AASHE 2015 Annual Report
The newly released report includes AASHE's recently approved strategic goals (2016-17), a STARS year-in-review, education and professional development offerings, a snapshot of AASHE 2015 Conference & Expo and new initiatives in member engagement including the first-ever member elected board positions. In 2015, AASHE divested its 401(k) staff plan from fossil fuels. View the full report to learn about how AASHE supports institutions, organizations and businesses leading the sustainability transformation.
Checklist of Ways Campus Housing Directors Can Improve Campus Sustainability
Published by Academic Impressions and compiled by John Yaun, executive director of the Office of Housing and Residential Life at California State University, San Bernardino, the checklist supports campus housing directors' unique position to work with students, faculty and staff to improve sustainability in construction, education, student leadership, purchasing and waste minimization.
STARS 2.1 Technical Manual
In anticipation of the launch of the new version of STARS, the STARS 2.1 Technical Manual has been published. Although STARS 2.1 will not be available in the online Reporting Tool until later this spring, advance publication of the manual and supporting documents will give participants the opportunity to become acquainted with the new version before it goes live. This resource also includes a summary of substantive changes, tracked changes and the new Exemplary Practice credit catalog.
Campus Divestment Campaign Guide
The guide from Fossil Free USA offers tips and tools needed to run a campus fossil fuel divestment campaign, including information about building a team, developing a campaign strategy, training and taking action.
ISCN Report: Demonstrating Sustainable Development in Higher Education
At the World Economic Forum, the International Sustainable Campus Network (ISCN), in collaboration with the Global University Leader Forum (GULF), shared exemplary campus sustainability case studies provided by the world’s leading universities. The report is focused on developing skills and building capacities of our future leaders, collaborating to catalyze change and innovating for efficient built environments.
Meal Exchange Campus Garden Network
The Meal Exchange Campus Garden Network is a platform to foster connections and resources for students across Canada and advocate on behalf of an alternative food system that is growing across the country. The Campus Garden Network offers online and social media support, a shared list of resources and volunteer opportunities.
U New Hampshire 2015 The State of Sustainability in Higher Education Report
The new report, 2015 The State of Sustainability in Higher Education, out of the University of New Hampshire is based on a study of a collective 1.5 billion-square-feet of campus facilities operated by 343 colleges and universities spread out across 44 states. The nationally representative sample consisted of both public (60 percent) and private (40 percent) institutions. The report found that emissions per-square-foot declined by 13 percent between 2007 and 2014, and energy usage per-square-foot was down just two percent over the identical eight-year period. The emissions decline is the result of campuses switching from coal and oil to natural gas.
Professional Development of University Educators on Education for Sustainable Development in European Countries
The new Leading Practice Publication is the result of nearly two years of work on the European project University Educators for Sustainable Development (UE4SD). The project coalesces the knowledge and experience of 53 partners from 33 countries active in the area of education for sustainable development (ESD) at European higher education institutions. The publication includes key findings and experiences gained during the two-year project. The aim of this book is to provide an overview of the best practice examples of professional development opportunities for European university educators in the area of ESD and to inspire the reader to engage in supporting further developments in this field.
Carbon Challenge Handbook for Universities and Hospitals
The NYC Carbon Challenge Handbook for Universities and Hospitals is a reference manual that aggregates the best practices that participants have used to achieve significant GHG reductions in their buildings. The handbook highlights 15 success stories of Challenge participants through case studies and identifies potential pathways to achieve deeper reductions. The handbook caters to universities and hospitals, but it also serves as a tool for any individual who plays a role in elevating conversations and accelerating action on energy efficiency and sustainability within an organization.
New Report: A Plan to Prepare Community College Students for Careers in the Clean Economy
The new report, Greenprint: A Plan to Prepare Community College Students for Careers in the Clean Economy, releases a set of examples and policy recommendations for giving community colleges the capacity needed to develop a workforce skilled in sustainability. Released by Jobs for the Future and National Wildlife Federation, the report begins to address the challenge of linking environmental quality and workforce development. Highlights include a call to key stakeholder groups to work with education institutions to increase programs and employment opportunities for a workforce with sustainability skills, a review of federal and state policy vehicles that can provide clearer and more direct support of sustainability skills and knowledge, and how student organizations can play a role in supporting the nation’s transition to a greener workforce.
Private Prison Divestment: A Toolkit for Campus Organizers
This toolkit provides a step-by-step guide on how to organize a divestment campaign on campus. With a primer on the reasons to divest from private prison companies, the toolkit features a case study from a historic divestment victory at Columbia University.
