U Central Florida Adds Solar-Powered Electric Vehicle to Campus Fleet

The University of Central Florida has purchased its second eco-friendly vehicle. The new electric car, which can travel up to 15 miles per day, has been retrofitted to run on solar power alone. Three solar panels were installed on the roof of the vehicle and produce the needed 72V to run it.

U Maryland Helps Fund Portable Wind Turbine Development

The University of Maryland's Maryland Industrial Partnerships Program is providing $1.4 million, with participating companies donating a total of $3.4 million, to support research in the laboratories of participating University System of Maryland faculty who work with company researches. As part of the Program, $51,000 has been allocated to help ProParts LLC of Baltimore to develop low-wind, low-cost wind turbines that can be mounted in residential or urban markets and portable turbines for military applications.

Unity U House Achieves LEED Platinum

Unity House, the home for the President of Unity College (ME), has received LEED Platinum certification. The 1,930 square foot home features a passive solar design, solar panel heating, high-efficiency appliances, and low-flow water fixtures.

U North Carolina Approves Green Fee Renewal

Students at the University of North Carolina have approved the renewal and expansion of the existing $4 per semester renewable energy student fee. 83 percent of students voting approved the fee and fee expansion, which allows funds to be used for energy efficiency projects on campus.

U Rhode Island Opens Science Building

The Center for Biotechnology and Life Sciences at the University of Rhode Island has officially opened. The 140,000-square-foot facility, which is registered for LEED Silver certification, features a green roof, a rain garden, a stormwater treatment system, daylight harvesting technologies, and an energy efficient heating and cooling system.

U South Florida to Offer Ph.D.s Focused on Sustainable Communities

The University of South Florida Board of Governors has approved new doctoral programs in history, government, and sociology. The three programs are linked and will focus on sustainable healthy communities in a global context. The programs will discuss global security, population growth, land-use development, and the international financial crisis.

U Western Ontario Switches to FSC-Certified Paper

The University of Western Ontario has switched to Forest Stewardship Council-certified paper. The Purchasing Department tested the new paper last May within the Graphic Services Department and expanded the initiative to the entire campus this spring.

U Wisconsin Drops Apparel Contract Due to Poor Labor Practices

The University of Wisconsin has announced that it will not renew an apparel contract with Russell Athletic due to questions concerning labor practices at the company's Honduras factory. UW requires that its suppliers agree to a code of conduct that includes provisions for freedom of association, which is meant to protect worker rights.

UW Whitewater Goes Trayless

The University of Wisconsin, Whitewater has stopped offering trays at Esker Dining Hall, Drumlin Market, and the eateries in the James R. Conner University Center. The dining halls implemented the initiative after the successful pilot program, Trayless Tuesdays. The University estimates that it will save approximately 192,000 gallons of water.

Yale Announces First Grants for Sustainability Research

The Yale University (CT) School of Architecture has selected five projects to receive the inaugural grants from the Hines Research Fund for Advanced Sustainability in Architecture. The winning proposals fall into three thematic areas: constructional methods and materials, particularly in terms of reducing both embodied energy and the energy consumed by building systems; development of climate responsive building types; and analysis/optimization of energy behaviors in buildings. All proposals are committed to expanding academic research and educational opportunities for students.

Yale U Med School Earns LEED Gold

The Yale University (CT) Amistad Street Building has been awarded LEED Gold certification. The structure, which houses the School of Medicine, features bike racks and showers, locally produced and recycled content construction materials, a storm water collection system, ultra low-flow lavatories, dual flush water toilets, and occupancy sensors.

Yale U School Purchases Carbon Offsets

The Yale University (CT) School of Forestry and Environmental Studies has purchased carbon offsets to compensate for the air miles traveled by FES students on school-related trips in 2008. The offsets purchased will fund two carbon offset projects: a Pennsylvania family farm that captures methane gas released by manure, and uses it to generate electricity and heat and a New York landfill that traps and destroys methane gas. The two projects will compensate for 1.25 million pounds of carbon dioxide.

