U Kentucky Begins Food Waste Composting
In an effort to reduce the amount of material going into the landfill and to produce an organic, nutrient-rich soil amendment for use at the university’s Organic Research Farm and by UK Grounds, the new program will accept food waste from certain dining areas and turn it into compost.
Carleton U Recycling Program Wins National Award
The university's recycling program in the University Center Food Court recently won a Quality and Productivity Award from the Canadian Association of University Business Officers (CAUBO). The program was cited for improving recycling behaviors through innovative recycling stations and realigned consumer packaging with less wasteful material. Throughout the transition, Carleton trained staff on best use of the new stations, resulting in a waste diversion rate of 90 percent, up from 12 percent, in less than a year.
Black Hills State U Dorm Receives Solar Electric Array
A solar array on the university's Thomas Hall was completed in May, featuring 186 370-watt photovoltaic panels. The cost of construction and installation was approximately $125,000 and has a payback time of less than 15 years.
Washington U St. Louis to Raise Minimum Wage to $15
The university's chancellor recently announced that the minimum hourly wage for regular employees and basic service contractors will be raised to $15 by July 1, 2021. The decision affects about 1,200 workers.
Elizabeth City State U Earns Approval for Sustainability Studies Program
The University of North Carolina System Board of Governors recently approved a Bachelor of Science in Sustainability Studies at Elizabeth City State University, which is planned for a fall 2020 launch, pending review and approval of the university accrediting agency (SACSCOC) and the U.S. Department of Education. The program will provide broad interdisciplinary knowledge and skills that are required to address the inherent collaboration between environmental, human and technological systems that affect sustainability-related problems in the world today.
Second Nature Receives $303K to Support Cross-Sector Climate Action
Second Nature recently received $303,000 from a private donor to further the organization’s work advancing collaboration and partnerships across sectors for scalable climate solutions. Second Nature’s cross-sector climate programs are part of its newly released core strategy to exponentially accelerate climate action through higher education over the next decade.
U British Columbia Purchases Only Ocean Wise Seafood
As of July 1, the university will purchase and offer only 100 percent Ocean Wise recommended seafood. The change will include every food service location on both the UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan campuses, excluding franchises.
Rutgers U Announces Endowment to Help Neediest Students
Beginning in academic year 2020-21, the university will begin efforts to raise a $3 million endowment to support the Scarlet Promise Grants, formerly called Rutgers Assistance Grants, in perpetuity. The renewed focus on this grant program grew out of two task forces commissioned by Rutgers’ board of trustees – the Task Force on Student Aid and the Task Force on Philanthropy. The student aid task force found that a growing number of students are unable to complete their degrees because of limited resources, while others can graduate but leave college saddled with significant debt.
Augusta U Appoints Chief Diversity Officer
Dr. Tiffany G. Townsend has been named chief diversity officer effective Sept. 1. Townsend previously served as the senior director of the Office of Ethnic Minority Affairs at the American Psychological Association. Prior to that, she served as chair of community liaison/outreach in the Center for Trauma and the Community and adjunct associate professor of psychiatry at Georgetown University School of Medicine.
U Texas Dallas Building Earns LEED Gold
The new Engineering and Computer Science West building is 200,000 square feet and hosts research and teaching labs, faculty offices, student workspaces and a 300-seat auditorium. The building, which opened in August 2018, combines passive design strategies, high-performance assemblies and calibrated shading elements to reduce overall solar heat gain while maximizing daylight. R&D Magazine honored the building with a 2019 Lab of the Year Award-Special Mention for Engineering Labs.
U Southern Denmark to Focus SDG Integration Across University
(Denmark) In mid-June, the Executive Board of the university decided that the 17 U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are to become the focal point for its work as a university. The basis of the transformation will be research and education, and will include 17 new, one-year master programs as well as integration of the SDGs in courses.
Rice U Forms University Task Force on Racial Injustice
University president David W. Leebron and provost Marie Lynn Miranda recently announced the creation of a Task Force on Slavery, Segregation, and Racial Injustice that will begin in the fall semester. The group is charged with discovering, documenting, acknowledging and disseminating Rice’s past with respect to slavery, segregation, and racial injustice; developing campus-wide programming to support discussion on this topic; and identifying suggestions for the furthering a diverse and inclusive university.
Mount Holyoke College Dining Achieves Green Restaurant Certification
Certified by the Green Restaurant Association, the college's dining facilities have been certified as Level 1 Certified Green Restaurants. The Green Restaurant Association awards points in seven categories: water efficiency, waste reduction and recycling, energy, disposables, sustainable food, sustainable furnishings and building materials, and chemical and pollution reduction.
Georgia State U & U Massachusetts Dartmouth Win EPA WasteWise Awards
The two universities won the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency WasteWise awards in the college/university category for reducing select industrial wastes that would otherwise be disposed in landfills or incinerated. The program recognizes organizations that have the best overall improvement in waste prevention and recycling activities when compared to the previous year.
