April 5, 2010

by Bonny Bentzin, Director – University Sustainability Practices, Global Institute of Sustainability, Arizona State University

(This article appears in the April, 2010 issue of The ACUPCC Implementer)

In today’s sustainability conscious world, there has been much discussion about food waste reduction options.  At Arizona State University (ASU), in conjunction with our Carbon Neutrality goal, we have established a goal for Zero Waste (solid waste and water waste).  Our food waste reduction strategy includes harvesting food from our landscaping, diverting food waste through appropriate donations, implementing trayless dining programs, monitoring consumption patterns and tracking orders, and the exploration of composting programs. Some of these options are proving more complex than others.

Harvesting oranges from ASU's Tempe Campus Arboretum

"Harvesting oranges from ASU's Tempe Campus Arboretum". Photo: Vince Palermo, Global Institute of Sustainability, ASU

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April 5, 2010

by Jennifer Andrews, Director of Program Planning and Coordination, Clean Air-Cool Planet®

(This article appears in the April, 2010 issue of The ACUPCC Implementer)

You want to reduce the carbon footprint of campus dining—but first you need to have a better understanding of what that impact is, and what is driving it.  What’s worse: the ever-present macaroni and cheese, or the even-more-ubiquitous pizza?  Users of Clean Air-Cool Planet’s Campus Carbon Calculator™ have always known that “you have to measure to manage;” and since it’s potentially expensive, inconvenient, controversial, or even downright impractical to adopt every “green” option you can think of for food purchase, food service and waste management, it’s important to have solid information at hand to help your campus prioritize and make best use of its resources.

From presentation by Leana Houser Pitkevits at AASHE2008

To meet this need, CA-CP is getting ready to release its highly-anticipated new CHEFS tool.  The Charting Emissions from Food Services (CHEFS) calculator is different from the Campus Carbon Calculator™ in that it adopts a life-cycle rather than a strictly entity- level carbon accounting approach—but it is similar in that it aims to provide a standardized, quantitative tool for decision-makers working to find the most effective ways to lower campus carbon emissions.

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April 1, 2010
Posted in: Second Nature Team

by Georges Dyer, Second Nature

Peter Bardaglio, Second Nature Senior Fellow, author of Boldly Sustainable, and coordinator of the Tompkins County Climate Protection Initiative, has just published a very interesting article on the evolution of social media and democratic sustainability atTerrain.org: A Journal of the Built & Natural Environments.

Peter Bardaglio

How can the digital revolution and the new social media it has spawned nurture the development of democratic sustainability? By democratic sustainability I mean a social and political process that engages citizens as active agents of social change in the complex task of balancing economic prosperity, effective environmental stewardship, and social justice. Moving toward democratic sustainability has less to do with technology than a massive change in human consciousness, one that encourages systems thinking and transforms the relations of people to each other and to natural world

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March 31, 2010

Tomorrow, April 1st, Michael Crow, President of Arizona State University and Co-Chair of the ACUPCC Steering Committee, will moderate a forum (with free webcast), addressing the question: Is Energy Independence Possible in Our Lifetime?

The panelists include:

  • Arum Majumdar, Director, Advanced Research Projects, US Department of Energy
  • James E. Rogers, Chairman, President, and CEO, Duke Energy
  • Sunil Paul, Founder, Gigaton Throwdown Project
  • John A. “Skip” Laitner, Director of Economic and Social Analysis, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy
  • Lisa Marginello, Director, Energy Policy Initiative, New America Foundation
  • Gary Dirks, Director, Arizona State LightWorks, Former President BP Asia-Pacific and BP China

“The promise of abundant, clean, renewable energy is now facing the reality of markets, technology limitations, and a disjointed policy environment. Can we scale existing or near term technologies to meet even a small fraction of our domestic electrical and liquid fuel needs? What are the revolutionary ideas on the horizon that have a chance of turning the hype into reality? Come hear a group of industry, research, and policy experts discuss the important topic.”

The live webcast can be viewed for free at:http://www.newenergynow.com/forum/

The event is sponsored by Arizona State University and the New America Foundation.

