Posts Tagged ‘ACUPCC Summit’

Mount Wachusett Community College receives Second Nature’s 2nd Annual Climate Leadership Award. Award recipients were recognized at the 5th Annual American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) Summit in Washington, DC on June 23rd, hosted by George Washington University.

With President Daniel Asquino leading the college for more than twenty years, Mount Wachusett Community College (MWCC) was at the forefront of the national climate movement when it converted its all-electric campus to biomass heating in 2002 to save on energy costs and reduce its carbon footprint. The tremendous success of that initiative – implemented at zero net cost to the college through grants and energy rebates – led to other renewable solutions including solar and wind energy.

This year, MWCC activated two new 1.65 MW wind turbines. The Vestas V82 turbines are expected to generate 97 percent of the college’s annual electricity demand, plus return an additional 30 percent of power back to the grid. With the college’s biomass heating, 100KW photovoltaic array, and solar domestic hot water technologies incorporated into the mix, MWCC anticipates operating as a zero net energy campus and nearing carbon neutrality.

MWCC’s wind energy project is an integral component in the Massachusetts Leading by Example Program initiated by Gov. Deval Patrick to achieve statewide goals for clean and renewable energy. The $9 million project, a collaboration between the college and key state agencies, is being funded through $3.2 million in U.S. Department of Energy grants, $2.1 million from a low interest Clean Renewal Energy Bond (CREB); and $3.7 million from Massachusetts Clean Energy Investment Bonds.


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Montgomery County Community College receives Second Nature’s 2nd Annual Climate Leadership Award. Award recipients were recognized at the 5th Annual American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) Summit in Washington, DC on June 23rd, hosted by George Washington University.

Since joining the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment in 2007, sustainability has become a core value at Montgomery County Community College (MCCC). Sustainability efforts are led by a team of faculty, students, administrators, support staff, alumni and community members that comprise the President’s Climate Commitment Advisory Council. Chaired by College President Dr. Karen Stout, the Council developed the College’s first-ever Climate Commitment Action Plan, outlining short and long-term strategies to reach carbon neutrality.

The plan, which is divided into key categories –including transportation, campus operations, curricular and co-curricular activities, and community outreach – was reviewed by the Environmental Protection Agency and was endorsed by the College’s Board of Trustees. The new and current strategic plan, “Great Expectations: Keeping the Promise of Student Access and Success,” focuses on campus renewal and sustainability as one of MCCC’s strategic goals.

The College introduced a new general education core curriculum that shapes students’ experiences through 13 learning competencies. One competency is civic responsibility, which requires students to analyze society’s environmental impact on the non-human world and future generations to better ensure sustainability.


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Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC) receives Second Nature’s 2nd Annual Climate Leadership Award. Award recipients were recognized at the 5th Annual American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) Summit in Washington, DC on June 23rd, hosted by George Washington University.

Mary Fifield, BHCC College President working with the Executive staff have established one of the College’s goals to be “Cultivating College-­‐Wide Sustainability Initiatives” in an effort to develop new degree programming, integrate sustainability within existing programs and to promote conservation of natural resources. In addition, the College made another unprecedented commitment to sustainability by establishing an executive cabinet level position, the Director of Sustainability, who has college-­‐wide responsibility for integration of sustainable best practices.

The BHCC Board of Trustees has also taken an active role and recently conducted a presentation at the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) annual convention in Toronto, Canada called “Commitment to the Environment: Start a Sustainability Program at Your College” that included a customized Climate Action Planning Template tool to assist other colleges in their climate action planning process.

BHCC has provided large-­scale sustainability professional development training for faculty and staff. The trainings were facilitated by  Debra Rowe, President of the U.S. Partnership for Education/Sustainable Development and Leith Sharp, founder of Harvard University’s Green Campus Initiative. Learning activities included the “What’s Your Carbon Footprint” quiz, themed workshops, launch of the Climate Impact Decision Assist research tool (CIDAT) and tour of local recycling facilities. BHCC is also a member of AACC‘s Sustainability Education and Economic Development (SEED) Center, a leadership initiative and resource center that provides strategic guidance and detailed resources for community colleges to ramp-up their programs to educate America’s 21st century workforce.


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By Fuzz Hogan, Executive Producer, Planet Forward
(This article appears in the June, 2011 issue of The ACUPCC Implementer)


What if you could start an ongoing dialogue from your office, connecting top scientists, industry leaders and policy makers with your students, administrators and faculty? A 24/7 sustainability seminar, where you could hear what’s on the cutting edge of research, help spur implementation of the best ideas and motivate critical stake-holders to take action.

That’s what we’re creating here at Planet Forward, a project of the Center for Innovative Media at the George Washington University. Created by Frank Sesno, who will keynote the ACUPCC summit in June, Planet Forward is a dynamic public square that allows citizens from diverse backgrounds to engage directly with experts, decision-makers, business leaders and each other. We’re leveraging the power of new media platforms and user-generated content, challenging the conventional top-down format of traditional media and rewarding contributors by giving their ideas increasing levels of public exposure, including broadcast television.

What does that mean? It means we’re creating that dialogue — to help bring solutions from the innovators to the decision-makers, to connect the enthusiasm of our youth with the expertise of top industry leaders.

How does it work? Let me give you two examples.


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By Toni Nelson, ACUPCC Program Director, Second Nature
(This article appears in the February, 2011 issue of The ACUPCC Implementer)

The ACUPCCThe support team at Second Nature has developed a plan for 2011 that will provide information and resources on key topics related to the implementation of climate action planning and sustainability education, as well as opportunities for signatories to gather in person to discuss challenges, opportunities, and ways to overcome barriers to these goals.  Second Nature is introducing a briefing paper series, “Viewpoints on Sustainability,” to provide information and resources on specific topics in a concise format that will highlight important concepts and related resources. A website redesign is also in the works, with a re-organized resources section that will group information by topic and thus make it easier to find information on specific topics of interest to the signatories.

