Inside Higher Ed Publishes Article on Alternative Transportation

Inside Higher Ed has published an article on colleges' and universities' efforts to increase the use of alternative transportation options. The article reports that Augsburg College (MN) increased carpooling by moving the reserved carpooling parking spaces to the center of campus. Other campuses have created "carpool only" and "hybrid only" parking spaces. Not only do these initiatives encourage the use of greener transportation options, reports the article, they also cut down on the amount of sin

Kansas Wesleyan U Receives Recycling Grant

Kansas Wesleyan University has received a $26,233 grant from the Salina City Commission and a matching grant of $7,205 from the University to be used for waste reduction initiatives. The funds will be used to help purchase an electric recycling truck, multiple large recycling bins, vermin-composting units, and educational material that will be used at elementary school presentations. The group also plans to create a video of what happens to waste when it goes into the trash can.

Massachusetts Maritime Academy to Install Solar Lights

The Massachusetts Maritime Academy has announced plans to install 62 solar-powered lights around campus by the end of September. The project was largely funded with a $325,000 state energy grant. Another $34,000 came from the Massachusetts Technology Council.

Michigan State U Dining Hall Offers Local, Organic Foods

The Michigan State University Yakeley Dining Hall has started a pilot program to offer local and organic foods. The program, which offers local and organic foods whenever possible, aims to address concerns about environmental sustainability and to teach students where their food is grown. Additionally, the University has invested in a new hoop house to grow salad greens and cooking greens for the dining halls.

Mills College Creates Center for Socially Responsible Business

Mills College (CA) has established the Center for Socially Responsible Business at its Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business. The center plans to examine how businesses can improve social conditions in practical ways that do not harm and may even help their bottom lines. Created in part by a three-year grant from the Elfenworks Foundation, the Center aims to advance the study and practice of socially responsible business, promote its values, foster social responsibility in graduate business education, and build alliances with like-minded Bay Area companies, nonprofits, academic institutions, and government agencies.

More U.S Institutions Offer Domestic Partner Benefits

Inside Higher Ed has reported that the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources found in a recent survey that 42 percent of U.S. colleges and universities offer health care benefits for same-sex domestic partners, up from 40 percent a year ago. In addition, 34 percent of institutions offer benefits to opposite-sex domestic partners, up from 31 percent one year ago.

Purdue U to Launch Carpooling Website

Purdue University (IN) has announced plans to offer a new Web-based program to help employees and students carpool. The University has signed a contract with Ecology and Environmental Inc. for implementation of a carpool/rideshare application called GreenRide. The program is designed to help faculty, staff, and students find carpooling partners by searching for other Purdue employees and students who live close by or on the same commute route and who have similar work or class schedules. It is expected that the program will be available for use by the end of the fall semester.

Rush U Medical Center Breaks Ground on Green Hospital Building

The Rush University (IL) Medical Center has broken ground on its new green hospital. The new structure, which will be registered for LEED certification, will feature multiple green roofs, extensive use of recycled materials, and use of energy efficient systems for lighting, heating, and cooling. The 14-floor, $575 million, 806,000-square-foot building will house Rush's acute and critical care patients as well as surgical, diagnostic, and therapeutic services utilizing the most advanced technology available.

Rutgers U Breaks Ground on 1.4 MW Solar Farm

Rutgers University (NJ) has broken ground on its seven acre, 1.4MW solar farm. The farm will generate approximately 10 percent of the electrical demand of the Livingston Campus and reduce the university’s carbon dioxide emissions by more than 1,200 tons per year. Rutgers will fund approximately half the $10 million cost of the project, and the balance will be subsidized by a rebate through the Board of Public Utilities' Clean Energy Program.

Saint Mary's College of California Establishes Campus Garden

Saint Mary's College of California has established a half-acre student-run garden plot to grow pesticide-free food for the student dining hall. The goals of the project are to increase students' understanding of the food production process and the nutritional and environmental benefits of local, pesticide-free food.

