U Chicago Hires Sustainability Project Manager
The University of Chicago (IL) Sustainability Council has hired Eric Heineman to fill the newly created project manager position for the Council. Responsibilities of the position will include increasing communication among campus organizations and units to streamline collaboration on sustainability projects. The Council and University administrators hope to eventually make Heineman’s six-month position a permanent addition to sustainability efforts on campus.
U Chicago Holds Energy Reduction Competition
University of Chicago (IL) recently completed a Battle of the Bulbs Competition. Green Campus Initiatives, a student environmental awareness organization, created the February competition to encourage student housing residents to reduce their energy consumption. Breckinridge Residence Hall, the winner of the month-long competition, reduced their overall energy consumption by 24 percent. The entire residence hall system reduced their energy consumption by an average of 2.8 percent per person.
U Maryland Receives Grant for Endowed Sustainability Professor
The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science recently received a $750,000 challenge grant from the France-Merrick Foundation. This gift will establish the Center’s first endowed chair, a professorship in Sustainable Ecosystem Restoration, which will research ecosystem restoration in the face of growth and climate change.
U Maryland to Establish Green Real Estate Development Institute
The University of Maryland's real estate development program, which has a broad-based approach to sustainability, has received a $3 million gift that will help establish the Colvin Institute of Real Estate Development in UM's School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation. The Institute will be the academic home for the school's two year-old Masters in Real Estate Development, giving the program a solid financial foundation, creating a new track with an even greater focus on sustainable development, expanding its leadership training, and extending the program's public outreach and international presence.
U New Hampshire Receives Top Lean and Green Award
The University of New Hampshire has received New Hampshire Magazine's Lean and Green Overall Judges Award, which recognizes the school's extensive sustainable practices. The campus's cogeneration plant and initiatives such as the reuse of purified landfill gas to power the Durham campus and transitioning its public transit system to alternative fuels help to win the award.
Utah State University Unveils Covered Bike Parking
Utah State University recently unveiled a new covered bike parking structure on campus. The ceremony commemorated the Utah State and Aggie Blue Bikes, a 90 bicycle program that provides bike rentals for up to one full semester. The structure, although finished in November, has been out of use until recently because of the weather.
York U Pledges to Establish No-Sweatshop Policy After Sit-in
The York University (ON) president recently pledged to create a no-sweatshop purchasing policy for university apparel by April after protesters participated in a 2 day sit-in outside of the president's office. The sit-in was inspired by the 100th anniversary of International Women's day, when 15,000 immigrant women garment workers protested to receive shorter hours, better pay, and voting rights.
3 Michigan Universities to Fund Energy Projects
The University of Michigan, Michigan State University, and Wayne State University, the state's three largest research universities, will invest $900,000 to encourage their faculty to work collaboratively on novel renewable energy research that could help shape energy policy. The energy initiative is an attempt to usher inventions from labs to the marketplace and attract fresh jobs to the state. Faculty from the three universities will have until April 14, 2008 to submit their proposals for research in materials, nanomaterials, clean energy sources, transmission and storage that is environmentally safe, cost-effective, and secure, and energy policy. Funding to the winning proposal or proposals should begin in June.
Brown U Enhances Financial Aid
Brown University (RI) recently announced its plan to expand its undergraduate financial aid program. Beginning in the fall of 2008, students from families with incomes of less than $100,000 will no longer have loans as part of their financial aid packages, and most parents who earn less than $60,000 will not be expected to make a financial contribution to fund their child’s Brown education. The new financial aid also sharply reduces loan expectations for all students who receive financial aid, regardless of family income. The new provisions apply to all current students who receive financial aid, as well as to the Class of 2012, which matriculates next fall.
Cape Cod CC Awarded Wind Turbine Grant
Cape Cod Community College (MA) has received a $2.4 million grant to install a 600 kW wind turbine. The grant will also allow CCCC to pay a fixed price per kilowatt hour for turbine-generated electricity that will be paid to the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, the grant provider. The savings CCCC sees will be shared with MTC’s Low Income Energy Assistance Network. The LEAN program works with other energy programs and provides benefits to low-income populations in the area including on-site housing improvements for energy efficiency.
Eastern Kentucky U to Reduce Energy Consumption
Eastern Kentucky University recently announced their goal to reduce annual utility costs by 30 percent. EKU plans to reach the goal through energy-efficient lighting, water-conserving technologies and methods, and heating, ventilation and air conditioning system retrofits. These and other initiatives will result in an estimated reduction of more than 76 million pounds of carbon dioxide, more than 120,000 pounds of nitrogen oxides and more than 400,000 pounds of sulfur dioxide. The project is the result of funding provided by an agreement with Siemens Building Technologies.
