UBC, UCSD Partner to Reduce Emissions with Green IT
The University of British Columbia, the University of California, San Diego, and Prompt, Inc, a non-profit corporation that fosters research and development, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on their campuses while developing information technology that improves energy efficiency and reduces the impact of emissions on climate change. The MOU stipulates that signatories will explore a system whereby “carbon offsets earned through a variety of GHG reduction mechanisms” would be traded between participating institutions in exchange for access to cyber-infrastructure resources, including, for example, grid computational cycles, wide area network bandwidth, other virtual services and even research funding. The initial collaboration focuses on university emissions, but signatories believe it will set the stage for longer-term initiatives that will have an impact well beyond their campuses.
Bunker Hill CC Building Receives Green Design Award
The 48,000-square-foot Health and Wellness Center under construction at Bunker Hill Community College (MA) has received a 2008 Green Design Concept Award from the Education Design Showcase, which will be featured in the College Planning & Management Magazine . The awards go to buildings under construction that will meet or exceed high standards of sustainability. The new structure, at an estimated cost of $22.7 million, will feature large south-facing windows, natural daylighting, a stormwater management system, a white roof, and recycled content containing materials.
Yale U Med School Earns LEED Gold
The Yale University (CT) Amistad Street Building has been awarded LEED Gold certification. The structure, which houses the School of Medicine, features bike racks and showers, locally produced and recycled content construction materials, a storm water collection system, ultra low-flow lavatories, dual flush water toilets, and occupancy sensors.
U Rhode Island Opens Science Building
The Center for Biotechnology and Life Sciences at the University of Rhode Island has officially opened. The 140,000-square-foot facility, which is registered for LEED Silver certification, features a green roof, a rain garden, a stormwater treatment system, daylight harvesting technologies, and an energy efficient heating and cooling system.
CSU Monterey Bay Opens Green Library
California State University, Monterey Bay has opened a new $64 million library that was designed to achieve LEED Silver certification. The 136,151-square-foot building features natural daylighting and a rainwater collection system that irrigates nearby plants.
U Calgary Starts Waste Reduction Campaign & Composting Prgm
The University of Calgary (AB) has begun the Erase the Waste challenge. As part of the program, students and staff are being encouraged to reduce their waste by 200 grams per week. The University estimates that if each person on campus reduces his/her garbage by that much, six tons of waste will be prevented from going to the landfill each week. To achieve the reduction, the University has launched its first campus-wide composting program. 17 new multi-purpose collection bins have been placed throughout campus. In addition, 200 new recycling bins for beverage containers and paper have been added to the campus. Throughout the campaign, the Office of Sustainability is also offering free workshops for staff and faculty on sustainable procurement, recycling, and ways to reduce waste in the office.
NMSU Launches Green Challenge, Online Sustainability Guide
Northwest Missouri State University has begun the "Reduce Your Paw Print Challenge," an initiative that challenges students to reduce their environmental footprint on campus. As part of the initiative, students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to recycle and to reduce their energy usage on campus. NMSU has also launched an online Sustainability Guide that provides advice on how to save energy, reduce waste, reuse items, and recycle on and off campus.
U Nevada Las Vegas Unveils Energy Efficient Homes
The University of Nevada, Las Vegas, in partnership with Pulte Homes and NV Energy, has unveiled four energy efficient model homes in northwest Las Vegas. The homes were developed as part of a $7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop a community of homes that combine energy efficient features and smart grid technology to cut residential energy usage by more than half.
Washington U in St. Louis University Center Receives LEED Gold
The William H. and Elizabeth Gray Danforth University Center at Washington University in St. Louis (MO) has received LEED Gold certification. The structure features low-flow faucets and low flow toilets, a 50,000-gallon rainwater tank below the building that collects excess rainwater and groundwater, light sensors near every outdoor window, and showers for alternative transportation commuters.
U New Mexico Saves $75K by Reducing Building Temperatures
The University of New Mexico has saved close to $75,000 in energy costs through the Winter Setback Program. The initiative aimed to save money by reducing temperatures in unoccupied buildings over the University's four-week winter break.
Green Mountain College Hires Sustainability Coordinator
Green Mountain College (VT) has hired Amber Garrard as its new sustainability coordinator. Garrard holds an M.A. in sustainable development from SIT Graduate Institute, has started and managed a community garden, and was a research fellow for the Sustainable Endowments Institute.
Wilkes U Caps Student Paper Usage with Printing Policy
Wilkes University (PA) has capped the amount of paper students use each semester through its new GreenPrint Policy. Each semester, students are allotted a print quota of 550 pages. Overages result in a $0.10 per page charge which is placed on the student’s account. Since the initiatives beginning, the University reports that students have reduced their paper usage by half.
