U Colorado Boulder Leads in Number of Peace Corps Volunteers
The University of Colorado at Boulder leads the recently released Peace Corps' annual ranking of the colleges and universities that sent the most volunteers to serve last year, reports The Chronicle of Higher Education. With 117 volunteers, the university led the category of large colleges and universities. The universities of Florida, Michigan, North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Washington rounded out the top five.
U Dayton Implements Power Usage Report Cards
A recent survey at the University of Dayton (OH) shows that a new sustainability project targeting student neighborhoods is influencing student energy usage at home. The Greenhouse Effect report card program measures current resident usage of natural gas and electricity versus the bills of previous residents. Forty-eight percent of the 350 students surveyed said that their first report card grade affected their energy habits. Of the roughly 300 houses and 150 apartments tracked, it is estimated that $7,320 was saved over the course of November and December last year. The university’s administration is repaying the top performers with financial incentives to build support for the program.
San Francisco State U Debuts Center for Sustainable Business
San Francisco State University's (CA) College of Business has launched the Center for Ethical and Sustainable Business, a clearinghouse for sustainable and ethical business education that will incorporate research and expertise from disciplines across the college. The center will work to build long-term partnerships with local organizations and businesses interested in ethical and sustainable business practices and help facilitate career opportunities for the university's graduate business students, among other efforts.
Yale U Launches Green Certification Program for Labs
Fifty-five of Yale University's (CT) laboratories have stepped up to the challenge of making their everyday operations more sustainable as part of Yale Environmental Health and Safety's Green Laboratory Certification program. The program, which offers four levels of certification based on points awarded for various action items, also encourages laboratories to innovate their own strategies for reducing waste, energy use and material consumption, such as a solvent recycling system or the reuse of packing materials. It is complemented by the Yale Office of Sustainability's Green Workplace Certification program, which pursues a similar goal of institutional sustainability in university offices and departments.
NYC Urban Tech Innovation Center Launches at Columbia U
New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has announced the launch of the NYC Urban Technology Innovation Center at Columbia University (NY). Designed to promote the development and commercialization of green building technologies in New York City, the center will be led in partnership by Columbia University, Polytechnic Institute of New York, the New York City Economic Development Corporation and the City University of New York. The initiative will connect scientific research with companies creating the associated products and building owners who will use those technologies.
Campus Sustainability Planning: A January Update
Three institutions have reported the completion of 2010 sustainability progress reports to the AASHE Bulletin in the recent past. Princeton University (NJ) outlines its progress in the areas of greenhouse gas emissions reduction, resource conservation, research, education and civic engagement. Through direct local reductions, the university is set to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. Pomona College (CA) reports progress toward campus reduction of water use, landfill waste and fertilizer use. The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth has published its third annual sustainability report, researched and compiled by MBA students as part of an experiential learning assignment in a business law and corporate responsibility class. In related news , the University of Iowa has announced goals to become a net-negative energy consumer, reach 40 percent renewable energy consumption and divert 60 percent of its waste by 2020 in its "2020 Vision" sustainability plan.
Chatham U Announces Plans for New 388-Acre Campus
Chatham University (PA) has announced the launch of its multi-year Eden Hall Campus Master Plan. The campus will be constructed on 388 acres of farmland, a gift from the Eden Hall Foundation, which will also be home to the university's School of Sustainability and the Environment. The announcement comes on the heels the university's recent appointment of David Hassenzahl as dean of the new school. The Master Plan promises climate positive buildings and landscape design, meaning on-site greenhouse gas emissions will be less than zero. The campus will maintain nearly half of the 388 acres as open space and be organized into four districts. Phase one of the construction is expected to take place over a two- to three-year period at a cost of $30 million. It will take more than 10 years to complete the final phase four of the campus.
Hawaii Pacific U Hires First Sustainability Coordinator
Hawaii Pacific University has hired Josh Prigge as its first sustainability coordinator. Prigge is a graduate student in the university's Global Leadership and Sustainable Development program. Prigge, who also serves as vice president of the university's GREEN Club, will develop databases to track sustainability initiatives across campus and resource and energy use. He will also promote and implement campus sustainability initiatives, develop annual surveys that assess the university's state of sustainability and expand campus recycling programs.