Ball State U to Replace Coal-Fired Boilers with Geothermal

Ball State University (IN) has announced plans to eliminate its coal-fired boilers and install 3,750 geothermal wells. The system, which will take 5-12 years to complete depending on funding availability, will include bore holes or well fields in soccer fields, band practice fields, and residence hall yards. The $66 million project has been approved by the University's board of trustees. The state Legislature appropriated more than $40 million several years ago for the University to replace the boilers with a circulating fluidized bed boiler to burn coal cleaner and more efficiently. Since then, however, no bids were received, and BSU plans to ask the legislature to re-appropriate the $40 million to the geothermal project. The University plans to start drilling the wells in early May.

Calvin College Campus Sustainability Guide

Calvin College (MI) has posted its new Campus Sustainability Guide online. The Guide contains information on how to get involved with campus sustainability issues at Calvin, what the institution has accomplished, and how members of the Calvin community can help the campus reduce its waste, energy usage, and water consumption.

CSU Chico College of Ag Receives $40K Organic Valley Award

The Research Foundation at California State University, Chico has received a $40,000 grant from Organic Valley. The money will be used by CSU, Chico's College of Agriculture to help fund a two-year study focused on improving net profit by improving pasture management. In addition to assessing and promoting more sustainable feeding systems, the project will host "grazing schools" for beginning and advanced dairy farmers to encourage and support efficient pasture use. The research will also assess organically approved soil amendments to establish profitability resulting from changes in forage quality and quantity.

Elon U Launches New Sustainability Website

Elon University (NC) has launched a new sustainability website that provides information on what the University is doing to become more sustainable. The site features a list of course offerings related to sustainability and green design and of student-run organizations focused on the environment.

Green Mountain College Hires Sustainability Coordinator

Green Mountain College (VT) has hired Amber Garrard as its new sustainability coordinator. Garrard holds an M.A. in sustainable development from SIT Graduate Institute, has started and managed a community garden, and was a research fellow for the Sustainable Endowments Institute.

McGill U Opens Office of Sustainability

McGill University (QC) has opened a new Office of Sustainability. The mission of the Office of Sustainability is to develop sustainability as a cultural norm at the University. The Office will encourage the efforts of students, faculty, staff, and administrators to incorporate principles of sustainability in the University’s operations, campus living and learning, and in its relations with the broader community. The Office will explore ways in which McGill can integrate social, environmental, and economic considerations in University decisions and develop partnerships that encourage and facilitate the cooperation of all members of the McGill University community to become more sustainable.

Middlebury College Opens Biomass Gasification Plant

Middlebury College (VT) has officially opened its biomass gasification plant. The $12 million plant is expected to cut the College’s use of heating oil in half – from 2 million gallons to one million gallons annually – and to reduce the College’s carbon dioxide emissions by 40 percent, or 12,500 metric tons. The gasification system converts regionally grown wood chips into gas that burns to provide steam for heating, cooling, hot water, and cooking throughout the campus. The plant is also expected to supply about 20 percent of the campus’ electricity consumption.

Montclair State U Approves Env'l Management PhD

The New Jersey Commission on Higher Education has approved Montclair State University's proposal to convert the current doctoral program in Environmental Management to a Ph.D. degree in the College of Sciences and Mathematics. The new program emphasizes the study of interconnections between environmental systems and human systems. The aim of the program is to prepare environmental scholars who will recognize and analyze relationships among scientific, technological, societal and economic issues, and who will understand the uses of research in a data-driven decision and policy making process, firmly rooted in current scientific knowledge and methodology.

Northern Arizona U Begins Composting Program

Northern Arizona University's Students for Sustainable Living and Urban Gardening, the Center for Sustainable Environments, and Sodexho's Environmental Action Program have partnered to introduce composting in NAU dining halls. The compost is collected and transferred to the garden located on campus.

Ohio U Implements Composting Program

Ohio University has implemented a new composting initiative on campus. OU purchased a 2 ton in-vessel composting system that can handle up to 28 tons of material to compost food from its Central Foods Facility. The University plans to expand its collection to all campus eateries soon. The resulting nutrient-rich soil will be used for grounds keeping once it is available.

South Dakota Universities Use Wind Power

The University of South Dakota and South Dakota State University have begun receiving a portion of their electrical energy use from a nearby wind farm. This is the result of an agreement between the Heartland Consumers Power District, which is purchasing the power from the wind project, and the State of South Dakota stating that wind power would be used for additional power needs at the state’s two largest universities.