Whitman College Implements Pay-Per-Page Printing System
Whitman College (WA) has implemented a new printing system that automatically deducts a set amount per printed page from a printing account. As part of the program, $60 in printing credits is granted to each student each semester. Single-sided black-and-white printing costs five cents per page, and printing double-sided costs nine cents front and back. The College experienced a 30 percent drop in printing during the first 10 days of the program.
Proposal to Create Campus-Based Energy Innovation Institutes
The Brookings Institution has released a "Blueprint for American Prosperity" proposal entitled, "Energy Discovery-Innovation Institutes: A Step Toward America's Energy Sustainability." If the proposal is adopted, more money would become available for sustainability-related research at higher education institutions.
Podcast: Water Conservation at the University of Georgia
Facilities Net has posted a podcasted interview with Mark Duclos, director of operations and maintenance at the University of Georgia. In the interview, Duclos discusses how UGA has dealt with historic drought conditions, has implemented water-saving programs, and has planned for future droughts. The podcast's transcript is also posted on the site.
U Albany Saves 280K with Energy Initiative, Receives $5K Grant
The State University of New York at Albany has announced that it reduced energy costs by $280,000 as a result of its winter Intersession and Fall Energy Savings initiatives. In addition, the University has received $5,000 from the National Grid for its Change-A-Light campaign, which has distributed more than 1,300 compact fluorescent light bulbs in residence halls.
U Arkansas Pine Bluff Receives Energy Grant
The University of Arkansas, Pine Bluff has received a $92,966 grant from Arkansas Entergy Inc. to convert all lighting on campus to energy-saving bulbs. The campus currently uses room and ceiling motion sensors to reduce energy use.
Agents of Change Delegation
Agents of Change is now accepting applications to join the SustainUS youth delegation to the seventeenth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainability Development-17 (CSD-17). Selected delegates will have the opportunity to work with government officials, scientists, civil society representatives, and youth from around the world to review progress on issues related to sustainable development. As a policy year, the focus of CSD-17 will be on the understanding and lobbying for policy related to the topics areas of agriculture, rural development, land, drought, desertification, and Africa. Applicants are required to be between the ages of 18 and 26 as of April 2009 and to either be a US citizen or have studied or worked in the US for more than six months. Delegates must commit to attending at least one full week of the conference. Applications are due March 6, 2009.
McGill U Opens Office of Sustainability
McGill University (QC) has opened a new Office of Sustainability. The mission of the Office of Sustainability is to develop sustainability as a cultural norm at the University. The Office will encourage the efforts of students, faculty, staff, and administrators to incorporate principles of sustainability in the University’s operations, campus living and learning, and in its relations with the broader community. The Office will explore ways in which McGill can integrate social, environmental, and economic considerations in University decisions and develop partnerships that encourage and facilitate the cooperation of all members of the McGill University community to become more sustainable.
Elon U Launches New Sustainability Website
Elon University (NC) has launched a new sustainability website that provides information on what the University is doing to become more sustainable. The site features a list of course offerings related to sustainability and green design and of student-run organizations focused on the environment.
Chance to be Featured in Campus Sustainability Publication
Campus InPower invites campus sustainability organizers to share their stories of successful initiatives for a chance to be featured in a new publication entitled, "Get it Done: Success Stories from the Front Lines of Campus Sustainability." Suggested categories include policies and administration, education, energy, water, built environment, food systems, waste, purchasing, land use impacts, and transportation. The publication will be part of a new Campus InPower toolkit.
1st Annual Spring Campus Commuter Challenge
The AlterNetWays Company is proud to announce that it will hold the 1st Annual Nationwide Spring Campus Challenge during the month of April 2009. The competition among higher education institutions aims to promote and encourage the use of alternative modes of transportation. Each person who participates will be able to track their daily trips to their school and automatically calculate their CO2 savings. Schools are automatically ranked based on level of participation. Institutions that sign up will receive a marketing kit to help promote their participation.
U Hawai'i Manoa Installs Solar Panels
The University of Hawai'i at Manoa Shidler College of Business has installed a 4.5-kilowatt solar photovoltaic panel system on one of its towers. The solar panel system is expected to generate approximately 24 kilowatt hours of power each day. The new system includes a web-based monitoring system that will allow students, faculty, staff, and the general public to monitor solar power, reduced emissions, and environmental statistics on a daily basis.
Northern Arizona U Begins Composting Program
Northern Arizona University's Students for Sustainable Living and Urban Gardening, the Center for Sustainable Environments, and Sodexho's Environmental Action Program have partnered to introduce composting in NAU dining halls. The compost is collected and transferred to the garden located on campus.
