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Archive for the ‘2010 Climate Leadership Awards’ Category

Pasadena City College receives Second Nature’s 1st Annual Climate Leadership Award for Institutional Excellence in Climate Leadership. Award recipients were recognized at the 4th Annual American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) Summit in Denver, CO on October 12th.

Since 2007, Pasadena City College (PCC) has diverted more than 86% of its waste including paper, vegetation, electronic devices, and construction debris from the landfill. To reduce transportation emissions, PCC has partnered with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority to offer low-cost transportation passes to 9,200 students. The campus also has four bus stops serving three different companies and operates a shuttle van service to the Gold Line light rail station in order to encourage students to use the train service.

Recently, “nano-wraps” were installed on main gas lines, which have resulted in a forty-percent savings on gas usage.  Over the past two years, PCC has reduced its water consumption by more than 28% through a combination of projects—including ultra-low flow urinals, changes in landscaping, and irrigation efficiency improvement. And over the past decade, several acres of asphalt have been replaced with walkways, sitting areas, landscaping, water features and more than 500 trees have been planted.

Future PCC projects include the installation of a Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fuel island with a possible public electric hook-up charging station. PCC, in partnership with Pasadena Water & Power, is also seeking to install a 1.4 megawatt fuel cell, which will convert hydrogen-based fuel into electricity.

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Dickinson College receives Second Nature’s 1st Annual Climate Leadership Award for Institutional Excellence in Climate Leadership. Award recipients were recognized at the 4th Annual American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) Summit in Denver, CO on October 12th.

Dickinson College’s Climate Action Plan aims to attain climate neutrality by 2020. Current efforts include the conversion of the central energy plant boilers to burn Viesel, a net-zero carbon biofuel made from filtered waste vegetable oil. The college purchases renewable wind energy credits equivalent to 100% of annual electricity consumption and has installed 84 kilowatts of solar photovoltaics with student assistance and produces 50-100 gallons of biodiesel per week from waste vegetable oil in student run biodiesel shop.

In 2009, Dickinson was awarded a grant from NASA to lead a 3-year project that will train faculty from Dickinson and 10 other colleges and universities to teach about climate change. The NASA funded project is part of a broader initiative to integrate sustainability throughout the Dickinson curriculum, facilitated by the Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education (CESE). CESE also participates in a national project of the NCSE that is developing materials for teaching about climate change and in a State of Pennsylvania working group to plan for climate change adaptation.

Dickinson offers a number of courses on climate change and has hosted numerous climate change events, including Focus the Nation, 350.org Day of Action, Climate Conversations Week, and COP15 at Dickinson. Fifteen students attended COP15 as part of a yearlong course “From Kyoto to Copenhagen,” where they interviewed conference delegates for a research project. The students shared their work and experience through organized campus and community events, presented a paper at a Penn State University conference, and participated in a national AASHE webinar.

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The Alamo Community College District (ACCD) receives Second Nature’s 1st Annual Climate Leadership Award for Institutional Excellence in Climate Leadership. Award recipients were recognized at the 4th Annual American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) Summit in Denver, CO on October 12th.

Since 2002, The Alamo Community College District (ACCD) has partnered with the Energy Systems Laboratory (ESL), a division of the Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEES) located at Texas A&M University to identify, design, and implement Energy Cost Reduction Measures. This partnership has reduced ACCD’s electricity and natural gas consumption by 16.5% and 41%, respectively. Providing a cumulative savings of approximately $3,950,517, while keeping 37.2 tons of NOx and 33,803 tons of CO2 out of the atmosphere.

ACCD has implemented a district‐wide metering program.  Every Alamo College facility is being equipped with metering devices to monitor electrical, gas, thermal, and water usage. This energy management control system will collect and analyze data to help inform energy use decisions and behavior.

Academically, the Alamo Colleges will develop educational programs focusing on renewable energy and a green‐skilled workforce.  At the Southwest campus location, a 400kW solar project is under construction. The solar panels will provide electricity for the campus and will be used as part of an educational curriculum to educate and train students in this future technology.  In addition to the solar project, the Mission Verde Center was created to promote economic growth and job creation in energy efficiency, renewable energy, and water conservation.  This center was developed through a partnership between the City of San Antonio, the San Antonio Independent School District, San Antonio Youth Centers, Texas Engineering Experiment Station, CPS Energy, and San Antonio Water System.

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The University of Pennsylvania receives Second Nature’s 1st Annual Climate Leadership Award for Institutional Excellence in Climate Leadership. Award recipients were recognized at the 4th Annual American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) Summit in Denver, CO on October 12th.

University of Pennsylvania (Penn), President Amy Gutmann champions the environmental efforts and provides senior leadership that complements the grassroots efforts of an engaged campus community. An extensive network of students, faculty, and staff known as the Penn Green Campus Partnership is an umbrella group created to foster a culture of sustainability. For two years, an advisory committee of over 40 campus constituents, led by the Vice President of Facilities, collaborated to produce the Climate Action Plan, an ambitious outline of strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

In addition to the strategies outlined in Penn’s CAP, the university has long emphasized sustainability in its academic mission including but not limited to:

  • The T.C. Chan Center, a partnership with Tsinghua University, brings together students and international experts to research and develop strategies for sustainable environments and high-performance, energy-efficient buildings.
  • Ideas in Action’ courses allow for students to propose projects to senior administrators on the best methods for advancing the University’s sustainability goals.
  • The Office of the Provost created a new sustainability minor and specialized sustainability tracks within several schools, in addition to a series of workshops for faculty.
  • PennGreen, a pre-orientation program offered to incoming freshmen, and provides students with an environmental introduction to Penn and Philadelphia.
  • The Penn Eco-Reps program includes all student college houses and over 100 faculty and staff volunteers who participate in monthly workshops to improve the sustainability of their workplaces and dorms.
  • The Penn Connects campus development plan will increase the amount of green space by over 20%, convert parking lots to parkland, mitigate stormwater runoff, and reduce urban heat island effect.
  • An Energy Reduction Fund has been established to provide schools and centers with incentives to pursue conservation projects.
  • Penn is the largest purchaser of green power among American universities, with over 192,000 megawatts (46 percent of total power used) of wind energy purchased annually.
  • Penn formed the largest university car-sharing program in the country with PhillyCarShare, a 50,000-member nonprofit organization.
  • The Penn Green Fund seeds innovative ideas in sustainability with one-time grants of as much as $50,000.

