SEI Releases 2009 Sustainability Report Card, Launches Website
The Sustainable Endowments Institute has launched an interactive website for the newly released College Sustainability Report Card 2009 . The new website provides sustainability profiles and grades from the Report Card for 300 schools with the largest endowments. It allows users to create side-by-side comparisons of schools, using a broad range of sustainability criteria. Users can also search for schools with specific programs, ranging from green dorms and car sharing to shareholder advisory committees and renewable energy investments. The average grade for all schools surveyed came to “C+,” with more than 75 percent of colleges and universities earning sustainability grades in the “B” and “C” range. In related news, the Sustainable Endowments Institute has announced the winners of the Sustainability Innovator Awards and the Champions of Sustainability in Communities Awards. Recipients of the Champions of Sustainability in Communities Award include: Dalhousie University (NS), University of Chicago (IL), University of Minnesota, University of New Hampshire, and University of Oregon. Recipients of the Sustainability Innovator Awards include: Green Mountain College (VT), Northland College (WI), and University of Prince Edward Island (PE).
U Florida Passes Green Fee for Renewable Energy
The University of Florida Board of Trustees has approved a student-proposed green fee that will charge students $.50 per credit hour and will be used to support renewable energy projects. The fee, which will not go into effect until approved by the Board of Governors, would generate approximately $645,000 in revenue each year to fun such projects as solar panels and building energy upgrades. In a spring referendum, 78 percent of students voted in favor of the fee.
U Illinois at Chicago Receives $750K Grant to Green Brownfield
The University of Illinois at Chicago's Institute for Environmental Science and Policy has received a five-year, $750,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to identify best management practices for redeveloping brownfields, gauge the benefits, and get the information to the public and policymakers. Through the grant, researchers at UIC will team up with two outside technical advisers and colleagues at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to define what it means to turn a brownfield into a new green development and the value of doing so.
Business Week Article Features Green Business School Buildings
Business Week has published an article on the increasing number of green buildings at business schools across the U.S. The article mentions the University of Illinois' new $60 million business school building, green features at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth's Tuck School of Business, and the Thunderbird School of Global Management's (AZ) initiative to recycle the Thunderbird Veterans & Alumni Tower which was closed in 2006. The article also mentions upcoming green business school initiatives at New York University and Harvard Business School (MA).
Earth Island Institute Awards Brower Youth Awards
The Earth Island Institute has awarded its 2008 Brower Youth Awards to six young environmental leaders. Marisol Becerra, Jessie-Ruth Corkins, Timothy Den Herder-Thomas, Kari Fulton, Phebe Meyers, and Ivan Stiefel were selected from 122 applicants for projects such as battling industrial polluters, stopping mountaintop coal mining, and restoring a migratory bird corridor in Costa Rica. The winners each received a $3,000 cash prize, will be honored at a formal awards ceremony in San Francisco, and will participate in skills-building and mentoring workshops geared toward furthering their leadership development.
Emory U Named 'Conservationist of the Year'
Emory University (GA) has been named the "2008 Distinguished Conservationist of the Year" by the Georgia Conservancy. The annual award is considered the highest honor bestowed by the conservancy and is given in recognition of Emory's efforts to incorporate sustainability as a way to restore the global ecosystem, promote healthy living, and reduce the University's impact on the surrounding environment.
Inside Higher Ed Compares Campus Sustainability Rating Systems
Inside Higher Ed has published a review of the various campus sustainability ranking and rating systems. The article compares reports, articles, and assessments by the National Wildlife Federation, the Sustainable Endowments Institute, The Princeton Review, Kaplan, Forbes , Sierra , and AASHE.
Kiwi Magazine Releases 2008 Green College Report
Kiwi Magazine has released its "2008 Green College Report," which profiles 75 colleges and universities committed to sustainability. The report is intended to help high school students and parents choose a green higher education institution.
