MIT Science Building Awarded LEED Silver
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Brain and Cognitive Sciences Complex recently received LEED Silver certification. The building features gray-water recycling for toilets, heat recovery on the exhaust air stream, and interior finishes that impose a minimal impact on indoor air quality.
Portland State U Greenhouses Awarded LEED Silver
The Portland State University (OR) Biology Research Greenhouses have received LEED Silver certification. Sustainability features include: on-site treatment of all runoff from the roof before it enters the city's stormwater system; flow-through planters populated with native plants that are watered with rainwater; a driveway that is made of permeable pavers; and a covered patio that is enclosed by bamboo fencing. Inside the greenhouses, the lumber used for cabinets and counters is Forest Stewardship Council certified. The certification is for Phase 1 of a two-phase project of ten modular interconnected greenhouses.
U New Hampshire Launches Sustainability Blog
The University of New Hampshire Office of Sustainability recently launched a new blog, entitled "Discover(ing) Sustainability." The goal of the blog is to share UNH's commitment to being a sustainable learning community while helping readers discover how sustainability connects us all. Currently authored by several University Office of Sustainability and communications staff at UNH, Discover(ing) Sustainability will seek voices from around the university, including students, researchers, and administrator
Purdue U Launches Student Aid Campaign
Purdue University (IN) recently announced that it is starting a $304 million fundraising campaign for student scholarships. The programs being funded include Purdue Promise, which will provide scholarships to students whose families make less than $40,000 per year; the Purdue Marquis Scholarship Program, which will provide for students whose families make $40,000 to $70,000 per year and qualify for little or no state and federal aid; Presidential and Trustee Scholarships, which will be awarded to the highest-achieving students in an effort to recruit and retain them at Purdue, and more. All programs are expected to start in fall 2009.
MIT Establishes Center to Reduce Cost of Solar Energy
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology recently announced its partnership with Fraunhofer, a German research organization, to establish a research center in Massachusetts focused on significantly reducing the cost of solar energy over the next five years. The MIT-Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems aims to develop progressive technologies and materials for designing and producing better solar modules. Located adjacent to the MIT campus, the center will be active in other areas of sustainable energy research as well, including developing new technologies to substantially reduce the energy consumption of new and retrofitted structures.
NWF 'Chill Out' Contest Winners Announced
The National Wildlife Federation has announced the winners of its 2008 Chill Out: Campus Solutions to Global Warming national competition. The program honors U.S. schools that are show leadership in addressing global warming and do so in a creative manner. Butte College (CA) was named the Grand Prize winner for employing energy efficiency measures in all campus facilities. Butte also runs the largest community college transportation system in California, recycles more than 75 percent of its operations waste stream, and has a solar array that generates for 28% of the campus' electricity use. Other campus winners include the University of Missouri in the Energy Efficiency category, University of Montana, Missoula in the Transportation category, and Cascadia Community College (WA) and University of Washington in the "Habitat Restoration, Waste Reduction, Educational Awareness and More" category. Berea College (KY) and Daemen College (NY) were the YouTube Video Winners.
Johns Hopkins Invests in Faculty Diversity
Johns Hopkins University (MD) will provide at least $5 million over the next five years in matching funds for departments seeking to improve faculty diversity, which will include hiring and retaining outstanding women and underrepresented minority scholars. The Mosaic Initiative, as the pilot program will be called, will be funded initially at a minimum of $1 million per year, to be increased as the project generates external support.
U Southern Mississippi Announces Plan to Go Green
The University of Southern Mississippi recently announced a plan to reduce the impact on the environment through updating building designs on campus and completing an assessment to improve operations with the campus Physical Plant. USM also recently held its first Sustainability Committee meeting, in which 23 members were in attendance. The University also plans to create an Office of Sustainability on campus in the future.
Facilities Manager Magazine: Sustainability & Environmental Stewardship
APPA's Facilities Manager Magazine dedicated their March/April 2008 issue to "Sustainability and Environmental Stewardship." The issue includes articles on AASHE's STARS: Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating System for Colleges and Universities, green building, climate change, and reducing your carbon footprint.
U Connecticut 5K Race Benefits Campus Green Fund
The University of Connecticut recently held the third annual EcoHusky5000, a 5 kilometer race that benefits UConn's Green Campus Fund. Students and the public paid $5 and $15 respectively to enter the race, and Willimantic Waste Paper Co. promised to make a matching donation of up to $2,000. The event also served to collect old sneakers to donate to EcoHusky's sneaker recycling project. All participants received free water bottles made out of recycled materials.
