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.

EKU Uses Campus Vegetable Oil to Power Recycling Truck

Eastern Kentucky University has announced a plan to renovate its campus recycling truck to run on vegetable oil. EKU plans to obtain the vegetable oil from the Powell Student Center dining hall.

El Paso CC Completes Energy Upgrades, Receives Award

El Paso Community College (TX) has completed energy upgrades to 4 buildings on campus. The College expects to save $250,000 annually as a result of the upgrades. In addition, the College earned the Trane Energy Efficiency Leader in Education Award for its sustainable energy and operational efficiency building designs and practices.

EPA Awards 2 Institutions with Green Power Leadership Awards

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the Center for Resource Solutions have announced the winners of the 2008 Green Power Leadership Awards. Oregon State University and the University of Pennsylvania both received Green Power Purchaser Awards for Green Power Purchasing and Green Power Partner of the Year respectively. Additionally, the Energy Action Coalition won the Green Power Pilot Award for market development. The Awards recognize the actions of individuals, companies, and organizations that are significantly advancing the development of renewable electricity sources through green power markets. Awards were given in the areas of purchasing, supplying, and market development.

George Mason U, Smithsonian Partner for New Conservation Program

George Mason University (VA) and the Smithsonian’s National Zoological Park have signed an agreement to develop a comprehensive academic program for undergraduates, graduates, and practicing conservationists. Multidisciplinary faculty members from Mason’s Center for Conservation Studies and the Zoo’s Center for Conservation Education and Sustainability have launched Smithsonian-Mason Global Conservation Education Studies, a program that will provide academic opportunities for up to 50 undergraduate students per semester and accommodate an additional 60 participants in the professional training and certificate programs that the partnership will offer. The program will offer students an opportunity to live and study at the Zoo’s 3,200-acre Conservation and Research Center, where it cares for and conducts research on more than 30 critically endangered species.

Green Mountain College to Install Biomass Co-Generation Plant

Green Mountain College (VT) has announced plans to construct a biomass co-generation facility. The College estimates that the biomass plant will save GMC over $250,000 per year in heating costs, and will meet about 20 percent of GMC's power needs. The wood chips will be harvested in an environmentally friendly way from local sources, with the intention of encouraging the growth of a local, sustainable wood chip market and the emerging bio-energy economy. GMC intends finance the $3.6 million project through loans and grants, and plans call for the new biomass facility to begin generating heat and electricity by January of 2010.

Highland CC Breaks Ground for Wind Turbine Technology Ctr

Highland Community College (IL) has broken ground for a 5,500 square foot Wind Turbine Technology Center. The Center will be fully available for students beginning in the fall 2009 semester and will provide space to house an Associate's of Applied Science in Wind Turbine Technology. Additionally, the new center will be fitted with specialized tools and supplies through a partnership with Greenlee Textron, Inc.

John Brown U Announces New B.S. in Renewable Energy

John Brown University (AR) has announced the addition of a Bachelor of Science degree in Renewable Energy to begin in the fall of 2009. The new program will include courses in wind, solar and biomass energy; practical experience in designing, construction, monitoring renewable energy generators; and possible related study abroad opportunities. Students will choose between one of three focuses within the renewable energy degree: design, management, and international development. The program will be an interdisciplinary program that builds on some of JBU’s established programs, including science, engineering, intercultural studies, and business.

Macomb CC to Establish Center for Green Auto Technology

Macomb Community College (MI) has begun work on an Advanced Technological Education Center that will focus on advanced automotive technology as part of the college’s effort to help steer the region toward the economy of the future. The center will focus on the growing fields of hybrid electric, alternative fuel, and fuel cell technology as they relate to all aspects of the automotive product life cycle: design, development, manufacturing, service, and recycling. The college, working with a consortium that includes Wayne State University, Henry Ford Community College, and Kalamazoo Valley Community College, was awarded a $150,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to develop an implementation plan for the new center, which would be based at Macomb’s South Campus in Warren.

