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The Morning Briefing: Sustainable universities

The Morning Briefing: Sustainable universities

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"The Morning Briefing" is SmartPlanet's daily roundup of must-read stories from the web. This morning we're reading about academic institutions and their contribution to a 'green' economy.

"The Morning Briefing" is SmartPlanet's daily roundup of must-read stories from the web. This morning we're reading about academic institutions and their contribution to a 'green' economy.

1.) £11 million (USD $16 million) distributed to reduce university carbon emissions. Four major projects and 24 smaller schemes will receive loans in the second stage of the 'Revolving Green Fund', a project created by the Higher Education Funding Council for England. It is named 'revolving' as money is potentially saved by academic institutions in energy bills, and then recycled back to fund new projects. Some institutions will receive funding for small projects, where the University of Exeter is one of four that have won funding for major sustainability improvements.

2.) Israeli 'sustainability' school ironically funded by major polluters. The School of Sustainability at the IDC Herzliya has been made a reality by start-up funding received through Israel Chemicals, who is considered a main cause of environmental hazards in the country. It has also received donations from oil refineries and large corporations. The school has earned accreditation in order to be able to offer a bachelor's degree in sustainability studies.

3.) E.ON announces partnership with Birmingham universities to develop energy technology. The energy giant has confirmed it has entered in to formal partnerships with Aston and Birmingham City University, based in the U.K. The utility plans to support low carbon, energy efficiency and alternative fuel research projects. Specific initiatives have not currently been disclosed.

4.) York University acclaimed as Canada's greenest university. The Toronto university has been ranked as 14th in the world among universities from 42 counties in the 2011 UI GreenMetric Ranking of World Universities. The ranking system is based metrics such as energy consumption, commuting, waste, and sustainability policies. Northeastern University and the University of Connecticut from the U.S. placed second and third this year, whereas the U.K.'s University of Nottingham ranked first place.

5.) Duke University waits for LEED certification for its Keohane residence hall. LEED is a certificate awarded to buildings that are considered 'green', and only a handful of organisations have currently implemented green building strategies to achieve the accolade. If Duke University is successful, this would become Duke's 23rd LEED certified building as part of the academic institution's Climate Action Plan.

Photo credit: Flickr

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Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure