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.

U California Merced Releases Sustainability Plan, Website

The University of California, Merced has released its inaugural Sustainability Strategic Plan and formally unveiled its sustainability website. The Sustainability Strategic Plan, developed by the Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Sustainability — which has been meeting monthly since late 2007 — includes environmental goals in 12 areas, such as energy use and "green" construction, and lists objectives and milestones for each. The UC Merced sustainability website is organized much like the plan, with objectives and achievements for each listed goal. It also includes a list of sustainability-related awards the university has received and detailed LEED scorecards for each of the buildings on campus. There are also links for students who want to get involved in environmental stewardship, as well as links to all of the university's major planning documents — including the Sustainability Strategic Plan — and sustainability-related podcasts and other outside links.

Washington U in St. Louis Releases Sustainability Plan

The University of Washington in St. Louis has released its Strategic Plan for Environmentally Sustainable Operations. The Plan details the University’s sustainability achievements, aspirations, and challenges in terms of energy and water use, food sources, recycling, and transportation, among others. Goals included in the plan are: to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 without purchasing carbon offsets; to build more sustainably by meeting at least LEED Silver qualifications and pursuing LEED Gold when appropriate; and to decrease solo-occupancy vehicles coming to campus by 10 percent by 2012. The plan was developed by the Sustainable Operations Leadership Council.

Clemson U Announces Sustainability Strategic Plan

Clemson University (SC) has released a three-part sustainability strategic plan. The white paper, titled “Clemson University’s Commitment to Green Economic Development,” draws from the proceedings of two energy-related summits Clemson hosted in late 2009. Clemson’s commitment comprises three key elements: educational programs, from certifications to graduate levels, to enhance the skills of the current work force in energy-related industries and prepare the next generation of talent; innovation and technology transfer through growth of research in targeted areas and continued development of the University’s innovation campuses; and an initiative to transform the main campus into a national model for sustainability: a net-zero carbon emissions university.

College of William & Mary Hires 5 Summer Sustainability Interns

The College of William and Mary (VA) Committee on Sustainability has announced the funding of five awards for sustainability internships for the summer of 2010. Summer internships are awarded annually in a competitive process and are intended to provide students with independent research opportunities that contribute to W&M's progress in achieving a sustainable campus environment. Internships are supported with funds from the Student Green Fee, which generates more than $200,000 annually.

Portland State U Names Sustainability Center Director

Portland State University (OR) has announced that Robert Costanza will lead its Center for Sustainable Processes and Practices, the hub for interdisciplinary research, teaching, and engagement in sustainability at PSU. The Center administers the ten-year, $25 million challenge grant for sustainability made by the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation to PSU in September 2008. Costanza is currently the Gund Professor of Ecological Economics and director of the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics at the University of Vermont. He will join the University this fall.

St. Bonaventure U Appoints Sustainability Committee

A new Sustainability Coordinating Committee has been appointed at St. Bonaventure University (NY) to focus university-wide efforts in the critical areas of sustainability and environmental issues. The committee, which includes faculty, staff, and student representatives, will be responsible for coordinating university community sustainability efforts with regard to academic and co-curricular activities, university policies and standards, development, land use, and go-green initiatives. The committee has already established six priorities and subcommittees: Education for Sustainable Development, Sustainable University Standards and Policies Committee, University Land Use Practices Committee, Go-Green Practices, Sustainability Resource Development, and Student Co-curricular Sub-committee.

California Polytechnic State U to Launch Ctr for Sustainability

California Polytechnic State University's College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences’ (CAFES) has announced plans to launch its Center for Sustainability later this month. The new Center will support CAFES and university initiatives in sustainable practices in resource management and agriculture. The Center will facilitate cross-disciplinary collaborations on campus and will assist the Central Coast food and agricultural community by helping professionals make the most of exciting opportunities emerging in their field.

Chatham U Receives $750K for Green Efforts

Chatham University (PA) has received a $750,000 gift from the Richard King Mellon Foundation toward both the master plan and the University’s search for the dean of its new School of Sustainability and the Environment. The planning process is expected to continue until June 2010, after which the University will present the master plan to the Richland Township Board of Supervisors.

Sustainable Industries Magazine Covers Campus Sustainability

Sustainable Industries Magazine has published an article titled "Campus Sustainability: progress and prognosis" by Paul Rowland, AASHE's Executive Director. In the article, Rowland discusses the trends of campus sustainability and the ways the movement has progressed over the past few years.

Appalachian State U Approves Green Campus Master Plan

The Appalachian State University (NC) Board of Trustees has approved the Campus Master Plan 2020 which focuses on appropriate use of campus property, ecological responsibility and sustainability, and a transportation network that encourages walking, biking, and use of AppalCart transit system. The plan recommends encouragement of ride sharing, the purchase of electric cars for use by the Physical Plant, on-street and off-street bike routes, hybrid plug-in stations in new and existing parking decks, and use of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards for new campus construction.