Notre Dame Completes Dorm Energy Challenge

The University of Notre Dame (IN) has completed its first campus-wide Dorm Energy Competition. During the competition, UND conserved a total of 93,674 kWh, reducing the University’s carbon emissions by 56 metric tons and saving over $4,000 in electricity costs. The winner, Walsh Hall, reduced its electricity use by 31 percent by turning off the bathroom and basement lights during the day, unplugging the vending machines and exercise equipment when they were not in use, and sharing loads in the washing machines and driers. Walsh Hall will receive $500 and an Energy Champion banner.

Oregon State U, U Oregon Receive Grant for Green Materials Ctr

Oregon State University and the University of Oregon have received a three-year, $1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation to form a new Center for Green Materials Chemistry. The goal of the new center is to create more efficient production and fabrication methods, use green materials, and reduce environmental impacts, particularly in the area of electronics.

Over 200 Campuses Submit Public GHG Reports

Over 200 signatory campuses of the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) have submitted public greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories through the ACUPCC's online reporting system. The GHG inventory is the first major reporting requirement of the Commitment, and is due within a year of signing. Signatories reported on emissions from on-site combustion, mobile combustion (fleet), purchased electricity, student, faculty and staff commuting, and institution-funded air travel, among other things. Over the next year, these signatories will work to create a plan for reducing their emissions.

Paradigm Group Launches Campus Sustainability Blog

Paradigm Group, a Commercial and Institutional supply chain service provider, has launched the "Green College Ambassador Program." The goal of the program is to create an information highway on the Paradigm website to facilitate that exchange of green ideas and current initiatives on college campuses throughout the United States and the world. The website will be in a blog format, whereby questions and responses can be posted about how to make colleges across the country more environmentally friendly. Pro

Penn State Solar Home Opens on Campus

Penn State University has opened MorningStar, an 800-square-foot solar house that was designed and constructed by Penn State students and faculty as Penn State's entry in the 2007 Solar Decathlon, an international competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy. MorningStar will serve as a laboratory to develop a better understanding of the best technologies and systems for the Pennsylvania climate and as a center for green outreach, where students can receive training to give public tours and raise awareness about energy-efficient building and living.

Pomona Announces Sustainability Action Fellows Program

Pomona College (CA) has announced the creation of the Sustainability Action Fellows program. The new program will allow for a group of 29 students to participate in the creation of the College's Sustainability Action Plan. Each Fellow will be responsible for seeking out sustainability strategies in one of six areas: energy, water, purchasing, ducation/communication, waste and recycling, or environmental justice.

Pomona, San Francisco State U Launch Sustainability Websites

Pomona College (CA) has launched a Sustainability Website. The site was created by the Sustainability Coordinator's Office and it is intended to provide information about current sustainability efforts, opportunities to get involved, and how the campus community can reduce its environmental impact. The Pomona Sustainability website also features an "input page," where students, faculty, and staff can provide input or ask questions about the College's sustainability efforts. San Francisco State University

Rice U Breaks Ground on Green Residential College

Rice University (TX) has broken ground for its new residential college, Duncan Hall. The student residential-housing building is registered for LEED Gold certification. Duncan College’s green features will include smart lights, a green roof, a classroom with sustainable materials and furnishing, and air-conditioners that shut off automatically when windows are open.

Rowan U Moves to Single-Stream Recycling, Receives Award

Rowan University has switched to single-stream recycling. In addition, the University has received recognition from the state Department of Environmental Protection for being New Jersey's first higher education institution to switch to the single-stream recycling.

Suffolk U Law School Joins Climate Challenge

The Suffolk University (MA) Law School has joined the American Bar Association-Environmental Protection Agency Law Office Climate Challenge. The program, which has over 100 participants, is open to law offices and law-related entities that adopt best practices for office paper management or participate in one or more of three EPA voluntary partnership programs. The Climate Challenge is designed to encourage the conservation of energy and resources, as well as to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants. Suffolk's Law School is the third in the country to participate in the program.

SUNY Albany Launches Change a Light Campaign

The State University of New York at Albany has launched its "Change a Light" campaign by distributing compact fluorescent light bulbs in residence halls. Old incandescent bulbs were collected as material for an art exhibit at the University Museum this spring.

Syracuse U Launches Energy Conservation Competition

Syracuse University's (NY) Office of Residence Life, Residence Hall Association, and Sustainability Division in the Office of Energy and Computing Management have launched the second annual Saving Juice in the 'Cuse contest. The competition between campus residence hall communities runs through the month of November and is designed to increase the sustainable behavior of the on-campus student population through energy reduction and by increasing recycling tonnage in the residences halls.