Key Topics for 2011

Topics to be addressed through briefing papers, the ACUPCC Implementer, and webinars and other in-person events such as training workshops will include how to institutionalize sustainability at your institution, financing resources and opportunities, outreach to and engagement of the campus and local community, higher education’s role in adapting to climate change, and education for sustainability.


A particular emphasis will be made in 2011 to provide support and information regarding financing resources and opportunities.  The ACUPCC Steering Committee has created a Financing Sustainability Committee comprised of president and chief financial officers that is tasked with developing a set of recommendations to present to the Steering Committee at the Annual Leadership Summit in June.  The effort is being supported by the Clinton Climate Initiative and NACUBO, which will include financing as a focus at the 2011 Smart and Sustainable Campuses Conference in April.

In-Person Meeting Opportunities

For Presidents, Provosts, and CFOs

The 2011 ACUPCC Annual Leadership Summit will be held at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. on June 23-24.  This event will focus on issues related to ACUPC policy and high-level decision-making in support of climate action planning and sustainability education implementation.

For Implementation Liaisons and Sustainability Staff

Implementation Liaison networking meetings will be held as part of the programming at NACUBO’s 2011 Smart & Sustainable Campuses Conference in Washington, D.C., April 3-5, and at the 2011 AASHE Conference in Pittsburgh, PA, October 9-12.  ILs have welcomed these opportunities to talk with their peers about specific projects and issues on their campuses.

For All Campus Sustainability Leaders

The ACUPCC plans to hold two regional gatherings in the next year.  The ACUPCC Northeast Regional Climate Leadership Symposium will be scheduled in early November 2011, most likely in the Boston area, and the ACUPCC Southwest Regional Climate Leadership Symposium will be scheduled in February 2012, most likely in Phoenix.  Regional events will be hosted by ACUPCC institutions and will follow a similar format to the national summit, with an evening keynote and dinner, and working sessions the following day.

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By Christopher Blake, President, Mount Mercy University

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


Positions of leadership, whether within a multi-billion dollar company or a tiny non-profit, require a level of perspective that encompasses a 360-degree angle. Administrators must have vision for multiple demographics, constituents and audiences – but most importantly, view their organization in the broader context of humanity. This vision must speak to the masses, yet resonate with small departments.

While attending the ACUPCC Summit in Denver, I was witness to remarkable vision and perspective that showcased the level of commitment and commonality that too often goes without recognition in higher education. While networking with colleagues from institutions throughout the country – all of which have  differing student demographics, academic programs, enrollment, and alumni engagement levels – it can be all-too-easy to feel as if we are “one man upon an island” when it comes to issues facing our respective colleges and universities.

However, after meeting with my counterparts, it is obvious that we share an overarching commonality –sustainability. I was struck by the strength of the common will between the institutions. Sustainability is an issue affecting all of us, regardless of the institution, resources, leadership, or size. And with this perspective of commonality comes new vision, renewed motivation and a greater appreciation for the task ahead.


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By Ulli Klein, Director of Communications and Operations, Second Nature

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

The ACUPCC “I am a college president for one reason only: I have such passion for sustainability and environmental conservation,” says Mitch Thomashow, President of Unity College in a new video lesson series Second Nature produced during the 2010 ACUPCC Climate Leadership Summit. He goes on to explain how he was inspired to do work on sustainability issues when he saw the cover of a book that featured a photograph of our planet in a bookstore in downtown New York City during the 60s.

Unity College President Mitch Thomashow

Telling stories is one of the best ways to communicate and share best practices and ideas.  We had the fortunate opportunity to interview nine senior sustainability leaders from across the country during this year’s ACUPCC summit in Denver and ask them to share their lessons and experiences about sustainability and the ACUPCC on their campuses. The people interviewed represent a variety of school types, e.g., Arizona State University’s President, Michael Crow, and Delaware State University’s Associate Vice President for Development, Vita Pickrum.


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By Judith Groleau, Vice President of Development, Second Nature

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


A highly visible undertaking such as the ACUPCC must demonstrate the commitment of its members through their participation in fundraising efforts, as this is an important tool for encouraging donors to invest in new programs and special projects that help to achieve the goals of the ACUPCC.  Just as each college and university works hard to achieve that level of participation from its alumni and board for a giving program, we too seek to have that level of participation from ACUPCC signatories through our membership dues program.

Pomona College's Bowen Close

Institutions that step up to pay Leadership Level dues make a vote of confidence in the initiative that not only supports program management efforts but also brings a host of other benefits.  In October, during the 2010 Climate Leadership Summit, I learned that Pomona College made a Leadership Level dues contribution to the ACUPCC to acknowledge the high profile work done by their Implementation Liaison, Bowen Close, on behalf of the ACUPCC.   This is an extraordinary way for an institution to acknowledge the accomplishments of one of its own on campus.

Pomona’s President, Dr. David Oxtoby, explained the reason behind their contribution: “Bowen’s role with the ACUPCC played a big role in our decision to contribute at the Leadership level. We are very proud of the work she is doing on campus and of her nationally visible role with your organization [Second Nature and the ACUPCC] and with others.  Bowen has professionalized and transformed our own sustainability efforts on campus.  I am glad that you have found her helpful for your efforts as well.  She is able to work equally effectively with students, faculty, and Trustees.  She bridges the academic and operational sides of the campus particularly well.”


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