U Maryland Launches Green Office Program
The University of Maryland has started rewarding offices on campus for sustainability efforts through its new Green Office Program. The voluntary initiative is designed to generate campus-wide results by increasing sustainability consciousness on a personal level. After completing a checklist of five items including a green office pledge, an environmental audit, and the appointment of a green office representative to oversee sustainability efforts, participants can choose to pursue a gold, silver or bronze level of certification.
Yale U Names New Sustainable Food Project Director
Yale University's (CT) Sustainable Food Project has appointed Mark Bomford as its new director. Bomford, who previously led sustainable food efforts at the University of British Columbia, will lead the Sustainable Food Project's campus organic farm and educational programs.
Baylor U Launches Green Meeting Certification Program
Baylor University’s (TX) Department of Sustainability has launched a Green Meeting Certification program, which seeks to make on-campus meetings more environmentally friendly. Departments can apply for certification online and receive environmental scores ranging from “bronze” to “green” that are valid for one year. The website lists methods to reduce waste such as electronic communication, recycling, reusable utensils and saving leftover food.
Duke U Awards First Green Workplace Certifications
Duke University (NC) has awarded five office units with its first Green Workplace certifications. Recognizing work areas that formally assess how they are reducing their environmental footprint, the certification process includes a checklist of sustainable practices ranging from double-sided printing to using eco-friendly dishwashing soap in a break room. A work area that follows at least 40 of the checklist's 57 items can apply for certification and permission to post the Duke Green Workplace seal in its office and on materials.
Yale U Debuts Online Sustainability Campus Tour
The Yale Visitor Center has collaborated with Yale University's (CT) Office of Sustainability to launch an online sustainability tour of campus. Featuring Gardens & Grounds, Buildings and Energy sections, the tour highlights campus green roofs, LEED buildings, renewable energy installations, compost tea studies and rainwater capture systems.
Ecotech Institute Appoints First Director of Career Services
Ecotech Institute (CO), a college focused on preparing America's workforce for careers in renewable energy and sustainable design, has appointed its first director of career services to help graduates find green jobs. In her new position, Susan Pawlak will focus on creating long-term relationships with renewable energy and sustainable companies to match graduates with employers.
Campus Sustainability Planning: A November Update
The University of Maryland has updated its Facilities Master Plan to include a more detailed environmental stewardship and sustainability section. The plan's nine new sustainability targets include carbon neutral building design; energy and water consumption reduction strategies; and an outdoor teaching plan to maximize the use of campus space. The University of California, Berkeley has released its 2011 Sustainability Report. Noteworthy achievements in the last year include a reduction of electricity usage by 14 million kilowatt-hours since 2006; the completion of six LEED-certified buildings; and a student vote to end the sale of bottled water on campus. North Carolina State University's Campus Environmental Sustainability Team has released its 2010-2011 Annual Sustainability Report. Highlights include the completion of an award-winning rain garden designed and installed by students, and the launch of Certified Wolfpack Green, a formal process for recognizing efforts to "green" campus events.
Indiana U-Purdue U Indianapolis Names Sustainability Director
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis has named Colleen J. McCormick as director of its new Office of Sustainability. McCormick, who previously worked in the university's Department of Environmental Health and Safety, will initially work to create the office's website, develop student internship opportunities and enhance the campus recycling program.
U Oregon Produces Campus Sustainability Tour App
The University of Oregon has released a new campus sustainability tour feature on its iPhone app. Users can tour the university's sustainable features through photos, descriptive text and web links. In its first month of release, the app has received about 1,000 downloads a day.
Arizona State U Expands Global Institute of Sustainability
Arizona State University has partnered with Tecnologico de Monterrey to launch the Latin America office of ASU's Global Institute of Sustainability. The Latin America office will conduct applied, transdisciplinary research to address Latin American issues, offer an innovative curriculum, and develop business solutions and governance models that accelerate the adoption of a sustainable culture.
Citrus College Launches Sustainability Pilot Program
In partnership with the California Community College Chancellor's Office, Citrus College will develop a pilot program to serve as a sustainability model for other California community colleges in the 112-college system. A committee of faculty and staff will create a sustainability template that addresses the areas of energy, transportation, recycling and curriculum.
