departments who design and collaborate on projects. Priority will be given to projects spanning scientific research, technological innovation, and/or societal response. In addition, UCI will dedicate eight positions over the next three years for new faculty members who will broaden its environmental expertise.
U Delaware, UW-La Crosse, Moravian College Sign Declaration
The University of Delaware, the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse, and Moravian College (PA) recently signed the Talloires Declaration. The Talloires Declaration is a 10-point action plan for incorporating sustainability and environmental literacy in teaching, research, operations and outreach at colleges and universities. It has been signed by over 350 university presidents and chancellors in over 40 countries. In connection with the Talloires signatures, the UD President simultaneously signed the American College and Universities Presidents Climate Commitment, and Moravian College announced a $40,000 endowed fund to support the Sustainability Task Force, a group consisting of students, faculty, and staff working together to promote environmental issues.
Unity College Pres. to Live in On-Campus Sustainable House
Unity College (ME) recently announced that it will soon build a sustainable house on campus that will serve as a single family residence for the president of the University, an on-campus meeting and entertaining space, as well as a classroom. Designed for "Net-Zero" energy use, the 1,930-square-foot 'Unity House' will achieve LEED Platinum standards, feature a photovoltaic solar panel array, and be a living classroom for college students. The house will be the second completed structure of the OPEN Protot
U Penn Increases its Wind Power Purchase
The University of Pennsylvania recently announced that it will increase its purchase of renewable wind energy credits during the next two years. The move will make the University the top consumer of wind energy among institutions of higher education across the nation, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The University will purchase an additional 80,000 megawatt hours per year, bringing its total wind-energy purchase to nearly 200,000 megawatt hours per year.
U Utah Unveils New Cogeneration Steam System
The University of Utah recently unveiled a new cogeneration steam system, which will supply 5 to 10 percent of the University's electricity needs and produce heat for part of the campus. The new system is estimated to save 63,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions from going into the atmosphere per year.
U Wisconsin – La Crosse Students Approve Green Fee
University of Wisconsin, La Crosse students recently approved a $5 per semester renewable energy and energy efficiency fee with 89 percent of students voting. After being passed by the Student Senate, a referendum was created for the Student Association election ballot. The Student Sustainability Fund will go towards installing solar hot water heaters and LED lighting, and investing in wind power.
Washington U in St. Louis to Offer Occasional Parking Program
Washington University in St. Louis (MO) recently announced that they will debut the Occasional Parking Program starting in the Fall of 2008. The program is designed to provide an occasional, reduced-cost daily parking option for those who normally use an alternate mode (walk, bike, public transit and carpool) for their commute. The Occasional Parking Program will make a set number of discounted daily passes available annually for purchase by individuals enrolled in the program. WUSTL also offers a car sharing program, and provides each benefits-eligible employee and full-time student with a complimentary U-Pass, which allows the holder unlimited use of Metro buses and MetroLink as an alternative method of transportation to and from campus.
Westminster College Launches Bike Share Program
Westminster College (UT) recently launched a pilot bike share program. Westminster purchased five lavender bikes that have been made available for check out to all college students, faculty, and staff. The program is a result of a donation made by Chevron.
Worchester Polytechnic Institute to Offer Env. Studies BA
Worcester Polytechnic Institute (MA) recently launched an interdisciplinary Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies in which students will focus on solving complex environmental problems, the technical aspects of environmental decision making, and the social aspect of environmental policy. The new major is designed to provide students with knowledge of a broad range of issues such as water management, carbon dioxide reduction, building greener housing by using less toxic materials, improving transportation planning in suburban areas, approaching issues of environmental justice, and more. The program will also engage students in fundamental principles of mathematics, natural science, environmental engineering, social science, and the humanities.
4 KY Campuses Partner to Stimulate Green State Energy Policy
Berea College, Centre College, University of Kentucky, and University of Louisville recently partnered to form "Energizing Kentucky," an initiative that encourages Kentucky to focus on a 'coherent and integrated' energy policy. The program will assist policy formation by bringing together state and national energy experts to discuss the economic, educational, and environmental opportunities and challenges presented by the world's current energy situation. Three conferences will be offered to address the i
Ball State U Student Wins Electric Car for University
Ball State University (IN) student Jagjeet Singh Chahal recently won a $1,000 scholarship and a Miles electric vehicle for BSU for the Miles Revolution Video Contest. Chahal's video garnered the most views of any entrant with over 24,000 views on YouTube. The goal of the contest was to engage students in their institution's sustainability efforts and promote the use of alternative fuel vehicles on university campuses nationwide.
