Cornell U Announces Moratorium on Fossil Fuel Investments
The university's board of trustees voted in May to institute a moratorium on new private investments focused on fossil fuels and to grow its investments in alternative energy technologies. The moratorium emerged from the university's Investment Committee review of its $6.9 billion endowment portfolio; the near- and medium-term financial outlook for the coal, oil and gas industries; and the potential threat posed by climate change. The percentage of long-term investments focused on fossil fuels is expected to dwindle to zero over time as existing investments mature.
U Illinois System Invests $160M Using ESG Lens
The university system recently invested nearly $160 million of the system endowment into a new environmentally and socially focused strategy launched by a global asset manager. The three-university system’s investment decision was rooted in its Guiding Principles, which include financial and environmental sustainability.
Call for Submissions: 'Sustainability in Libraries'
"Sustainability in Libraries" aims to offer insights into the important developments on how librarians provide leadership and how libraries serve as models for sustainable practices. The editors are seeking articles from a variety of perspectives on topics related to sustainability—including crisis preparation, response, and recovery—within the library profession. The chapter summary proposal deadline is June 15.
Campus Compact Impact Awards
The Campus Compact Impact Awards recognize individuals and institutions for their achievement in advancing the public purposes of higher education. Applications are due Sept. 15.
Greenville U Completes Solar Installation
The university's recently completed photovoltaic project will cover approximately 75 percent of the university's electricity needs. The project was feasible thanks to an Illinois renewable energy program that allowed the school to acquire the system at no up-front cost and pay over six years with the money that would have been spent on electricity.
Northwestern U to Support 16 Community Solar Projects
The university recently signed an agreement with a community solar provider to support the development and construction of 16 community solar projects in Illinois, totalling 11.9 megawatts. Additionally, the partnership will provide hands-on experiential learning for students. Community solar allows customers to subscribe to a local solar project, receive credits on their utility bill and reduce their overall electricity costs.
Call for Applications: Future Organic Farmer Education Grant
The California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) Foundation is now accepting applications for educational grant funding from vocational and higher education students currently enrolled in the U.S. who are pursuing a career in organic agricultural production. Applications are due June 1.
Call for Applications: New England Farm & Sea to Campus Steering Committee
Farm to Institution New England is looking for up to six individuals to join the New England Farm and Sea to Campus Network Steering Committee. The Farm and Sea to Campus Network is a community of higher education and food systems stakeholders who connect, share and collaborate to develop transparent regional supply chains and educate campus communities about regional food systems. Applications are due by June 8.
Lafayette College Building Receives LEED Platinum
The college's Rockwell Integrated Sciences Center features renewable energy that meets 70 percent of the building's electricity needs, a reflective roof, ample daylighting, and bird-safe window glazing.
U Rhode Island Farm Receives Organic Certification
Three acres used to conduct crop research at the university was recently certified as organic by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Organics Program. Now the acreage will be used to conduct research on organic production methods and for comparison studies of organic and conventional crop production. The land will also be used in classes on sustainable crop production.
Appalachian State U Building Earns LEED Silver
The university's new Hall of Health Sciences includes rooftop solar panels, water-efficient fixtures and landscaping, pollution-reducing lighting, and access to public transportation.
Clemson U Introduces Virtual Map of Food Resources
University faculty and staff, in coordination with the United Way and Ten at the Top, recently released an interactive map that provides information on different food resources for individuals and families facing food insecurity. The regional map includes nearly 400 providers across 10 counties complete with information on the type of assistance they provide as well as operating hours and availability.
Citizens’ Climate Lobby Advocacy Training Program
Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) is offering a 15-week Climate Advocacy Training Program for anyone interested in learning and applying CCL’s methods for climate action. No application or prerequisites are necessary to join and there is no cost. The program commitment is about two hours a week and can easily be done alongside a full-time job or internship.
New Support Website for Dreamers and DACA Recipients
RemembertheDreamers.org, launched by the American Council on Education (ACE) and a coalition of partners, aims to be a resource for students, families and higher education institutions as Dreamers and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients await the Supreme Court’s decision on whether President Trump illegally ended DACA in 2017. The decision is expected to be made between now and mid-June.
Be-Trayed: How Kickbacks in the Cafeteria Industry Harm Our Communities & What to Do About It
The new report from Real Food Generation examines the practice of cash rebates between major cafeteria contractors operating on campuses, such as Aramark, Sodexo and Compass Group, and large agricultural corporations, like Cargill and Tyson. The report provides resources and guidance to students and school administrators to implement institutional procurement policies that contribute to local food economies that advance racial justice and prioritize ecological balance.