Colo State U Students Call for Health, Sustainability Coordinator
The Associated Students of Colorado State University has proposed to split the current sustainability/health coordinator position into two separate positions. The split will ensure that all of the university's sustainability initiatives are maintained in response to a new health component that was added this year, which required the position to market health-related information and advocate for responsible drinking programming to students.
Georgia Perimeter College Appoints Sustainable Living Director
Georgia Perimeter College has named Dr. Joanne Chu as its first director of sustainable living and environmental studies. Most recently a scholar-in-residence in environmental and sustainability studies at Agnes Scott College (GA), Chu will work to integrate sustainable principles and practices into the college's academics, campus operations and student life.
North Carolina State U Debuts Green Events Certification
North Carolina State University has certified the first two events under its new "Certified Wolfpack Green" events program. The program includes food, waste, purchasing, education, marketing, transportation, energy and water, service and innovation categories that qualify campus events for a Contributor, Steward or Champion certification. The university's Sustainability Office has created a three-step process that event planners can complete toward certification.
Princeton U Develops Campus Sustainability Kiosk, Mobile App
The Office of Sustainability and the Office of the University Architect at Princeton University (NJ) have partnered with an architectural firm to develop an interactive sustainability kiosk. The kiosk will include multifunctional display cases, a video screen, demonstration space for rotating exhibits, green tour information, a bulletin board for student groups and energy monitoring dashboard. The university has also launched a new mobile application for smartphones that allows community members and visitors to take a sustainability tour of campus.
STARS Launches International Pilot
Due to growing interest at the international level, AASHE is implementing a pilot program to welcome higher education institutions worldwide to participate in STARS. The pilot will provide an opportunity for international institutions to share feedback and make suggestions for improvements to the system, and the results will help determine the eventual role of STARS in a global context.
U Michigan Announces $14 Mil Campus Sustainability Overhaul
The University of Michigan has announced plans to invest $14 million in campus sustainability initiatives. Plans include the purchase of a fleet of 37 hybrid vehicles, a 40 percent reduction in campus waste output, an "extensive" solar array installation and a formal commitment to support local farmers and producers. The university is aiming for a 25 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2025.
Saint Mary's College Creates Center for Environmental Literacy
Saint Mary's College of California has announced the launch of its new Center for Environmental Literacy. The new center will explore and promote educational programming and professional development opportunities for educators to integrate nature and the arts into K-12 academic curricula and collaborate with faculty seeking to merge environmental issues into their research and coursework.
Yale U Revitalizes Green Event Certification
Yale University's (CT) Office of Sustainability has developed a new and improved green event certification to encourage, recognize and celebrate the voluntary sustainable efforts of campus event organizers. Participants interested in certifying their event can complete a green event checklist with action items in categories including transportation, stationery and handouts, catering, energy efficiency and offsets, waste, and event communications. A total score is calculated based on applicable action items for a bronze, silver, gold or platinum award.
Dickinson College Appoints Sustainability Ed Assistant Director
Dickinson College (PA) has named Lindsey Lyons as its new Center for Sustainability Education (CSE) assistant director. Lyons, who previously taught environmental science at Wilson College (PA), will focus on communicating the sustainability vision on campus including an upcoming organic farming conference and the redesign of the CSE website.
U Buffalo Creates Chief Sustainability Officer Post
The University at Buffalo (NY) has announced a new position of chief sustainability officer. Ryan McPherson, currently associate vice president for government and community relations, has been named to the position to provide leadership and direction for university sustainability initiatives. In his new role, McPherson will coordinate university-wide environmental efforts through UB Green, the campus environmental office, partnering with the Environmental Stewardship Committee.
Washington U St. Louis Names Director of Sustainability
Phil Valko has been named director of sustainability at Washington University in St. Louis (MO). Valko will work with senior administrators, faculty, staff and students to incorporate and implement sustainable practices into the university's operational procedures, resource management and strategic planning, and provide leadership and support for the university's current sustainability initiatives and programs. Valko was previously the active living program manager for Trailnet, an organization that promotes walking, bicycling, hiking and conservation events throughout the St. Louis, Mo. region.