Columbia U Students Break Ground for Campus Garden
Columbia University (NY) recently held a groundbreaking ceremony for its new campus garden. The project aims to raise student awareness about sustainability, agriculture, and food-related issues by creating a space where students can see and actively participate in the growth of vegetables. The students plan to grow eggplants, tomatoes, squash, onions, and a variety of herbs, which will be sold to support the garden. The student group signed a contract with Facilities Management stating that if the garden project does not succeed, the plot will be returned to the department.
EPA Announces P3 Winners from Sustainable Design Expo
The Environmental Protection Agency recently announced the annual People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) competition winners. This year's winners include students from Drexel University (PA), Loyola University Chicago (IL), the University of California-Berkeley, the University of California-Davis, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the University of Iowa. The national competition, sponsored by the EPA's Office of Research and Development, encourages college students to create sustainable solutions to environmental problems through technological innovation. These sustainable solutions must be environmentally friendly, efficiently use natural resources, and be economically competitive. Each P3 award winner receives funding up to $75,000 to further develop their designs and implement them in the field or move them to the marketplace. The P3 Award competition was held at the EPA's fourth annual National Sustainable Design Expo in Washington, D.C., where over 40 Exhibitors and over 50 P3 teams demonstrated their sustainable designs and new products for green buildings, innovative alternative energy technologies, strategies for rainwater collection and purification, and more.
Humboldt State U Opens Green Research Center
Humboldt State University (CA) recently opened the Green Product Design and Development Laboratory, a research center that allows students to gain skills in designing innovative green products through class and laboratory experiences. GreenLab, as it is called, grew out of a partnership between the HSU School of Business’ Department of Applied Technology, the John Ash Group and HSU’s Office for Economic & Community Development.
Iowa State U Building Awarded LEED Silver
Iowa State University was recently awarded LEED Silver certification for Morrill Hall, a 115 year old building that received $10 million in renovations. 27 percent of construction materials were manufactured within 500 miles of the building, 88 percent of the building's structure and shell were kept and rehabilitated, and 18 percent of the new construction materials contained recycled materials. Morrill Hall is the first building at ISU to receive green building certification.
Ohio State U Launches Bike Share Program
Ohio State University recently launched Buckeye Bikes, a new reservation program that allows students, faculty, and staff to reserve bicycles for free. Bikes are permitted to be on loan for up to 48 hours. The new program offers 20 bicycles that were donated by Schwinn.
Portland CC Rock Creek Begins Composting Program
Portland Community College, Rock Creek (OR) recently began a vermicomposting program. An estimated 40,000 worms help to break down about 650 pounds of pre-consumer food waste per month within a large composting bin which was paid for with part of a $12,500 state grant. After the food has completely broken down, it is added to the college's organic learning garden. Vegetables grown in the garden are used in the cafeteria's food service program. The composting program has also been incorporated into college courses, ranging from health to environmental sciences to organic gardening. Students also plan to plant two plots in the learning garden to see how they respond to the worm compost.
Purdue U to Green 3 Buildings, Purchases Green Vehicles
Three Purdue University (IN) buildings have recently been selected for Qualified Energy Savings upgrades as part of an Indiana legislative program. The upgrades will improve the energy efficiency on campus by replacing air handling units, installing more efficient toilets and urinals, and retrofitting kitchen and lavatory faucets with aerators to reduce water consumption. Purdue officials say that the energy savings from the upgrades will translate into a 3.3 percent annual reduction in overall carbon dioxide emissions from the campus utility plant. Additionally, Purdue recently purchased two hybrid vehicles and a mid-sized travel bus that can run on B20 fuel. With the addition of the two new cars, Purdue increased its hybrid fleet to four vehicles.
Rochester IT Dedicates Green Building
Rochester Institute of Technology (NY) recently dedicated its new College of Applied Science and Technology building, RIT's first green structure on campus. The building collects rainwater from the roof and uses the water to flush toilets in the restrooms, reduces energy use by approximately 21 percent, and has a 300 square foot green roof.
