Syracuse U Receives Grants for Green Projects
Syracuse University (NY) has received funds to convert waste oil from SU dining halls into biodiesel. The funds come from a $3 million, five-year grant awarded to SU in 2006. The "green energy" cooperative, created to convert the used oil, will consist of faculty support, student scientists from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, and business students from SU. The cooperative's initial goal will be to create 2,500 gallons of biodiesel per year. Profits earned from selling the biodie
Emory U Named 'Conservationist of the Year'
Emory University (GA) has been named the "2008 Distinguished Conservationist of the Year" by the Georgia Conservancy. The annual award is considered the highest honor bestowed by the conservancy and is given in recognition of Emory's efforts to incorporate sustainability as a way to restore the global ecosystem, promote healthy living, and reduce the University's impact on the surrounding environment.
U Oklahoma Commits to Power 100% of its Campus with Wind
The University of Oklahoma, Norman has signed a wind power agreement with Oklahoma Gas and Electric Company to purchase 100 percent of its electricity from wind power by 2013. OU is currently supporting the development of a new commercial-scale wind farm to be constructed by OG&E in Oklahoma. It will be named the “OU Spirit” wind farm. To further support OU’s commitment, OG&E will establish internships and scholarships for OU students whose studies are focused on renewable energy as well as support campus events focusing on renewable energy. OU also plans to expand its use of vehicles powered by compressed natural gas and will open a new CNG refueling station at the new campus motor pool. The Transportation Operations Center is set to open in November. It will also make the fueling station available to the city of Norman for its vehicles.
Coastal Carolina U Names Sustainability Coordinator
Coastal Carolina University (SC) has named alumna Marissa Mitzner as the campus' first sustainability coordinator. Mitzner, who graduated from the University in May, will be responsible for helping to tranform Coastal Carolina University into a more environmentally-friendly university. Mitzner also manages the EcoReps program of student workers and is developing a plan for making Coastal Carolina University more bike-friendly.
South Dakota School of Mines to Host Bioenergy Research Center
The South Dakota School of Mines and Technology and the National Science Foundation have partnered to create The Center for Bioenergy Research and Development. The School of Mines will be the host institution for the center, which will be a consortium of universities, industrial partners, and governmental agencies. Members of the consortium include South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, South Dakota State University, Kansas State University, North Carolina State University, State University of New York Stony Brook, and the University of Hawaii. Each university pledges, as part of the membership agreement, to bring five industry or governmental partners on-board, which yields an industry commitment of more than 30 members.
Drury U Habitat for Humanity House Earns LEED Platinum
A Habitat for Humanity house designed and built by students at Drury University (MO) has received LEED Platinum certification. The house features solar panels that heat water and the radiant floor, native landscaping, rain gardens, and pervious paved surfaces.
UC Berkeley Receives $2M for Chair of Sustainable Chemistry
The University of California, Berkeley College of Chemistry has received $2 million in donations to establish the Dow Chair of Sustainable Chemistry. The chair will research chemistry for environmental causes. The money, donated by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Dow Chemical Company Foundation, will also fund sustainability projects among several graduate students chosen by the chair.
U New Mexico Expands U-Pass to Include Faculty and Staff
The University of New Mexico Parking and Transportation Services has expanded the free local bus pass program to include UNM faculty and staff. The program was implemented after last year's pilot program that offered free bus passes to students was a success.
3 Campus Laundry Facilities Go Carbon Neutral
Keene State College (NH), Salisbury University (MD), and Stonehill College (MA) are all participating in Mac-Gray Campus Solutions' new "Lighten the Load" program to operate carbon neutral laundry rooms. Mac-Gray Campus Solutions, a contract operator of card- and coin-operated laundry facilities in college and university residence halls, has announced a partnership with Carbonfund.org aimed at making its college and university accounts carbon neutral. The "Lighten the Load' program is offered to all of Ma
U Vermont Bans Kimberly-Clark Products
The University of Vermont has banned all Kimberly-Clark products from its campus due to concerns about the sourcing of paper fiber from the North American Boreal forest. UVM has stopped purchasing all products made by K-C, the parent company of Kleenex and Scott brands. 11 other universities and colleges have taken similar actions due to concerns about K-C's environmental practices.
