Peterson's Begins Survey of Sustainability Efforts in Higher Education

Peterson's is conducting an online survey of sustainability efforts in higher education. The survey, which is not intended for ranking purposes, gives institutions an opportunity to present profiles of their ongoing green initiatives to prospective students online on the Peterson's website. In addition, the profiles will be included in a new print publication in 2009. For more information, contact

Princeton U Announces New Transit System

Princeton University (NJ) has announced the TigerTransit system, a new addition to the campus's current shuttle system. The new system will have three major lines and a campus circulator. The three main lines will run between graduate housing and main campus, while the circulator will focus on transportation on main campus and along Nassau Street and Washington Road.

SFSU, UCSB Establish Sustainability Committees

San Francisco State University (CA) has formed a committee to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and work towards environmental sustainability. The 14-member committee is made up of students, faculty, and staff. Similarly, the University of California, Santa Barbara has formed a new Sustainability Committee. The group, which will meet for the first time later this month, will work to enable the campus to reduce its environmental impact. The Committee's goals include uniting existing sustainability efforts on campus, finding new ways to promote energy conservation, and transitioning the campus to employ alternative energy sources.

U Arkansas Holds Student Contest for Campus Sustainability Plan

The University of Arkansas has announced a sustainability contest for its campus. The Students First Sustainability Competition offers student teams the opportunity to win up to $15,000 in prizes for submitting the winning plan to make UA more sustainable. Students will form teams to develop practical innovations that will provide the UA campus with financial and energy savings, reduce the negative environmental impacts of campus activities, and develop policies and business plans that will improve UA's energy and environmental performance. The competition will be judged based on students' ability to prescribe energy savings, water savings, recycling improvements, policy improvements and business strategies that will make the campus more sustainable.

UC Boulder, Skidmore Launch Energy Conservation Competitions

The University of Colorado at Boulder's Baker and Libby residence halls have begun a competition to reduce electricity use. The Power Showdown, which began in October and will last three weeks, features a website that shows electricity usage in the two halls in real time, in historical time, and by a per person average. The website also contains a list of ways students can reduce their electricity use in their dorm room. Twenty prizes will be awarded to students in the winning hall that registered for the competition. Similarly, Skidmore College (NY) has launched Skidmore Unplugged, a 3 week energy conservation competition between its eight residence halls. In preparation for the competition, a Communications Design class designed a logo, brochures, a "Skidmore Unplugged" page on Facebook, a ‘Captain Kill-a-Watt’ costume, and a website that reports in real time each residence hall’s consumption of electricity.

U Chicago, Unity College, U Iowa Hire Sustainability Officers

The University of Chicago (IL) has hired Ilsa Flanagan as the University's first Sustainability Director. Flanagan will work to develop a program to help the University incorporate sustainability into its academic pursuits. She will also work with the campus's Sustainability Project Manager, Associate Vice President, and the Sustainability Council to establish a campus-wide definition of sustainability. Unity College (ME) has announced the hiring of Rob Beranek as the campus's new Sustainability Coordinator. Beranek was the Managing Director of the Unity Center for Environmental Education, and he holds an undergraduate degree in physics and a Master's of Science in Environmental Studies. The University of Iowa has named Liz Christiansen, currently the deputy director of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, as its Director of the Office of Sustainability. In her new role, Christiansen will coordinate and develop programs to promote sustainability and resource conservation; lead or coordinate efforts to formulate institutional goals, policies, practices and measure progress; seek grants and other funding to financially support campus sustainability efforts; and work to enhance and enlarge the UI community's understanding of the importance and feasibility of sustainability initiatives from an ecological and financial perspective.

UC Merced Redesigns Construction Plans to Increase Green Space

The University of California, Merced has redesigned its plans to construct student housing, a sports complex, and a research and development park to incorporate more green space and reduce environmental damage. The University decreased the size of the new campus and accompanying student neighborhoods from 3,025 to 2,766 acres. In addition, buildings have been relocated within the plan to reduce wetland impact by one third. The University also plans to undertake mitigation measures for the damage the new construction will cause.

UC Santa Barbara, Colorado College Win Green Cleaning Awards

Custodians at the University of California, Santa Barbara and Colorado College have received the Grand Award for their green cleaning practices as part of a contest sponsored by American School & University magazine, The Green Cleaning Network, and the Healthy Schools Campaign. The campuses will be featured in AS&U magazine's December edition.

