Wilfrid Laurier U Gets Fair Trade Designation

University staff spent the past year developing a fair trade steering committee, making changes to product availability and working with retail managers and vendors. Under the designation, all food outlets operated by university and its Students’ Union in Brantford and Waterloo will serve fair trade certified coffee, and fair trade certified options for tea and chocolate bars.

Higher Education Institutions of Scotland Join Electronics Watch

(Scotland) All 44 universities and colleges in Scotland have become full affiliate members of Electronics Watch, an independent monitoring organization working to improve labor standards in the global electronics industry through socially responsible public purchasing.

U Illinois Urbana-Champaign Enters into Wind Power Purchase Agreement

In a 10-year power purchase agreement, the university will receive nearly nine percent of the total wind generation of a nearby utility-scale wind farm, which in combination with other renewable energy brings the campus' clean energy portfolio to about nine percent (33,200-megawatt-hours) of it's annual energy consumption. The university's climate action plan includes an objective to obtain at least 120,000-megawatt-hours per year from low-carbon sources by fiscal year 2020.

U Illinois Chicago Reduces GHGs from Waste

By selecting a new, in-state, waste vendor that bakes rather than incinerates the waste to recycle organic compounds and metals, the university is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with its hazardous waste.

Saint Mary's College Adopts Sustainable Purchasing Policy

Adopted summer 2016, the new sustainable purchasing policy supports products and companies that exhibit pro-environmental and social practices. Stakeholder workshops were held with staff to discuss the context of how a purchasing policy will work on campus and outline important next steps towards its implementation.

Orange Coast College to Fund Scholarship with Cup Recycling Revenue

Starting this fall, the college will use the revenue generated from selling used paper cups toward a new scholarship for an environmental or scientific studies student. This decision coincides with purchasing a new type of paper cup that is manufactured to be more easily recyclable.

Appalachian State U Becomes 'Workers Rights Consortium' Affiliate

As a result of one student's efforts to transform the university's purchasing practices of logo apparel, the new partnership means that Workers Rights Consortium (WRC) investigates working conditions at factories producing clothing and other products bearing the university's name and logo. Collegiate affiliates of the WRC have a manufacturing Code of Conduct that addresses, among other things, workers' wages and rights, and workplace safety and health.

Pennsylvania State U Sees Significant Reduction in Paper Use

By sharing helpful tips with students and faculty, students reduced paper usage by 44 percent and faculty by 10 percent in the 2015-16 academic year. A Paper Reduction Committee ran promotional campaigns on ways to reduce printing as well as promoted tips such as encouraging students to print double-sided, using the multiple pages per sheet printer function, and promoting use of an electronic document sharing solution.

Green Electronics Council Announces 2016 EPEAT Award Winners

Five higher education institutions were recognized by the Green Electronics Council (GEC) as winners of the 2016 EPEAT Sustainable Purchasing Awards. Winners, recognized for their procurement efforts, are Loyola University Chicago, McGill University, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, Bowdoin College and Laval University.

U New Hampshire Procures Hydro-Energy

The university now purchases energy from three hydro-energy facilities that provide over $200,000 in annual cost savings. Currently 88 percent of the university's total power comes from a combined heat and power plant.

SPLC Recognizes Three Universities for Outstanding Case Studies

Harvard University, McGill University and University of Pennsylvania were recognized by the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council as having outstanding case studies that document their sustainable purchasing efforts. The case studies can be found in SPLC's Case Study Library.

Northern Arizona U Eliminates Plastic Bags

Building on momentum gained from a 2010 decision to stop using plastic bags in campus dining locations, the bookstore recently switched to paper bags made from 100 percent Forest Stewardship Certified, recycled material. Now no retail store on campus gives out plastic bags.

U California Los Angeles Becomes Fair Trade University

Fair Trade Colleges and Universities announced that after three years of working on the designation, the university received the title of Fair Trade University. The process involved forming a committee, offering Fair Trade products through campus dining outlets, and catering and hosting educational events on campus.

Tennessee Technological U Becomes REAL Certified

The REAL, or Responsible Epicurean and Agricultural Leadership, Certification from the United States Healthful Food Council uses a points-based system, implemented with assistance from independent, third-party registered dietitians and is based on nutritional benefit, food quality and experience, procurement from safe and high quality sources, and food that enables better choices.

Arizona State U Appoints Sustainability Operations Officer

Nichol Luoma is the new University Sustainability Operations officer and associate vice president for University Business Services at the university. Before her associate vice president interim appointment, Luoma served as the university's chief procurement officer, responsible for procurement and contracting. Under her leadership, university procurement was recognized by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education's (AASHE) Sustainable Campus index as No. 1 in the purchasing category.

Appalachian State U Becomes Styrofoam-Free

Moving one step closer to its zero waste goal (90 percent waste diversion), Appalachian Food Services eliminated the use of Styrofoam in its facilities as of April 2016.

