Climate Solutions: St. Louis Sets New Building Energy Performance Standards

Now more than ever, the climate crisis is on the minds of people all around the world. Due to the urgent need to implement effective solutions to this social and environmental crisis, we will be regularly featuring stories of climate solutions adopted at the university and at the local, state, and national levels to inspire […]

Midwest Climate Summit in Full Swing

The Origin of the Midwest Climate Summit On average, Midwest states lag behind the rest of the country on energy efficiency, decarbonization of the electric sector, transportation electrification, and green building. However, the Midwest is also home to states, cities, businesses, institutions, and organizations that are national climate leaders and can serve as models and […]

Climate Change Induced Extreme Weather: A Collection of the Latest Coverage

Wildfires, flooding, hurricanes, heat waves– all are making headlines as symptoms of a larger climate crisis. Although climate change used to be relegated to talks of future disaster, an increasing number of media outlets now recognize that the crisis is upon us, and that it is taking the shape of extreme weather that rocks communities […]

Midwest Climate Summit Kicks Off October 2

If the 12 states that comprise the Midwest were a country, they would be the fifth-largest greenhouse gas-emitting nation on the planet. On average, Midwest states lag behind the rest of the country on energy efficiency, de-carbonization of the electric sector, transportation electrification and green building. At the same time, the Midwest is home to […]

Climate Solutions: New Commercial Solar Program

Now more than ever, the climate crisis is on the minds of people all around the world. Due to the urgent need to implement effective solutions to this social and environmental crisis, we will be regularly featuring stories of climate solutions adopted at the university and at the local, state, and national levels to inspire […]

70+ Homes Went Solar with Grow Solar STL Phase 1. Now to Phase 2!

WashU is partnering with the Missouri Botanical Garden and the Midwest Renewable Energy Association to offer a second phase of Grow Solar St. Louis! Grow Solar is a group-buy program for residential solar that makes it easier for homeowners and small businesses to install solar and slash their carbon emissions. The program is designed to […]

Climate Solutions: St. Louis Leads Midwest with New Building Energy Performance Standard

Now more than ever, the climate crisis is on the minds of people all around the world. Due to the urgent need to implement effective solutions to this social and environmental crisis, we will be regularly featuring stories of climate solutions adopted at the university and at the local, state, and national levels to inspire […]

50 Years of Earth Day – Looking Back… And Forward

On the first Earth Day in 1970, 20 million people in the United States took a stand to demand a better way forward for our planet. Here we are 50 years later, ready to celebrate the achievements of the environmental movement, and give each other inspiration and motivation to keep fighting the fights of climate […]

COVID-19, Resiliency, Climate, and the Environment in the News

The dramatic and rapid changes in behaviors of individuals, organizations, and systems at all scales induced by the COVID-19 pandemic affect our environment, climate, and ecosystems. What does our reaction to the pandemic say about our ability to tackle climate change? How does social distancing impact greenhouse gas emissions? Has COVID-19 helped ease air pollution? […]

Oncology Goes Green

The Division of Oncology has made a commitment to go green! Earlier this year, division leadership decided to begin certifying all of their office spaces as Green Offices. This is no small task, as the Oncology office spaces are located in almost ten different places on the School of Medicine campus, plus some satellite locations […]

Land, Food, and Climate in One Report

In the wake of the recent UN Youth Summit, the UN Climate Action Summit, the Global Climate Strike, and the UN Climate Change Conference (COP25) happening right now in Madrid, Spain, it’s clear that climate change is on the minds of people all over the world. When it comes to climate action, discussions tend to […]

Striking for Our Future

Between September 20 and 27, an estimated 7.6 million people and 3,000+ businesses participated in the Global Climate Strike in 185 countries around the world. Inspired by Greta Thunberg’s Fridays for Future, the strikes took place on Friday September 21 and September 27. Some journalists suggest that it may have been the biggest international environmental protest […]

WashU Hires for Two Positions Focused on Climate Action

This past May, Michael Bloomberg announced the creation of the Midwestern Collegiate Climate Summit, the largest expected convening of Midwest universities focused on climate action. Washington University in St. Louis, which serves as the anchor university, will be hosting the Summit in the spring of 2020. Bloomberg Philanthropies’ generous gift will support regional cross-sector collaboration […]

WashU Phasing in High Efficiency Ultra Low Temperature Freezers

Ultra-Low Temperature Freezers (ULTs) are a critical piece of equipment in many research labs and are designed to protect valuable samples. Capable of reaching temperatures as low as -85 degrees Celsius (or -121 degrees Fahrenheit), ULTs require a significant amount of electricity to operate — more than a typical American home — and are thereby […]

Edible Insects: Food for Thought

On April 1, a mix of professors, St. Louis residents, and students joined the Office of Sustainability and student group Net Impact in their kickoff event for Earth Week. The event was aptly called “Can Edible Insects Sustain the World?” and brought in Sarah Schlafly, co-founder of Mighty Cricket (local cricket-product company) to talk about […]

Students Explore “Earth Democracy” with Vandana Shiva

On the night of February 13th, Graham Chapel was packed with students anticipating the words of speaker Dr. Vandana Shiva, world-renowned environmental activist focused on GMOs, intellectual property rights, bioethics, women’s rights, and agriculture worker conditions in India and around the world. The talk came as a part of the Trending Topics series and brought […]

Chris Wheat, Director of Strategy and City Engagement for the American Cities Climate Challenge

Chris Wheat graduated from WashU in 2004 with a degree in Political Science. Today, he serves as Director of Strategy and City Engagement for the American Cities Climate Challenge in Chicago, Illinois. As a part of our Alumni Series, communications intern Selaam Dollisso spoke with Chris to learn more about his journey to a career in sustainability […]