Low Carbon IT Campaign
Offered by Energy Star, the Low Carbon IT Campaign is a nationwide effort to assist and recognize organizations for reducing the energy consumed by their information technology equipment. With six suggested ways to reduce the IT energy costs at your organization, the EPA will recognize institutions that implement two of them, putting computers to sleep and benchmarking data centers. Free phone and email consultations are available to answer questions.
JSTOR Sustainability: Digitally Archived Sustainability Research
Currently in beta, the new website is the product of JSTOR and DataLab’s collaborative effort to help scholars in interdisciplinary fields understand and navigate literature outside of their core areas of expertise. By using advanced metrics, the site generates topic pages on key subjects in sustainability studies such as environmental law and applied ecology. These topic pages include a brief subject overview, lists of the top journals and authors in the field, background reading recommendations, and unique features such as an interactive timeline of articles that have been most influential for a topic.
Hungry to Learn: Addressing Food & Housing Insecurity Among Undergraduates
According to a new survey of more than 4,000 undergraduates at 10 community colleges across the nation, one-half of community college students are struggling with food and/or housing insecurity. Fully 20 percent are hungry and 13 percent are homeless. These numbers indicate the need for a multi-pronged, comprehensive set of institutional, state and local policies to alleviate the barriers presented by poverty, so as to improve educational success. This resource from the Wisconsin Hope Lab, in collaboration with faculty from University of Wisconsin-Madison and University of Michigan, attempts to outline the issues and provide recommendations.
Water Footprint Calculator
The Water Footprint Calculator from GRACE Communications Foundation accounts for major water-using activities and behaviors. It uses data from water use survey results and national averages of water use for energy, shopping and food consumption.
Research Grant Opportunity: Research and Dissertation Fellows Program
This research and dissertation fellows program is a partnership between the Access Group Center for Research & Policy Analysis and the Association for Institutional Research. The program is a grant competition promoting scholarship on issues related to access, affordability and value of legal education specifically. Two levels of grants are available to support year-long research projects for recipients affiliated with a nonprofit U.S. postsecondary institution or relevant higher and legal education organization. The application deadline is Dec. 18.
New Issue: Environmental Education Research
The most recent issue of the Environmental Education Research offers articles about the language of classroom discourse as it relates to the effectiveness of affecting change, sustainability as a cross-curricular priority in the Australian curriculum, and influencing factors of strategic planning for sustainability at Spanish universities.
Agnes Scott College Case Study on Campus Solar Power Projects
Agnes Scott College and Southface Energy Institute released a case study on how the college became the first nonprofit institution to produce solar power through the Georgia Power Advanced Solar Initiative. Funded by the Turner Foundation, the case study offers insight into creative approaches for overcoming the diverse challenges of solar power projects.
The Field Guide to Teaching Sustainability
Penn State's Field Guide to Teaching Sustainability was designed for the university's faculty to identify pedagogical opportunities to integrate sustainability education. The resources can be searched by titles, type of classroom engagement, topics and disciplines. It also contains an annotated list of sustainability education resources, including articles and essays, journals from across disciplines, and sustainability education coalitions.
New Report Highlights Opportunities for Improvement in Support for Low-Income Students
A newly released report from the Institute of Higher Education Policy highlights selective colleges that do a good job enrolling and graduating low-income students and identifies institutions that could better support such students. The report also outlines ways institutions can improve access and attainment for underserved students, particularly Pell Grant recipients, who come from low-income backgrounds.
Canadian Alliance of College & University Sustainability Professionals Listserv
The Canadian Alliance of College & University Sustainability Professionals (CUSP) works to strengthen sustainability in higher education across Canada. The CUSP mailing list includes subscribers from higher institutions who are interested in sharing ideas that advance sustainability in the areas of teaching and research, education and outreach, and facilities and operations.
Student Travel Grants for Urban Food Systems Symposium
The Urban Food Systems Symposium happening June 22-25 at Kansas State University Olathe campus is offering at least six travel grants of $500 each to graduate and undergraduate students attending the conference. Students must have successfully submitted an abstract prior to applying for the grant. Deadline to submit an application for a travel grant is Nov. 24.
New Website: 'Going Green Begins in the Classroom'
This new website from tobecomeateacher.org provides an introduction on the importance of incorporating sustainability into schools and lists 15 strategies for doing so that include installing renewable energy, starting a recycling and/or composting program, focusing on indoor air quality, using natural cleaners, organizing carpools, and teaching the value of water conservation.