Earlham College Launches Center for Environmental Action
Earlham College (IN) has launched the Center for Environmental Action with the aim of enhancing teaching and learning in relation to environmental issues. The central focus of the center is to develop and promote experiential, field-based learning opportunities both on and off campus for students and faculty.
NY Times Takes Stock of Campus Sustainability
In the rush to go green, colleges and universities across the country have primarily focused on the environment, largely ignoring the social and economic pillars of sustainability, reports a recent article in The New York Times. “In the U.S., unlike much of the world, the organizing paradigm of sustainability [began] with an environmental orientation and then added on environmental justice and ecological economics,” notes Paul Rowland, executive director of AASHE in the article. Oberlin College’s (OH) the Oberlin Project is highlighted as an example of a higher education project that aims to implement a vision of full-spectrum sustainability.
San Francisco State U Creates Guidelines for Green Campus Living
San Francisco State University (CA) has created guidelines for greener campus living. Geared toward for incoming students, the university issued a flyer, Top Ten Tips for a Sustainable Move-In and Life at SF State, which includes ways to curb energy use. Students can also take a survey to find out their carbon footprint.
Ball State U Launches Sustainability Guide for Students
Ball State University (IN) has released "Students + Sustainability," a guide that provides recommendations for ways that students can implement sustainable practices into their everyday lifestyles in areas including home, class, traveling, eating and shopping. The guide includes a brief narrative illustrating the importance of sustainability in the campus community and highlights several key initiatives toward the university's goal of becoming sustainable. The initiative also features a Facebook page with weekly "green challenges."
Sierra Magazine Names 2011 'Coolest' Schools
Sierra, the official magazine of the Sierra Club, has released its fifth annual ranking of America's greenest campuses. Climbing up from number four last year, the University of Washington takes the top spot in 2011. The list was created out of 182 schools that responded to a Sierra survey that included questions in categories including energy supply, efficiency, food, academics, purchasing, transportation, waste management, administration and financial investments. The remaining top 10 schools, in order, are: Green Mountain College (VT); University of California, San Diego; Warren Wilson College (NC); Stanford University (CA); University of California, Irvine; University of California, Santa Cruz; University of California, Davis; Evergreen State College (WA); and Middlebury College (VT).
Unity College Holds Orientation Trip with Sustainability Focus
Unity College's (ME) Nova Wilderness Orientation Program recently held its Sustainable Living Tour for incoming students. With the aim of connecting students with the farm community, the trip consisted of tours and service projects at local farms.
U Tennessee Knoxville Creates Sustainable Living Guide
The University of Tennessee at Knoxville has created a new sustainable living and working guide for students. The Big Orange Green Guide includes information on reducing waste and recycling, saving energy and water, eating healthy, commuting by bike and getting involved on campus and in the community. It also provides practical tips for “going green" on campus and at home. The university hopes the guide will inspire students to adopt sustainable practices into their everyday routine.
Vanderbilt U Launches Sustainability Project
Vanderbilt University (TN) has launched the Sustainability Project for the 2011-2012 academic year with the goal of creating a dialogue across all parts of the campus about environmental, social and economic sustainability. More than 30 classes will incorporate sustainability themes, and the initiative will infuse sustainability into many other phases of the coming academic year including a speaker series, documentary film series and field trips. The initiative is supported by the College of Arts and Science Fant fund.
Florida Int'l U Solar House to Become Sustainability Office
A team of Florida International University students and faculty have designed and engineered a house for the 2011 Solar Decathlon competition, taking place in the fall. When the house returns to the university, it will become the new home of the Office of University Sustainability. The house emphasizes adaptability and customization as key components of its energy performance. Designed for south Florida’s potentially harsh hurricane seasons, the house features floor-to-ceiling windows protected by an advanced louver system designed to both provide shade when opened and protection from high winds when closed. One hundred percent of the total energy will be produced by solar panels.