Towson U Holds Res Hall Energy Conservation Competition

Towson University (MD) is holding a residence hall energy conservation competition. The University Residence Government is sponsoring the competition, which aims to educate students on what they can do to conserve energy. Through the competition, students are encouraged to turn off computers and printers when not in use, use natural light whenever possible, and unplug outlets when they are not being used. The amount of energy saved by each building will be recorded. The winning building will receive 50 free Chipotle dinners, which will be raffled off to student residents.

U Albany Saves 280K with Energy Initiative, Receives $5K Grant

The State University of New York at Albany has announced that it reduced energy costs by $280,000 as a result of its winter Intersession and Fall Energy Savings initiatives. In addition, the University has received $5,000 from the National Grid for its Change-A-Light campaign, which has distributed more than 1,300 compact fluorescent light bulbs in residence halls.

U Arkansas Pine Bluff Receives Energy Grant

The University of Arkansas, Pine Bluff has received a $92,966 grant from Arkansas Entergy Inc. to convert all lighting on campus to energy-saving bulbs. The campus currently uses room and ceiling motion sensors to reduce energy use.

U Hawai'i Manoa Installs Solar Panels

The University of Hawai'i at Manoa Shidler College of Business has installed a 4.5-kilowatt solar photovoltaic panel system on one of its towers. The solar panel system is expected to generate approximately 24 kilowatt hours of power each day. The new system includes a web-based monitoring system that will allow students, faculty, staff, and the general public to monitor solar power, reduced emissions, and environmental statistics on a daily basis.

U Illinois Chicago to Start Community Garden

The University of Illinois, Chicago has announced plans to dig a community garden on campus. The new garden, which will offer 5' by 6' and 5' by 12' plots, will be run communally and gardeners will be required to practice sustainable and organic techniques and refrain from using genetically-modified seeds. The UIC Office of Sustainability plans to offer educational workshops at the new site on topics such as gardening techniques, sustainable practices, and cooking and preserving.

U Nevada Las Vegas Unveils Energy Efficient Homes

The University of Nevada, Las Vegas, in partnership with Pulte Homes and NV Energy, has unveiled four energy efficient model homes in northwest Las Vegas. The homes were developed as part of a $7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop a community of homes that combine energy efficient features and smart grid technology to cut residential energy usage by more than half.

U New Mexico Saves $75K by Reducing Building Temperatures

The University of New Mexico has saved close to $75,000 in energy costs through the Winter Setback Program. The initiative aimed to save money by reducing temperatures in unoccupied buildings over the University's four-week winter break.

U Washington Students Produce Video on Campus Composting

A group of University of Washington students have created a video that aims to educate students about the process of composting. The video, which is in the form of a musical, discusses the importance and availability of composting on campus.

Washington U in St. Louis University Center Receives LEED Gold

The William H. and Elizabeth Gray Danforth University Center at Washington University in St. Louis (MO) has received LEED Gold certification. The structure features low-flow faucets and low flow toilets, a 50,000-gallon rainwater tank below the building that collects excess rainwater and groundwater, light sensors near every outdoor window, and showers for alternative transportation commuters.

Whitman College Implements Pay-Per-Page Printing System

Whitman College (WA) has implemented a new printing system that automatically deducts a set amount per printed page from a printing account. As part of the program, $60 in printing credits is granted to each student each semester. Single-sided black-and-white printing costs five cents per page, and printing double-sided costs nine cents front and back. The College experienced a 30 percent drop in printing during the first 10 days of the program.

Wilkes U Caps Student Paper Usage with Printing Policy

Wilkes University (PA) has capped the amount of paper students use each semester through its new GreenPrint Policy. Each semester, students are allotted a print quota of 550 pages. Overages result in a $0.10 per page charge which is placed on the student’s account. Since the initiatives beginning, the University reports that students have reduced their paper usage by half.

