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SBM Media Ltd Norwich Enterprise Centre, 4B Guildhall Hill, Norwich, Norfolk, NR2 1JH, United Kingdom • T: +44 (0)1603 516519 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.sustainablebusinessmagazine.net Editor: Fiona FitzGerald Assistant Editors: Thomas Massey Liam Kelleher Profile Writers: Michael Anjos Kerry Brady Carl Long Ze’ev Ben Shmuel Contributors: Michael Baran Shannon Diederich Stephanie A. Herrera Olafur K. Olafsson Web Administrator: Steve Phipps
CONTENTS ISSUE 03/14
Welcome to the latest issue of Sustainable Business Magazine Sustainable Business Magazine aims to spread awareness of the values of sustainability, as well as the brilliant ways in which institutions continue to meet challenges and champion corporate social responsibility. The publication’s content is based around the three core components of sustainable business development; economic sustainability, environmental sustainability, and social sustainability. This month’s edition includes guest editorials by industry experts Michael Baran, President of GEPSD Economic Consulting Inc., Shannon Diederich, Founder of Sustainability Communications Group, and Olafur K. Olafsson, Founder and CEO of EcoCloud360, as well as a Q+A with Allyson Mitchell, President of Sustainable Catalyst Partners LLC. Our sustainability news page contains current sustainability related headlines from around North America, while our events calendar details upcoming sustainability events. A review of this month’s highlighted event details how the Centre for Sustainability and Excellence (CSE) has been helping clients achieve higher performance, build brand loyalty, and integrate sustainability principles into their culture, products, and services, through their Advanced Certified Sustainability Training in New York. Sustainable Business Magazine is once again working with some of North America’s most influential associations to promote sustainability. This edition contains major features on BOMA International, Sustainable Forestry Initiative, and the Canadian Fair Trade Network. This month’s issue also contains the latest installment of the AASHE ‘Sustainable Campuses’ series. The series is being run in partnership with AASHE (the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education) and celebrates the continuing efforts of North American universities to develop and operate sustainably, as well as the role they’re taking in educating students and the wider public about the importance of sustainability. This month’s installment features four American universities; the University of California, San Francisco, Portland State University, American University, and the University of Maryland, as well as three Canadian universities; the University of Calgary, the University of Saskatchewan, and the University of Northern British Columbia. The series is prefaced by a foreword from AASHE Executive Director Stephanie A. Herrera. We hope that you find this issue both interesting and inspiring. Thank you for reading. The Sustainable Business Magazine Team
Economic Report GEPSD
Social Report SCG
Technology Report EcoCloud360
Q&A Allyson Mitchell SCP
CSE New York 2014
Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI)
Canadian Fair Trade Network (CFTN)
Building Owners & Managers Association (BOMA International)
The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE)
University of Calgary
University of Saskatchewan
University of Northern British Columbia
University of California, San Francisco
Portland State University
University of Maryland
© SBM Media Ltd 2014. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form for any purpose, other than short sections for the purpose of review, without prior consent of the publisher.
