Michigan State U Dining Hall Offers Local, Organic Foods
The Michigan State University Yakeley Dining Hall has started a pilot program to offer local and organic foods. The program, which offers local and organic foods whenever possible, aims to address concerns about environmental sustainability and to teach students where their food is grown. Additionally, the University has invested in a new hoop house to grow salad greens and cooking greens for the dining halls.
U Illinois at Chicago Receives $750K Grant to Green Brownfield
The University of Illinois at Chicago's Institute for Environmental Science and Policy has received a five-year, $750,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to identify best management practices for redeveloping brownfields, gauge the benefits, and get the information to the public and policymakers. Through the grant, researchers at UIC will team up with two outside technical advisers and colleagues at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to define what it means to turn a brownfield into a new green development and the value of doing so.
Rutgers U Breaks Ground on 1.4 MW Solar Farm
Rutgers University (NJ) has broken ground on its seven acre, 1.4MW solar farm. The farm will generate approximately 10 percent of the electrical demand of the Livingston Campus and reduce the university’s carbon dioxide emissions by more than 1,200 tons per year. Rutgers will fund approximately half the $10 million cost of the project, and the balance will be subsidized by a rebate through the Board of Public Utilities' Clean Energy Program.
Mills College Creates Center for Socially Responsible Business
Mills College (CA) has established the Center for Socially Responsible Business at its Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business. The center plans to examine how businesses can improve social conditions in practical ways that do not harm and may even help their bottom lines. Created in part by a three-year grant from the Elfenworks Foundation, the Center aims to advance the study and practice of socially responsible business, promote its values, foster social responsibility in graduate business education, and build alliances with like-minded Bay Area companies, nonprofits, academic institutions, and government agencies.
Dominican U of CA Announces Sustainable Practices Certificate
Dominican University of California has created a new certificate program in Sustainable Practices. The new certificate is designed for professionals who want to differentiate and enhance their practice; people seeking a career change to make a positive difference on the environment; high school graduates looking for new vocational opportunities; and policy makers, community leaders, activists, and advocates. The certificate includes two Dominican courses, elective courses, and a capstone project or internship.
Inside Higher Ed Publishes Article on Alternative Transportation
Inside Higher Ed has published an article on colleges' and universities' efforts to increase the use of alternative transportation options. The article reports that Augsburg College (MN) increased carpooling by moving the reserved carpooling parking spaces to the center of campus. Other campuses have created "carpool only" and "hybrid only" parking spaces. Not only do these initiatives encourage the use of greener transportation options, reports the article, they also cut down on the amount of sin
Presidential Perspectives Chapter on Green Issues at U W. Georgia
The Presidential Perspectives Series has released a new chapter entitled, "Red, White, Blue, and Green – University of West Georgia," authored by Dr. Beheruz N. Sethna, President of the University of West Georgia. In the chapter, Dr. Sethna discusses how sustainability is taking an increasingly prominent role on college campuses and how success with environmental initiatives ultimately requires equal parts of faculty, staff, students, alumni, and the community.
6th Annual P3 Awards – Student Design Contest for Sustainability
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as part of the P3 Award Program, is seeking applications proposing to research, develop, and design solutions to real world challenges involving the overall sustainability of human society. The P3 competition highlights the use of scientific principles in creating innovative projects focused on sustainability. The P3 Awards program was developed to foster progress toward sustainability by achieving the mutual goals of economic prosperity, protection of the planet, and improved quality of life for its people. The EPA offers the P3 competition in order to respond to the technical needs of the world while moving towards the goal of sustainability. The deadline to apply is December 23, 2008 at 4:00pm Eastern.
Kansas Wesleyan U Receives Recycling Grant
Kansas Wesleyan University has received a $26,233 grant from the Salina City Commission and a matching grant of $7,205 from the University to be used for waste reduction initiatives. The funds will be used to help purchase an electric recycling truck, multiple large recycling bins, vermin-composting units, and educational material that will be used at elementary school presentations. The group also plans to create a video of what happens to waste when it goes into the trash can.
