U Vermont Receives $6M Donation for Environment Institute
A $6 million gift from the Gund family will create the university's first university-wide sustainability institute. Designed to catalyze interdisciplinary research at UVM, the Gund Institute for Environment will help address urgent global issues highlighted in the U.N.'s Sustainable Development Goals.
U Montreal Receives Fair Trade Campus Designation
The university recently earned the Fair Trade Campus designation by serving certified Fair Trade coffee at all locations where coffee is served and offering three certified Fair Trade tea choices and one chocolate option at every food service outlet.
Pac-12 Releases Zero Waste Bowl Results
The Pac-12 Road Zero Waste Bowl provides a friendly and spirited platform for Pac-12 universities to engage on best practices in waste diversion and to learn how each campus strives toward zero waste goals. The winners of the Zero Waste Bowl for the 2016-17 basketball season, in order of rank, are the University of California, Berkeley, diversion rate of 94 percent; the University of Colorado, Boulder, diversion rate of 92 percent; and University of Arizona, with a diversion rate of 65 percent.
U California Launches Climate Change Video Series
In a partnership with Vox, the university launched Climate Lab, a six-episode video series exploring global climate change and the university's work to mitigate its effects. Hosted by a conservation scientist and UCLA visiting researcher, the series showcases ways people can harness known and emerging technologies to address the complex problem of climate change. The first episode has been released, with five additional ones premiering over the next five weeks.
Energy Department Announces 2018 Collegiate Wind Competition Participants
The 12 collegiate teams selected to participate in the third Collegiate Wind Competition are California State University Maritime Academy; California State University, Chico; Iowa State University; James Madison University; Kansas State University; Northern Arizona University; The Pennsylvania State University, University Park; Seattle University; Texas Tech University; Universidad del Turabo (Puerto Rico); University of Wisconsin, Madison; and Virginia Tech University. This competition, led by the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory, challenges undergraduate students to design and build a model wind turbine, develop a business plan to market the products, and test the turbines against a set of rigorous performance criteria.
Rhode Island College Partners to Reduce Energy Consumption
The college selected Ameresco to renew and upgrade campus energy infrastructure and to institute energy efficiency and water conservation measures at the college. The $5 million Energy Savings Performance Contract project is expected to save the college more than $340,000 in avoided energy costs annually for the next 15 years.
Ohio State U Approves Energy Plan That Includes $1B Partnership
The university's board of trustees recently approved the Comprehensive Energy Management Project, a public-private partnership with ENGIE North America and Axium Infrastructure valued at $1.165 billion, which aims to modernize the university’s 485-building Columbus campus, support academics in specific areas requested by students, faculty and staff, and establish a major center for energy research and technology commercialization.
Columbia U Partners with HBCUs in Scholarship Program
In an effort to combat the lack of diversity in the professional workforce, beginning summer 2017, Columbia University will admit two students from each of the top 10 Historically Black Colleges and Universities, as ranked by The Wall Street Journal, through a university scholarship program with a $100,000 value. The chosen students can earn a one-year master’s degree, receive access to industry mentors, career coaches and Columbia’s alumni network, followed by a paid summer internship and the possibility of a job offer from one of the program’s 11 Fortune 500 partners.
Simon Fraser U to Train Researchers in Clean Technology
The university was selected to lead a program that will train researchers from low- and middle-income countries to research innovative solutions to global issues, such as food and water security, and solar energy and waste-heat technologies. The goal is to cultivate collaborations that can drive innovative research on a local and international level, while developing scholars to become leaders in their field.
U Wisconsin-Stevens Point Introduces Educational Sustainability Doctoral Program
The new doctoral program in Educational Sustainability is designed to challenge students to educate for sustainability, by understanding and responding to problems in economic, ecological and social justice contexts. Sustainability learning and leadership theories are used to enable graduates to transform educational systems and foster citizen engagement.
Arizona State U Earns 'Best of Green Schools' Honor
The university was recently awarded the 2017 Best of Green Schools award from the Center for Green Schools at the U.S Green Building Council, in collaboration with the Green Schools National Network. The award highlighted the university's variety of programs for middle and high school students and the university’s two sustainability education programs targeted toward K-12 teachers.
