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.

Campus Sustainability Planning: A July Update

Ball State University (IN) has published its first sustainability report, which is featured on the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) website. Prepared by an interdisciplinary team of six students and a faculty mentor, the report combines the frameworks of the GRI and AASHE’s Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) in a single report. Among the sustainability practices and achievements underway are the current installation of a geothermal based district heating and cooling system; the continuing series of biennial Greening of the Campus Conferences; many academic programs in sustainability; and the construction of LEED-certified buildings throughout campus. In related news, Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis has approved the university’s first Sustainability Plan. The plan will guide and support the university’s leadership in campus and community sustainability through a commitment to ecological citizenship, stewardship and justice. The approved Sustainability Plan includes 18 objectives, 35 benchmarks and approximately 100 strategies in the areas of transportation, procurement, energy infrastructure, building and grounds, academics and research, fundraising and endowment, dining, and low- and no-cost energy conservation. In more related news, Medical College of Wisconsin President and CEO John R. Raymond, Sr., MD has signed an Environmental Sustainability Statement of Support that highlights the specific ways in which it will support environmental sustainability. The college’s Campus Operations has also developed a report, "Environmental Sustainability @ MCW," which highlights the college’s sustainability accomplishments to date including reduced energy use per square foot by 19 percent since 2008 and 35 tons of paper recycled in 2010.

Messiah College Hires First Sustainability Coordinator

Messiah College (PA) has appointed Craig Dalen as its first full-time sustainability coordinator. Dalen, who has held various roles at the college including Sustainability Committee leader, will direct sustainability projects on campus and think about how to leverage resources and partnerships taking into account the ecologic, economic and social impact.

Pomona College Offers Sustainable Kits for Check Out

Pomona College (CA) has launched a new program that allows the campus community to check out sustainable kits for free. Campus event kits are available that include reusable dining ware, compost materials, event signage and more. Also available for loan are laundry racks and compost buckets.

U Victoria Recognizes Campus Sustainability Champions

The University of Victoria (BC) awarded its first Sustainability Champion Award during its recent 2011 Sustainability Awards, a peer-nominated recognition that highlights staff initiatives in greening their workplace and contributing to the university's sustainability goals. The manager of food production and purchasing for University Food Services received the award for her work toward sustainable food purchasing and supporting local farmers, bakeries and other food suppliers. Two Sustainability Action Teams were also honored for their achievements over a three-month period to conserve energy, reduce waste and promote sustainable transportation choices in their buildings.

Maryville U Creates New Center for Sustainability; Hires Director

Maryville University (MO) has announced the creation of a new Center for Sustainability and has named Sustainability Advisory Council co-chair Peggy Lauer as the director. Programs initiated through the center will help advance sustainability on campus and throughout the greater St. Louis region. Lauer, who is the serials and monographs coordinator at the University Library, was awarded a staff sabbatical in 2009 to explore various sustainability programs in the St. Louis area and ways that the university can partner with other organizations and institutions in the community to promote such efforts.

Arizona State U Rolls Out Green Office Certification Program

Arizona State University recently awarded eight offices with level-one certifications as part of its new Green Office program. With self-guided and facilitated approaches available, the certifications act as a roadmap with 10 sustainability focus areas that contain between one and five items for colleagues to implement into their workspaces. Following each of the three program levels, all participating staff sign a completed checklist.

Cornell U Hires Ag Operations Director with Sustainability Focus

Cornell University (NY) has hired a new director of agricultural operations for its Agricultural Experiment Station, Glenn Evans. With the goal of achieving a net-zero campus, Evans will help inform system-wide decisions for the most efficient use of resources including greenhouse and farming practices.

U California Davis Launches Online Campus Sustainability Map

The University of California, Davis has debuted an online, interactive campus sustainability map. The map can be used to find places or things on campus that demonstrate ways that the campus community is taking action towards creating a more sustainable future. The map has a companion web page that provides information about the map points. The university hopes to use the map as a springboard for creating tours, downloadable maps and more information about campus infrastructure and sustainability.

U California San Francisco Launches Green Office Certifications

The University of California, San Francisco has launched a new Green Certification Program. The initiative aims to assess offices and administrative spaces, identifying areas where occupants could improve sustainability within their respective area. The Office of Sustainability will work closely with department-based Green Teams, requesting that a given team complete a self-assessment. Additional opportunities for making the space more environmentally friendly will be provided by Green Campus interns.

Delta College Announces Green Fridays

Delta College (MI) has announced that campus will be closed on Fridays throughout the summer in an effort to reduce its campus carbon footprint. The “Green Fridays” initiative will extend hours Monday through Thursday enough to meet the needs of the campus community. The initiative is one part of a larger effort toward the development of an environmentally sustainable campus.

