U Saskatchewan Completes GHG Inventory
The University of Saskatchewan recently completed its greenhouse gas inventory, which was initiated to establish a baseline total for campus GHG emissions. The survey found that the University's 2006 CO2 emissions amounted to 198,000 tons, which is up 4.5% since 1990. The report also found that, at 80% of the total, purchased electricity was the largest source of GHGs.
U New Mexico Partners with Car Share Program
The University of New Mexico Department of Parking and Transportation Services recently announced an agreement with Zipcar, a national car-sharing service, to provide vehicles to students, staff, faculty and members of the Albuquerque community who are members of Zipcar. Five vehicles will be located throughout campus and will be available at hourly and daily rates.
Stevens IT Launches Green Engineering Minor
The Charles V. Schaefer Jr. School of Engineering and Science at the Stevens Institute of Technology (NJ) recently launched a Green Engineering minor. The minor consists of six courses and provides a two-course core in sustainable engineering and sustainable energy.
U Maine Farmington Receives 2 LEED Building Certifications
Two recently constructed buildings at the University of Maine at Farmington were awarded LEED certification. The Education Center was awarded LEED Silver and was designed to serve as an ecological teaching tool for UMF students, K-12 students, practicing teachers and the region. Green components of the building include 42 geothermal wells, a high-performance thermal envelope, and window glazing to decrease heat loss in the winter and reduce cool air loss in the summer. Additional green features include the use of construction materials with recycled content, interior materials and furnishings that do not emit indoor pollutants and a sustainable landscape design. The Frances Allen Black Hall, a residence hall on campus, received LEED Certified status. The hall qualified for this distinction based on a number of green features including, developing the building site with the least amount of environmental impact, using over 10 percent recycled construction materials and nearly 35 percent locally available construction materials, and increasing thermal efficiency by approximately 25% by using continuous rigid insulation on the building's exterior.
Green Corps Field School for Environmental Organizing
Green Corps is currently accepting applications for the 2008-09 Field School for Environmental Organizing. The program trains college graduates to run environmental campaigns, starting by building a core group of activists and finishing by convincing decision-makers to pass laws, change policies and create reforms to protect our environment. Trainees start working on campaigns from the start of their education. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.
U Central Florida Energy Competition Offers Scholarships
A University of Central Florida energy saving competition will offer free food, gift certificates, and scholarships to the winners of the second-annual Energy Conservation Competition. The competition is a month-long campaign that challenges each residence hall to reduce its energy consumption by the greatest percentage compared to the average of the previous three years. During the first year of the program, residence hall students reduced their energy use by 8% overall, which amounted to $12,000 in electric bills. A $6,000 Student Government Association scholarships will be divided by UCF officials for the winners. The competition lasts until the end of February 2008.
AASHE Announces Campus Sustainability Rating System Pilots
The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education recently announced the launch of its pilot rating system for sustainability in higher education. Over ninety college and universities will test the self-assessment tool, called STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System). Over the course of 2008, they will provide feedback to AASHE and inform STARS version 1.0, planned for release in spring 2009. The 90-plus participating campuses were selected to represent a wide range of institutional types, sizes, and geography. They include public and private schools, and community colleges and research universities. 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 continuous improvement toward sustainability; facilitate information sharing about sustainability practices and performance in higher education; and build a stronger, more diverse campus sustainability community.
Inside Higher Ed Begins Getting to Green Blog
Inside Higher Ed recently started a new blog, entitled "Getting to Green," that will to discuss topics related to greening the higher education. The start of the blog coincided with Focus the Nation.
Holy Cross Announces Financial Aid Initiative
The College of the Holy Cross (MA) recently announced that, beginning with the 2008-09 academic year, Worcester residents who are admitted to the college and who come from families with incomes below $50,000 will receive four years of free tuition. The new initiative was catalyzed by established alumni-funded scholarship programs that benefit Worcester students.
Schools Reduce Waste with Trayless Policies
Inside Higher Ed recently published an article on how colleges and universities are implementing no-tray policies in dining halls in order to reduce waste and save water. In experiments at Alfred University (NY), students found that a no-tray policy would reduce food and beverage waste by 30-50%. Customers with disabilities or those who need extra assistance are permitted to use trays.
Birmingham U Installs Solar-Powered Parking Meter
Binghamton University (NY) recently installed a solar-powered multi-space parking meter system. The system is made up of a single meter that serves 33 spaces and features solar panels and a rechargeable battery.
