Cornell U Promotes Climate Literacy for Staff
Members of the university's Employee Assembly voted earlier this month to support staff involvement and participation in campus climate change literacy policy and programs, in an effort to ensure the success of the Climate Action Plan. Highlighting the scientific consensus of global climate change, the resolution notes the impact of climate change on employee happiness and well-being. Climate change literacy was defined in the resolution as an understanding of an individual’s influence on climate and climate’s influence on individuals.
California State U System Creates Healthy Food Working Group
In an effort to offer healthier food options on campus for students, the California State Universities' Food Systems Working Group convened had its inaugural meeting in March. The meeting was attended by students, professors, technical experts, dining management staff, food producers and administrators from all 23 campuses and their respective communities. Their goal is to get more real food, defined as local- and community-based, fair trade, ecologically sound and humane, on CSU campuses.
Ball State U Students Create SGA Green Council
The Student Government Association voted recently to add a green council to its senate. This council will bring together environmentally-focused student organizations to collaborate on improving campus sustainability.
U Virginia Tests Compostable Bed Linens for Orientation
The university recently used compostable sheets and pillowcases for overnight freshman orientations. The material is made from plants and is chemical-free, hypoallergenic and USDA Certified Bio-Based. A local composting business that picks up the university's food scraps will also take the bedding and compost it, returning a portion of the resulting compost back to UVA for use in their campus garden.
St. Lawrence U Publishes Campus Sustainability Map
The intention of the new map application is to provide the university community with information and locations related to sustainability points of interest on the main campus. The map allows viewers to navigate different layers of sustainability on campus ranging from where to bring organic waste to locations with renewable energy to information about outdoor air quality.
U Florida Launches Center for Public Interest Communications
The center is dedicated to developing, translating and applying the science of strategic communication to drive social change. Among other things, the center will promote scholarship that can advance the practice of public interest communications and will create undergraduate and graduate curricula for adoption by other institutions. The university's College of Journalism and Communications has also launched the Journal for Public Interest Communications, an open-access academic journal devoted to this emerging field.
U Virginia Launches 'Shut the Sash' Competition
In late 2017, the university launched its first “Shut the Sash” competition to encourage safer, more efficient working standards under chemical fume hoods. Competition participants earned points by answering educational questions, watching videos on sustainable research practices, and submitting before and after photos of fume hoods.
U Colorado Boulder to Assist City With Climate Justice & Conservation Work
CU Boulder's Foundations for Leaders Organizing for Water and Sustainability (FLOWS) program will work with the city of Longmont on a pilot project to help train Longmont employees and community members on climate justice, and energy and water conservation work. With a $15,000 Boulder County sustainability grant, the project will involve program development, community engagement, staff and resident training, supplies, equipment and evaluation, in addition to providing workforce development opportunities for underrepresented communities.
Eight Hong Kong Institutions Launch 'Skip the Straw' Initiative
(Hong Kong) The City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Baptist University, Lingnan University, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, The Education University of Hong Kong, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and The University of Hong Kong aim to reduce plastic waste by introducing regular awareness campaigns and no straw days or implementing a campus-wide ban of plastic straws.
Chalmers Tech & U Gothenburg Strengthen Collaboration Toward Sustainable Development
(Sweden) Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg have signed an agreement that reorganizes a long-standing sustainability collaboration between the two schools. The Gothenburg Center for Sustainable Development is organized directly under the two universities and aims to create strategic cooperation both internally and with various external partners. It will continue to serve as a forum for various areas of expertise and a platform for projects, initiatives and networks.
U Kentucky Offers Commute Planning Assistance
In an effort to increase the number of campus community members using alternative modes of transportation, the university's Transportation Services now offers free personalized commute planning assistance.
Radford U Begins Bags for Benches Program
The university's student government association and sustainability office have partnered to collect unwanted plastic bags. The bags will be mailed to an outdoor decking and furniture company to be recycled into benches that will be placed around campus.
George Washington U Announces a Sustainable Investment Fund
The Sustainable Investment Fund is a Student Association-driven initiative focused on responsible investment and student engagement. GW will establish the fund with an initial $2 million from the university endowment and aim to engage stakeholders on issues relevant to responsible investing, including promoting and producing innovation in sustainable practices and seeking to avoid investments in the top coal, oil and gas companies.
Webster U to Offer Bike-Share Service
The university will roll out a bike-share service to campus in March that will be free for short, two-hour trips and have a nominal cost for longer trips.
U New Hampshire Appoints Professors of Practice in Sustainable Food Systems
In early February, the university named Curtis Ogden and Karen Spiller joint recipients of the Thomas W. Haas Professorship in Sustainable Food Systems, which was established in 2013 to deepen the ties between the university and the New England food system. Ogden and Spiller’s primary responsibility will be to connect the transdisciplinary work of Food Solutions New England, and in particular its racial equity work, to students, faculty and staff at UNH through lectures, workshops and collaborative scholarship.
