The Implementer
Higher Education Leading on Climate
Produced by Second Nature
November 2016
In this issue…

Message from the President

New Reporting Platform Update

Early Bird Registration Deadline Approaching

Corporate Partner Profiles: Optimum Energy LLC


Educational Events


From the Second Nature Blog


Meet the CLA Honorable Mentions for 4-Year Institution

Message from the President
Now, more than ever

The black swan: it challenged ancient ornithologists and spawned a modern theory. Analogous to unexpected plumage on a common bird, Black Swan events are those that occur which:

1) are difficult, if not impossible, to predict, 2) have a huge impact and, 3) are retrospectively rationalized.

Black Swan theory has been applied to everything from financial systems to fashion. Many will point to the 2016 election as an additional example, and as I write this, the reflection on how wrong the prognosticators were as well as the veneration of those who “called it right” accelerates. Regardless of whether this was expected or inevitable, everyone can agree that the impact is huge.

In Second Nature’s sphere, this impact centers on the global climate challenge. More specifically: can the collective action of higher education continue with scalable, innovative climate solutions within a country where federal leadership on the issue will likely tack in a radically different direction? Federal alignment clearly benefits the work, but it is equally clear that it isn’t sufficient; the past eight years have shown that. The challenge is global, the scientific necessity for the response to change is rapid, and the levers for change must be cross-sectoral, cross-institutional, and cross-governmental... Read more.

New Reporting Platform Update
Anticipated beta launch in early December

We have been working hard on developing a new and improved Reporting System and anticipate a beta launch in early December. We have a group of Implementation Liaisons who will be testing it and, based on their feedback, we are looking to fully launch in time for the 2017 reporting period.

All signatories will now provide an Annual Progress Evaluation that will include a GHG report and some streamlined Progress Metrics. Climate and Resilience Commitment signatories will also report on their Campus/Community Structures.

When the new Reporting System launches, we will notify all Implementation Liaisons and Implementation Contacts. We will also provide a video on how to navigate and use the new system. This new version is designed to be easy to use, provide increased utility of your data, and allow for quick comparisons and analysis with other signatories.

Please Note
1) The Reporting period has changed. Beginning in 2017, signatories can report annual progress between the dates of January 1st - May 1st. We hope this will allow more flexibility, while eliminating the need to request and approve extensions.

2) The old Reporting System is still public, but is not accepting any new reports. If you have saved data in the old system, it will carry over to the new platform. If you have questions, please contact Steve Muzzy.

Early Bird Deadline is November 21
Register your team for the 2017 Summit

With an incoming Administration that will likely leave a leadership void in climate action, other sectors must organize to address the global climate challenge. Join us in Tempe this February to recharge, connect, and discuss climate action in the new administration. Register your team.

The Summit will offer engaging programming on both strategic and actionable content for presidents, senior leadership, and sustainability teams. Explore the draft agenda. More details on the Event Page.

Corporate Partner Profiles
Optimum Energy LLC

Creative partnerships allow Second Nature to introduce and disseminate solutions to the Climate Leadership Network widely and effectively. Optimum Energy software and engineering expertise help customers reduce energy use in heating and cooling systems, which are the largest consumer of energy in buildings. Their software is being utilized in hospitals, data centers, universities, and commercial office buildings. Learn more about Optimum Energy LLC.

NOV 21
Early Bird Registration Ends for 2017 Summit
NOV 30
Wege Prize 2017 Registration Deadline
Beta Launch New Reporting System
Webinar: How to Develop a Carbon Credit Project for Your Campus
Full Reporting System Launch
FEB 2017
2017 Presidential Climate Leadership Summit, AZ
MAR 15
Climate Studies Diversity Project Application Deadline
Second Nature Events
Deadlines + Proposals
Other Opportunities
New Carbon Offsets Guidance

Second Nature is pleased to announce its newly updated Carbon Offset Guidance chapter. This was made possible by the work of Second Nature’s Offset Technical Advisory Group, which over the 2015-2016 academic year contributed to this section of our guidance and to the many discussions that led to its development. Read More.