Syracuse U Receives Grants for Green Projects
Syracuse University (NY) has received funds to convert waste oil from SU dining halls into biodiesel. The funds come from a $3 million, five-year grant awarded to SU in 2006. The "green energy" cooperative, created to convert the used oil, will consist of faculty support, student scientists from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, and business students from SU. The cooperative's initial goal will be to create 2,500 gallons of biodiesel per year. Profits earned from selling the biodie
UC Berkeley Receives $2M for Chair of Sustainable Chemistry
The University of California, Berkeley College of Chemistry has received $2 million in donations to establish the Dow Chair of Sustainable Chemistry. The chair will research chemistry for environmental causes. The money, donated by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Dow Chemical Company Foundation, will also fund sustainability projects among several graduate students chosen by the chair.
UConn Partners to Protect Local Ecosystem
The University of Connecticut has joined a planning group that will discuss ways to maintain and improve the Natchaug Basin, a 114,000-acre tract of land and water that contains a diversity of aquatic and terrestrial plants and animals. It is the largest public surface drinking water supply watershed in Connecticut. More than half of Uconn’s Storrs campus sits within the basin, and water from the basin’s three main rivers – the Fenton, Natchaug, and Mount Hope – supports the water needs of the University and 22,000 residents of Mansfield and Willimantic. The planning committee will be working to identify key factors that promote the integrity of the streams, wetlands, forest, and fish in the conservation area; identify and rank the primary threats affecting the overall condition of the forest and freshwater systems; define strategies to address the threats and restoration needs; and create an action plan specific to each strategy, together with a timeline for completion.
U South Carolina Launches Campus Farmer's Market
The University of South Carolina has partnered with the S.C. Department of Agriculture to launch a monthly farmer's market on its campus. The Healthy Carolina Farmer's Market is intended for students, faculty, and staff, but is also open to the public. The market features fresh, local produce and natural products by South Carolina farmers. In addition, university staff will offer nutrition information, recipes for seasonal produce and other materials to encourage healthy living.
Arizona State U Partners to Establish Campus Sustainability Newsletter
Arizona State University has partnered with Grist.org, an online magazine that covers environmental news, to deliver an e-newsletter containing local, regional, and national sustainability news to the campus. The e-newsletter, which launched in early September, is emailed to all 60,000 ASU faculty, staff, and students bi-weekly. The publication includes news, commentary, and advice about sustainability issues.
Plenty Magazine Ranks Top Green Campus Initiatives
Plenty Magazine has posted a list of the top green initiatives at colleges and universities across the Unites States. Listed campuses include Oberlin College (OH), St. Lawrence University (NY), Middlebury College (VT), College of the Atlantic (ME), University of New Hampshire, Green Mountain College (WA), University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, University of Colorado at Boulder, University of California at Santa Cruz, Warren Wilson College (NC), Stanford University (CA), University of Florida, and Arizona State University. Categories include greenest conscience, most carbon-neutral, more creative renewable power, and greenest Greeks, athletics, cafeterias, alternative dining ware, buildings, and study abroad programs.
Portland State U Receives $25 M Matching Grant for Sustainability
Portland State University (OR) has received a $25 million challenge grant from the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation. PSU officials believe this to be the largest single gift to sustainability in U.S. higher education history. The challenge grant requires PSU to raise at least an additional $25 million over the next 10 years. Both the $25 million Miller grant and the funds raised to match it must be used exclusively for sustainability programs.
U Rhode Island Receives $1.476 M in Alternative Energy Funding
The University of Rhode Island has received $1.476 million in federal funding to help URI's Plant Biotechnology Laboratory develop renewable energy technologies and improve consumer access to alternative fuels. The funding aims to help the lab continue its research on the genetic traits of switchgrass, which could increase the amount of fuel produced from renewable resources.
U Utah Opens Farmer's Market on Campus
The University of Utah has opened a farmer's market on its campus that offers local produce and unique arts and crafts. The market is open to Utah faculty, staff, and students as well as to the surrounding community. The idea for the farmer's market grew out of a comprehensive wellness program begun two years ago by the university's human resources team. The goal of the program, called WellU, is to inspire employees to make healthy and sustainable lifestyle changes.