Syracuse U, SUNY ESF Partner to Create Green Energy Coop
Syracuse University (NY) and the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry have partnered to create a green-energy cooperative. The student-run project, funded by a grant from the Syracuse Campus-Community Entrepreneurship Initiative, aims to produce biodiesel by the spring 2009 semester that would be sold back to SU and SUNY ESF for use in their vehicles.
Auburn U Montgomery Produces Biodiesel
Auburn University at Montgomery (AL) has begun converting cooking oil into biodiesel for use in campus vehicles. The converter, known as the Freedom Fueler, will use cooking oil from the campus lunch counter to make biodiesel.
Call for Submissions - ACUPCC Video Competition
The American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment is soliciting 3 minute videos that demonstrate creative strategies for communicating the ACUPCC across campus and beyond. Five selected videos will be highlighted and screened at the second biennial AASHE Conference in November 2008. Videos will also be made publicly available on the ACUPCC and AASHE websites. The competition is open to ACUPCC signatory institutions only. Deadline is October 1, 2008.
SEI Releases 2009 Sustainability Report Card, Launches Website
The Sustainable Endowments Institute has launched an interactive website for the newly released College Sustainability Report Card 2009 . The new website provides sustainability profiles and grades from the Report Card for 300 schools with the largest endowments. It allows users to create side-by-side comparisons of schools, using a broad range of sustainability criteria. Users can also search for schools with specific programs, ranging from green dorms and car sharing to shareholder advisory committees and renewable energy investments. The average grade for all schools surveyed came to “C+,” with more than 75 percent of colleges and universities earning sustainability grades in the “B” and “C” range. In related news, the Sustainable Endowments Institute has announced the winners of the Sustainability Innovator Awards and the Champions of Sustainability in Communities Awards. Recipients of the Champions of Sustainability in Communities Award include: Dalhousie University (NS), University of Chicago (IL), University of Minnesota, University of New Hampshire, and University of Oregon. Recipients of the Sustainability Innovator Awards include: Green Mountain College (VT), Northland College (WI), and University of Prince Edward Island (PE).
More U.S Institutions Offer Domestic Partner Benefits
Inside Higher Ed has reported that the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources found in a recent survey that 42 percent of U.S. colleges and universities offer health care benefits for same-sex domestic partners, up from 40 percent a year ago. In addition, 34 percent of institutions offer benefits to opposite-sex domestic partners, up from 31 percent one year ago.
Dixon U Center to Upgrade Energy and Building Systems
Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education has announced that the Dixon University Center will undergo a $1.5 million energy and building system upgrade by NORESCO. The upgrade will include improved energy and water efficiency, reduced energy and operating costs, greater system reliability, and improved working and learning conditions for building occupants. Carbon dioxide emissions are expected to drop by more than 930,000 pounds each year as a result of the upgrade.
Massachusetts Maritime Academy to Install Solar Lights
The Massachusetts Maritime Academy has announced plans to install 62 solar-powered lights around campus by the end of September. The project was largely funded with a $325,000 state energy grant. Another $34,000 came from the Massachusetts Technology Council.
Saint Mary's College of California Establishes Campus Garden
Saint Mary's College of California has established a half-acre student-run garden plot to grow pesticide-free food for the student dining hall. The goals of the project are to increase students' understanding of the food production process and the nutritional and environmental benefits of local, pesticide-free food.
Syracuse U Changes Temperature Policy to Reduce GHG Emissions
Syracuse University (NY) has changed its temperature policy to conserve energy and reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions released through the heating and cooling processes. By reducing the temperature of University-occupied spaces by two degrees in the heating season, and raising the temperature threshold one degree in the cooling season, the University will realize an annual reduction of 1,683 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions. The new temperature policy for the heating season will have a set point at 68 degrees, and the cooling season set point will be 76 degrees.