To learn more about the University’s environmental sustainability initiatives, visit the Penn Green Campus Partnership website.

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University of Montana President, George Dennsion receives Second Nature’s 1st Annual Climate Leadership Award for Outstanding Individual Climate Leadership. Award recipients were recognized at the 4th Annual American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment Summit in Denver, CO on October 12th.

President Dennison has referred to climate change as “the leading global issue of our time” and has shown tremendous leadership in making the University of Montana (UM) a model for sustainability.  On Earth Day 2002, President Dennison signed the Talloires Declaration, rededicating UM to promoting sustainable development and social justice on local, state, national, and global levels. In the same year, President Dennison appointed the Sustainable Campus Committee to guide and document efforts by UM and by campus groups to achieve the goals of the Talloires Declaration.  President Dennison charged the SCC with developing an annual State of the Sustainable UM Campus report to be delivered each Earth Day.  In 2007, President Dennison signed American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) as a charter signatory and in 2009 he endorsed a Climate Action Plan that sets the UM’s goal of carbon neutrality by 2020.

To support these actions, President Dennison has backed the formalization of the Office of Sustainability with the addition of a full-time director, a student-driven Sustainability Center, and student experiential learning opportunities in the UM Forum for Living with Appropriate Technology (FLAT). The FLAT is university-owned housing that students are retrofitting as an example of energy-efficient and sustainable living. UM offers a minor in Climate Change Studies that is available to all disciplines and the UM Green Thread faculty development program works to incorporate sustainability into curriculum. Green Thread is offered to faculty of any discipline and is open to educators from other universities in the Montana region.

More recently, President Dennison saw through the development of UM’s 1st ‘green’ building. The Payne Family Native American Center is the first of its kind in the nation and will achieve USGBC LEED Gold status.

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Unity College Sustainability Coordinator, Jesse Pyles receives Second Nature’s 1st Annual Climate Leadership Award for Outstanding Individual Climate Leadership. Award recipients were recognized at the 4th Annual American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment Summit in Denver, CO on October 12th.

As the Sustainability Coordinator for Unity College, Mr. Pyles focuses on mobilizing student sustainability efforts on campus, and is coordinating the College’s climate action planning process. Among other things, he oversees campus waste, food-growing, and energy assessment work. He sits on the College’s planning and budget committees, is a member of the academic Center for Sustainability and Global Change, and reports directly to President Mitchell Thomashow. Mr. Pyles’ 2010 Sustainability Team includes Dr. Anne Stephenson, a Rocky Mountain Institute Sustainability Fellow, who is focusing on emissions mitigation strategies in campus buildings as well as numerous work-study students working in the areas of recycling, compost, food production, media outreach, and campus buildings.

Mr. Pyles recently completed a road trip along with a group of Unity students and 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben that returned one of President Jimmy Carter’s solar panels back to the White House. The goal of this effort was to encourage President Obama to reinstall solar atop the White House as part of 350.org’s 10/10/10 Global Work Party, and to follow this symbolic gesture with substantial legislative action.

Sustainability is built into the mission of Unity College – it is Mr. Pyles job to help the campus Think Sustainably, Work Sustainably, and Live Sustainably.

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University of California San Diego (UCSD) receives Second Nature’s 1st Annual Climate Leadership Award for Institutional Excellence in Climate Leadership. Award recipients were recognized at the 4th Annual American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) Summit in Denver, CO on October 12th.

Environmental sustainability is part of UCSD’s institutional DNA. In 1957, Scripps Institution of Oceanography‘s (SIO) Director Roger Revelle warned that greenhouse gases from industrialization could endanger the planet. SIO chemist Charles Keeling precisely measured atmospheric CO2, and his Keeling Curve is “the most important geophysical measurement of the 20th century.”

UCSD Chancellor Marye Anne Fox tapped into that tradition, making sustainability a top campus priority, transforming it into a living laboratory of sustainable solutions. From economics to mechanical engineering, 19 of 53 academic departments have incorporated sustainability concepts into their classes. Faculty research is focused on energy efficiency, alternative fuels and photovoltaics. UCSD faculty also helped launch CleanTECH San Diego, ranked seventh in the world on the Sustainable World Capital’s list of global cleantech organization leaders.

Recently, four engineering students played a critical role in helping the university and the region secure $154 million in federal Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (CREBs) allocations for solar projects. From energy economics and sustainable building designs to water conservation and biofuels made from algae, sharply higher numbers of undergraduates are opting for majors and minors, classes, internships and research projects that emphasize environmental sustainability. In the 2009-2010 school year, students minoring in Environmental Studies doubled to 60 and Environmental Engineering majors increased 50 percent to 92. More than 250 students enrolled in Economics of Conservation when the Economics Department first offered it two years ago. Student “Econauts” created a video that urged their fellow students to recycle on “move-out” day at the end of the year. Recycling improved dramatically.

UCSD’s Climate Action Plan calls for climate neutrality by 2025, a 4 % annual reduction in water use and zero waste by 2020.

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