Second Nature Blog Newsletter

Building Georgia Tech’s Carbon Neutral Energy Solutions Laboratory

November 6, 2012

By Howard Wertheimer, Director, Capital Planning & Space Management, Georgia Institute of Technology

(This article appears in the November, 2012 issue of The ACUPCC Implementer)

Georgia Tech is committed to the development of a sustainable campus community, creating distinctive architecture and open spaces. In keeping with this goal, Georgia Tech has a clear mission for its new Carbon Neutral Energy Solutions Laboratory Building: carbon neutral net zero site energy use. The 40,000 square foot facility is intended to set a new standard for sustainable design for laboratory buildings of this type by optimizing passive energy technologies, reducing electricity loads, thoughtful day-lighting strategies, water conservation and harvesting, and maximizing the use of renewable energy, including a 290kW photovoltaic array.

Rendition of GT’s Carbon Neutral Energy Solutions Laboratory

Revolving Loan Fund at Lane Community College

November 6, 2012

By Jennifer Hayward, Sustainability Coordinator & Anna Scott, Energy Analyst, Lane Community College

(This article appears in the November, 2012 issue of The ACUPCC Implementer)

Lane Community College established a revolving loan fund in 2006, the only one of its kind at a community college, to pay for energy conservation and renewable energy projects through utility carryover. The fund, called theEnergy Carryover Fund, realizes savings when current year electricity and natural gas expenditures are less than current year budget. Additionally, rebates and other incentives for energy-focused projects can be deposited into the Fund, helping to finance more projects in the future. The Fund is managed and implemented by Lane’s full time Energy Analyst, Anna Scott, and currently stands at $122,000.

Annual budgets for electricity and natural gas are determined using an energy use index calculation for the baseline year of 2004-05 and the current year’s prices.  Money is transferred to the Carryover Fund if Lane is purchasing less energy per square foot because of efficiency, conservation, and on-site renewables than in the baseline year.

Lane’s Energy Analyst plans the Fund’s projects in collaboration with faculty and students in its Energy Management and

Lane’s Solar Station provides electricity for charging vehicles and power for nearby buildings.

Renewable Possibilities at the University of Vermont

November 6, 2012

By Mieko A. Ozeki, Sustainability Projects Coordinator, University of Vermont

(This article appears in the November, 2012 issue of The ACUPCC Implementer)

How significant a role can campus-based renewable energy play in the University of Vermont’s (UVM) progress towards carbon neutrality?

Back in 2011 this question spurred the University of Vermont’s Clean Energy Fund to award up to $100,000 toward a Comprehensive Campus Renewable Energy Feasibility Study (CCREFS). The intent of the study was to generate scenarios to aid in renewable energy planning at UVM by getting a broad view of the potential for these technologies on-campus. The outcome of this study will also help to inform meeting UVM’s Climate Action Plan first target of becoming carbon neutral with our purchased electricity by 2015.

The funding for the CCREFS project was primarily sourced from UVM’s Clean Energy Fund (CEF), a student green fund approved in 2008 by UVM’s Board of Trustees. The CEF is sustained by a self-imposed student fee of $10 per student per semester and generates an estimated $225,000 per year. The fund was created in response to students’ desire to have UVM advance renewable energy research, education, and infrastructure on campus. To date, the CEF has awarded funding to twenty projects including the development of an internship program, CEF graduate fellowship, and lecture/workshop series.

Join Second Nature and the EPA Green Power Partnership for "The State of Renewables in Higher Education"

November 2, 2012

The State of Renewables in Higher Education

This webcast was broadcast on November 29th 2012, 2:00-3:00pm EST

Supporting Documents

Second Nature and the U.S. EPA’s Green Power Partnership are collaborating to identify the barriers to expanding renewable energy use among colleges and universities, identify solutions, provide education and training on green power procurement strategies and explore the possibilities of joint purchasing opportunities.

To kick-off this partnership, Second Nature and EPA invite you to participate in an interactive event to learn more about trends and possibilities in colleges and universities incorporation of green power onto their campuses, and in their climate reduction goals.

The live event will stream on this page.  Please bookmark this link and register to participate in the event.

Students Gear Up for Campus Sustainability Day 2012

October 17, 2012

Learn more in two new  posts from our friends at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) about how students are getting involved for Campus Sustainability Day next week! Sustainable Students – Planning for Climate Change at a Campus Near You and Preparing for a Changing Climate with a Feast DownEast provide some great opportunities to learn more about Campus Sustainability Day, and generate ideas for your campus events.

The following two posts originally appeared on the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Switchboard Blog.

