Celebrating Sustainability 2014
The ACUPCC and Second Nature are spending the days leading up to Earth Day “Celebrating Sustainability” at 20 signatory institutions. Each business day, two new signatory school will be highlighted here and on the homepages of the ACUPCC and Second Nature websites for its cutting-edge work to promote environmental sustainability.
Carbon neutrality efforts will also be central to SUNY Sullivan’s curriculum and educational experience for all students. In addition to incorporating relevent student-based research into various academic programs, carbon neutrality will be featured through common coursework and co-curricular activities.
Understanding the importance of community engagement, Frostburg State University works closely with local partners to address environmental, social and economic issues in Western Maryland. Efforts include reducing the Potomac River basin flooding, re-establishing natural forested habitat on strip mined lands, reducing food insecurity a, as well as creating a training facility that will help create additional “green” job opportunities.
At Chico State sustainability means innovation and leadership. The University is a founding signatory of the ACUPCC, has deeply integrated Sustainability into the Strategic Plan, and most recently became an inaugural member of the Alliance for Resilience Campuses.
In addition to integrating sustainability into the curriculum, Furman University’s Sustainability Planning Council continues to research and refine recommendations regarding energy efficiency measures, investments in renewable energy infrastructure, and development of offsets that will be required to meet its commitment of carbon neutrality by 2026.
At University of North Texas the We Mean Green Fund provides students, faculty, and staff the opportunity to develop projects that promote environmental stewardship and contribute to campus sustainability. Past projects include rain water harvesting system, filtered water stations, and hand dryers to eliminate paper towel waste in restrooms.
Educationally, 78% of University of Minnesota, Morris’ disciplines have sustainability courses and 67% of our departments conduct sustainability-related research. Morris students led the creation of a composting system on campus, diverting 20 tons of food waste to soil production.
The Bentley’s Office of Sustainability works to connect faculty and students with an open and engaged Facilities Management Department allowing students to participate in Bentley’s operational sustainability efforts. Through their work on our campus sustainability initiatives, students are able to apply what they learn in the classroom to real world challenges.
Glendale Community College is poised to reduce energy costs by an additional $230,000 – $318,000 annually, to reduce CO2 emissions by 1,580 – 2,640 metric tons annually and to exceed its 2016 CAP benchmarks. Glendale has increased full time enrollment from 11,559 to 14,207, while reducing energy consumption by 20%.
At Massachusetts College of Art and Design, faculty are incorporating sustainability into the curriculum through projects such as designing new uses for recycled water bottles, designing a sustainable sculpture for the campus, or developing illustrations for a family-friendly magazine focused on the environment.
At The Ohio State University, works to integrate sustainable practices, programs and projects across all functions - academics, research, campus operations, policy development and outreach. The University also achieved Tree Campus USA certification through a coordinated effort with student volunteers.
At Huston-Tillotson University, student organization “Green is the New Black” engages the African American and Hispanic communities in sustainability conversation, explores best practices on campus and leads the “Dumpster Project” environmental education initiative.
Gateway Technical College brings green training and environmental stewardship to students and community, its business partners help forge the future green careers of our graduates, and its graduates affect the world we live in through their work in green industry.
Since joining the ACUPCC in 2007, sustainability has become a core value at Montgomery County Community College. Also at regional level, the College is recognized for its work to reduce emissions through a variety of transportation strategies.
At Colby College, co-curricular environmental programming has used student interest to evaluate, research, and enact a number of campus sustainability initiatives. A combination of academic coursework and partnerships between the administration and faculty has produced various independent projects and honors theses in order to promote understanding and awareness of sustainability and climate change issues.
Understanding the importance of promoting sustainability both on and off campus, UMass Amherst recently developed a detailed civic engagement plan for the New England Sustainable Knowledge Corridor Community Engagement Project, designed to engage local under-served populations in dialogues that create opportunities for capacity building and increased community participation.
In 2013, the Detroit Free Press recognized Western Michigan University as a Michigan Green Leader. Since 2007, collective efforts to build a culture of sustainability have begun to inform everything WMU do, both on campus and in the community.
Since joining the ACUPCC in 2007, Pacific Lutheran University has been exploring innovative ways to achieve its goal of climate neutrality in 2020.
Columbia College Chicago seeks to use sustainability to position students and the college to meet the emerging challenges and opportunities in the 21st century. This includes a holistic commitment to environmental responsibility, social equity, and economic vitality.
Valencia College is also reducing its transportation’s carbon footprint by utilizing a regional public-funded ride-matching program and improving bicyle and pedestrian access to the campuses.
According to Dr. Michael Collins, The University’s Chancellor, “Beyond the environmental benefits, which are important in their own right, our sustainability effort is fundamental if we are going to continue expanding our science and clinical operations. We need to grow, but in ways that have as little additional environmental impact as possible.”