St. Cloud State U to Launch Yellow Bikes Program
St. Cloud State University (MN) recently announced that it will launch the Yellow Bike Program on campus. The St. Cloud community has been donating bikes to the program and volunteers have been repairing the bikes and painting them yellow. The Yellow Bike Program is a bike sharing program that makes bikes available to the community at no cost or for a small fee.
St. Cloud State U Unveils Biofuels Bus
St. Cloud State University (MN) recently unveiled a bus powered by 80 percent recycled vegetable oil and 20 percent diesel fuel. The Husky Fried Ride uses approximately 150 gallons of vegetable oil per week while classes are in session, and is operated by the city bus system on the university park-and-ride routes. The vegetable oil used in the Husky Fried Ride is obtained from the university deep fryers.
The College of William & Mary Opens Campus Garden
The College of William and Mary (VA) Student Environmental Action Coalition recently started an on-campus garden. The garden was plowed and mulched in the fall of 2007, and students started seedlings in February. Campus Grounds gave the students the plot of land and allowed the students to use departmental garden tools. The garden also includes a compost bin in which Dining Services puts food daily. The garden is a result of SEAC, Dining Services, and members of the College's gardens and grounds division. Eventually, SEAC hopes to start a campus and community educational farm, teaching about sustainable agriculture and the farming process.
UC Santa Barbara Adopts Sustainability Plan
The University of California, Santa Barbara recently announced its adoption of a Campus Sustainability Plan, which aims to make significant contributions to energy conservation, resource management, environmental awareness, and sustainability education and research on the UCSB campus and beyond. Developed as a "living document" that will be updated on a regular basis, the plan was drafted by the Campus Planning Committee's 17-member Subcommittee on Sustainability. The group worked in consultation with a b
UC Santa Cruz Releases Sustainability Assessment
The University of California Santa Cruz recently released its 2007 Campus Sustainability Assessment, which identifies sustainability related successes and areas for improvement in sustainability efforts. The report establishes a basis for measuring progress over time, and is the work of over 60 staff, faculty, and students.
U Delaware to Conduct GHG Inventory, Unveils Sustainability Website
The University of Delaware recently announced that it will conduct a greenhouse gas inventory as part of its new commitment to sustainability on campus. The study, which will be lead by the Director of the University's Center for Energy and Environmental Policy, will be supported by the UD Class of 2008, which has chosen to support the initiative with its senior class gift. UD is also launching a campus sustainability website, which will provide information on current research and campus sustainability events.
U Kentucky Trustees Reject Student Approved Green Fee
The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees recently rejected a student approved green fee for the second time. A $6 - $8 green fee, approved by 67 percent of the students in 2006 to support renewable energy on campus, was voted on in 2007 and failed to pass. This year, although the proposed fee increase was reduced to 50-cents, the green fee was again rejected. The Board felt that the proposal did not specify in sufficient detail how the money would be spent. Students rejected this argument, claiming that the fee would be spent on renewable energy.
U Mary Washington Campaign Saves Energy
A University of Mary Washington (VA) student-led environmental campaign has saved an estimated 197 metric tons of carbon dioxide from going into the atmosphere as a result of a shift in energy-saving attitudes and behaviors on campus. Results of a survey showed that students wasted the most energy when taking long showers, leaving computer equipment on when not in use, and running fans and air conditioning units when no one was in the room. The University's energy services company, NORESCO, then designed and provided training for resident assistants to educate others about changing these three specific behaviors. Resident assistants then launched a campaign to change attitudes and behaviors by talking with their residents, modeling the behaviors, and posting flyers to remind students to conserve energy, among other activities. NORESCO plans to expand the program to other colleges and universities.
U Minnesota Morris Purchases Electric Vehicle
The University of Minnesota, Morris recently purchased a Zero Emissions Vehicle, or ZEV, for the campus' plant services work fleet. Plant services sold its gas powered vehicle to purchase the $12,500 electric vehicle. The ZEV is expected to require 90 percent less maintenance than a normal gas powered automobile.