UC Berkeley Launches Bike Share Program

Students at the University of California, Berkeley have instituted a bike-share program on campus. Green Bike Share, a student-run non-profit organization, seeks to increase environmental, social, and economic sustainability by renting out bicycles to the UC Berkeley and city community. Through the program, students are able to rent bikes for two days for $2 and for three days for $3 dollars. The program has been running on the internet since this summer, and introduced its fleet of 20 bikes to its new rental stand this month.

U Guelph to Establish Centre for Ag Renewable Energy & Sustainability

The University of Guelph (ON) has announced plans to establish the Centre for Agricultural Renewable Energy and Sustainability (CARES). The centre will have an agricultural focus, with the objectives of strengthening the agriculture sector, improving sustainability and development, increasing alternative energy and energy conservation, and leveraging education, training, and research.

U Maryland Campus Sustainability Report 2008

The University of Maryland, College Park Office of Sustainability has released its Campus Sustainability Report 2008. The Report relates some of the progress the University has made over the past 18 months and includes a Campus Sustainability Metrics section, which chronicles the campus's progress in sustainability.

U Maryland, College Park Completes Green Roof

The University of Maryland, College Park has completed the installation of a green roof on Cumberland Hall. The $350,000 green roof features extra insulation and 15 species of plants. UMD also plans to install a green roof on the Stamp Student Union in the near future.

U New Hampshire Dining Halls Serve Local Squash

University of New Hampshire dining halls have begun serving butternut squash grown and developed by UNH researchers. A UNH farm manager and a UNH professor worked with UNH Dining to plant a large plot of butternut squash this summer. UNH sells the squash to a distributor that peels, chops and processes them into an easily-used format then sells them back to UNH Dining to steam, mash, and serve to its diners. The squash may go to other customers if quantity allows. The squash is labeled in the serving area so diners can learn about its local pedigree and scientific service.

U New Mexico Adds 4 Biodiesel Buses to its Fleet

The University of New Mexico has purchased four new biodiesel buses for its campus. 100 percent of UNM's buses run on either biodiesel or compressed natural gas.

Virginia Commonwealth U Unveils New Green Building

Virginia Commonwealth University has unveiled its new $2.6 million research and education building at the Rice Center, VCU’s 343-acre living laboratory on the James River. The building was constructed with a goal of achieving LEED Platinum. The 4,900-square-foot Walter L. Rice Education Building houses lecture and laboratory rooms for classes, a conference room and administrative offices as well as an outdoor classroom pavilion. The building incorporates features such as geothermal heating and cooling, solar electrical power generation, an advanced water recycling and wastewater treatment systems; high-efficiency interior and exterior lighting; high insulation levels that rely on soy-based products and recycled denim; and ventilation via operable windows.

Whitman College Debate Team Goes Paperless

The Whitman College (WA) Debate Team has stopped using paper to prepare for and attend debates. The team made the decision was motivated by the desire to reduce paper use, printing costs, and the airline industry’s implementation of higher fees for luggage.

Whitman College Receives Grant for Solar Array

Whitman College (WA) has received a $51,750 grant from Pacific Power’s Blue Sky renewable energy program to support the college’s proposed 23kW photovoltaic solar array. The project would place approximately 20 solar panels with a 23kW electricity potential on the roof of Jewett Residence Hall. In addition to providing solar electricity, the proposed demonstration project would be used as an educational tool for the Whitman and Walla Walla communities. The remaining cost of the array will be funded by a student and alumni group dedicated to promoting renewable energy on campus and the campus's Sustainability Revolving Loan Fund.

3 Institutions Establish LED Research Center

The National Science Foundation has announced plans to establish a new Engineering Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (NY) to supplant the common light bulb with next-generation lighting devices that are smarter, greener, and ready for innovation. The NSF-funded Smart Lighting Center, which is supported by University of New Mexico and Boston University (MA), will investigate and develop light-emitting diode (LED) technologies. Twenty faculty researchers from Rensselaer, along with 10 researchers from BU and UNM, will staff the new center.

