U Waterloo Establishes Green Bus. Practices Research Chair
The University of Waterloo (ON) and Export Development Canada (EDC) have announced the creation of a new research chair, funded by EDC, to identify financial products and practices that will help companies engage in business practices such as socially responsible investing and integrate social and environmental performance measures into their business activities. The new chair will seek to identify tools companies can use to address environmental issues such as climate change and environmental sustainability in emerging markets. The EDC Chair in Environmental Finance, based in the University’s Centre for Environment and Business, will also help businesses identify new ways to commercialize "green" technologies and services as well as explore carbon financing and clean energy funds. The University will also hire an additional professor in a related field, to further expand its Centre for Environment and Business.
Furman U Opens Green Cottage
Furman University (SC) has opened its Southern Living Showcase Home, Cliffs Cottage. The Cliffs Cottage was built to be a model of environmentally responsible design, sustainable building techniques and materials, and energy-saving systems. The building features bamboo flooring, insulated windows, rooftop solar panels, a rainwater collection system, and organic and formal gardens. The cottage is currently open for public tours.
U Arizona Uses Ice to Cool Buildings
The University of Arizona has created the University Thermal Ice Storage Project, an award-winning chilled water production and distribution system that spends the evening and early morning hours freezing water that is then used to cool buildings across the main campus and at the Arizona Health Sciences Center. The system involves the use of water chillers, cooling towers, pumps and pipes that snake around the campus through underground pipes that connect the plants. The project can produce more than 900 tons of ice per hour and the pipes feed the melting ice, or cooled water, to campus buildings. The process moves the bulk of the UA’s electrical load from the hot daytime hours to the cooler nighttime hours. UA recently received the Energy Efficiency Leader in Education Award from Trane for being one of a few institutions to have such a project up and running. And, just recently, the UA partnered with the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers’ Tucson chapter to begin teaching engineering students about chilled water technology and other heating and cooling processes.
Washington Post Features Article on Campus Sustainability
The Washington Post recently featured a front-page article on campus sustainability entitled, "Higher Learning Adapts to a Greening Attitude." The article discusses the increase in sustainability in the curricula at college campuses across the US, and mentions, in particular, the University of Maryland, the University of Virginia, Catholic University (DC), Goucher College (MD), the University of Oregon, and Johns Hopkins University (MD). The article also mentions co-curricular sustainability activi
Colorado State U Pilots Smart Grid Technology
Colorado State University, in partnership with Spirae Inc, has developed the InteGrid Laboratory, which seeks to address challenges of taking intermittent wind power and turning it into a stable and reliable renewable resource. This "smart grid" project is being implemented in Denmark.
Duke U Residence Hall Receives LEED Platinum
Duke University's (NC) Home Depot Smart Home, a 10-person student residence hall for green living and learning, has achieved LEED Platinum certification. The building features a green roof, solar cells, and rainwater cisterns. The Smart Home was designed to be adaptable, environmentally sustainable and technologically integrated. In addition to being built with recycled and sustainable materials, Smart Home boasts a fiber-optic network with the fastest Internet access on the campus, about 40 gigabytes per second.
CFP: Climate Action Planning at US & Canadian Campuses
The International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education (IJSHE) and the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) have announced a call for papers for a special issue of the Journal on climate action planning at campuses in the United States and Canada. Judy Walton, AASHE's Acting Executive Director, will guest edit this special issue. Submitted articles must be between 2,000 and 4,000 words in length. The closing date for submissions is August 29, 2008.
Dalhousie U Switches to Green Cleaning Products
Dalhousie University's (NS) Facilities Management Department has begun using green cleaning products. The products, an all-purpose cleaner, a disinfectant and a degreaser, have been third-party approved with Canada’s Environmental Choice logo and the United States' Green Seal certification.
AASHE Digest 2007 - Annual Review of Campus Sustainability
AASHE has released AASHE Digest 2007 , a publication that offers a comprehensive review of campus sustainability efforts from 2007. The 230-page report includes over 800 stories about higher education institutions leading the way to a sustainable future. It is organized into 24 chapters spanning education, research, campus operations, administration, and finance.