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SUSTAINABILITYNEWS Big Companies Aim For 100% Renewable Power Companies including IKEA, H&M, Mars, Nestle, YOOX, SwissRe, Commerzbank, and BT have joined forces with a powerful group of NGOs and clean energy experts to launch a multi-year plan to have 100% renewable power by 2020. Steve Howard, Chief Sustainability Officer of the IKEA Group says “Investing in renewable power makes complete business sense. It aligns with our corporate expectations on financial returns and our values. So far, we have generated 1,425 Gigawatt hours of power from renewable sources.” Led by The Climate Group and the not-for-profit CDP, the RE100 campaign is targeting business leaders, policy makers, and financial institutions, and aims to have 100 businesses switched over within the next 6 years. Companies such as Philips, Reed Elsevier, and J. Safra Sarasin are already committed and are expected to help other companies implement the best approaches to using renewable energy. “We are delighted with the ambition of leading companies to go 100% renewable,” explains Ben Ferrari, Director of Partnership at the Climate Group Company. “We plan to continue to grow this group and expand our outreach to China and India over the coming year. It is an exciting time for renewable power.” For more information visit www.theclimategroup.org
SIEMENS TOP THE CHARTS Global powerhouse Siemens has been ranked as the most sustainable industrial company across seven sectors. The company has been around for more than 165 years primarily providing infrastructure solutions for cities and metropolitan areas, but also working in energy and healthcare. Scoring 93 out of 100 points two years running, Siemens have been top achievers in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI) which is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year. Siemens were ranked first in the Capital Goods Industry Group, which includes around 350 companies from seven sectors. Siemens were also ranked 1st out of 46 Industrial Conglomerates, a category that included companies such as 3M, Philips, and Toshiba. Roland Busch, Member of the Siemens AG Managing Board, says “we’re convinced that sustainability is crucial for Siemens AG’s long-term economic success. For this reason, achieving this recognition again makes us very proud, and confirms the strong emphasis we place on sustainability.” For more information visit www.siemens.com
BASF Analyses Its Own Products To Increase Sustainability BASF are constantly looking at ways to make their products more sustainable. By looking at the applications of around 50,000 products over the past three years, the chemical company has produced data which shows how cost effective products are, how they comply with health and safety regulations, and how they manage to conserve resources. The company’s portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products and crop protection products, to oil and gas, and they’re planning on having their whole portfolio completely analysed by the end of 2014. As the world’s leading chemical company, they combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. Based on the results to date, the analyzed product applications have been sorted into four categories: • Accelerators make a substantial contribution to sustainability. 22% of the analyzed products by sales are in this category.
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• Performers are solutions that meet the standard market requirements for sustainability. Around 73% fall under this category. • For the Transitioners, specific sustainability issues have been identified and concrete action plans defined. These recommendations are in the process of being implemented. Around 4.5% of the analyzed products are currently in this category. • Applications with a significant sustainability concern are labelled Challenged. BASF is developing action plans for these products in order to find improved solutions. This currently applies to 0.5%. The product portfolio is under constant review as BASF look to improve sustainability. Sustainable Solution Steering is aiming to increase the number of ‘Accelerator’ solutions in the long term, although market requirements or new legislation may impact targets going forward. For more information visit www.basf.com.
$500 Million to cut Greenhouse Gases
TE Connectivity Wins 2014
Ingersoll Rand, a world leader in creating sustainable and efficient products and services, has set a new target of cutting greenhouse gases by 50% by 2020. This month CEO Mike Lamach will declare the importance of, and the company’s commitment to, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, at the 2014 CGI Annual Meeting and United Nations Climate Summit. They’re looking to reduce emissions by improving their own products and investing $500 Million to address climate change. They plan to introduce products which are significantly more energy and operationally efficient. “Energy efficiency requires action now and can be the most effective way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” explains CEO Mike Lamach. “We are leading our industry towards a more sustainable world and are signalling to our customers, employees, and shareholders that our future products will match our legacy of efficient, reliable, and sustainable solutions. When we create more sustainable choices, improve our operating footprint globally, and continue to develop lower greenhouse gas emission options, our customers – and the climate – benefit.”Our customers – and the climate – benefit.” www.ingersollrand.com
