Johns Hopkins U & Health System to Adopt $15 Minimum Wage

The recent announcement of adopting an enterprise-wide $15 minimum wage will directly benefit more than 6,000 Maryland employees. The minimum wage applies to all employees, as well as temporary workers, student workers and contract workers who work full-time on campus.

MIT Unveils Climate Action Plan

The new plan commits MIT to net-zero direct carbon emissions by 2026. Five broad areas frame the university's action plan: sparking innovation, educating future generations, informing and leveraging government action, reducing MIT’s own climate impact, and uniting and coordinating all of MIT’s climate efforts.

American U Releases Sustainability Plan

The new five-year plan covers three sections—engagement, environment, administration—and includes 45 new goals written by the Sustainability Advisory Committee and the Office of Sustainability.

Georgia Tech Building Earns Living Building Certification

Georgia Tech's Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design has measured net-positive for energy and water. Over the performance period, the building generated 225 percent of the energy needed to power all of its electrical systems from solar panels on its roof. It also collected, treated and infiltrated 15 times the amount of water needed for building functions.

Emory U Farms Fund to Receive $4.8M Grant

The United States Department of Agriculture recently awarded $4.8 million to the university's Working Farms Fund, an initiative supported by a partnership between The Conservation Fund and Emory University that acquires and permanently protects farmland, helping farmers who would not have the means to purchase the land at full market price.

HEI Leaders to Guide Net Zero Endowments Initiative

A group of seventeen leaders from higher education endowments, investment consultants, asset managers and nonprofit partners recently joined together as a steering committee to guide a new Net Zero Endowments initiative hosted by the Intentional Endowments Network. The Net Zero Endowments steering committee aims to accelerate the adoption of net zero portfolio commitments to 50 endowments over the next two years.

U North Carolina Chapel Hill Receives $1M for 'Champion Sustainability Fund'

A new partnership between the university and Champion Athleticwear will launch the Champion Sustainability Fund with a $1 million investment from Champion. Once operational, the revolving fund will support several new programs, including the Champion Sustainability Research Accelerator, which will award $50,000 annually to Carolina faculty whose research programs are poised to improve sustainability and environmental outcomes, and the Sustainable Carolina Opportunity Fund, which will provide seed funding for scalable opportunities to advance sustainability.

U Southern California Researchers Partner With LA to Reduce Heat Zones

The new USC Urban Trees Initiative provides a science-based approach to help advance the L.A. Mayor's Green New Deal, which calls for increasing forest canopy specifically in low-income heat zones by 50 percent by 2028.

THE Releases 2021 Impact Rankings

The Times Higher Education (THE) University Impact Rankings assess universities on their contributions to the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals. The 2021 ranking includes 1,115 universities from 94 countries/regions. The overall ranking is led by the University of Manchester (U.K.), followed by three Australian universities–University of Sydney, RMIT University and La Trobe University, and then Queen's University in Canada.

Smith College Pledges $200,000 to Community Resilience Hub

The university's $200,000 pledge towards the Community Resilience Hub aims to support residents who face chronic and acute stress due to natural and human-caused disasters, climate change and social and economic challenges.