Lake Land College Receives 2 Renewable Energy Grants
Lake Land College (IL) has been awarded a $30,000 grant to help determine what type of wind turbine would fit the needs of the college. The college also plans to install solar hot water heaters, natural lighting via skylights with reflective lenses, and prairie grasses into the landscaping. The projects are expected to begin in the spring of 2008. The College also recently received a $45,000 grant that enabled it to complete the installation of a geothermal system in the Student Fitness Center, which is now heated and cooled entirely with geothermal energy. The geothermal grant was provided by GeoAlliance as part of a $1 million program to further the proliferation of geothermal technology. The wind turbine grant was provided by the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation.
Michigan State U, U Iowa Partner in Chicago Climate Xchge
Michigan State University and the University of Iowa have agreed to a partnership involving the transaction of carbon credits through the Chicago Climate Exchange program. MSU has agreed to purchase 5,000 tons of carbon dioxide credits from UI in order to meet the requirements of 2007, its first membership compliance year. Next year, MSU hopes to increase the use of alternative fuels so that purchasing additional credits will be less of a necessity. In 2007, UI accumulated excess credits by burning oat hulls, a byproduct of Quaker Oats, instead of coal.
Mount Vernon Nazarene U Uses Biodiesel
Mount Vernon Nazarene University (OH) recently purchased a machine that converts waste vegetable oil into biodiesel. Since the purchase, MVNU has switched to using 100 percent biodiesel in university maintenance equipment and in a few buses.
Princeton U Helps Fund Town Bus Service
Princeton University (NJ) has agreed to cover the costs of the new community jitney bus service until Princeton Borough receives its permanent vehicle and funding from New Jersey Transit at the end of the year. The jitney bus service will be free to riders and will run Monday through Friday during peak commuting hours. The service also has a direct connection with the newly modified University shuttle routes.
Rochester Inst. of Tech. to Host Pollution Prevention Institute
The Rochester Institute of Technology (NY) has been chosen to host New York State's Pollution Prevention Institute, a research and development center that will design and test green manufacturing methods and provide technical support to businesses for pollution prevention measures. RIT’s primary mission will be to promote cost effective pollution prevention techniques so that large and small business can reduce energy costs, hazardous substances, and wastes. The Institute will assist industry in reducing its environmental impact by decreasing the use of toxic chemicals, cutting waste generation, decreasing exposure risks to workers, and promoting more efficient use of raw materials and energy. A key part of RIT’s proposal to host the Institute is the creation of 16 research and development technological laboratories across the State, through partnerships with Clarkson University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and the State University of New York at Buffalo.
Stanford Helps Create the Center for Ocean Solutions
Stanford University (CA), the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute have joined together to create the Center for Ocean Solutions, a new collaboration that will bring together international experts in marine science and policy to find innovative ways to protect and restore oceans. Although based in California, the center will confront problems that affect oceans worldwide, including climate change and overfishing. Made possible by a $25 million grant from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Center for Ocean Solutions will be managed by Stanford's Woods Institute for the Environment.
Stanford U Dedicates Green Building
Stanford University (CA) recently dedicated the new Jerry Yang and Akiko Yamazaki Environment and Energy Building. Known as Y2E2, the new green building is said to be LEED Platinum-equivalent and uses 56 percent less energy than a typical building of its size. Y2E2 offers natural lighting, features natural ventilation for cooling, and uses 90 percent less potable water for fixtures than an equivalent building. Stanford plans to build 3 more buildings with the same goal of 50 percent reduction in energy use for each.
U Maine Presque Isle Forms Green Campus Committee
The University of Maine at Presque Isle has formed the Green Campus Committee, a group that will focus on ways to save energy, raise awareness, and educate the campus community on sustainability issues. The committee hopes to work with students as well.
U Oregon Offers Statement of Completion in Sustainable Business Law
The University of Oregon School of Law will offer a Statement of Completion in Sustainable Business Law for students wanting to develop a specialty in the field. The new concentration focuses on emerging sustainability businesses and the regulation of energy and the environment. To earn a Statement of Completion in Sustainable Business Law, students must satisfactorily complete a business law curriculum, selected courses addressing environmental and sustainability issues, and an appropriate paper, clinic, externship, business plan, or similar project approved by a faculty committee.
