Alternative Energy

The Benefits of Sustainability

In today’s discussions about buildings and architecture for higher education campuses, sustainability is touted for its positive environmental impact. However, sustainable design can be more than just responsible earth stewardship. It can impact operational costs, support and improve student learning, and even promote change in students’ behavior. Universities should approach sustainability as an expectation, not an add-on, incorporating it into the building process and thinking about all of its potential impact when making design decisions.

Sustainability Trends on Campus

Turning off lights in an empty room, changing to compact fluorescent bulbs, and implementing recycling programs might be the low-hanging fruit of reducing a campus' carbon footprint, but they are also very effective steps. Read on to learn ways some campuses are turning a deeper shade of green by taking commonsense measures to a higher level.

Students at the University of Albany (N.Y.) are being challenged to calculate their carbon footprint and then make strides to reduce it. This fall will be the third year UAlbany is providing two living and learning communities--one for freshmen and one for upperclassmen--focusing on the environment. They emphasize energy in the fall and recycling and waste reduction in the spring.

Keeping the Commitment

Even in difficult economic times, the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment continues to make its green mark.

Richard Cook spends much of his time listening to college and university presidents ask questions about sustainability. Can we afford this? What if my trustees balk? Is global climate change exaggerated? Is carbon neutrality even possible? Cook responds with patience and knowledge about the impact of harmful greenhouse gases, about clean energy, and about why it makes fiscal sense to go green. "I liken it to the moonshot," says the former president of Allegheny College (Pa.).

Green 2010

Sustainability has become a focus in nearly all aspects of college and university management.

Going Green is hardly a fresh concept for campuses anymore. Today, sustainability has become a focus in nearly all aspects of college and university management. From residence and dining halls to it operations and overall campus energy management, higher ed leaders are continuously coming up with new areas and ideas for strengthening sustainability efforts. Read on for dozens of ways your institution might go greener as well as a big-picture update on the presidents’ climate commitment.

Sustainable IT

30 tips for going green with IT operations and equipment.

When colleges and universities start assessing their carbon footprint, the IT department is likely to come under fire by virtue of having oversight of much of the energy consumption on campus. Just how much energy do IT functions account for? At Harvard, for example, Sustainability Office Director Heather Henriksen says that IT functions--from data centers to network equipment to desktops and laptops--make up between 13 and 25 percent of the institution’s peak electrical load. “Research computing needs are set to double in five to six years under business as usual,” she adds.

Energy Saving Programs that Provide Environmental and Financial Benefits

ARAMARK helps Medaille College reduce its carbon footprint and save costs

Saving the environment isn’t just a goal at Medaille College in Buffalo, NY. It’s a way of life. Concerned about its impact on the environment, the college is taking aggressive steps to reduce its energy consumption.

Sustaining Admissions

How prospective students are tracking down institutions' environmental records and using them in the college decision-making process
 

IN THE LATE 1990s, WE WORKED WITH A YOUNG woman who had a very strong focus on environmental action. At the time, it was the rare student who placed her own environmentalism and that of prospective colleges so squarely in the forefront of her admissions process.

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