U Miami Switches to Local Produce & Antibiotic-Free Pork
University of Miami's (FL) on-campus dining halls recently began purchasing locally-grown tomatoes, peppers, watermelons, oranges and antibiotic-free pork. The University has also switched to cage-free whole eggs, and is currently exploring its options to start composting within the next year. The changes are part of Green U, a program designed to minimize the university's environmental impact.
Duquesne University Purchases RECs
Duquesne University (PA) recently purchased 8,020,000 kW of Renewable Energy Credits. This purchase is equivalent to 100 percent of the University's purchased electricity.
U British Columbia Students Market Energy Conservation
A University of British Columbia Sauder School of Business team of students recently won a competition to create a marketing plan using new technologies and other innovative practices to help universities and colleges reduce energy consumption. The group of students surveyed nearly 100 students and found that 70 percent of students are unaware that leaving an appliance such as an unused cell phone charger plugged into the wall consumes energy, and 60 percent of students were unaware of the benefits of energy-efficient compact florescent light bulbs. The team's marketing plan included developing an application that posts daily conservation tips on Facebook and on UBC’s Web Course Tools website, where students download assignments and other class content. They also recommended selling CFLs and other energy-efficient household items in booths in UBC’s Student Union Building, and hosting an energy conservation competition in the residence halls.
New APPA Books on Env. Sustainability & Green Practices
APPA, the association promoting leadership in educational facilities, recently published two books on environmental sustainability and green practices. "The Green Campus: Meeting the Challenge of Environmental Sustainability" is an anthology that explores the meaning of environmental sustainability, in global and local terms, while profiling exemplary campus environmental programs. The second edition of the "Environmental Compliance Assistance Guide for Colleges and Universities" updates the key environme
Sustainability 101 in Trusteeship Magazine
Trusteeship Magazine, a publication of the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, recently published an article entitled, "Sustainability 101," by President David Shi of Furman University (SC). The article describes why higher education institutions should model sustainability and inspire students to embrace a more sustainable lifestyle. It also highlights how Furman is working to achieve this goal.
U Minnesota Video on Campus Composting Efforts
The University of Minnesota Dining Services Green Team has posted a video on their recent effort to teach students how to compost in the dining halls on campus. The initiative produced more than 80 tons of compost during the fall semester. The video also explains how the composted material from the dining halls is mixed with animal waste in a manure facility, and is then returned to the UM fields as fertilizer. The video also tells about a recent initiative to hand out compact florescent light bulbs on campus.
RecycleMania Winners Announced
RecycleMania wrapped up its 2008 competition with 58.6 million pounds of recyclables and organics recovered from 400 colleges and universities across the U.S. For the 2008 competition, schools were divided into two divisions, those participating across their entire campus (Whole Campus Division) and those competing with only a subsection (Partial Campus Division). Within each division, schools chose to participate in any of eight categories. Schools that participate in both the Per Capita Classic, which recognizes the institution with the largest amount of recyclables per person, and the Waste Minimization competition, which recognizes the institution with the lowest amount of waste per person, can earn the title of RecycleMania Grand Champion. This year, Kalamazoo College (MI) achieved a recycling rate of 58.93 percent and was crowned the RecycleMania Grand Champion in the Whole Campus Division for excelling in source reduction, waste prevention and recycling. In the Partial Campus Division, California State University, San Marcos claimed the Grand Champion first place for the fourth year in a row, recycling 75.69% of its waste stream. North Lake College (TX), Northwest State Community College (OH), Stanford University (CA), Rutgers University (NJ), Stephens College (MO), Oregon State University, Mills College (CA), Rhode Island School of Design, and United States Coast Guard Academy (CT) were also awarded first place in specific categories.
U Delaware Offers Renewable Energy Undergraduate Internships
The University of Delaware Department of Chemical Engineering and the Center for Catalytic Science and Technology will administer a three-year, $300,000 National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates grant, which will enable 10 exemplary students per year in chemical engineering to work with UD researchers on such projects as designing new fuel cells and engineering novel nanomaterial coatings to reduce the drag on ships in water. Under the mentorship of faculty advisers, students selected for the program will not only conduct research, but also learn how to present their findings in scientific seminars and poster sessions.
