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

Remembering Toni Nelson

Congratulations Charter Signatories

Network Snapshots


Educational Events


From the Second Nature Blog


Meet the Climate Commitment Charter Signatories

Remembering Toni Nelson
The life and work of an esteemed colleague

We in the sustainability in higher education community are deeply saddened by the sudden loss of Toni Nelson on April 11. Toni Nelson was an outstanding colleague at Second Nature, and a passionate advocate for a healthy, just and sustainable society through education and practice. Toni played key roles in the early days of AASHE and then at Second Nature, bringing the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (now the Carbon Commitment) from concept to reality by combining strong vision, focused pragmatism, and unfailing attention to detail. She helped create important technical and human support programs at both organizations that carry on today. Read More.

Congratulations Climate Charter Signatories
91 Institutions Signed

91 colleges and universities across the United States have signed the Climate Commitment, expanding their carbon neutrality work by adding resilience targets. These institutions are now the Charter Signatories of the Climate Commitment. To become a Charter Signatory of the Climate Commitment, schools had to sign between October 5, 2015 and Earth Day, 2016. Read more.

Network Snapshots
Financial Impacts and Emissions Reductions

The Climate Leadership Network has created tremendous impact and demonstrates that strong leadership makes a difference. For more than 10 years, it has served as a model of climate action both nationally and abroad. This series of graphics shows some of the progress achieved collectively. The graphics will be released two per month until July 2016. See the first two of the series.

MAY 24
Webinar- Resilient Energy Systems: District energy and microgrids
MAY 25
EPA Webinar- Project Matching: Shovel-ready Renewable Energy Projects
MAY 31
Early Bird Registration for AASHE 2016 Conference Ends
AASHE Sustainability Awards Application Period Closes
Webinar- Resilient Energy Design
Conference- Universities as Beacons of Change: Education for Sustainability lighting up pathways for a new world, Gibraltar
AASHE 2016 Conference & Expo, Baltimore, MD
FEB 2017
2017 Presidential Climate Leadership Summit, AZ
Second Nature Events
Deadlines + Proposals
Other Opportunities
Green Power Partnership Top 30 College & University

The Top 30 College & University list represents the largest green power users among higher education institutions within the EPA's Green Power Partnership. The combined green power use of these organizations amounts to nearly 2.2 billion kilowatt-hours of green power annually, which is equivalent to the electricity use of nearly 199,000 average American homes annually. Usage figures are based on annualized Partner contract amounts (kilowatt-hours), not calendar year totals. These rankings are updated quarterly. Read more.

Professionals' ​Renewable Energy ​Program in Iceland

Organized by The GREEN Team, the Professionals' ​Renewable Energy ​Program is a 5-day journey in Iceland that will take place from June 11 - 15, 2016. This renewable energy focused tour allows sustainability minded travelers to explore Iceland through a rare lens while gaining access to renewable energy facilities, and network while adventuring. Price: $1750 includes meals, housing, in-country transportation, adventure excursions, renewable energy site visits, workshops hosted by Iceland School of Energy, and insurance. Read more and register.


Sustainability & Urban Regeneration- Philadelphia, USA

Offered through the The GREEN Team, this 9 Day Accredited program on Sustainable Design & Urban Regeneration will take place from July 19-27, 2016. Spend 9 days in Philadelphia and experience a hotspot where local government policies in the USA are making impactful changes towards a greener future. Gain rare access to urban retrofitting and sustainable development projects throughout the city. This program offers 1.5 credits from Philadelphia University and the College of Architecture & The Built Environment. Learn more and apply.

The State of Campus Resilience in the Face of a Changing Climate

Climate-related events pose a major threat to college and university campuses across the country, and this is only expected to worsen as the climate continues to change. In this article published in SCUP’s Planning for Higher Education Journal, Haley & Aldrich’s Karin Holland, Senior Sustainability Specialist and Lean Practitioner, discusses the current state of resilience planning at campuses in the face of climate change, and also shares some resilience planning barriers, opportunities and recommendations for campus leaders. Download.

New Discussion Course from Northwest Earth Institute

"Sustainability Works: Rethinking Business as Usual" is designed to help your organization respond to the need for systems-level change that benefits both people and the planet. Sustainability Works provides the information and inspiration you need to engage your team, and contains tools to help you create a plan to advance sustainability in your business. If your sustainability efforts are already underway, this discussion course will offer an opportunity to fine-tune your goals and engage new stakeholders. Order.

Rooted values: Appalachian State University’s sustainable leadership is ingrained in its culture
by Lee Ball, Sustainability Director, ASU

Sustainability at Appalachian State University is a tradition, not a trend. Rooted in the heart of the southern Appalachian mountains, the university emerged a century ago as an institution aligned with many values of the local mountain culture. Learning to do more with less and adapting to change have contributed to Appalachian State’s campus culture, which strongly values sustainability and resiliency.


As a recipient of the 2015 Climate Leadership Award, the university continues to deliver on its mission to prepare students to lead purposeful lives as engaged, global citizens. We take pride in promoting a spirit of inclusion that leads to meaningful relationships extending well beyond graduation. Students are trained to think critically, communicate effectively, make local-to-global connections and understand the responsibilities of community engagement.... Read more.

Paving the way: Western Technical College pioneers higher education sustainability leadership
by Lee Rasch, President, Western Technical College

Since receiving the 2015 Climate Leadership Award at last year’s Greenbuild, we have seen a peak in interest in Western Technical College and in our sustainability efforts. The national attention acknowledges that we are doing something special, and there is a level of respect that comes with it. Legislators, industry leaders and other educational institutions have taken note of the great strides we have made to reduce our impact on the environment, and the recognition has provided a platform for us to make a difference and implement change in our community and beyond. Most important, the efforts taken to qualify for the award have generated pride among faculty, staff and students.


Since signing the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment in 2007, Western has made substantial progress in our climate leadership journey. In 2015, our energy conservation efforts reached the milestone of $1 million in certified energy savings... Read More.

Meet the Climate Commitment Charter Signatories

91 colleges and universities across the United States have signed the Climate Commitment, expanding their carbon neutrality work by adding resilience targets. These institutions are now the Charter Signatories of the Climate Commitment. See the full list of Climate Commitment Charter Signatories.

Charter Signatories
Climate Commitment
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