3 Institutions Receive EPA Env'l Justice Achievement Awards

The Environmental Protection Agency has announced the winners of its first annual Environmental Justice Achievement Awards. The Awards recognize organizations for their success in addressing environmental justice issues or by adopting the goals of environmental justice to positively impact their community. Out of 12 winners, 3 were from the higher education community. The Children’s Environmental Health Initiative at Duke University (NC) was recognized for its efforts to reduce childhood lead exposure. The Deep South Center for Environmental Justice at Dillard University (LA) was recognized for its work to help residents of New Orleans, Louisiana address environmental contamination and return home after Hurricane Katrina. Finally, the Medical University of South Carolina was recognized for its efforts to incorporate environmental justice into its community-based activities.

Carnegie Mellon U Announces Fellowships for Data Center Efficiency

Carnegie Mellon University (PA) and APC by Schneider Electric have announced the establishment of the APC Fellowships for Data Center Efficiency Research. The APC Research Fellowships, which are intended to increase the number of students engaged in data center efficiency research, support Ph.D. students at Carnegie Mellon with research foci in the area of data center efficiency.

Colorado State U Names Managing Director of Climate Initiatives

Colorado State University President Larry Edward Penley has appointed Aaron Levi, formerly his chief of staff, as managing director of Climate Initiatives and Carbon Assets to manage the University's plan to reach carbon neutrality by 2020 and to oversee other university-wide environmental efforts. As operations manager, he'll work collaboratively with faculty, staff, and students to develop a long-term strategy and track the University's sustainability and energy management plans. He also will ensure the University completes its prior sustainability commitments, including the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment and the AASHE STARS pilot project.

DOE Awards $4.4M to U.S. Universities for Biofuels Research

The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded 6 U.S. Universities a total of $4.4 million to support research and development for cost-effective, environmentally friendly biomass conversion technologies for turning non-food feedstocks into advanced biofuels. Combined with the minimum university cost share of 20 percent, more than $5.7 million is slated for investment in these six projects. The following schools received awards: the University of Toledo (OH), Stevens Institute of Technology (NJ), Montana State University, the University of Georgia, the University of Maine, and the Georgia Tech Research Corporation.

Fort Lewis College Switches to Compostable Food Trays

Fort Lewis College (CO) has switched to using compostable food trays in its dining halls and café. The College hopes to see a significant reduction in refuse as a result of the trays, which will be composted on site.

Johns Hopkins U Secures Funding for Campus Sustainability Initiatives

The Johns Hopkins University (MD) associate financial deans have authorized funding for the campus' Sustainable Hopkins Infrastructure Program (SHIP). SHIP will offer funding for students and employees who have ideas for practical green projects on campus. Projects may receive funding as long as they reduce environmental impacts, do not interfere with ongoing projects, and do not require any ongoing maintenance. The funding will be allocated by the SHIP executive board, which consists of five students, and an evaluations committee.

Lewis & Clark CC Opens Institute for Environmental Sustainability

Lewis and Clark Community College has opened a new Institute for Environmental Sustainability. LCCC created the IES in conjunction with the statewide efforts of other colleges involved in a pilot program to establish the Illinois Community College Sustainability Network. These colleges include Kankakee, Wilbur Wright, and Heartland community colleges.

MacArthur Foundation Commits $15M for Sustainable Dev Master's Prgms

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has announced a $15 million commitment to seed the creation of Global Master’s in Development Practice (MDP) programs at up to twelve universities worldwide over the next three years. The two-year MDP programs will provide professional training for future leaders in the field of sustainable development, with an emphasis on practical, cross-disciplinary knowledge from the health, natural, and social sciences and a strong focus on leadership and management skills. Courses will cover topics such as agronomy, climate change, and tropical diseases and will be supplemented by two summers of field training. The first program to be announced will begin at Columbia University (NY) in the fall of 2009.

Maharishi U of Mgmt Holds Energy Conservation Competition

Maharishi University of Management (IA) has inaugurated a campus-wide energy conservation competition, The M.U.M. Energy Challenge. During most of October, MUM students and faculty will complete daily spreadsheets to add up personal energy use, calculate the amount of carbon dioxide produced, and estimate how many pounds of greenhouse gas emissions they can prevent through simple conservation methods. Winning participants will be those with the largest percentage decrease in energy use over the month. The competition and spreadsheets were designed by a MUM student.

