Arizona State U Achieves Carbon Neutrality
The university has recently achieved net zero greenhouse gas emissions from campus operations, six years earlier than its commitment of 2025. Increased energy efficiency in both new buildings and campus retrofits; on-site solar generation; renewable energy purchases from large-scale, off-site generation facilities; and purchase of carbon offsets and renewable energy were deployed. The carbon neutrality commitment date for emissions related to commuting and air travel is 2035.
U Nebraska to Offer Free Tuition
In an effort to make higher education more accessible, the university is launching a program that guarantees a tuition-free education for all Nebraska students with family incomes of $60,000 or less. The program begins in fall 2020.
Brandeis U Kitchens Make Meals for Healthcare Workers
Meals for doctors, nurses and administrative staff at five Boston-area hospitals are now being prepared in Brandeis University kitchens. Sodexo runs the kitchens and has hired additional staff — including some students who are still on campus — to prepare meals for hospital workers. Brandeis kitchens recently prepared and sent 2,200 meals to area hospitals.
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. Winners receive a complimentary pass to AASHE's annual conference, a plaque from Rivanna Natural Designs, and an opportunity to present a session at the 2020 conference and a 2021 webinar.
Environmental Justice Toolkit
The toolkit defines environmental justice, features various university, community and international case studies, and includes specific action items that people can take to advocate for and promote environmental justice. The toolkit was collaboratively developed by University of Connecticut professors and students, local community organizers, and national advocates at the United Nations Association of the USA.
Call for Nominations: Ideas Worth Teaching Awards
An initiative of the Aspen Institute Business and Society Program, the Ideas Worth Teaching Awards highlight teaching that prepares students with the content, skills and mindset to respond to the complexity and rapidly changing issues embedded in our economic and social systems. This year’s awards will focus on individual courses and recognize educators creating movement and change in business education. The deadline to nominate a course is May 8.
Interactive Online Poetry Project Honoring Earth Day
Earth Stanzas is an interactive poetry project in honor of Earth Day to which anyone can contribute. Hosted by The Center for Earth Ethics at Union Theological Seminar and the Wick Poetry Center at Kent State University, Earth Stanzas draws on the inspiration of eight poets who engage the beauty, depth and interconnectedness of the Earth.
U California Berkeley to Eliminate Single-Use Plastics
The university recently adopted a single-use elimination policy that seeks to eliminate all non-essential single-use plastic, both non-recyclable and recyclable, by 2030. The ban focuses on food-ware and plastic bags, and addresses the spectrum of products and packaging used in campus academics, research, administration and events.
Dickinson College Sustainability Expert Featured in People Magazine
Neil Leary, director of the college's Center for Sustainability Education, contributed three tips in People magazine's Earth Day anniversary issue featuring "50 things you should know and do to help the planet." Leary discusses the importance of keeping a refrigerator stocked, ditching the mini fridge, and composting.
U Illinois Chicago Leads Working Group to Protect Monarch Butterflies
A partnership between the university and 45 energy and transportation agencies resulted in the release of a formal agreement from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that seeks to protect monarch butterflies. Using the agreement, public and private property owners and land managers can voluntarily adopt conservation measures that are beneficial to the monarch, which is currently being considered for listing under the Endangered Species Act. The development of the agreement was undertaken by the university's Rights-of-Way as Habitat Working Group and facilitated by the UIC Energy Resources Center, in collaboration with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
New York U Helps Feed Food Insecure
In an effort to combat increased food insecurity caused by the pandemic, NYU Dining Services and Chartwells Higher Education dining donated nearly 1,300 pounds of food in early April to a New York City food rescue organization.
Raritan Valley CC Creates 3D-Printed Face Shields
The college’s Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering programs and the Arts & Design Department have teamed up with a local vocational school to create 3D-printed face-shields for area hospitals. Approximately 30 shields per day are being created.
Allegheny College Becomes Carbon Neutral
Allegheny set a goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2020 as part of a climate action plan adopted by the college’s board of trustees in 2010. Three key efforts contributed to the college’s achievement of this goal: reducing emissions through implementing efficiency measures; decarbonizing energy sources by shifting from fossil fuel to renewable energy; and offsetting emissions through projects that offset or remove carbon.
ISCN Announces 2020 Sustainable Campus Award Winners
The International Sustainable Campus Network's 2020 Sustainable Campus Excellence award winners are Chalmers University of Technology and KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden) in the whole system approach category; LUT University (Finland) in the Partnerships for Progress category; and Thammasat University (Thailand) in the Cultural Change for Sustainability category. McGill University was recognized with an honorary member award. The International Sustainable Campus Excellence Awards recognize sustainable campus projects that demonstrate leadership, creativity, effectiveness and outstanding performance.
Five University Hospitals Receive Tree Campus Designation
The Medical University of South Carolina, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, University of Alabama at Birmington Hospital, and University of Kentucky Healthcare earned the new designation by demonstrating a commitment to improving community wellness through tree planting, education and community engagement. This is demonstrated by distributing free trees to community members and using trees to create therapeutic landscapes on campus.
U Pittsburgh Launches 'Sustaining Sustainability' Podcast
Produced by the university's Center for Sustainable Business, the new podcast series Sustaining Sustainability explores sustainability lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic. Various societal challenges magnified by the COVID-19 crisis are explored weekly through 10-minute interviews.
U Pennsylvania Signs 220 MW Solar PPA
Consisting of two contracts, the agreement will result in two new solar energy facilities with combined capacity of 220 megawatts, which will produce an estimated 450,000 megawatt-hours of electricity annually. The purchased electricity will be equal to approximately 75 percent of the total electricity demand of the academic campus and Penn Medicine, the University of Pennsylvania Health System.
U California Santa Cruz Formalizes Land Acknowledgement
The recently released land acknowledgement was developed in partnership with the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band Chairman and the Amah Mutsun Relearning Program. University community members are encouraged to read the land acknowledgement at the beginning of gatherings and events.
Earth Day at 50: Teach-Outs
To honor the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, the University of Michigan has organized a Teach-Out, an intergenerational and interdisciplinary conversation about what sustainability means across different sectors, disciplines and lived experiences. Participants will explore themes related to global sustainability efforts, climate change and environmental justice. The Teach-Out is available for free from April 6-30.
NWF EcoLeaders Equity & Justice Graduate Student Research Fellowship
The NWF EcoLeaders Equity and Justice Fellow will support the growth and development of EcoLeaders and EcoCareers programs based on research of best practices in the field, stakeholder engagement, and the development of a proposal for strategies moving forward. Fellows receive a $3,000 stipend. The fellowship begins in May and lasts for about 4-6 months. The deadline to submit is April 20.
Open Society University Network Launches COV-AID
The Open Society University Network, in partnership with the Talloires Network, recently announced the launch of COV-AID: Communities of Virtual Alliance & Inter-Dependence, to support universities engaged in the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic. COV-AID seeks to collect and share stories of institutions and individuals who are taking action to mitigate the crisis, document practical steps and strategies that may be of use elsewhere, provide uplifting content, and strengthen public support for engaged universities.
Community Colleges Retool to Make PPE
A growing number of community colleges are now manufacturing personal protective equipment (PPE) to help with the shortage among hospitals due to a surge of patients infected with the novel coronavirus. Ashland Community and Technical College is using its 3D printers to make face shields and respirators masks. Metropolitan Community College has a goal to make 2,000 face shields. Patrick Henry Community College announced a prototype face shield and is making arrangements to mass produce them using its large 3D printers. Pellissippi State Community College is manufacturing face shield headbands. Red Rocks Community College is producing parts to make one ventilator serve two patients.