University of Maryland Green Terp Program Expands to 13 Residence Halls
The Office of Sustainability and the Department of Resident Life partnered to expand a one-year-old pilot program, Green Terps, into 13 dorms. The Green Terps program helps students adopt sustainable practices by asking them to pick 10 different sustainable behaviors and submit their progress. Once completed, their name is written on a pledge board in the lobby of their dorm.
U Illinois Urbana-Champaign Launches Campus as Lab Seed Funding Program
The Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE) at the university recently announced that it will provide seed funding for faculty members to assist in preparing a proposal for external funding that will include using campus sustainability features and projects in their research related to sustainability. Specifically, iSEE wants to leverage this seed money to attract external funds that are relevant to objectives from the Illinois Climate Action Plan.
Appalachian State U Connects Outdoor Solar Charging Tables
Solar-powered picnic tables were installed outside of the university's College of Business. A gift from the Appalachian State University Renewable Energy Initiative, a student-led, student-funded organization that installs renewable energy and energy efficiency projects on campus, the three tables feature wireless charging, USB ports and regular outlets.
Ohio Wesleyan U Adopts Sustainability Plan
The university's new sustainability plan was seeded by student research on sustainability initiatives at the university. It contains four overarching goals, each of which contains measurable objectives.
U California Merced Releases Sustainability Plan
The university's new strategic sustainability plan highlights campus sustainability goals through 2022 and defines the roles of campus stakeholders. It was designed as a living document that will be reviewed at least annually, with a progress report that outlines accomplishments distributed each spring. Designed as a living document, it covers academics, research, engagement and operations, all of which have action items, metrics and implementation strategies.
AASCU Announces Program to Assess Political Learning & Engagement
The American Democracy Project (ADP), a program of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), recently announced a new two-year initiative to work with 12 AASCU campuses over two years to pilot processes for engaging campus communities in measuring, understanding and improving campus climates in order to prepare students to be informed, engaged citizens.
College William & Mary Installs Water Bottle Filling Stations
Under a new plan, W&M and the student group Take Back the Tap are working together to install water bottle filling stations in every high-traffic building on campus. New buildings and major renovations on campus now include a requirement for at least one bottle-filling station. Currently there are 52 filling stations on the W&M campus and three at W&M’s Virginia Institute of Marine Science.
Harvard U Announces Fossil-Free Climate Action Plan
Recommendations from a climate change task force informed a new set of climate commitments that the university recently adopted - a long-term goal of being fossil fuel-free by 2050 and a short-term goal of climate neutrality by 2026.
North Carolina State U Launches Composting Program in Campus Apartments
Residents of a campus apartment complex now have access to kitchen composting courtesy of a compost collection program started by a student. So far, about 60 apartments are participating in the program, which requires residents to empty their containers in an outdoor composting dumpster. The material is then transported to a nearby composting facility for processing.
Northern Arizona U Pilots Reusable Containers
In an effort to reduce waste and recycling, the university implemented a program in January 2018 to gauge student interest in using reusable containers. Students pay a one-time fee of $5 for a container that can be used at several dining facilities. The NAU Green Fund spearheaded the campaign to get the container system on campus.
Duke U Partners With Delta Airlines on Carbon Offset Initiative
The university and Delta Airlines covered the cost of 1,000 trees that will be planted in Duke's hometown of Durham, North Carolina. The purchase, facilitated by Urban Offsets, simultaneously offsets carbon from all university business travel on Delta in 2017. The 1,000 trees are equal to 5,000 carbon credits and will be planted during the 2017-18 planting season in neighborhoods found to have insufficient tree cover, according to a 2016 survey by Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment.
SUNY Announces Partnership to Support Clean Energy & Energy Efficiency Advancements
In her State of the University address earlier this year, SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson called for purchasing 100 percent of SUNY’s electricity from zero-carbon sources and deep energy retrofits at SUNY campuses, which represent 40 percent of state-owned buildings. To support this effort, she announced a partnership with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to support eligible SUNY campuses to develop energy master plans and provide access to on-site energy managers who can identify areas for improvement and engage in strategic planning and feasibility studies.
U Iowa Adopts 'Climate for Change' Theme for Spring Semester
The Climate for Change theme aims to get students to think about the environmental problems they may face in the future. Throughout the semester, the university will offer events on destruction of natural resources, climate change, and food and water insecurity.
Brandeis U Receives $8.4M Gift for Social Justice Initiatives
A former rehabilitation doctor who visited Brandeis just once, but felt a strong connection to its social justice values, left the university an $8.4 million gift, which will provide financial aid for four to five students in the Sustainable International Development program and support research and program development in the Center for Global Development and Sustainability.
