Sustainability Culture Survey
A doctoral candidate at the Florida Institute of Technology is conducting a research study on strategic organizational sustainability. The study is an organizational culture questionnaire gauging the level of perceived integration of triple bottom line (economic, social, and environmental) sustainability practices within organizations. All answers will be kept confidential and only people involved in this study will have access to the material.
University Climate Change Coalition Releases Strategic Plan
Moving into the third year since its launch, the UC3 (University Climate Change Coalition) recently released a five-year strategic plan, representing an updated vision and trajectory for the coalition. The plan lays out three goals, each related to a sphere of influence–campus, community and global.
UN SDG Action Awards
The U.N. SDG Action Awards aim to highlight projects that scale up, broaden and sustain the global movement of action for the Sustainable Development Goals. Applications are due by May 25.
U Washington Releases Sustainability Strategy
The new plan, which spans five years and all three UW campuses, includes five guiding principles and 10 measurable targets, along with annual actions to reach those targets. The targets cover operations, student experience, academic research and equity.
U Chicago to Launch Green Fund
Starting in autumn 2020, the university will open a $50,000 pool of grant money known as the Green Fund for student-led research and projects to improve campus sustainability. Undergraduate and graduate students will be able to apply for funding by submitting project proposals to a review board. The board will be composed of student, faculty and staff representatives.
U Wisconsin Oshkosh Opens Food Pantry
A McNair Scholar at the university successfully organized and opened a campus food pantry in mid-February after delving into research focused on food insecurity and students of color.
U Chicago Sets More Ambitious GHG Reduction Date
The university recently announced a new goal of a 50 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. The previous goal was 20 percent by 2025. To meet the new GHG emissions goal, the university will focus on increasing the purchase of electricity generated from renewable sources, making new and existing buildings more energy efficient, increasing the university’s landfill diversion rate, and reducing fleet vehicle gasoline use.
U Buffalo Releases 2030 Climate Action Plan
The university's new plan, called the “10 in 10”, is a road map of 10 strategies that will guide the university’s climate mitigation efforts over the next decade. The 10 initiatives form a framework for implementation efforts, with each of the 10 categories corresponding to a working group that will advance action within the area.
U New Mexico to Install Solar Array on Library
A joint effort between the Associated Students of UNM and UNM’s Facilities Management has resulted in approval of a $400,000 solar array to be built atop the university's Zimmerman Library. With an estimated peak output of 429 kilowatts, the solar array is expected to meet the electricity needs of the library. Any surplus electricity will be fed onto the grid. The university is expected to save $25,000 per year in avoided costs for electricity.
Soliciting Feedback on Recommendations for Improving Commuting Data Collection
Second Nature and the University of New Hampshire Sustainability Institute have co-facilitated a working group of sustainability professionals representing ten different higher education institutions. The purpose of the group is to improve data collection and reporting related to commuting impacts in higher education, identify opportunities for standardization across inventory tools (SIMAP) and reporting platforms (e.g., Second Nature, AASHE STARS), and to ultimately improve the comparability and accuracy of greenhouse gas inventories. The working group has produced recommendations and tools and is seeking feedback.
California State U Northridge Launches Victory Garden Program
The university's Institute for Sustainability recently launched a Seeds of Victory campaign to encourage people to grow their own food. To support people in this endeavor, the institute will provide free vegetable and herb seeds to the campus community and offer online workshops with expert gardeners to teach people how to grow their own food.
AASHE Sustainability Awards Call for Submissions
Applications and nominations for a 2020 AASHE Sustainability Award are due May 15. There will be 11 award winners selected from across four categories recognizing individuals and initiatives that are advancing sustainability in higher education. The suite of prizes includes a complimentary pass to AASHE's annual conference.
Wasted Food Solutions Toolbox
The toolbox, created by the Center for EcoTechnology, provides resources that aim to reduce and divert food waste, from source reduction, source separation, and food donation guidelines to understanding organics waste bans and providing hauler contracting guidance.
U Iowa Becomes Fair Trade University
The university has been named an official Fair Trade University upon the passing of a student-led resolution that calls for a university commitment to procure and sell fair trade items. The university will now offer fair trade products in residence halls, convenience stores and catered events sponsored by the university.
COV-AID Student Engagement Award
The COV-AID (Communities of Virtual Alliance & Inter-Dependence) Student Engagement Award is a pilot grant program to respond to the unfolding global pandemic caused by the new coronavirus. The award will publicly recognize and support undergraduate students who are currently engaged in their local communities in ways that contribute to more equal and more inclusive societies. There will be 10 awardees selected to receive $2,500 each. Applications are due June 1.
THE Releases 2020 University Impact Rankings
The Times Higher Education University Impact Rankings assess universities against the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals. The 2020 ranking includes 766 universities from 85 nations/regions.
U Alabama Birmingham to Certify 110 Laboratories
An ongoing effort at the university seeks to have over 110 laboratories My Green Lab certified by the end of 2020. The My Green Lab certification serves as a sustainability benchmark for laboratories addressing best practices in energy use, water use, chemical use, waste generation and procurement.
Ohio State U Releases Climate Action Plan
The university's new Climate Action Plan outlines a 55 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 through improving building efficiency, diversifying sources of energy and addressing transportation-related emissions.
Bronx CC Installs EV Charger
The newly installed electric vehicle (EV) charger is available to the campus community for free. The unit did not require any on-site construction, as it is designed to be a stand-alone unit sitting on top of the parking surface.
Oxford U Bans Fossil Fuel Investments
The university recently passed a motion requiring its endowment fund be divested from all direct investments in fossil fuel companies, and end future investment in funds that primarily hold stock in fossil fuel companies. The motion further requires endowment managers to request evidence of plans to achieve net-zero carbon dioxide emissions from companies across Oxford’s entire portfolio of investments.
Cornell U Connects 18 MW Solar Farm
In mid-January, the university flipped the switch on its largest solar project, totaling 18-megawatts. The new solar farm will generate approximately 20 percent of Cornell’s electricity use.
U Illinois Chicago Contributes 5,000 Masks
As part of a new partnership between the UIC College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts (CADA) and the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, costume fabricators are making COVID-19 patient masks. This partnership already has resulted in the manufacture of 5,000 facemasks, which were delivered to the University of Illinois Hospital in early April.
Emory U Water Reclamation Project Surpasses 300M Gallons
Since April 2015, Emory’s WaterHub has reclaimed and recycled more than 300 million gallons of campus wastewater for use in Emory’s steam plant and three campus chiller plants, as well as select residence hall toilets. It provides more than 40 percent of the university's total campus water needs.
American U Eliminates Fossil Fuel Investments
While the university has had no direct investments in fossil fuel funds for several years, in a series of transactions over the last few months, the board of trustees eliminated the remaining $12.9 million of fossil fuel exposure within the public endowment portfolio. This action was executed through the sale of $350 million in commingled and index funds, with the proceeds reinvested in investments that do not include any fossil fuel holdings.