University Business May 2017 - 18

Beyond the News
Points of interest: Campuses share sustainability maps
Many institutions shine a spotlight on
their sustainability efforts by creating online maps to showcase eco-friendly sites
and green activities on campus-areas of
interest to both the student body and the
general public.
LEED-certified buildings, rainwater
collection units, composting sites, community gardens, recycling bins, car-charging stations and bike lockers are some of
the hot spots on these maps.
Most campus sustainability maps are
interactive: Click on an icon that identifies the initiative and see additional detail,
such as the operating hours of a garden or
how much energy is generated by a solar
array. Geographic information systems
(GIS) technology underpins these maps,
allowing the incorporation of multiple
layers of information.
"There are initiatives on our campus
that people probably aren't aware of until
they start to browse around on the map,"
says Daimon Eklund, communications
coordinator for sustainability at the
University of Washington. "The data
becomes more appealing when users can
interact with it in an engaging way rather
than simply having a list or a chart of
numbers."
The University of Washington's map
was created using Google Maps, spreadsheets and custom code written in Drupal,
a web development tool. It features seven

$

CLICK AND LEARN-The University of Washington's sustainability map
features seven main categories related to campus sustainability and dozens
of examples, from the location of charging stations to recycling bins.

main categories, including sustainable
dining, waste diversion and environmental
groups, and is updated every few months.
Eklund regularly contacts facilities, the
physical plant office and other campus
departments to learn about new initiatives.
A sustainability map should incorporate filtering so users can find the features
most important to them, says Monika
Urbanski, data and content manager
for the nonprofit Association for the

Advancement of Sustainability in Higher
Education. Urbanski also recommends
using color-coded icons to display sustainability features, with specific colors designated for various categories, such as red
for transportation, and simple icons for
each item (bike shop, public transit, etc.).
AASHE's online resource library
(www.aashe.org) provides examples of sustainability maps. Institutions can upload
links to share their own maps. -R.B.

DONORS & DOLLARS

GIFT ASSISTANCE FROM OUTSIDE-

The Fund for Academic Renewal (FAR), an American
Council of Trustees and Alumni program to help
donors make transformative gifts to higher education,
is expanding to give donors a more powerful voice in
determining the direction U.S. colleges take in the future.
Donors can now work with academic, legal and
philanthropic experts at the Fund to design both large

18 | May 2017

and small gifts tailored to their individual interests
and financial circumstances. The services-offered at
no charge to donors, thanks to a Diana Davis Spencer
Foundation grant-also include helping individuals to
pool their resources with other like-minded donors to
maximize their impact. More information about FAR is
available at www. AcademicRenewal.org. -Melissa Ezarik

www.universitybusiness.com


http://www.aashe.org http://www.AcademicRenewal.org http://www.universitybusiness.com

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