Second Nature Announces Catalyst Grant Recipients

Eleven colleges and universities have been selected to receive up to $10,000 each for projects that accelerate decarbonization, climate resilience and climate justice. The 11 institutions are Central Oregon Community College, Earlham College, Morehouse College, Northeastern University, Paradise Valley Community College, SUNY New Paltz, Tecnológico de Monterrey, University at Buffalo, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Warren Wilson College and Western Colorado University.

Six HEIs to Receive $5M for Climate Resilience Centers

Michigan Technological University; Morgan State University; North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University; Northern Arizona University; San Jose State University; and University of California, Merced will receive $5 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy for six projects that will increase the use and utility of research to improve climate resilience, particularly in vulnerable communities.

Indiana U Publishes Climate Action Plan

The university's new Climate Action Plan establishes a 2040 carbon neutrality goal. It contains 12 recommendations across six categories–utility grid, infrastructure, renewables, behavior, financing and implementation.

U California Awards $80M Toward Climate Priorities

As part of a historic partnership between the University of California (UC) and the state of California, the university in August announced it is awarding over $80 million in climate action grants to spur implementation of solutions that directly address state climate priorities. The selected projects aim to improve the health of farmworkers; increase resilience of state water and power systems; and identify innovative nature-based solutions toward biodiversity degradation, sea level rise, and wildfire risk.

U California Implements Equity Weighted Social Cost of Carbon

UC implemented recently an equity-weighted social cost of carbon in its carbon neutrality planning. The SCC incorporates the societal costs of climate change into university investment decisions to reduce campus energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions.

Investment Coalition Seeks to Stop New Fossil Fuel Projects

(U.K.) Representatives from the Universities of Newcastle, Sussex, Bristol, and from Trinity College Cambridge and Jesus College at the University of Cambridge recently published an open letter asking asset managers to vote against directors of companies pursuing or backing new fossil fuel projects. It also asks investors to support all climate-linked shareholder resolutions, particularly those that call for an end to new fossil fuel projects.

U California Signs 85 MW Wind Energy Contract

The newly signed wind energy contract supports a 3,500 megawatt utility-scale wind farm in New Mexico. The university is procuring 85 megawatts, which is equivalent to the total annual electricity consumption for US Santa Cruz, UC Santa Barbara, UC Riverside and UC Merced combined. Construction is expected to start this year and commercial operation is anticipated in 2026.

Catawba College Becomes Carbon Neutral

The college recently announced that it has achieved carbon neutrality seven years ahead of its goal of 2030. To meet this goal, a mix of renewable energy, energy efficiency, renewable energy credits and carbon offsets were used.

Loyola U Chicago to Purchase 100% Renewable Energy

On Earth Day, the university announced a 12-year agreement in which it will purchase photovoltaic power to meet 100 percent of electricity needs for its Lake Shore, Water Tower, and Health Sciences campuses.

U North Carolina Greensboro Launches Carbon Offset Program

The university's new Spartan DRIVE Fund (Drivers Reducing Individual Vehicle Emissions) invites campus stakeholders to contribute $15 annually to offset their commuter emissions. Ninety percent of the funds raised will be invested in energy efficiency projects on campus. Ten percent of all funds raised will support a local non-profit that provides critical home repairs, including weatherization improvements to those who are at or under 80 percent of the poverty line.

Montclair State U to Purchase RECs Covering 100% of Electricity

The university recently announced a contract extending through 2025 in which it will purchase Green-e certified Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) from wind, solar and hydro projects across the U.S. to match 100 percent of its forecasted electricity consumption.

Utrecht U Adopts Transport By Train Policy

(Netherlands) The university's executive board in mid-December announced that starting Jan. 1, 2023, journeys of less than 700 kilometers (435 miles), or that take less than eight hours, will have to be made by train rather than plane. Permission to travel by plane can can be granted in exceptional circumstances.

HKUST Adopts ESG Investment Policy

(Hong Kong) The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) pledged to eliminate investments in fossil fuels through a newly adopted environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) investment strategy, consistent with the scientific consensus on climate change and the goals of the Paris Agreement. By 2030, 100 percent of in-scope assets will be invested in companies that have adopted science-based targets.

U Pennsylvania Schools Publish Climate Commitments

Announced at the U.N. COP27, each of the 12 schools of the university adopted climate commitments that spotlight courses and research in the school, while illuminating the industry outcomes as a result of emphasizing climate action.

U Wisconsin Milwaukee Releases Climate Action Plan

The university's new Climate Action, Carbon and Resiliency Plan goals include reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 45 percent from 2010 levels by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2050. To integrate teaching, learning experiences and research, the plan calls for the establishment of the Institute of Climate Resilience.

U Pittsburgh Signs PPA for 20 MW Solar Farm

The new power purchase agreement secures for the university 100 percent of the electricity and renewable energy credits produced by a local 20 megawatt solar farm. The solar farm is expected to be operational in mid-2023.

Bucknell U Connects 1.76 MW Solar Array

The newly completed 1.76 megawatt solar array is projected to supply approximately seven percent of the university's electricity.

Colorado Mountain College Installs Solar Array & Battery Storage Facility

The new 4.5-megawatt solar array is grid-tied and includes five megawatts of battery storage. The power company that operates the grid will retire renewable energy credits on the college’s behalf, in a quantity sufficient to offset 100 percent of the electricity use of three CMC campuses at Aspen, Spring Valley and Vail Valley.

U Southern California to Obtain Solar Electricity for 25% of Consumption

The new 20-year agreement will provide a quarter of the university's electricity with power from a solar farm in Mojave. In addition to lowering its carbon footprint, the university will contribute approximately $180,000 per year to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power Clean Energy Adder program that supports disadvantaged communities in and around USC’s campuses.

Brandeis U Launches Year of Climate Action

Organized by the Brandeis Sustainability Committee, the Year of Climate Action aims to raise awareness for climate change as a social justice issue. Planned activities and initiatives throughout the year focus on institutional priorities, such as introducing new organic land management practices and a decarbonization study, and curricular programming, including sustainability course development funding and curated teaching resources. Other features of the year include a theater, a climate organizer-in-residence, local environmental justice events, an eco-anxiety support group, and club funding for student-designed programs.