Duke U Launches Program to Make Engineering School More Sustainable

Called GREENgineering, the new community-wide initiative is focused on high-impact and achievable projects related to improving sustainability awareness, increasing recycling, and reducing waste and energy use. Initial projects include switching to vending machines that dispense only aluminum cans; working with facilities to install more bottle-filing water coolers; and creating an online guide for staff members on planning sustainable events and compiling a list of sustainable event vendors.

Emory U Names Chief Diversity Officer

The university has named Carol E. Henderson vice provost for diversity and inclusion, chief diversity officer and advisor to the president. Henderson will join Emory from the University of Delaware, where she is currently still serving as vice provost for diversity. Henderson will partner with the campus community to re-imagine and strengthen comprehensive diversity, equity and inclusion efforts at the university and create mechanisms for communicating the institution’s commitment to these principles and practices. She will assume her new role at Emory on August 1.

Pennsylvania State U Initiates Drawdown Scholars Program

Fifty-five undergraduate students from across the U.S. have arrived at Penn State to take part in the first-ever Drawdown Scholars Research Experience for Undergraduates Program. Dubbed Drawdown Scholars, the students will spend eight weeks embedded in research programs across the university, with the aim of investigating positive solutions-oriented paths to take action on climate change. The scholars are paired with faculty mentors and together will model the solutions, investigate their feasibility, and develop an outreach curriculum to educate others.

CaGBC Announces 2019 Green Building Award Winners

The Canada Green Building Council announced at the recent Building Lasting Change conference in Vancouver the 2019 winners of its Leadership and Green Building Excellence Awards. Cheryl Fryers, professor at Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, won the Inspired Educator Award, and Western University’s engineering building in London, Ontario, won the New Construction Award.

U Denver to Install Approximately 2 MW of Solar

Beginning this summer, the university will install roughly 2 megawatts of solar electricity across 18 DU buildings, including two new buildings opening in 2020. The panels will account for an estimated 7-8 percent of DU’s energy consumption.

Indiana U Bloomington Initiates Resilience Cohort Program

This summer as part of the Indiana Sustainability Development Program, eight students in the first Resilience Cohort will be hosted by cities, towns and counties to complete greenhouse gas inventories, which will provide data on topics such as the amount of energy consumed, the diversity of the energy supplied to their grid, and residents' vehicle types and fuel usages. The result of a new partnership with the Environmental Resilience Institute, the Resilience Cohort is a new project under Sustain IU's extern program, supported by the McKinney Family Foundation.

U Kentucky Releases Interactive Materials Resource Map

A student helped the university's recycling department develop and publish an interactive resource map, which includes all the local thrift, repair and resell stores, as well as all the donation and recycling centers. This map is designed to serve as a one-stop resource for students, faculty, and staff looking to curb their wasteful habits and to do more than just recycle.

Appalachian State U Donates Toward Solar Energy for Local Nonprofit

With help of a $13,500 grant from the university, a photovoltaic system was recently installed on the barn of a local nonprofit that rescues horses. The newly installed solar panels will help power the barn’s lights, fans and heated rooms, and the farm’s approximately 2 acres of fencing.

U Arkansas Receives Acclaim for Homeless Housing Project

The university's Community Design Center and its collaborators were recently recognized by three awards programs for a homeless transition village project. The project, which seeks to provide cost-effective housing for low-income and extreme low-income populations and codify best practices, received accolades from the 2019 Green GOOD DESIGN by The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies and The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design; the 2019 Great Places Award in the Place Planning category from the Environmental Design Research Association; and the PLAN Awards 2019, an international design awards program sponsored by The Plan magazine.

Emory U Hospital Tower Earn LEED Silver

The building features low-flow indoor water fixtures and energy-efficient exterior glazing systems, and is a lead- and mercury-free facility. A special focus was put on indoor environmental quality for improved occupant health and well-being. Over 95 percent of the construction waste was recycled.

U Buffalo Library Earns LEED Silver

The renovation of the 24-hour library included using locally-produced or recycled building materials, reusing materials, such as light fixtures, and the installation of an air station to monitor fresh air intake and improve air quality.

G7 President Launches U7 Alliance

The Group of Seven (G7), seven nations that represent the world's most advanced economies, this year led by the President Emmanuel Macron of France, recently announced the formation of the U7 Alliance. The U7 Alliance is an international alliance of university presidents who will engage both in discussion and in concrete action to address the most pressing global challenges in its first global summit in Paris on July 9 - 10, 2019. This inaugural summit, being attended by 46 university presidents, will tackle five major global challenges: the key role of universities in a global world, climate change and cleaner energy, inequality and polarized societies, technological transformations, and community engagement and impact.