Utah State U Hires Sustainability Intern

Utah State University and the Utah Conservation Corps have co-sponsored a new, 11-month sustainability internship position to assist USU’s Sustainability Council with leading the University toward climate neutrality. The position has been filled by Jack Greene, who comes to USU with 40 years of experience as a science educator at both the high school and college levels. Greene’s primary responsibilities include serving as a liaison with state and regional campus sustainability programs and assisting the Sustainability Council’s Outreach Committee to increase awareness of the intersection of social justice, economic sustainability, and environmental sustainability efforts on campus. He will also aid the council in finalizing its Climate Action Plan, which outlines steps the University will take to become climate neutral, and he will work to increase USU course offerings dealing with sustainability.

York U Completes First Sustainability Report

York University (ON) has completed its first "President's Sustainability Council Annual Report" for the 2008-2009 school year. The 30-page report lists sustainability achievements and awards, sustainability policy recommendations, recommendations regarding university programs and practices, the Council's planning process and vision, an inventory of internal and external sustainability-related groups at York, an inventory of student sustainability groups, a listing of campus services and business operations sustainability initiatives, and an inventory of community engagement from the Office of University Events and Community Relations.

Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine Ranks Southeastern Schools

Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine has released its Honor Roll of the southeastern region's greenest colleges and universities. The Magazine researched, interviewed, and examined all of the region’s colleges and universities to determine which schools are teaching about and creating initiatives for a better world. As part of its research, Blue Ridge Outdoors talked with students and administrators, conducted surveys, and investigated energy use on college campuses across the Southeast. The rankings are divided into schools with an enrollment larger than and smaller than 7,500.

Claremont McKenna College Ranks Liberal Arts Colleges

The Roberts Environmental Center of Claremont McKenna College has adapted its Pacific Sustainability Index—which grades the ways that organizations report and publicize their sustainability efforts on their Web sites—to the college market. The center's report examined the top 50 liberal-arts colleges, as ranked by the U.S. News & Word Report. The report lists the top five colleges in sustainability reporting as: Williams College (MA), Bucknell University (PA), Amherst College (MA), Colorado College, and Gettysburg College (PA). The Roberts Environmental Center is also working on a sustainability-reporting index for top research universities.

Campus Presidents Sign Global Sustainability Commitment

25 global university presidents have signed the International Campus Sustainability Network's Sustainable Campus Charter, which commits signatories to campus-wide principles and measurable goals for sustainable development, construction, and operations. In addition, the universities involved have committed to incorporating the study of sustainability principles and practice into their educational offerings. U.S. signatories include: Columbia University (NY); The Johns Hopkins University (MD); Georgetown University (DC); University of Pennsylvania; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; University of Chicago (IL); Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University (MA); Harvard University (MA); Stanford University (CA); Yale University (CT); and Brown University (RI).

Colorado State U Named Lead Institution of Sustainability Network

Colorado State University has been named the lead institution in the newly formed Rocky Mountain Sustainability and Science Network. The Network, which was funded by a $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, aims to provide undergraduates with experience-based learning opportunities in the sciences and sustainability. Other universities in the Network include University of Wyoming, University of Montana, Utah State University, University of Arizona, Texas A&M University, University of Colorado-Boulder, University of Colorado-Denver, and Metropolitan State University (MN). AASHE is also a part of the Network.

Loyola Marymount U Hires First Sustainability Coordinator

Loyola Marymount University (CA) has hired its first sustainability coordinator to create a more sustainable campus and to promote environmental stewardship. Joseph Rasmussen, who started February 1, 2010, has already begun planning sustainability initiatives across campus. Rasmussen comes to LMU from California State University, Long Beach, where he served as a state scientist for the California Environmental Protection Agency Integrated Waste Management Board Sustainability Program.

San Diego Campuses Included in PBS Green Feature

Three San Diego, California campuses, San Diego Community College District's West City Point Loma campus; San Diego State University; the University of California, San Diego, have been featured in a PBS special on colleges undergoing green renovations. The station producing the piece, KPBS, also posted the story as an audio file.

U British Columbia Wins Green Award at 2010 Olympic Games

The University of British Columbia has received the "Live Positively Award" from the Coca-Cola Company. The Live Positively Awards recognize organizations and individuals who turn their passion for improving the well-being of Canadians into actions that have a positive impact in their local communities. UBC received the award for its commitment to sustainability leadership and innovation. The award noted UBC's sustainability policy, Sustainability Office, and programs that aim to reduce energy consumption. The award was presented at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

U California Riverside Chooses Director for Solar Research Center

The University of California, Riverside has chosen a managing director for the Southern California Research Institute for Solar Energy. Alfredo A. Martinez-Morales will guide the center to advance solar energy techniques, train professionals for the industry, mentor new businesses, and assist commercial and residential energy users in responsible applications for solar energy.

U Maine Partners with 4Tell to Develop Sustainability Plan

The University of Maine has partnered with 4Tell Solutions to develop a long-term sustainability plan. The main goal of the Sustainable Performance Governance Solution – iPlan will be to foster stewardship and to promote governance of sustainability on campus.