AP Covers Campuses' Move to Go Trayless
The Associated Press has published an article on the increasing number of U.S. colleges and universities going trayless in dining halls on campus. The article mentions tray-eliminating initiatives at Glenville State College (WV), Georgia Tech, University of Florida, and University of Maine at Farmington. The article reports that 50-60 percent of Aramark's 500 campuses and 230 out of Sodexo's 600 campuses are expected to go trayless.
Bates College Receives $2.5M for Sustainable Foods on Campus
Bates College (ME) has received an anonymous donation of $2.5 million to meet the additional cost of serving more local, natural, and organic food at Bates. The gift has allowed the college to spend 28 percent of its annual food budget on sustainable foods. As a result of the donation, Bates is dedicating the 2008-2009 school year to understanding the food system.
SF Chronicle Covers Green Curriculum in Culinary Schools
The San Francisco Chronicle has published an article on the increasing amount of green projects and curriculum in culinary schools across California. The article mentions the Culinary Institute of America's farmer's market stand; the California Culinary Academy's course devoted to vegetarian cooking; and the Art Institute of California's used cooking oil project.
U Cincinnati Study on Community Partnerships Features Sustainability
The University of Cincinnati (OH) has completed "Community Interactions and Collaborations: Peer Institutional Study," a report commissioned by UC to help the University gauge the effectiveness of its own partnerships with local communities, the city, and other large employers to stem decline in the neighborhoods surrounding the University. The areas of measurement included environment and sustainability, impacts on wider metro region, social capital development, avoiding use of eminent domain, and partner
Website Lists Top 5 Green Colleges
Planet Green has published a list of the top 5 green colleges. The list includes Pitzer College (CA), College of the Atlantic (ME), Evergreen State College (WA), Oberlin College (OH), and Harvard University (MA).
Associated Press Covers Increasing Need for Wind Turbine Technicians
The Associated Press has published an article on the rapidly increasing need for wind energy technicians and the corresponding launch of several renewable energy technician programs at community colleges across the U.S. The article notes that a new program at Iowa Lakes Community College has experience a class size increase from 15 to approximately 90 students from last year to this year.
Associated Press, USA Today Publish Articles on Campus Bicycling
The Associated Press has published an article on the increasing number of bicycle programs on college campuses across the U.S. The article mentions bike-sharing and bike giveaway programs at Emory University (GA), Ripon College (WI), Duke University (NC), Northern Illinois University, Illinois State University, and the University of Washington. The USA Today has also published an article on campus bicycling. Its story mentions current bike programs at Ripon College and Auburn University (AL), and a proposed bike path at the State University of New York at Albany.
Ithaca College Receives $500,000 Sustainability Education Grant
Ithaca College (NY) has received a three-year $500,000 grant from HSBC Bank USA to support sustainability education on campus. Programs funded by the grant will include scholarships to attract incoming students from diverse backgrounds with a passion for social and environmental change; a fellowship program to recognize and reward students engaged in exemplary environmental or sustainability projects while in college; an internship and research fund for supplies and materials, student and faculty stipends, and conference expenses to deliver presentations on successful projects; and a scholar-in-residence program bringing in a series of exceptional speakers for two–day to two–week visits in order to provide students and faculty with diverse perspectives and ongoing inspiration to act on behalf of the environment.
