South Dakota State U Adds 20 KW Photovoltaic Array
In early June, 54 solar panels were installed on the university's Facilities & Services roof. The 20.25-kilowatt solar-electric array provides approximately 18 percent of the total building energy usage.
Paul Smith’s College Receives $60K for Energy Audit & STARS Fellows
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) recently awarded a $56,000 REV Campus Challenge Technical Assistance for Roadmaps grant to the university that will be used to hire third-party energy consultants to assess campus infrastructure and energy use. Additionally, $4,000 in bonus funding will support sustainability fellowship positions for students working on Sustainability Tracking and Rating Systems (STARS) projects.
Ferris State U Announces Wege Prize Winners
First place winner of the Wege Prize 2020 Design Competition is Georgia Tech and Makerere University (Uganda) for creating biodegradable materials while mitigating the threat of invasive species. Second place is Kendall College of Art & Design of Ferris State University, Grand Valley State University and Oakland University for closing the loop on campus food waste. Third place is Ashesi University (Ghana), Earth University (Costa Rica) and Trinity College for turning waste streams into economic opportunity while nurturing soil health. The Wege Prize 2020 Design Competition is an annual international design competition organized by Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University.
Alabama A&M U Receives $2.2M for Electric Buses
The university's Bulldog Transit System (BTS) has been awarded over $2.2 million from the Federal Transit Administration to further increase its total number of electric buses, as well as to work toward its goal of providing needed infrastructure upgrades, charging stations, and a bus storage facility.
California CC Presidents Form Alliance to Combat Racism
More than 60 community colleges in California have joined the California Community College Equity Leadership Alliance to actively combat racism on their campuses. The alliance will be managed out of the University of Southern California’s Race & Equity Center. Colleges in the alliance will each pay the center $25,000 a year to be part of the alliance. In return, they will have access to specialized tools, resources and guidance, such as racial equity strategic action planning and an equity resource portal with equity-focused rubrics, readings, case studies, slide shows, videos and conversation scripts.
Post-Landfill Action Network "Reusables and Sanitation Toolkit"
To help campuses navigate the complexities of opening amidst the coronavirus pandemic, the Post-Landfill Action Network (PLAN) created the Reusables and Sanitation Toolkit, which contains references to 14 key resources, including guidance from the FDA, the CDC, the National Restaurant Association, ServSafe, EcoLab and a handful of scientific journals. The toolkit provides guidance to dining facilities that are considering switching to disposable (instead of reusable) dishes and take out containers, as well as reuse programs for items like furniture and electronics.
U Minnesota Limits Relationship With Minneapolis Police Department
As a result of the death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD), the University of Minnesota president recently announced changes to how the university police department will work with the MPD. The university's police department will no longer contract with the MPD for additional law enforcement support needed for large events, such as football games, concerts and ceremonies, or for when specialized services are needed for university events, such as K-9 Explosive detection units.
'Sustainable Futures – Communities in Action' Documentary & Educator's Guide
The Community Conservation Research Network released the documentary Sustainable Futures - Communities in Action covering food security, sustainable livelihoods, community-based conservation, fishery/coastal management, Indigenous rights and more, along with an education guide. The guide provides information and resource material to facilitate discussion and action with students and community groups.
U Virginia Study Abroad Office Publishes Inaugural Sustainability Plan
The university International Studies Office's (ISO) first Sustainability Plan calls for offsetting all carbon emissions of air travel for education abroad programs administered and managed directly by the ISO, offsetting all carbon emissions for all ISO staff travel, working towards completing UVA’s Green Workplace Program, committing to 100 percent zero-waste and carbon neutral events, and prioritizing sustainable accommodation options where possible.
U Virginia Partnership Increases Adoption of Solar Energy
In an effort to help the state reach its carbon neutrality goal of 2050, the University of Virginia Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service has partnered with the state’s Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy to host an advisory program, SolSmart, aimed to help local governments implement and embrace solar energy.
'The Wild Hometown Toolkit: A Toolkit for Student Leaders'
The Wild Hometown Toolkit aims to help students start and build a Wild Hometown chapter in their community, build a campus organization, and connect with other youth and local partners involved in land conservation, environmental education and biodiversity. The toolkit was developed through a collaboration between the Wild Hometown Movement and the Academics for Land Protection in New England (ALPINE).
U Louisville Initiates Equity Changes
In an effort to confront police brutality and building names with ties to slavery, representatives from the Black Student Union recently provided a list of demands to the university leadership. Following the meeting, the university committed to the following: ensure that the university police department is the lead law enforcement agency when dealing with a member of the campus community; perform an equity audit on all criminal justice academic programs; reduce the need for external law enforcement support at athletic events; provide de-escalation and cultural sensitivity training for officers working university events or hired by the university police department, and remove the term "overseer" from the name of its Honors House.
U Manchester to Decarbonize Its Investment Portfolio
(U.K.) The university recently announced that it will end investments in fossil fuel reserve and extraction companies by 2022, and decarbonize its investment portfolio by 2038. Its decarbonization commitment seeks to not only divest from fossil fuel companies but redirect its investments from carbon-intensive companies to companies that are more carbon efficient (emit less carbon for their level of activity).