U Chicago Approves Sustainable Building Policy
The University of Chicago (IL) has implemented a Sustainable Building Policy that will require all new campus buildings over $5 million to be LEED certified. In development over the last year and a half, the policy is the result of a collaboration between students, faculty and staff. Students led efforts to conduct a peer review of green building policies and helped draft the university's new policy.
Indiana U Office of Sustainability Awards Green Certification
Indiana University’s Office of Sustainability has awarded the first certification of its Green Office Certification program. The Office of Environmental, Health and Safety Management received the first level of certification by fulfilling 17 actions including the establishment of a central location for the collection and re-distribution of surplus office supplies and unplugging electronic appliances when not in use. The Office of Sustainability implemented the certification program in August 2010 to make the task of greening office spaces more tangible and accessible to the campus community.
Temple U Kicks Off Sustainability Pledge Drive
Temple University (PA) has kicked off a Sustainability Pledge Drive aimed at collecting sustainability commitments from 3,000 students, faculty and staff by Earth Day on April 22, 2011. The drive challenges the campus community to live more sustainably in all areas of their lives including transportation alternatives, energy use, food choices, waste reduction and water conservation. The Office of Sustainability will track the success of the drive and post weekly updates online. The office is also working with members in individual campus departments to conduct green office audits that evaluate current operating practices including energy usage, recycling and purchasing practices.
U California Riverside Hires New Sustainability Coordinator
The University of California, Riverside has hired Fulbright scholar and sustainable management M.B.A. graduate John Cook as its new sustainability coordinator. Cook will work to meet the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction goals set in the university's Climate Action Plan with representatives from housing, dining, energy, transportation, sustainability and the Office of the Chancellor. He will also work with students as a mentor on campus LEED projects, developing content for the sustainability website, collecting data for the GHG inventory and the Green Campus Action Plan, a student-approved referendum that is funded with a per-student, per-quarter fee of $2.50.
Wesleyan U Establishes Green Fund Committee
Wesleyan University (CT) has established a Green Fund Committee to support initiatives that move the university forward in sustainability and environmental stewardship. The student-managed committee will finance projects that will decrease the carbon footprint of the university, decrease waste, increase the university’s use of energy from renewable resources and increase the visibility of environmentally responsible practices on campus. The committee raised about $40,000 through a $15 fee collected voluntarily from students during the fall 2010 semester.
Skidmore College Hires New Sustainability Coordinator
Skidmore College (NY) has hired Riley Neugebauer as its new campus sustainability coordinator. Neugebauer has significant experience working with student groups and previously held sustainability positions with American University (DC) and Allegheny College (PA). She has also worked as a research analyst in renewable energy options and energy efficiency, and currently serves on the AASHE Advisory Council. Neugebauer will work on the completion and implementation of the college's Climate Action Plan in addition to other projects that include "composting, managing the Eco-Rep program, creating awareness around diversity and sustainability, stewardship within the campus-owned forest, building community relationships and investigating alternative financing for renewable energy," she tells AASHE Bulletin.
U Colorado Boulder Awarded First STARS Gold Rating
AASHE's Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) has awarded its first STARS Gold rating. The University of Colorado at Boulder is the third school to submit for a rating, earning STARS Gold with high ratings in operations, education and research, and planning, administration and engagement. More than 230 colleges and universities throughout the U.S. and Canada have registered for STARS, with 229 of those recognized as STARS Charter Participants (institutions that signed on prior to Aug. 20, 2010). STARS Charter Participants, including the University of Colorado at Boulder, range from individual campuses to university districts, community colleges to research universities, tribal to parochial, and public to private institutions. Previously rated schools include Pacific Lutheran University (WA) and Royal Roads University (BC).
Williams College Launches New Sustainability Website
The Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives at Williams College (MA) has launched a new campus sustainability website. The site features sustainability news stories and upcoming events, and encourages each campus building to keep track of its energy use with an energy dashboard feature. Interns in the college's summer instructional technology program helped design the website.