Sustainable Students – Planning for Climate Change at a Campus Near You

By Tiffany Traynum, Communications and Campaigns Program Assistant

Photo from the NRDC Switchboard

Preparing Students for a Changing Climate: Keynote Broadcast for Campus Sustainability Day 2012

October 5, 2012

Campus Sustainability Day 2012

Campus Sustainability Day Keynote Broadcast 2012: Preparing Students for a Changing Climate

The Campus Sustainability Day 2012 Keynote Broadcast, Preparing Students for a Changing Climate, aired live on Wednesday October 24th, 2012.  Click on the video above to watch the broadcast.  Read below for more information about the program and events held for Campus Sustainability Day in 2012, and visit the 2012 CSD Second Nature website.

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Join us in celebrating the 10th anniversary of Campus Sustainability Day with a live panel discussing the role colleges and universities must play in creating sustainability education for all students which prepares the next generation of leaders to lead a just, healthy, and sustainable society.  How can colleges and universities prepare students for a changing climate, society, and economy through sustainability education?

The live event will stream on this page.  Please bookmark this link and register to participate in the event.

What Does It Mean to Be “Prepared?” Celebrating Campus Sustainability Day with a National Dialogue

October 3, 2012

By Sarah Brylinsky, Program Associate, Second Nature

(This article appears in the October, 2012 issue of The ACUPCC Implementer)

The celebration of the 10th Anniversary of Campus Sustainability Day (CSD) needed a topic appropriate to a moment in time when campuses have shown that the impossible is possible – changing the way they teach, operate, build, and plan in order to reduce emissions and prepare students to lead a just and sustainable future – while recognizing the challenges and opportunities still present in their journey to integrating deep sustainability education. This year, Second Nature and the CSD supporting organizations, includingAASHEthe National Wildlife Federation (NWF), The Society for College & University Planning (SCUP), USGBCFocus the NationTree Campus USAthe SEED Center, and IDEAS, are calling on campuses to participate in a national day of dialogue around a critical question which invites conversation on both success and continued roadblocks: How is higher education preparing students for a changing climate?

ACUPCC Signatories Highlighted in DOE Video Series

September 27, 2012

This past July, the US Department of Energy launched its Clean Energy in Our Community video series, which “features small communities throughout the country that are striving to become more sustainable, are investing in the green economy, and are bringing the benefits of clean energy to local residents and workers.”

All three institutions featured in the series so far (Luther CollegeUniversity of Minnesota-Morris, and Allegheny College) are signatories of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment. Two (Luther and Allegheny) are recipients of 2012 Second Nature Climate Leadership Awards.

You can watch the inspiring videos below or by following the links above.

Nominations for the 2013 Second Nature Climate Leadership Awards, which recognize innovation and excellence in climate leadership at signatory institutions of the ACUPCC, are now being accepted.

Luther College:

Expanding the Scope: ACUPCC Scope 3 Custom Source Emissions Reporting Analysis

September 5, 2012

By Sarah Brylinsky, Program Associate, Second Nature

(This article appears in the September, 2012 issue of The ACUPCC Implementer)

Scope 3, or indirect emissions not covered by Scope 2, are a challenging set of categories to gather data for in greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting, but are essential for campuses to fully account for their upstream and downstream climate footprint.  Greenhouse gas reporting for the ACUPCC requires signatories to submit two categories of Scope 3 emissions: regular daily commuting to and from campus by students, faculty, and staff and air travel paid for by or through the institution. The

ACUPCC encourages signatories to go beyond these requirements and submit additional indirect emissions categories. An analysis of ACUPCC GHG reports demonstrates that many signatories have chosen to report additional scope 3 emission categories.  Of the 93% of the signatories that have submitted at least one GHG report, 65% have included information on their solid waste emissions and 20.6% have elected to report custom scope 3 emissions.

Custom Scope 3 Sources for ACUPCC GHG Reporting

ACUPCC signatories had reported these custom Scope 3 sources in publicly submitted greenhouse gas inventories as of August 2012 (Data taken from rs.acupcc.org)

CHarting Emissions from Food Services (CHEFS) Serves Up Insight Into Scope 3 Emissions

September 5, 2012

By Christie-Joy Hartman, Executive Director, Office of Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability, James Madison University; Linda Petee, Sustainability & Risk Management Coordinator, Delta College; Jennifer Andrews, Director of Program Planning & Coordination and Tim Ryder, Undergraduate Climate Fellow, Clean Air-Cool Planet; Rita Alison, National Senior Manager Sustainability & Environmental Stewardship, ARAMARK

(This article appears in the September, 2012 issue of The ACUPCC Implementer)

