SEED Center Announces Inaugural Green Genome Awards

The American Association of Community Colleges' Sustainability Education and Economic Development (SEED) Center has presented five inaugural Green Genome Awards to exemplary community colleges nationwide that have taken a strategic leadership role in green economic and workforce development and sustainability. The winning colleges include Butte College (California), Central Carolina Community College (North Carolina), Delta College (Michigan), Hillsborough Community College (Florida) and West Virginia University at Parkersburg.

EPA Announces Winners of Green Power Leadership Awards

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced the winners of the 2012 Green Power Leadership Awards. American University, Hobart and William Smith Colleges and Quinnipiac University received Green Power Purchasing Awards. The University of Oklahoma won the Green Power Partner of the Year Award.

U Washington Approves Environmental Stewardship Executive Order

The Executive Order No. 13, Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability, was approved by President Michael Young and has been reviewed by the Faculty Senate, Board of Deans, the Environmental Stewardship Committee and the policy sub-teams. The order, an umbrella statement confirming the university’s commitment to sustainability, will serve as a guiding principle for future sustainability policy development and pursuit of the university’s Climate Action Plan goals and objectives.

City U London Receives EcoCampus Award and Certification

(U.K.): In recognition for the university’s commitment to reducing its impact on the environment and in integrating sustainability into its daily services and activities, the university’s Environmental Management System has been awarded an EcoCampus Platinum Award and ISO 14001 certification.

U Milan, Politecnico of Milan to Create Sustainable Campus

(Italy): The university and institute have partnered to convert their sites into a single sustainable campus. The “Smart Campus” project will focus on four themes including residents, energy, environment and accessibility. The project intends to develop services aimed at transforming the behavior of campus users. As part of the project, dumpsters that measure the weight and volume of the material that is discarded have been installed to manage waste collection.

Loyola U Chicago Signs 4 Commitments to Sustainability

The university has recently become a signatory of the Illinois Campus Sustainability Compact, the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change’s St. Francis Pledge, American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) and the Talloires Declaration. These agreements outline the university’s pledge to work toward expanding its sustainability program, engaging the campus community, greening its operations and monitoring its performance.

U Calgary Names First Chief Sustainability Officer

As the university’s first chief sustainability officer, Joanne Perdue will work with the senior leadership team and academic coordinator for sustainability to integrate the values and aims of the university’s Academic Plan and Institutional Sustainability Plan into teaching, co-curricular student activities, research, service learning and operations across campus.

Unity Adopts Sustainability Science as Framework for Curriculum

President Stephen Mulkey recently announced that the college's faculty and Board of Trustees have endorsed sustainability science as the overarching framework for all academic programming with an emphasis on upper division courses. With this endorsement, the college has dedicated significant financial and human resources to strengthen academic offerings through this lens, and to further develop campus infrastructure to support sustainability science on the ground.

Grand Valley State U Releases Sustainability Impact Report

The economic impact of the university’s sustainability efforts in the region is more than $900 million according to the university’s first collective sustainability impact report. The report, compiled by the university’s Sustainable Community Development Initiative, uses 2010-2011 data. It includes 11 sections that outline practices used by students, faculty and staff members to decrease the university’s footprint and increase the impact of sustainable activity on campus and in the community.

Sierra Club Names 2012 'Coolest Schools'

(U.S.): Sierra Club's sixth annual ranking of America's greenest colleges emphasizes the Sierra Club's environmental priorities and rewards schools that do a good job of measuring and mitigating their impact.

U Western Cape Wins Africa’s Greenest Campus Award

(South Africa): The university was recently awarded the national 2012 Green Campus of the Year award at the inaugural African Green Campus Initiative conference. Students are actively involved in managing the university’s 74-acre private nature reserve, an international biodiversity hotspot, through eradicating alien vegetation and maintaining firebreaks. The university also received five additional awards including most innovative programs, best-designed outfit made from recycled materials, recognition of student achievement, and the award for the most environmentally proactive South African campus.

American U Facilities Honored with APPA Sustainability Award

The university has received APPA’s inaugural Sustainability Award in Facilities Management for its integration of green ideas and practices throughout campus.

Second Nature Names New President

David Hales, former president of the College of the Atlantic, has been named as the new president of Second Nature. Hales succeeds founding president Dr. Anthony Cortese. Second Nature provides program support for the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). “Tony Cortese and I share a commitment to a constructive transition to sustainable and just societies,” said Hales.

U Southern California Plans Institute for State and Global Policy

Prioritizing education, energy and environment, fiscal and economic policy, health and human wellness, and political reform, the new Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy will focus on local and regional solutions to solving global problems. The institute is named after former California governor and actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who will serve as a professor and chairman of the board of advisers at the institute.