Florida State U Names First Campus Sustainability Director
Florida State University has hired its first full-time director of campus sustainability. Elizabeth Swiman will head the university's Sustainable Campus Initiative including its recycling program, Eco Rep program, energy conservation competition and annual charity collection drive. Swiman previously worked as a community engagement coordinator for the university's Center for Leadership and Civic Education and served on the Sustainable Campus Committee.
Stony Brook U Creates Green Map
Stony Brook University (NY) has created a web-based, interactive “Green Map” to showcase and raise awareness of campus sustainability initiatives. The map will enable users to learn more about each initiative by clicking on the sustainability markers. Created by the university's Sustainability Task Force, the map will continue to be updated as new sustainability projects are initiated.
ACUPCC Elects 2010-2011 Steering Committee
The American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) has elected five new co-chairs and 17 new members to its Steering Committee. The network of 675 colleges and universities in all 50 states and D.C. - representing nearly six million students - is led by a Steering Committee comprised of 29 university and college presidents and chancellors. The five new co-chairs include the president of Winona State University (MN), the chancellor of the Houston Community College District (TX), the president of Spelman College (GA), the president of Unity College (ME) and the chancellor of the University of California, Riverside.
Emory U Creates Green Event Planning Guidelines
Emory University's (GA) Office of Sustainability Initiatives, Emory Recycles and the Office of University Events have launched a Sustainable Events Certification program. The program is designed to guide campus event planners and organizers in creating events in a sustainable way including reducing waste and departmental costs. The certification guidelines outline best practices and offer three levels of sustainability that event planners can achieve. Event planners are encouraged to use Emory's Encore! program to recycle, repurpose and reuse decor, packaged foods, supplies and rentals.
Maryland Institutions Propose Energy Performance Contract
Bowie State University, Towson University and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County have proposed an Energy Performance Contract to the University System of Maryland Board of Regents. The contract would allow the institutions to reduce energy consumption, save operating budget funds and replace aging mechanical systems. The board has approved energy contracts for multiple buildings at the University of Maryland, College Park; the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science; and the University of Baltimore.
Sustainable Endowments Inst. Releases Green College Report Card
The Sustainable Endowments Institute has released its fifth annual College Sustainability Report Card, evaluating sustainability in campus operations and endowment practices for colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada. This year's report represents institutions in 50 states and eight Canadian provinces, assessing the schools in nine categories ranging from climate change to green building to investment practices. Ninety-five percent of institutions included in the report have sustainability committees, compared to 40 percent in 2006. Other large increases since 2006 include trayless dining practices (75 percent from 0 percent in 2006) and the implementation of a campus farm or garden (70 percent from 9 percent in 2006).
U Arizona Creates Campus Sustainability Units
The University of Arizona has created the President’s Advisory Council on Environmental Sustainability, the Office of Sustainability and the student-led Green Fund Committee. The campus sustainability trio will ensure the coordinated participation of students, faculty, staff and administrators in maintaining the university’s commitment to sustainability. The units will also ensure that the Board of Regents’ approved tuition resources are dedicated to campus design, student engagement, operations, research and outreach.
Vermont Law School Opens Center for Agriculture and Food Systems
Vermont Law School has announced plans to open a Center for Agriculture and Food Systems to support advocates, agencies, food hubs, incubators and farmers engaged in the creation of community-based agriculture systems. The new center will focus on legal and policy issues related to community-based agriculture, the regulation of food, the Farm Bill and agricultural subsidies, energy-efficient food production and energy independence for farmers. The center will be modeled after the school’s Institute for Energy and the Environment.
Chatham U Names Dean for School of Sustainability and Environment
Chatham University (PA) has named David Hassenzahl, Ph.D. as the founding dean of its School of Sustainability and the Environment. Hassenzahl will help shape the mission and curriculum for the new school, and the development of Chatham's 388-acre Eden Hall Farm Campus, where the school will eventually be headquartered. Hassenzahl is a senior fellow for the National Council for Science and the Environment, through which his climate change education efforts are supported by the National Science Foundation and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. He comes to Chatham from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he served as chair and associate professor in the environmental studies department.