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).

Stanford U Installs Solar Panels on President's House

Stanford University (CA) has installed a 40 kW solar array on the house occupied by President John Hennessy. The University received a $84,000 rebate on the $362,000 system from the California Solar Initiative.

Stony Brook to Run Campus Buses Off of Vegetable Oil

Stony Brook University (NY) has started an initiative to convert campus bus engines to run off of used vegetable oil. The project will use leftover vegetable oil from one of the campus dining halls to fuel the buses. Once the project is up and running, the University plans to expand the program to include vegetable oil from other dining facilities on campus.

St. Xavier U Begins Bike Share Program

St. Xavier University (IL) has begun a campus bike share program, the Green Bike Program. The new initiative, which offers 65 bicycles, allows faculty, staff, and students to rent bikes from computerized docking stations by using their campus IDs or gaining a code via text message. Through the program, renting a bike is free for the first 15 minutes and costs $.60 for every 15 minutes after.

Syracuse U Changes Temperature Policy to Reduce GHG Emissions

Syracuse University (NY) has changed its temperature policy to conserve energy and reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions released through the heating and cooling processes. By reducing the temperature of University-occupied spaces by two degrees in the heating season, and raising the temperature threshold one degree in the cooling season, the University will realize an annual reduction of 1,683 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions. The new temperature policy for the heating season will have a set point at 68 degrees, and the cooling season set point will be 76 degrees.

Syracuse U, SUNY ESF Partner to Create Green Energy Coop

Syracuse University (NY) and the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry have partnered to create a green-energy cooperative. The student-run project, funded by a grant from the Syracuse Campus-Community Entrepreneurship Initiative, aims to produce biodiesel by the spring 2009 semester that would be sold back to SU and SUNY ESF for use in their vehicles.

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.

Westminster College Offers Free Public Transit Pass

Westminster College (UT) has begun offering a free UTA Premium Transit Pass to all students, faculty, and staff who will commit to using alternative transportation at least four days per month. The pass works for both bus and TRAX train services.

3 Campus Laundry Facilities Go Carbon Neutral

Keene State College (NH), Salisbury University (MD), and Stonehill College (MA) are all participating in Mac-Gray Campus Solutions' new "Lighten the Load" program to operate carbon neutral laundry rooms. Mac-Gray Campus Solutions, a contract operator of card- and coin-operated laundry facilities in college and university residence halls, has announced a partnership with aimed at making its college and university accounts carbon neutral. The "Lighten the Load' program is offered to all of Ma

Appalachian State U Begins Tailgate Recycling Initiative

Appalachian State University (NC) has begun a new initiative to recycle at every home football game. The Recycling at the Rock initiative will provide tailgaters with green bags to use for recycling and black bags to use for trash. ASU expects to save $60 per ton of recyclables that are recycled.

Brigham Young U Announces Several Green Initiatives

Brigham Young University (UT) has begun a program to recycle plastics. Receptacles have been placed throughout campus. BYU has also announced that the Blue Line Deli, which will open this fall, will use biodegradable plates, utensils, and napkins for all of its meals. The dinnerware will be composted in the campus' compost piles and eventually will be used for campus landscaping. In addition, Brigham Young has purchased all Energy Star-rated appliances for its new cafeteria.

Brunswick Community College to Produce Biodiesel from Algae

Brunswick Community College (NC) has announced plans to begin a project to grow enough algae to produce approximately 75 pounds of oil each month. The oil will then be converted into biodiesel to power campus tractors and utility vehicles. The project is being funded by a grant that will also fund six student lab positions.

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).

Coastal Carolina U Names Sustainability Coordinator

Coastal Carolina University (SC) has named alumna Marissa Mitzner as the campus' first sustainability coordinator. Mitzner, who graduated from the University in May, will be responsible for helping to tranform Coastal Carolina University into a more environmentally-friendly university. Mitzner also manages the EcoReps program of student workers and is developing a plan for making Coastal Carolina University more bike-friendly.