U.S. Resilience Map

Our newly-released U.S. Resilience Map serves as a resource to Climate Commitment and Resilience Commitment Signatories in the Climate Leadership Network. It lists the U.S. cities in the 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) network, and institutes that have resilience-related programs/initiatives broken down by their National Climate Assessment regions. Explore the map.

Webinar- How to Develop a Carbon Credit Project for Your College or University

Tue, Dec 6, 2016 2:30 - 3:30 PM EST

Your school can take advantage of carbon markets to generate revenue as you work to reduce your carbon footprint. This webinar will help you understand the steps involved in developing a carbon-credit-funding opportunity through the Voluntary Carbon Market; including the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) protocols for the third-party validation and verification. You will learn about data requirements, costs, timelines, and how the credit transactions can fit into your carbon neutral funding strategies. Presented in partnership with Ball State University and SCS Global Services.

- Robert Koester, Director of Center for Energy Research, Education and Service, Ball State University
- Blake Troxel, Program Manager, Greenhouse Gas Verification, SCS Global Services
- Ruby Woodside, New England Fellow, Second Nature 


Climate Studies Diversity Project for MSIs

The American Meteorological Society’s Education Program invites you to apply for the AMS Climate Studies Diversity Project and offer a dynamic course on the most current climate science and global change issues. AMS will select 25 minority-serving institution faculty members to attend the expenses-paid Course Implementation Workshop in Silver Spring, MD from May 21 - 26, 2017. The application deadline is Wednesday, March 15, 2017 and workshop selections will be made by March 31.

The workshop leverages the expertise of Washington, DC-area NSF, NASA, NOAA and university climate scientists and will help prepare you to offer the AMS Climate Studies course. Under the Diversity Project, the license fee is waived for the first two years of course offering.

Eligible minority-serving institutions include those Federally designated as well as undergraduate institutions with a 25% or greater enrollment of underrepresented minority students.

Learn more and apply.
For questions call 202-737-1043 or e-mail AMS.

Wege Prize 2017

Wege Prize is a yearly student design competition that gives teams of five the chance to collaborate across institutional and disciplinary boundaries, use design thinking principles, and contend for $30,000 in total cash prizes, all while helping to show the world what the future of problem solving looks like. Each team must leverage its transdisciplinary makeup to collaboratively design and propose a product, service, business/non-profit organization, or other solution to a wicked problem that can help us transition from a linear economic model to a circular economic model. Registration ends on November 30. Learn more and register.

Embracing Change: Expressing the Value of your Commitment
By: Ruby Woodside, Second Nature

Fundamental challenges to higher education—from rising student debt burden to increasingly severe state appropriations cuts—coupled with last week’s dramatic political shift provide us an unprecedented opportunity to clarify the critical role the Climate Leadership Commitments play in supporting our institutional missions. Since July, Second Nature’s New England Climate Leadership Alignment Initiative (NECLAI) has supported a cohort of signatories in mapping their institutional priorities and identifying tangible ways the Commitments contribute to these priorities.

The New England Climate Leadership Alignment Initiative builds on the Big Ten and Friends Sustainability Group’s foundational work in priority mapping and strategic alignment. In 2014, Big Ten universities were facing a set of unprecedented challenges familiar to many U.S. institutions.

  • From 2008-13, spending cuts per student ranged from 32.4% to 17.2% in states home to Big Ten institutions. [1]
  • Nationally, 69% of graduating seniors at public and private nonprofit colleges had student loans, owing an average of $28,400 in federal and private loans combined, in 2013. [2]
  • A 2011 Pew Research survey found that 57% of Americans claimed higher education “fails to provide students with good value for the money their families spend.” [3]

Read more.

Meet the 2016 CLA Four-Year Honorable Mentions

The annual Second Nature Climate Leadership Awards, awarded in partnership with USGBC's Center for Green Schools, recognize innovative and advanced leadership in sustainability, climate mitigation, and resilience at signatory campuses of the Climate Leadership Commitments. In an effort to further recognize outstanding institutions at different stages of their trajectory, an Honorable Mentions category was intorduced this year. Meet the two Honorable Mentions for the Four-Year Institution category.

Huston-Tillotson University
Interview Blog
Southern Oregon University
Interview Blog
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