Portland State U Buildings Receive LEED O+M Certification
In just over two years, four university buildings were certified under LEED for Building Operations and Maintenance. Two were certified Silver while two were certified Gold. The Campus Sustainability Office oversaw the certification process, including coordinating the performance periods with partners in Facilities & Property Management.
U Pittsburgh Students Install Bee Houses
A team of undergraduates, called Bee Friendly Pitt, has installed seven bee houses near plantings and pollinator gardens throughout the Pittsburgh campus. Bee Friendly Pitt was conceived during the spring term as part of an environmental studies program sustainability course, which focuses on developing impactful sustainability projects on campus and in the community.
Education Dept Announces 2019 Green Ribbon Schools
The U.S. Department of Education recently named the 2019 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools, District Sustainability Awardees, and Postsecondary Sustainability Awardees. Across the U.S., there are 35 schools including 25 public schools, 3 magnet schools, 2 charter schools, 10 non-public schools, and four postsecondary institutions that are recognized. These honorees employ innovative practices and policies to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, improve health and wellness, and ensure effective sustainability education.
Center for Technical and Higher Education to Install 1.2 MW of Solar
(Mexico) The university recently announced plans to install two solar photovoltaic systems of 1.2 megawatts in total at its Mexicali and Tijuana campuses. The 2,873 panels in Mexicali will generate enough power to cover around 50 percent of the campus’ electricity needs. The campus in Tijuana, where the installation already began, will have a total of 226 panels on its premises.
U Alabama Birmingham Launches Staff Sustainability Program
More than 70 employees are now a part of the university's new Sustainability Ambassadors program. The ambassadors create a network among buildings to promote sustainable actions to their colleagues and help implement educational programming tailored to the needs of the units they serve. Ambassadors serve a one year term.
U Iowa Connects Scientists With Community
The university's Office of Sustainability launched the Sustainability Scientists and Scholars database at the start of the summer to help connect researchers and professors with each other and the local community. The database currently holds 42 different profiles for all faculty levels, scientists, research staff, research administration and graduate students. It hosts over 200 topics and fields ranging from water quality to geological processes, economics, and climate change.
Udall Foundation Announces 2019 Udall Scholars
The Udall Foundation recently announced that 55 students from 50 colleges and universities have been selected as 2019 Udall Scholars. A 14-member independent review committee selected this year's group of Udall Scholars on the basis of commitment to careers in the environment, Native health care, or Tribal public policy; leadership potential; record of public service; and academic achievement. Thirty-eight scholars intend to pursue careers related to the environment. Each scholarship provides up to $7,000 for the scholar’s junior or senior year.
Duke U Launches Program to Make Engineering School More Sustainable
Called GREENgineering, the new community-wide initiative is focused on high-impact and achievable projects related to improving sustainability awareness, increasing recycling, and reducing waste and energy use. Initial projects include switching to vending machines that dispense only aluminum cans; working with facilities to install more bottle-filing water coolers; and creating an online guide for staff members on planning sustainable events and compiling a list of sustainable event vendors.
AASHE Member Discount: Free Year of Syllabi
AASHE members get a free year of Syllabi as part of the #GreenSyllabusChallenge. Syllabi is a digital, syllabus-based student planner that aggregates all course curriculum and due dates to the calendars of your choice. This discount expires on Dec. 31, 2019.
AASHE 2019 Workshop: Research for Sustainability: Investigating Mass Timber as Green Alternative
The full-day pre-conference workshop on research for sustainability will evaluate the use of mass timber in the construction industry from a sustainability perspective. This event aims to bring leading scholars and researchers together with architects and engineers to introduce the audience to the latest developments in timber research and to discuss new wood products, processes and concepts and their potential as competitors to concrete or steel. Attendees will also examine the environmental benefits of this renewable material and compare it to conventional construction materials in terms of life cycle environmental impact life cycle cost.
Emory U Names Chief Diversity Officer
The university has named Carol E. Henderson vice provost for diversity and inclusion, chief diversity officer and advisor to the president. Henderson will join Emory from the University of Delaware, where she is currently still serving as vice provost for diversity. Henderson will partner with the campus community to re-imagine and strengthen comprehensive diversity, equity and inclusion efforts at the university and create mechanisms for communicating the institution’s commitment to these principles and practices. She will assume her new role at Emory on August 1.
Pennsylvania State U Initiates Drawdown Scholars Program
Fifty-five undergraduate students from across the U.S. have arrived at Penn State to take part in the first-ever Drawdown Scholars Research Experience for Undergraduates Program. Dubbed Drawdown Scholars, the students will spend eight weeks embedded in research programs across the university, with the aim of investigating positive solutions-oriented paths to take action on climate change. The scholars are paired with faculty mentors and together will model the solutions, investigate their feasibility, and develop an outreach curriculum to educate others.
CaGBC Announces 2019 Green Building Award Winners
The Canada Green Building Council announced at the recent Building Lasting Change conference in Vancouver the 2019 winners of its Leadership and Green Building Excellence Awards. Cheryl Fryers, professor at Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, won the Inspired Educator Award, and Western University’s engineering building in London, Ontario, won the New Construction Award.