Carleton College to Install Ground Source HVAC

By 2021, the college will have switched its east and west sides of campus from steam to hot water with the aid of geothermal bore fields. The geothermal transformation across campus will reduce Carleton’s energy use by 40 percent and its emissions by 15 percent compared to the current steam plant operation.

Pac-12 Announces Winners of Zero Waste Challenge

The Pac-12 Conference recently announced honorees of the Pac-12 Zero Waste Challenge for the 2018-19 basketball season with the University of California, Berkeley being selected as both the overall winner as well as winner of the student-athlete engagement category. Also recognized as subcategory winners include Arizona State University (fan engagement) and the University of California, Los Angeles (most improved).

NOAA Awards $175M to U Maryland for Earth System Studies

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has awarded a five-year, $175 million cooperative funding agreement to the University of Maryland for collaborative research in Earth system science called the Cooperative Institute for Satellite Earth System Studies. Led by two principal investigators from the UMD and one from N.C. State University, this institute will be a national consortium of more than two dozen academic and nonprofit institutions aimed at research activities covering three themes: satellite services, Earth system observations and services, and Earth system research.

Southern Connecticut State U Declares Climate Change Global Emergency

In response to student advocacy, the university's president, Joe Bertolino, recently declared climate change a global emergency. The emergency declaration is based on the 2018 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report; unprecedented acceleration of atmospheric carbon levels that as of May 2019; and local community health, environmental, and economic risk.

U Illinois Chicago to Offers In-State Tuition for Native Americans

Beginning this fall, the university will offer in-state tuition to students who are members of any of the 573 tribal nations recognized by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Rather than being charged the base non-resident tuition of $23,800, the eligible students will be charged $10,584 as a base tuition before federal Pell grants as well as any other aid they may have received. Eligible students will still have to meet all of UIC’s admission standards, including test scores and grade point averages.

U New Hampshire Places $37M in ESG Investments

The university foundation recently completed the transition of 16 percent of its investable assets—$37 million­—into ESG-qualified (environmental, social and governance) investments. This latest transition in UNH’s sustainable investing practices has been guided by the Committee on Investor Responsibility (CIR), established in 2017. The university has also dedicated $5 million to community impact investing.

NOAA Selects Seven Institutions to Conduct Sea Ecosystem Research

NOAA’s Cooperative Institute for the North Atlantic Region (CINAR), hosted by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, has partnered with the University of Maine, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth School for Marine Science and Technology, University of Rhode Island, Rutgers University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, and the Gulf of Maine Research Institute to carry out innovative, multidisciplinary research that will help inform decisions for sustainable and beneficial management of the U.S. Northeast continental shelf ecosystem.

U Maryland Receives $2.3M for GHG Reduction Research

Former mayor of New York City, Michael R. Bloomberg, committed $2.3 million to the university's Center for Global Sustainability to evaluate and analyze current U.S. greenhouse gas emissions reductions. As the U.N. Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Climate Action, Bloomberg will submit the findings to the U.N. to demonstrate U.S. progress in meeting carbon reduction commitments made under the Paris Climate Agreement.

Georgetown U Opens Student Equity & Inclusion Office

The university recently announced the creation of the Office of Student Equity and Inclusion. The office aims to improve resources for first-generation and minority students on campus. Dr. Adanna Johnson, currently the senior associate dean of students and director of Diversity, Equity and Student Success, will lead the office as associate vice president.

80 Institutions Recognized for Advancing First-Gen Student Success

The Center for First Generation Student Success recently recognized 80 higher education institutions as the inaugural First Forward cohort. First Forward institutions are selected for their demonstrated commitment to advancing first-generation student success. The institutions will share evidence-based practices and resources, troubleshoot challenges, generate knowledge, and continue to advance the success of first-generation students across the U.S. The Center for First Generation Student Success is an initiative of NASPA and the Suder Foundation.

College of the Atlantic to Eliminate All Disposable Plastic

The first campus to sign onto Post-Landfill Action Network's (PLAN) Break Free From Plastic Campus Pledge, the college is now committed to eliminate all single-use disposable plastics by 2025, which includes utensils, cups, plates, lids, polystyrene, shopping bags, clamshells and to-go containers, and condiment, sauce and seasoning packets, among other types.

U Kentucky Athletics Building Earns LEED Silver

The Joe Craft Football Training Facility features energy-efficient HVAC, thermal comfort and lighting systems. Additionally, it consumes 40 percent less water and 21 percent less energy than other buildings of its type.

Doane U Commits to Fossil Fuel Divestment

At the beginning of May, the university’s board of trustees passed a resolution to end all future investments in fossil fuel companies. Doane currently holds 1.6 percent of its endowment in two direct oil and gas investments.