UNC Launches Business Accelerator for Sustainable Entrepreneurship
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Center for Sustainable Enterprise at the Kenan-Flagler Business School has launched a business accelerator to speed the growth of firms with environmental and social objectives. The Business Accelerator for Sustainable Entrepreneurship will connect entrepreneurs to a range of sustainability resources with the aim of accelerating their growth and impact. Now in a pilot phase, BASE will work with seven early-stage Triangle-based sustainable businesses. The entrepreneurs will receive mentoring by BASE advisory board members; participate in networking events, training and workshops; get access to funding opportunities, service providers and the BASE resource network; and join a network of innovative sustainable entrepreneurs. The pilot phase of BASE will run through September 2008, when it will enter its full-scale phase, which will include a physical incubator with space for up to 10 businesses. Participants will benefit from access to faculty and students for consulting projects and internships; business support services, such as quarterly progress review sessions; and networking and learning opportunities.
U New Hampshire Students Win Intl Environmental Design Contest
A team of University of New Hampshire business and engineering students recently won first place at the 2008 International Environmental Design Contest held at New Mexico State University. This year’s design tasks were based on real-world environmental challenges, focusing on technologies to tackle renewable energy innovation, sustainable building design, and water issues. The 14 member team, Retrolutions, developed the project EARTH (Education, Awareness, Reduction, Technology, and Holistic Approach), an integrated plan to retrofit a building in Phoenix. They conducted energy and water audits, and suggested reducing the demand of energy and water through education and awareness of the building’s occupants as well as by employing existing technologies. They also designed three technologies that could be implemented to minimize the buildings energy and water demands: a grey water recycling system, a solar concentrating energy production system, and a compressed air enhanced evaporative cooling system. Retrolutions has been invited to present their project at the Environmental Protection Agency Science Forum in May 2008.
Unity College Pledges to Purchase Local Carbon Emission Reductions
Unity College (ME) and the Maine State Housing Authority, also known as MaineHousing, recently completed an agreement which states that the College will purchase carbon emission reductions derived from MaineHousing's energy efficiency programs. MaineHousing will use the funds it receives to create additional affordable, environmentally sound, and energy efficient housing.
U Texas Austin Requires Students to Use Fluorescent Bulbs in Dorms
University of Texas at Austin recently announced that starting Fall semester 2008, students will be required to use fluorescent bulbs instead of incandescent bulbs. As part of this effort, the Division of Housing and Food Services has been in the process of replacing light fixtures with more energy efficient fluorescent models, replacing incandescent bulbs with more efficient fluorescent bulbs, and installing motion detector light switches where applicable. The University will also provide recycling boxes at center desks for students to dispose of burnt out fluorescent bulbs.
U Vermont Offers Full Tuition to Pell Grant Recipients
The University of Vermont recently announced that beginning with the 2008 entering fall class, the university will offer grants and scholarships covering all tuition and fees to Vermont undergraduates eligible for Federal Pell Grants. The program will be implemented over the next four years to cover all Pell-eligible Vermont undergraduates attending UVM. When fully implemented, the new initiative will represent an approximately $750,000 investment.
UW Oshkosh Sustainability Plan Aims for Fossil Fuel Independence
The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh recently released its Campus Sustainability Plan, which aims for complete independence from fossil fuels for electricity, heating, and cooling. UWO plans to install solar panels, biodiesel electric generators and small wind turbines to help reach this goal. The plan contains 18 major goals and 135 recommendations that aim to incorporate the principles of sustainability into all aspects of the university. UWO would also be a venue for fair-trade products, hire a campus sustainability director, and develop a community garden and composting site.
21 North Carolina Campuses Awarded State Energy Efficiency Grants
15 University of North Carolina campuses and six community colleges were recently awarded the state's first Energy Efficiency Reserve Fund grants to implement power-saving projects. The governor made the announcement at the 5th Annual North Carolina Sustainable Energy Conference. The grants are administered by the State Energy Office.
Central Piedmont CC Establishes Center for Sustainability
Central Piedmont Community College (NC) has established a Center for Sustainability to respond to the need for sustainability training. The Center will offer courses, workshops, and seminars, and plans to collaborate with various agencies to accomplish its goals. The Center for Sustainability aims to increase community awareness of the importance of living and working in an ecologically responsible manner, to conduct continuing education training and seminars for the general public which focus on teaching people how to live in an environmentally friendly manner, and to increase the presence and perspective of environmental sustainability into CPCC curriculum programs.