Brown U Announces GHG Emissions Reduction Plan
Brown University (RI) has announced a plan to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 42% below 2007 levels for all existing buildings by 2020. Brown also promised to reduce energy consumption up to 50% for all newly constructed and acquired facilities. The university plans to achieve these goals through initiatives such as switching the fuel that powers the central heating plan to cleaner natural gas when available, implementing new lighting technologies, improving the energy efficiencies of buildings, increasing co-generation of electricity, and using renewable energy sources where appropriate.
Ohlone Opens Green Campus registered for LEED Platinum
Ohlone College (CA) recently opened a newly constructed green campus. The campus, which hopes to achieve LEED Platinum certification, features solar energy co-generation that will supply up to 42% of the building's energy needs, geothermal ground coils, enthalpy wheels, storm water filtering, wetlands restoration, and indoor water-saving fixtures.
U Washington to Offer Professorships in Sustainability
The University of Washington plans to offer professorships in sustainability. Pending the approval of the Board of Regents, the first two professorships will be held by Stephen Kieran and James Timberlake of an environmentally conscious architecture firm. Kieran and Timberlake will teach six related courses exploring designs and methods for reducing environmental impacts of construction. Funding for the professorships comes from Mithun and The Russell Family Foundation.
Unity College to Offer 2 New Sustainability Majors
Beginning in the fall of 2008, Unity College (ME) will offer a Bachelor's of Science in Sustainable Design and Technology and a Bachelor's of Science in Agriculture, Food, and Sustainability. Students in the Sustainable Design and Technology program will learn to evaluate and implement emerging technologies and to design, quantify, and account for programs of energy efficiency and climate emission reductions for government, for private businesses, or for households. The emphasis will be on practical skills based on solid general theory. The Agriculture, Food, and Sustainability program will prepare students for future study and careers in the growing fields of sustainable agriculture and food systems. The approach will be interdisciplinary and experiential, drawing on several disciplines that intersect in the field of agriculture and food systems study, including biology, ecology, economics, critical social sciences, and history, as well as applied sciences such as horticulture, livestock management, and marketing. The program will have a significant field and experiential component.
RecycleMania Begins with Record Number of Participants
RecycleMania began January 27, 2008 with a record 400 colleges and universities participating. The competition has more than doubled each year from its initiation in 2001 by two Ohio colleges. The 400 schools represent 46 states and the District of Columbia and include institutions ranging from small two-year community colleges to Ivy League universities. Over a 10-week period from January 27 to April 5, 2008, participating schools will compete in various categories measuring the success of their recycling and waste prevention efforts. Each week, the standings will be posted on the RecycleMania website.
U Texas at Austin Launches Campus Sustainability Newsletter
The University of Texas at Austin recently launched 'Synergies,' a monthly newsletter devoted to sustainability-based campus events, activities and achievements. The goal of the newsletter is to publicize sustainability initiatives on campus, create a broader understanding of sustainability at UT, and help connect individuals who wish to get involved with campus projects. 'Synergies' is designed for UT faculty, staff, and students and is distributed primarily online.
Georgia Tech to Install Green Tissue Dispensers
The Georgia Institute of Technology will install No-Touch Hands Free Paper Towel and Tissue Dispensers, which will use Green Seal certified paper towels and toilet tissue. The installation will begin in February.
1100 Campuses Focus the Nation on Global Warming Solutions
On Jan. 31, 2008, more than 1100 colleges and universities across the US participated in Focus the Nation, a major educational initiative on global warming solutions. The event, which also had the participation of several hundred high schools, faith organizations and civic groups, is believed to be the largest teach-in in U.S. history. Many institutions help open forums on climate change with participation from faculty, elected officials, and other guests. Faculty members from a wide range of disciplines also incorporated climate change into their lectures. The final component of Focus the Nation is the 'Choose Your Future' vote, in which all students, faculty and community participants are encouraged to vote on what they think are the top five climate change solutions from a list of 15 that is available on the event's website. Voting ends in mid February.
UCLA Law School to Establish Center on Climate Change
The University of California, Los Angeles School of Law recently secured an endowment fund to establish the Emmett Center, a center dedicated to the study, research, and teaching of knowledge related to climate change and the environment. The Emmett Center plans to engage UCLA experts who are working on matters related to climate change and intends to play a key role in addressing environmental issues.
Northern Arizona U Building Achieves LEED Platinum
Northern Arizona University's Applied Research and Development Building has achieved LEED Platinum certification, earning 60 out of 69 points possible. The 59,821 square-foot building features a photovoltaic solar power system that provides a minimum of 20% of its electricity, automatic shade controls, venting windows, and an enthalpy wheel, which regulates the building's temperatures. About 30% of the building's supplies are from recycled materials, 57% are from local producers or manufacturers, and the wood used was sustainable harvested from a renewable forest-management system. Additionally, the building's conference unit has a green roof, and the parking lot is made of pervious concrete, which allows water to be captured in natural aquifers to be used for irrigation purposes.