Understanding the Campus Metabolism at the University of South Florida Tampa

September 5, 2012

By Garrick Aden-Buie, Research Fellow; James Buckingham, Research Fellow; Kebreab Ghebremichael, Senior Research Fellow, and Kalanithy Vairavamoorthy, Executive Director of the Patel School of Global Sustainability

(This article appears in the September, 2012 issue of The ACUPCC Implementer)

As the eighth largest university in the United States and the third largest in the state of Florida, the University of South Florida (USF) Tampa serves approximately 40,000 students and 12,000 faculty and staff. Like many other university campuses, the USF Tampa campus is a veritable miniature city. Situated in an urban setting, the campus contains 250 buildings on 1,561 acres and generates 266 million gallons of wastewater and 1,190 tons of solid waste, while requiring approximately 183 million kWhs of electricity and 740 million gallons of water a year to support its educational, research and social endeavors.

Much like the arteries of an organism, everyday activities on campus are supported by a system of networks that transport goods, resources, and energy to or from their users. Twenty-eight miles of roads and 92 miles of sidewalks move students and faculty.

3D Visualization of the University of South Florida (USF) Tampa Campus Urban Metabolism Model

From the Archives: Second Nature's 1998 Website

July 31, 2012

by Rima Mulla, Communications Manager, Second Nature

Found, in the Second Nature archives, evidence that our organizational website once reflected the critical and pivotal nature of our work:

Vice President Gore on the 1998 Second Nature Website

Vice President Al Gore loved it…in 1998.

Vote daily for Second Nature in the Carrots for a Cause contest.
Multiply your vote by recruiting colleagues and friends to support us.

We really need to bring our website up to 2012 standards. Thank you!

Make Way for Ducklings (And Carrots For A Cause)

July 30, 2012

By Van Du, Program Associate

Ouack, Pack, and Quack show their supports for Second Nature Carrot For A Cause, so should you!

Okay, so it’s not “Make Way for Ducklings and Carrots” in Mr. Robert McCloskey’s story, but Jack, Kack, Lack, Mack, Nack, Ouack, Pack, and Quack, are up to something lately!

Now that they have mastered swimming and diving lessons, Quack, the youngest duckling, informs me that they currently have an even bigger mission to accomplish:HELPING SECOND NATURE WIN A WEBSITE MAKEOVER OPPORTUNITY! Why, you might ask? Because once upon a time, the ducklings woud like to learn more about Second Nature’s Affiliate Membership program, but could not locate the information and got rather discouraged with the current SN website layout, which was designed sometime in the 20th century.  Hrm.  Something’s gotta change…And so, since July 23rd, they have marched to the Boston Public Library everyday and casted their votes for Second Naturein the Carrots For A Cause  contest—a website redesign competition for Massachusetts non-profit organizations, hosted by Boston-based website design firm, Jackrabbit Design.

A Small Deed with Big Impact: Vote for Second Nature

July 19, 2012

by Rima Mulla, Communications Manager, Second Nature

If I had a wishlist of things I’d like to accomplish in my role at Second Nature, an update of the organization’s website would be # 1 on that list. The ACUPCC’s website is in pretty good shape — always room for improvement, of course, but the mission of the initiative is clear and resources for signatories are well-organized and accessible. We even do a pretty good job of keeping information up-to-date onCampus Green Builder, a web portal aimed at under-resourced schools for which the initial funding ended over a year ago.

But when it comes to Second Nature’s website, it’s a classic case of the cobbler’s children having no shoes.

Vote for Second Nature - Carrots for a CauseThat’s why we entered this year’s Carrots for a Cause website redesign contest by local Boston design firm, Jackrabbit(Voting has begun and continues through August 12. Votesmay be cast once a day, every day!)

Tompkins County Climate Protection Initiative – June - July 2012

July 16, 2012

By Peter Bardaglio, Senior Fellow, Second Nature

Welcome to the June-July 2012 issue of the TCCPI Newsletter, an electronic update from the Tompkins County Climate Protection Initiative (TCCPI).

Photo credit: MJM Creative Commons.

Get Your GreenBack Tompkins Heats Up

Karim Beers

Karim Beers took over direction of Get Your GreenBack Tompkins (GYGBT) last month and hit the ground running, making sure that the county’s energy saving campaign did not miss a beat. Karim just received his masters degree in regional planning at Cornell University and brings with him a wealth of experience in education, community development, and planning. He has coordinated community education programs in Columbia and Spain, and taught social studies in the Philadelphia public school system.