Brown U Signs Intl Sustainable Campus Charter

Brown University (RI) President Ruth J. Simmons has signed the Sustainable Campus Charter, which commits signatory universities to campus-wide principles and measurable goals for sustainable development, construction, and operations. In addition, the universities involved have committed to incorporating the study of sustainability principles and practice into their educational offerings. The charter stems from the International Campus Sustainability Network (ICSN).

Cleantech Group Names Top 10 Universities to Promote Renewables

Cleantech Group has published a list of the top 10 U.S. academic institutions best suited to develop new technology and related business models that offer competitive returns for investors and customers while providing solutions to global challenges. The top 10, in order, are: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of California at Berkeley, University of Texas at Austin, Stanford University (CA), University of Michigan, University of Colorado at Boulder, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Cornell University (NY), Georgia Institute of Technology, and Washington State University.

Unity College Appoints Sustainability Fellow

Unity College (ME) has appointed Anne Stephenson, PhD, as its Sustainability Fellow focused on campus buildings. Funded through participation in the Rocky Mountain Institute’s Accelerating Campus Climate-Change Initiatives, Stephenson will work part-time to help address campus barriers to emissions reductions. Through cost and energy analysis, she will develop a funding proposal to prioritize campus-wide facilities upgrades that help the institution reach its carbon reduction goals. Unity College students will work closely with Stephenson throughout the modeling and analysis phases of this foundation-funded project.

U North Carolina Chapel Hill Forms Energy Task Force

The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill has formed a new Energy Task Force composed of students, faculty, staff, and environmental activists. The group will work over the next six to 12 months to learn about the University’s efforts and to evaluate the approaches being used on other campuses to encourage sustainability. The purpose of the task force is to develop the most practicable plan possible for reducing UNC Chapel Hill’s carbon footprint.

Clemson U Establishes President's Sustainability Committee

Clemson University (SC) has established a President's Commission on Sustainability. The group is charged with creating and implementing a plan to make the University carbon neutral. The commission is comprised of undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and staff representatives from various colleges and departments, and representatives from Clemson’s Public Service Activities arm. The commission is chaired by Ben Sill, emeritus Alumni Professor of Civil Engineering.

Marshall U Hires Recycling Coordinator

Marshall University (WV) has hired Elizabeth Rutherford to be the campus' new recycling coordinator. Housed in the Sustainability Department, Rutherford will work with eight student recyclers to manage daily pickups from new recycling pods across campus. Rutherford will also work to promote recycling and sustainability on campus.

U Georgia President Discusses Sustainability in State of the Univ

University of Georgia President Michael Adams used his State of the University Address this year to discuss successful sustainability initiatives at UGA. He noted the "Every Drop Counts" campaign that resulted in a 22 percent drop in total water usage on campus, the reduction of energy consumption per square foot by 18 percent, and the switch to green cleaning products on campus. Adams also used the speech to accept the report and recommendations of the UGA Sustainability Working Group, promising that sustainability will be included in the University's next strategic plan, and to accept the recommendation passed by a student referendum to impose a $3 per term green fee to help fund an Office of Sustainability.

Brookes U Wins Sustainability Award

The Wheatley campus of Brookes University (United Kingdom) has received the Gold EcoCampus Award. The accolade looks to award those universities who dedicate their campus and curriculum to innovation in the field of sustainability and eco-management. Brookes University has installed an environmental management system and has introduced several initiatives to increase the rate of recycling and decrease the amount of waste sent to landfills.

Delhi Technological U Integrates Sustainability into Master Plan

Delhi Technological University (India) has integrated several green initiatives into its Master Plan. To reduce its environmental impact, the 164-acre campus will be car free, will generate one-third of its electricity from renewable resources on campus, and will utilize green architecture in its new buildings. Bicycles and battery-run vehicles will be permitted on campus. The University currently uses solar geysers in its hostels and 120 solar lights on the campus.

Franklin College Switzerland Establishes Sustainability Office

Franklin College Switzerland has opened a sustainability office on campus, named the Center for Sustainable Initiatives at Franklin. The office will be in charge of making the campus more sustainable. The Center's first initiative was distributing locally-made reusable SIGG water bottles.

Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology Castlebar Named Green Campus

Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology Castlebar (Ireland) has been declared a green campus by the environmental body of An Taisce, the national trust for Ireland, in recognition of major improvements in energy conservation and recycling in the past year. GMIT switched to green cleaning supplies, increased on-campus recycling, reduced its electricity bill, prevented significant heat loss, and launched water conservation measures. GMIT also created a Green Campus notice board that contains news and information about campus sustainability initiatives to help keep students and staff up to date with recent developments.

National U Singapore Campus Receives Green Award

The National University of Singapore’s University Town, an extended campus connected to the current one by pedestrian and vehicular bridges, has received the Green Mark Award for Districts from the government for a number of sustainable infrastructural features. The campus boasts green roofs, buses that run on compressed natural gas, a storm water capture system, and indigenous landscaping.

U Melbourne Forms Sustainability Projects Reference Group

The University of Melbourne (Australia) has established the Sustainability Projects Reference Group. The Group meets regularly to discuss the implementation of university-wide sustainability projects. The Group will also discuss cost-saving initiatives that will help the University reach its commitment to reduce its carbon footprint.