U Oregon Introduces Sustainability Open Houses
The new Sustainability Open House meetings include brief presentations from pre-selected staff, faculty members and student groups, as well as time for casual networking to build collaborations between faculty and staff units. The quarterly meetings are hosted in partnership by the Environmental Studies Program, the Student Sustainability Center and the Office of Sustainability.
U Cincinnati Launches Environmental Literacy Certificate
The university's new certificate program in environmental literacy is administered by the Office of Sustainability. Through the co-curricular, self directed program, students are exposed to systems thinking, ecological principles, and fundamental sustainability competencies with the aim of enhancing a culture of sustainability.
MIT Constructs Garden Space
Designed as a garden that will be, in part, maintained by students, the new garden hosts nearly 40 varieties of plants to attract and support pollinators like bees, birds, butterflies, and moths. The Hive Garden also serves as a test bed for co-designing outdoor spaces to connect to, and learn from, nature in an urban setting.
League of American Bicyclists Recognizes Bicycle Friendly HEIs
The fall 2019 cohort in the Bicycle Friendly University program included 16 universities and colleges earning the award for the first time, 12 that earned upgraded awards, and 20 renewing institutions, plus four earning honorable mentions. Among those upgrading are three universities certified as Platinum for the first time–the University of California Irvine, the University of California Santa Barbara, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Yale U Releases Sustainability Pledge
Earlier this month, the Yale College Council, along with the Yale Student Environmental Coalition and the Office of Sustainability, released a pledge to encourage students to live in a more sustainable way. The pledge is the first of a monthly series of new commitments onto which students can sign.
Hope College Launches Reusable Cup Campaign
Through the new Cupanion Cup Initiative, students, faculty and staff can purchase a reusable cup for $5 and use the Fill it Forward app to track the impact of using the cup on waste, power and emissions.
Marymount Manhattan College Launches Social Justice Ambassadors Program
The new Social Justice Ambassador Program is a five-session program that invites participants from different backgrounds and experiences to come together to assess the ways societal structures perpetuate privilege and oppression through institutions and individuals. At the end of the program, ambassadors present in groups on what they have learned.
U Pittsburgh Staff Wins PLAN Award
Erika Ninos, sustainability program coordinator in the Office of PittServes, received this year's Supportive Staff Member Award from Post-Landfill Action Network (PLAN). This national award recognizes a staff member who has gone above and beyond in supporting students.
California State U Channel Islands Library Turns Fines to Food
The university's John Spoor Broome Library is now turning late fees into donations for the campus food pantry by offering $1 for every can or non-perishable, non-expired food or personal care item donated, up to $10. All items donated go to the campus' food and commodity pantry.
U Pittsburgh Launches 'Center for Sustainable Business'
Established with seed funding from The Heinz Endowments, the Center for Sustainable Business aims to engage global and regional companies in more effectively integrating environmental and societal concerns into their business models.
U Virginia Pilots Electric Cargo Bikes
In a year-long pilot program, the university is testing out the viability of electric bikes with a trailer for moving items such as tools and annual plants.
Ashoka U Launches 'Student Changemaker Stories Campaign'
The new campaign launched by Ashoka U aims to shift the narrative around what it means to be a changemaker and who can be one, on campus and beyond. It seeks to accomplish this by publishing weekly stories of individuals who have navigated breakthroughs, overcome challenges, and embraced dynamic experiences during their time as student changemakers.
Ten HEI Projects Receive $25K From Ford College Community Challenge
Projects at the following universities and colleges were recently selected to receive a Ford College Community Challenge grant of $25,000: Centenary University, College for Creative Studies, Eastern Michigan University, Harvard University, Michigan State University, Salt Lake Community College, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Michigan-Dearborn and Wayne State University (two projects selected). Each project will be led by students who will work with a nonprofit to address one of these categories: social mobility, smart mobility or building a sustainable community.