Castleton U Announces Solar Partnership

A new partnership will allow the university to purchase net-metering credits from local community solar. Combined, the sites will include a 500-kilowatt array. The university is not responsible for insurance, maintenance or other obligations with regard to the solar project itself.

EcoCAR Mobility Challenge Announces Winners

The Ohio State University has been named The EcoCAR Mobility Challenge Year One champion. Rounding out the top three are Virginia Tech in second place and the University of Alabama in third place. Ohio State will take home an extra $10,000 to further support the university’s advanced vehicle technology program. EcoCAR is a U.S. Department of Energy Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition that challenges 12 North American universities to improve the energy efficiency of a Chevrolet Blazer while balancing factors such as emissions, safety and consumer acceptability.

Furman U Approves Slavery & Justice Committee Actions

Approved at the university's board of trustees May meeting were a number of recommendations made by the board’s Special Committee on Slavery and Justice, including erecting a statue and creating day of celebration to honor the late Joseph Vaughn, the university’s first African-American student. Furman is a member of the Universities Studying Slavery consortium headquartered at the University of Virginia, along with 10 other universities.

Bladen CC Opens Food Bank

The community college's new faculty-run food bank, the Eagle’s Nest Food Bank, supplies food to food insecure students.

U California Davis Gets Grant for Water-Conserving Landscapes

The University of California, Davis’ California Center for Urban Horticulture recently received a donation from TreeTown USA to help develop water-conserving landscapes through the center's SmartLandscape Initiative. By combining low water-use plants with the latest available irrigation technology, the horticultural innovation center will be an educational tool focused on measuring and monitoring water use data and reducing urban landscape water waste.

U Oxford Unveils Initiatives for Underrepresented Backgrounds

(U.K.) Two new programs that expand access to academically talented students from underrepresented groups were recently announced. Opportunity Oxford is aimed at students from more disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds, while Foundation Oxford is open to students who have personally experienced severe disadvantage or educational disruption. Both schemes are free and students’ residential and living costs will be fully funded. When fully up and running, these major new programs will offer paths to education for up to 250 state school students a year, representing 10 percent of Oxford’s U.K. undergraduate intake.

NCAR Launches Interdisciplinary Climate Change Research Program

The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) is launching the Early Career Faculty Innovator Program this summer, naming nine early-career faculty members from U.S. universities to conduct interdisciplinary research into the impacts of climate change and natural hazards on U.S. coasts. Each faculty member will bring a graduate student to assist with research. Faculty were selected from Columbia University, New York University, Stanford University, Stony Brook University, University of Central Florida, University of Connecticut, University of Oregon, University of South Carolina and Virginia Tech.

Mohawk College & U British Columbia Win Awards for Sustainable Built Environments

The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada announced in mid-May the 2019 recipients of its Awards of Excellence, which reflect outstanding achievement in architecture through innovation, green building, allied arts, advocacy and journalism. Mohawk College's Joyce Center for Partnership & Innovation won the Innovation in Architecture category for its net-zero institutional building on the Fennel campus that is helping to set the standards for the Canada Green Building Council Zero Carbon Buildings Framework. The University of British Columbia's Campus Energy Center won in the Green Building category for its hot water facility that uses almost 63 percent less energy and 31 percent less water than a baseline building of its type.

Occidental College Adjunct Faculty Vote to Unionize

Of those non-tenured faculty who recently cast ballots, the vote was 61 to 16 in favor of representation, according to the National Labor Relations Board.

Mercy College Adjuncts Vote to Form Union

Following a recent referendum, 540 adjunct professors out of a possible 853 voted in favor of forming a union.

Bates College Achieves Carbon Neutrality

Measured against a 2001 baseline, Bates has eliminated 95 percent of its campus greenhouse gas emissions, and will purchase carbon offsets for the remainder. In its Climate Action Plan, announced nine years ago, Bates committed to hitting this milestone by 2020.

U Buffalo Offers Sustainability Certificate

Available to all students enrolled in one of the university’s graduate programs, the Advanced Certificate in Sustainability consists of 15 graduate credit hours, addressing the complexity of environment issues from the perspective of the natural sciences, social sciences and the humanities.

Ripon College Selects Environment-Focused Commencement Theme

Since 1957, the college has selected a theme for its commencement and this year's theme was Caring for Our Environment. The theme was highlighted with 100 percent biodegradable plastic cups, utensils and napkins. Perennial plants were used in ceremony decor and then replanted on campus afterward. Caps and gowns were made from 23 recycled water bottles. Marc Edwards, a Virginia Tech professor of civil and environmental engineering that helped uncover the Flint, Mich., water crisis, was a speaker.

West Virginia U to Install Photovoltaic Array on Law Building

The university's College of Law building will soon be the home of a 48-panel solar-electric array, the first for the university.