U California Irvine Honored for Sustainable Facilities Management

The university has received APPA's inaugural Sustainability Award for Public Institutions, which is based on seven criteria: maintenance and operations, planning and construction, energy and utilities, educational curriculum and research, leadership and administration, sustainability indicators, and sustainability innovations. The university was recognized for its energy management and Smart Labs programs.

8 Institutions Pilot UN Global Compact Reporting Process

(Worldwide): In addition to signing the Rio + 20 sustainability declaration, the State University of New York (SUNY) at Geneseo is one of eight universities from seven countries piloting the use of the Practical Guide to the United Nations Global Compact for Higher Education Institutions. The Global Compact is a call for institutions and corporations to voluntarily align their operations and strategies with 10 universally- accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption. Also using the guide and recommended reporting process are Bentley University (Massachusetts), Educatis University (Switzerland), Euromed Management (France), Istanbul Bilgi University (Turkey), La Trobe University (Australia), Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (Spain) and Université Laval (Canada).

Alfred State College Names Chief Sustainability Officer

Julian Dautremont-Smith has been named as the college's chief sustainability officer. Dautremont-Smith was most recently with Green Schools National Network, analyzing green school assessment and recognition tools, and developing recommendations for the creation of a new national green school rating system. Dautremont-Smith has also held an associate director position at AASHE and currently serves as a STARS Steering Committee member.

Yale U College Reunions Go Green

The university’s College Reunions department has achieved platinum-level certification by its Office of Sustainability for reducing the carbon footprint of its 2012 reunion weekends. The department worked with other groups on campus to promote green transportation methods, use renewable products, order locally produced food and dispose of waste carefully. The reunions are the largest on-campus events ever to receive the highest level of green event certification.

Columbia College Chicago Creates Sustainable Events Program

The college's Columbia Recycling Program has initiated a program to integrate sustainability in the events planning process for on-campus events. Using criteria defined by the Green Seal Event Checklist (points are allocated among promotion, catering and education), event planners are awarded a "green seal" designation.

Rice U Opens Energy, Sustainability Administrative Center

The university's new Administrative Center for Sustainability and Energy Management pulls together administration, staff, faculty and students from different parts of campus to tackle the future of energy and sustainability at Rice. Coming up, the center - also known as the "think-and-do-tank" - will create a holistic plan to guide future energy investments and decisions.

U Michigan Hosts Interactive Sustainability Fair

The university's Division of Student Affairs recently hosted an interactive sustainability fair showcasing its projects and programs in an effort to streamline sustainability efforts on campus and identify opportunities for collaboration. Activities included a "Swap & Shop," where participants swapped unwanted items for needed ones; Sustainability Jeopardy; and chef demonstrations with fresh, local food.

Campus Sustainability Planning: A Global Update

(Pakistan): The University of Agriculture, Faisalabad has created a campus master plan toward more sustainable operations. In the first phase, a 5-megawatt solid waste power generator will be constructed. The plan also highlights the advantages of generating electricity through the use of geothermal energy. (U.S.): Lehigh University has adopted its first campus sustainability plan. The creation of the plan was an interdisciplinary and interdepartmental effort to integrate the university’s Climate Commitment with the university's Campus Master Plan and Strategic Plan. (Australia): In related news , La Trobe University's 2010 sustainability report has received the "Best First Time" sustainability report award from the global sustainability reporting awards.

Madurai Kamaraj U Creates Campus Greening Panel

(India): The university has formed a special committee to prepare proposals for “Go Green" campus initiatives including solar panels. The proposals will be submitted to funding agencies and the state government.

MIT Pilots Earth Day Challenge Focused on Individual Action

Nearly 100 students and staff performed 151 individual green actions for points and prizes as part of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's inaugural Earth Day Challenge. Sponsored by student organizations, departments, community groups and businesses, action projects ranged from taking public transportation, to joining a local clean-up, to performing an energy upgrade of a local community building. The grand prize winner earned $500 and the six highest point-earners received green-themed prizes provided by local businesses and organizations.

Ohio State U Hires Energy, Environment, Sustainability Director

The university's Office of Energy and Environment has hired Paul Laurent as its director of student services and programs, a new position created to enhance connections between university sustainability efforts and students. Laurent, who previously developed and managed renewable energy and energy efficiency programs at the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, will coordinate student groups interested in energy, environment and sustainability; develop student research and project initiatives; and connect students and industry.

Dalhousie U Launches Employee Sustainability Cert. Program

Employees who wish to increase their understanding of sustainability concepts, enhance sustainability related decision-making skills and identify potential projects can enroll in one or more of six, three-hour modules for free. The modules include Introduction to Sustainability, Sustainable Procurement, Transportation Demand Management, Being a Sustainability Leader, Green Building Management and Waste Management. Employees can earn the sustainability leadership certificate by completing all six modules. All courses are taught by Dalhousie Office of Sustainability staff and guest speakers.