Acadia U Growing Greens Via Hydroponic System
The university recently partnered with its food service provider, Chartwells, to bring a hydroponic, vertical growing system housed inside a repurposed shipping container to campus. It will produce greens and microgreens year-round and employ students.
U Virginia Launches New Equity Center
The UVA Equity Center will foster partnerships between Charlottesville-area community leaders and university faculty in an effort to tangibly redress racial and socioeconomic inequality. The center hopes to change the way UVA scholars interact with members of the surrounding community, replacing the current model with one that is respectful, collaborative and beneficial to the communities.
U California Santa Cruz Creates Campus Living Lab Map
The new website is an interactive map that catalogs the full range of university living lab projects, with program descriptions, links to websites, and contact information for students and faculty to learn more and/or get involved. It is organized by six categories: agroecology; design and engineering; environmental education; environmental justice and sustainability; UCSC natural reserves; and stewardship and natural history.
U Wisconsin Milwaukee Uses 'Green Suits' to Raise Awareness
The university's Office of Sustainability worked with artists from the Green Suits initiative to bring a playful energy to the topic of climate change by dressing up in green suits and having their picture taken with campus projects that advance sustainability. The Green Suits initiative is a project of Inside the Greenhouse, a University of Colorado-Boulder program that uses theater, dance, filmmaking and writing to connect a wider audience to discussions of climate change.
Iowa State U Initiates Waste Reduction Changes
Working towards their zero waste by 2025 goal, the university recently began shredding cardboard for animal bedding at its farm rather than having it hauled to a recycling company. The reused cardboard will then be composted and used across campus. Beginning in fall 2019, all on-campus student residents will have in-room recycling containers.
U Memphis Professor Creates Green Living App
Green Fee, developed by Susan Elswick, a professor in the social work department at the university, is a game-based app that allows users to track their green-living efforts, as well as green-living issues they encounter. Users can identify and geotag a green-living issue or problem they see, such as trash on the ground, then users may opt to address the issue and tag that activity.
Smith College Adopts 'Year on Climate Change' for 2019-20 Academic Year
The college has designated the 2019-20 academic year as the Year on Climate Change, a college-wide initiative to critically examine the complex and urgent issue of climate change. This program encourages the campus community to engage in deep and authentic critical thinking, collaboration, listening and action. The initiative opens in October with the Climate Equity and Justice: Solutions in Action conference that will bring more than a dozen speakers to campus.
Southern Illinois U Receives Arboretum Accreditation
The university recently acquired Level II accreditation from the Arboretum Accreditation Program for its 1,200-acre main campus landscape that features nearly 5,200 trees, including 155 species and 72 genera of plants. The arboretum has a strategic plan, a governing board, public programming and a complete inventory of every tree and woody plant.
California State U San Marcos Adds Campus Grown Food to Pantry
The on-campus garden will be expanded and improved with the help of two grants - one $15,000 and the other a $3,000 - in an effort to produce more food for the Cougar pantry, an initiative to decrease food insecurity among students. The garden also served as an outdoor classroom for courses on food systems and emerging markets, and food justice.
U Illinois Urbana-Champaign Wins 2019 International Laboratory Freezer Challenge
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign won first place as an organization in the 2019 International Laboratory Freezer Challenge, avoiding an estimated 160,000 kilowatt-hours per year. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill received an honorable mention. Imperial College London's Reynold Lab won first place as an individual lab, and Ming Lab at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign received honorable mention. The International Laboratory Freezer Challenge promotes sample accessibility, sample integrity, reduced costs, and energy efficiency by harnessing a spirit of competition within and between laboratories.
American College Greece Initiates Graduation Pledge
In combination with enacting many sustainable practices at commencement, including enforcing a 100 percent smoke-free event, the college launched a Sustainability Graduation Pledge, highlighting students commitment to help create a more sustainable world. Signatories of the pledge were given green ribbons to wear during graduation.