Winter Shutdown at WKU Saves $128K in Energy Costs

Western Kentucky University has saved 1,112 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions and $128,340 as a result of its energy savings experiment over winter break. The University decided to execute a "hard" shutdown of the campus during the holiday break, closing the campus for an additional week, to capture savings in its energy budget. During the three week break, WKU’s Department of Facilities Management Energy Management Team set back thermostats in buildings, turned off all lighting except for safety lights, unplugged vending machines and water fountains, and turned off water heaters and all other unnecessary energy draws. Faculty and staff were asked to turn off computers, unplug electronics and appliances, and turn off office lights before leaving for the break, a protocol students in university housing have been following for years. WKU had planned to initiate a similar shutdown over summer break, but has decided not to due to the number of campus activities the initiative would affect.

3 Vanderbilt U Res Halls Receive LEED Gold

Vanderbilt University's (TN) Stambaugh, Hank Ingram, and Murray Houses have received LEED Gold certification. Totaling more than 175,000 square-feet, and costing approximately $40 million, the new structures feature a green housekeeping program, a free ride to work program with Nashville's Metro Transit Authority, 26.4 percent recycled content in construction, and a diversion rate of over 74 percent of demolition and construction waste from landfills.

Baldwin Wallace College Launches Sustainability Major

Baldwin Wallace College (OH) has launched a new undergraduate major in sustainability. The new interdisciplinary major has six components: a mandatory introductory course; introductory core courses in the natural sciences, social sciences, and the humanities or business administration; an upper-level track in those same areas; an experiential component such as an internship with a corporation; a capstone course; and assignment and interaction with a local professional mentor.

Ball State U Saves Energy by Turning Off Lights

Ball State University (IN) custodians have begun turning off lights after their nightly cleanings in an effort to reduce energy use and spending. The initiative began after a 4 percent budget cut by the Indiana State Government.

Boston College Master Plan Features Sustainability

Boston College (MA) has dedicated a chapter of its Institutional Master Plan (IMP) to sustainability issues. The IMP lists several campus sustainability goals, including seeking LEED certification for all new buildings and developing and adopting a Sustainability Policy and Plan within one year. The IMP has not yet been approved, but the University is already moving forward with its goals. Retrofits have begun in several campus buildings.

Campus Sustainability Leader Earns Rhodes Scholarship

Oberlin College (OH) senior and environmental activist, Lucas Brown, has received a Rhodes Scholarship. Brown, along with two other students, designed and financed the SEED (Student Experiment in Ecological Design) house at Oberlin, an Oberlin-owned duplex that a group of students renovated to be more environmentally friendly. As a result of the changes made to the house, the students cut energy costs in half. Brown will begin a Masters in Economics program at Oxford University this fall.

Case Western Reserve U Residence Hall Earns LEED Silver

Case Western Reserve University's (OH) Village at 115 residence hall complex has received LEED Silver certification. The residence hall, which opened in 2005, features efficient heating, lighting, and water systems; energy-efficient windows, walls, and roof systems; and recycled and regionally manufactured building materials. The structure uses 40 percent less energy annually than a similar conventional building.

Dalhousie U Competes with Acadia U & Trent U in Green Challenge

Acadia University (NS) and Dalhousie University (NS) issued a challenge to each other to perform the same number of acts of green as the number of students enrolled at each institution through the One Million Acts of Green program, an initiative that aims to mobilize Canadians to perform one million acts of green collectively. An "act of green" is described as an opportunity to help the environment. This include tasks such as doing laundry in cold water, using a refillable coffee mug, walking to school, recycling electronics, buying a hybrid vehicle, or installing a solar panel. The Acadia and Dalhousie challenge began in January and was supposed to last until April 15, but both Universities reached their goal on the first day of the competition. As a result, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and The Hour , the two entities that created the program, proposed a new challenge between Dalhousie and Trent University (ON), two of the most active groups on the One Million Acts of Green website. Dalhousie is aiming for 55,000 acts and Trent, at about half the size of the Dalhousie, is aiming for 30,000. The first school to reach its goal will be declared the winner.

Dickinson College Science Complex Receives LEED Gold

The Dickinson College (PA) Rector Science Complex, Stuart and James halls, have achieved LEED Gold certification. Completed last spring, Stuart and James halls feature a 30 percent reduction in water use, high-efficiency windows, exterior sun shading, interior light harvesting, occupancy sensors, and interior sunshades. The 90,000-square-foot building also contains four enthalpy heat wheel recovery mechanical systems.