U Tennessee Knoxville to Develop Campus Energy Management Program

The University of Tennessee Knoxville, in partnership with Knoxville Utilities Board, has agreed to develop a long-term plan to enhance energy efficiency and energy management on campus. The Tennessee Valley Authority’s EnergyRight Solutions for Business program will work with the university to create a 10-year strategic energy road map. Training will be provided for campus energy managers in the areas of energy performance measuring systems, developing peak and minimum load management strategies, and the implementation of best practices for communicating energy efficiency efforts. The first phase of the plan is expected to be complete by fall 2011.

Indiana U-Purdue U Indianapolis Creates Office of Sustainability

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) has announced the creation of an Office of Sustainability and plans to hire a full-time director by July 1. With the new office, the university will work to develop a coherent, campus-wide sustainability program by coordinating academic, research, operations and student activities; develop and manage a program of environmental stewardship, energy conservation, environmental literacy, community outreach and applied environmental science and policy research; and promote a culture of sustainability throughout campus.

Unity College Names New President with Sustainability Focus

Unity College (ME) has announced Dr. Stephen Mulkey as its new president. The director of the environmental science program at the University of Idaho will assume duties in July. Dr. Mulkey's scientific research spans more than three decades including the functional ecology of forests in Eastern Amazonia, tropical forest canopies in wet and dry forests of Central Panama and tropical alpine rosette species in East Africa. "This is an opportunity to lead Unity College to continue developing its strategic contacts within the higher education, philanthropic and sustainability communities both regionally and nationally," said Dr. Mulkey in a Unity press release.

Huffington Post Highlights SUNY's Sustainability Commitment

The State University of New York (SUNY) public higher education system has seized upon a valuable opportunity to make sustainability a central theme of its strategic planning, reports The Huffington Post. With 64 campuses, SUNY is one of New York State’s largest energy consumers. The university system understands its energy consumption is not sustainable and has taken measurable steps in its strategic plan to reduce energy consumption and make sustainability a priority. Most recently, the New York State governor and SUNY have unveiled the NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grant Program “to make SUNY a leading catalyst for job growth throughout the state, strengthen the academic programs and demonstrate that New York is open for business.”

MIT Signs International Sustainability Charter

Massachusetts Institute of Technology has signed the Sustainable Campus Charter, an agreement signed by leaders of 25 other national and international universities. The charter will deepen the institute’s commitment to improve sustainability, foster energy efficiency and reduce waste in all campus activities. The charter also encourages members to continue sustainability efforts locally and share information and experiences globally. The charter was initiated by Global University Leaders Forum, who partnered with the International Sustainable Campus Network to develop, implement and manage the new charter. Other charter signatories include Carnegie Mellon University (PA), Yale University (CT), Oxford University (UK), Cambridge University (UK), Harvard University (MA) and others in the Americas, Europe and Asia.

U Oregon Finalizes Guidelines for Sustainable Building

The University of Oregon has formalized its Oregon Model for Sustainability, which includes new campus building guidelines. The new guidelines focus on three primary sustainability concerns: energy, water and people. All new development should have zero net increase in overall energy use and offset stormwater runoff. Along with creating a more sustainable building and site, new development projects will have to contribute a minimum of $35,000 toward educating students and staff. The increased costs of the proposed measures will be shared between the individual building project’s funding and the university’s central funding sources obtained through student fees and tuition.

Western Michigan U Surveys Students for Sustainability Priorities

Western Michigan University has received over 500 responses to its first Student Sustainability Survey. Students identified reducing the amount of waste sent to landfills; expanding healthy and sustainable food options; and encouraging public transit, carpooling and non-motorized transportation as among the most important sustainability actions for the university to initiate. The details will be presented during a public forum. The survey results, along with comments from the forum and input from the university-wide Sustainability Committee, will set the priorities for the Office of Sustainability in the 2011-2012 academic year.

North Carolina State U Presents Sustainability Awards

The Campus Environmental Sustainability Team at North Carolina State University recently presented its Earthwise awards for faculty, staff and students in recognition of championing environmentally sound practices on campus. This year's honorees made strides in the areas of sustainable construction, alternative energy and waste reduction.

U California Santa Barbara Releases Development Plan

The University of California, Santa Barbara and representatives of Sustainable University Now (SUN) have announced the adoption of the campus' Long Range Development Plan. Highlights of the plan include more effective mitigation of potential environmental impacts; striving to reduce car trips to campus by reducing the number of future parking spaces by 650 from the original campus plan and increasing the number of bicycle paths and bicycle parking spaces; replacing its car and truck fleet with ultra fuel-efficient vehicles; monitoring and reporting on greenhouse gas emissions; and implementing energy reduction strategies.

York U Adopts Sustainability Policy

Building on the recent release of its 2010 Sustainability Report, York University (ON) has announced a new sustainability policy. Approved by the Board of Governors in April, the policy provides the framework for sustainable and responsible practices, activities and operations on campus.