Harvard U Partnership Allocates $100K to Local Community
Thirteen local nonprofits were selected to receive Harvard Allston Partnership Fund grants totaling $100,000 to support programs in the community. The program, established by Harvard University and the city of Boston in collaboration with the Allston community, was created to support nonprofit organizations providing neighborhood improvement, cultural enrichment and educational programming for residents.
Williams College Students Turn Leftovers Into Donations
Leftover meals that went unserved in the dining halls are now being gathered up by students, packaged into meals and delivered by volunteers from several different student organizations under an umbrella initiative known as "The Campus Kitchens Project," a leading national nonprofit empowering students to fight hunger and food waste. Student volunteers pick up food three nights a week from campus dining halls, chill the food for 24 hours, and then package the meals for deliveries to multiple affordable housing communities.
Johns Hopkins U Commits $55.5M to Locally Owned Businesses
The university and the Johns Hopkins Health System hired 304 workers from Baltimore's distressed neighborhoods and campus-area communities and committed $55.5 million of construction project spending with minority- and women-owned or disadvantaged businesses in the first year of their HopkinsLocal initiative, an effort to use the university's purchasing and hiring power to help expand opportunities for those living in city neighborhoods.
U British Columbia & U Washington Receive $1M for New Public Research Partnership
Thanks to a $1 million gift from Microsoft, the new partnership will establish the Cascadia Urban Analytics Cooperative, helping the Cascadia region address social challenges. The partnership will revolve around four main programs: a social good summer program for students, a social good symposium, research partnerships and development of new software, systems and services to facilitate data management and analysis.
Simon Fraser U Releases 20-Year Sustainability Vision & Goals
Following a year-long community-wide envisioning process, the university released its finalized 20-Year Sustainability Vision and Goals. The vision and goals will lay the foundation for the university's next five-year sustainability strategic plan. Goal topics include sustainability literacy, waste, transportation, curriculum, community engagement, accessibility and collaboration.
U Oregon Partnership Offers Energy Efficiency Assessments
The university and a local utility company recently partnered to begin a new program offering free energy efficiency assessments for local rental properties. Working through the Office of Sustainability, trained students are sent out in pairs to assess local rental properties using the U.S. Department of Energy’s Home Energy Score to rate the home’s energy efficiency.
Scientists' Group Launches Website to Help Federal Whistleblowers
Fearing an assault on science from the Trump administration, the Union of Concerned Scientists, whose mission is to protect scientific integrity, has created a webpage for federal scientists to report abuses, with instructions on how to avoid detection or hacking.
Virginia State U Opens Food Pantry
Thanks to a partnership with the grocery chain Food Lion, a new campus food pantry gives students with limited funds a variety of healthy foods in an effort to reduce hunger and food insecurity. This new initiative also aims to increase graduation rates by helping to meet students' basic needs.
Delaware State U Dedicates Renewable Energy Education Center
The new center will help increase access to clean energy and advance the state’s goal to get 25 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2025. The center will work to establish the state’s baseline of renewable energy literacy and usage, improve the infrastructure and capacity of renewable energy education, research and extension, and offer certificate programs and credentialing services in renewable energy.
Two Utah Schools Partner with City to Serve Community
After Weber State University began writing a Civic Action Plan, it decided to involve its community in this process. The plan developed into the Ogden Civic Action Alliance, which came to include six anchor institutions: Weber State University, Ogden-Weber Technical College, the City of Ogden and three other institutions. The Ogden Civic Action Alliance increases the ability of these anchor institutions to respond to the needs of Ogden City, such as housing, education and health.
Syracuse U Allocates Inaugural $50K Campus as Lab Funding
Six faculty and student projects will receive grants totaling $50,000 through the new Campus as a Laboratory for Sustainability (CALS) funding program. The call for proposals sought projects that address climate disruption and offer opportunities for communication and outreach to the campus and wider community. Some of the projects include a lab to research and test ways to connect electric vehicles to the Smart Grid and a climate disruption virtual reality simulator.
Carlow U to Research Gun Violence & Offer Scholarship to Victims
Educating for Justice is a new three-year university focus on gun violence. The initiative will examine several issues related to gun violence, including access to guns, and other contributing factors, such as lack of education, poverty and mental health. As part of the initiative, Carlow is using donor funds to create need-based scholarships for students who have been victims of gun violence.