Colorado State U to be Carbon Neutral by 2020

Colorado State University has announced the goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2020 without the use of carbon credits. The University plans to reach its goal by reducing its greenhouse gas emissions through conservation and alternative energy sources. The University has already begun a carbon footprint assessment and plans to spend the next three years placing an emphasis on conservation.

CSU Stanislaus Science Building Receives LEED Silver

California State University, Stanislaus' Nora and Hashem Naraghi Hall of Science has received LEED Silver certification. The 115,000-square-foot building includes laboratories, classrooms, faculty and department offices, and a roof-top observatory. The structure features program controls for heating, air conditioning, venting, and air purification systems as well as programmable light-dimming switches; recycled materials and wood products from environmentally-endorsed lumber harvesting practices; and drought-resistant landscaping and a watering system with conservation features.

DOE Awards 6 Higher Ed Biofuels Projects

The U.S. Department of Energy has selected six advanced biofuels projects in which it plans to invest up to $4.4 million, subject to annual appropriations. These awards to U.S. institutions of higher education will support research and development for cost-effective, environmentally friendly biomass conversion technologies for turning non-food feedstocks into advanced biofuels. Combined with the minimum university cost share of 20 percent, more than $5.7 million is slated for investment in these six projects. The institutions selected include the University of Toledo (OH); Stevens Institute of Technology (NJ); Montana State University; University of Georgia; University of Maine; and Georgia Tech Research Corp. By engaging these partners, the DOE is working to meet the Renewable Fuel Standard mandated by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which has a requirement of producing at least 36 billion gallons of U.S. renewable fuels by 2022.

Drury U Habitat for Humanity House Earns LEED Platinum

A Habitat for Humanity house designed and built by students at Drury University (MO) has received LEED Platinum certification. The house features solar panels that heat water and the radiant floor, native landscaping, rain gardens, and pervious paved surfaces.

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.

Florida Gulf Coast U Launches Carpooling Website

Florida Gulf Coast University has launched a new carpooling website for students and staff to share rides. The goal of the website is to reduce traffic and pollution. The website allows participants to calculate their annual greenhouse gas emissions per pound.

Harvard U to Install Wind Turbines on Campus

Harvard University (MA) has announced plans to install small-scale wind turbines on top of the Holyoke Center, one of the University's administrative and student buildings. The system is not expected to generate much energy - the project's main purpose is to serve as a symbol of Harvard's commitment to sustainability.

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.

North Carolina State U to Host Renewable Energy Research Center

North Carolina State University has announced that it will host the National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center for Future Renewable Electric Energy Delivery and Management (FREEDM) Systems. The center will be supported by an initial five-year, $18.5 million grant from NSF with an additional $10 million in institutional support and industry membership fees. The new center will develop technology that transforms the nation's centralized power grid into an alternative-energy-friendly "smart grid"

Santa Clara U Dedicates Green Business School

Santa Clara University (CA) has dedicated Lucas Hall, a recently completed green business building on campus. The 86,000 square-foot, $49 million structure features dual-switched and motion-sensitive lights; energy-optimized heating and air conditioning; and recycled and recyclable chairs. Lucas Hall was designed with LEED guidelines in mind.

Skidmore College Launches Eco-Reps Program

Skidmore College (NY) has launched a student Eco-Rep program, a peer leadership program designed to help increase environmental awareness among Skidmore students and to continue fostering environmentalism on campus. Skidmore has hired 10 paid student Eco-Rep positions that each work four hours a week in a residence hall. Five Eco-Reps will also serve as mentors to five first-year students as a service-learning project for a First-Year Experience seminar. The Eco-Reps will help the students learn about Skidmore's campus sustainability program, and also how to plan and implement sustainability initiatives and activities. To help them prepare for their new assignment, the Eco-Reps participated in a full day of training to gear up for the upcoming year of sustainability education. Training included learning about current Sustainable Skidmore initiatives, participating in peer leadership activities, setting goals, and brainstorming initiatives for the year.