Columbia College Chicago Creates Sustainability Task Force
Columbia College Chicago (IL) has created a Sustainability Task Force. The group, made up of 30 faculty, staff and student members, is working with a consulting team to create a sustainability management plan. Students can also play an active role by joining the Environmental Protection Initiative at Columbia, a student-run environmental club.
Grand Valley State U Awards Green Campus Practices
Grand Valley State University (MI) has launched a Sustainable Office Award program to recognize sustainability efforts across campus. Faculty and staff can visit the university's Sustainable Community Development Initiative website to answer a survey that investigates sustainability aspects of office practices including environment, economics and social impact. Based on their responses, faculty and staff are awarded a bronze to platinum rating. The university hopes to raise awareness of sustainability efforts and create an atmosphere where the campus will be excited about achieving the next level of sustainability.
Medical U South Carolina Encourages Enviro Component of Medicine
The Medical University of South Carolina has named Dr. Louis Guillette as the new Center of Economic Excellence Endowed Chair in Marine Genomics. With a joint appointment in the university's Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Marine Biomedicine and Environmental Sciences Center, the focus of Guillette's research will be to develop an environmental reproductive biology group. His goal is to emphasize how important the environmental component is to the practice of medicine, stating that the next 15 to 20 years will reveal huge numbers of diseases caused by environmental factors.
National Wildlife Federation Rolls Out Greenforce Initiative
The National Wildlife Federation, in partnership with Jobs for the Future, is promoting community college green job education and training through the Greenforce Initiative: Advancing Greener Careers and Campuses. Funded by the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, the two-year project aims to strengthen the capacity of community colleges in the U.S. to implement green career programs in response to the rapidly growing clean energy job sector.
Pacific Lutheran U Earns First STARS Silver Rating
AASHE’s Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) has awarded its first STARS rating. Pacific Lutheran University (WA) is the first institution to submit for a rating, earning STARS Silver. More than 230 colleges and universities throughout the U.S. and Canada have registered for STARS, with 229 of those recognized as STARS Charter Participants (institutions that signed on prior to Aug. 20, 2010). Charter Participants, including Pacific Lutheran University, are recognized as pioneers of STARS and leaders in campus sustainability. STARS Charter Participants range from individual campuses to university districts, community colleges to research universities, tribal to parochial, and public to private institutions.
Portland State U Creates Institute for Sustainable Solutions
Portland State University (OR) has created the Institute for Sustainable Solutions, formerly known as the Center for Sustainable Processes and Practices. The name change reflects new leadership and an expanded role since the center was first established. The new institute will serve as a hub and catalyst for education, research, partnerships and community engagement, and will signal a more solutions-oriented focus for sustainability activities.
Ryerson U Establishes Center for Urban Energy
Ryerson University (ON) has announced the creation of the Center for Urban Energy, a research and technology demonstration center devoted to the discovery and commercialization of urban energy solutions. The center will combine engineering, science, environment, business and infrastructure management to tackle immediate challenges such as the development of clean energy technologies, energy conservation, alternative local energy generation, energy storage and adaptable infrastructure.
U Texas San Antonio Establishes Sustainability Council
The University of Texas at San Antonio has established a Sustainability Council. The council will develop a five-year plan for sustainability-related university programs and collaboration with community organizations. The 20-member council, comprised of students, faculty and staff, is charged with advising campus administrators on strategies for enhancing sustainability, the allocation of resources and the monitoring of sustainability programs.
Princeton Review Names Green Rating Honor Roll Institutions
The Princeton Review has named 18 institutions to its 2011 Green Rating Honor Roll for receiving the highest possible score in its Green Rating tallies this year. Green Ratings are a measure of how environmentally friendly an institution is on a scale of 66 to 99. Ratings for 703 institutions were tallied based on surveys concerning green practices, policies and academic offerings. The top 18 schools are Arizona State University; College of the Atlantic (ME); Evergreen State College (WA); Georgia Institute of Technology; Harvard University (MA); Northeastern University (MA); Northland College (WI); State University of New York, Binghamton University; Unity College (ME); University of California, Berkeley; University of California, Santa Barbara; University of California, Santa Cruz; University of Georgia; University of Maine; University of Maryland, College Park; Warren Wilson College (NC); West Virginia University; and Yale University (CT).
