Sierra Magazine Releases Cool Schools Ranking
Sierra Magazine has published its ninth annual Cool Schools ranking of America's most sustainable four-year undergraduate colleges and universities, based on data submitted through AASHE's STARS reporting system. The rankings are intended to spur productive competition between schools, raise campus eco-standards and publicly reward the institutions. Photo courtesy of Peter Morenus/U Connecticut
U Washington Receives NACDA Sustainability Award
Honored for the renovation and sustainable operations of its football stadium, the university was recently received the inaugural Sustainability Award from the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics and USG Corporation. The stadium showcases the natural environment and carries a 75 percent waste diversion rate.
U British Columbia Develops 20-Year Sustainability Strategy
Building on 20 years of sustainability achievement and following extensive community engagement, the strategy provides an overall framework to further integrate academic and operational sustainability efforts through the lens of regenerative sustainability. Using the campus as a societal test-bed, it seeks to explore and demonstrate net-positive approaches to human and environmental well-being.
Auburn U Recognized Green Ribbon School by Energy Department
The university was recently recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy as a 2015 Green Ribbon School in its inaugural postsecondary sustainability award category. The Green Ribbon School initiative aims bolster reduction of environmental impacts and costs, improve health and wellness of schools, students and staff, and provide an environmental education.
U Illinois Chicago Proposes Sustainability Teaching and Research Plan
The overarching goal of the newly proposed investment in sustainability is to advance the frontier of knowledge about attitudes towards and the practice of sustainability among all campus members through education, research and leadership. The document calls upon institutions of higher ed to expand educational goals and outcomes, and adopt policies that integrate principles of sustainability.
Ithaca College Adjuncts Vote in Favor of Union
The preliminary results of the election, announced by the National Labor Relations Board, for a union among part-time and adjunct faculty at the college were favorable says the college's president in the recently published letter.
U Washington Receives Environmental Excellence Award
The university's Medical Center and Harborview Medical Center recently received the Top 25 Environmental Excellence Award from Practice Greenhealth for setting high standards for environmental practices in healthcare.
Maharishi U Management Plans Sustainable Graduation
All graduation-related activities this year are being assessed to see how they can be made more environmentally friendly including online commencement programs and printed on paper from sustainable paper. Heading up the green graduation initiative are the five Green Iowa AmeriCorps volunteers who have been making the campus more sustainable the past eight months.
Syracuse U Earns Recognition from EPA
The university was recently recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a 2014-15 Individual Conference Champion of the College & University Green Power Challenge for using the highest amount of clean energy and ranked in the top 30 of Green Power Partnership schools for using 23 percent clean energy, with 35 percent from wind power.
Johns Hopkins U Publishes Five Year Sustainability Review Report
As the Johns Hopkins community celebrated Earth Week, the university released a report showing a 35 percent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions over five years, among other strong results for its sustainability efforts. Those results represent a significant step toward the university's goal to reduce emissions by 51 percent between 2008 and 2025.
U St. Thomas Creates Sustainability Committee
Protection of creation and the poor have long been pillars of Catholic social teachings, leading the university to create its first sustainability committee. A task force working to develop and implement sustainable practices, its vision is to fulfill God’s call to be good stewards of creation by fostering a campus that exhibits sustainability through education, discussion and action.
Indiana State U Releases Master Sustainability Plan
In unveiling a five-year master action plan recently, university leaders showed what it called a commitment to being a sustainable campus that reduces waste and increases efficiency to improve the environment and quality of living.
U Central Florida Announces Sustainability Initiatives Vice President
Earlier this year, The University of Central Florida in Orlando set a state of Florida precedence in announcing the appointment of an assistant vice president of sustainability initiatives. Mr. David Norvell is tasked with implementing and driving the university sustainability strategy, and hopes to make the campus' sustainability projects academically accessible to students.
Indiana U Campuses Work to Achieve Sustainability Goals
For the past six years, the university has worked to make sustainability a priority, launching a number of initiatives and setting it as a core value in its Bicentennial Strategic Plan. With more than 240 paid interns to date, the Sustainability Office has been the hub for a number of initiatives on the Bloomington campus.
U Virginia Earns Green Ribbon for Sustainability Efforts
U.S. Department of Education recently awarded the university with the department’s Green Ribbon Schools Postsecondary Sustainability Award. The award recognizes institutions that reduce environmental impact and costs, improve the health and wellness of schools, students, and staff, and provide environmental education.