Cisco have announced that TE Connectivity have received the 2014 Excellence in Sustainability Award. The prestigious award recognizes sustainability leadership above and beyond Cisco’s supplier code of conduct. The award was announced at Cisco’s 23rd Annual Supplier Appreciation Event in Santa Clara. “Our Supplier Appreciation Awards give us an opportunity to highlight exceptional performances by the very best of our extended supply chain,” said Gary Cooper, vice president of Global Supplier Management at Cisco. “These partners have demonstrated outstanding achievement in their core operations, and consistently exceeded expectations in supporting the success of Cisco and our customers.” TE Connectivity is a world leader in connectivity that designs and manufactures electrical connections for industries including automotive, energy and industrial, broadband communications, consumer devices, healthcare, and aerospace. They are committed to innovation and engineering excellence which helps customers become more productive and energy efficient. For more information visit www.te.com
Excellence in Sustainability Award
DOW JONES SUSTAINABILITY INDICES CELEBRATE THEIR 15 YEAR ANNIVERSARY Launched in 1999, the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI) has now been tracking the financial performance of leading sustainable businesses for 15 years. The Dow Jones Sustainability Indices are based on analysis of corporate economic, environmental, and social performance. “Both the importance and the understanding of sustainability has grown dramatically over the past decade and a half,” explains David Blitzer, Managing Director and Chairman of the Index Committee. “During that time the DJSI have been established as the leading benchmark in the field. S&P Dow Jones Indices is pleased to work with RobecoSAM in combining S&P DJI’s experience with indices and RobecoSAM’s expertise in assessing corporate sustainability programs.” The Dow Jones Sustainability Indices invites more than 3000 companies each year, including 800 from emerging
markets, to take part in the RobecoSAM’s Corporate Sustainability Assessment. The assessment provides an in depth analysis of economic, environmental, and social practices. “We are proud to celebrate 15 years of providing investors with sophisticated benchmarks for corporate sustainability,” explains Guido Giese, Head of Indices at RobecoSAM. “Since 1999, we have helped investors realize the financial materiality of sustainability and companies continue to tell us that the DJSI provides an excellent tool to measure the effectiveness of their sustainability strategies. In 15 years, the total number of companies we assess has more than quadrupled. We have also developed new sustainability benchmarks for investors such as country and regional indices.” For more information visit www.djindexes.com
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By Michael Baran, President of GEPSD Economic Consulting Inc.
A business economic perspective on achieving true sustainability: What is the plan? In the current enthusiasm for everything sustainable we may actually be missing the point in a substantive way. While we may be taking small steps towards sustainability, the real sustainable pathway would require us at the very least to start making substantive plans and to create the financial means and mechanisms to transition to true sustainability. KEY SUSTAINABILITY GOALS: 1. Urban and Industrial sprawl – stop and reduce. 2. Fossil fuel consumption and dependency – reduce significantly. 3. Recycling of consumer and industrial goods & waste – 100% recycled. 4 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
4. Urban planning for green spaces, pedestrian and bike traffic, mass transit, inclusion of local business, and smart growth. 5. Protection of Nature’s space. CRITICAL FACTORS DETERMINING THE NECESSITY AND SPEED REQUIRED FOR DEVELOPING SUSTAINABLE PLANS AND TRANSITION PLANS: 1. Polluted oceans, land, fresh waters, and agricultural land (ongoing pollution). 2. Loss of natures footprint: Forests, oceans, fresh waterways, marshes, and others (ongoing loss of footprint). 3. Economic Factors:
As with most complex projects you need to come up with a comprehensive business plan to be successful. a. Urban & industrial infrastructures lack of renewal and lack of sufficient allocated funds for maintenance and renewal. b. Economic instability and the constant drive to expand trade in hard goods; significant dependency on oil and automotive industry for economic prosperity; “Soft” goods and services will be key for future growth opportunities. c. Government debt (all levels), general population instability in employment and income. d. We need to face the fact that our current collective financial/ economic model outcome appears to be destructive to biological life on earth (or nature). The system is not bad, it’s how it’s being used that is bad. CAN OUR CURRENT FINANCIAL SYSTEM SUPPORT A SPEEDY TRANSITION TO TRUE SUSTAINABILITY WITHOUT A RESULTING CHAOS IN THE FINANCIAL MARKETS? 1. Governments currently do not appear to have the political will or financial means to plan and fund the needed transition. Will there be a G20 conference with a focus on transitioning to real sustainability? 2. Both governments and corporations are beginning to recognise something significant has to be done, but due to politics and market limitations, may be constrained on what can be done, for now.