U Georgia Receives Green Cleaning Certification

The University of Georgia has become one of only two universities in the country to earn ISSA's Cleaning Industry Management Standard Certification with Honors. The University received the award for the Physical Plant Building Services Department's work in the 28 buildings on North Campus which comprise UGA's new "green corridor." The University of Michigan is the other school which has obtained this distinction.

U Illinois Breaks Ground for Supercomputer Center

The University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign has broken ground for its new 88,000 square foot building that will house a new petascale supercomputer, which will be online in 2011. UI plans to keep the new machine cool by routing chilled water into the frame that holds the computer’s processors, which should reduce energy use by approximately 40 percent. The facility is expected to earn LEED Gold.

U Mass Dartmouth Begins Energy Use Reduction Campaign

The University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth Sustainability Office has launched a new campaign to encourage the campus community to reduce the amount of energy used on campus. To launch the five month campaign, the Office of Sustainability held an event at which it announced tips on how students, staff, and faculty can reduce the amount of energy they use in dorms, offices, and on campus.

UM Morris Receives Energy Grant

The University of Minnesota, Morris has received one of eight Next Generation Energy Grants, awards given by the Minnesota Governor to accelerate the development of renewable energy projects and advanced biofuels in the state. UMM, in partnership with the University's College of Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS), received $50,000 to study the economics of businesses that store and supply biomass to energy facilities such as the one on the Morris campus. In addition, the University's CFANS Forestry Department received $100,000 to study the sustainability of the state's forests as a source of woody biomass for energy.

Washington U Phases out Bottled Water

Washington University in St. Louis (MO) has begun phasing out all bottled water sales on campus. The University's beverage dispenser, Coco-Cola Co., has agreed to stop selling bottled water in most campus locations by the end of the fall semester. The company will eliminate bottled water sales in all remaining locations by the end of the spring semester.

Wright State U Laboratory Awarded LEED NC-Gold

The Wright State University (OH) Matthew O. Diggs III Laboratory for Life Science Research has been awarded LEED NC-Gold. The laboratory building, which features a white roof, white concrete, water-efficient landscaping, waterless urinals, low-flow plumbing fixtures, designated parking spaces for car-pooling and fuel-efficient vehicles, and the use of green cleaning methods and recycled paper products.

Baylor U to Recycle at Homecoming Game

Baylor University (TX) has announced plans to recycle at its homecoming football game this year. Recycling will also be available at the post-parade float breakdown area and at catered events. Volunteers will director recyclers to the correct bin.

Binghamton U Receives $4 M in Funding for Solar Research

The State University of New York at Binghamton Center for Autonomous Solar Power (CASP) has received $4 million. CASP will work to address the scientific challenges of reducing the cost of solar power and enhancing efficiency. The multidisciplinary center will draw expertise from engineering, computer science, chemistry and physics to focus on areas such as solar conversion efficiency, storage capabilities, solar module stability and power system cost reduction.

Carnegie Mellon Receives Environmental Fellowship Grant

Carnegie Mellon University (PA) has received a $25,000 environmental research grant from AT&T. As a result, faculty members H. Scott Matthews and Deanna H. Matthews were named AT&T Faculty Fellows in Industrial Ecology. The grant will support the team's research project, "The Role of Information and Communications Technology in Carbon Risk Management," which will analyze the impact information and communications technology can have in helping other industries manage risk of carbon emissions.

Centre College to Purchase Renewable Energy Credits with Green Fee

The Centre College (KY) Board of Trustees has accepted a student-initiated proposal that will support green energy production through the purchase of renewable energy credits from a local provider. The plan, which will increase the cost of tuition by $20 annually, was approved by 82 percent of students during campus voting last spring. The College's faculty and staff subsequently affirmed their support for the initiative by introducing a voluntary program in which employees could elect to donate a portion of their salary to the cause.

College of Southern Idaho Launches Composting Program

The College of Southern Idaho has launched a composting program on campus. Food waste from the campus dining hall is placed in a horticultural worm bin and once processed, is moved to CSI's compost pile located on its 38 acre farm. The compost is then used in the campus' community garden. The program is the result of a partnership between CSI and its food service provider.

CU Boulder Receives Donation of 50 Bikes

The Adopt-A-Bike Program at the University of Colorado was granted 50 Schwinn cruiser bicycles, expanding its fleet to 150 available bikes. The bikes were originally ridden at the 2008 Democratic and Republican National Conventions.