Campus Environmental Resource Center
In collaborations with several other higher education associations, the National Association of College and University Business Officers recently launched an online environmental resource center called CampusERC. The site is designed as a multifaceted library of resources for college and university environmental officers to keep up with the latest news and information on environmental issues, study best practices in environmental management, view case studies, and better understand what institutions must do to comply with environmental regulations issued by the Environmental Protection Agenda.
Eckerd College Switches to Reusable To-Go Containers
Eckerd College (FL) recently switched to using the EcoClamshell, a reusable to-go cafeteria container made out of a dishwasher-safe plastic material. Students can sign up for an EcoClamshell in the cafeteria during any meal. The student's account is charged five dollars, covering the student's four years at Eckerd, unless the container is lost or destroyed. The student checks out an EcoClamshell, fills it with food and exits the cafeteria. Upon returning to the cafeteria, the student checks the container back in and places it on the dishwasher conveyor, where it is sanitized and put out for reuse. The initiative is the result of a $32,000 grant from the Environmental Research and Education Foundation.
Arizona State U Offers 'Edible Campus' Internships
Arizona State University recently began offering a plant biology internship, "The Edible Campus," which charges interns with harvesting ASU's fruit and nut trees, maintaining their individual organic garden plots, and marketing the harvested products. The internship program, which meets regularly as a class, aims to connect students to their campus landscape and help students understand the reasoning behind composting and eating locally.
Appropedia – Website for Solutions in Sustainability
Humboldt State University's (CA) Campus Center for Appropriate Technology recently partnered with Appropedia, a website for collaborative, free, open-source solutions in sustainability, to host the methods and lessons of the Center's sustainability projects. Appropedia uses the same format as Wikipedia to allow users to share and gain knowledge of appropriate technologies and sustainable living solutions. The site offers projects and information in water conservation, organic gardening, community organizing, and more.
UT Arlington Volunteers Install Campus Green Roof
The University of Texas at Arlington recently installed a 1000 square feet experimental green roof with the help of volunteers. The project included the installation of the roofing systems, irrigation, plants and about 30,000 pounds of soil.
U Wisconsin Superior Breaks Ground for Green Student Center
The University of Wisconsin Superior recently held a groundbreaking ceremony for the new student center building which will feature energy efficient design, a green roof, and rainwater collection. The University hopes that the building will achieve LEED certification. The building will house student dining services, the campus bookstore, offices for student organizations and university staff, an art gallery, meeting areas and lounges. It is expected to be complete by August 2009.
Georgia Tech Receives National Recycling Award
The Georgia Institute of Technology recently received the 2008 American Forest and Paper Association College and University Recycling Award. AF&PA chose to recognize Georgia Tech for their innovative and creative recycling program. Since the recycling program began at Georgia Tech in 1996, recycling has been successfully integrated into virtually all components of campus life. Last year, the school recovered more than 376 tons of paper products for recycling. AF&PA’s awards program recognizes outstanding school, business, and community recycling efforts.
Cornell U Hires Sustainability Professor
Cornell University (NY) recently hired Jefferson Tester Ph.D. as the first Croll Professor of Sustainable Energy Systems in the College of Engineering. Tester is expected to play a leadership role in the Cornell Center for a Sustainable Future, which is bringing together experts in education and research from across campus to work toward common sustainability goals.
Suffolk U Wins City of Boston Green Business Award
Suffolk University (MA) was recently selected as the recipient of the City of Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino Green Business Award. The award recognizes businesses located in the city of Boston that demonstrate extraordinary environmental practices in the areas of water conservation, wastewater management, solid waste reduction, alternative transit, energy conservation, on-site renewable energy production, and the purchase of renewable energy credits. Suffolk was named the winner of the category for Academic, Cultural, and Healthcare Institutions.
Borough of Manhattan CC Increases Energy Efficiency
The Borough of Manhattan Community College of the City University of New York and the Green Buildings Collaborative of state agencies recently announced a joint effort to help increase green and energy efficiency measures at a BMCC’s building in Lower Manhattan. The effort includes a feasibility assessment for potential green and energy efficiency upgrades to the 450,000-square foot, eight-story building’s mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems as well as its facade. It also provides assistance in exploring potential alternative energy generation such as solar panel arrays and wind turbines.
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.