U Tennessee Knoxville Aims to Reduce Energy Use by 10%
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville has launched "Switch Your Thinking," a campaign designed to reduce campus energy consumption by 10 percent this year, a move that would save the University more than $1 million from its campus energy budget. The campaign asks faculty, staff and students to take four steps to reduce the amount of energy consumed by the campus. The four steps include turning off lights when not in the office for more than one hour; turning off computers when not in the office for more
Skidmore College Launches Eco-Reps Program
Skidmore College (NY) has launched a student Eco-Rep program, a peer leadership program designed to help increase environmental awareness among Skidmore students and to continue fostering environmentalism on campus. Skidmore has hired 10 paid student Eco-Rep positions that each work four hours a week in a residence hall. Five Eco-Reps will also serve as mentors to five first-year students as a service-learning project for a First-Year Experience seminar. The Eco-Reps will help the students learn about Skidmore's campus sustainability program, and also how to plan and implement sustainability initiatives and activities. To help them prepare for their new assignment, the Eco-Reps participated in a full day of training to gear up for the upcoming year of sustainability education. Training included learning about current Sustainable Skidmore initiatives, participating in peer leadership activities, setting goals, and brainstorming initiatives for the year.
U North Texas to Launch Campaign to Promote Sustainability
The University of North Texas will soon launch "We Mean Green," a university-wide public awareness campaign to discuss and promote sustainability events and opportunities and generate a sense of responsibility and excitement about reducing, reusing, and recycling. The campaign will also promote UNT's new eco-friendly filtered water system. Free reusable water bottles will be provided across campus to replace disposable, plastic ones.
U Missouri Begins Composting Program
A University of Missouri graduate student has started a composting program that serves to reduce the amount of food waste by 2,000 pounds per week and fertilize two community gardens on campus. As part of the program, Adam Saunders, the student who starting the composting program, and his class of students and volunteers collect the food scraps twice per day from a campus dining hall and tote them on a bicycle trailer to a community garden where they are mixed with manure and, eventually, turned into compost. Saunders hopes to expand the program to include more dining halls in the future.
U Notre Dame Commits to Energy Renovations
The University of Notre Dame (IN) has committed to heating, air conditioning, and/or lighting renovations in 24 older campus buildings during the 2008/2009 academic year. The planned renovations include installing occupancy sensors so that heating, cooling, and lighting only run when buildings are occupied; enhancing ventilation control so that the amount of outside air brought in matches the occupancy level of the building; and putting in more efficient fluorescent bulbs. Notre Dame expects the renovations, which are expected to cost about $4 million, to reduce the University’s carbon emissions by over 4,000 metric tons per year. In related news, ND's Howard Hall has installed compact fluorescent light bulbs in every dorm room.
Recycling Bin Grant Program
Coca-Cola and the National Recycling Coalition invite submissions to their Recycling Bin Grant Program. The program supports local community recycling programs by providing bins to selected grant recipients for the collection of beverage container recyclables in public settings. Grants will be provided to a limited number of applicants who can demonstrate how their proposals will lead to sustainable recycling opportunities. The grant program is open to government, civic, school, non-profit groups and for-profit companies.
List of Campus Recycling & Waste Minimization Websites
AASHE has published a list of campus recycling and waste minimization websites on its resource center. All waste management programs listed have elements of source reduction, waste minimization or reduction, waste stream diversion, or recycling. This resource is only accessible to AASHE members.
Appalachian State U Begins Tailgate Recycling Initiative
Appalachian State University (NC) has begun a new initiative to recycle at every home football game. The Recycling at the Rock initiative will provide tailgaters with green bags to use for recycling and black bags to use for trash. ASU expects to save $60 per ton of recyclables that are recycled.