Dalhousie U Expands Recycling Program

Dalhousie University (NS) has announced that it is adding another recycling stream to its existing campus program. As of October 2008, electronic products are collected, wiped of data, and transported to an approved provincial recycling depot. Materials from the depot are transferred to a plant where metals, glass, and plastic are recycled into new products. The new program includes exhausted desktop computers, computer periphery, computer components, laptop computers, monitors, desktop printers, and televisions.

Delta College Develops Wind Technology Program

Delta College (MI) has announced plans to offer a wind technology training program. Delta hopes that the two-year program will begin enrolling students in the fall of 2009.

Florida Atlantic U Unveils Solar Power System

Florida Atlantic University's College of Engineering and Computer Science has unveiled a solar power system on the south side of its building. The system was designed and built as a class project in a solar engineering course, and it controls the solar energy lab’s computers. FAU plans to add on to the system in the future so that all of the mechanical engineering labs operate via solar energy.

Florida Gulf Coast U Begins Construction on 2 MW Solar Farm

Florida Gulf Coast University has begun construction on its 16-acre solar energy farm. The 2 MW farm, which is located on the FGCU campus, will provide electricity for the entire campus. The project is projected to save the institution $22 million in energy over a 30 year period.

Indiana U Offers Sustainability Research Grants

The Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs has announced a new grant program that will provide opportunities for faculty members and students to develop externally funded research related to environmental sustainability. The Sustainability Research Development Grant program will allow for up to five $10,000 grants during the 2008-09 school year. Award recipients will be expected to develop new, collaborative lines of research that have the potential to develop into externally funded research projects; engage with other members of the university sustainability community; submit a report on their work to the dean of SPEA at the end of the fall semester following the award; and produce a grant proposal for continuation of the research for submission to one or more federal or state research organizations, foundations, or corporate sponsors.

Indiana U Student Government Appoints Director of Sustainability

The Indiana University Student Association (IUSA) has named Abby Schwimmer as its first Student Director of Sustainability. In addition, the IUSA Department of Sustainability has chosen Stas Futoransky as the Assistant Director. Plans for the two appointees include general sustainability education outreach, efforts to increase recycling among students who live off campus, and looking into a solution for “e-waste,” which includes disposing and refurbishing old and unused electronic devices in an environmentally friendly way.

Northern Maine CC to Launch Go! Green! Contest

Northern Maine Community College has announced plans to launch "Go! Green!," a contest in which student teams work to develop campus energy efficiency proposals. The winning students will receive full-time student tuition waivers for a semester. Proposals will be judged on cost effectiveness, creativity and originality, sustainability, written presentation, and visual presentation.

Ohio U Partners with 8 HBCUs for Increased Opportunities

Ohio University has partnered with eight Historically Black Colleges and Universities to form the Interlink Alliance, a group that aims to share resources and talent to create new opportunities for faculty, staff, and students. The new alliance will work on faculty development, student leadership, and Black male development. The eight HBCUs that OU plans to partner with are: Spelman College (GA), Hampton University, (VA) Virginia State University, Wilberforce University (OH), Central State University (OH), Johnson C. Smith University (NC), North Carolina Central University, and South Carolina State University.

Point Park U Dance Complex Achieves LEED Gold

Point Park University's (PA) new dance complex has earned LEED Gold certification. The 44,000 square-foot building features an Energy-Star rated roof, water-saving systems, sustainable wood floors, and low-emitting paints, carpeting and other materials. The building also features a heating and cooling system that draws in maximum amounts of fresh air, continuous air quality monitoring, and automated lighting and temperature controls.

Pomona Completes Sustainability Audit

Pomona College (CA) has completed its first Sustainability Audit, a 750 page report that will serve to guide the College's future sustainability efforts. The study, which was created by a team of six students aided by a consulting firm, summarizes, organizes, and analyzes data about the College's environmental impacts in the areas of climate change, energy, purchasing, transportation, waste and recycling, and water.

Portland State U Dining Hall to be Zero Waste

Portland State University (OR) Dining, in partnership with its food service provider, has announced that one of its dining halls, Victor's, has begun taking steps to become a zero waste facility. The dining hall plans to achieve this goal by recycling all cans, glass bottles, plastic containers, cardboard boxes, and paper; setting up a new system to recycle all plastic wrap and films; recycling used cooking oil; composting all food waste and napkins, and using bulk containers for condiments, avoiding individual packaging as much as possible.