Smith College Eliminates Disposable Cups, Distributes Reusable Cups

Smith College (MA) has distributed reusable metal water bottles to students this year after announcing that disposable cups will no longer be available in the dining halls. The College has also eliminated paper bags at a campus store and made reusable canvas bags available for purchase.

South Dakota School of Mines to Host Bioenergy Research Center

The South Dakota School of Mines and Technology and the National Science Foundation have partnered to create The Center for Bioenergy Research and Development. The School of Mines will be the host institution for the center, which will be a consortium of universities, industrial partners, and governmental agencies. Members of the consortium include South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, South Dakota State University, Kansas State University, North Carolina State University, State University of New York Stony Brook, and the University of Hawaii. Each university pledges, as part of the membership agreement, to bring five industry or governmental partners on-board, which yields an industry commitment of more than 30 members.

Stanford U Holds Groundbreaking for Green Business School

The Stanford University (CA) Graduate School of Business has formally broken ground on its new business school campus. The 360,000-square-foot Knight Management Center campus, which will comprise eight buildings around three quadrangles, will reduce overall water usage by at least 30 percent; exceed current energy efficiency standards by at least 40 percent; recycle or salvage 50 to 75 percent of non-hazardous construction debris; and use rainwater or re-circulated gray water to reduce potable water use for building sewage conveyance by 80 percent. Stanford plans to seek LEED Platinum certification for the new school.

Stevens Institute of Technology to Expand Solar Array

The Stevens Institute of Technology (NJ) has signed an agreement to expand the current 130 kW solar power system on campus. 3rd Rock Technologies will install, own, and operate the new array and will sell the power generated by the panels back to Stevens at a fixed price. Stevens expects the solar panels to make up 11 percent of its energy needs by the beginning of 2009.

SUNY ESF Converts Butter Sculpture to Biodiesel

The State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry has converted a 900 pound butter sculpture from the New York State Fair into approximately 96 gallons of biodiesel. The biodiesel will be used to fuel a SUNY ESF vehicle.

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

U Alaska Fairbanks, U Minnesota Go Trayless

The University of Alaska, Fairbanks has eliminated trays from its dining hall in an effort to reduce food waste. UAF implemented the initiative after a successful week-long pilot program last semester resulted in eliminating 50 percent of the dining hall's food waste. The University of Minnesota has also stopped using trays in its dining halls. The UM initiative is also the result of a successful pilot program that saved an average of 1.5 ounces of food waste per person and 1,700 gallons of water.

U Arizona Student Government Hires Sustainability Coordinator

The Associated Students of the University of Arizona has hired Lesley Ash as Sustainability Director. ASUA's Sustainability Director will be responsible for developing projects and initiatives that work to reduce waste at the University. Ash's first priorities will be to develop a composting system at UA's student unions and markets and to develop a sustainability committee within ASUA that will involve student clubs and organizations.

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.

UC Irvine Breaks Ground on Green Student Housing

The University of California, Irvine has broken ground on its new $221 million green student housing project. The structure, which will include 1,763 new undergraduate and graduate beds, has been designed to optimize energy and water efficiencies; reduce light pollution, waste water and construction waste, and utilize regional materials. The building has been designed to meet LEED Gold certification and will open in the fall of 2010.

U Connecticut Reduces Plastic Bag Usage on Campus

The University of Connecticut has started the Co-op Cares Bag Program, which is intended to reduce the use of plastic bags and promote environmentalism. For each customer who declines a bag, the Co-op will donate 5 cents – the average cost of a plastic bag – toward one of four charities, including the UConn Foundation’s Green Campus Fund. Customers are given a wooden token to put in collection bins for the charity of their choice.

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.