WHERE DO WE START? WHAT IS THE SCOPE OF TRANSITIONING TO SUSTAINABILITY? The scope of transitioning to sustainability can be estimated. If we take the Economist article (McKinsey study ++) on global infrastructure and their estimate that it will required $57 trillion to build and maintain the world’s roads, power plants, and pipelines over the next 15 years (approximately $3.7 trillion per year). If we double the estimate in order to rebuild our urban centers and industry under a “sustainable” model and to “sustainable” standards we come up with an approximate figure of around $100 to $120 trillion. Can our current financial economic system fund and support the transition to “sustainability”? Do we have to modernise our financial system? Do we add something new onto the current system (such as the GEPSD ECO$ financial system)? These are important matters for discussion among political leaders, business leaders, and community leaders. As with most complex projects you need to come up with a comprehensive business plan to be successful. What will the timeline for that plan be? PROJECT SUSTAINABILITY REQUIREMENTS: Ensure Economic, Employment, and Financial Stability: Before, during, and after the transition. c ++ Economist article, McKinsey Study, Mar 22 2014
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By Shannon Diederich, Founder of Sustainability Communications Group
Strengthen your Sustainability Story Are your sustainability programs, investments, and reports providing you with the return on investment you desired? They may be innovative or even flashy, but are they well known, understood, and valued? If not, you may need to improve how you give voice to your sustainability story. START AT THE TOP When senior leaders demonstrate a visible commitment to sustainability, employees, clients, investors, and suppliers sit up and take notice. Discussing sustainability only at the quarterly town hall or in the company newsletter is ineffective. Leaders must weave its value 6 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
into everyday conversation and make it more than obvious that it is a key priority. GIVE SUSTAINABILITY AN IDENTITY The term “sustainability” can mean different things to different people. To reinforce what it means to your organization, give it a unique identity that aligns with your brand. This will differentiate it from other business priorities internally, and help your customers and investors better understand your commitments. Think Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan, Target’s Here for Good, and IBM’s A Smarter Planet.
SHANNON DIEDERICH, FOUNDER OF SUSTAINABILITY COMMUNICATIONS GROUP
Discussing sustainability only at the quarterly town hall or in the company newsletter is ineffective. Leaders must weave its value into everyday conversation CONNECT THE DOTS For employees to advance sustainability, they must clearly understand what your organization seeks to achieve and why. If they see how their unique skills and role can contribute to success, it will expedite alignment and program execution. Deliver targeted and personal messages to make sustainability more meaningful to your workforce. Be sure to recognize and reward employees’ contributions to entice innovative and creative ideas. ARM YOUR AMBASSADORS The more informed your employees are about what you are doing to be sustainable and why, the more effective advocates they can be. Championing your commitment to sustainable business practices piques the interest of prospective employees and business partners, enhances your reputation in the marketplace and helps you win more business. HUMANIZE YOUR CAMPAIGNS Let’s face it, corporate speak, industry jargon and technical explanations put us all to sleep. Give your communications campaigns personality. To be taken seriously, they must be candid and transparent. No organization is perfect 100 percent of the time. To be interesting, integrate humor, emotion, and personal perspectives.
ENGAGE TO EVOLVE Get out of the office and start discussing sustainability with others. You’ll discover stakeholders’ perceptions often don’t align with your expectations. Are they hearing your sustainability story at all? Is it influencing their purchasing or employment decisions? Are you aware of their concerns and recommendations for improvement? Seek that feedback and then take action on it to help you evolve. ENERGIZE YOUR REPORTS Bring your sustainability report to life. Focus content on what is most important to your organization and stakeholders to avoid giving everything equal weight. Include videos, photos, and short stories of how challenges were overcome. Use infographics, sidebars and pull-quotes to reinforce key messages. Leverage it year-round through your intranet, social media, marketing and recruitment materials, in staff meetings, and at conferences. Sustainability communications requires focus, simplicity, repetition, and consistency to be most effective. Develop an intelligent plan to impart meaningful information in a meaningful way. c Shannon Diederich is founder of Colorado-based Sustainability Communications Group. The firm specializes in stakeholder engagement, sustainability communications, research, and sustainability reporting. SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
By Mr. Olafur K. Olafsson, Founder and CEO of EcoCloud360, Inc.
The World’s First Zero-Carbon Cloud EcoCloud360 Inc. uses data centers in Iceland as it is presently the only place on the planet that has a 100% clean and sustainable power grid.
