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American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment
The ACUPCC Implementer Second Nature

Dear Implementation Liaisons,

I am pleased to announce that the ACUPCC Annual Leadership Summit registration site is now live. We hope you, your President, and your sustainability team will join us for this event, which will focus on best practices in Climate Action Planning and next steps for the ACUPCC. I am also happy to announce that AASHE's Campus Sustainability Discussion Forums have added a new ACUPCC checkbox to facilitate discussions on ACUPCC-related topics. Finally, please note that the ACUPCC Reporting System has been updated to display the next round of greenhouse gas report deadlines. This issue of the newsletter presents some exciting strategies for ensuring effective and far-reaching campus climate action. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign employed the framework of strategic intent to envision goals of becoming healthier, cleaner, safer, and more prosperous; the process included writing a creative letter from the perspective of a future chancellor in the year 2050 that describes the kind of community I believe we would all like to be a part of. Wendell Brase of the University of California, Irvine, who holds the dual roles of Chief Business Officer and IL, explains the key characteristics of a high performance organization and provides a list of 25 "Climate Change Fluency" questions that will enable ILs and CBOs to communicate more effectively. And Glenn Cummings, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Department of Education, shares the results of his dissertation research on effective leadership strategies for fostering sustainability on campus. Please save the date of August 4 for a webinar on this topic with Dr. Cummings and two of the institutions he studied.

With regards,
Toni Nelson

Table of Contents

  1. Using Strategic Intent to Envision, Plan for 2050
  2. Institutional Readiness to Implement Climate Solutions
  3. The Leadership Factor: Implementing Sustainability in Higher Education
  4. Designing & Building the Campuses & Leaders of Tomorrow

Using Strategic Intent to Envision, Plan for 2050

by Steve Sonka, Interim Vice Chancellor for Public Engagement, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

ChampaignCountyNet.org presents "Champaign-Urbana: A View from the Future"

As we undertook to develop an ambitious, yet realistic action plan, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign faced a dilemma common to many universities: how to commit to goals based on predictions of conditions 20, 30 or even 40 years in the future. Our planning had to take into consideration the size and diversity of our Big Ten campus, comprising some 41,000 students, 3,000 faculty, and more than 700 buildings. The project team of students, staff and faculty working on the climate action plan also had to accept the certainty that new research on environmental issues will surely mean future adaptations to an already complicated plan. With this flexibility in mind, we developed the iCAP guided by the framework of strategic intent, which encourages contributors to put dreams on paper and begin implementing change instead of using the unknown as an excuse for inaction. Indeed, the iCAP goals exemplify ambition: elimination of coal combustion by 2017, a reduction in building energy use of 40 percent by 2025, and carbon neutrality by 2050. Read more...

Institutional Readiness to Implement Climate Solutions

by Wendell Brase, Vice Chancellor, University of California, Irvine and Chair, University of California Climate Solutions Steering Group

The goal of carbon-neutrality is clear and measurable. And climate action plans describe the priorities, milestones, and scale of the overall problem each institution faces. Thus, the ACUPCC has provided a framework that addresses half of ten essential factors which are strong predictors of an organization's success in addressing any large, complex problem. The other half comprises factors that we have to ensure are in place in a high performance organization. In fact, anything less than a high performance organization will fail to achieve a solution to a problem as daunting as climate neutrality. During the past three years I have served in the roles of both Chief Business Officer (CBO) and ACUPCC Implementation Liaison at the University of California, Irvine. In this dual role I have recognized certain factors critical for attaining success in implementing climate action plans. In this first of four quarterly articles, I will describe two basic tools that can determine whether your organization and key stakeholders are adequately prepared to move forward in implementing solutions to the complex problem of attaining institutional climate neutrality. Read more...

The Leadership Factor: Implementing Sustainability in Higher Education

by Glenn Cummings, Deputy Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Education

If, in fact, the survival of the earth hinges on a race between disaster and education, then certainly American higher education holds a key to that outcome. As colleges and universities throughout the country accept their collective responsibility for educating the next generation in an idea loosely called "sustainability," the mission of becoming better stewards of the earth has expanded on American college campuses. In recent years, top-level officials at these institutions have called for institution-wide commitments to a more "sustainable" relationship with our natural environment. Nevertheless, leadership faces complex political, structural and personal barriers to significant change in the pursuit of sustainability. A renewed call to action in the ACUPCC Steering Committee's 2009 white paper "Leading Profound Change" underscores leadership's vital role in achieving climate neutrality in American higher education. Simultaneous to the Steering Committee's report, I found myself developing a closely related thesis for my doctoral dissertation on sustainability in higher education. The research question sought to answer 'what common characteristics and actions were taken by successful university and college leaders in pursuit of sustainability?' Five common themes cut across the study. Read more...

Designing & Building the Campuses & Leaders of Tomorrow

by Dan Worth, Executive Director, National Association of Environmental Law Societies

What would it cost to get an entire campus to run on power from renewable sources? How do you sell expensive sustainability measures to a community still skeptical about global warming? What steps can a campus community take to get a diverse community of students, faculty, administrators, and staff out of their comfortable, convenient cars? Over the past eight months, close to 100 students, 20 administrators, and 15 professors on 10 campuses across the country worked hard, with support from the National Association of Environmental Law Societies "NAELS", to answer these and other tough sustainability questions. These ten diverse projects were part of a series of Campus Climate Neutral ("CCN") projects hosted by NAELS in 2009-2010. Read more...


2010 Climate Leadership Summit

USGBC Green Building Basics and LEED Online Course
Free for ACUPCC Signatories until September 30

Save the Date!

AASHE 2010 Conference
October 10-12, 2010
Denver, CO

ACUPCC 2010 Climate Leadership Summit
October 12-13, 2010
Denver, CO

ACUPCC Workshop

Crafting Your Climate Action Plan: Sharing Best Practices
October 12, 2010
Denver, CO


Changing the Climate on Your Campus: Addressing Food and Other Leading Causes of Climate Change
June 7, 2010 (Recording)

Energy Performance Contracting: Economic and Environmental Benefits at the University of Central Missouri
June 28, 2010 (Recording)

Installing and Purchasing Renewable Energy: Addressing Questions and Opportunities for College Campuses
July 20, 2010


Campus Sustainability Discussion Forums
New ACUPCC Discussion Thread Check-box!

Campus Green Builder

Climate Action Planning Wiki

ACUPCC Reporting System

Implementation Guide (PDF)


Membership in AASHE provides excellent value for signatories of the ACUPCC, offering access to a rich array of online resources and numerous opportunities for networking, information sharing, collaboration, and professional development. Join now!

Powered by the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment
The ACUPCC Implementer
Issue 22, July 6, 2010

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