U Notre Dame Launches Game Day Recycling Season
The University of Notre Dame (IN) has launched 'Game Day Recycling,' a new program designed to make recycling easier for the ND tailgating crowd. As part of the program, students pass out recycling bag in each of the tailgating lots at every game; additional bags are made available at recycling stations placed on lampposts; and recycling bins are available across campus and in the stadium. Additionally, all recyclables go in the same bin. The new program was launched after a successful pilot program during last year's football season.
U Michigan to Cut Utility Costs 10% Though Conservation
The University of Michigan has announced plans to cut utility costs by 10 percent over the next three years at its Ann Arbor campuses by reaching out to faculty, staff, and students in an energy-conservation program called Planet Blue. Planet Blue's goal is to reduce costs by combining energy-saving technologies and building upgrades with behavioral changes from building occupants. The three-year education and outreach campaign will target 90 large buildings.
Stevens Institute of Technology to Expand Solar Array
The Stevens Institute of Technology (NJ) has signed an agreement to expand the current 130 kW solar power system on campus. 3rd Rock Technologies will install, own, and operate the new array and will sell the power generated by the panels back to Stevens at a fixed price. Stevens expects the solar panels to make up 11 percent of its energy needs by the beginning of 2009.
U New Hampshire Opens Green Dairy Bar
The University of New Hampshire has opened a green Dairy Bar on campus. The Dairy Bar uses locally produced ingredients, 100 percent organic cotton employee uniforms, and compostable plastic cups and menus. All of the biodegradable material from the Dairy Bar is taken to the campus' Kingman Farm for composting.
Harvard U to Install Wind Turbines on Campus
Harvard University (MA) has announced plans to install small-scale wind turbines on top of the Holyoke Center, one of the University's administrative and student buildings. The system is not expected to generate much energy - the project's main purpose is to serve as a symbol of Harvard's commitment to sustainability.
DOE Awards 6 Higher Ed Biofuels Projects
The U.S. Department of Energy has selected six advanced biofuels projects in which it plans to invest up to $4.4 million, subject to annual appropriations. These awards to U.S. institutions of higher education will support research and development for cost-effective, environmentally friendly biomass conversion technologies for turning non-food feedstocks into advanced biofuels. Combined with the minimum university cost share of 20 percent, more than $5.7 million is slated for investment in these six projects. The institutions selected include the University of Toledo (OH); Stevens Institute of Technology (NJ); Montana State University; University of Georgia; University of Maine; and Georgia Tech Research Corp. By engaging these partners, the DOE is working to meet the Renewable Fuel Standard mandated by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which has a requirement of producing at least 36 billion gallons of U.S. renewable fuels by 2022.
North Carolina State U to Host Renewable Energy Research Center
North Carolina State University has announced that it will host the National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center for Future Renewable Electric Energy Delivery and Management (FREEDM) Systems. The center will be supported by an initial five-year, $18.5 million grant from NSF with an additional $10 million in institutional support and industry membership fees. The new center will develop technology that transforms the nation's centralized power grid into an alternative-energy-friendly "smart grid"
U South Carolina Launches Campus Farmer's Market
The University of South Carolina has partnered with the S.C. Department of Agriculture to launch a monthly farmer's market on its campus. The Healthy Carolina Farmer's Market is intended for students, faculty, and staff, but is also open to the public. The market features fresh, local produce and natural products by South Carolina farmers. In addition, university staff will offer nutrition information, recipes for seasonal produce and other materials to encourage healthy living.
Business Week Article Features Green Business School Buildings
Business Week has published an article on the increasing number of green buildings at business schools across the U.S. The article mentions the University of Illinois' new $60 million business school building, green features at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth's Tuck School of Business, and the Thunderbird School of Global Management's (AZ) initiative to recycle the Thunderbird Veterans & Alumni Tower which was closed in 2006. The article also mentions upcoming green business school initiatives at New York University and Harvard Business School (MA).