Portland State U Offers Free Art Supplies

University art students looking for free supplies and materials have a new outlet on campus that is populated with unused and donated art supplies. Called the Supply Studio, the initiative is a collaboration between the School of Art + Design and the Campus Sustainability Office.

Northern Arizona U Raises Nearly $7K for Bike Safety

The university's first crowdfunding effort, Lights for Yellow Bikes, raised $6,704 for lights to be installed on bikes in its free bike program. Citing inclement weather and night riding, installing yellow lights on the bikes aims to help protect riders from harm.

Boston Globe Covers Sustainable Seafood on College Campuses

The recent Boston Globe article points out a growing demand for and willingness to try local, lesser known seafood, which has caught the attention of many college dining services managers and food contractors.

U Edinburgh Adopts Purchasing Policy for Conflict Minerals

(U.K.): The newly adopted policy is meant to ensure that the electronic goods it buys do not contain conflict minerals, defined in the policy as "any minerals that have been found to be being used to fund conflict in any part of the world." Further, the policy pledges to raise awareness among and advise students and staff regarding personal purchases, supports research efforts on conflict minerals.

Seven Higher Education Institutions Earn Green Cleaning Accolades

The American School & University Magazine, in conjunction with the Green Cleaning Network and Healthy Schools Campaign, recently awarded Georgia Tech as grand winner, North Carolina State U as silver, and Montgomery College; Northwestern University; Texas Tech; University of California, Irvine; and University of Tennessee, Knoxville as honorable mentions. The award recognizes schools and universities for healthy and sustainable cleaning approaches, such as chemical and equipment choices, procedures and training, that protect human and environmental health, while still cleaning at a high level.

Duke U Dining Brings Sustainable Seafood to Campus

Now Marine Stewardship Council-certified, the university sources food from suppliers that are also certified in the MSC Chain of Custody, which ensures that seafood can be traced back to a certified fishery and is confirmed by random DNA testing of seafood samples. MSC is an international nonprofit organization that safeguards seafood supplies to help create a more sustainable seafood market.

Students Send Aramark Letter of Support for Sustainable Tuna

Opening with the peril of our ocean's, the letter asking that Aramark make a prompt switch to serving sustainable tuna warns of problems associated with many tuna fisheries and mentions alternative means that are fully traceable and socially responsible.

Brandeis U Purchases 'Conflict Free' Computers & Electronic Equipment

The Massachusetts-based university is the 19th institution worldwide to sign on to ensure that the computers and electronic equipment the university buys have no connection to the mining sector of conflict-ridden areas, such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Photo courtesy of Tulane Public Relations

U Illinois Secures Deal on Recycled Paper

Offices on the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus can now buy a ream of 30% recycled paper for less cost than a ream of virgin paper. University Housing, a participant in the new campus Certified Green Office program, is the first customer lining up to take advantage of the newly priced environmental paper option.

St. Mary's U Receives Fair Trade University Status

The university's new designation signals the 28th institution of higher education in the nation to receive the designation by Fair Trade Colleges and Universities. The university has worked with its food service contractor to make fair trade-certified foods, beverages and items available in its dining facilities, convenience stores, and university-hosted catered meetings.

Colgate U Student Government Restricts Styrofoam Use

(U.S.): The university's Student Government Association unanimously passed a resolution and bill against styrene, the non-biodegradable substance that is used to make Styrofoam. The bill prohibits certain student group funding to go toward purchasing foam products, and the resolution informs all university offices and departments that the student body dissuades the use of Styrofoam and suggests action to reduce Styrofoam purchasing.

Dalhousie U Partners with Sustainable Seafood Program

The university recently received its first shipment of seafood from the Ecology Action Center's Off the Hook program, which provides fresh, local, high-quality fish caught by fishermen in Nova Scotia via environmentally friendly methods. This along with a Marine Stewardship Council partnership allows all seafood at the university can be traced back through the entire supply chain.

Western Michigan U Receives 'Green Seal' Certification

(U.S.): The university's Office of Facilities Management certification process involved documentation, an on-site audit by Green Seal, developing a green cleaning policy, implementing standard operating procedures, and creating ongoing training practices for new and existing team members. Green Seal is a nonprofit in Washington, D.C. that uses science-based programs to encourage organizations and consumers to develop sustainable practices and offers third-party certification to organizations.

Three Universities Pilot Sustainable Purchasing Program

Emory University, Portland Community College and University of California at Santa Barbara recently signed up to pilot the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council's Guidance for Leadership in Sustainable Purchasing v1.0. The Guidance for Leadership in Sustainable Purchasing offers purchasers detailed advice for promoting market innovation and optimizing the environmental, social and economic performance of their supply chains.