U Denver to Install Approximately 2 MW of Solar
Beginning this summer, the university will install roughly 2 megawatts of solar electricity across 18 DU buildings, including two new buildings opening in 2020. The panels will account for an estimated 7-8 percent of DU’s energy consumption.
Indiana U Bloomington Initiates Resilience Cohort Program
This summer as part of the Indiana Sustainability Development Program, eight students in the first Resilience Cohort will be hosted by cities, towns and counties to complete greenhouse gas inventories, which will provide data on topics such as the amount of energy consumed, the diversity of the energy supplied to their grid, and residents' vehicle types and fuel usages. The result of a new partnership with the Environmental Resilience Institute, the Resilience Cohort is a new project under Sustain IU's extern program, supported by the McKinney Family Foundation.
U Kentucky Releases Interactive Materials Resource Map
A student helped the university's recycling department develop and publish an interactive resource map, which includes all the local thrift, repair and resell stores, as well as all the donation and recycling centers. This map is designed to serve as a one-stop resource for students, faculty, and staff looking to curb their wasteful habits and to do more than just recycle.
Appalachian State U Donates Toward Solar Energy for Local Nonprofit
With help of a $13,500 grant from the university, a photovoltaic system was recently installed on the barn of a local nonprofit that rescues horses. The newly installed solar panels will help power the barn’s lights, fans and heated rooms, and the farm’s approximately 2 acres of fencing.
U Arkansas Receives Acclaim for Homeless Housing Project
The university's Community Design Center and its collaborators were recently recognized by three awards programs for a homeless transition village project. The project, which seeks to provide cost-effective housing for low-income and extreme low-income populations and codify best practices, received accolades from the 2019 Green GOOD DESIGN by The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies and The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design; the 2019 Great Places Award in the Place Planning category from the Environmental Design Research Association; and the PLAN Awards 2019, an international design awards program sponsored by The Plan magazine.
Emory U Hospital Tower Earn LEED Silver
The building features low-flow indoor water fixtures and energy-efficient exterior glazing systems, and is a lead- and mercury-free facility. A special focus was put on indoor environmental quality for improved occupant health and well-being. Over 95 percent of the construction waste was recycled.
U Buffalo Library Earns LEED Silver
The renovation of the 24-hour library included using locally-produced or recycled building materials, reusing materials, such as light fixtures, and the installation of an air station to monitor fresh air intake and improve air quality.
Climate Champions Podcast
Launched in summer 2019 by the Sport Ecology Group, the first season of the Climate Champions Podcast is an 11-episode limited series featuring conversations about climate change, zero waste, carbon neutrality, energy conservation, climate adaptation, disaster recovery, ocean plastics and more. Dave Newport, director of the Environmental Center at CU Boulder and Monica Rowand, sustainability manager at University of Louisiana at Lafayette both provide an interview on the podcast.
G7 President Launches U7 Alliance
The Group of Seven (G7), seven nations that represent the world's most advanced economies, this year led by the President Emmanuel Macron of France, recently announced the formation of the U7 Alliance. The U7 Alliance is an international alliance of university presidents who will engage both in discussion and in concrete action to address the most pressing global challenges in its first global summit in Paris on July 9 - 10, 2019. This inaugural summit, being attended by 46 university presidents, will tackle five major global challenges: the key role of universities in a global world, climate change and cleaner energy, inequality and polarized societies, technological transformations, and community engagement and impact.
AASHE 2019 Scholarships
Individuals from an AASHE member institution in good standing that are in need of financial assistance to attend the AASHE Conference and Expo can apply for a scholarship between now and June 28. Scholarship recipients will receive up to the cost of a full conference registration (valued at $250 for students and $575 for regular attendees).
AASHE Refocus Workshop: Leading Deeper Change in Higher Education
This leadership development program is designed to enable practitioners to generate deeper organizational change and establish sustainability as a strategic priority. Hosted by the University of Illinois at Chicago from Aug. 8-9, the workshop aims to highlight a very broad set of topics and disciplines relevant to leading a transformational sustainability program and help attendees apply the material. The deadline to apply is June 29.
Carleton College to Install Ground Source HVAC
By 2021, the college will have switched its east and west sides of campus from steam to hot water with the aid of geothermal bore fields. The geothermal transformation across campus will reduce Carleton’s energy use by 40 percent and its emissions by 15 percent compared to the current steam plant operation.
Internal Carbon Pricing in Higher Education Toolkit
This toolkit provides recommendations, examples and tools to guide schools through the process of exploring, designing and implementing a carbon price on campus. The toolkit is a product of the Carbon Pricing in Higher Education Working Group, a group founded by Yale University, Swarthmore College, the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition and Second Nature.
Academic Bicycle Challenge
The Academic Bicycle Challenge is for college and university staff, faculty and students to track their cycled miles for a chance to appear on one of eight different leaderboard types. The competition will reveal a global comparison of cycling activities between universities, academic disciplines, self-generated teams and individuals.