Sierra Magazine Names 'Coolest Schools'
Sierra, the official magazine of the Sierra Club, has released its fourth annual ranking of America's greenest campuses. Eleven-page questionnaires were sent to 900 colleges and universities, asking them to detail their sustainability efforts. After consulting the club's conservation experts, the magazine gave more weight to each school's energy supply. As a result, this year's top 20 includes nine newcomers. The top 20 schools, in order, are: Green Mountain College (VT); Dickinson College (PA); Evergreen State College (WA); University of Washington; Stanford University (CA); University of California, Irvine; Northland College (WI); Harvard University (MA); College of the Atlantic (ME); Hampshire College (MA); University of California, Santa Cruz; Middlebury College (VT); University of Colorado, Boulder; Warren Wilson College (NC); University of California, San Diego; University of California, Davis; University of Vermont; University of Pennsylvania; New York University; and Georgia Institute of Technology.
Wake Forest U Launches Sustainability Center
Wake Forest University (NC) has launched the Center for Energy, Environment and Sustainability. The new interdisciplinary center will promote action and collaboration across the fields of renewable energy, biodiversity and ecosystem conservation, environmental policy, human behavior, social influence, enterprise and environmental markets. The center will also provide a focal point for engaging the public on issues of sustainability.
U Missouri, Kansas City Hires Sustainability Coordinator
The University of Missouri, Kansas City's Campus Facilities Management program has named its first full-time sustainability coordinator. Kaye Johnston, a geosciences and public affairs Ph.D. student at the university, will helm campus sustainability efforts. Johnston currently serves as the leader of the university's Sustainability Team.
Yale U Develops Green Incentive Program
Yale University (CT) has developed a set of Green Certification programs for campus workplaces, labs and events. The program is designed to educate faculty and staff about the sustainable practices they can implement to reduce the university’s impact on the environment. A blend of information and incentives, the program offers four levels of certification. Workplaces, for example, can attain the various levels of certification by accumulating points that are awarded through the accomplishment of ongoing, monthly activities.
U Alberta Hires New Academic Coord for Office of Sustainability
Dr. Susan Barker has been named as the new academic coordinator for the University of Alberta's (AB) Office of Sustainability. The academic branch encourages sustainable concepts in classes, curriculum and research. Barker, whose research interests include ecological and environmental education, is currently the university's chair of Secondary Education and serves on the Canadian National Expert Council for Education for Sustainable Development.
U South Florida Global Sustainability School Names First Director
The University of South Florida has named Kalanithy Vairavamoorthy as director of the university's new School of Global Sustainability. The former chair professor of water engineering at the University of Birmingham (UK) and chair professor of sustainable urban water infrastructure systems for UNESCO-IHE's Institute of Water Education will begin his new assignment in the fall with the inaugural class of 25 students. The School of Global Sustainability is an interdisciplinary effort to prepare graduate students for a new generation of "green collar" careers. The first degree program offered by the school is a global sustainability master's degree with a focus on water management.
Hadassah College Jerusalem Certified 'Green' Campus
Hadassah College Jerusalem has received a green campus certification from the Israel Ministry of Environmental Protection as part of a nationwide effort in Israel to promote environmental initiatives by recognizing green practices at academic institutions. Among the sustainable efforts at the college is the reduction of chemicals and increase of environmentally friendly materials in laboratories; regular recycling of paper, plastic bottles and batteries; and the installation of 'light pipes' that transmit natural light from outside. The college also offers a full scholarship to all environmental health sciences freshman with the requirement to engage in environmental community projects throughout Jerusalem.
U Western Sydney Launches Sustainability Website
The University of Western Sydney (Australia) has launched a sustainability website. To help further its sustainability focus, the website provides information about the university's sustainability initiatives in the areas of energy, buildings, transportation, recycling and waste, research, water and curriculum. The university has also been commissioned by the Australian government to provide a comprehensive resource for the variety of ways that issues of social, economic and environmental sustainability are being addressed in higher education curriculum. Together with the Australian Learning and Teaching Council, the university will launch a website in November that maps current sustainability initiatives and encourages the sharing of resources and best practices.