Transformative Dialogues Journal: Sustainability Education and Leadership
The new issue of Transformative Dialogues (Volume 8, Issue 2, September, 2015) is themed Sustainability in Post-secondary Education and Leadership. This international, peer-reviewed, open-source journal is a free resource. This issue's titles include: Sustainability in higher education teaches balance, critical thinking and transferable skllls; Sustainability education: three activities you can use or adapt to help educators; Teaching about consumption and sustainability; Beyond sustainability: A context for transformative curriculum development; and Sustainability-across-the-curriculum audit at George Brown College.
The State of Sustainability in Tertiary Education
A report on sustainability in tertiary education has recently been released by Environmental Association of Universities and College (EAUC), National Union of Students, University and College Union, and the College Development Network. The report is based on survey responses from 548 staff involved in sustainability in universities and colleges. The survey set out to identify how further and higher education institutions are responding to environmental sustainability and social responsibility challenges, as well as how staff perceive their institution’s efforts. The intention is to rerun the survey annually, producing an annual report that tracks perceptions and trends across tertiary education.
2015 Sustainable Campus Index
The 2015 Sustainable Campus Index highlights top-performing colleges and universities in 17 areas, as measured by the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS). The impact report spotlights best practices from over 50 U.S., Canadian and Mexican institutions that have submitted a STARS report in the last 12 months. Average trends in each impact area based on institution type and country are included. Participation in STARS surpassed 700 institutions in 2015, and annual reports submitted increased for a second year in a row. In January 2015, Universidad de Monterrey became the first institution outside the U.S. and Canada to earn a STARS rating. Submissions from Canadian institutions doubled in comparison to last year.
Survey of 25 Energy-Efficient Colleges and Universities
Electricchoice.com, owned by Eisenbach Consulting, LLC, recognized 25 colleges and universities, out of approximately 5,300 in the U.S., that engage in energy-efficient practices to conserve energy and lessen their environmental impact.
Inventorying Plug Load Equipment and Assessing Plug Load Reduction Solutions on a University Campus
A university campus presents a unique opportunity to understand plug load profiles across building types. In this study, an equipment inventory was performed in 220 buildings on Stanford University’s campus, totaling 8,901,911-square-feet of building space and encompassing lab buildings, office buildings, recreation facilities, public space and service buildings. Energy consumption estimates were developed from published values and used to evaluate the aggregate plug load energy consumption of this equipment by equipment type and by building type.
Free Project Tracking Tool for APPA Members
The Sustainable Endowments Institute is launching a new partnership with APPA that gives APPA members free access to the Green Revolving Investment Tracking System (GRITS). GRITS is a project-management web tool that allows users to track and analyze the energy, financial and carbon savings data from their energy and resource-efficiency projects, and access a library of over 1,150 projects completed by other GRITS users across the U.S. and Canada. While core features are available at no cost to institutions as part of this partnership, access to GRITS Unlimited, which allows users to input unlimited projects, create additional user accounts, and includes the ability to create comprehensive graphs from project data, will be available at a substantial discount if an institution decides to upgrade.
LEED Certification of Campus Buildings: A Cost-Benefit Approach
Written by Erin Hopkins and published in The Journal of Sustainable Real Estate, this article analyzes Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified buildings within the higher education sector. Findings focused on the upfront premium and down the line energy savings from 16 institutions. The net present value, internal rate of return and discounted payback period were calculated to determine the financial feasibility of LEED certification.
13th Annual Corporate Knights Better World MBA Ranking
The 2015 Corporate Knights Better World MBA Ranking includes the 100 schools from the 2015 Financial Times Global MBA Ranking and other business schools that were invited to participate due to their track record in business sustainability education. These schools were assessed on three indicators: curriculum, institutes and centers, and faculty research. Data for these three indicators was collected from publicly available sources. Outreach was conducted to each of those schools for verification and confirmation prior to completion of the ranking.
New Issue: Sustainable Business Magazine
The most recent issue of Sustainable Business Magazine, with an introduction from AASHE Executive Director Meghan Fay Zahniser, features the University of Ottawa discussing a new zero-waste dining hall, and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte highlights its sustainable building efforts.
'The Campus Wild' National Wildlife Federation Report
The new guide highlights how colleges and universities are playing a dynamic role protecting wildlife and restoring habitats in campus green spaces, including on-campus landscapes and natural areas, as well as distant campus-owned lands. It explores how such green places benefit the campus community through hands-on learning, energy and water conservation, and leadership opportunities.
College Value Online: Sustainable College-Operated Farms
College Value Online website sorted 30 college and university farm operations by student involvement, environmentally friendly methods, diversity of production, connection with college instruction, and farm sales targeting both the college and surrounding community.