Wesleyan U & U Vermont Students Renounce Kimberly-Clark Products
Wesleyan University (CT) and the University of Vermont students have taken steps towards banning Kimberly-Clark products, particularly Kleenex, due to the lack of recycled fibers in the company's goods. A WU campus grocery store has discontinued the selling of Kleenex after two students sent a message condemning the lack of recycled fibers in Kimberly-Clark's paper products, in the facial tissue in particular. The ban will remain in effect until the company increases the recycled content in its goods. The UVM student group, UVM Forest Crimes Unit, is also boycotting Kimberly-Clark products for the same reasons. The group is collecting signatures for a campus-wide ban on the company's products and is meeting with the director of custodial services to consider alternative tissue products.
Cleveland State U Opens Green Bistro
Cleveland State University (OH) recently opened a new restaurant that will use local products when feasible. Elements Bistro on Euclid will serve cheeses, locally produced sausages and pastas, and eventually will feature Ohio wine and beer.
Goshen College Rieth Village Awarded LEED Platinum
The Goshen College (IN) Rieth Village has been awarded LEED Platinum. Reith Village, an ecological field station for undergraduate environmental study at the Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center, features a passive solar design, cisterns for recycling rainwater, tulip poplar siding harvested locally, solar panels, and a wind generator. 2 cottages at the field station provide housing for up to 32 students and a third cottage serves as the initial classroom and office building.
Harvard To Create Climate Task Force
Harvard University (MA) recently announced that President Drew G. Faust will soon appoint a task force to study how to reduce the University's greenhouse gas emissions. The recommendations of the task force will form the basis of a commitment to reduce emissions that will be unveiled in June 2008.
Macalester College Hires Sustainability Manager
Macalester College (MN) has hired Suzanne Savanick Hansen as its first Sustainability Manager. Hansen's responsibilities include coordinating sustainability efforts and making connections on campus, and she hopes to create a sustainability website. The new manager has already begun her duties by co-teaching a senior level Environmental Studies seminar that will complete a greenhouse gas inventory for the College.
Metropolis Magazine Covers Carbon Neutral Campus Efforts
Metropolis Magazine published an article in its February issue entitled "Carbon Neutral U" which highlights growing efforts by colleges and universities to reduce their carbon emissions. The article notes that "higher education has emerged as a thrilling proving ground for a sustainable society" and describes the activities of the Ivy Plus Sustainability Working Group.
Princeton Announces Sustainability Plan and GHG Commitment
Princeton University (NJ) has released a Sustainability Plan that includes a commitment to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to below 1990 levels by 2020 through on-campus activities rather than purchasing off-campus offsets. The plan also mandates that all new construction and renovations be LEED Silver equivalent and commits to providing financial support for commuter use of public transportation, enhancing the campus shuttle system and ride share programs, creating better walking and biking paths, developing telecommuting policy, and replacing retired campus fleet vehicles with zero or low emission vehicles. The plan also includes goals on resource conservation, research, education, and civic engagement.
U Buffalo Releases Climate Action Report
The University at Buffalo Green Office recently released the UB Green Climate Action Report, a comprehensive greenhouse gas emissions inventory and set of recommendations for how the University can reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and move towards climate neutrality. UB found that the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions on campus are building energy use and transportation. The report recommends that the campus increase renewable energy purchases, maximize energy efficiency in new buildings and renovations, advocate for a better mass transit system, and increase carpooling.
U Buffalo Switches to 100% Recycled Paper
The University at Buffalo has a new Recycled Paper Purchasing Policy that will ensure that all the 8.5 by 11-inch paper purchased by the University will consist of 100 percent post-consumer content, chlorine-free paper. The new policy will cost the college approximately $10,000 extra per year.
U Minnesota Morris to Install 2 Wind Turbines & a Steam Turbine
The University of Minnesota, Morris has received three Clean Renewable Energy Bonds, a special type of tax credit bond providing the equivalent of an interest-free loan for financing qualified energy projects. Authorized by the Internal Revenue Service, the bonds will allow UMM to construct two more wind turbines and to add a steam turbine that will convert steam from the biomass facility, which is currently under construction, into electricity. One of the wind turbines will be located on-campus, while the other will be located in western Minnesota and is to be shared with the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe. Combined with a previously constructed wind turbine, the new campus turbine will allow UMM to be powered almost exclusively with wind.
U System Maryland Appoints Vice Chancellor of Env. Sustainability
The University System of Maryland recently appointed the president of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Sciences, Don Boesch, as the Vice Chancellor of Environmental Sustainability. Boesch will remain president of UMCES while devoting efforts to overseeing a system-wide sustainability initiative to develop policies, practices, and programs. The Vice Chancellor is charged with helping to coordinate a system-wide effort to institute sustainable practices that reduce the University's impact on the environment.