Power Vote MEGA Training Camp
The Energy Action Coalition will be convening an intensive 5-day training program from August 13 -17, 2008 to prepare organizers for their role in running the Power Vote program and beyond. Training participants will leave with a clear understanding of the Power Vote program goals, timeline, implementation plan, and their role in making it happen. The training will be highly interactive with a great emphasis on actually testing out the skills with time for discussion and feedback. Skills will be applicable for climate campaigning throughout the year. Priority will be given to low-income youth, youth of color and non-student youth. College, high school, and non-student youth are all encouraged to apply.
Carroll College to Complete Energy Efficiency Renovations
Carroll College (WI) has announced plans to complete several upgrades to make the campus more energy efficient. Carroll will replace three boilers, upgrade lighting and plumbing fixtures and controls, and install a backup propane fuel system. The College expects to save enough money in energy bills to break even on the project in 15 years.
Montclair State U Signs Green Construction Agreement with EPA
Montclair State University (NJ) has formally entered into an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to utilize some of the latest green technologies and practices at its campus. The agreement makes the University the first educational institution in the nation to enter into a comprehensive green construction and operation Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the EPA. The MOU spells out management and operational principles ensuring that Montclair State meets high environmental standards and reduces its carbon footprint. Highlights of the MOU incorporate initiatives that delineate the development and management of systems to ensure that green activities and sustainability will be integrated into all facility operations. This includes the usage of solar and steam energy; large-scale recycling of paper, plastic, and food waste; water and land conservation, as well as incorporation of green building technology and materials for new construction.
Nova Scotia CC Launches Sustainability Engineering Tech Prgm
Nova Scotia Community College has launched Energy Sustainability Engineering Technology, a new two-year program dedicated to preparing students to take on leadership roles in helping future employers develop more environmentally sustainable practices. Drawing on their skilled trade backgrounds, students in the ESET program will work with faculty who are energy experts to master the art of creating customized energy systems that include solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, tidal, and other alternative and renewable sources. Graduates will be qualified to audit energy systems and recommend the best alternative energy for new and existing commercial or residential properties. The program is set to begin in September 2008.
NYU Announces Green Grant Recipients
New York University has announced its 2008 Green Grant recipients, ultimately awarding a total of $160,000 to 23 projects. The winning projects aim to help the University reduce environmental impacts, engage the community, and advance applied research and educational goals. Awards were given to a community garden, an energy conservation initiative, a composting project, and bike-sharing pilot program. Other initiatives range from resource conservation and efficiency to outreach and communication to academic curricula and research.
Rutgers to Construct Major Solar Farm
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey Board of Governors has approved the construction of a solar energy facility that will generate approximately 10 percent of the electrical demand of the Livingston campus. Nearly half of the cost of the project will be subsidized by a rebate through the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities’ Clean Energy Program. In addition, Rutgers plans to sell Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) generated from the photovoltaic system. The University expects to recoup its investment within seven years. By the end of the 15-year incentive program, the university anticipates that it will net a return of $6.6 million over its initial investment. The seven-acre facility will be the largest solar energy project in New Jersey. It is expected to begin operation in spring 2009.
UC Irvine to Establish Green Materials Graduate Program
The University of California, Irvine has announced that it will establish a Green Materials Program, which will foster research and graduate-level training at UC campuses. The announcement came after UCI was awarded $1.62 million to lead a University of California program on development of nontoxic alternatives to everyday products, such as electronics, plastics, lighting products, fuels, and pesticides. The Green Materials Program at UCI will bring together public health, toxicology, materials science, engineering, and social science experts to work on innovative approaches to reducing health and environmental hazards associated with materials use in society. Participants will study California policies within the context of emerging international initiatives such as the European Union’s new REACH law (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemical substances) for the purpose of advising the state’s executive and legislative branches on regulations that could emerge from the new Green Chemistry Initiative and other local environmental protection agency studies.