Harvard U Offers New Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Design
The Harvard University (MA) School of Design has unveiled its new concentration in Sustainable Design within the school's one-and-a-half-year Master in Design Studies (MDesS) program. The new concentration focuses on strategies and technologies for constructing ecologically balanced and energy and resource-efficient design.
Stony Brook to Run Campus Buses Off of Vegetable Oil
Stony Brook University (NY) has started an initiative to convert campus bus engines to run off of used vegetable oil. The project will use leftover vegetable oil from one of the campus dining halls to fuel the buses. Once the project is up and running, the University plans to expand the program to include vegetable oil from other dining facilities on campus.
Rush U Medical Center Breaks Ground on Green Hospital Building
The Rush University (IL) Medical Center has broken ground on its new green hospital. The new structure, which will be registered for LEED certification, will feature multiple green roofs, extensive use of recycled materials, and use of energy efficient systems for lighting, heating, and cooling. The 14-floor, $575 million, 806,000-square-foot building will house Rush's acute and critical care patients as well as surgical, diagnostic, and therapeutic services utilizing the most advanced technology available.
Purdue U to Launch Carpooling Website
Purdue University (IN) has announced plans to offer a new Web-based program to help employees and students carpool. The University has signed a contract with Ecology and Environmental Inc. for implementation of a carpool/rideshare application called GreenRide. The program is designed to help faculty, staff, and students find carpooling partners by searching for other Purdue employees and students who live close by or on the same commute route and who have similar work or class schedules. It is expected that the program will be available for use by the end of the fall semester.
Westminster College Offers Free Public Transit Pass
Westminster College (UT) has begun offering a free UTA Premium Transit Pass to all students, faculty, and staff who will commit to using alternative transportation at least four days per month. The pass works for both bus and TRAX train services.
U Florida Passes Green Fee for Renewable Energy
The University of Florida Board of Trustees has approved a student-proposed green fee that will charge students $.50 per credit hour and will be used to support renewable energy projects. The fee, which will not go into effect until approved by the Board of Governors, would generate approximately $645,000 in revenue each year to fun such projects as solar panels and building energy upgrades. In a spring referendum, 78 percent of students voted in favor of the fee.
Furman Establishes Office of Sustainability
Furman University (SC) has established the office of Sustainability and Environmental Education. The office will focus on curricular activities, co-curricular activities, communication, and climate commitment and assessment.
Drury U Habitat for Humanity House Earns LEED Platinum
A Habitat for Humanity house designed and built by students at Drury University (MO) has received LEED Platinum certification. The house features solar panels that heat water and the radiant floor, native landscaping, rain gardens, and pervious paved surfaces.
Kiwi Magazine Releases 2008 Green College Report
Kiwi Magazine has released its "2008 Green College Report," which profiles 75 colleges and universities committed to sustainability. The report is intended to help high school students and parents choose a green higher education institution.
UConn Partners to Protect Local Ecosystem
The University of Connecticut has joined a planning group that will discuss ways to maintain and improve the Natchaug Basin, a 114,000-acre tract of land and water that contains a diversity of aquatic and terrestrial plants and animals. It is the largest public surface drinking water supply watershed in Connecticut. More than half of Uconn’s Storrs campus sits within the basin, and water from the basin’s three main rivers – the Fenton, Natchaug, and Mount Hope – supports the water needs of the University and 22,000 residents of Mansfield and Willimantic. The planning committee will be working to identify key factors that promote the integrity of the streams, wetlands, forest, and fish in the conservation area; identify and rank the primary threats affecting the overall condition of the forest and freshwater systems; define strategies to address the threats and restoration needs; and create an action plan specific to each strategy, together with a timeline for completion.
UC Berkeley Receives $2M for Chair of Sustainable Chemistry
The University of California, Berkeley College of Chemistry has received $2 million in donations to establish the Dow Chair of Sustainable Chemistry. The chair will research chemistry for environmental causes. The money, donated by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Dow Chemical Company Foundation, will also fund sustainability projects among several graduate students chosen by the chair.
