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.
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
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Oberlin College Announces New Financial Aid Initiative
Oberlin College (OH) recently announced the Oberlin Access Initiative, which promises to eliminate the annual loan requirements for those members of the incoming class of 2012 who are eligible to receive federally funded Pell Grants. In addition, the new policy will extend to all current, Pell-eligible students returning to Oberlin next fall.
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.
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.
People, Ecology & Development Study Abroad Program, Thailand
The International Sustainable Development Studies Institute is now accepting applications for its Spring 2009 People, Ecology and Development study abroad program in Thailand. The program focuses on the links between culture, ecology and sustainability through the experiential study of specific communities and ecosystems. ISDSI Expedition Field Courses are upper division courses which require living cross-culturally and traveling in remote areas--villages, islands, rivers and mountains; while traveling by foot, sea kayak or canoe. Students earn a semester of academic credit while on the program. The Spring semester includes the intensive study of Thai, as well as studies of rivers, human rights and the environment; islands, reefs and mangrove ecosystems; and ethnic peoples and forests. The deadline for applications is October 10, 2008.
The Summer of Solutions Program for Students
Grand Aspirations is inviting youth across the nation to attend The Summer of Solutions, an experiential training and community organizing program run by college students who are pioneering systemic and transformative solutions to global warming. This summer, the program will apply the vision of a renewable energy society and a just and sustainable economy in ways that will give students the tools to generate concrete and sweeping changes in their communities nationwide. The Summer of Solutions will take place June 1 – August 1, 2008 in St. Paul, MN. Applications are due April 1, 15, and 29, 2008.
U Buffalo Dining Begins Local Food Program
University at Buffalo (NY) Campus Dining and Shops recently began the new Local Food Program, which aims to bring more locally produced food products on campus. The new program will offer local produce, syrups, sauces, cheese, honey, meats, pasta and baked goods, and is a result of a partnership with Pride of New York.
Ohio State U Adopts New Recycled Paper Policy
Ohio State University recently adopted a new policy that increases the use of recycled content paper on campus. The new policy aims to ensure that copy paper used on campus contains at least 30 percent recycled materials. Officials say that the new initiative will help the university protect more than 8,000 trees and save enough energy to power 62 homes.
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.
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.
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.
AASHE Staff Blog about the Smart & Sustainable Campuses Conf.
The 2008 Smart and Sustainable Campuses Conference was held last week at the University of Maryland. AASHE staff members were on hand to blog about the majority of the sessions. Topics include campus sustainability rating systems, why your campus needs an office of sustainability, channeling student power, vision planning for campus sustainability and more. The Chronicle of Higher Ed and the National Wildlife Federation also blogged about the conference.
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.
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.
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 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.
AASHE Sustainability Leadership Awards
AASHE is now accepting applications for its 2008 Sustainability Leadership Awards, to be presented in November at AASHE 2008: Working Together for Sustainability – On Campus and Beyond. Four Campus Sustainability Leadership Awards and one Student Sustainability Leadership Award will be presented. The Campus Sustainability Achievement Award recognizes the institutions that have made the greatest overall commitment to sustainability as demonstrated in their governance, curriculum and research, operations, campus culture, and community outreach. The AASHE Student Sustainability Achievement Award honors an undergraduate student from an AASHE member institution who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in promoting campus sustainability. Applications for both awards are due August 1, 2008.
Willamette U Housing to be Gender Neutral
Willamette University (OR) recently announced that, starting in the fall of 2008, it will offer gender neutral housing that will allow men and women to room together. The initiative is designed to meet the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered students who may not be comfortable sharing a room with someone of the same sex. Participation will be voluntary and students outside of the LGBT community will be permitted to participate. Parents will not be informed when a student chooses to live in gender neutral housing. The pilot program is not intended for romantically involved straight or gay couples; the University retains the right to deny requests from couples.
U Manitoba to Refurbish Historic Buildings
The University of Manitoba recently announced that 13 facilities and departments will be refurbished instead of building a new campus. Project Domino, starting this summer, will restore several historic buildings over a five-year period and plans to build only one new building, the Centre for Music, Art and Design.
U Florida Annual Report Features Sustainability
The University of Florida recently published its Annual Report. In addition to the audited financial statements for the University, this year's report incorporates UF's progress towards becoming a more sustainable university.
Harvard Med., Claremont McKenna & Lafayette Expand Financial Aid
Harvard University (MA) Medical School recently announced that it will reduce the cost of a four year medical education by up to $50,000 for families with incomes of $120,000 or less. The new plan will eliminate before-tax retirement savings from the family income calculation. Likewise, Claremont McKenna College (CA) has announced that it will eliminate student loans from financial aid packages for all current and entering students effective fall 2008. The student loans will be replaced by grants. Lafayette College (PA) also recently announced that, starting in the fall of 2008, it will eliminate loans in need-based financial aid packages awarded to students from families with incomes of $50,000 or less and whose financial assets are typical of families with this annual income level. Beginning in the fall of 2009, Lafayette will limit loans to $2,500 per year for need-based financial-aid packages awarded to students from families whose incomes are between $50,000 and $100,000 and whose financial assets are typical of families with this annual income level. The new policy will apply to both new and returning Lafayette students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
San Diego State U Launches Green Building Construction Online Certif.
San Diego State University's (CA) College of Extended Studies recently announced a new online certificate program for Green Building Construction that will enable experienced, new, and potential construction industry personnel to learn about green, sustainable construction and design. Students who enroll in SDSU’s Professional Certificate in Green Building Construction online program will learn about environmentally sustainable construction management, learn how to combine environmental concerns with career knowledge, and expand their existing knowledge base to assist in preparation for the USGBC LEED accreditation exam. The program has been created for design professionals, contractors, sub-contractors, builders, planners, commissioners, facilities managers and stakeholders, and environmental engineers. The program begins in early April.