Big Ten Announces 'Anti-Hate & Anti-Racism Coalition'
The Big Ten Conference commissioner, Kevin Warren, announced at the end of May the creation of the Big Ten Conference Anti-Hate and Anti-Racism Coalition, an initiative that seeks to partner with campus diversity councils to create the conditions where student athletes possess their rights to free speech and peaceful protest.
AASHE Report: STARS Aligned: Using STARS to Report on Contributions to the SDGs
“STARS Aligned: Using the Sustainability Tracking Assessment & Rating System to Report on Contributions to the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals” documents the alignment between the Sustainability Tracking Assessment & Rating System (STARS) and the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Tips and strategies to assist institutions with reporting on contributions to the SDGs through the STARS framework are included.
Boston U Announces Center for Antiracist Research
The university recently announced that Ibram X. Kendi, author of "How To Be an Antiracist" and 2012’s "The Black Campus Movement", will join and launch the BU Center for Antiracist Research. While the details of the center have not yet been finalized, Dr. Kendi outlined its broader mission: foster collaborations across the university; build multidisciplinary problem-centered research teams; assist faculty from all corners of BU with converting racial research into media pitches and books; collect, organize and utilize data on racial inequity; and organize public events, including the Antiracist Book Festival. Photo by Stephen Voss
DePauw U Installs Photovoltaic Array
The roof of the university's Indoor Tennis and Track Center now holds 860 photovoltaic panels. More than 40 donors gave toward the installation of the panels, which cost $460,000.
EPA Announces Winners Campus RainWorks Challenge
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently announced Florida International University as the first place winner in the Master Plan category, with University of Arizona placing second. In the Demonstration Project category, University of California at Los Angeles placed first while Arizona State University came in second. The EPA also recognized Michigan State University for honorable mention in the Master Plan category and the University of California at Berkeley for honorable mention in the Demonstration Project category. The Campus RainWorks Challenge a national competition that engages college students in the design of on-campus green infrastructure solutions to help address stormwater pollution.
U Puerto Rico Receives $1.4M to Reduce Diesel Emissions
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently announced a grant of $1.4 million to the university that will provide funding to replace 15 old, heavy-duty trucks. The university will also develop seminars for diesel vehicle owners and the general public in Puerto Rico to raise awareness about the harmful environmental impacts of diesel emissions, including those from idling, and resources available to help reduce diesel emissions.
U Toledo Installs 332 KW Solar Array
A new 332-kilowatt photovoltaic array on the university's Health Science Campus is expected to save the university approximately $30,000 per year in avoided electricity costs. A senior student design team worked with the university's Facilities and Construction to identify the site and prepare construction engineering drawings. The Student Green Fund approved spending $350,000 to cover the costs to install the array.
Recyclemania Announces 2020 Results
Across nearly 300 campuses in 43 states, more than 48 million pounds of waste was recycled, donated or composted over a five-week term (originally the term was eight weeks, but it was cut short due to COVID-19 closings). There were nine winners across nine categories this year. Additionally, in celebration of Recyclemania's 20th anniversary, the program announced a name change to Campus Race to Zero Waste.
Three Universities Collaborate on Waste Research
Princeton University, the University at Albany (lead university) and the University of Michigan, along with the Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory, recently announced a research collaboration to transform how organic waste, such as food waste, is handled. The goal is to develop economically viable methods to convert wet organic waste into high value products. The DOE has allocated $2.7 million to the project, and the consortium is adding an additional $709,550 to bring the total budget to more than $3.4 million.
Bucknell U Building Achieves LEED Platinum O+M
The university's academic and office building, Academic West, includes room occupancy sensors, large windows and glass interior walls that allow natural light to permeate the building, a green roof that helps the building stay cool and serves as a laboratory for student and faculty research, rain gardens, and a smart metering system that logs data on energy, temperature, water flow and HVAC settings every five minutes.
Climate Science Research Universities Form Alliance
The International Universities Climate Alliance is a new collaborative of over 40 climate research universities aiming to increase access to research-based facts on climate change science, impacts, adaptation and mitigation. UNSW Sydney is currently spearheading the alliance.
U Buffalo Produces Map of Food Resources
Researchers at the university recently released a map of food resources in Buffalo to help people access food amid the coronavirus pandemic. The map includes grocery stores and sources of free food like food pantries, soup kitchens and schools offering meal pickup for students.
North Carolina State U Installs Thermal Energy Storage Tank
Equivalent to a seven-story swimming pool holding more than 3 million gallons of water, the thermal energy storage tank enables the university to create chilled water for campus buildings at night when electricity rates are lowest and store the chilled water for use during the day when electricity rates are highest. The system is designed to supply chilled water for mechanical systems at more than 20 buildings.
Stanford U Announces Climate & Sustainability School
The university president in a recent address to the Academic Council announced the creation of a school focused on climate and sustainability that will help the university address the challenges facing the planet. In addition to leveraging the university's climate and sustainability research areas, the school is also to include a sustainability neighborhood providing place-based education and sustainability across the curriculum, and an accelerator, which would drive new sustainability solutions through external partnerships with government, industry and nongovernmental organizations.