Kaplan Releases Green Schools & Green Careers Guide
Kaplan Publishing has released its "College Guide 2009," which, for the first time, focuses on environmentally responsible schools and green careers. The guide features 25 green private and public colleges from across the nation. The section provides students with a look inside the classroom, around campus, and at student life, while shining a spotlight on what's good for the globe at each college. The Guide also profiles 10 hot green careers -- from environmental engineering to geothermal development -- a
Net Impact Announces Winners to 2008 Green Challenge
Net Impact has announced the student winners of this year's Green Challenge. RJ Panda and Jake Berlin Jeff of New York University have been awarded first place for their Green Roof Proposal. The team planned a 6,500 square-foot expansive garden on top of the main Stern School of Business campus building, the Kaufman Management Center. Through extensive outreach, the Proposal will be partially funded by the Legacy Gift of the MBA Class of 2008. Second place was awarded to Charlie Coggeshall and Jeff Malcolm of the University of Denver (CO), and third place was awarded to Katherine Macrostie, Barbara Beaudoin, Alison Haight, and Erin McFee of Simmons College (MA).
NWF Releases 2008 Report Card on Sustainability in Higher Ed
The National Wildlife Federation has released its 2008 Report Card, "Campus Environment 2008: A National Report Card on Sustainability in Higher Education, Trends and New Developments in Leadership, Academics, and Operations." The 2008 Report Card, based on a survey conducted in partnership with Princeton Survey Research Associates International, reviews programs at 1,068 institutions. The study recognizes colleges and universities for exemplary performance and awards academic letter grades (A through D)
Pennsylvania Campuses to Receive Solar Power Education Funding
PPL Electric Utilities has announced that it will provide $250,000 to support Solar Scholars, a program run by a Pennsylvania non-profit. Specifically, the donation will help fund solar power education and the installation of 12 solar power systems at Pennsylvania colleges and universities. Participants will be invited to apply for grants in the fall to install a photovoltaic system on their campus that generates a minimum of 3 kilowatts.
Sierra Club Names 2008 Top Ten Green Campuses
An article in the Sierra Club's September/October 2008 issue of Sierra Magazine names the top ten green campuses in the U.S. They include, Middlebury College (VT), University of Colorado at Boulder, University of Vermont at Burlington, Warren Wilson College (NC), Evergreen State College (WA), Arizona State University at Tempe, University of Florida at Gainesville, Oberlin College (OH), University of Washington at Seattle, and Tufts University (MA). The top schools earned points in ten categories: policies for building, energy, food, investment, procurement, and transportation; curriculum; environmental activism; waste management; and overall commitment to sustainability.
Surveys Show Increasing Student Commitment to Green Companies
Experience, Inc. has completed a survey of 2,500 college students and recent graduates. The survey found that 81 percent of responders saw significance in working for an environmentally aware company. The same poll found that 79 percent would probably accept a job at an eco-friendly company over a conventional one. Another survey completed by Alloy Media + Marketing found that 41 percent of the incoming college class of 2012 prefers socially responsible brands, compared to 37 percent from last year's incoming freshman class.
USA Today Covers Green Campus Move-in Initiatives
The USA Today has published an article on green move-in initiatives on campuses in the U.S. The story discusses George Washington University's (DC) Green Move-in initiative, which focuses on recycling boxes, using less paper, and encouraging students to use re-usable moving containers, and the University of California, San Diego's newly renovated green residence hall. The article also mentions a green residence program that George Washington University will pilot this year.
California Campuses Receive Sustainability Awards
Many University of California and California State University campuses have received recognition for their sustainability efforts in areas such as building retrofits and operations, green buildings, sustainable transportation, and student sustainability programs at the Seventh Annual CSU/UC/Community College Sustainability Conference. The conference’s Best Practice Awards highlight successful and cost-effective projects on CSU and UC campuses that implement green building technologies, sustainable design strategies, and energy-efficient operations. Campuses that received awards include Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, UC Davis, CSU Channel Islands, UC Berkeley, Sonoma State University, UC San Diego, Fresno State University, CSU Monterey Bay, San Diego State University, CSU Chico, and Humboldt State University. Several Best Practices case studies have been posted online to showcase the award-winning projects.
Central College Receives Community Recycling Funding
Central College (IA) has been awarded $1,500 from the Marion County Community Foundation to promote a partnership with Pella Community Schools to purchase recycling bins for the 2008-09 school year. Central College is part of the Pella Community Schools' Green Team, a group of community members that help the school district to become more environmentally friendly. The recycling containers will be placed in various locations in district school buildings.