San Diego Union-Tribune Covers Green Campus Transportation Prgms

The San Diego Union-Tribune has published an article on the increasing number of alternative transportation programs on campuses across the U.S. The article discusses initiatives such as designating front row parking to carpoolers and high-fuel efficiency vehicles, distributing free bicycles to students who promise not to drive, and providing free bus passes. The article also notes the increasing number of bike-sharing, car-sharing, and shortened work-week programs. The story mentions initiatives at San Diego Mesa College (CA), At San Diego City College (CA), Stanford University (CA), Ripon College (WI), University of California, San Diego, California State University San Marcos, Coastal Bend College (TX), and J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College (VA).

Sinclair CC Converts Tractor to Biodiesel

Sinclair Community College (OH) has converted one of its tractors to biodiesel. The College has plans to convert a second tractor as well, and both will be used for grounds work at Sinclair. Sinclair produces its own biodiesel for the tractors.

Southern Utah U Installs Solar Panels

Southern Utah University has installed 35 solar panels on a campus building. The panels were partially funded by a grant from Rocky Mountain Power.

U Georgia Reduces Water Consumption by 28%

The University of Georgia has announced that it lowered its water consumption by 28 percent over the past year. The University has saved more than $250,000 through conservation, cost-cutting measures, and the cooperation of faculty, staff, and students. Last fall, the University initiated the Every Drop Counts educational campaign and created a Water Resources Task force composed of faculty, staff, students and administrators in response to the severe drought. Water saving measures included replacing and reconfiguring cooling units; replacing 1,500 toilets, 500 urinals, and 2,000 faucet aerators; and installing 63 water meters on cooling towers that enabled the Physical Plan to better measure water usage and detect and immediately repair malfunctions.

U Maine Introduces Business & Sustainability MBA

The University of Maine Business School has introduced a Masters of Business Administration Business and Sustainability Program. Foundational courses required for the MBA Business and Sustainability degree include business sustainability and business ethics, plus core courses in: management; marketing and management information systems; finance; business law; quantitative methods; and strategy and policy.

U Minnesota Twin Cities' U-Pass Usage Increases by 40%

The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities has announced that the number of times students used their U-Passes over the past year has increased by almost 40 percent. In the month of September alone, there were about 440,000 U-Pass rides taken, which amounts to an 80 percent increase from the number of rides taken last September. Additionally, the number of U Passes sold went up from 20,442 last fall semester to 21,572 this year.

Unity College Partners for Sustainability and Art

Unity College (ME) has partnered with the K2 Family Foundation on a The Art of Stewardship Project, an initiative that aims to explore the connections between sustainability and art. This project also promotes the integration of creative art, ecological awareness, and sustainability. Unity hopes that the vision, informed and inspired by The Art of Stewardship Project, will specifically allow the College to create art-based programs, forums, gatherings, installations, exhibits, and experiments all tied to sustainability.

Vanderbilt to Offer Recycling at Last 3 Football Games

Vanderbilt University (TN) has announced plans to offer recycling at the school's last three home football games. Recycling receptacles will be available in tailgating areas, around the Vandyville area, and in the stadium. Fans will be able to recycle plastic bottles and aluminum cans, and vendors will be able to recycle cardboard.

Western Illinois U, George Washing U Install Green Roofs

Western Illinois University has installed four vegetated roofs on the school's new Multicultural Center. All of the plants used on the roof are native to Illinois and are drought resistant. The plants, which are all species of sedum, will grow between 5 and 6 inches tall and will resemble a course shrub. George Washington University (DC) has also installed a green roof on the Elliott School of International Affairs. The 2,000 square-foot development was organized by campus environmental groups. Graduate students from GW's Sustainable Landscape Design program and members of Green GW and Net Impact installed the roof. More than 4,000 plant "sedums" were planted in a three-color layout.

Western Michigan U Launches Sustainability Website

Western Michigan University has launched a sustainability website. The new site lists ongoing initiatives, policies, news, and events related to sustainability.

AASHE Announces Sustainability Leadership Award Winners

AASHE has announced the winners of its annual Campus Sustainability Leadership Awards. The winners are: Tulane University (LA), Ithaca College (NY), Northland College (WI), and College of Menominee Nation (WI). The awards recognize institutions that have demonstrated an outstanding overall commitment to sustainability in their governance and administration, curriculum and research, operations, campus culture, and community outreach. AASHE has also announced the Student Sustainability Leadership Award, which went to Sarah E. Brylinsky, a senior at Ithaca College. The award honors an undergraduate from an AASHE member institution who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in promoting campus sustainability. Ryan Graunke, a recent graduate of the University of Florida, won the Student Research on Campus Sustainability Award for his paper: "Food and Fuel: Biogas Potential at Broward Dining Hall." The student research award recognizes outstanding student research that advances the field of campus sustainability.

