U Connecticut Commissions Sustainability Art Mural

In an effort to increase student awareness of its sustainability efforts and successes, the University of Connecticut's Office of Environmental Policy and Communications and ResLife departments worked with a graphic design firm to develop an informative display for campus. The wall-size mural, which includes three-dimensional pieces that can be updated, features a collage of pictures and short text paragraphs explaining what the university is doing to reduce its environmental impact.

Duke U 'Greens' Campus Holiday Season

As part of Duke University's (NC) effort toward a more sustainable holiday season, about 600 campus community members took the Green Devil Challenge, which encouraged meaningful gift-giving and waste minimization. As part of the challenge, students, faculty and staff made commitments to make donations to charities and volunteer time to help others.

Stanford U Unveils New Campus Energy Improvements Plan

Stanford University’s (CA) Board of Trustees has given concept approval for the Campus Energy System Improvements project, designed to meet the university’s energy needs through 2050. Under the proposed $438 million plan, the university will purchase electricity via direct access to the energy market; build a new central energy facility that recovers waste heat from the campus chilled water system to meet the bulk of campus heating needs; build a new and expanded electrical substation; and decommission the current aging power plant and the existing electrical substation. The largest component of the university's Energy and Climate Plan, the initiative is expected to reduce campus greenhouse gas emissions to less than half of what they are today.

Northwestern U Names First Director of Sustainability

Northwestern University (IL) has appointed Robert W. Whittier as its first director of sustainability. Whittier, who most recently was the manager of sustainability and climate change at Deloitte Consulting, will lead the effort to integrate sustainability into both operational and academic functions of the university. He will work closely with the Initiative for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern and develop partnerships with the cities of Evanston and Chicago.

USGBC Releases Inaugural 'Best of Green Schools' List

The U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC) Center for Green Schools has released its first annual Best of Green Schools list, recognizing school administrators and government leaders in 10 categories for their efforts to create sustainable learning environments. The University of Texas at Dallas was named "Higher Ed Innovator" of 2011 for its new LEED Platinum Student Services Building, designed to improve departmental efficiency and interaction, and completed $1.1 million under budget. From K-12 to higher education, recipient schools and regions in the U.S. were recognized for a variety of sustainable, cost-cutting measures including energy conservation, record numbers of LEED-certified buildings and collaborative platforms and policies to green the country's school infrastructure.

Campus Sustainability Planning: A December Update

The University of Notre Dame (IN) has adopted a new sustainability strategy to reduce campus carbon emissions by 50 percent per square foot by 2030. The strategy outlines goals to divert 67 percent of campus waste from landfills, improve water efficiency and expand sustainability education and outreach both on campus and beyond. Arizona State University has also released a Strategic Plan for Sustainability Practices and Operations with short- and long-term goals toward sustainability through 2035. Encouraging participation among campus community members, the plan serves as a living document that declares the university’s vision to be a leader in sustainable higher education operations. ">Cornell University's (NY) recently released Sustainability Plan outlines university-wide sustainability goals including furthering innovation in research and education, growing a green economy and achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. In related news, Princeton University (NJ) has released its 2011 Sustainability Report, kicking off accelerated efforts to bridge areas of operations and academics in sustainability problem-solving.

Harvard U Launches 'Greening IT' Case Study Series

Harvard University's (MA) Office for Sustainability has partnered with the university's Green IT committee to launch a "Greening IT" story series, which will chronicle the case studies and best practices being implemented across campus. Upcoming case studies include data centers and networks; endpoint devices; and intelligent building systems and green buildings.

Green Mountain College Appoints New Sustainability Coordinator

Green Mountain College (VT) has named Bethany Clarke as its new sustainability coordinator. Clarke has worked for the past four years in the sustainable energy industry. As an associate project manager for General Electric, she led a cross-functional team during the delivery, installation and commissioning of 336 wind turbines.

Marshall U Hires First Environmental Specialist

Marshall University (WV) has appointed Travis Bailey as its first environmental specialist. Bailey will work to incorporate better construction practices and green infrastructure into the university's pre-planned $100 million projects including bio retention sites, rain gardens and green roofs.

U Maryland Launches Environmental Council

The University of Maryland has created the Council on the Environment, which will draw on researchers and faculty from different departments to seek out new transdisciplinary research opportunities involving multiple campus units, and promote economic development related to environmental initiatives. Internationally, the council will interface with a new 10-year initiative on Earth System Sustainability, which aims to deliver knowledge to enable societies to meet their sustainable development goals in the next decades.

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.