AASHE Student Research on Campus Sustainability Award
AASHE invites undergraduate and graduate students currently enrolled at U.S. or Canadian institutions of higher education to submit research papers of any length on campus sustainability that have not been previously published, are written in English, and were completed after August 1, 2007. A version of the winning paper will be published in Sustainability: The Journal of Record (subject to editorial review). Longer papers will be edited to meet the Journal's length standards. Papers are due August 1, 2008.
List of Publications on Sustainable Transportation for Campuses
AASHE has posted a collection of publications focused on sustainable transportation for college and university campuses. The resource provides guides, articles, reports, and books on the use of alternative transportation methods such as bicycles, campus fleet, car-sharing, carpooling, parking, and U-Pass systems.
University Reform in an Era of Global Warming
Chet A. Bowers has published a book entitled, "University Reform in an Era of Global Warming." The book examines why many professors continue to rely upon the conceptual frameworks learned in their own graduate studies even though these frameworks were established before there was an awareness of environmental limits. Bowers also discusses the need to educate students in how to live less consumer dependent lives and how to introduce students to understand and to participate in the local cultural commons.
2 Northern Michigan U Res Halls Receive LEED Certification
Northern Michigan University's Meyland and Van Antwerp Halls have received LEED Certified and Silver ratings respectively. While renovating the two buildings, NMU recycled more than 250 tons of metal piping and wiring, used recycled and locally produced materials when possible, and reduced regulated water use by up to 60 percent by installing dual-flush toilets and low-flow showers and faucets. Additionally, the buildings' new furnishings were made with environmentally farmed, quickly renewable Malaysian hardwood and were manufactured in Indiana. The replaced beds were donated to RE-MEMBER, a nonprofit organization that supports residents in need in South Dakota. Other furnishings were donated to the town's Habitat for Humanity chapter.
Richland College to Build Green Science Building
Richland College (TX) has announced plans to build a new science building that will include special construction for harvesting sunlight, cisterns that irrigate rain water to other parts of the campus as well as interactive devices in restrooms that users control. Some building materials will be recycled, such as the carpet, and local vendors will be utilized as often as possible to minimize exhaust fumes from lengthy transports. The décor will even be eco-friendly and is to include a geology pit for a hands-on “field learning” for the students. Richland is striving for LEED Platinum certification.
U Idaho Installs Green Roof
The University of Idaho has begun a renovation project to install a green roof on its Student Union Building. The project will be nearly self-sufficient and will include a storm water run-off mitigation system that will collect and store run-off water. The run-off will have a higher water quality and will be stored in a series of 550-gallon containers that will be reused to water the plants on the roof in dry periods.
U New Mexico Implements 4-day Summer Work Week
The University of New Mexico has begun offering staff members the option of working a compressed workweek to decrease commuting costs and gasoline-use during the traditionally slower summer session. The program, available June 16 through August 15, 2008, will provide most full-time employees on main campus the opportunity to work a four-day workweek by extending their workday to 10-hour days.
Lifecycle Building Challenge 2 Student Competition
The American Institute of Architects, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Building MaterialsReuse Association invite students and professionals to participate in the Lifecycle Building Challenge 2. The contest challenges participants to submit creative ideas or designs to advance cutting-edge design for adaptability, disassembly, and local reuse of building materials. This year's competition features Building and Innovation Categories and new awards for Best Greenhouse Gas Reduction, Best School, and Best Residential Designs. Teams of up to 5 contestants can enter. The registration deadline is July 31, 2008.
U Mississippi Partners with City to Expand Recycling System
The University of Mississippi's campus recycling program and the Oxford Recycling Department recently began an effort to expand the community's recycling program. The partnership has produced an increased number of drop-off recycling areas that are more accessible to students.
New Blog for the Campus Sustainability Professional
Richard Johnson, the Director of Sustainability and the Associate Director for the Center for the Study of Environmental and Society at Rice University, has created a new blog entitled, "Greening the Campus: Inside the World of the Campus Sustainability Professional." Johnson's intention is to share insights and observations from the perspective of a campus sustainability professional and help to promote discussion and knowledge sharing within the professional community.