STARS Ratings Pass 100 Institution Mark
With submission deadlines last week, 104 institutions have now submitted reports to AASHE's Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System (STARS) during the past year. A total of 22 institutions have received a gold rating, 55 have earned a silver rating, and 21 have received a bronze rating. Six institutions also submitted their data as a STARS Reporter, indicating that they were not seeking an overall score but wanted to make their data public. The ratings are indicators of the sustainability performance of an institution using a broad and comprehensive set of credits. More than 260 institutions from the U.S. and Canada are currently participating in STARS. The remainder will be submitting their reports throughout the next year.
U Washington Creates Campus Sustainability Dashboard
The University of Washington has created a new sustainability dashboard. The site provides a one-stop source for information on all the sustainability measures happening on campus. The site is also hopes to be a resource for the growing number of organizations and publications that are ranking and reviewing the sustainability efforts of universities and other major institutions.
Campus Sustainability Planning: An August Update
The University of Kansas has created its first Campus Sustainability Plan. For the past year, a group of more than 150 administrators, faculty, staff and students have been working on a host of action steps and recommendations that will build a more sustainable community over the next 40 years. The plan focuses on nine major areas: administration, built environment, campus grounds, curriculum and research, energy, procurement, student life, transportation and waste reduction. In related news, Pennsylvania State University has begun drafting its first strategic plan for sustainability. The development will involve students, faculty, staff, leadership, alumni, supporters and corporate partners. The council’s plan aims to make the university a living laboratory of sustainable ideas. The goals under consideration include ensuring that graduates have a deep understanding of sustainability; engaging the community in learning about and pursuing sustainability; creating an integrated living laboratory for global sustainability; and advancing sustainability within the greater community.
Australian National U Announces Green Precinct Project
The Australian National University has announced that it will establish itself as one of 13 Australian Green Precinct demonstration sites. The Green Precincts Fund is an Australian Government initiative to prepare Australia for a future with less water and to encourage local communities to better manage their water and energy use for current and future generations. The Education Precincts for the Future project, co-funded by the university and the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities under the Green Precincts Fund, will create a showcase sustainability precinct on campus to demonstrate effective climate change solutions, significant water savings, community motivation and mobilization, and the strategic extension of solutions to the wider community.
Central European U Establishes Sustainability Committee
Central European University (Hungary) has established a new Sustainability Advisory Committee. Guided by the university’s Sustainable Development Policy, the committee engages the university community to promote sustainability in education, research, management, operations and outreach. Members include representatives from university faculty, students, staff and administrators.
CQ U Establishes Environmental Steering Committee
CQUniversity (Australia) recently created an Environmental Sustainability Committee and has joined the national body, Australasian Campuses Towards Sustainability. Including a range of representatives from across campus, the committee aims to foster discussion and action about sustainability issues in all aspects of operation including curriculum, resource use, waste management, recycling and purchasing policies. The university will undertake an electricity and water audit this year as required by the state government and electricity usage audits of selected individual buildings are also planned as part of a research project by the university's Power Engineering Research Group.
EAUC Announces 2011 Green Gown Awards Shortlist
The United Kingdom's Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC) has announced the shortlist for its 2011 Green Gown Awards. Now in its seventh year, the awards program recognizes exceptional initiatives being undertaken by universities and colleges across the United Kingdom to become more sustainable. Winners from the shortlisted entries will be announced at an awards ceremony in November 2011 in London.
Galway-Mayo Institute of Tech Awarded Int'l Green Campus Award
The Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology has become the first institute in Ireland to receive the international Green Campus Award from the Green Campus Program, an international environmental education and award program that promotes long-term, whole college action for the environment. The institute's sustainability efforts in the past year include a 7 percent reduction in campus energy use; significant waste diversion and recycling success; water saving measures; and energy efficiency initiatives such as energy shutdowns during holiday periods and the switch to a renewable energy supplier.
Hokkaido U Debuts Campus Sustainability Office
Hokkaido University (Japan) has opened its first Office for a Sustainable Campus. The office was established to spearhead a campus-wide sustainability management system by collecting ideas, suggestions and recommendations for implementing sustainability across campus departments. Currently, the university features several sustainability initiatives including campus biodiversity surveys, green building guidelines and sustainability outreach to students, faculty and staff. The university plans to reduce its carbon emissions by 20 percent by 2020.