U Michigan Launches Carpool Program
The University of Michigan recently launched GreenRide, a Web-based, geographic information system ride-matching application. GreenRide helps a potential carpooler or vanpooler find ride-sharing partners by searching for other UM staff who live close by or on the commute route and who have similar work schedules. Participants will get a map of the general area showing potential ride matches near them and along their commute route, and it calculates potential fuel savings for the carpool or vanpool. Additionally, effective July 1, the University's Carpool Program will allow fellow carpoolers to split the cost of one parking permit using payroll deduction. For a fee, carpoolers will be able to request a reserved parking space. New University carpoolers will get a 10-percent reduction in the shared parking permit fee for the first six months of the program and they will be entered in weekly drawings for $25 gas card prizes.
Green Mountain College Course Wins VT Env. Excellence Award
The Green Mountain College (VT) Course, "Food, Agriculture, and Community Development in the Northeast," has received the Vermont Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence and Pollution Prevention. The course explored how food choices affect the community. The class visited roughly one dozen area farms and hosted several national food and agricultural experts as guest speakers. As a final project, the class created sustainable purchasing guidelines for an on-campus dining hall.
Sustainability in Intl. Education: Recommendations for Education Abroad
The Task Force on Environmental Sustainability in Education Abroad of the Association of International Educators has released a report entitled, "Sustainability in International Education: Recommendations for Education Abroad Administrators and Faculty." The report addresses the questions of how education abroad programs can be both high quality and low impact and also contribute to greater environmental awareness.
Survey on College Sustainability Report Card
The Sustainable Endowments Institute has launched a web survey to gain feedback on its annual College Sustainability Report Card . The short survey seeks input on the Report Card's content and focus as well as suggestions for improvement. Participants are also invited to share stories about how they have used the Report Card or how they have seen it used. The survey is open to everyone.
Central Piedmont CC Establishes Center for Sustainability
Central Piedmont Community College (NC) has established a Center for Sustainability to respond to the need for sustainability training. The Center will offer courses, workshops, and seminars, and plans to collaborate with various agencies to accomplish its goals. The Center for Sustainability aims to increase community awareness of the importance of living and working in an ecologically responsible manner, to conduct continuing education training and seminars for the general public which focus on teaching people how to live in an environmentally friendly manner, and to increase the presence and perspective of environmental sustainability into CPCC curriculum programs.
21 North Carolina Campuses Awarded State Energy Efficiency Grants
15 University of North Carolina campuses and six community colleges were recently awarded the state's first Energy Efficiency Reserve Fund grants to implement power-saving projects. The governor made the announcement at the 5th Annual North Carolina Sustainable Energy Conference. The grants are administered by the State Energy Office.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Loyalist College Starts Recycling Program
Loyalist College (ON) recently launched a recycling program. As an incentive, on the opening day of the program, environmentally-friendly prizes were given to students who recycled or chose to do something green for the day.
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
Johns Hopkins U Approves Funding for Green Initiatives
Johns Hopkins University (MD) recently approved the Sustainable Hopkins Infrastructure Program, a program created to provide a way for students, faculty, and staff to secure funding for green projects on campus. JHU plans to form a committee of campus members that will review project proposals based on compliance to certain criteria, which have yet to be finalized. Once a project is approved, it will be handed off to the Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration where funds will be allocated. SHIP is not a revolving loan fund, and the money does not come from a predetermined fund; instead, money will be taken from excess funds, which will be determined on a case by case basis.
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.
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.
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.
Opportunity to Become an AASHE 2008 Supporting Institution
In an effort to encourage strong student participation at its 2008 conference, AASHE is inviting colleges and universities to become Supporting Institutions. Supporting Institutions offer to cover the cost of participation in the conference for at least one of their students, and provide $250 to support the conference. In exchange, they will be recognized in the conference website, printed program, signage and other publicity materials.