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

2016 Climate Leadership Award Winners

Accelerating Climate Action: Carbon Market Sales

Case Studies: Higher Ed Investment in Solar Energy


Educational Events


From the Second Nature Blog


Meet the 16-17 Leadership Level Signatories

Congratulations 2016 Climate Leadership Awards Winners
2 Winners and 4 Honorable Mentions Recognized

Second Nature and the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced the winners and honorable mentions for the 2016 Climate Leadership Awards on September 7. We congratulate the following institutions for their outstanding work in climate action:

Two-Year Institution

Winner: Johnson County Community College
View profile | View video

Honorable Mentions:

  • Milwaukee Area Technical College
  • Santa Fe Community College

Four-Year Institution

Winner: Arizona State University
View profile | View video

Honorable Mentions:

  • Huston-Tillotson University
  • Southern Oregon University
Universities Accelerate Climate Action through Carbon Market Sale
Over $1 million generated for three signatories

Second Nature has facilitated a sale of carbon credits generating over $1 million for three Climate Commitment signatories through the voluntary carbon offset market: The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Ball State University (BSU), and Southern Oregon University. The transaction was made possible by our newest initiative, the Carbon Credit and Purchasing Program (C2P2). Profits from the sales will be reinvested into sustainability and energy projects on campus. Learn more.

MREA and Second Nature Publish New Solar Case Studies
Resource on Higher Ed Solar Investment

As part of the US Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative, the Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) and Second Nature announced the release of three case studies highlighting higher education investment in solar energy projects.The case studies showcase working financial models for universities and other higher education institutions to invest in solar energy on campus. Learn moreDownload the case studies.

SEP 20
Registration Opens for 2017 Presidential Climate Leadership Summit
SEP 22
Webinar: Solar University Network: Innovation in Solar Energy Finance & Development
Second Annual Campus Sustainability Month
AASHE 2016 Conference & Expo, Baltimore, MD
Intentionally Designed Endowment Forum, Loyola University Chicago
SCUP Urban Campus Resilience Symposium, Boston
FEB 2017
2017 Presidential Climate Leadership Summit, AZ
Second Nature Events
Deadlines + Proposals
Other Opportunities
Case Studies: "Solar University Network: Innovation in Solar Energy Finance & Development"

This case study series highlights higher education investment in solar energy projects. The purpose of these case studies is to showcase working financial models for universities and other higher education institutions to invest in solar energy on campus.

Download case studies. 

Resilience Indicators Tool

In support of the Climate Leadership Commitments, particularly the new focus on resilience, Second Nature and CB&I have embarked on a pilot project designed to accelerate a key piece of the Resilience Planning and Implementation Framework.

Together, we will work with several higher education institutions in two pilot cities: Chicago and Boston. Our goal is to co-develop a tool designed to help institutions assess resilience indicators and understand overlap with the community, as well as identify joint leverage opportunities. Learn more.

Campus Sustainability Month

This October marks the second annual Campus Sustainability Month, hosted by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), where institutions around the world engage and inspire incoming students and other campus stakeholders to become leaders for sustainability.

As a proud supporter, we invite you to explore what other institutions are doing to celebrate this month, as well as raise awareness of the value of sustainability in higher education by visiting the Campus Sustainability Month website, submitting an event and using the hashtag, #CampusSustainabilityMonth. Learn more.

Carbon Offset Guidance Draft

Second Nature is pleased to announce its newly updated Carbon Offset Guidance chapter. We are seeking comments and feedback from the Climate Leadership Network by September 15 to inform and adjust the final work. Based on comments received, the guidance update will be finalized and incorporated into the Sustainability Planning & Climate Action Guide and then released at the 2016 AASHE Conference & Expo.

Review guidance and submit your feedback.

Solar Energy on Campus: Opportunities and Common Pitfalls in Communicating Renewable Energy use in Higher Education

Second Nature is inviting the Climate Leadership Network and friends from all disciplines, backgrounds, and perspectives to submit proposals for sessions, workshops, and presentations for the 2017 Presidential Climate Leadership Summit. Second Nature is also seeking volunteer reviewers from the higher education field. Reviewers must be available to review assigned submissions between Sept. 28 - Oct. 11, 2016.

For questions, contact Devin Smith.

Submit a proposal | Volunteer to review | Download guidelines.

Writing Solar Requests for Proposals (RFPs): Lessons from NREL’s University PV Implementation Assistance Program

With funding from the Department of Energy’s SunShot program, NREL is assisting higher education institutions with solar PV procurement. Typically, universities issue RFPs as a way to get competitive bids on solar power purchase agreements (PPAs). However, RFPs could also be used for university-owned systems. While providing assistance to universities issuing RFPs, NREL has developed a list of common issues to consider when writing an RFP for solar PV. Download.

Better Buildings Webinar Series

The Better Buildings Webinar Series takes on the most pressing topics facing energy professionals, with new experts leading the conversations on proven best practices, cost-effective strategies, and innovative new ways to approach sustainability and energy performance. See schedule and register.

Beyond “Weathering the Storm”: Strengthening Resiliency in Phoenix, Arizona
by Nick Roosevelt, Cities of Service Resilience AmeriCorps VISTA in Phoenix, AZ

Resiliency work strongly resonates with me on a personal level. Growing up in Malibu Canyon in California, we faced wildfires, earthquakes, and flooding every few years. While my family was fortunate enough to have the means to limit the impact of these disasters on our lives, the devastating consequences of these types of events were not lost on me.


When my wife and I moved to Phoenix last year, we experienced a monsoon within our first week in the city. We lost power for hours and some of our food spoiled. To us it was an inconvenience, but for others these events can be debilitating. I wanted to do something that could help strengthen my community’s resiliency to these stressors, helping it better prepare for, respond to, and recover from natural disasters and other risks associated with climate change.


This led me to apply to the Cities of Service Resilience AmeriCorps program... Read More.

Sustainability as Institutional Mission: Unity College
By: Ruby Woodside, Second Nature

This summer Second Nature is facilitating a program to help New England Climate Leadership Commitment signatories align their climate action efforts with their institution’s strategic priorities and mission. By helping signatories identify how mitigating and adapting to climate change contributes to executive level priorities, the Climate Leadership Alignment Initiative will demonstrate the value of climate action to meeting the mission of higher education.


Many schools in New England are setting an example for the rest of the Climate Leadership Network by making sustainability and climate action explicit components of strategic planning and decision-making. To demonstrate how a campus can align climate action and institutional mission, I looked at Unity College in Maine, a small liberal arts school that calls itself America’s Environmental College... Read more.

Exploring Carbon Markets
By: Brett Pasinella, Second Nature

Since the launch of the Climate Leadership Commitments and their accompanying Sustainability Planning & Climate Action Guide last October, Second Nature has been exploring new ways to support and implement the Commitments on signatory campuses. One topic we’ve been thinking about is how a price on or a market for carbon emissions can accelerate the path to a low-carbon society – or in the case of our signatories, help them achieve carbon neutrality at a faster rate.


Carbon markets have evolved significantly in the 10 years since the original launch of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) and the ways in which our signatories interact with them has also greatly expanded... Read More.

Meet the 2016-2017 Leadership Level Signatories

Leadership Level dues are used to further the reach of the Climate Leadership Commitments, through pilot programs and new resources. Thanks to Leadership Level Signatories throughout the years, the Climate Leadership Network is stronger and continues to flourish.

California State University, Northridge
Maxima Cum Laude
College of Lake County
Cum Laude
University of Minnesota, Morris
Cum Laude
Second Nature
18 Tremont Street, Suite 930
Boston, Massachusetts 02108
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