Ohio U Implements Composting Program
Ohio University has implemented a new composting initiative on campus. OU purchased a 2 ton in-vessel composting system that can handle up to 28 tons of material to compost food from its Central Foods Facility. The University plans to expand its collection to all campus eateries soon. The resulting nutrient-rich soil will be used for grounds keeping once it is available.
Montclair State U Approves Env'l Management PhD
The New Jersey Commission on Higher Education has approved Montclair State University's proposal to convert the current doctoral program in Environmental Management to a Ph.D. degree in the College of Sciences and Mathematics. The new program emphasizes the study of interconnections between environmental systems and human systems. The aim of the program is to prepare environmental scholars who will recognize and analyze relationships among scientific, technological, societal and economic issues, and who will understand the uses of research in a data-driven decision and policy making process, firmly rooted in current scientific knowledge and methodology.
U Washington Students Produce Video on Campus Composting
A group of University of Washington students have created a video that aims to educate students about the process of composting. The video, which is in the form of a musical, discusses the importance and availability of composting on campus.
Ball State U to Replace Coal-Fired Boilers with Geothermal
Ball State University (IN) has announced plans to eliminate its coal-fired boilers and install 3,750 geothermal wells. The system, which will take 5-12 years to complete depending on funding availability, will include bore holes or well fields in soccer fields, band practice fields, and residence hall yards. The $66 million project has been approved by the University's board of trustees. The state Legislature appropriated more than $40 million several years ago for the University to replace the boilers with a circulating fluidized bed boiler to burn coal cleaner and more efficiently. Since then, however, no bids were received, and BSU plans to ask the legislature to re-appropriate the $40 million to the geothermal project. The University plans to start drilling the wells in early May.
Middlebury College Opens Biomass Gasification Plant
Middlebury College (VT) has officially opened its biomass gasification plant. The $12 million plant is expected to cut the College’s use of heating oil in half – from 2 million gallons to one million gallons annually – and to reduce the College’s carbon dioxide emissions by 40 percent, or 12,500 metric tons. The gasification system converts regionally grown wood chips into gas that burns to provide steam for heating, cooling, hot water, and cooking throughout the campus. The plant is also expected to supply about 20 percent of the campus’ electricity consumption.
South Dakota Universities Use Wind Power
The University of South Dakota and South Dakota State University have begun receiving a portion of their electrical energy use from a nearby wind farm. This is the result of an agreement between the Heartland Consumers Power District, which is purchasing the power from the wind project, and the State of South Dakota stating that wind power would be used for additional power needs at the state’s two largest universities.
Winter Shutdown at WKU Saves $128K in Energy Costs
Western Kentucky University has saved 1,112 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions and $128,340 as a result of its energy savings experiment over winter break. The University decided to execute a "hard" shutdown of the campus during the holiday break, closing the campus for an additional week, to capture savings in its energy budget. During the three week break, WKU’s Department of Facilities Management Energy Management Team set back thermostats in buildings, turned off all lighting except for safety lights, unplugged vending machines and water fountains, and turned off water heaters and all other unnecessary energy draws. Faculty and staff were asked to turn off computers, unplug electronics and appliances, and turn off office lights before leaving for the break, a protocol students in university housing have been following for years. WKU had planned to initiate a similar shutdown over summer break, but has decided not to due to the number of campus activities the initiative would affect.
CSU Chico College of Ag Receives $40K Organic Valley Award
The Research Foundation at California State University, Chico has received a $40,000 grant from Organic Valley. The money will be used by CSU, Chico's College of Agriculture to help fund a two-year study focused on improving net profit by improving pasture management. In addition to assessing and promoting more sustainable feeding systems, the project will host "grazing schools" for beginning and advanced dairy farmers to encourage and support efficient pasture use. The research will also assess organically approved soil amendments to establish profitability resulting from changes in forage quality and quantity.
U Illinois Chicago to Start Community Garden
The University of Illinois, Chicago has announced plans to dig a community garden on campus. The new garden, which will offer 5' by 6' and 5' by 12' plots, will be run communally and gardeners will be required to practice sustainable and organic techniques and refrain from using genetically-modified seeds. The UIC Office of Sustainability plans to offer educational workshops at the new site on topics such as gardening techniques, sustainable practices, and cooking and preserving.
Towson U Holds Res Hall Energy Conservation Competition
Towson University (MD) is holding a residence hall energy conservation competition. The University Residence Government is sponsoring the competition, which aims to educate students on what they can do to conserve energy. Through the competition, students are encouraged to turn off computers and printers when not in use, use natural light whenever possible, and unplug outlets when they are not being used. The amount of energy saved by each building will be recorded. The winning building will receive 50 free Chipotle dinners, which will be raffled off to student residents.