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It is a known fact that all our emails and files are stored in ‘the Cloud’, which is simply a collection of servers in data centers. All data centers use a large amount of energy because the servers need to remain at an ideal temperature. Traditional heating or cooling of data centers using fossil fuels generates tons of carbon emissions every year. There are currently over 4 Billion e-Mail addresses in use globally and the number continues to grow at a staggering rate. It is estimated that an average email address emits approximately two grams of carbon a day and Gartner predicts that 50% of the world’s email accounts will be on the Cloud by 2020. A large percentage of corporate email users are moving to Cloud companies in an effort to simplify their networks and save money on their IT infrastructure.
MR. OLAFUR K. OLAFSSON, FOUNDER AND CEO OF ECOCLOUD360, INC.
The Climate Group’s ‘Smart 2020 Analysis’ forecasts that the global carbon footprint of data centers would grow, on average, 7% each year between 2002 and 2020. The number of data center servers are expected to grow on average 9% each year during this period. The challenge with such extensive email and data usage is the negative environmental impact it is having on our planet. There are a few companies claiming to offer some eco-friendly Cloud solutions, however many only offer an approximately 10% cleaner solution by using a combination of solar and/or wind power, or by offering carbon-neutral solutions that achieve net zero carbon emissions by buying enough carbon credits to make up the difference. The long-term feasibility of such solutions is undetermined. PERSONALIZED SOLUTIONS EcoCloud360 Inc. takes a unique approach to solving this problem. Using data centers that are powered by 100% clean Hydroelectric and Geothermal energy, EcoCloud360 offer a wide range of Cloud services for individual users and businesses such as Email, Hosted Exchange, SharePoint, Virtual Private Servers, and Co-location.
EcoCloud360 Inc. uses data centers in Iceland as it is presently the only place on the planet that has a 100% clean and sustainable power grid. Iceland also has the lowest energy prices, making it not only the greenest but also the most affordable place to host your Cloud. With growing concerns about global warming and carbon emissions from data centers, some large corporations are pursuing design and siting strategies that could reduce the energy consumption of their data centers. They are primarily doing this as a cost containment measure, and it only solves a part of the sustainability problem. Individual users of email and data, as well as small and medium sized organizations, need direct access to a sustainable Cloud that they can use by way of email and applications for online storage, backups, servers, and collaborations, in order to make a significant difference to our carbon footprint. At EcoCloud360 Inc. we have recognized this need and our mission is to put the power of sustainability in the hands of the individual user and to eliminate our dependency on large corporations when it comes to curbing carbon emissions. c For more information please visit: www.ecocloud360.com SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
Q&A ALLYSON MITCHELL
Allyson Mitchell President
Sustainable Catalyst Partners LLC
Can you tell us a little about the history of Sustainable Catalyst Partners LLC? SCP was created in late 2012 by Allyson Mitchell, in partnership with the law firm Drewry Simmons Vornehm (DSV). Allyson and her partners at DSV met during Allyson’s employment at the City of Indianapolis’ Office of Sustainability, when she invited DSV to participate in a panel to help create green building incentives for the City. When Allyson left the City, she desired to leverage her network in sustainability-related fields to help other communities and organizations across Indiana understand sustainability and create sustainability plans. Allyson teamed up with DSV to create SCP, allowing her to unite her background in sustainability with an opportunity to reach a greater number of clients. Allyson is committed to educating her clients on the principles of sustainability and helping them articulate and achieve their longterm sustainability goals. She believes every budget can benefit from a comprehensive sustainability plan and created SCP with a vision of spreading the seeds of sustainability widely across her home state of Indiana. How does SCP define sustainability? SCP defines sustainability as a way of being, rather than a finite event or action. It is not just a concept, but a practice that informs every goal, policy, and behavior. It is iterative and ongoing by its nature, as sustainability is never ‘done.’ Organizations often fall into the trap of thinking that sustainability is a far-off destination that requires too much effort to achieve. But because sustainability is a way of being, it meets you right where 10 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
you are today and guides you to where you want to be in the future. It requires a willingness to learn, to try new ideas, and a commitment to long-term positive results. Often, organizations think they can achieve sustainability and then go back to business as usual. However, striving for sustainability means having an attitude of continual adjustment and improvement. The pace of change in business requires leaders to contemplate future challenges and if-then scenarios, and to calculate responses that capture opportunities for growth, investment, and/or specialization. The principles of sustainability guide the direction of these responses to include a transparent assessment of their impacts on the environment, the economy, and society. Sustainability cannot be seen as doing business “good enough” and must be seen as proving that business can always do better. Therefore, sustainability in concept is an awareness of the impacts our choices make on the world around and outside of us. But sustainability in practice is taking steps to improve the outcomes generated by our actions – today and everyday. How does SCP help clients operate more sustainably? SCP believes that organizations first must understand what sustainability means to their particular organization, and how the principles of sustainability apply to their operations. We create an opportunity early in the relationship for SCP to understand the organization’s unique history, structure, leadership, and industry position. Simultaneously, SCP helps the client understand how sustainability practices can be applied to their organization, and the potential benefits and challenges they may encounter in the process.