Indiana U-Purdue U Indianapolis Launches Seed Library
The IUPUI University Library debuted its new seed library in mid-June allowing patrons to take small envelopes of non-GMO seeds of culinary herbs. The project was made possible by a Greening IUPUI grant from the Office of Sustainability. The first year of the grant will concentrate on the easy-to-grow herbs, with vegetables, flowers and other native plant species expected to be added in 2020.
U Colorado Boulder Building Obtains LEED Platinum
The university's Village Center Dining and Community Commons is a 113,225-square-foot student hub featuring an aeroponic garden, a rooftop photovoltaic array, electrochromic glass windows, a biodigester, a bicycle-powered smoothie station, and LED lighting throughout. An efficient irrigation system for the native and adaptive landscaping plants coupled with water-efficient fixtures in the building is expected to result in more than 450,000 gallons of reduced water use each year.
U Pittsburgh Displays Art Using Nonconventional Materials
A collaborative, new art project between architecture and engineering students seeks to better understand how nonconventional materials – bamboo, cardboard, plywood and recycled plastic bottles – perform in the elements. A plywood bench supported by the cardboard tubes marks the center of the piece and invites passersby to sit and take a look.
Sterling College Adopts Vision Focused on Ecological Crisis
The college's new Strategic Vision 2020-2030 names the forces causing the climate emergency and offers five overarching commitments to advance ecological thinking and action through learning. In order to hold themselves accountable, the board of trustees structure will change into five councils. Progress in fulfilling each of the five commitments
included in the strategic initiative will be assessed by these five newly established councils with membership that is composed of trustees, faculty, staff and students.
U North Carolina Asheville Begins Using ESG Investing Lens
Following a multi-year effort initiated by UNC Asheville student leaders, the university's board of trustees recently approved using environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria for approximately 10 percent (roughly $5 million) of its endowment that will be divested from fossil fuel investments.
Chatham U Launches Community Food Bank Farm
Students at Chatham University’s Falk School of Sustainability and Environment are now growing a variety of crops for local communities in need through a partnership with the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank’s Green Grocer mobile farmers market program.
Falmouth U Declares Climate and Ecological Emergency
(U.K.) In recognition of the threat that climate change poses to the environment and communities, both locally and globally, the university hopes to galvanize its resources, research and knowledge for the protection and benefit of the planet.
U Pittsburgh–Johnstown Attains Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Designation
To be certified, the university's 655-acre grounds and 15 miles of trails met environmental management standards in five key areas: environmental planning, wildlife and habitat management, water quality and conservation, resource management, and outreach and education. Recertification is required every three years to maintain the designation.
Portland State U Buildings Receive LEED O+M Certification
In just over two years, four university buildings were certified under LEED for Building Operations and Maintenance. Two were certified Silver while two were certified Gold. The Campus Sustainability Office oversaw the certification process, including coordinating the performance periods with partners in Facilities & Property Management.
U Pittsburgh Students Install Bee Houses
A team of undergraduates, called Bee Friendly Pitt, has installed seven bee houses near plantings and pollinator gardens throughout the Pittsburgh campus. Bee Friendly Pitt was conceived during the spring term as part of an environmental studies program sustainability course, which focuses on developing impactful sustainability projects on campus and in the community.
Education Dept Announces 2019 Green Ribbon Schools
The U.S. Department of Education recently named the 2019 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools, District Sustainability Awardees, and Postsecondary Sustainability Awardees. Across the U.S., there are 35 schools including 25 public schools, 3 magnet schools, 2 charter schools, 10 non-public schools, and four postsecondary institutions that are recognized. These honorees employ innovative practices and policies to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, improve health and wellness, and ensure effective sustainability education.
Center for Technical and Higher Education to Install 1.2 MW of Solar
(Mexico) The university recently announced plans to install two solar photovoltaic systems of 1.2 megawatts in total at its Mexicali and Tijuana campuses. The 2,873 panels in Mexicali will generate enough power to cover around 50 percent of the campus’ electricity needs. The campus in Tijuana, where the installation already began, will have a total of 226 panels on its premises.
U Alabama Birmingham Launches Staff Sustainability Program
More than 70 employees are now a part of the university's new Sustainability Ambassadors program. The ambassadors create a network among buildings to promote sustainable actions to their colleagues and help implement educational programming tailored to the needs of the units they serve. Ambassadors serve a one year term.
U Iowa Connects Scientists With Community
The university's Office of Sustainability launched the Sustainability Scientists and Scholars database at the start of the summer to help connect researchers and professors with each other and the local community. The database currently holds 42 different profiles for all faculty levels, scientists, research staff, research administration and graduate students. It hosts over 200 topics and fields ranging from water quality to geological processes, economics, and climate change.
Udall Foundation Announces 2019 Udall Scholars
The Udall Foundation recently announced that 55 students from 50 colleges and universities have been selected as 2019 Udall Scholars. A 14-member independent review committee selected this year's group of Udall Scholars on the basis of commitment to careers in the environment, Native health care, or Tribal public policy; leadership potential; record of public service; and academic achievement. Thirty-eight scholars intend to pursue careers related to the environment. Each scholarship provides up to $7,000 for the scholar’s junior or senior year.
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.