New Issue of The Journal of Ecopedagogy
The Ecopedagogy Association International has published its latest issue of Green Theory & Praxis: The Journal of Ecopedagogy. The scholarly journal presents research papers and essays on ecological politics and culture, ecocriticism, the critique of social structures, and sustainability education. The current issues includes such papers as, "Education for Sustainability: A Critical Contribution to the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development" and "Developing a Bioregional Pedagogy for Trans
U Florida to Offer Graduate Degree in Env'l and Land Use Law
The University of Florida Levin College of Law will offer a Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Environmental and Land Use Law. Although other law schools offer LL.M. degrees in environmental law and related areas, UF’s program is the first to combine environmental and land use law in a one-year, post-juris doctor degree. The new program will educate students on the historical and legal underpinnings of environmental and land use law policies, and will encourage them to think creatively to innovate solutions to pressing environmental and related social issues. In addition, the LL.M. program is unique in that six of the 26 required credit hours must be from relevant courses that have substantial non-law content — either offered outside the Levin College of Law or jointly by the law school and another department. The program will begin this fall.
Vanderbilt U Residential Building Receives LEED Gold
Vanderbilt University (TN) has received LEED Gold certification for The Commons Center, a building in which first-year students will live in a smaller community where they will be next-door neighbors with faculty. The Commons Center is 28 percent more energy efficient than a typical building of its type. Environmentally friendly features and practices at the center include hood exhaust systems in the kitchen that increase efficiency by more than 30 percent. The building will also save an estimated 900,000 gallons of water per year through the use of waterless urinals, dual-flush toilets, and low-flow fixtures. Special materials, paints, and adhesives were selected for healthy indoor air quality. In addition, there is signage throughout the building with information about the green features, as well as a brochure and a tour that is available for download onto an MP3 player.
Central College Breaks Ground on Green Education Building
Central College (IA) has broken ground on its future education and psychology building, a structure that is aiming for LEED Platinum. The 57,748 square foot structure, scheduled for completion in the fall of 2009, will feature renewable and energy conservation technologies, a green roof, storm water recycling, and natural landscaping. The three-story building will provide new classrooms, office and instructional space.
Call for Papers: Climate Action Planning at US Campuses
The International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education (IJSHE) and the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) have announced a call for papers for a special issue of the Journal on climate action planning at campuses in the United States. Judy Walton, AASHE's Acting Executive Director, will guest edit this special issue. Submitted articles must be between 2,000 and 4,000 words in length. The closing date for submissions is August 29, 2008.
Furman U Library Awarded LEED Gold
The Furman University (SC) James B. Duke Library has been awarded LEED Gold certification. The newly renovated building also received the 2006 Sustainable Design Award from the Carolinas Chapter of the International Interior Designers Association.
Princeton U Receives Funding for 9 Sustainability Initiatives
Princeton University (NJ) has received a gift from the High Meadow's Foundation to support nine sustainability projects that focus on research, education, and civic engagement within the University's Sustainability Plan. Such initiatives include a course that evaluates energy efficiency in local homes, a new sustainability curriculum for Outdoor Action participants, and the installation of a student-designed garden at Forbes College.
DePauw U Building Receives LEED Gold
The DePauw University (IN) Janet Prindle Institute for Ethics building has received LEED-NC Gold certification. Located in the DePauw University Nature Park, the building was designed to minimize impact on the environment. The building features a white roof that reflects the sun and thereby reduces demand for air conditioning; awnings that serve to admit the winter sun for passive heating and shade the building from the summer sun; and rooms that are equipped with motion sensors which automatically turn off lighting in unused areas. Additionally, the structure was built using local limestone and locally harvested trees.