Also, it is critical for clients to understand where they are today before they can determine where they want to be, so SCP guides them through the process of completing a customized sustainability audit. This provides a baseline of information upon which goals can be established and measured. Second, SCP realizes that this increased understanding of sustainability can make clients feel overwhelmed by the potential for a lot of change in a short amount of time. We work with clients to establish goals, prioritize them, develop a timeline, and establish indicators for success. This gives clients a clear roadmap for where they want to go and how they plan to get there, without fear of getting in over their head. Third, SCP provides it’s clients with resources and partners to help them achieve their goals. Pulling from an extensive network of professionals from a broad spectrum of industries, SCP chases down the expertise, best practice models, and grant funds to foster collaboration and information sharing. This personalized approach to providing resources gives clients a network of support and confidence in their vision. Finally, SCP provides mechanisms for continual assessment, improvement, and goal evaluation. This ongoing support allows our clients to keep sustainability practices at the forefront in business decisions. Further, SCP supports its clients’ commitment to increased sustainability by communicating their successes to key stakeholders such as employees, customers, residents, and industry leaders. Education sessions with case study success stories, social media, the SCP blog and many other platforms allow SCP to share our clients’ journeys of learning and success. How do you help companies engage with customers, stakeholders, and the wider public? As SCP guides clients through the process of understanding sustainability, creating a sustainability plan, and working towards their unique sustainability goals, we seek to create an inclusive, collaborative atmosphere. We do this by working with clients to understand their current stakeholders and identify future customers and partners and facilitate communication by providing opportunities for introductions, meetings, and education sessions. By gathering input, ideas, and lessons learned from a wider variety of individuals and organizations, we equip our clients with an expanded knowledge base from which to begin their problem-solving journey. This brokering of expertise through collaboration often leads to relationships, successful partnerships, and information sharing that continues well beyond the completion of a single task or problem solved. How do you promote the environmental, social, and economic benefits of sustainable business development? SCP believes that sharing information, especially in the form of lessons learned and best practices, is a powerful way to communicate and promote the benefits of sustainability and critical for regional collaboration. Behind every goal, and within every challenge on the road to success lies an opportunity to seek knowledge from peers and to share a lesson with others. Often, this lesson can be shared in a variety of ways and with a variety of people. For example, when a manufacturing facility desires to become more sustainable but doesn’t know where to start, SCP helps them understand their priorities so that they can focus their efforts and achieve short term success to build momentum early. In doing so,
SCP provides examples of other successful manufacturing facilities with similar goals and/or challenges to discover a possible path to success and provide organization-to-organization mentoring. This creates a success story for the manufacturing facility and allows SCP to share the cost saving and environmental impacts of their various problem solving projects – the process of monitoring water usage and finding appropriate conservation and reuse strategies, for example – within the community and across a wide variety of other companies. This allows the facility and SCP to showcase examples of low-cost, high impact solutions and promote the many benefits of sustainable business development with a wide variety of people. This model of information sharing and local examples of ‘low-hanging fruit’ success is especially important in communities where words like “sustainability” and “green” are often misinterpreted as costly and/or tree-hugging environmentalism. Adopting principles of sustainability can be viewed as a risk, and examples of success from other places serve as powerful testimony for the benefits of investing in sustainability planning. The more local the example of sustainability and the greater the transparency of information, the higher the degree of trust for those skeptical individuals and organizations. What achievements are you most proud of? SCP is proud to serve as Program Manager for Solar Uniting Neighbors (SUN), a grant program for the installation of solar panels within