U Exeter Sets 2030 Carbon Net Zero Target

(U.K.) The university announced recently an updated net zero emissions goal of 2030. The new target covers direct emissions (scope 1 & 2) and also includes scope 3 (indirect emissions caused by the university's activities, such as purchases). Scope 3 emissions are approximately 72 percent of the university's total emissions.

Academics Sign Letter Encouraging Rejection of Research Funding From Fossil Fuel Companies

Five hundred academics from the U.S. and U.K. recently signed onto an open letter addressed to university leaders in the two countries, calling on them to reject all funding from fossil fuel companies for climate research. The letter cited the potential conflict of interest and compromise of academic freedom, as well as the opportunity for companies to greenwash their reputation.

U Pittsburgh Publishes Inaugural Climate Action Plan

The University of Pittsburgh’s Pittsburgh campus published recently its first Climate Action Plan outlining its strategy, approach and details to achieve carbon neutrality by 2037.

Federal US Government Directs $3M to HBCUs for Decarbonization Research

The U.S. Department of Energy announced recently that $3 million in federal funding would be directed toward historically Black colleges and universities, and other minority serving institutions, for research dedicated to carbonizing power generation and to help strengthen a pipeline from those schools into energy-related jobs.

Tufts U Establishes Indigenous Center

The university recently selected Vernon Miller as the inaugural director of the new Indigenous Center. Miller, a member of the Thunder Clan from the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska and Iowa, will develop and implement programming and support mechanisms with and for the Tufts’ Indigenous student population.

Catawba College Increases Minimum Wage

In an ongoing effort to promote a thriving workplace, the college raised the minimum wage in early March to $15 an hour for all college non-student staff. This is the second increase to the college’s minimum wage in the last six months.

U Pittsburgh Introduces Social Justice Faculty Fellowship

The Office of Health Sciences, Diversity and Inclusion recently established a social justice faculty fellowship program that aims to raise awareness among faculty about health inequities in the local community. The program, funded by campus-community partnerships, was developed to address Pitt students’ calls to action on social justice and systemic racism.

U Southern California Opens Three New Sustainability Research Centers

The new research centers, which are housed within the university's Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies, are focused on Earth and Environmental Systems, Applied Environmental Solutions, and Social Transformation. The three centers will merge the interdisciplinary expertise of the institute’s affiliated faculty, full-time senior scientists, post-doctoral fellows and graduate students to better understand and help to solve environmental and sustainability challenges.

U Virginia Aligns Building Standards With Carbon Neutrality Goals

The University of Virginia recently updated its building standards required for all future construction projects to further the institution’s progress in meeting its goals to be carbon neutral by 2030 and fossil-fuel free by 2050. Starting this year, new buildings are restricted from adding infrastructure for the on-site combustion of fossil fuels, such as natural gas, for heating or other uses, unless required for safety or emergency back-up systems.