Change the Pallet Sign-On Letter
Change the Pallet, AASHE and ICLEI invite individuals to sign onto a letter asking suppliers to consider shipping to college and university campuses on lightweight, recyclable, corrugated cardboard pallets instead of wood or plastic, in an effort to reduce transport emissions.
THE Releases University Impact Rankings 2019
The Times Higher Education University Impact Rankings assess universities against the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals. The first edition of the ranking includes metrics based on 11 SDGs. This first edition includes more than 450 universities from 76 countries.
Environmental Leadership Program National Fellowship
The Environmental Leadership Program is accepting applications for its 2019 National Fellowship Program, which offers leadership and skills training, national networking opportunities, and time for personal and professional reflection. Through immersive retreats, the curriculum is designed to help emerging leaders hone their leadership styles, improve their strategy and organizational development, and strengthen their outreach to diverse constituencies. The application deadline is July 15.
SIILK Network Mentorship Program
The Sustainable and Impact Investing Learning and Knowledge (SIILK) Network mentorship program aims to engage students with diverse backgrounds and experiences, including students of color and low-income students, with a goal of creating a more diverse pipeline of finance professionals with a solid grasp on sustainable investing. Coordinated by the Intentional Endowments Institute, the Sustainable and Impact Investing Learning and Knowledge Network brings together students, faculty, administrators, trustees, and financial professionals to provide real-world experience in sustainable investing and build professional networks.
Rutgers U Commits $20M to Faculty Diversity
An additional $20 million on top of a 2016 commitment of $22 million has been allocated to extend the Rutgers Faculty Diversity Hiring Initiative through June 2024. Under the initiative, the university has agreed to provide half the salary support for the first three years of each newly hired faculty member’s service at Rutgers, along with additional funds to support mentoring and retention.
U California Academic Researchers to Form Union
The UC system and United Auto Workers 5810 have reached an agreement on the composition of a new collective bargaining unit covering professional researchers and other academics at UC campuses and Schools of Medicine. Once the collective bargaining has been certified, bargaining is expected to begin in early may.
Washington U St. Louis Add 1.9 MW of Solar Energy
Construction is underway on a 1.9-megawatt solar electric project that will add arrays to six university buildings. The project is expected to be completed by the end of the fall 2019. A new interdisciplinary program allows students to use the project as a case study to learn about the business, policy and engineering aspects of the solar industry.
Brown U to Cover Textbook Cost for More Than 1,100 Students
After a successful pilot with high-need students, Brown will expand textbook and course materials program to roughly 1,100 first-year students receiving university scholarship funds and undergraduates who have a $0 parent contribution.
Georgetown U Names Smithsonian Scientist to Direct Georgetown Environment Initiative
As the new director of the Georgetown Environment Initiative, Peter Marra will help bring together students, faculty and staff across the university's campuses to contribute to Georgetown’s scholarship and outreach regarding the earth’s stewardship. Marra is the Laudato Si’ chair in Biology and the Environment, and professor in the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University.
HKUST Launches Living Lab Program With $6.7M Pledge
(Hong Kong) The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) has pledged $6.37 million ($50 million Hong Kong dollars) toward a new initiative aimed at transforming the campus into a testing ground for real-life challenges. Called the Sustainable Smart Campus as a Living Lab, nine inaugural projects were selected that will be carried out in collaboration with the sustainability office.
Early Bird Registration Open: 2019 AASHE Conference & Expo
The 2019 AASHE Conference & Expo, themed Co-Creating a Sustainable Economy, in Spokane, Washington, from October 27-30, will examine the root cause for the continued rise in carbon emissions: our dysfunctional economic system. The agenda features deep dives for select topics, curated tracks, keynote speakers, topical sessions and experiential learning opportunities. Register before May 31 to take advantage of early bird rates.
AASHE Awards Judge Recruitment
AASHE is seeking judges to help evaluate submissions for the 2019 AASHE Sustainability Awards. Judging will occur over an eight-week period between June and July. Sign up by May 17.
U Virginia Earns Tree Campus USA Recognition
The university recently earned the 2018 Tree Campus USA designation for stewarding campus trees in accordance with Tree Campus USA guidelines, which are based on five core standards for sustainable campus forest management.
Harvard Executive Education for Sustainability Leadership Informational Sessions
The informational sessions will discuss the Executive Education for Sustainability Leadership program by providing an overview of the course frameworks, which center around organizational design to optimize and accelerate impact for sustainability and innovation. The Executive Education for Sustainability Leadership program is being offered Oct. 21 - 25, 2019. Information sessions are planned for April 17, May 16, and June 10.
U Kentucky Supports Low-Income & Minority Students
A student hunger strike will now end after the university president concluded a two-hour meeting with a coalition of student protesters who laid out a series of demands to make life better for low-income and minority students. The president agreed to cover a controversial mural at one of the university's most iconic buildings on campus that portrays black men and women planting tobacco and a Native American man holding a tomahawk. In addition to the mural, the university now commits to including a representative from the Black Student Collective on all senior-level search committees; staffing a Basic Needs Center; and establishing a Basic Needs Fund to assist those who experience food and housing insecurity.
Colgate U Invests in Carbon Offset Projects
To mitigate remaining university emissions for air and automotive travel, and energy consumption related to buildings, the university invested in a New York State landfill gas-to-energy project, a grassland carbon sequestration and conservation project, a tropical forest conservation project and a solar cookstove project in China. Additionally, the university now purchases renewable energy credits to cover 100 percent of their electricity needs. The total cost of renewable energy credits and the four offset projects for 2019 is about $61,000.