Georgian College to Build Sustainable Technologies Centre
Georgian College (ON) has received $6.5 million in funding from the Ontario government to complete upgrades on its Barrie campus. The funding will help the college build an 18,000 square-foot Centre for Sustainable Technologies, which will house new and existing construction and energy-related programming and skills training. Construction will begin by September and is expected to conclude prior to the fall 2009 semester. The Centre for Sustainable Technologies will create a total of 153 student workstations and include space for a Design Lab, High Voltage Electrical Lab, Surveying Lab, Materials Testing Lab, Industry-based Technical Reports Laboratory, Computer Lab and Innovative Technology Lab.
3 Appalachian State U Students Create Wind Energy Documentary
Three Appalachian State University (NC) students have produced "Harvesting Wind: North Carolina's Alternative Progress," a documentary on the current debate over wind energy in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The video aims to raise awareness about and acceptance of wind energy, and includes interviews about wind energy and common misconceptions.
Congress Passes Higher Education Sustainability Act (HESA)
Congress has passed all provisions of the Higher Education Sustainability Act (HESA) as part of the new Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HR 4137). HR 4137, expected to be signed into law shortly by President Bush, creates a "University Sustainability Grants Program" at the Department of Education. It will offer competitive grants to institutions and associations of higher education to develop, implement, and evaluate sustainability curricula, practices, and academic programs. This is the first new
EPA Announces Partnership with Norfolk State U & Hampton U
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced a new partnership with Norfolk State University, Hampton University, and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality that will enhance environmental research and teaching at the two universities and fund projects benefitting their local communities. The partnership establishes an EPA-founded program called LEAP -- Linking Environmental and Academic Programs -- at both universities. Through Norfolk State University's LEAP project, ninth grade students in the Hampton Roads area will have an opportunity to learn more about air pollution and environmental science. At Hampton University, LEAP will enhance a graduate curriculum and air quality research activities within the Hampton Roads area. The EPA also announced a $50,000 grant to Norfolk State University and a $49,995 grant to Hampton University for environmental education projects.
Lafayette College Students Win Third Place in USGBC Contest
Five Lafayette College (PA) students have received top honors among undergraduates in the United States Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Natural Talent Design contest to create the most sustainable learning environment in New York City and revitalize premier park space on the Brooklyn waterfront. The Lafayette team of civil engineering majors placed third, trailing only two teams of professional architects. The students designed a middle school, community arts center, and commercial space to transform the Empire Stores and Tobacco Warehouse and adjacent Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park while preserving the neighborhood’s historic nature. The contest provides an applied learning experience in integrated design, sustainability, innovation, and social consciousness, components of the building council’s LEED rating system.
New York Times Special Feature on Campus Sustainability
The New York Times has published an Education Life supplement with three articles on campus sustainability. "Green, Greener, Greenest" covers the emergence of campus sustainability ranking systems. The article mentions the Princeton Review's soon-to-be released annual guide to colleges, which will include a green rating, AASHE's Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS), the Sustainable Endowments Institute's report card, and other ranking lists provided by Forbes, Grist, and Sier
Princeton Review Releases Green Ratings
The Princeton Review has released its first "Green Rating" of colleges, a measure of how environmentally friendly, responsible, and committed the institutions are. The Green Rating is a numerical score on a scale of 60 to 99 that The Princeton Review tallied for 534 colleges and universities based on data it collected from the schools in the 2007-08 academic year concerning their environmentally related policies, practices, and academic offerings. The scores appear in the website profiles of the 534 scho
U New Hampshire Student Research Leads to New Wind Energy Law
A group of University of New Hampshire students' undergraduate research project on local ordinances regulating residential wind systems has led to a new state law that supports the use of residential wind energy. The new law provides guidelines for cities and towns regarding what to do when someone wants to erect a residential wind energy system. It addresses height issues, noise, setbacks, and aesthetics, and outlines a process for input from neighbors affected by such systems.