New York Times Features Campus Bike Programs

The New York Times has published an article entitled, "With Free Bikes, Challenging Car Culture on Campus." The article mentions the University of New England's (ME) and Ripon College's (WI) bike give-away programs, Mercer University's (GA) and Emory University's (GA) bike rental programs, and Saint Xavier University's (IL) computer-driven bike sharing program. The goal of campus bike programs, according to the article, is to reduce the number of parking spaces needed on campus and to promote a hea

Northwestern U Launches Sustainability Initiative

Northwestern University (IL) has launched the Initiative for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern (ISEN), an organization that will support research, teaching, and outreach in the areas of sustainability and energy. ISEN will also provide startup funds for pilot or seed research projects, matching funds for post-doctoral, graduate, and undergraduate fellowships, and for major equipment purchases and maintenance. Additionally, four new undergraduate- and graduate-level courses on global issues related to energy and sustainability will be offered starting in the spring quarter. In the longer term, ISEN plans to establish an energy and sustainability minor at the undergraduate level across several schools and to create a master’s degree program in energy and sustainability studies.

Purdue U Students to Build Green Habitat for Humanity Home

Students in Purdue University's (IN) Engineering Projects in Community Service program has announced plans to partner with the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity to build a home in a nearby town that uses standards for environmentally friendly and energy efficient buildings. The project is being funded by a $100,000 grant from the Ford Motor Company Fund. As part of the project, students and Habitat personnel will identify and analyze green building strategies, build the home, and design training for other Habitat affiliates to use in building similar green homes. The design will use best practices for building a green home that can be followed by a volunteer work force.

Saint Michael's College Launches Yellow Bike Program

Saint Michael's College (VT) has launched a Yellow Bike Program on campus. The program, which started with a fleet of 25 bikes, rents bicycles to students for a yearly fee of $10. $5 is used for bike maintenance, and the remaining $5 is returned to the program members at the year's end as long as the fleet remains in good condition. The program was started by three Saint Michael's seniors.

Saint Xavier U Purchases Renewable Energy Credits

Saint Xavier University (IL) has signed an agreement to purchase 1.2 million kilowatt-hours of “Clean Source” alternative energy over the next two years to power its new eco-friendly student residence hall. The energy used to power Mother Agatha O'Brien Hall will prevent the emission of more than 817,000 pounds of CO2. SXU’s clean energy producers include: The New Hope Power Partnership, a biomass cogeneration facility; Belleville Hydroelectric, a run of river operation that does not obstruct fish migration; Elk River Wind Farm; and the Mass Hill Wind Farm.

SUNY Cobleskill Breaks Ground for Green Technology Center

The State University of New York Cobleskill has broken ground on its new Center for Environmental Science and Technology (CEST). The new structure will be a center for teaching, learning, and research in green technology. SUNY Cobleskill’s CEST will house research in the conversion of agricultural and municipal waste to clean energy through gasification. The college has been allocated nearly $4 million from the US Departments of Defense and Energy for the research.

SUNY Cobleskill Receives $250K for Energy Conservation

The State University of New York Cobleskill has received a $250,000 grant for energy conservation and facility upgrades throughout campus. The award was based on an energy audit performed by the New York Power Authority covering 19 of the college’s buildings. The audit identified eight separate energy saving measures. These include “occupancy based” controls in the college’s 10 dormitories to provide more efficient lighting; the replacement of existing windows with energy efficient ones; and the replacement of campus greenhouses with more efficient structures to meet research and teaching needs.

UC San Diego Dedicates Green Building Extension

The University of California, San Diego has dedicated a new, energy-efficient building extension on the San Diego Supercomputer Center. The new extension increased the existing supercomputer center to 160,000 square-feet, and officials say it was built to standards equivalent to LEED Silver. The structure features a natural hybrid displacement ventilation system; a solar reflecting roof; building sensors to measure energy consumption and thermal effectiveness; and a rack system called CoolFlex that encloses traditional cold aisles in the data center, completely separating the cold air supplying equipment from the hot air exhausted from the gear.