Lane CC Becomes Bee Campus Certified
Although efforts to promote healthy pollinator habitat on campus have been ongoing for quite some time, the campus recently acquired the Bee Campus USA certification, signifying efforts to create habitats that support pollinators and educating the community on their importance.
American College Greece Holds Plastic Free Day
The first ever Plastic Free Day aimed to raise awareness about the impact of plastic pollution and encouraged the community use reusable items when ordering at all on-campus locations.
Lawrence U Earns Bee Campus Designation
The university recently achieved Bee Campus USA certification for its efforts to support pollinators across campus. Through the process of supporting pollinators, the campus is also being used as a living lab to study how to keep populations healthy in an urban environment.
Northeastern U Plants Herb Gardens Across Campus
In an effort to reduce carbon emissions and promote healthy eating, eight organic herb gardens have been planted across campus. A sign posted next to each garden prompts people to “Snip it. Take it. Enjoy it.”
East Carolina U Obtains Bee Campus USA Certification
The university's new certification was attained after it established a Bee Campus USA committee, developed a list of pollinator-friendly native plant species, hosted a film screening and other awareness events, set up bee hives on its Health Sciences Campus, and posted signage to educate campus and the broader community. To raise awareness about projects on campus, ECU has published a webpage to disseminate information such as the Integrated Pest Management Plan, student and faculty research into pollinator issues, and information about upcoming events.
Cleveland State U Receives $1M for Students-in-Need Support
A new $1 million gift will support the work of the university’s Lift Up Vikes! program, which supplies students with food and support services. The gift will also establish a student resource center and create an emergency grant fund for individuals facing unforeseen circumstances that impact their ability to remain enrolled in school. The resource center will connect students with resources that will assist them in overcoming financial emergencies, meeting basic needs, providing personal finance education and creating comprehensive, sustainable plans for individual students’ success.
U Northern Colorado Installs Solar Flower
The artificial plant, nicknamed the Solar Flower, was installed in front of the university's cultural center and is sized at 2,500 watts, nearly enough power to meet the majority of the cultural center's needs. The project was funded through the Student Leadership for Environmental Action Fund (LEAF), which is a student fee that brings in $1 per enrolled credit, and up to $10 per student per semester.
U Basque Country Creates SDG Roadmap
(Spain) The university recently launched a website that maps the university's efforts to 12 of the 17 the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and includes an additional commitment to linguistic and cultural diversity, and uses the 12+1 as a roadmap for its work. Each goal includes targets and key indicators that enable monitoring and measurement.
Indiana U-Purdue U Indianapolis Launches Seed Library
The IUPUI University Library debuted its new seed library in mid-June allowing patrons to take small envelopes of non-GMO seeds of culinary herbs. The project was made possible by a Greening IUPUI grant from the Office of Sustainability. The first year of the grant will concentrate on the easy-to-grow herbs, with vegetables, flowers and other native plant species expected to be added in 2020.
U Pittsburgh Displays Art Using Nonconventional Materials
A collaborative, new art project between architecture and engineering students seeks to better understand how nonconventional materials – bamboo, cardboard, plywood and recycled plastic bottles – perform in the elements. A plywood bench supported by the cardboard tubes marks the center of the piece and invites passersby to sit and take a look.
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.
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.
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.
U New Hampshire Places $37M in ESG Investments
The university foundation recently completed the transition of 16 percent of its investable assets—$37 million—into ESG-qualified (environmental, social and governance) investments. This latest transition in UNH’s sustainable investing practices has been guided by the Committee on Investor Responsibility (CIR), established in 2017. The university has also dedicated $5 million to community impact investing.
Georgetown U Opens Student Equity & Inclusion Office
The university recently announced the creation of the Office of Student Equity and Inclusion. The office aims to improve resources for first-generation and minority students on campus. Dr. Adanna Johnson, currently the senior associate dean of students and director of Diversity, Equity and Student Success, will lead the office as associate vice president.