Presidio School Partners to Advance Sustainability in the Curriculum
The Presidio School of Management (CA) recently formed a partnership with ClimateCHECK, a firm that provides greenhouse gas management services and solutions. The partnership, which integrates environmental, social, and financial sustainability in all Presidio courses, will enable ClimateCHECK to better train the next generation of environmental and business leaders on issues surrounding climate change and the management of greenhouse gas emissions. As part of the agreement, ClimateCHECK will provide learning opportunities to students through internships and Presidio’s project oriented learning program, which will offer students the chance to work with the company on climate change-related projects as part of their coursework.
Campus Sustainability Whitepaper Series: 10% off for AASHE Members
PaperClip Communications is offering a 10 percent discount to AASHE members on their recently released Campus Sustainability Whitepaper Series. The series is comprised of 6 whitepapers: Greening Your Events: How to Plan and Implement Sustainable Campus Events; Sustainable Campus Food Service Programs: From Little Changes to Large Initiatives That Change the Environmental Balance; Going Green in Residence Life: Putting Your Operation in Line with Sustainable Practices; Sustainable Campus Practices: Green Campus Facilities, Purchasing and Business Practices; Sustainable Student Initiatives: What's Working on Our Campuses; and Hosting a Campus Sustainability Day: 40 Campus Examples, How-to Tips & Resources. The whitepapers offer ideas, strategies, and best practices for moving toward sustainability.
AASHE Releases Draft of Campus Sustainability Rating System
AASHE has released the next draft of its rating system for sustainability in higher education called STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System). The release of STARS version 0.5 opens a public comment period that will last until May 9, 2008. STARS is designed to: help gauge the progress of colleges and universities toward sustainability in all sectors, from governance and operations to academics and community engagement; enable meaningful comparisons across institutions as well as benchmarking within institutions; create incentives for continual improvement toward sustainability; facilitate information sharing about sustainability practices and performance in higher education; and build a stronger, more diverse campus sustainability community. Over 90 colleges and universities are pilot testing STARS. They will provide feedback to AASHE throughout 2008 and inform the development of STARS version 1.0, planned for release in spring 2009.
U.S. Colleges Receive Energy Grants
The U.S. Department of Labor recently awarded President’s Community-Based Job Training Grants to Morrisville State College (NY), Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas, Western Iowa Tech Community College, Rend Lake College (IL), Central Piedmont Community College (NC), Columbia Gorge Community College (OR), and Navarro College (TX) for projects such as creating a renewable energy training center and other programs that are intended to serve as a workforce and economic development catalysts in each region. The grant initiative is designed to improve the ability of colleges to provide their regions’ workers with the skills needed to enter growing industries in their hometowns.
UC San Diego To Install 7.4 MW of Renewable Energy
The University of California, San Diego recently announced plans to build a 1 MW photovoltaic array on campus, to purchase up to 3 MW of electric power produced by Southern California wind farms, and to produce 2.4 MW from fuel cells powered by methane captured from a sewage treatment plant. The University also hopes to install an additional 1 MW photovoltaic array within the next year. The arrays will be built atop campus buildings and parking structures. Once complete, the 7.4 MW of renewable energy are expected to meet 10 - 15 percent of the campus's annual electrical needs. The projects are part of UCSD's effort to become the "Greenest University in the Nation.","1
U California Merced Building Receives LEED Gold
The University of California, Merced Classroom and Office Building has received LEED Gold certification. The building, which is one of the primary classroom buildings, is the third on campus to receive LEED Gold certification.
CSU President Calls for Increased Sustainability Research
Colorado State University President Larry Edward Penley recently published an article in Inside Higher Ed that discusses the leadership role higher education institutions need to take in advancing sustainability research and solutions. He argues that research universities have an obligation and an opportunity to use their resources to educate green collar workers and create ground-breaking climate change solutions. Penley believes that universities should focus less on installing greener goods and creating climate change awareness, and focus more on preparing students for the up and coming green economy, advancing green research, and inputting new technologies into the free market. Once this research enters the marketplace, he says, it can create jobs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve health and living conditions worldwide, and stimulate the economy.
U Utah Offers Organic, Fair Trade Coffee
The University of Utah recently began offering organic, fair trade coffee in the student union food court. Customers will have to pay 10 to 15 cents extra for the new coffee. The rest of the campus still offers non-organic, non-fair-trade coffee, but will consider making the switch after receiving student input.
U British Columbia Building Received LEED Gold
The National Research Council Institute for Fuel Cell Innovation, located on the campus of the University of British Columbia, has been awarded LEED Gold certification. The building features a ground source heat pump to provide natural-source heating and cooling, a 5KW solid oxide fuel cell system powered by natural gas and a photovoltaic array to capture energy from sunlight. UBC officials anticipate a 34 percent energy usage savings, which amounts to an annual reduction of 184 tons of greenhouse gas emissions. The centre also promotes alternative transportation options through easy access to public transportation, bicycle storage stalls, and shower facilities. There is also a hydrogen refueling station and parking spaces for car or van-pools.