IPCC 1.5 Report: A Climate Change Teachable Moment

On November 15th, dozens of students and faculty braved the snow to gather, reflect and discuss climate change in light of the recently published “IPCC 1.5°C report”. Sitting casually on the stage and among the audience, the 10 panelists represented areas of environmental science, public policy, engineering, architecture and law, from both the faculty and […]

WU Beekeepers – A Student Group Revitalized

Back after a period of dormancy, the WU Beekeepers are abuzz with activity once again. Sophomore Kane Koubsky re-started the club last spring, and now leads alongside sophomore treasurer Lucas Dionisopoulos. Koubksy, the club president, started beekeeping the summer before college and came to WashU with the goal of revitalizing the club and sharing his […]

New Opportunity for Students to Engage with Campus Solar Installations

July 22, 2013 - Kevin Denzl works on solar panels on the roof of Brauer Hall. Photos by James Byard

Low costs, consumer demands, and organizational commitments to mitigate climate change have resulted in rapid growth of the renewable energy industry that is transforming how the US and the world generates energy. In response to growing student interest in renewable energy careers, the Office of Sustainability is launching a new program that will provide students […]

WashU Earns National Recognition for Sustainability Efforts

Washington University in St. Louis is being recognized nationally for its institution-wide sustainability efforts: the school recently earned a gold STARS rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System) measures and encourages sustainability in all aspects of higher education. The university also landed in […]

Alumni Series: Melinda Kramer [Part 3] – Grow the Movement

This is the final section of a three-part interview with Melinda on her journey through the world of sustainability. You can find the first part of this interview series here. In this section, we discuss the impact that we can all make in our daily lives […]

Melinda Kramer, Founder of of The Women’s Earth Alliance

Melinda Kramer graduated from WashU in 2003 with a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology and Environmental Studies. In addition to working with various NGO’s, such as CARE International, Pacific Environment, and the Natural Capital Institute, Melinda is best known for her founding of The Women’s Earth Alliance (WEA), a nonprofit that seeks to foster sustainability […]

Opportunities for Students at the U.S. Green Building Council – Missouri Gateway Chapter

Since it was founded in 2001, the Missouri Gateway Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council works hard on creating and restoring buildings and communities that will regenerate and sustain the health and vitality of all life within a generation. Consistently honored as one of the top USGBC chapters in the nation, the USGBC-Missouri Gateway […]

Sustainability, Health, and Development: Dispatches from Costa Rica

A few weeks ago, a group of Public Health and Social Work graduate students returned from a 10-day field trip to Costa Rica.  Along with Professor of Practice Joe Steensma, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Sustainability Phil Valko, and Director of Global Programs Tammy Orahood, the students had the unique opportunity to observe and study the complex […]

Displaced: An Art Installation for Climate Justice

Last Friday, nearly 40 members of the WashU community came together to talk about the connections between climate change, disasters, and displacement, to acknowledge the end of “Displaced: An Art Installation for Climate Justice.” Seniors Kristen Patino and Julia Widmann spearheaded the project, with the help of Fossil Free WashU and funding from Student Sustainability […]

Engaging in Courses for Environmental Topics

Above: Students in the Sustainability Exchange visit Earth Dance Farms to learn about urban farming for their project that addressed food access. Browsing through WebSTAC for the right courses can be tricky, but luckily there are a few resources available to find courses related to environmental topics for this summer and fall. Recently, initiatives have […]

Success at Washington University’s First Climate Day

Last Friday, Washington University in St. Louis hosted its first Climate Day event. This exciting event brought together students, educators, community members, and leaders in climate action in important discussion about today’s pressing climate issues. Climate Day featured a keynote speech, 3 panels consisting of professionals working in government and in the non-profit sector and […]

Students to Compete at the Eighth Annual WashU Green Cup

The Office of Sustainability, in partnership with Residential Life and Facilities, is excited to announce the launch of WashU’s eighth annual Green Cup competition! Among Washington University’s South 40 Residential Colleges and School of Medicine residents, leagues will compete to reduce their energy usage. A Competition to Save Energy On the Danforth campus, electrical energy use from […]

Social Justice & the Environment Honors Barry Commoner, Combines Perspectives

2017 marks the 100th birthday of one of Washington University’s most notable alums: Barry Commoner. Commoner was a founder of modern ecology, and was influential in the creation of the EPA and development of foundational environmental legislation. Importantly, Commoner believed that one of the four rules of ecology, “everything is connected to everything else,” necessarily […]

First Sustainability Road Show a Success

This fall break, while many students were traveling or staying on campus to study or binge watch their favorite Netflix show, fifteen students from Washington University spent two days in Washington DC learning about the far reaching aspects of work in sustainability, conservation, policy, and alternative energy technologies. The students who attended came from a […]

Renewable Energy Team: Greening the East End and Beyond

As a part of the East End Transformation, the Office of Sustainability Renewable Energy team has been evaluating various ways the University can maintain its commitment to its Strategic Plan for Sustainable operations while continuing to expand and improve its facilities. The team has specifically been looking at implementing solar energy on some of the […]

October is Campus Sustainability Month

  Download the Sustainability Month Calendar Held every October, Campus Sustainability Month is an international celebration of sustainability in higher education. Throughout the month, colleges and universities organize events on campus and elsewhere to engage and inspire incoming students and other campus stakeholders to become sustainability change agents. Washington University is proud to celebrate and […]

The Complicated Relationship between Climate Change and this Hurricane Season

Still reeling from the devastating impacts of Hurricane Harvey in Texas, our attention turns to Hurricane Irma and the flooding it brings with it further east. These hurricanes are not the only two on the radar in the past week as Hurricane Katia struck the Gulf Coast of Mexico near Tecolutla late last Friday and […]