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March 29, 2010
Posted in: ACUPCC

by Georges Dyer, Senior Fellow, Second Nature

The Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC) is the most recent member of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) network.

This video shows MATC instructor and Green Energy Summit Chairperson Dr. George Stone introducing MATC President Dr. Michael L. Burke, who signs the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment on March 24, 2010:

The depth of MATC’s commitment and seriously with which they enter into this network are clear from level of engagement of faculty, administrators, and trustees in the decision-making process.  It’s also clear from the investments they’ve already planned.

MATC has partnered with Johnson Controls (an ACUPCC sponsor) to develop the state’s largest PV solar array – a $6.9 million “solar education farm” that will help train technicians.  The 2,500 panels will general 411 kw of electricity and save $70,000 per year.  It will also be total portable.

This is a great demonstration of leadership by President Burke and the entire MATC community -congratulations and welcome to the ACUPCC network!

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March 26, 2010

by Rima Mulla, Communications Associate, Second Nature

In tandem with the dedication of its Shi Center for Sustainability earlier this month, Furman University hosted a panel discussion entitled “Greening Our World: Sustainable Colleges, Corporations, and Communities.” It was moderated by New York Times environmental reporter Andrew Revkin and, in addition to former New Jersey Governor and EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman, featured four Second Nature board members:

George Bandy, Jr., Vice President for Sustainability Strategy and Diversity at InterfaceFLOR
David Hales
, President of the College of the Atlantic
Nilda Mesa
, Assistant Vice President for Environmental Stewardship at Columbia University
David Shi
, President of Furman University



The absorbing discussion kicks off with Revkin asking each panelist to definesustainability. Here are some excerpts from their answers:

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March 25, 2010
Posted in: ACUPCC

Carbon insetting emphasizes internalizing the costs of carbon, which can have a powerful affect on budgeting and investment decisions. Because the money is not sent outside of the organization, there likely to be less resistance from stakeholders (Board members, customers, students, financial officers, etc.). It doesn’t have the benefit of driving real emissions reductions immediately, like high-quality offsets do, but provides a viable financing strategy for reaching some of the higher-hanging fruit in terms of internal emissions reduction opportunities that have a higher marginal cost per ton of CO2e.

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March 23, 2010
Posted in: ACUPCC, News

While the US government and the global community have been slow to address severe climate disruption, colleges and universities are stepping in to boldly slash their carbon emissions, research and develop new technologies, and prepare students to create a safer, clean energy economy.

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March 22, 2010

by Ashka Naik, Program Manager, Advancing Green Building in Higher Education, Second Nature

Earlier this month, I traveled to Nashville, TN, where I attended the Thurgood Marshall College Fund’s (TMCF)Member University Professional Institute, “2010 HBCUs* and Beyond.” Felicia Davis, Director of UNCF‘s Facilities and Infrastructure Enhancement program invited me to join her at this event.

We had a two-fold mission in attending this meeting, one part of which was to make new connections. Public HBCUs (around 50 member schools of TMCF) often remain severely under-represented in Second Nature’s programs; only 9 of these 50 institutions are ACUPCC signatories. Therefore, we wanted to seize the opportunity to engage this group of higher education institutions and share details about our activities. With the help of two enthusiastic attendees, I made the acquaintance of several interesting individuals. Renford Brevett, Director of Title III Programs at Lincoln University, introduced me to more than 20 leaders including presidents, provosts, deans, CFOs, and faculty members. Felicia Davis and I also presented at one of the panels, “Building Green at HBCUs,” during which we discussed the challenges HBCUs face while building green and how Second Nature’s capacity-building programs could help them overcome these barriers.

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March 16, 2010

by Rima Mulla, Communications Associate, Second Nature

American College & University Presidents' Climate CommitmentThe theme of the recently released American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment 2009 Annual Report carries through in the latest Second Nature article published by Fast Company:Leadership for a Thriving, Sustainable World.

Here’s an excerpt from thearticle by Second Nature President Anthony Corteseand Senior Fellow Georges Dyer:

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