SEI at AASHE 2015

October 8, 2015

Going to AASHE 2015 in a couple weeks? SEI is!
Come find us at one of our 3 events:

Monday, 10/26:  10:10AM – 11:10AM
How Are We Doing? Objectively Assessing the Data Regarding Campus GHGs and Energy
Panel discussion including SEI’s Executive Director, Mark Orlowski

After more than a decade of focused collective effort to make higher education a model for operational climate change leadership in North America, what do we have to show for our investments of time, talent and treasure? Through extensive tracking by campuses internally; participation in certification and reporting programs like USGBC, the ACUPCC, and AASHE STARS; and published rankings like the (now-retired) Green Report Card, the Sierra Club Cool Schools and the Princeton Review Green Schools–we have the ability to tease out some objective answers to this question.

The presenters will offer in-depth aggregate analyses of the robust assortment of publicly reported data sets that are now available:
– the Campus Carbon Calculator and CarbonMAP (energy, GHGs, waste, data, as well as “Solutions Portfolio” costs and ROI’s);
– PCC Reporting System (GHG’s emissions, targets, timetables, and implementation measures);
– GRITS (green “project” tracking, including costs, savings and results);
– USGCB’s online system (building data)

The data from these and other self-reported metrics will be “reality-tested” against third-party-validated data; with this overview, we will tease out the story of campus sustainability and climate change leadership over the past 15 years. From that vantage point we can explore, via robust discussion with the audience, what the trajectory of our campus carbon management efforts suggests about how to move forward more effectively.

Monday, 10/26:  5:30PM – 7:30PM
Celebrate with SEI at AASHE 2015!

This year, the Sustainable Endowments Institute is celebrating the Green Revolving Investment Tracking System 1.2 and its recent milestone of 1,000 projects (and growing), our four-year anniversary of The Billion Dollar Green Challenge, and the continued work of the community to amplify the impact of sustainability inside all levels of higher education. And we want you to join the celebration!

SEI will be hosting a reception to coincide with the AASHE 2015 Conference. Whether your institution is already part of The Challenge, an active GRITS user, or you are just interested in learning more, this is a great opportunity to connect with colleagues and friends in a casual and fun atmosphere. Hors d’oeuvres, beer, and wine will be provided. The event will be held at a local bar and restaurant only a short walk from the conference. Email for more information.

Tuesday, 10/27:  11:20AM – 12:20PM

Sustainability Without Sacrifice: How URIs are Saving Money & Reducing GHG Emissions by Investing in Energy Efficiency.
Panel discussion led by Mark Orlowski

Finding a way to finance sustainability can be difficult for any institution but is especially a struggle at under-resourced institutions (URIs). To study how schools can strengthen their sustainability work, SEI partnered with the Presidents’ Climate Commitment to create a pilot program to give 30 underresourced institutions access to the Green Revolving Investment Tracking System (GRITS). This pilot sought to help schools that lacked endowment wealth develop sustainability projects, track and manage energy use and report on improved financial savings & environmental impact. The resulting study explored how these schools overcame institutional barriers that prevented financing and institutionalizing more sustainability projects, and was a step to moving closer to carbon reduction goals.

In this presentation, SEI and its panelists will explore the overall savings at the 30 institutions and highlight case studies that detail how sustainability can be undertaken at all levels of higher ed by answering the following questions:
– How were a diverse set of URIs able to increase their sustainability investment on campus?
– What were the most successful projects at URIs? What were the least successful?
– What best practices arose during this study?
– If schools used the capital to create GRFs, why did they choose to create a GRF and what did they find?
– What applications can we draw from this study to help all URIs create stronger programs?