NC State U to Establish 2 Professorships in Energy Engineering
North Carolina State University's College of Engineering has announced that it will receive a $1.25 million endowment gift from the Duke Energy Foundation to support workforce development, teaching, and research related to the generation and delivery of energy. The gift will create two named professorships, one each in nuclear engineering and electrical and computer engineering, and will establish an endowed K-12 educational outreach fund to promote the continued development and diversification of the future engineering workforce. The endowed professor of nuclear engineering will help develop nuclear energy technologies, while the other endowed professor will lead a multi-university effort to study the integration of renewable energy sources into the nation's electrical power grid.
U Colorado at Colorado Springs Students Approve Green Fee
Students from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs approved a $5 per semester fee to support the installation of solar panels on university buildings. The student-initiated statute is expected to generate more than $300,000 during its five-year duration. More than 76 percent of voting students voted in favor of the referendum.
Michigan's Univ Research Corridor Announces Energy Seed Grants
The University Research Corridor, an alliance of Michigan’s three research universities, has announced its first seed fund grants to provide startup support for two “revolutionary but feasible” energy projects. The seed investments will help launch two collaborations for efficient development of cheaper forms of electricity and fuel, one involving the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, and Wayne State University and the other involving MSU and U-M. The U-M, MSU, and WSU project will work to develop more efficient and low-cost thermoelectric materials to be used for power generation and environmentally friendly heating and cooling systems. The MSU and U-M project will work to develop nano-biocarriers to rapidly and efficiently produce low-cost ethanol from switchgrass or corn stover (the leaves and stalks that make up about half of a corn crop).
Central Connecticut State U Reports on Sustainability Progress
The Central Connecticut State University Advisory Committee on Environmental Sustainability recently reported its findings from its sustainability audit. The committee, which hired an environmental sustainability consulting firm to perform a Sustainability Baseline Audit, found that CCSU already has several successful sustainability initiatives in place, including the following energy conservation programs: a new, efficient Energy Center; energy-efficient and water-saving features in buildings; green purchasing efforts; and a hazardous waste minimization program. The audit also identified several areas for improvement, including improving recycling programs, launching an educational campaign on water conservation, improving the sustainability of food service operations, reducing transportation impacts, and formalizing some of CCSU’s current programs with formal policies.
Lafayette College Dining Services Goes Green
Lafayette College (PA) Dining Services has switched to using biodegradable products; purchasing organic, locally-grown food, and employing a more efficient waste management system. Green friendly dining products available in all dining locations on campus include clear, biodegradable cold beverage cups and take-away containers made from corn starch; plates, cups, and other types of containers made from wheat starch; and napkins generated from recycled paper. Dining Services has also begun using biodegradable hot beverage cups and is currently exploring sources for biodegradable utensils as well. Reusable hot beverage mugs and cold beverage bottles are available for purchase on campus and discounts are offered for using such renewable beverage containers. Also available in all dining locations is organic and fair-trade coffee.
Yale Launches Environmental Online Magazine
Yale University (CT) has launched "Yale Environment 360," a new online magazine that aims to become one of the leading websites for commentary and reporting on the crucial environmental issues of the day. The magazine’s inaugural edition features articles by noted environmental advocate and author, Bill McKibben; New Yorker staff writer Elizabeth Kolbert; climate scientist Richard C.J. Somerville; marine biologist and author Carl Safina; British journalist Fred Pearce; and many other writers and thinkers.
Arizona State U Plans Major Solar Installation
Arizona State University recently announced plans to install solar panels on up to 330,000 square feet of rooftop space. Three companies have been hired by the University to install the panels, which could eventually produce more than 20 percent of ASU's energy needs. The university will purchase the electricity generated from the panels at a fixed rate that is slightly lower than what it is now paying for power from Arizona Public Service Co. In the first phase of the project, approximately 2 megawatts of solar panels will be installed on 135,000 square feet of rooftop space by the end of the year.
University of Toledo Establishes Wetlands on Campus
The University of Toledo (OH) has established the Environmental Remediation and Restoration Experimental Park to support research on phytoremediation, the use of plants for the treatment of environmental contaminants. Researchers will use the site to test the effectiveness of constructed wetlands in removing pollution. The Park was made possible with nearly $4 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.