SEI at AASHE 2016

October 6, 2016

Going to AASHE 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland? Come join us at our upcoming presentations!

Higher Education Endowments & the Paris Climate Agreement: Investing for a Sustainable Future

Monday, October 10 at 2:00 pm eastern

Panel Discussion, Baltimore Convention Center Room 332

Higher education has been leading by example on climate change, striving for climate neutrality in campus operations and promoting education, research, and community engagement for climate solutions. In recent years there has been an increased focus on how endowment investments align with climate and sustainability goals.

As the nations of the world begin work in implementing their commitments under the Paris Agreement, American colleges and universities are uniquely positioned to support and accelerate progress towards meeting emissions reduction targets in the U.S.

This session will include a moderated discussion among leaders in the higher ed sustainability movement, senior administrators, and investment professionals about strategies for coordinated support of the Paris Agreement by higher education. Participants will share what’s happening at their institutions and be invited to join and help shape the future of this new, cutting edge initiative.


Georges Dyer, Intentional Endowments Network
Michele Madia, Second Nature
Mark Orlowski, Sustainable Endowments Institute

Finance 201: Financial Analysis and Your Campus Projects

Tuesday, October 11 at 2:00 pm eastern

Panel Discussion, Baltimore Convention Center Room 332

Campus sustainability professionals must frequently build the business case for their work. While they are well versed in environmental issues, knowledge of financial terms may be necessary to write a detailed climate action plan and secure funding. We will focus on the case study of Solar PV. This session is a continuation of last year’s 101 session, with more detailed tools provided, but would be fine for a first-time participant. The session will provide a worksheet to help build a financial picture of your institution, then understanding what type of projects are best suited for this financial picture. We will also give a brief overview of important financial terms: annual ROI, net present value, and internal rate of return. SEI will introduce the Green Revolving Investment Tracking System (GRITS 1.2), which any institution can use calculate these important financial metrics and then export this data to a PDF to present it to finance officers (with case studies of that impact).


Brett Pasinella, Second Nature

Mark Orlowski, Sustainable Endowments Institute

Campus Resilience: Prioritizing Goals and Strategies Through Collaborative Gaming ($)

Wednesday, October 12 from 8:30am eastern-12:00pm eastern

Pre & Post Conference Workshop, Baltimore Convention Center Room 321

This workshop engages participants in Campus Resilience, an educational and collaborative campus-building game whose goal is to achieve institutional carbon neutrality while maintaining resilience: campus academic, cultural, environmental, and financial vitality. Based on data from GRITS, ACUPCC, and the RELi Checklist, players work in teams to balance funding of operations, sustainability projects, and student experience and test their campus’ resilience to social, economic, and environmental events over the course of several decades.

During this session, participants of all levels will:
1) Gain a holistic understanding of the interconnected issues impacting resilience, from facilities and curriculum to policy and affordability
2) Explore resiliency decision-making from diverse stakeholder perspectives
3) Discuss scalable learnings that can be exported to their own households, campuses, and regions, and
4) Be inspired by how this new game-based tool can impact real campus decisions

After an explanation of gameplay and supporting research, participants will divide into teams to play the full Campus Resilience game. The session will conclude with a discussion of lessons learned and relationship to real campus experience.


Elizabeth Turner, LHB, Inc.


Erika Bailey-Johnson, Bemidji State University
Kevin Holm, LHB, Inc.
Shane Stennes, University of Minnesota
Mark Orlowski, Sustainable Endowments Institute