Burlington College Joins Energy Efficiency Project
Burlington College (VT) recently joined an energy-efficiency project composed of the Association of Vermont Independent Colleges. The goals of the Burlington College part of the project are to retrofit existing older buildings on campus to significantly improve energy efficiency, and to carry out a site analysis and design of a new LEED-certified building. The college also plans to replace its four boilers with two Energy Star-rated boilers, three 50-gallon hot water tanks with a 200-gallon gas hot water tank, 104 fluorescent light fixtures with more energy-efficient models, and 70 of the 102 windows on campus buildings. The school said it will also carry out an architectural study on constructing a LEED-certified, climate-specific and site-specific building using energy-efficient construction materials. The study will explore incorporating passive solar and wind energy, as well as natural day-lighting.
Bowdoin College to Purchase Local Renewable Energy Credits
Bowdoin College (ME) recently announced that UPC Wind will provide the College with renewable energy certificates from its Mars Hill wind project in northern Maine. Bowdoin is currently offsetting approximately 70 percent of its campus electricity use with voluntary renewable energy certificates produced in Maine. These voluntary REC purchases complement the green power already provided pursuant to Maine's Renewable Portfolio Standard law. So far in 2008, 31 percent of Bowdoin's electricity comes from qualifying renewable sources, bringing Bowdoin's total to 100 percent green electricity. Bowdoin is focusing on switching to lower carbon fuels and increased energy efficiency, but plans to purchase RECs in the mean time.
U Maryland Plan to Develop Climate Action
The University of Maryland has released its schedule for developing a Climate Action Plan. The plan includes conducting a greenhouse gas inventory, identifying possible climate mitigation and education strategies, including stakeholder input, and selecting neutrality targets and timelines.
Campuses Participate in Fossil Fools Day
Campuses from the U.S. and Canada participated in Fossil Fools Day events on April 1. Fossil Fools Day, organized by the Energy Action Coalition, brings together thousands of young people from around the world for a global day of action demonstrating the youth commitment to stop climate change. The University of Kentucky, Wilfrid Laurier University (ON), Clark University (MA), and others participated in the day of action through events such as raising a mock wind turbine on top of a pile of coal, blockading a Shell Gas Station, and hosting a wind turbine versus coal plant boxing match.
Colorado State U Hires VP for Energy & the Environment
Colorado State University Research Foundation has hired Ron Sega as the Vice President for Energy, Environment, and Applied Research. Sega will also serve as CSU President Larry Edward Penley's special advisor on energy and the environment and the chairman of the advisory committee on Sustainability and the Environment.
Arizona State U Implements Green Purchasing Policy
Arizona State University recently implemented a green purchasing policy which states that all companies that want to do business with ASU must pass a stringent test of their environmental practices. Vendors who wish to sell products to ASU first must fill out an 11-point “Green Profile Questionnaire,” which includes such questions as, “What policies are in place to monitor and manage your supply chain regarding environmental issues?”, “Does your company have a Green Transportation Plan?” and “Has your company ever been cited for non-compliance of an environmental or safety issue?” The policy also requires that all bidders, proposers and contracts use recycled paper and double-sided copying for all documents they create in doing business with ASU. Additionally, all packaging materials have to meet at least one, but preferably all, of the following criteria: made from recycled materials, be recyclable or reusable, be non-toxic or biodegradable. ASU also has committed to buying only wood materials that have Forest Stewardship Council certification, or are previously used products (or bamboo products such as bamboo mop handles); to re-use every scrap of stone and brick possible; and to buy carpet only from distributors who have an ASU-approved carpet recycling plan.
3 University Leaders Testify in Senate to Limit GHG Emissions
University of California at Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau, University of Minnesota at Morris Chancellor Jacqueline Johnson, and Yale University (CT) President Richard C. Levin recently testified at the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Hearing, "Examining Strategies to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions at U.S. Colleges and Universities." Each university leader discussed the important role of colleges and universities in battling climate change and the necessity for the federal gove
San Diego State U Students Vote for Green Fee
San Diego State University (CA) Students recently voted to increase the current mandatory Student Body Association Fee to fund, among other initiatives, new green program and facility upgrades. 64.6 percent of students voted for a $20 increase per semester. 8.66 percent of the total student body voted.