U-Wisconsin Madison Students Create Local Food Map
Four University of Wisconsin, Madison geography students have created an interactive, online map of food sources within 100 miles of Madison. Their 100-Mile Diet Map aims to educate consumers and provide a central resource for those interested in eating close to home. The map shows the locations of a variety of local-food sources, including farms, farmers' markets, food cooperatives and restaurants that serve locally produced items. The initiative is the result of class project to design a web-based map that addresses a real-world problem.
UW Madison Students Start CSA
Members of the University of Wisconsin, Madison's F.H. King Students for Sustainable Agriculture have started a small-scale community-supported agriculture (CSA) farm. Although the student organization has operated a garden for several years, this is its first year running a CSA, in which customers make a flat payment at the beginning of the season in exchange for a weekly share of produce. The students sold shares to 10 faculty and staff, and they gave another 15 shares to student volunteers who devote an average of four hours per week to the program.
Associated Press Covers Increasing Number of Green Res Halls
The Associated Press has published an article on the increasing number of green residence halls on college campuses across the U.S. The article mentions environmentally friendly residence halls at Sarah Lawrence College (NY), Wake Forest University (NC), and Emory University (GA). The article reports that there are 236 LEED certified buildings on college campuses and 1,547 campus buildings are in the process of pursing certification. Green building initiatives at Rollins College (FL), Vanderbilt University (TN), and the University of California, San Diego are also mentioned in the article.
Coolio and Jarez Work to Green HBCUs
The Environmental Justice and Climate Change (EJCC) has enlisted rapper Coolio and jazz saxophonist Jarez as spokespersons to educate students at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) about global warming. The initiative, which resulted from a partnership between EJCC and former Vice President Al Gore's Alliance for Climate Protection's "We" campaign, aims to use unique voices to encourage black youth to get involved in greening their campuses.
Grand Valley State U to Offer Household Member Benefits
The Grand Valley State University (MI) Board of Trustees has approved the expansion of health benefits for employees to include Household Member benefits. The new plan will cover an adult who lives in the employee's home for at least 18 months but is not a tenant or boarder or already a dependent of the employee, without regard to marital status or gender. The new, three-year trial benefit aims to attract and retain talented faculty by addressing the increase in households that contain couples living together without being married.
Green Mountain College to Assess Green Curriculum
Green Mountain College (VT) has received a $248,000 grant from the Davis Education Foundation to fund a project that will assess sustainability skills and knowledge students acquire in the College’s Environmental Liberal Arts (ELA) program. All Green Mountain students complete the 37-credit ELA general education program and all faculty members teach in it. Over the past twelve years, the environmentally-themed curriculum has changed incrementally in response to standard survey assessment results and the faculty’s evolving understanding of sustainability. The funding will be used over a three-year period to introduce new “ePortfolio” software which will be used to track students’ progress on learning outcomes, to help students across the entire ELA curriculum identify strengths and weaknesses, and guide their choice of future coursework. GMC will also post results of the assessment on its website and disseminate its model for assessing sustainability skills.
U Northern British Columbia to be Heated with Renewable Energy
The University of Northern British Columbia has received $3.5 million from the Government’s Innovative Clean Energy fund to become the first university in Canada to be heated largely with renewable energy. The proposed UNBC project is intended to focus on testing the economic, environmental, operational, and industrial viability of bioenergy and biomass fuels such as wood. The system would be added to the UNBC Power Plant and supplement the University’s existing boilers, which currently burn natural gas.
Christian Science Monitor Article on Green Campus Ratings
The Christian Science Monitor has published an article on campus sustainability rating systems and the importance of colleges and universities collaborating to improve their green ratings. The article mentions the Princeton Review, AASHE's Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS), the Sustainable Endowments Institute's College Sustainability Report Card, and Grist Magazine's ranking of the top fifteen green colleges and universities in 2007.