U Iowa Net Impact Chapter Wins 'Greening Campus Challenge' Award

(U.S.): The university's Tippie College of Business MBA Net Impact Chapter recently won a Special Recognition Award for Marketing from the 2012 xpedx Greening Campus Challenge. The team developed a creative social media campaign to promote the first green roof on campus during its construction and opening phases as a way to involve the university community. The Net Impact Chapter at the Monterey Institute of International Studies (California) earned first place in the competition for its idea to reduce carbon emissions and create institutional policies that will favor energy efficiency upgrades and reduce water consumption on campus. Texas State University was the runner-up for its plan to conduct energy audits for small to medium businesses within the community and 41 small to medium buildings on campus.

Ivy League Partners with NRDC to Green Championship Events

The Ivy League will work with the Natural Resources Defense Council to reduce the environmental impacts of its championship events and provide greening resources to all Ivy athletics departments, with the goal of minimizing the environmental footprint of their operations and supply chains. A recent Ivy League Women’s Rowing Championship event kicked off the partnership, featuring recycling bins throughout the racecourse venue and event programs printed on 50 percent postconsumer recycled paper.

U Pennsylvania Launches Employee Home Greening Program

The university's new "Greening Penn at Home" initiative is designed to educate faculty and staff about best practices for energy efficiency at home. Penn Home Ownership Services has enlisted a regional provider of home energy efficiency analysis and improvement to present on-campus educational sessions, free home energy assessments and energy efficiency home improvements at preferred rates.

Emory U Hires New Sustainability Program Coordinators

To help fulfill the university's sustainability vision, Emily Cumbie-Drake will work with university committees and various campus groups and Kelly O’Day Weisinger will collaborate with university and Emory Healthcare leadership. The positions were funded via reductions in other administrative costs and direct funding from Emory Healthcare.

Macalester College President Signs UN Sustainability Declaration

The “Commitment to Sustainable Practices of Higher Education Institutions on the Occasion of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development” requires the college to share its education and operations sustainability goals with international frameworks like the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development.

U Calgary Launches Corporate Sustainability Center

The university has partnered with energy distributor Enbridge to open a new center in the Haskayne School of Business that will focus on aligning business and policy with environmental, social and economic considerations. Enbridge has committed $2.25 million over 10 years to the center for graduate student and faculty research, post-doctoral fellows and "research in action" seminars that will bring together researchers, practitioners and industry experts.

Chatham U Hosts Teaching Art Exhibit on Local Ecological Disaster

Celebrating the diversity of life in freshwater streams while raising questions about how water and resources are currently managed, “Reflections: Homage to Dunkard Creek” is a collaborative installation art project created by 90 regional artists. The project commemorates the lives of the many species that died in a local creek in September 2009 from a fatal combination of mine wastes and low water, exacerbated by industry water withdrawals, which introduced an alien toxic algae.

U Colorado Boulder Names 2012 Campus Sustainability Award Winners

The university has announced the campus individuals and departments that are being recognized this year for their commitment to reducing the burden that the university places on the environment. In addition to several individuals, awardees include Boulder Food Rescue, Fair Food Task Force, National Snow and Ice Data Center and Program for Writing and Rhetoric.

Portland State U Names New Sustainable Solutions Director

(U.S.): Jennifer H. Allen has been named as the new director of the Institute for Sustainable Solutions. Allen, who has served as the institute's interim director since October 2011, will lead sustainability research, education and community engagement efforts.

U Albany Signs United Nations Sustainability Declaration

(U.S.): The declaration denotes the university’s continued pledge to teach sustainable concepts, research environmental development issues and green the campus.

Temple U Hosts Sustainability Week

Focused on a call to action to "learn by doing," the week’s events included workshops and demonstrations that offer staff, students and faculty an opportunity to develop useful pursuits that can lead to a more sustainable lifestyle.

U Florida Launches Adopt-A-'Swamp' Program

Student organizations will have an opportunity to clean and maintain conservation areas on campus through the Office of Sustainability’s new Adopt-A-"Swamp" program. At the start of the 2012-2013 academic year, participants will be responsible for keeping a selected area clean by picking up litter, removing invasive species and other tasks, for one year.

SEI Suspends College Sustainability Report Card

The Sustainable Endowments Institute (SEI) has announced that it is suspending the production of its College Sustainability Report Card, reports the Chronicle of Higher Education, to focus on its Billion Dollar Green Challenge. “Funders are giving preference to the proactive mission of the Billion Dollar Green Challenge, thus leaving limited resources to produce the next edition of the Report Card,” the SEI founder wrote in a letter to institutions.

U Wisconsin-Oshkosh Hosts Social Justice Week

To reinforce that being "green" is only one dimension of being "sustainable," the university's Social Justice Week will introduce campus and community participants to a variety of thought leaders and topics related to social justice on the local, state and national level.