Allegheny College Hires Sustainability Coordinator

Allegheny College (PA) has hired Kelly Boulton to fill its newly created full-time position of Sustainability Coordinator. Boulton will support Allegheny's efforts to coordinate and strengthen stewardship programs already in place, work to implement new sustainability projects, and use the College's baseline greenhouse gas inventory to develop a comprehensive action plan outlining in detail the steps necessary to achieve climate neutrality.

Arizona State U Partners to Establish Solar Testing Facility

Arizona State University has partnered with TUV Rheinland Group to create TUV Rheinland Photovoltaic Testing Laboratory. The collaboration, which will be based in Tempe, will allow the two entities to test and certify PV panels and electrical components for Europe, Asia, and North America. Additionally, Arizona Public Service, one of Arizona's electricity providers, will provide five acres of outdoor testing space at its Solar Test and Research (STAR) Center for use by the venture to conduct outdoor endurance testing. TUV Rheinland will be the principal investor in the new company and will develop a new facility near ASU’s Tempe campus.

Auburn U Replaces Servers with Green Virtualization Software

The Auburn University (AL) Office of Information Technology (OIT) has begun a project to replace campus servers with virtualization software. The virtualization software acts like hardware and when it is installed on a computer, it allows additional operating systems to run virtually on the physical host computer. OIT has begun installing virtualization on the university servers and run, in some cases, up to twenty virtual serves within one physical server. So far, the University has replaced 140 servers with 7 virtual clusters. As a result, Auburn has experienced a decrease in energy costs.

Babson College to Establish Institute for Social Entrepreneurship

Babson College (MA) has received a $10.8 million gift from the Lewis Charitable Foundation for the establishment of an institute to support teaching, research, and outreach in social entrepreneurship. The Institute will address opportunities to create societal value in the areas of education, healthcare, communications and infrastructure, poverty, economic development, security, sustainability, energy, the environment, and quality of life.

Bronx CC Breaks Ground for Green Building

Bronx Community College of the City University of New York has broken ground for a 98,000-square-foot green academic building and library. The new structure, expected to cost $102-million, is designed to achieve LEED Silver certification.

Campuses Celebrate Campus Sustainability Day

Several hundred campuses participated in this year's Campus Sustainability Day, October 22, 2008. The Society for College and University Planning (SCUP), in conjunction with the Higher Education Associations' Sustainability Consortium, organized a web cast with The New York Times Knowledge Network to discuss "Climate Realities, Challenges, and Progress in Higher Education." SCUP's Campus Sustainability Planning Network homepage lists several press releases and news stories about CSD events that too

Cornell U Announces Funding for Sustainability Research Projects & Workshops

Cornell University's (NY) Cornell Center for a Sustainable Future has announced its inaugural Academic Venture Fund awards. This year's awards granted funding to seven sustainability research projects and five sustainability workshops for Cornell faculty. The seven projects include improving the stability and productivity of algal bioreactors for biofuels production; integrated digital design environment for sustainable architecture; forecasting disease and economic consequences of climate change; environmental, energetic, and economic potential of biochar; understanding aflatoxin accumulation in maize; vibro-wind technology as alternative wind energy systems for buildings; and how plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and electrifying transportation affects energy use and emissions. The projects are funded by the Center's 2008 budget of almost $3 million. The five workshop topics include large-scale wind-generated power; managing sources of uncertainty for sustainable resource management; building social networks for biological inventories and information; urban trees for sustainable cities to develop an integrated social-ecological sciences research agenda in New York City; and environmental sustainability in an aging society.

CSU to Install 8MW of Solar, HSU to Install 300 kW of Solar

California State University, the state of California, and SunEdison have partnered to install 8 MW of solar power on 15 Cal State campuses and the CSU chancellor's office. The power-purchase agreement allows CSU to buy renewable power at or below current retail rates, while avoiding the cost of installing the system. Under the agreement, SunEdison will finance, build, operate, and maintain the solar panels for 20 years. The new solar panels will be installed on rooftops, atop parking canopies, and in ground-mounted arrays. In related news, Humboldt State University has established two solar energy initiatives as part of a joint program with California State University and the California Department of General Services to generate eight megawatts of solar photovoltaic power. HSU will install 300 kW of solar panels on the roof of the University Library and has issued a contract to install a demonstration 12.5 kilowatt photovoltaic panel system on the roof of the Old Music Building. HSU expects to derive $36,000 in cost savings each year from the energy conservation effort. Construction is scheduled to begin in a few months.