Ohio U Introduces Faculty-Led Sustainability Hubs
The new Sustainability Hubs advance initiatives in 12 thematic areas to further progress the university’s Sustainability and Climate Action Plans. The three, faculty-led hubs are the Sustainable Infrastructure Hub, focusing on buildings, energy, water and waste; the Sustainable Living Hub Coordinator concentrating on food, transportation, grounds and student affairs; and a hub focusing on climate, procurement, investments and human resources.
Five Universities Partner to Address Food, Health, Climate Change Challenges
A new partnership involving North Carolina State University, Makerere University, Gulu University and Mbarara University of Science and Technology in Uganda, and Mount Kenya University in Kenya seeks to engage students at the institutions to find solutions to persistent global challenges such as food shortages, health challenges and the effects of climate change. The partnership is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation with initial support of $14 million.
U Minnesota Morris Introduces Minor in Sustainability Leadership
As part of UMN Morris's Sustainability Leaders for the Future program, which prepares students to solve environmental, social and economic challenges, the new minor aims to help students from any major develop the skills they need to grow as sustainability leaders in their personal and professional lives. The plan includes topics and activities in environmental problems and public policy; communication and the environment; political ethics; and indigenous sovereignty and federal policy.
Bowie State U STEM Research Center Earns LEED Platinum
The university's Center for Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Nursing is a 149,000-square-foot, four-floor building that features dynamic glazed windows that tint on-demand to lower energy usage and a computerized and automated ventilation system for laboratories. Sloped landscaping prevents rainwater from running off onto paved surfaces, and native deciduous shade trees in the building's plaza serve as a natural buffer from the sun's rays.
Yale U Implements Smart Irrigation Systems
Yale Grounds Maintenance implemented sprinkler and irrigation systems that use weather-based automated technology, which is controlled using a smartphone app. The app, which is connected to local meteorology forecasts, will pause if rain is predicted, thus limiting waste by complementing what is naturally occurring. In addition, lawns in four residential colleges utilize flow-sensing smart technology in order to limit excessive water use. A flow-sensing valve in the main pipe will automatically close if unusually-high water output is found.
Arizona State U Initiates Well-Being Research Center
In partnership with and funded by Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation (MCHC), the Global KAITEKI Center will focus on research aimed at realizing the concept of KAITEKI, that is, the sustainable well-being of people, society and planet Earth. It is an original concept of the MCHC that proposes a way forward in the sustainable development of society and the planet, and serves as a guide for solving environmental and social issues. The first four research projects, announced in early April, will be: Visualizing and Quantifying the Social Value of Future Business; Developing a Shared Roadmap for the Circular Economy in the Chemical Industry; Design, Development and Testing of Innovative Materials for Urban Cooling; and Food Waste Reduction and Well-Being for a Sustainable Future.
Second Nature Policy Updates
Second Nature is working with partners to bring together advocacy opportunities that will accelerate science informed solutions, break down blockages for campus climate goals and clear the pathway for climate action success. This sign-up form provides the opportunity to receive periodic updates from Second Nature regarding policy issues.
APPA Facilities Manager Magazine: Sustainability Excellence and Collaboration
The March/April issue of APPA's Facilities Manager magazine focuses on Sustainability Excellence and Collaboration. It includes articles about renewable energy aggregation in higher education, sustainability as an institutional priority, optimizing building sustainability, and APPA's student internship program.
SUNY New Paltz Renames Six Buildings With Slavery Linkage
Following a 19-month research and investigative process, the university's College Council unanimously passed a resolution at the beginning of March 2019 to assign new names to the Hasbrouck Complex buildings, named for the original Huguenot patentees of the Village of New Paltz who also owned enslaved Africans. The selected new names carry local meaning, a theme that drew strong support from campus-wide survey responses from more than 3,000 students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members, including Huguenot descendants.
Call for Proposals: Students for Zero Waste Conference
The Post-Landfill Action Network is seeking speakers with an understanding of zero waste, environmental justice, and intersectionality to lead workshops and presentations at the Students for Zero Waste Conference, happening at the University of Pennsylvania from Oct. 11-13. The deadline to submit a workshop proposal is July 31.
ASCE Student Paper Competition
This paper competition hosted by the American Society of Civil Engineers invites students to submit papers that address how engineers have contributed to the SDGs. Papers that focus on multidisciplinary (engineering & non-engineering) approaches to addressing the SDGs are especially welcomed. Papers must be submitted by April 15.
Georgia Tech Launches Master of Sustainable Energy & Environmental Mgmt
Housed in the Georgia Tech School of Public Policy, the program will begin in August 2019. Students in the program will study topics such as sustainable energy and voluntary environmental commitments, cost-benefit analysis, utility regulation and policy, Earth systems, economics of environmental policy, big data and policy analytics, climate policy, and environmental management. They also will learn analytical techniques used to estimate and evaluate sustainability metrics, be able to assess the context of energy and environmental problems, and understand environmental ethics and its implications for sustainability practice.
U North Carolina Charlotte Dining Halls Become GRA Certified
Both dining halls at the university have been certified as 3 Star Certified Green Restaurants by the Green Restaurant Association. Highlights of the certification include being polystyrene-free, and composting food waste and recycling plastics, glass, aluminum, cardboard, and paper. Rather than providing bottled water, bottle-filling stations are available. Over 40 percent of the main dishes are vegetarian.
Harvard U Business School Joins Farm Forward
Recently joining Farm Forward’s Leadership Circle, Harvard Business School has committed to buying 100 percent of its eggs—including both liquid and shell—from certified higher welfare farms aligned with Farm Forward's sourcing requirements. An impact assessment found that switching to a higher welfare products did not increase costs to Harvard Business School. The change will impact more than 15,000 hens over the next 10 years.