Monash U Produces Video: 5 Green Actions for Students
Monash University (Australia) has released a video to encourage students to foster sustainability on campus with five green actions. The video encourages students to turn off lights - which account for 25 percent of the university's total electricity - when not in use; eat green through its Health Smart Earth Smart program; take the university's environmental pledge, signed by nearly 6,000 students and staff since its debut in 2010; use sustainable transport; and recycle to further increase the campus recycling rate, which jumped from 15 percent to 30 percent in the past year.
Newman U College Earns Sustainable Campus Award
Newman University College (United Kingdom) has received a silver award from EcoCampus, praising its commitment to achieving an environmentally sustainable campus. The award follows the university’s redevelopment of its campus, which is designed to improve the environment and facilities for students, staff and the local community. The award recognizes universities that address key issues of environmental sustainability and provides tools to help them move further towards environmental sustainability through operational and management practices.
Otago Polytechnic Releases New Sustainability Report
Otago Polytechnic (New Zealand) has released its 2010 sustainability report. While the previous report gave an overview of the financial situation on campus, the university reports on its environmental, social, political and economic sustainability progress in the latest version.
U Adelaide Earns National Recognition for Sustainability Efforts
The University of Adelaide (Australia) has been awarded a Sustainability Licence from South Australia's Environment Protection Authority (EPA) in recognition of its commitment to reducing its impact on the environment. As part of its commitment to sustainability, the university has established an 'Ecoversity' initiative to tackle environmental sustainability campus-wide; worked to reduce water consumption; accomplished waste reduction and improved recycling; established an 'Ecoleader' program and student internship program that address water, waste and energy management; and developed a web-based sustainability management and reporting tool to manage energy, carbon and environmental performance.
U Exeter to Launch Environment and Sustainability Institute
The University of Exeter (United Kingdom) has announced a new Environment and Sustainability Institute, set to open in October 2012. The institute will focus on clean technologies, natural environment, and social science and sustainability. The institute will engage with businesses in Cornwall, the Isles of Scilly and beyond to translate its research across these themes into business practice, products and services. More than 100 business representatives met with the university recently to discuss how together they can build an environmental knowledge economy for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
U Hong Kong Releases Sustainability Report, New Website
The University of Hong Kong has released a new online sustainability report that details its sustainability efforts in the areas of teaching and learning, research and knowledge exchange, and awareness and outreach. The report also highlights its Campus Master Plan and the Centennial Campus development, designed to embody issues including the optimum use of land, space and the built environment, environmental sustainability, community integration, access and circulation by pedestrians and vehicles, IT infrastructure and advanced building services systems. In related news, the university has also launched several new online tools to help connect and organize the campus sustainability community and efforts, including a new website and Facebook page. The website provides information on a wide range of programs in research and teaching, sustainable campus management, student activities, governance, and local and international outreach.
U Western Sydney Partners for Campus Sustainability Portal
The University of Western Sydney has partnered with the Australian Learning and Teaching Council to debut an online resource guide that compiles a national collection of resources, teaching tips and courses related to sustainability in higher education.
Arizona State U Implements Green Labs Program
In an effort to make its more than 1,200 laboratories more sustainable and cost effective, Arizona State University has established a Green Labs program. The self-assessment certification process includes goals for energy and resource conservation, waste reduction, idea sharing and collaboration, training and awareness, and chemical sharing and alternatives.
Chatham U Hires 4 New Sustainability Faculty
Chatham University (PA) has announced four new faculty appointments to its School of Sustainability and the Environment (SSE). Founded in 2009, the SSE is a transdisciplinary academic institution that provides sustainable answers to today's regional, national and global social, economic and environmental concerns. The faculty will take the lead in developing SSE's new sustainability master's program and online certificate in sustainable management, both of which launch in 2012.
Yale U Launches Carbon Fund Calculator
Yale University (CT) has launched the Yale Community Carbon Fund Calculator. Developed by the Office of Sustainability and the Center for Business and Environment, the project is intended to help members of the Yale community calculate emissions associated with university related events, commuting and travel. The program allows a participant to make an online donation to the fund based on the recommended price per ton of carbon an activity produced. The donations will be used for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in the community.