Northwestern U Receives Sustained Excellence Award

The university recently received the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2020 Energy Star Partner of the Year - Sustained Excellence Award for energy efficiency and energy conservation solutions.

Cornell U Releases Lab Shutdown Procedures

The university recently released a set of guidelines to assist lab managers in quickly identifying energy-saving measures to be implemented during the COVID-19 crisis.

U California Davis Dining Begins Sourcing Food From On-Campus

Student Housing and Dining Services, which oversees almost all on-campus dining options for students, is now sourcing Aggie Grown food. Aggie Grown refers to foods grown on university land. In addition to providing students with hyper-local food options, Aggie Grown also helps fund research departments on campus.

Arizona State U to Plant Carbon Sink & Learning Forest

The university will plant 1,000 desert trees on what is currently an empty plot of land to help meet its goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2025. The forest will be used as a way of sequestering carbon and will be open for university researchers and classes.

I2SL Announces 'Go Beyond' Award Winners

The International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories (I2SL) announced at the end of 2019 the winners of the Go Beyond award, which recognizes excellence in sustainability in laboratory and other high-technology facility projects by going beyond the facility itself to consider shared resources and neighboring communities, as well as contributing to increased use of energy-efficient and environmentally-sustainable designs, systems and products. The winners project winners are Bowie State University, King Abdullah University of Science & Technology, and MIT.

Emerson College Eco Ambassadors Launch Thrift Store Pop Up

In an effort to raise awareness for the college's clothing exchange store, now the Tiny Thrift Store puts on a pop-up once per month. The store and pop-up give students a chance to donate, exchange and/or pick-up clothing free of charge.

Stanford U Recommends Civic Engagement During Registration

As part of a broader push by the organization StanfordVotes to increase participation in the 2020 elections, a new action is required by students when they are enrolling for classes. During enrollment, there is now an embedded form through which they can register to vote and requires students to check a box saying that they “acknowledge the recommendation of civic engagement” before they can enroll in classes. It doesn't require that they register to vote and it will not store any data on whether or not they do.

U Pittsburgh Launches Textile Recycling Program

The university recently launched a textile recycling program to prevent clothing that is unsuitable for donation and other worn-out textiles from going to the landfill. The new program aims to help move the campus closer to its Pitt Sustainability Plan goal of reducing landfill waste 25 percent by 2030.

Pac-12 Zero Waste Challenge Announces 2019-20 Football Season Winners

The University of Colorado Boulder was recently announced as the overall winner of the 2019-20 Pac-12 Zero Waste Challenge held during the football season. Earning subcategory wins across the challenge were the University of California, Berkeley (most-improved), Oregon State University (best student-athlete engagement) and Stanford University (best fan engagement). The competition, which happens for both the football and basketball season, encourages campuses to move towards zero waste and be creative on developing best practices, whether it be directly through reuse, recycling, and composting or by working with partners to drive impactful changes.

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.

Syracuse U Launches Composting Program for On-Campus Apartments

After a successful, 10-week composting pilot at the beginning of 2019, the university recently launched the Student Composting Program for its South Campus residents.

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.

Cleveland State U Installs Bird Friendly Film on Building

The Cleveland-Marshall College of Law Library now has vinyl dots spaced two inches apart in a grid pattern in an effort to help birds distinguish windows from natural habitat and reduce bird fatalities.

Pennsylvania State U Brandywine Student Creates Climate Change Podcast

Anna Nguyen, a student in the Drawdown Scholars Research Experience for Undergraduates program, recently started a podcast to explore questions and answers related to global warming that makes the information accessible, relatable and entertaining.

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.

California State U East Bay Releases Sustainability Dashboards

After having launched its first Climate Action Plan progress report, the university also released new sustainability dashboards that track pertinent data in order to visualize its commitment to carbon neutrality by 2040 and other goals.

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.

College William & Mary Incoming Students Create Bags From T-Shirts

Incoming new students participating in the college's community service pre-orientation program transformed hundreds of old t-shirts into tote bags that will be used by a local food pantry.

U Pittsburgh Pilots Free Bike-Share Rides for First-Year Students

In a partnership with the Healthy Ride bike-share program, the university will provide all first-year undergraduate students and resident assistants with unlimited 30-minute rides during the academic year fall and spring terms of the 2019-20 academic year.

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.

College William & Mary Cultivates Honey for Campus Use

Through a partnership with a local farm, W&M Dining and the dining sustainability interns now help to cultivate and harvest honey for the dining halls.

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.