Posts Tagged ‘Viewpoints on Sustainability’

By Anthony Cortese, President, Second Nature
(This article appears in the March, 2011 issue of The ACUPCC Implementer)

The ACUPCCWith this issue of The ACUPCC Implementer we will begin a more focused effort to help all higher education institutions institutionalize sustainability as a core goal through the lens of the ACUPCC, and to help signatory schools meet the Commitment as comprehensively as possible. In the accompanying articles you can see how a president of a major research university views his role in helping higher education lead this effort, what strategies and resources are available for presidents and other senior leaders to lead these institutional efforts and an important framework, the Natural Step, for understanding and taking action on societal sustainability.

Each month we will address both challenges and opportunities for institutionalizing sustainability with a special emphasis on the leading practices in higher education and what the ACUPCC network is doing to advance the initiative. Topics will include financing operational and educational sustainability initiatives, expanding the academic and other educational experience of students, institutional structures for sustainability, assessment, measurement and reporting strategies, getting broad buy-in by all campus members, communication and marketing, and adaptation to unavoidable climate disruption. We will accompany key topical issues with a briefing paper that will frame the issues and point to some of the best resources that are easily accessible as part of our “Viewpoints on Sustainability” series.

Last October I was invited to Taiwan to address 100 college and university presidents from South and Southeast Asia at meeting of the SATU Presidents Forum. These presidents meet biennially to discuss issues of common concern and how they can collaborate to address them. This year’s theme was on sustainability and Innovation in the next decade. It was an honor for two reasons – one to see that higher education institutions worldwide are focusing on sustainability, and two because they reached out to us as a result of the ACUPCC.

In my remarks I tried to emphasize a few important themes.


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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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