Virginia Commonwealth U Hires Director of Sustainability
Virginia Commonwealth University has placed Jacek Ghosh in the newly created position of Director of Sustainability to spearhead the development and implementation of a plan that will guide the University toward climate neutrality. Ghosh previously was a visiting community scholar in VCU’s L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs. He also developed a business plan for the establishment of a Sustainable Community Design Center to complement a proposed new graduate program in Sustainable Community Design.
U Arizona Student Government Hires Sustainability Coordinator
The Associated Students of the University of Arizona has hired Lesley Ash as Sustainability Director. ASUA's Sustainability Director will be responsible for developing projects and initiatives that work to reduce waste at the University. Ash's first priorities will be to develop a composting system at UA's student unions and markets and to develop a sustainability committee within ASUA that will involve student clubs and organizations.
Business Week Article Features Green Business School Buildings
Business Week has published an article on the increasing number of green buildings at business schools across the U.S. The article mentions the University of Illinois' new $60 million business school building, green features at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth's Tuck School of Business, and the Thunderbird School of Global Management's (AZ) initiative to recycle the Thunderbird Veterans & Alumni Tower which was closed in 2006. The article also mentions upcoming green business school initiatives at New York University and Harvard Business School (MA).
Emory U Named 'Conservationist of the Year'
Emory University (GA) has been named the "2008 Distinguished Conservationist of the Year" by the Georgia Conservancy. The annual award is considered the highest honor bestowed by the conservancy and is given in recognition of Emory's efforts to incorporate sustainability as a way to restore the global ecosystem, promote healthy living, and reduce the University's impact on the surrounding environment.
Syracuse U Receives Grants for Green Projects
Syracuse University (NY) has received funds to convert waste oil from SU dining halls into biodiesel. The funds come from a $3 million, five-year grant awarded to SU in 2006. The "green energy" cooperative, created to convert the used oil, will consist of faculty support, student scientists from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, and business students from SU. The cooperative's initial goal will be to create 2,500 gallons of biodiesel per year. Profits earned from selling the biodie
Inside Higher Ed Compares Campus Sustainability Rating Systems
Inside Higher Ed has published a review of the various campus sustainability ranking and rating systems. The article compares reports, articles, and assessments by the National Wildlife Federation, the Sustainable Endowments Institute, The Princeton Review, Kaplan, Forbes , Sierra , and AASHE.
U South Carolina Launches Campus Farmer's Market
The University of South Carolina has partnered with the S.C. Department of Agriculture to launch a monthly farmer's market on its campus. The Healthy Carolina Farmer's Market is intended for students, faculty, and staff, but is also open to the public. The market features fresh, local produce and natural products by South Carolina farmers. In addition, university staff will offer nutrition information, recipes for seasonal produce and other materials to encourage healthy living.
North Carolina State U to Host Renewable Energy Research Center
North Carolina State University has announced that it will host the National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center for Future Renewable Electric Energy Delivery and Management (FREEDM) Systems. The center will be supported by an initial five-year, $18.5 million grant from NSF with an additional $10 million in institutional support and industry membership fees. The new center will develop technology that transforms the nation's centralized power grid into an alternative-energy-friendly "smart grid"
DOE Awards 6 Higher Ed Biofuels Projects
The U.S. Department of Energy has selected six advanced biofuels projects in which it plans to invest up to $4.4 million, subject to annual appropriations. These awards to U.S. institutions of higher education will support research and development for cost-effective, environmentally friendly biomass conversion technologies for turning non-food feedstocks into advanced biofuels. Combined with the minimum university cost share of 20 percent, more than $5.7 million is slated for investment in these six projects. The institutions selected include the University of Toledo (OH); Stevens Institute of Technology (NJ); Montana State University; University of Georgia; University of Maine; and Georgia Tech Research Corp. By engaging these partners, the DOE is working to meet the Renewable Fuel Standard mandated by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which has a requirement of producing at least 36 billion gallons of U.S. renewable fuels by 2022.