20+ Sustainability Networks Make Progress Toward Creating a Global Alliance
The overarching aim of the Global Alliance is to connect sustainability networks in the tertiary education sector and provide a collective voice to contribute to global developments such as the Paris COP21 taking place in December 2015. AASHE and others represented attendance from global and regional organizations from Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe and North America.
Harvard U Releases University-Wide Sustainability Report
The Harvard Sustainability Report updates the community progress in meeting the goals and priorities that were laid out in the earlier Harvard Sustainability Plan (released in 2014), including acting on climate change, green buildings, sustainable transportation, and human health and well-being.
Loyola U Chicago Supports Divestment in Fossil Fuel Holdings
The university's campus senate recently agreed to immediately freeze any new investment in fossil fuel companies and divest from direct ownership within 18 months. The decision also includes a five-year plan to divest from any commingled funds that include fossil fuel public equities and corporate bonds, and recommends investments in renewable energy technology.
U Massachusetts Lowell Formally Opens Sustainability Office
The new office sprouted from the efforts of a private consulting firm contracted by the university to assist in completing the campus' first STARS and Princeton Review assessment. The office aims to be a centralized place to provide support, services and advancement to university sustainability.
Curtin U Master Plan Receives Green Rating
(Australia): The Green Building Council of Australia recently awarded the campus a 5 Star Green Star - Communities rating for its master plan, which was assessed for best practice benchmarks for governance and innovation, design excellence, environmental sustainability, economic prosperity and live-ability. The master plan calls for 281 acres of the university campus transformed through urban regeneration over a 20-year period.
Amherst College Creates Statement on Sustainability
The newly adopted statement by the college's 21 trustees calls for the creation of a climate action plan, exploration of renewable sources of energy, investment in campus clean energy and energy conservation, and creating a revolving fund to support other clean energy projects.
U California Merced Hires First Sustainability Director
Colleen McCormick will preside over the university's first sustainability office. McCormick comes from Indiana University-Purdue University's office of sustainability where she served as director for 3-1/2 years. Her position's role includes developing communications and building collaborations among faculty, students, staff and community members in an effort to engage and advance campus and community sustainability initiatives.
U California System Approves Carbon Neutrality Projects
As part of its efforts to accelerate the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions across the school system, the university recently approved 20 research and outreach projects that focus on leveraging faculty expertise and student creativity to improve the energy efficiency of buildings and develop carbon neutral energy supplies. Some areas that the projects touch on are deep energy efficiency, a research summit, faculty climate action awards, student fellowships, and green labs certifications.
U Hawai'i Adopts Sustainability Policy
At the recent systemwide, annual summit on sustainability, the new executive policy on sustainability includes setting specific targets for reducing energy consumption and increasing utilization of renewable energy in 5-year increments, with a goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050, energy management systems, water conservation, transportation changes, and calls for an increase in local food products.
Bakersfield College Holds Campus Sustainability Symposium
In conjunction with a local recycling company, the symposium discussed current sustainability efforts underway and proposed ones, including a non-smoking campus designation, infrastructure improvements, and a new co-mingled recycling program.
Northwestern U to Release Strategic Sustainability Plan
Currently under development, five working groups from the university's Sustainability Council are evaluating areas of focus, assessing and prioritizing various initiatives within those areas, and establishing clear goals and metrics to evaluate progress. Their recommendations will inform the council who will, in partnership with university leadership, publish the Sustainability Strategic Plan in summer of 2015.
U North Carolina Wilmington Names First Diversity Officer
Currently serving as the vice president for diversity and inclusion at Georgia Regents University, W. Kent Guion, M.D., will begin his duties in April 2015. He has 25 years of experience in higher education as a research assistant, faculty member, dean and administrator.
U California Santa Cruz Faculty Receives Teaching Recognition
The Environmental Studies Department's current chair, Andrew Szasz, was selected as the recipient of the 2014 Environmental Sociology Teaching and Mentorship Award from the American Sociological Association (ASA) for providing dedicated service to the teaching of environmental sociology and the mentorship of students at the undergraduate and/or graduate level.
Cork U Hospital Earns Green Campus Designation
(Ireland): The university recently earned Green-Campus status by the Foundation for Environmental Education for its commitment to enhancing on-campus sustainability and environmental awareness.