Keele U Partners on Large-Scale Smart Energy Project
(U.K.) The Smart Energy Network Demonstrator will be a single, integrated electricity, gas and heat system that includes the digitalization of 24 substations and the installation over 1,500 smart meters, 500 home controllers and a five megawatt renewable integration package. Developed in partnership with Siemens, the project will provide analysis of energy consumption to enable demand management and allow businesses to access the university's infrastructure in order to develop and test renewable and smart energy technologies.
Emory U Students Create Educational Waste Diversion Videos
Multiple two-minute videos were created by Emory students that educate viewers about the importance of landfill waste diversion, including the social and environmental impacts of landfills. The videos were submitted on behalf of a video competition as part of the university's zero waste commitment, which aims to divert 95 percent of campus waste from municipal landfills by 2025.
Emory U Creates Zero Waste Policy
In an effort to divert 95 percent of campus waste from municipal landfills by 2025, the university recently formalized its commitment by publishing a new waste management policy that engages the entire campus in the push to enhance recycling efforts. The new policy calls for adding additional collection stations, making existing stations more efficient and creating a new team to assist with removal of compost and recycling at campus stations.
U Alberta Releases Sustainable Purchasing Guide for Promotional Products
The new guide aims to assist procurers of promotional products in embracing sustainability criteria and principles into their purchasing processes. It contains best practices, a directory of suppliers, and a worksheet to determine the most sustainable choice among three different suppliers.
U Washington Creates Sustainability Engagement Games
A group at the university held the Sustainability Game Jam, an event that brought together dozens of students, faculty and staff over a weekend to create game prototypes that communicate concepts around sustainability. It was funded by a Campus Sustainability Fund (CSF) grant.
Project Green Challenge Announces Winners
Students from Dickinson College, Rice University and Yale University won Project Green Challenge, a 30-day lifestyle competition from Turning Green that seeks to inspire students to transition from a conventional to a conscious lifestyle by calling for students to complete daily challenges focused on sustainability-related themes.
North Carolina State U Uses Campus Buildings for Energy Management Living Lab
Working together with the university's energy management team, engineering professors and students were able to identify opportunities to reduce electricity use at times when costs are highest. The collaboration also revealed that if the university had a 1.2 megawatt solar array and 400 kilowatt-hour battery there would be a 5 percent reduction in electricity costs over the summer months.
Cornell U Launches Staff Sustainability Champions Program
The university's Employee Assembly and Campus Sustainability Office staff created the new recognition program as a way to capture and better recognize the hundreds of daily acts that staff demonstrate to reduce waste, create a more welcoming environment, save resources and champion new ideas for sustainability.
Utah Valley U Completing Sustainability Communications Wall
In an effort to educate students and staff about sustainability measures on campus, a soon-to-be completed wall will include an interactive display that will allow students to see the current energy usage for different buildings as well as information about green features of campus such as geothermal energy, recycling, transportation and water.
Cornell U Living Lab Waste Project Reduces Contamination
The student club WasteNot prototyped designs for waste sorting signage that is more user-friendly and inclusive of the international community by featuring clear directions in several languages and visual cues. In the first pilot with the redesigned signage, total contamination dropped by 10 percent for landfill, 17 percent for recycling and 19 percent for compost. Plans are underway to roll out piloted designs across campus facilities.
York U Releases Inaugural Institutional Sustainability Strategy
The university's first published sustainability strategy was led by a working group comprised of members of the university president’s Sustainability Council and included participation from more than 1,000 community members. The goals of the strategy are divided into three key categories: people, focusing on a culture of collaboration; knowledge, using its strengths in sustainability research to inform teaching; and place, creating a pedestrian-oriented campus.
Medical U South Carolina Converts Street to Greenway
The university and a team of partners are reclaiming a street on campus to establish it as a space for people to walk, sit and relax. Called the Charleston Medical District Greenway, it will become a natural area with trees and gardens that enables patients to heal more quickly, as well as a gathering place for people visiting and working in the hospitals.
Bates College EcoReps Construct 3 KW Photovoltaic Project
Doubling the capacity of a system installed in 2016 on the Bates Coastal Center, the colleges EcoReps installed 12 new solar panels to complete a six-kilowatt photovoltaic array that is estimated to produce 100 percent of the building's electrical needs. Bates’ sustainability office covered the cost of the 2017 installation, which was approximately $10,000.
U Virginia to Open Community Food Space
The Morven Food Lab at the university's Morven Farm will be both a physical space and an organizational structure that aims to bring together food-related initiatives across the university, including the UVA Food Collaborative, the University’s Sustainable Food Strategy Task Force, the Morven Summer Institute and the Morven Kitchen Garden, and from within the community.
Southern Connecticut State U to Install 3 Photovoltaic Arrays Totaling 1 MW
The 1 megawatt photovoltaic project is expected to provide approximately 4 percent of the university's annual electricity consumption. Planned for completion in 2018, the more than 3,000 panels will be installed in three arrays: as a combination ground mount and carport array, and a rooftop array on the west side of campus.