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

Dear Implementation Liaisons,

This issue of the newsletter focuses on the partnerships that support campus sustainability efforts, particularly for the colleges and universities facing the greatest challenges. The Second Nature Advancing Green Building in Higher Education Program, financed by the Kresge Foundation, has been working to build the sustainability capacity of under-resourced institutions for the past two years; our partnerships with the other contributors to this issue - the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), and the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) - leverage the resources of each organization to maximize the impacts of all programs seeking to advance sustainability throughout higher education. The result of these partnerships are guidance documents, such as the Advancing Education for Sustainability strategy paper prepared by Second Nature and USGBC, and training opportunities like the workshop "Introduction to Greenhouse Gas Management and Climate Action Planning", presented by Second Nature and Clean Air-Cool Planet and offered free of charge by UNCF to Minority-Serving Institutions on November 4-5 in Atlanta. We have also just launched the ACUPCC Implementation Liaison Support Committee, a group of 16 ILs with strong expertise in climate action planning who provide valuable input on program support activities and also have agreed to answer questions about ACUPCC implementation from fellow ILs. We are grateful for the work of all of these organizations and individuals.

With regards,
Toni Nelson

Table of Contents

  1. Building Capacity to Make Sustainability 'Second Nature' For All!
  2. Minority Serving Institutions Building Green
  3. Targeting Campus Efficiency, EDF expands Climate Corps to the Public Sector
  4. Achieving Green Schools for Everyone Within This Generation

Building Capacity to Make Sustainability 'Second Nature' For All!

by Ashka Naik, Director of Capacity Building, Second Nature

Within the Advancing Green Building in Higher Education Program, an initiative funded by The Kresge Foundation, Second Nature has been helping build the sustainability capacity of under-resourced institutions over the past two years. This initiative, which works directly with more than 50 under-resourced institutions, has a two-fold mission. The first is to level the playing field and offer support to all under-resourced higher education institutions to embrace sustainability; another long-term mission is to assist these institutions in committing to climate neutrality through signing and implementing the ACUPCC. One capacity-building activity that is already proving its success is the Kresge Fellowship Program, which helps institutional leaders network, learn, and bring sustainability expertise and knowledge back to their respective campuses. Many Kresge Fellows have become champions for sustainability and are generating campus-wide movements to steer the institution toward higher goals of sustainability. For example, as a result of the perseverance and action of Kresge Fellow Curt Maynard, President David Gipp of the United Tribes Technical College recently committed to pursue climate neutrality by signing the ACUPCC. Read more...

Minority Serving Institutions Building Green

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

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

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 in the transition to a sustainable green global economy. Next spring the UNCF Institute for Capacity Building (ICB) will mark its five year anniversary celebrating significant success in addressing the unique challenges confronting small private historically Black colleges and universities. Through leveraging partnerships, ICB is extending its reach to include all minority-serving institutions. The Thurgood Marshall College Fund, Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, and American Indian Higher Education Consortium, along with Second Nature, have partnered with UNCF to implement the Building Green at Minority Serving Institutions (MSI) Initiative, funded by The Kresge Foundation and aimed at encouraging these institutions to sign the ACUPCC and promote the certification of green buildings on their campuses. Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) in North Carolina, under the leadership of Chancellor Dr. Willie Gilchrist, is the first institution to sign the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) with encouragement and support from the UNCF Building Green Initiative. Read more...

Targeting Campus Efficiency, EDF expands Climate Corps to the Public Sector

by Jill Logeman, Energy Program Coordinator, Environmental Defense Fund

If improving building energy efficiency were as simple as flipping a switch, universities could easily cash in on big cost savings and emission reductions. Instead, limited resources, information gaps, and organizational barriers prevent universities from taking advantage of smart energy investments. Environmental Defense Fund's new summer fellowship program can help colleges and universities overcome these obstacles. Climate Corps Public Sector trains talented graduate students from top schools in energy efficiency and places them in public organizations, such as colleges and universities. Working with facilities management or sustainability staff, each fellow or pair of fellows develops a customized energy plan designed to meet the host's needs. Last summer, EDF piloted Climate Corps Public Sector with two prominent Historically Black Universities in North Carolina. EDF continued this work in 2010, partnering with ACUPCC Signatory Elizabeth City State University and expanding the program to include municipalities and houses of worship. Read more...

Achieving Green Schools for Everyone Within This Generation

by Rachel Gutter, Director, The Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council

There are more than 3,800 projects participating in the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED green building program on campuses across the United States. In fact, colleges and universities have a higher percentage of LEED-certified green space than any other sector, including government, retail and hospitality. While notable, colleges have only just begun to scratch the surface of transforming their aging campuses. Today, there are more than 83,000 college buildings comprising 3.48 billion square feet on campuses across the country. The USGBC has a vision to ensure green schools for everyone within this generation and, new this year, USGBC is launching its Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council. The Center will support sustainability and green building for everyone from the kindergartner entering the classroom for the first time to the Ph.D. student performing research in a lab. Read more...

2010 Climate Leadership Summit

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


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

UNCF Introduction to GHG Management and CAP Planning
November 4-5, 2010
Atlanta, GA
Offered free to Minority-Serving Institutions


The Leadership Factor: Implementing Sustainability in Higher Education
August 4, 2010 (Recording)

Best Practices in Climate Action Plan Development: Highlights and Lessons from the ACUPCC CAP Review
September 29, 2010

US EPA Electronic GHG Reporting Tool Training Sessions
September-October, 2010


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

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

Bioneers Conference
October 15-17, 2010
San Rafael, CA
*10% discount for ACUPCC Signatories with code SN2010

Campus Sustainability Day 8 Webcast
October 20, 2010


Advancing Education for Sustainability
Strategy paper prepared by Second Nature and USGBC

Sustainability Curriculum in Higher Education: A Call to Action
Report from AASHE's Summit on Sustainability in the Curriculum

ACUPCC Implementation Liaison Support Committee

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

Climate Action Planning Wiki

ACUPCC Reporting System

Implementation Guide (PDF)

Powered by the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment
The ACUPCC Implementer
Issue 24, September 7, 2010

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