Western Michigan U Kicks Off First SustainabiliBASH

The university’s Office for Sustainability has collaborated with Students for a Sustainable Earth to launch this event, which will include gardening activities, composting demonstrations, community and campus presentations, nature walks and bike rides. The free event is open to the students, faculty, staff and community members.

York U Launches Sustainability Website

The new website hosts several new campus sustainability initiatives including sustainability ambassadors and green office programs. The campus community also has the opportunity to take sustainability pledges through the website.

Portland State U Introduces Sustainability Walking Tour

The self-guided tour map includes 14 campus sustainability features in areas including biking, recycling and electric vehicles.

La Trobe U Appoints Ed for Sustainable Development Fellow

(Australia): La Trobe University has appointed Jeremy Baskin as its education for sustainable development principal research fellow. Baskin, who brings a range of experience in sustainability related teaching and research to the position, will working to implement new cross-department postgraduate degrees and undergraduate majors and minors in social responsibility and environmental sustainability.

Georgian Court U, EPA Partner for Sustainability Initiatives

Georgian Court University (New Jersey) has partnered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for a range of voluntary programs designed to broaden the university’s sustainability initiatives. As part of the agreement, the university will use the EPA’s Greenscapes landscape planning recommendations, improve its stormwater management, work within the EPA’s WasteWise program and participate in the Labs21 Partnership Program.

Stanford U Conducts Sustainability Awareness Survey

Aiming to determine baseline levels of environmental sustainability awareness and everyday practice on campus, the survey of Stanford University (California) students, faculty and staff included questions regarding habits and barriers focused on office and room lighting, computers, monitors, printer use, air conditioners and heaters, refrigerators, reusable products, water, recycling and composting, food choices, and the influence of others.

U Oregon Launches Green Office Certification Program

The University of Oregon's Office of Sustainability is promoting sustainability awareness on campus with a new campus-wide Green Office certification program. Offices can earn points in areas including energy and water use, purchasing and managing materials, computer and electronics usage, lighting, heating and cooling, transportation and special events to become bronze-, silver-, gold- or platinum-certified. The program also features an office-level transportation survey that generates automated reports for staff and a space-heater exchange.

Campus Sustainability Planning: A March Update

The University of California, Office of the President has released its annual report on sustainability practices in its system. To date, highlights include 87 LEED certifications (including new construction, renovations, homes and existing building certifications; more than $32 million in annual cost savings from energy efficiency projects; and nine campuses that are diverting at least 50 percent of municipal waste from landfills. The University of Winnipeg’s (MB) Board of Regents has approved a comprehensive new sustainability plan aimed at strengthening sustainability-minded practices in all aspects of campus life. Ten specific goals will guide actions over the next four years including the reduction of water consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, and diverting 65 percent of all waste through composting and recycling by 2014. McGill University (QC) has embarked on Vision 2020: Creating a Sustainable McGill, a year-long consultation process to build an overarching sustainability vision and action plan for the entire university community. The conversation will happen online and at various events on its two campuses throughout 2012. The collaborative, student-driven initiative is being carried out with funding from the university's Sustainability Projects Fund. Yale University's (CT) Office of Sustainability has released its 2011 Strategic Plan Progress Report, outlining long-term goals and the progress made to date. Progress in 2011 included a 20 percent reduction in campus waste, a 15.3 percent reduction in campus energy consumption since 2005 and $39,825 awarded to campus sustainability projects through its new microloan program. Michigan State University has unveiled its Energy Transition Plan, a strategic document to help the university toward 100 percent renewable energy. With this plan, the university will pursue aggressive, sustainable energy conservation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; invest in sustainable energy research and development; and work to become an educational leader in sustainable energy. The University of Michigan's Office of Campus Sustainability has released its 2011 Annual Sustainability Report covering more than 170 environmental metrics. Highlights include the completion of a Campus Sustainability Integrated Assessment and subsequent goals to reduce its environmental impact; an 8 percent reduction in campus energy use; and 3 percent drop in total waste production from fiscal year 2010.

Study Finds Disconnect between Athletics and Sustainability

A recent study of sustainability practices at NCAA athletics departments reveals that cost concerns and a large disconnect with other campus departments charged with advancing sustainability appear to be preventing green efforts in athletics. While some schools are replacing incandescent light bulbs and utilizing recycling bins at stadiums, the North Carolina State University study concludes that most haven't included long-term sustainability planning in athletics departments' strategic plans.

Duke U Encourages Sustainability with 'Green Devil Smackdown'

Duke University (NC) has launched the "Green Devil Smackdown," a wrestling-themed competition to encourage sustainable behaviors on campus. For eight weeks, teams of campus community members will earn points for "green" actions including taking public transportation or carpooling to campus. The team that earns the highest average points per participant will be named the champion with a Green Devil championship belt, among other prizes.