Yale U Eliminates Single-Use Plastic Water Bottles at Commencement

In an effort to reduce waste, the university eliminated 11,000 single-use bottles by encouraging honorees and guests to bring their own reusable bottles or use compostable cups at one of six different hydration stations. In previous years, Yale distributed more than 300 cases of individual plastic water bottles, many of which were left unopened.

U Michigan Initiates Sustainability Research Grant Program

The new Catalyst Grant program from university's Graham Sustainability Institute aims to address the challenges of safe drinking water, climate change vulnerability, sustainable livestock production, and the health and energy justice impacts of electricity generation. Led by multidisciplinary faculty teams, these new Catalyst Grant projects will lay the groundwork for ongoing collaborations and develop tools and recommendations for decisions that advance sustainability. In its inaugural year, the four projects were selected from eight proposals submitted by 21 faculty members and researchers across nine units. Each of the selected proposals will receive $10,000 to support collaborative research activities.

U California San Diego Launches Pilot Student Loan Debt Program

The university's Extension office and the San Diego Workforce Partnership have joined forces for a new initiative, called the Workforce Income Share Agreement Fund, aimed at removing financial barriers to higher education for unemployed and underemployed individuals. Participants have access to certificate-granting courses at the University Extension. Once students complete their certificate and secure a job with an annual salary of at least $40,000, they pay a set percentage of their income over a set period of time.

Cornell U to Offset New Buildings Electricity With Solar

The university aims to offset about 35 percent of the electricity of proposed new residential buildings using photovoltaics. The proposed residential expansion project, which will allow all first-year and sophomore students to be housed on campus or in affiliated housing, was designed in alignment with the university's Climate Action Plan.

Monash U Opens Sustainable Residential Building

(Australia) A new 150-bed residential accommodation complex includes rooftop solar panels, a rainwater harvesting tank, and a landscaped dry creek bed to manage stormwater during high-rain events. In addition to electricity supplied by its rooftop solar, some electricity will come wind energy through the university's power purchase agreement in a wind farm. The complex will be powered solely using renewable energy.

U Dayton to Launch Bachelor Degrees in Sustainability

The board of trustees recently approved Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees in sustainability, which students can start in August 2019. Housed in the College of Arts and Sciences, the Bachelor of Science degree will have tracks in energy and sustainable watersheds. The Bachelor of Arts degree will have tracks in food studies and urban sustainability.

North Carolina State U to Host Inaugural ACC Sustainability Conference

The very first ACC Sports Sustainability Conference, being held in summer 2019 at N.C. State University, aims to create infrastructure for promoting sustainability in athletics across the conference schools.

U Colorado Boulder Athletics Signs Sports Climate Action Framework

The university's new commitment to the U.N. Sports for Climate Action Framework aims to reduce emissions in sports operations and tap the popularity and passion of sport to engage of fans in the effort. The U.N. Sports for Climate Action Framework has two overarching objectives: to achieve a clear trajectory for the global sports community to combat climate change and to leverage sports as a unifying tool to drive climate awareness and action among global citizens. Signatories of the framework commit to five core principles–undertaking systematic efforts to promote greater environmental responsibility, reducing overall climate impact, educating for climate action, promoting sustainable and responsible consumption, and advocating for climate action through communication.

Stony Brook U Partners With Sustainable Energy Research Center

In an effort to support, foster and accelerate research, the university and the San Diego-based Center for Sustainable Energy recently signed an MOU assess the regional and global commercial potential of clean energy strategies that contribute to the U.S. transition to a low-carbon economy and to secure additional funding for projects. An overarching aspect of the collaboration will be to target greenhouse gas reduction projects that advance the goals of existing programs focusing on climate change.

Two Faculty Win Sustainable Chemistry Challenge

The first prize, worth over $56,000 (50,000 euros), in the 2019 Elsevier Foundation-ISC3 Green and Sustainable Chemistry Challenge went to Dr. Ramia Albakain, associate professor at the University of Jordan, for development of a technique to remove toxic metals from medical wastewater, making it safer for agricultural irrigation. The second prize, worth over $28,000, went to Dr. Ankur Patwardhan, head of the Biodiversity Department at Maharashtra Education Society’s Abasaheb Garware College, for development of a natural pollinator attractant formulation aimed at enhancing floral visits by butterflies thereby increasing plant-pollinator interactions.

U East London Students Tackle Plastic Waste on Beaches

(U.K.) The charity GreenSeas Trust approached the university's product design academics to ask if students would be interested in creating an impactful design for a bin that would inspire more people on beaches to dispose of plastic waste in bins. Two third-year students designed and created a bin in the shape of a life ring that will be rolled out on June 5, World Environment Day.