Duquesne University Purchases RECs
Duquesne University (PA) recently purchased 8,020,000 kW of Renewable Energy Credits. This purchase is equivalent to 100 percent of the University's purchased electricity.
Green Mountain College Course Wins VT Env. Excellence Award
The Green Mountain College (VT) Course, "Food, Agriculture, and Community Development in the Northeast," has received the Vermont Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence and Pollution Prevention. The course explored how food choices affect the community. The class visited roughly one dozen area farms and hosted several national food and agricultural experts as guest speakers. As a final project, the class created sustainable purchasing guidelines for an on-campus dining hall.
Johns Hopkins Invests in Faculty Diversity
Johns Hopkins University (MD) will provide at least $5 million over the next five years in matching funds for departments seeking to improve faculty diversity, which will include hiring and retaining outstanding women and underrepresented minority scholars. The Mosaic Initiative, as the pilot program will be called, will be funded initially at a minimum of $1 million per year, to be increased as the project generates external support.
Lock Haven U of PA Clearfield Breaks Ground on Green Building
The Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania, Clearfield campus recently held a groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of a new academic building. Plans for the building features design elements that permit high standards of energy efficiency and the use of local building materials. The University plans to use 50 to 75 percent recycled building materials and incorporate other components that are environmentally friendly. The University hopes to receive LEED Silver certification for the new building.
MIT Buildings To Undergo Energy Conservation Improvements
Several Massachusetts Institute of Technology buildings will undergo a variety of basic energy conservation improvements in the next few months. Pilot projects include retrofitting light bulbs and fixtures, adding and adjusting motion sensors, monitoring buildings to gauge energy use, and automating fume hood controls. The projects have been made possible by $500,000 in seed funding from the Executive Vice President, the Department of Finance, and the Department of Facilities. Additionally, students in a recent Sloan School of Management course partnered with the Department of Facilities to identify an additional $14 million of potential investments with a three-year return. These include a major revamping of the heating system in one building to include heat recovery; continuous building commissioning that assesses and optimizes building energy systems in real time; and strategic maintenance to improve energy efficiency in existing ventilation systems.
MIT Establishes Center to Reduce Cost of Solar Energy
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology recently announced its partnership with Fraunhofer, a German research organization, to establish a research center in Massachusetts focused on significantly reducing the cost of solar energy over the next five years. The MIT-Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems aims to develop progressive technologies and materials for designing and producing better solar modules. Located adjacent to the MIT campus, the center will be active in other areas of sustainable energy research as well, including developing new technologies to substantially reduce the energy consumption of new and retrofitted structures.
MIT Science Building Awarded LEED Silver
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Brain and Cognitive Sciences Complex recently received LEED Silver certification. The building features gray-water recycling for toilets, heat recovery on the exhaust air stream, and interior finishes that impose a minimal impact on indoor air quality.
NWF 'Chill Out' Contest Winners Announced
The National Wildlife Federation has announced the winners of its 2008 Chill Out: Campus Solutions to Global Warming national competition. The program honors U.S. schools that are show leadership in addressing global warming and do so in a creative manner. Butte College (CA) was named the Grand Prize winner for employing energy efficiency measures in all campus facilities. Butte also runs the largest community college transportation system in California, recycles more than 75 percent of its operations waste stream, and has a solar array that generates for 28% of the campus' electricity use. Other campus winners include the University of Missouri in the Energy Efficiency category, University of Montana, Missoula in the Transportation category, and Cascadia Community College (WA) and University of Washington in the "Habitat Restoration, Waste Reduction, Educational Awareness and More" category. Berea College (KY) and Daemen College (NY) were the YouTube Video Winners.
Portland State U Greenhouses Awarded LEED Silver
The Portland State University (OR) Biology Research Greenhouses have received LEED Silver certification. Sustainability features include: on-site treatment of all runoff from the roof before it enters the city's stormwater system; flow-through planters populated with native plants that are watered with rainwater; a driveway that is made of permeable pavers; and a covered patio that is enclosed by bamboo fencing. Inside the greenhouses, the lumber used for cabinets and counters is Forest Stewardship Council certified. The certification is for Phase 1 of a two-phase project of ten modular interconnected greenhouses.