Thompson Rivers U Releases Strategic Sustainability Plan
(U.S.): The new five-year university roadmap indicates plans to reduce the amount of garbage going to the landfill, create on-campus gardens, have agreements with beverage and food companies closer to the university and with greener certification, reduce vehicles on campus through improved transit and car sharing, reduce water usage through better metering and monitoring, collect and use more renewable energy like solar and wind, and protect environmentally sensitive areas and species on campus land.
EAUC Announces 2014 Green Gown Award Winners
(U.K.): The Environmental Association of Universities and Colleges recently recognized 15 campuses in aspects of institutional activities including their teaching and research, leadership, buildings, food, and how students can benefit from the quality of life in the communities around them. As a benefit of AASHE membership, members have access to the member-only resources the United Kingdom's Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges.
Amherst College Hires First Sustainability Director
Laura Draucker started work as the college’s first director of environmental sustainability this month, leading the recently founded Office of Environmental Sustainability (OES). Draucker wants to help establish the OES as an office that actively incorporates environmental sustainability into the daily lives of members of the college community. Prior to her acceptance of this position, she worked for five years at the World Resources Institute and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Indiana State U Celebrates First Campus Sustainability Day
The event, organized by a graduate student, included several environmentally engaging activities for the campus community: a sustainability careers workshop, the Second Nature broadcast, a sustainability campus tour, and a community garden open house.
U Minnesota Morris Announces Fellows Program
The university's new Sustainability Leadership for the Future (SLF) program includes faculty, staff and student fellows that will be developing a sustainability leadership strategic plan and shaping the campus’ institutional approach to sustainability leadership by identifying and supporting promising curricular and program developments, create guidebooks and workshops, and develop infrastructure, practices and policies that promote coordination across offices.
Harvard U Unveils Sustainability Plan
The university's new five-year, living Sustainability Plan details a strategy to build on existing greenhouse gas reduction goals and sets priorities in five core areas: energy and emissions, campus operations, nature and ecosystems, health and well-being, and culture and learning.
U Maryland Student Coalesces Big Ten Sustainability Organization
Following the university's admission into the athletic conference in July, the director of the Student Government Association’s sustainability committee began contacting 160 different sustainability organizations at all 14 Big Ten schools, 11 of which have appointed representatives to participate. Several Big Ten university sustainability committees are proposing athletic program resolutions that include a carbon emission tax and zero waste athletic stadiums.
U Miami Starts Green Office Program
Officially launched this October, the program challenges offices around campus to become more ecologically conscious by following a voluntary checklist of recommendations for a greener workplace. The checklist gives green recommendations for sustainability in the areas of energy, transportation, outreach, water, waste and recycling, purchasing of office materials, and printing.
McGill U Releases Sustainability Vision
Released in October, the university's Vision 2020 strategy focuses on a long-range vision and goals, with 14 concrete actions identified to push sustainability forward over the next two years, ranging in scope from a waste management plan to the creation of a network for collaborative sustainability research.
U Calgary Provides Resource Center
Besides serving as a central resource hub, the Sustainability Resource Center provides a space for the Office of Sustainability to run its engagement programs and for other campus sustainability leaders to use for running events or as a gathering place for collaborating on projects, with the overall goal of growing communities of practice in sustainability.
U Pennsylvania Releases New Climate Action Plan
A roadmap for environmental improvement and sustainability on campus to 2019, the university's new Climate Action Plan 2.0 calls for an overall carbon reduction of seven percent and a building energy reduction of 10 percent by 2019 (using fiscal year 2014 as a baseline), the creation of a Faculty Working Group on Sustainability to provide outreach and support to faculty interested in researching and teaching sustainability, and an increase in the campus-wide recycling rate to 30 percent by 2019.
U Saskatchewan Commits to New Education & Research Initiatives
In celebration of Campus Sustainability Day, the university announced three new education and research initiatives, including an undergraduate certificate of Proficiency in Sustainability, two governance initiatives, including a revolving fund, and two community engagement and operations initiatives.
California State U East Bay Crafts Sustainability Website
(U.S.): The university's new sustainability website and social media pages offer information to campus about sustainability in academics, student engagement, operations, and displays the institution's mission, shared strategic commitments and institutional learning outcomes.
Five Colleges Receive Green Genome Awards
(U.S.): Recently awarded for exemplary support for sustainability practices, programs and training, the five colleges that received the recognition from the American Association of Community Colleges are Gateway Technical College, Greenfield Community College, Lane Community College, McHenry County College and Moraine Valley Community College. Each will receive $7,500 plus a set of tools and horticulture equipment.