Florida Gulf Coast U Launches Carpooling Website
Florida Gulf Coast University has launched a new carpooling website for students and staff to share rides. The goal of the website is to reduce traffic and pollution. The website allows participants to calculate their annual greenhouse gas emissions per pound.
U Arizona Student Government Hires Sustainability Coordinator
The Associated Students of the University of Arizona has hired Lesley Ash as Sustainability Director. ASUA's Sustainability Director will be responsible for developing projects and initiatives that work to reduce waste at the University. Ash's first priorities will be to develop a composting system at UA's student unions and markets and to develop a sustainability committee within ASUA that will involve student clubs and organizations.
Virginia Commonwealth U Hires Director of Sustainability
Virginia Commonwealth University has placed Jacek Ghosh in the newly created position of Director of Sustainability to spearhead the development and implementation of a plan that will guide the University toward climate neutrality. Ghosh previously was a visiting community scholar in VCU’s L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs. He also developed a business plan for the establishment of a Sustainable Community Design Center to complement a proposed new graduate program in Sustainable Community Design.
Earth Island Institute Awards Brower Youth Awards
The Earth Island Institute has awarded its 2008 Brower Youth Awards to six young environmental leaders. Marisol Becerra, Jessie-Ruth Corkins, Timothy Den Herder-Thomas, Kari Fulton, Phebe Meyers, and Ivan Stiefel were selected from 122 applicants for projects such as battling industrial polluters, stopping mountaintop coal mining, and restoring a migratory bird corridor in Costa Rica. The winners each received a $3,000 cash prize, will be honored at a formal awards ceremony in San Francisco, and will participate in skills-building and mentoring workshops geared toward furthering their leadership development.
U Connecticut Reduces Plastic Bag Usage on Campus
The University of Connecticut has started the Co-op Cares Bag Program, which is intended to reduce the use of plastic bags and promote environmentalism. For each customer who declines a bag, the Co-op will donate 5 cents – the average cost of a plastic bag – toward one of four charities, including the UConn Foundation’s Green Campus Fund. Customers are given a wooden token to put in collection bins for the charity of their choice.
Call for Submissions - ACUPCC Video Competition
The American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment is soliciting 3 minute videos that demonstrate creative strategies for communicating the ACUPCC across campus and beyond. Five selected videos will be highlighted and screened at the second biennial AASHE Conference in November 2008. Videos will also be made publicly available on the ACUPCC and AASHE websites. The competition is open to ACUPCC signatory institutions only. Deadline is October 1, 2008.
Energy Action Coalition Launches Power Vote Campaign
The Energy Action Coalition has launched "Power Vote," a national non-partisan initiative to elevate the issue of the climate crisis this election season. Power Vote aims to unite one million young "climate voters" behind a platform centered on combating global warming pollution, creating millions of new green jobs, and ensuring our nation's energy independence by transitioning to a new clean energy economy. Those participating in the campaign, Power Voters, will mobilize young people for the Green Jobs No
Cascadia CC Offers Degree in Env'l Technologies & Sustainable Practices
Cascadia Community College (WA) will offer a new degree this fall in Environmental Technologies and Sustainable Practices. The program is designed to prepare students to enter the fields of sustainability and renewable energy technology. Students enrolled in the Environmental Technologies and Sustainable Practices program will have the option to emphasize either business or technology in their coursework. The program will feature hands-on training and internships with local companies.
UC San Diego Installs Solar Array
The University of California, San Diego has begun installing a solar electric system on the roof of two of its parking garages. The new system is made up of Solar Trees(TM), solar panels that are placed on steel bars and resemble the shape of a tree, and provides shade for parked cars and future infrastructure for electric vehicles. Each Solar Tree(TM) at UCSD will generate more than 17,000 kWhs of clean energy per year.