El Camino CC Opens Green Humanities Building
El Camino Community College (CA) recently opened a new green humanities building. The 83,900-square-foot facility features natural day lighting, sun shades and other steps to reduce heat gain, recycled flooring materials, and a white roof.
Casper College to Launch Renewable Energy Program
Casper College (WV) recently received a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to launch a program in renewable energy. The majority of the funding will support the construction of a small wind generator testing and training site, which will serve as a laboratory for students in the program. The program will also include courses such as electrical power, electrical machines, and alternative energy.
Furman U Students Win Award for Campus Green Living Film
A film made by a group of Furman University (SC) students has been selected as a finalist in the Conservation in Action Multimedia Contest. Their film, "The Lifestyle Project," documented the transformation and experiences of Furman freshmen as they sought to reduce their impact on the environment by changing the way they lived their daily lives. The film followed the students as they followed a vegetarian diet, reduced their water and electricity usage, generated less trash, and quit driving their cars o
Johns Hopkins U Task Force on Climate Change Begins Work
The Johns Hopkins University (MD) President's Task Force on Climate Change recently held its first meeting. The group, which includes administrators, faculty, community leaders, and students, was formed to help guide the development of the university's new climate change policy. It is charged with developing a comprehensive strategic plan and creating an interdisciplinary working group of experts who will focus on innovative and novel approaches related to climate change.
Rice U to Begin EcoRep Program
An internal grant program at Rice University (TX) has provided funds to enable the development of an "EcoRep" program this semester. The grant will pay one student from each residential college to serve as an EcoRep. Each EcoRep will have six main duties: facilitating recycling, reducing waste in the serveries, conserving energy, promoting environmental issues, maintaining contacts with relevant University staff, and administering the Green Dorm Initiative, a program which certifies dorm rooms meeting cer
DOE Announces 2009 Solar Decathlon Teams
The U.S. Department of Energy recently announced the schools selected to compete in the fourth Solar Decathlon, which will be held in Washington, DC in 2009. The teams, selected from universities in the U.S., Canada, and Germany, will each receive $100,000 from the DOE to design, build, and operate an energy efficient, fully-solar-powered home. In addition to producing enough electricity and hot water to perform all the functions of a home, from powering lights and electronics to cooking, washing clothes and dishes, each home must produce surplus energy sufficient to power an electric car. Applications for the competition were evaluated by a panel made up of engineers, scientists and other experts from DOE and its National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Teams were required to meet specific criteria, demonstrating their ability to design and build an innovative, entirely solar-powered, 800-square-foot home from scratch, including the ability to raise additional funds and assemble a team necessary to carry the project through to completion.
UC Berkley Study on GHG Mitigation Options
The University of California, Berkley recently published the findings of a climate action course that evaluated options for reducing the University's greenhouse gas emissions. The students found that green building retrofits should be expanded, renewable energy should be used on campus, and that the campus needs to develop a long-term program for mobilizing the resources needed to become a more energy-efficient campus.
Sustainable Investment Challenge
The 2007-08 SustaInvest: Sustainable Investment Challenge is a virtual portfolio competition that calls for its student participants to jointly maximize profitability and sustainability in investment decisions. The competition is comprised of three categories: university student teams, undergraduate students, and graduate students and is open to all colleges and universities. Portfolio judging criteria rewards successful, sustainability-driven investments that promote a long-term, triple bottom line business strategy as a means of increasing investors' financial bottom line.
U Michigan Annual Environmental Report
The University of Michigan recently released its Annual Environmental Report, which lists the University's energy use, water use, emissions, waste production, mass transit systems, and total carbon footprint. The report finds that the institution's carbon output decreased by 40,000 pounds since 2004.
UC Boulder Online Course: Carbon Neutral University Planning
February 4-April 18, 2008
Dave Newport, the Director of the CU Environmental Center, will lead a web-based course on Carbon Neutral University Planning. The course will explore the concepts and methodologies involved in analyzing and planning for campus climate neutrality, and the opportunities and barriers to achieving climate neutrality. Participants will learn how to develop an analytical framework by which to evaluate emissions mitigation options, and draft a proposed strategic plan that would guide implementation of climate neutrality.
SUNY-ESF Hires Director of Renewable Energy Systems
The State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry hired Michael Kelleher as the Director of Renewable Energy Systems. In this new position, Kelleher will focus on finding and adopting technologies to help the College save energy and produce energy from sustainable and renewable sources. Kelleher also serves as co-director of the SUNY Center for Sustainable and Renewable Energy and is a member of the ESF Campus Climate Change Committee.