As the campaign coordinator for GYGBT, Beers has laid out ambitious plans to inspire community members to take steps to save energy and money in the areas of food, building heat and lighting, transportation, and waster. Having started out with transportation as the focus in May, GYGBT declared June as “Waste Reduction Month” and the “Step of the Month” is to Buy Used.

posted in: 

2012 ACUPCC Climate Leadership Summit - Highlights

July 11, 2012

By Sarah Brylinsky, Program Associate, Second Nature

(This article appears in the July, 2012 issue of The ACUPCC Implementer)

Download the 2012 Climate Leadership Highlights PDF

Signatory Presidents at the 2012 Summit

Signatory presidents of the ACUPCC pose for a photograph during the opening reception

2012 Climate Leadership Award Winners

May 11, 2012

2012 CLA winner badge2012 Second Nature Climate Leadership Awards

Recognizing Innovation and Excellence in Climate Leadership at Signatory Institutions of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment

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Recipients of the Third Annual Second Nature Climate Leadership Awards were recognized for their efforts during an awards ceremony at  the ACUPCC Climate Leadership Summit in Washington, DC on June 21st. This year’s Climate Leadership Awards were created, designed, and fabricated by students from Pratt Institute’sCenter for Sustainable Design Studies (CSDS). The awards were created using reclaimed redwood from New York City water towers. The surface of the wood was beautifully and uniformly weathered, and each award included a distinctive waterline running through the grain of each piece, providing a unique and one of a kind finish. The students felt that the material and finished product honored the intent of the awards by illustrating the unique and innovative strategies the recipients are taking to work toward climate neutrality.

New UNCF Publication Showcases MSI Efforts and Progress on Campus Sustainability

May 10, 2012

By Van H. Du, Program Associate, Second Nature

Sustainable CampusesThe United Negro College Fund (UNCF) recently published Sustainable Campuses: Building Green at Minority-Serving Institutions to showcase the outstanding leadership and accomplishments achieved by many minority-serving colleges and universities in their efforts towards campus sustainability and climate neutrality.

Sustainable Campuses is a collection of discussions and case studies, written by educational and environmental representatives from both public and private sectors, focusing on the topics of campus leadership, funding opportunities for campus sustainability initiatives, and the greening of campus facilities and operations. Developed and compiled by the Building Green project of UNCF Institute for Capacity Building, the articles in Sustainable Campuses also highlight the many challenges and opportunities, which MSIs have experienced in their journey towards engaging, planning and implementing sustainability initiatives across their campuses.

Through the stories on innovative ideas, experiences, lesson learned, as well as best practices shared in this publication, it is clear that sustainability efforts and progress made by MSIs are tremendous. And as UNCF President Dr. Michael Lomax expresses in his introduction, “By reading this book, by thinking about how you and your institution might benefit from the projects these articles describes, and by acting on your convictions, you become part of the solution.”

SUNY Upstate Medical University: Sustainable Medical Care

May 4, 2012

By Thomas Pelis, Assistant Vice President for Facilities and Planning, SUNY Upstate Medical University

(This article appears in the May, 2012 issue of The ACUPCC Implementer)

As an academic medical center, SUNY Upstate Medical University faces unique sustainability challenges. A major portion of our mission is in direct patient care. Our hospitals and clinics account for 75% of the campus’ carbon footprint, and our Operating Rooms generate almost half of the institution’s solid waste. Upstate has responded to the challenge by implementing a variety of innovative sustainability initiatives while maintaining the highest levels of patient care, without compromising our academic and research missions. Our Central Sterile Process and Medical Device Re-Processing initiatives have reduced the use of costly polypropylene “blue wrap” by 23% and saved the University over $1 million during the last 20 months. We are proud of our efforts and look forward to continuing to set an example for other medical universities by delivering top notch training to heath care providers, providing exceptional patient care, and reducing our contribution to negative environmental impacts that deteriorate human health.

Top Votes for William Paterson University of New Jersey's Innovative Video

April 20, 2012

After more than 14,000 votes were cast during the Planet Forward video competition this month (on videos created by the 2012 Second Nature Climate Leadership Award Finalists), Planet Forward announced the top vote-getter this week: William Paterson University of New Jersey!

William Paterson University Video Link

Watch the video at planetforward.org

William Paterson University was honored at the George Washington University Moving the Planet Forward Innovation Summit on Tuesday, April 17th, and will be featured in continued publicity with Planet Forward.

All 20 finalists are under consideration for a 2012 Climate Leadership Award. The winners will be chosen by the Second Nature Board, and honored at the Climate Leadership Summit at American University, June 21-22nd. Look for the announcement of this year’s Award Winners soon!

The top vote-getters for videos in each Carnegie Classification produced incredible videos  documenting their climate innovation:

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