Macquarie U Signs Hydroelectricity Agreement
(Australia) The new seven-year contract allows the university to source hydroelectricity for its North Ryde campus. Under the contract, the university will purchase approximately 54,422 megawatt-hours of electricity per year.
Emory U to Install 5.5 MW of Solar
The university will install more than 15,000 solar panels across 16 buildings on its Druid Hills campus, which will generate approximately 10 percent of Emory’s peak energy requirements. The project is part of a 20-year agreement to install 5.5 megawatts (MW) of solar electricity across campus.
SUNY ESF & Syracuse U Win $5K Waste Reduction Grant
The New York State Association for Reduction, Reuse and Recycling (NYSAR3), and NYS Pollution Prevention Institute (NYSP2I) recently awarded the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry and Syracuse University with $5,000 each for projects that focus on source reduction, reuse or recycling. SUNY ESF is developing a menstrual product accessibility and sustainability program, and Syracuse researchers will be studying incoming freshmen behaviors and attitudes toward waste and material use.
Graduation Pledge for Social & Environmental Sustainability
Fair Trade Campaigns and the Graduation Pledge Alliance invite college graduates to advance social and environmental sustainability by signing the Graduation Pledge for Social and Environmental Sustainability. Signatories of the Graduation Pledge will be connected with resources to find careers in sustainability and resources to continue learning about sustainable lifestyles.
Energy Dept. Announces Solar Decathlon Winners
For the first time, the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon Design Challenge recognized and awarded two grand winners. The winners were University of Oregon in the commercial building division and Miami University in the residential division. The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon is a collegiate competition that challenges student teams to design and build highly efficient and innovative buildings powered by renewable energy.
My Green Lab Ambassador Program
The My Green Lab Ambassador Program is designed for scientists and laboratory professionals who seek to implement sustainable lab operations. This free, online learning program will provide participants with an introduction to lab sustainability and ideas for how sustainable actions can be implemented.
Designing an Innovative Pedagogy for Sustainable Development in Higher Education
This book offers pedagogical support to both students and university/college-level instructors using approaches based on innovative design thinking, arts-based practices, digital transformation, and entrepreneurship for sustainable development. It includes an education toolkit to help instructors support students in the process of creating new knowledge for addressing real-world problems and enhance their societal involvement, foster entrepreneurial spirit, and reach opportunities for a sustainable future.
Partnership Results in Student Emergency Aid Effort
A new initiative from an alliance of educational technology companies and education-focused nonprofits will distribute emergency aid to college students affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, building on $1.1 million in initial funding. In the first phase of the initiative, Course Hero will work with five education-related nonprofits to raise awareness and distribute funds. The second phase involves a partnership with Edquity, which developed an app through which students can apply for emergency aid from their colleges and receive funds directly in their bank accounts, and the nonprofit organization Believe in Students, which focuses on alleviating poverty among college students.
Four Canadian Institutions to Enhance Support for Indigenous Students
A total of $380,000 from the Mastercard Foundation Recovery and Resilience Program will be evenly divided between Coast Mountain College, the College of New Caledonia, Northern Lights College, and the University of Northern British Columbia to enhance support for Indigenous students and invest in technological solutions to improve access for remote education in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Indigenous students studying at the four institutions can receive academic mentoring and mental health counselling to help navigate the barriers and challenges that come with isolation at home.
Washington U St. Louis Helps City Adopt Building Standards
Staff from the WashU Office of Sustainability worked closely with the City of St. Louis since the fall of 2019 to develop a strategy for ambitious and achievable building energy performance standards, which were adopted in April and signed into law in May. The Building Energy Performance Standards set energy-efficiency targets for all new and existing buildings in St. Louis, while working towards a goal of reducing emissions 100 percent below 2005 levels by 2050, and improving indoor and outdoor air quality by reducing dependency on fossil fuels.
Call for Proposals: Faculty Personal Sustainability & Communication
Submissions are encouraged that focus on faculty personal sustainability practices, including how faculty communication of these practices inform their university-related teaching, research, service and their other sustainability roles in society. Proposals related to the 17 U.N. SDGs, which include climate action, promoting good health and well-being (including pandemic prevention/control), ending poverty, and other sustainability challenges, are especially encouraged. Proposals are due by July 1.
U Iowa Releases Six Sustainability Goals
The university's Office of Sustainability and the Environment recently announced a framework for campus-wide sustainability goals to be met by 2030. The six goals cover greenhouse gas emissions, campus culture, research and scholarship, campus as a lab, curriculum, and outreach and engagement.