U Vermont Student Union Awarded LEED Gold
The University of Vermont's Davis Center was recently awarded LEED Gold certification. The first student union to receive a LEED Gold rating, the Davis Center features a natural chimney that evacuates smoke in the event of a fire without the use of a mechanical system, sensors that regulate electric lighting based on the amount of daylight entering the space, and air conditioning, heating, and ventilation regulated by occupancy sensors. Other green elements include waterless urinals, a green roof, and 175 sensors to provide data to students, faculty, and staff on energy used for heating and cooling, electricity, water usage, soil moisture, content, and temperature on the green roof. This data will soon be displayed on the web as well.
U Victoria to Host Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions
The provincial government of British Columbia recently allocated $94.5 million to create the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions, to be hosted and led by the University of Victoria (BC). PICS will bring together top scientists, government and the private sector to develop innovative climate change adaptation and mitigation solutions. The collaboration also includes the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University and the University of Northern British Columbia.
U Wisconsin-Stout Purchases Electric Vehicle
The University of Wisconsin-Stout recently purchased a zero-emission, no noise electric vehicle. The ZENN car will be used by Parking Services for security and safety patrol of campus parking lots.
UW Stout to Offer Minor in Sustainable Design & Development
The University of Wisconsin-Stout will offer a new minor in sustainable design and development beginning fall 2008. The new minor has an interdisciplinary approach that integrates the natural and social sciences with technical course work associated with environmental issues, and will be offered through the department of engineering and technology.
Warner Pacific C Lowers Tuition
Warner Pacific College (OR) recently announced that, starting fall 2008, tuition and fees for incoming traditional undergraduate students will be 23 percent lower than the 2007 – 2008 school year. The move is intended to improve student access.
Washington U St. Louis Eliminates Student Loans
Washington University in St. Louis (MO) has announced that it will eliminate need-based loans as part of its undergraduate financial aid awards to students from low- and middle-income families. Beginning in fall 2008, both entering freshmen and returning full-time undergraduate day-school students with parental incomes of less than $60,000 will not be expected to take out need-based loans and will instead receive grants from the University that will not have to be repaid. Families with parental income somewhat higher than $60,000 also may receive additional student loan relief based on demonstrated need and their financial circumstances. The additional grant aid will be funded by the increase in spending from scholarship and unrestricted endowments in the university's four schools with undergraduate programs, as well as from unrestricted university resources.
Whitman C to Establish $100,000 Revolving Loan Fund
Whitman College (WA) recently announced its plan to establish a $100,000 revolving loan fund for sustainability initiatives. The fund will be launched during the 2008 – 2009 school year and will correspond with a call for proposals from students, faculty and staff. Half of the money will come from Whitman's life cycle program, which is mainly for building maintenance. The additional $50,000 will come from year-end surpluses. The College also plans to hire a current student or recent graduate as Sustainability Coordinator for the campus.
3 NY Schools Form Green Purchasing Consortium
Cornell University, Ithaca College, and Tompkins Cortland Community College recently helped to form the Finger Lakes Environmentally Preferred Procurement Consortium. The New York based consortium was created to help negotiate pricing for environmentally friendly cleaning products, paper, and office supplies. The consortium will attempt to purchase local products as well. Tompkins County, the City of Ithaca, the Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce, and Tompkins-Seneca-Tioga Board of Cooperative Educational Services are also helped to form the consortium.
6 Institutions Receive Exemplary Community Service Award
Six colleges and universities recently received presidential recognition for extraordinary contributions to service in their communities in the second annual 2007 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. The University of Colorado at Boulder, the University of Pennsylvania, and Otterbein College (OH) received Presidential Awards for General Community Service. Syracuse University (NY), the University of Redlands (CA), and Chaminade University of Honolulu (HI) were recognized for Service to Youth from Disadvantaged Circumstances, a special focus area of this year's Honor Roll competition. In all, 528 schools were listed on the Honor Roll for their community service activities during the 2006-2007 academic year. This year, new Special Achievement Awards for outstanding service by minority serving institutions and community colleges were presented to California State University, Fresno, Lake Area Technical Institute (SD), Raritan Valley Community College (NJ), and Johnson C. Smith University (NC). In addition, the Honor Roll also recognized 127 schools as Honor Roll with Distinction members and 391 schools as Honor Roll members. The awards were presented by the Corporation for National and Community Service.
Babson C to Install Wind Turbine
Babson College (MA) plans to install a residential-scale wind turbine on the school's campus as a demonstration project. The 1.8 kW turbine is expected to be operational before the close of the spring 2008 semester. It is estimated that the turbine will produce enough energy to supply roughly 60% of the annual energy needs at the school’s entrepreneurship gallery after planned lighting renovations are completed within the space. The project is a result of a proposal by a team of three graduate students. Officials say that Babson will be the first college in the greater Boston area to utilize wind power through an on-campus installation.