USA Today: Colleges Using Sustainability to Attract Students
Using sustainability to attract student enrollment is a growing trend among higher education institutions, says a recent article in USA Today. Twenty-seven percent of colleges and universities incorporated a sustainability message during admissions and student orientation processes in 2009. Today, the number has increased to 69 percent.
Babson College Tops Green Business School Ranking
Babson College (MA), the College of William & Mary (VA), and the University of Virginia ranked highest among undergraduate green business programs in a list released recently by Bloomberg BusinessWeek . The magazine ranked colleges and universities on sustainability coursework offered to undergraduate students. Babson College tops the list with a Green Tower residence hall dedicated to sustainable living and business. The second-ranked College of William & Mary (Mason) launched a campus-wide sustainability initiative in 2008, opening a LEED Gold certified business building and conducting sustainability curriculum audits. In third place, University of Virginia (McIntire) offers a range of sustainability-focused coursework and features two LEED certified buildings.
McGill U Launches Plan for Car-Free Zone
McGill University (QC) has launched the Greening Lower Campus project, which aims to create a pedestrian-friendly campus space, as free as possible of vehicles. As part of the initiative, parking availability will be substantially reduced, vehicular circulation limited, and deliveries restricted to certain hours. Parking and transportation services for persons with disabilities will continue to be available and accessible. The new project is part of McGill's Master Plan.
Several Campuses Pilot Green Landscaping Rating System
The American Society of Landscape Architects, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas at Austin, and the United States Botanic Garden have launched a pilot version of their new Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES), in which several colleges and universities are participating. SITES, which is intended for use on sites of all types to gauge and certify their sustainability, aims to assess and rate green landscapes and green spaces. Under the SITES system, locations are rated on a 250-point scale for possible certification at four levels. Points are awarded for elements such as site selection, water, soil, vegetation, materials, human health and well-being, construction and maintenance. SITES has a goal of releasing a final version of its rating system and reference guide in 2013.
U Pennsylvania Selected for Sustainable Landscape Rating Pilot
A University of Pennsylvania project has been selected as a pilot for the nation’s first rating system for green landscape design, construction, and maintenance - the Sustainable Site Initiative. The selected project is designed to turn aging paved tennis courts into an urban park. The project is expected to improve water quality, minimize runoff, restore biomass, increase local biodiversity, and reduce the urban heat island effect. The Sustainable Sites Initiative will pilot more than 150 projects in the U.S., Canada, Iceland, and Spain to evaluate its new rating system for sustainable landscapes.
MIT Hires Concrete Sustainability Hub Director
Massachusetts Institute of Technology has hired Hamlin Jennings as the inaugural director of its Concrete Sustainability Hub, a research center established in October 2009 with the goal of accelerating emerging breakthroughs in concrete science and swiftly transferring those research advances into industry. Research projects in the Concrete Sustainability Hub will fall under three areas: concrete materials science, building technology, and the econometrics of sustainable development. Hamlin will also hold the position of adjunct professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
Cornell U Forms New Groups to Advance Sustainability Efforts
Cornell University (NY) has introduced two organizations to promote sustainability initiatives on campus: the President’s Sustainable Campus Committee (PSCC) and the Energy and Sustainability Department. The new 13-member PSCC, which includes representatives from operations and academic staff, students, and faculty, will oversee all aspects of sustainability in campus operations and facilities. The Energy and Sustainability Department, formed by Facilities Services, will provide energy for campus and coordinate the implementation of PSCC initiatives. Sustainability Coordinator Dan Roth will continue to oversee coordination and communication support for campus sustainability initiatives through the Sustainability Office.
Ithaca College Unveils Publications Sustainability Rating System
Ithaca College (NY) has unveiled a sustainability index system to rate the College's publications. Among the publication sustainability considerations are: the percentage of post-consumer recycled content of the paper; if the piece is printed without metallic inks or foil; how the finished publication is bound; whether there is an environmental statement printed onto the piece itself; and the packaging of the final product and preparation for mailing.