Western Michigan U, Kalamazoo Valley CC To Install Wind Turbines
Western Michigan University and Kalamazoo Valley Community College have partnered to install a Wind Energy Center on the KVCC campus. The Wind Energy Center, which will include multiple wind turbines, will serve as a model wind turbine site and provide educational opportunities to KVCC students. KVCC plans to develop installation and maintenance certification programs for technicians and WMU will focus on product design and manufacturing programs for undergraduate students.
U Tennessee Partners to Build Cellulosic Ethanol Pilot Facility
The University of Tennessee Research Foundation has partnered with DuPont Danisco Cellulosic Ethanol LLC to construct a pilot-scale biorefinery and research and development facility for cellulosic ethanol in Vonore, Tennessee. The pilot-scale biorefinery will develop the commercial package for DDCE's cellulosic ethanol technology. The project will utilize UT's expertise in cellulosic feedstock production and co-product research, as well as its work with Tennessee farmers to develop the first dedicated cellulosic energy crop supply chain for cellulosic biorefineries utilizing switchgrass. The facility design will incorporate the flexibility to operate on two different non-food biomass feedstocks: corn stover, cobs and fiber, and switchgrass. The plant capacity will be 250,000 gallons of cellulosic ethanol annually. Site preparations are scheduled to begin this fall, and ethanol should be available from the pilot plant by December 2009.
U Minnesota Organic Farm Receives USDA Certification
The University of Minnesota's campus organic farm has received USDA certification. The garden, now in its fourth year, is maintained by students in the College of Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resource Sciences.
Concordia U, Ohio U Launch Large-scale Composting System
Concordia University (QC) has launched a large-scale composting system that collects organic waste and composts it on-site. Within 5 years, Concordia plans to be composting 100 tons of organic waste annually. The previous smaller composting systems operated at the university could only handle fruit and vegetable waste, but the new automated thermophilic system is designed to allow for the processing of dairy, meat, and grain products. Ohio University has installed an on-campus in-vessel composter, a unit that will receive up to 50 percent of its energy needs from a rooftop solar array. The University expects to divert up to a 25 percent of its solid waste from the landfill. This includes food waste, biodegradable packaging materials, landscaping waste, and other organic materials. The unit, which is designed to convert waste to soil in 14 days, is expected to be in full operation this fall.
Life U Begins Transformation to a 'Walking Campus'
Life University (GA) has broken ground on a 600-deck parking garage on the campus perimeter in order to create a "walking campus" for all faculty, staff, and students. The University plans to replace the former parking lots with green-space. Additionally, the University has installed 16 bike racks outside the administration building and classrooms and plans to give each new student a bicycle to lessen the amount of gas emissions produced by automobiles on campus. Life is also work with the local Commuter
U Florida to Use Biodiesel Fuel to Power Pep Rally
The University of Florida has announced plans to power this year's Gator Growl, UF's homecoming pep rally, with biodiesel fuel. The process involves converting leftover cooking oil from campus dining locations into useable biodiesel fuel at the Motor Pool, a division of the Physical Plant. Generators hooked up to the audio and lighting equipment will run off the biodiesel, which is cleaner than pure diesel and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
Marriott's U Maryland Inn Announces Green Standards
Marriott's University of Maryland University College Inn and Conference Center (UMUC ICC) has announced "green standards" which are designed to allow meeting participants to have eco-friendly gatherings and help reduce their environmental impact. As part of the program, UMUC ICC uses recycled note pads in meeting rooms, has reduced the use of bottled water, has reduced the amount of linen used, has a vigorous on-site and guest room recycling program and composts about 1,000 lbs. of food waste a day. In the
U Cincinnati, Gallaudet U Open Green Buildings
The University of Cincinnati (OH) has opened its Center for Academic Research Excellence/Crawley Building. The $205 million and 240,000 square foot building was designed to LEED Silver certification specifications. The Gallaudet University (DC) has also opened a new $28 million green classroom building. The University hopes that the James Lee Sorenson Language and Communication Center, which was designed by and for deaf people, will receive LEED certification.