U Northern British Columbia Earns Fair Trade Campus Designation

In order to earn the designation, university students, faculty and staff worked together to meet Fairtrade Canada’s procurement standards regarding the price, labor conditions, and environmental sustainability of products consumed and sold on campus. As a result, all campus food partners incorporate Fair Trade products into their offerings.

Seattle U Earns Fair Trade University Status

After a campus announcement unveiling a new Nicaraguan Fair Trade coffee, the university announced its commitment to support and advance economic systems that help international farmers and artisans to lift themselves out of poverty while protecting the environment.

Hartwick College Becomes Fair Trade Certified

The new recognition comes after years of work by a community-based service learning class on Human Rights. The college now offers two Fair Trade products in all retail and food outlets, and all Aramark catering coffees and teas are certified products.

Miami U Raises Awareness for Fair Trade

After visiting coffee and chocolate plantations in Central America, students are beginning a campaign for fair trade certification beginning with securing speakers on the topic and procurement of fair trade-certified products.

Transylvania U Joins Farm to Campus Program

The university joins eight other colleges and universities participating in the program that encourages universities to buy as much local food as possible and to sign contracts with multiple growers, reducing the miles traveled between farm and consumers and supporting the local economy.

Canadian Colleges & Universities to Serve Fair Trade Coffee

(Canada): After a 50 percent increase in growth on campuses, Starbucks Canada recently announced that all Canadian university and college locations will serve fair trade-certified espresso.

California State U System Engages Local Business

With a new bill, California State University pledges to source 20 percent of its food purchases from local community based farms by 2020, while Sonoma State University supports local business and promotes sustainable practices within the university’s dining venues.

Wright State U to Become Fair Trade

Currently in process, the university intends to bolster its social justice commitment by acquisition of the designation, which guarantees consumers that a product was not made using slave labor or child labor and that it is safe for the environment.

Berea College Earns Fair Trade Designation

(U.S.): Recently earning the declaration, students from the university's People Who Care program spearheaded the achievement, which has five criteria: building a Fair Trade Advisory Council, including Fair Trade in applicable curriculum, offering Fair Trade products at campus outlets, using Fair Trade products on campus, and passing a university-wide resolution to support a commitment to Fair Trade.

Elon U Registrar Office Acts to Reduce Paper Use

In an effort to manage staff workload, meet student needs and save resources, the university's Office of the Registrar has implemented a central printing station, switched diploma paper stock to one that is less likely to fade, offers an automated form depository, and has removed its fax machine.

Trent U Designated Fair Trade Campus

On behalf of its social sustainability efforts, Fairtrade Canada has recognized the university for sourcing Fairtrade-certified products for campus services and for the University’s ongoing efforts to spread awareness about fair trade issues among students and staff.

U Ottawa Declared Fair Trade Campus

The university recently achieved the status through increasing availability and awareness of coffee, tea and chocolate that has the Fairtrade designation.

Loyola Marymount U Achieves Fair Trade Status

The recently attained designation means that the university has met the Fair Trade Campaigns five requirements including sourcing fair trade products at events and meetings and education dissemination about the benefits of fair trade.

Champlain College Implements Sustainability Initiatives

The university's Sustain Champlain organization spearheaded the recent Fair Trade designation, eliminated the distribution of plastic water bottles, and initiated car sharing.

U Edinburgh Joins Electronics Watch

(U.K.): The university will now encourage electronics suppliers to disclose factory locations so that labor conditions can be monitored by thematic research, factory surveys and investigative reports.

Cornell U Stops Sale of Apparel Linked to Labor Abuse

After an incident killing 1,120 Bangladeshi workers, the university now requires its apparel licensees to abide by the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, a five year agreement between apparel companies and Bangladeshi unions that legally binds its signatories to create safe working environments.

Cornell U Students Vote to Change Campus Printing System

(United States): Encouraging environmental benefits and saving students money, the new resolution calls for lowering the cost of printing on the back side of paper, procurement of 100 percent post-consumer waste paper, and changing the default settings on all printers to double-sided.

Cornell U Strengthens Sustainable Purchasing Commitment

The university's Presidents' Sustainable Campus Committee Purchasing Team has introduced new resources and targeted campaigns resulting in an online list of sustainable products, a letter-writing campaign to departments purchasing paper from virgin sources encouraging procurement of recycled-content paper, and a new section in the Buying Manual that defines green certified, recycled, and Energy Star standards and promotes energy-efficient purchasing decisions.

Lehigh U Transitions to 100% Recycled Paper

(U.S.): An initiative by the university's Purchasing Sustainability group, the transition to 100 percent recycled paper at all public computing sites comes after a request by the student community.

U California Santa Cruz Transitions to 100% Recycled Paper

(U.S.): As of summer 2013, the university's Copy Center now procures strictly post-consumer waste paper for student course reading packets. It is currently transitioning to this type of paper for all copy machines and printers it services across campus.