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By Ashka Naik, Director of Capacity Building, Second Nature
(This article appears in the January, 2011 issue of The ACUPCC Implementer)

The ACUPCC

Two years ago Second Nature undertook an extensive research project to understand the needs and challenges faced by the U.S. higher education institutions that were disenfranchised from the mainstream “Green Building” movement for a myriad of reasons.  This inquiry, funded by the The Kresge Foundation, offered an in-depth look into the unique demographic, physical and economic as well as knowledge-based hurdles confronted by these institutions while pursuing sustainable building practices on their campuses.

The result was a 2-year strategic outreach and education program, “Advancing Green Building in Higher Education,” which was developed in 2008 by Second Nature and funded by The Kresge Foundation to assist under-served colleges and universities in their green building efforts.  Second Nature proposed to use six activities, such as the Kresge Fellowship Program and the Green Building 101 Technical Assistance Grants Program, as vehicles for delivering these actions in an effective and timely manner.  These activities provided a strategic path for influencing green building at under-resourced institutions because they: 1) focused on the places of highest leverage for advancing green building at academic institutions, including university leadership and the building industry, and 2) provided needed technical and institutional resources while also growing financial support for high leverage initiatives.

As 2010 came to an end, so did the first phase of Second Nature’s Advancing Green Building in Higher Education Initiative.  Our team at Second Nature celebrates a successful completion of this extraordinary capacity-building program, and invites you to take a look at the highlights and success stories of this 2-year journey towards building a sustainable future for all higher education institutions!

To read more, please click here.

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Advancing Green Building in Higher Education

While attending the 2010 Greenbuild Conference in Chicago, IL, Second Nature’s Ashka Naik brought together the eleven 2010 Kresge Fellows who attended this year’s GreenBuild thanks to the funding they received through their fellowships. The group shared their experiences as campus sustainability champions over a meal and had the opportunity to discuss their challenges with content experts in the field of green building. Read more on the Campus Green Builder blog.

Second Nature Kresge Fellows at 2010 Greenbuild

More information about the Advancing Green Building in Higher Education Kresge Fellowship Program.
More information about the Campus Green Builder web portal.

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By Steve Muzzy, Senior Associate, Second Nature

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

The ACUPCC

The 4th Annual American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) Climate Leadership Summit met October 12-13 in Denver, CO. The nearly 200 participants got right to work sharing challenges and best practices and outlining the future direction of the commitment. Highlights from the Summit follow.

James WoolseyJames Woolsey, former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency under President Bill Clinton, provided the opening keynote address. Mr. Woolsey’s presentation focused on the impending threats to national security that are being posed by an increasingly unstable climate. His perspective creatively threaded the current and future social and environmental implications of our reigning energy policy as well as provided some promising existing mechanisms to scale renewable energy production. Note: Mr. Woolsey’s presentation and all Summit presentations will be available on the ACUPCC website soon. (more…)

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By Ashka Naik, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Second Nature

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

The ACUPCC

Within the Advancing Green Building in Higher Education Program, a capacity-building initiative funded by The Kresge Foundation, Second Nature has been building the sustainability capacity of many under-resourced institutions for the past two years.  As Second Nature continues to work on this initiative, we thought of taking this opportunity to share with you some of the highlights and success stories of this program.

This initiative has a two-fold mission. The first one is to level the playing field and offer access to all under-resourced higher education institutions to embrace institutional sustainability.  And, another long-term mission is to assist these institutions in committing to climate neutrality by enabling them to sign and implement the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC).  Second Nature is directly working with more than 50 under-resourced institutions through this initiative.

One capacity-building activity that is already proving its success is the Kresge Fellowship Program.  This program helps institution leaders network, learn and bring sustainability expertise and knowledge back to their respective campuses.  Many Kresge Fellows are championing sustainability at their institutions and generating campus-wide movements that often steer the administration toward higher goals of institutional sustainability.  Two such champions from the 2009 cohort of Kresge Fellows are Curt Maynard from the United Tribes Technical College and Ron Brooks from the Tennessee State University.

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By Felicia Davis, Building Green Program Director, United Negro College Fund

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

The ACUPCC

The United Negro College Fund (UNCF) Institute for Capacity Building has embarked upon an ambitious endeavor to catapult minority-serving colleges and universities into leadership roles in the transition to a sustainable green global economy.  Elevating the critical need for emissions reductions and social, economic and environmental responsibility is central to the mission of higher education institutions.  Energy efficient upgrades, LEED certified building, and interdisciplinary sustainability studies are key elements in campus-wide sustainability efforts.  Minority-serving institutions are in a unique position to make a quantum-leap by embracing and aggressively pursuing carbon-neutral campus infrastructures.  These institutions can turn liabilities, such as older inefficient buildings, into assets by adopting LEED standards for new and existing buildings.  They can lead the way to a sustainable future.

Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) in North Carolina, under the leadership of Chancellor Dr. Willie Gilchrist, is the first institution to sign

Felicia Davis presents ESCU Chancellor Willie Gilchrist award as first ACUPCC signatory since start of Building Green initiative

the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) with encouragement and support from the UNCF Building Green Initiative.  The ECSU Center for Green Research and Evaluation has embarked upon a ground-breaking plan to develop a modern, large-scale green economy in rural northeastern North Carolina by cultivating a “triple bottom line” approach to research and community development.  In keeping with the UNCF Building Green Initiative goals, ECSU is forging relationships with organizations – including universities, community colleges, public agencies, businesses, and nonprofit partners – that can help the university accomplish ambitious sustainability goals.  Focused on social, economic, and environmental sustainability in the rural 21 county service area, the ECSU Green Center places the creation of green jobs industries high on the agenda.  Plans to train local workers for jobs retrofitting campus buildings while developing new green industries are high priorities in keeping with the North Carolina Green Economy Initiative.

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