Dalhousie U Hires Sustainability Office Director
Dalhousie University (NS) recently hired Rochelle Owen as the Director of the Office of Sustainability. Her first tasks will be to develop a strategic plan for the office and to help draft a university-wide sustainability policy. Other duties include supporting, implementing, maintaining, and communicating campus-wide sustainability programs. Owens plans to focus on water use, electricity use, and eliminating paper coffee cups. She also plans to create a sustainability advisory board for the campus that will include faculty, students, and staff.
Farmingdale State C Purchases 6 Electric Vehicles
Farmingdale State College (NY) recently purchased six all electric vehicles to be used by the physical plant staff. The College plans to replace their older fleet vehicles with electric automobiles later this year and hopes to test an electric truck as well.
Furman U Receives Sustainability Grant
Furman University (SC) recently received a $250,000 grant to support environmental sustainability initiatives and stewardship. The grant will provide scholarship aid for students engaged in environmental projects on campus and in the community through a student fellowship program. The Fellows will be charged with promoting sustainable practices on campus, with includes the production of biodiesel fuel, the development of the organic garden, and the creation and maintenance of environmentally friendly living spaces. In addition to the fellowships, the grant will also go towards the completion of Cliffs Cottage, the new Southern Living Showcase Home on campus that will model green design, renewable energy, and sustainable products, processes and materials. The grant was awarded by The Bank of America Charitable Foundation.
Indiana U Holds Recycling Bin Design Contest
The Indiana University Task Force for Sustainability is holding a contest for the best recycling bin design. The project is intended to raise awareness about the importance of student participation in a successful campus-wide recycling system. The top 10 winning designers will get the chance to paint their artwork on one of the recycling bins to be displayed throughout campus. The decorated bins will serve as the first-ever outdoor recycling receptacles.
Indiana U Offers Grad Concentration in Sustainable Development
The Indiana University School for Public and Environmental Affairs recently announced that students in the Master of Public Affairs degree program can now pursue an academic concentration in sustainable development. To complete the concentration, students must take eighteen credit hours in courses such as sustainable development, natural resource management, urban or economic development, data analysis, applied ecology, and international environmental policy. SPEA faculty approved the proposal last fall, and campus officials gave final approval last week.
Lewis & Clark College to Install Solar Panels
Lewis & Clark College (OR) recently reached an agreement with Honeywell International to supply the campus sports facility with solar power. Under the agreement, Honeywell will install solar panels on the roof of the Pamplin Sports Center and sell to the college the electricity produced by the panels. Lewis and Clark officials say that the power purchase agreement is the first of its kind for a college or university in Oregon. The panels are expected to generate more than 97,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, produce enough power to meet approximately 15% of the electricity needs for the sports center, and cut carbon dioxide emissions by an estimated 1.8 million pounds over the course of the 20-year agreement. Lewis and Clark expects the solar installation to be completed by August 2008.
Macalester C Holds Green Light Bulb Contest
Macalester College (MN) recently held "The Light Bulb Switchout," a competition between freshman and upperclassmen to see who could replace the most four-foot florescent bulbs with higher efficiency bulbs. The 2,200 newly installed light bulbs are estimated to save the College up to $30,000 per year. The first-year students won the competition, switching 1,300 bulbs in one building. The old light bulbs were recycled by a local recycling company.
Macalester C Subsidizes Bus Passes
Macalester College (MN) is offering a 50% discount on bus passes to faculty, students, and staff. The goal of the initiative is to encourage the Macalester community to use public transportation in order to reduce carbon emissions.
Michigan Student Sustainability Coalition Launches Energy Campaign
The Michigan Student Sustainability Coalition recently announced the launch of the Energy Future Campaign at a press conference at the state capitol. During the event, the MSSC dropped off Valentine's Day cards to the Michigan Legislature in support of the Energy Future Campaign. The cards, along with the online cards sent by youth through cleanenergylove.com, called for a renewable energy standard of at least 25% by 2025 and an energy efficiency standard that would require 2% annual energy efficiency increases in this state between now and 2015, with a commitment to the renegotiation of a stronger standard after 2015. The letters also asked for a moratorium on new coal-fired power plants in Michigan and Integrated Resource Planning, which would require state regulators to consider demand-side options like energy efficiency programs as well as supply-side options in their efforts to meet Michigan's needs for energy, equity, and the environment.