Central CC Partners With Utility on 1.7 MW Wind Turbine
The college partnered with Bluestem Energy Solutions and the City of Hastings, Nebraska, to complete a 1.7 megawatt wind turbine on the college's Hastings campus. The wind turbine is owned and operated by Bluestem, although the college will claim a portion of the environmental attributes generated by the project. The turbine is slated to be part of the college's alternative energy program in fall 2017.
U Florida Launches Public Water Quality Website
The UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences launched a new website to teach Florida residents how to preserve and protect the state’s quality of water. The site is targeted at different roles of people regarding how to be more efficient with their water usage. Topics include water use in agriculture involving irrigation and fertilizers, water use in nature, like aquifers and wetlands, and how homeowners and builders use water in urban settings.
Northland College Aims to be Regional Food Hub
Working toward providing 80 percent locally grown food by 2020, the college is currently constructing a Food Systems Center, which will include a food-processing lab, composting system, demonstration gardens, a high tunnel greenhouse, an orchard and academic programming.
U Kentucky Allocates $200K Toward Six Sustainability Projects
As part of the Sustainability Challenge Grant Program, six projects that further campus sustainability are sustainability education in the first year experience, introduction of an interdisciplinary research program for undergraduate students, development of a sustainable, community food system that includes training students how to cook, and creating a tree ambassador program that raises awareness for the benefits of urban trees.
AASHE Welcomes Board and Advisory Council Members
In the fall of 2016, AASHE held governance elections that resulted in the appointment of two new board members, Ann Erhardt, director of energy programs and director of sustainability at Michigan State University, and Cynthia Klein-Banai, associate chancellor for sustainability at University of Illinois at Chicago. Forty-five new Advisory Council members were selected.
Michigan State U Receives $2M for Community Partnerships
The university's Office of K-12 Outreach will use a $2.1 million grant from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation to work with the city of Flint, Michigan. The funding will be used in Flint Community Schools on four strategies that include training the district's managers on the effective use of data and strengthening community relations.
U Iowa Students Create Platform for Public Engagement
A group of students created 30,000 Hands, a website capable of linking the more than 30,000 university students with local service opportunities, as an outcome to a class project that challenged the students make a difference in the community. The website attempts to respond to the needs of Iowa City’s nonprofit, charity and social-good organizations while providing real-life learning opportunities for students.
U Notre Dame to Generate Hydroelectric Energy
The university and the city have reached an agreement on a 50-year lease that gives the university rights to construct and operate a hydroelectric generation facility on the dam in the St. Joseph River. The university will run transmission lines from the dam to campus to generate about seven percent of its electrical needs.
Energy Department Announces 28 Universities to Lead Efficiency Program
The U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy recently announced nearly $35 million for 28 higher education institutions from 25 states across the country to set up and operate regional Industrial Assessment Centers, which aim to provide site-specific recommendations to small manufacturers with opportunities to improve productivity, secure information, reduce waste and lower energy costs while providing training for undergraduate and graduate engineering students in manufacturing processes, energy assessment procedures and energy management systems.
Scientists Send an Open Letter to President-Elect on Climate Change
More than 800 Earth scientists and energy experts are urging the incoming U.S. president to take six crucial steps to address climate change to help protect “America’s economy, national security, and public health and safety." Some of the steps include reducing carbon pollution and dependence on fossil fuels, enhancing climate preparedness and resilience capacity, and upholding the Paris Climate Agreement.
U Albany Art Exhibition Focuses on Climate Change
The university art exhibit, called Future Perfect: Picturing the Anthropocene, brought more than 10 artists to the university to showcase artwork dealing with climate change by portraying the effects of humans' presence in the world.
Rowan College Burlington County Offers Vets Free Solar Energy Training
The college now offers military members transitioning out of the service and honorably discharged veterans an opportunity to participate in the college's Solar Ready Vets program, a six-week training developed by the U.S. Department of Energy that prepares participants for the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners Entry Level Exam and solar-related jobs, such as system installers and sales representatives.
Colby-Sawyer College Opens Center Devoted to Community-Based Sustainability
Complementing its new degree program in community-based sustainability, the college recently held a grand opening of its field studies office for the Sustainable Learning Initiative, an experiential learning opportunity for students to use the principles of permaculture and sustainability to explore, design and develop sustainable solutions to real and evolving community needs.