McGill U Launches Campus Sustainability Awards

McGill University's (QC) Office of Sustainability has announced the creation of the Catalyst Awards, an initiative to inspire sustainability action and thinking by celebrating individuals who have gone above and beyond to foster a culture of sustainability (environmental, social and economic) on campus. Six recipients were chosen during the recent inaugural ceremony for advancing and institutionalizing sustainability within the campus community. The Emerald Key category was implemented for students who make an exceptionally outstanding and enduring contribution to sustainability overall.

Santa Clara U Student Initiates Sustainable Office Award Program

A Santa Clara University (CA) student intern has initiated the Sustainable Office Award Program (SOAP) to celebrate environmental achievements in different departments across campus. Departments are rated Going Green, Beyond Green or Certified Sustainable through a self-audit. Recent SOAP projects include reducing waste by dedicating a copier drawer to store once-used paper for internal print jobs, and reducing energy consumption by turning off electronics at night and on the weekends.

Campus Sustainability Planning: A May Update

Solar power capacity within the California State University system has more than doubled in the past five years and is proposed to double again by the end of 2012, it was recently announced in "The CSU Commitment to Sustainability." Thirty research centers and 150 academic programs are related to the environment, green engineering and sustainable practices; 19 of 23 campuses participate in programs to curtail campus energy use during times of peak demand; and the university system has 36 LEED-certified buildings with another 10 on the way. Also reported to AASHE in the recent past, York University (ON) has released its 2010 Sustainability Report, which includes 20 recommendations for a long-term and holistic approach to sustainability on campus. Initiatives include a pilot project for student sustainability engagement in summer 2011; the development of green IT guidelines for all departments; and identifying strategies to embed sustainability in course design. In related news, Miami University (OH) has committed to reduce its coal consumption immediately in its first sustainability plan, with the goal of completely eliminating coal as a campus energy source by 2025. The university also plans to expand its recycling efforts, strive for environmentally friendly construction and develop a campus plan for alternate transportation options including a network of bike lanes. In more related news, the University of Maryland's Facilities Management department has unveiled the first draft of its new master plan, largely focused on how to make the campus more bike and pedestrian friendly.

Rochester Institute of Tech Names Senior Sustainability Advisor

Rochester Institute of Technology (NY) has named Enid Cardinal as senior sustainability advisor to the RIT president. Cardinal, a LEED-accredited professional with a background in socially responsible investing and environmental policy, will assume her new role in July. She will be responsible for developing, implementing and administering policies and programs that will further the institute's goal of becoming an international model for best practices in campus sustainability operations and programs.

Harvard U Invigorates Green Campus Efforts with Awards System

Harvard University (MA) recently held its Green Carpet Awards ceremony, recognizing campus community members with 55 individual awards in areas including infrastructure improvements, behavior change, waste/water reduction, green buildings, green teams and renewable energy. Besides raising awareness for sustainability issues and efforts, the event aims to provide positive incentives to those working daily to advance sustainability throughout campus. The ceremony drew a crowd of 500 and included videos from Harvard professors speaking about the challenge of climate change and the student-produced music video, "Turn Off the Lights."

Syracuse U Appoints VP of Sustainability Initiatives

Syracuse University (NY) has appointed Sherburne Abbott as vice president for sustainability initiatives and university professor of sustainability science and policy. In her current position as associate director for environment in the Executive Office of the President, Abbott manages a portfolio of science and technology policy that ranges from energy and climate change to environmental quality and sustainability. Her appointment will be effective in July.

Arizona State U Creates Employee Sustainability Literacy Program

Arizona State University has announced a new sustainability literacy program for campus employees. The Sustainability Literacy Education interactive online program educates employees about current and future sustainability initiatives happening on campus and suggestions for how to get involved. The educational component includes photo slideshows, videos and audio recordings to help arm employees with the necessary facts to fulfill the sustainability requirement of their annual work performance evaluations.

Rochester Institute of Technology Names McCarthy Chair

Rochester Institute of Technology (NY) has named Jennifer Schneider, a professor in its College of Applied Science and Technology, as the new Russell C. McCarthy Chair. In her new role that begins in September, Schneider will help to expand the college's research strategy in the area of infrastructure science focusing on the role it plays in communities. Her research in environmental health and safety management system design, risk management and critical infrastructure will expand in her role as chair, focusing on building resilient communities.

U California Berkeley Promotes Travel-Free Meetings

The University of California, Berkeley's Office of Sustainability has launched a small grant program to promote the use of campus videoconferencing and web-based meeting tools as alternatives to in-person meetings that require travel by airplane. The Travel-Free Meeting grant program aims to provide incentives and help remove barriers to using video/web-based services as meeting alternatives. Grants of up to $100 will be given for hosting web meetings and videoconferences, or for purchasing a computer camera for Skype calls or desktop web-conferencing.