Dickinson Offers Sustainability Curriculum Dev Grants & Workshop

The Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education (CESE) at Dickinson College (PA) has announced an internal sustainability curriculum development program, the Environmental Education Fund (EEF), now available to all teaching staff. Curriculum, professional, and student-faculty development grants are competitively available to assist faculty in enhancing and creating environmentally and sustainability-related course content with emphasis on transdisciplinary, co-curricular, farm/biodiesel, watershed, global education, and community service projects. Projects will be funded based on their scholarly or creative merit and potential to advance knowledge about the effects of humans' actions on the environment. In addition, Dickinson College has announced an internal faculty development workshop that will allow a select group of faculty from across the curriculum to discuss the integration of the environment into college courses. Participants will explore methodologies by which the Dickinson community can meaningfully integrate sustainability through a variety of approaches, including place-based study, experiential learning, and multi-disciplinary team teaching.

George Washington U Hires Sustainability Director

George Washington University (DC) has hired Meghan Chapple-Brown as the University's first director of the office of sustainability. Chapple-Brown will coordinate operational activities university-wide under a collaborative plan that aims to maximize GW’s environmental efficiency at its two campuses in Washington, D.C. and Ashburn, VA. The new director will also work with the GW Office of Planning and Environmental Management to help create a comprehensive climate neutrality plan, which will target the reduction of greenhouse gases, and work with an academic task force looking at innovative curriculum in sustainability.

Lee College Signs Energy Contract under Clinton Climate Initiative

Lee College (TX) has signed an Energy Performance Contract with Johnson Controls under the Clinton Climate Initiative's Energy Efficiency Building Retrofit Program. The program brings together many of the world's largest cities, real estate firms, financial institutions, and energy service companies in an effort to reduce energy consumption in existing buildings. Signatories of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment are eligible to participate in the program thanks to a partnership between the Commitment and Clinton Climate Initiative. Officials believe that Lee College is the first higher education institution to sign a contract in the CCI program. When complete, all 35 of Lee College's facilities will be retrofitted. Specific improvements include adding a building management system and installing energy efficient heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and lighting products. Upon completion, the College expects to reduce its total electric consumption by approximately 35 percent and its energy and water costs by 32 percent.

Michigan State U Partners to Promote Green Efforts

Michigan State University, News/Talk 760 WJR, and MLive.com have begun a partnership to more broadly communicate sustainability efforts in the Great Lakes region. MSU and Detroit radio station WJR are currently collaborating on “Greening of the Great Lakes,” a Web site and a radio program that focus on all aspects of sustainability. The new partnership includes direct links to MLive.com’s environmental page. Topics range from the construction of green buildings to the development of energy-efficient automobiles to the creation of the biofuels.

MUM Students Build/Install Several Green Projects

A group of Maharishi University of Management (IA) Sustainable Living students have constructed and/or installed several green projects on campus. The projects include a wood-fired brick oven capable of making 20-30 loaves of bread at a time, a solar collector that is circulated into the classroom to provide warmth without the use of fossil fuels, a website the monitors the energy performance of their classrooms, a solar hot water heater, and a "living machine" that illustrates how a natural, living system can filter waste water. The system is a small-scale model of the sort of living machine that could be used to purify a home, office complex, or an entire city.

Notre Dame Helps the Poor with New Recycling Program

The University of Notre Dame (IN) has begun a new recycling program on campus that aims to help the environment and the poor. The Miraculous Metals recycling program allows ND students to collect aluminum cans and donate them to the Catholic Worker House, a shelter that takes in the homeless on freezing nights during the winter. The shelter then exchanges the scrap aluminum for funds. The new recycling program has been launched in the dorms, and the University hopes to expand it to off-campus housing and to the South Bend community in the near future.

Princeton U Installs Solar System on Library Roof

Princeton University (NJ) has installed a solar system on the roof of the building that houses the Research Collections and Preservation Consortium. Princeton, Columbia University (NY), and the New York Public Library are serving as hosts for the system, which features 5,000 photovoltaic panels that have the capacity to produce 370 kW of power.