Portland State U Wins National Award for Community Engagement
The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) has named the university the winner of the C. Peter Magrath Community Engagement Scholarship Award in recognition of its 27-year partnership with Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, which have gained national and international recognition for their long-term partnership that engages faculty and students in education, research and service.
Portland State U Partners with Community on Clean Air
The university’s Institute for Sustainable Solutions recently joined with Neighbors for Clean Air and Lewis & Clark Law School’s Northwest Environmental Defense Center on a new partnership, BREATHE Oregon, that will provide scientific data, legal analysis and community outreach so residents and policy makers have the information they need to make decisions that improve air quality in Portland and throughout Oregon. The partnership was awarded $250,000 from the Meyer Memorial Trust.
Unity College Begins Online MS with Sustainability Concentrations
As part of a distance education initiative, the college now offers an online master's of Professional Science degree in two tracks: Sustainability Science and Sustainable Natural Resource Management. The programs give training in core environmental science, sustainability topics and management skills.
U Washington to Receive $210M for Its 'Population Health Initiative'
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation recently announced its $210 million gift to the university's Population Health Initiative, which aims to bring together the research and resources of the university and its partners to improve the health and wellbeing of people around the world. The gift will fund construction of a new building to house the Department of Global Health, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation and portions of the School of Public Health, all of which are currently spread across Seattle.
Cleveland State U Partners to Conduct Energy Audits in Community
The university partnered with the State of Ohio to conduct free energy audits of area buildings that help identify simple fixes and low-cost recommendations that could conserve energy and reduce operating costs. The initiative was made possible through a grant that the university’s Department of Mechanical Engineering received through the Ohio Lean Building Program, which is managed by the University of Dayton.
Southern Oregon U Class Explores Sustainability Through Art
A class on art as activism encourages students to learn about art, race, ethnicity and ability, while examining both the ecological and cultural components of sustainability. Their task is to listen for what’s needed from a community, for example, a domestic violence shelter, then respond with a creative action.
Pontifical Catholic U Valparaíso Wins Inaugural $100K 'Ray of Hope' Prize
A team from the university's Ceres Regional Center for Fruit and Vegetable Innovation in Chile has won the first-ever $100,000 Ray C. Anderson Foundation Ray of Hope Prize in the Biomimicry Global Design Challenge, an international design competition and accelerator program that crowdsources nature-inspired solutions to big sustainability challenges, such as climate change, food system issues, water management and alternative energy. The team's winning concept provides a new way to protect seedlings and restore soils back to health.
U South Carolina & Clemson U Students Engage with Industry to Reduce Manufacturing Waste
A new partnership with Michelin North America will select up to 12 students from each school to take two courses that will prepare students to research sustainability and come up with a plan to reduce the amount of waste in tire manufacturing. Students will visit Michelin headquarters in Greenville, South Carolina, a few times throughout the semester to work alongside Michelin employees.
IUPUI & Butler U Win Sustainable Campus Competition
A joint project between Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) and Butler University won $50,000 from Kimberly-Clark Professional* in the Sustainable Campus Competition. The funds will go toward a large-scale, commercial composting collection initiative as a means to catalyze a city-wide composting collection program. Their plan will begin with both universities sharing the cost of having a trash hauler cart away the food waste from dining halls at both campuses. The hope is to eventually bring other Indianapolis organizations on board to share and ultimately lower the cost of hauling.
Pacific-12 Announces College Sports Sustainability Summit
In an effort to influence conferences and universities around the country on the importance of sustainability, the Pacific-12 Conference will host the first conference-wide college sports sustainability summit in June 2017 in Sacramento, California, as part of the annual Green Sports Alliance Summit. This event will convene sustainability officers from across the conference to design new collective initiatives and share best practices to transform college sports into a platform for environmental progress. This announcement was made on the inaugural Green Sports Day.
U California Berkeley Enters $4M Partnership with Brita
The 10-year, $4 million partnership beginning in the 2016-17 academic year bolsters the university's Refills not Landfills program, an effort to encourage students and the campus community to drink from reusable containers. The partnership includes distribution of Brita products, monetary support to departments and an on-campus Brita filter-recycling program.