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The ACUPCC Implementer
Second Nature

Dear Implementation Liaisons,

When I became the ACUPCC's first full-time program staffer in August 2008, one of my initial responsibilities was to create a monthly newsletter for Implementation Liaisons. Today we are publishing the 45th issue with a circulation that has grown to more than 3,500 presidents, sustainability staff, sponsors and partners from around the country. As we celebrate the initiative's 5th year anniversary, all of us have a lot to be proud of. The first Progress Reports, due in January and highlighted below, provide specific data on the positive impacts the ACUPCC has had on curriculum, research, and reducing operational costs at signatory institutions. Campus decision-makers, like Luther College President Richard Torgerson, are leading committees and other efforts that seek to deepen the focus on sustainability throughout their institutions in academics, energy efficiency and renewable energy funding, and adaptation research. And with the addition of Michele Madia, Second Nature's new Director for Sustainability Finance and Strategy, who previously worked as the Director of Environmental Leadership at the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO), we are expanding our partnerships with business officers that began with the creation of the ACUPCC Financing Sustainability Committee last year. Publishing the newsletter has been one of the most rewarding aspects of my job over the years, but as I step into my new role I must pass the torch to Steve Muzzy, Senior Associate at Second Nature. Georges Dyer, our Vice President who has supported the initiative since the beginning, will go part-time on July 1 with a focus on growing Second Nature's leadership initiatives. I look forward to continuing his efforts to manage the programs which support the critical work all of you are doing to help create a sustainable society.

With regards,
Toni Nelson, Vice President of Programs

Integrating Sustainability & Climate Action into Every Students' Learning Experience


Students are demanding sustainability-related content, skills and pedagogical processes that include complex problem-solving, critical dialogue, interdisciplinary collaboration and wider-world application with multiple perspectives. This is why when signing the ACUPCC, presidents and chancellors commit to support and promote the educational and research efforts of our institutions to prepare graduates to develop the solutions to transition society to a sustainable future. At Luther College we aim to "make sustainability a part of every student's learning experience". To support this goal, in summer 2012 nine Luther faculty submitted proposals to participate in a summer workshop to prepare a fully designed new or modified, ready-to-teach course focusing on sustainability. To stimulate faculty thinking about sustainability in the curriculum two Luther faculty have written a Frequently Asked Questions about Sustainability Education to answer questions and stimulate thinking. Participating faculty receive a $1200 stipend jointly funded by the Margaret Cargill Foundation and the Luther President's Fund. The use of presidential discretionary funds for high priority initiatives signals to the campus a level of importance and affirms good work being done. In 2011, the ACUPCC Steering Committee formed an Academic Committee to explore how best to support sustainability and climate education. On March 1, 2012 a Chief Academic Officer (CAO) Summit was held at Arizona State University to engage CAOs in articulating their role in leading the advancement of sustainability and climate action in higher education. Outcomes from the CAO Summit will be unveiled in an Academic Strategy document at the ACUPCC Climate Leadership Summit later this month. Read more...

After Five Warm & Stormy Years, Higher Education Leaders Keep Commitment to Confront Climate Change


Preparedness. Opportunity. Innovation. These words capture the essence of higher education's critical role in creating a healthy, just and sustainable society. Five years ago, a small group of visionary college and university presidents gathered to initiate the ACUPCC. Motivated by their conviction that higher education had the capacity and responsibility to make a significant commitment to climate and sustainability action for the sake of their students and society. At the same time, higher education is in crisis. Challenges of accountability, affordability, workforce preparation and relevance are sweeping the sector. The volatile global economy remains unpredictable, with ramifications for every campus. And despite our best efforts, the climate issue becomes more daunting daily. This month, presidents, provosts and business officers will gather at American University in Washington D.C. for the 5th Anniversary ACUPCC Climate Leadership Summit. The summit will directly respond to these challenges with a theme of Economic Renewal: Jump-Starting a Sustainable Economy Through the ACUPCC. As the ACUPCC network celebrates its first five years, it is also launching ambitious goals for the next five years. These goals include expanding the reach and impact of the network, executing a strategy for accelerating education and research for sustainability, and advocating federal investments and policy changes to support higher education's sustainability leadership. Read more...

Higher Education & Energy: Opportunities for National Leadership

4 kW Solar Array at Appalachian State University. Photo courtesy of Marie Freeman/Appalachian State University.

The National Association of College & University Business Officers (NACUBO), Second Nature and the ACUPCC will release a policy brief report at the ACUPCC Climate Leadership Summit that explores how the federal government can develop and enhance energy efficiency and renewable energy incentives and investments specific to the nonprofit higher education sector. Since the launch of the ACUPCC in 2007, the network has identified financing as a key focus area in enabling signatories, the higher education sector as a whole, and society more broadly, in creating a low-carbon economy. NACUBO and Second Nature have a longstanding partnership to support financing sustainability projects. In 2009, NACUBO in collaboration with Second Nature published "Financing Sustainability on Campus" — a resource detailing a range of financing strategies and options available to campuses. In 2011, the ACUPCC Financing Committee with support from NACUBO was formed to identify challenges and opportunities related to financing and prioritize efforts of the ACUPCC network in removing financial barriers to implementing sustainability projects on campuses. In March 2012, NACUBO's Sustainability Advisory Panel identified specific policy solutions that will enable nonprofit higher education institutions of all sizes and types to reduce energy consumption, increase efficiencies, avoid risks and improve their long-term financial sustainability. These recommendations will be detailed in the policy brief to be released at the Climate Leadership Summit. Read more...

Advancing Higher Education: ACUPCC Data Demonstrates Sustainability & Climate Progress

Climate neutrality dates selected by ACUPCC signatories

The ACUPCC's 5th year celebration also marks an important stage in the ongoing, unprecedented efforts of the network to publicly report on activities to eliminate operational greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and to provide the education, research, and community engagement to enable the rest of society to do the same. Public reporting demonstrates transparency and integrity for each institution's commitment and contributes to the collective learning of the network and general public. The ACUPCC Reporting System allows signatories to track, assess, and communicate progress to their campus community and beyond, demonstrating to prospective students, foundations, and potential private sector partners that their institution is serious and transparent about its commitment to climate change and sustainability. Because of the tremendous reporting efforts of signatories the ACUPCC Reporting System now includes 1585 GHG reports, 465 Climate Action Plans (CAP), and 240 Progress Reports on the CAP! The earliest signatories have had more than four years to assess, plan and begin implementing their CAPs. The 240 institutions that submitted a Progress Report on their CAP to date have reported the following data: 66% affirmed that their CAP has saved their institution money, listing savings from implemented projects totaling $104 million; 104 signatories reported secured funding from outside resources totaling $195,706,941 to implement climate and sustainability efforts. Read more...

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The ACUPCC Implementer
Issue 45, June 7, 2012

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