the service territory of an Indiana electric utility provider. As the lead for this program, SCP is providing community education workshops to build the capacity of local communities to build partnerships for economically-feasible, socially beneficial solar photovoltaic installations. In addition, SCP is also facilitating communication between stakeholders by leveraging the membership network and training capabilities of the Indiana Association for Community Economic Development (IACED). To read more about the program, visit the SCP blog: http://scp-llc.com/scp-iaced-team-solar-energy-projects/ How do you plan to grow and improve in the future? SCP plans to grow and improve by expanding its ability to reach communities and organizations in Indiana by expanding the organizations it partners with, working with sustainability professionals across the state on a regional model of sustainability, and by pursuing a passion for sustainability education. SCP plans to continue partnering with a variety of organizations, such as IACED, to leverage networks and help communities gain greater access to the principles and practices of sustainability. SCP is also helping lead an effort to organize sustainability professionals from businesses, universities, and communities from across the state with a proactive approach to sustainability. This group, called Mid-America Prosperity & Security (MAPS), is collaborating nationally to create a model for a regional approach to sustainability for national security, economic development, and prosperity. SCP also hopes to expand it’s position as the premiere expert in sustainability in the state by teaching in the field of sustainability and continually seeking opportunities to learn new strategies for sustainability. Allyson is teaching a graduate-level course in sustainability assessment through Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis and is working to become one of the first Zero Waste Business professionals in the state, through the U.S. Zero Waste Business Council. c SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
1st - 2nd
CanSIA Solar West Calgary, AB, Canada
Learn and gain insights from Canada’s leading Solar Energy Executives and Professionals. Explore the business opportunities of Alberta’s Alternative and Renewable Energy Framework.
Global Impact Forum Zurich, Switzerland
The Global Impact Forum supports the creation of transformative solutions to the world’s most pressing social challenges. Their goal is to facilitate innovative partnerships that build a more sustainable, equitable, and inclusive global economy.
NEIA NewLeef 2014 St John’s, NL, USA
NewLeef is the Newfoundland and Labrador Economy and the Environment Forum. It is an annual conference aimed at building new relationships within the green economy in the province, strengthening existing ones, identifying business opportunities, energizing participants in the sector, and learning from one another.
9th - 10th
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PROMOTE YOUR EVENT HERE If your organization has a trade show or event, please let us know and we will promote your event on our global events pages.
Advanced Certified Sustainability (CSR) Practitioner Training (IEMA Approved) London, UK
For more information please contact us at: email@example.com
CSE was the first organization to provide accredited training programs in Europe, North America, and the Middle East. Since 2005 CSE experts have trained over 5,000 sustainability and CSR professionals in 5 continents and more than 30 countries.
CanWEA’s 30th Annual Conference & Exhibition Montreal, Canada canwea.ca/canweas-30th-annual-conference-and-exhibition/
3rd - 5th
Sustainable Brands 2014 London, UK www.sustainablebrands.com
Influential brands have the power to become a net positive force for restoring healthy environments, communities, families, and people while delivering market leading business performance.
6th - 8th
2014 Net Impact Conference Minneapolis
The “2nd World Symposium on Sustainable Development at Universities” (WSSD-U-2014) will focus on “transformative approaches to sustainable development across disciplines”
9th - 11th
25th Annual SRI Conference on Sustainable, Responsible, Impact Investing Colorado Springs, CO, USA www.sriconference.com
Celebrating its 25th year, the SRI Conference on Sustainable, Responsible, Impact Investing (formerly SRI in the Rockies) is the premier annual gathering of investors and investment professionals investing for positive impact and a truly sustainable future.
17th - 21st
2nd International Ocean Research Conference Barcelona, Spain www.iocunesco-oneplanetoneocean.fnob.org
An opportunity for the scientific community to come together to plan the next decade of international collaboration in marine science and technology, with a view to improving ocean governance.
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This premier event brings together over 2,000 delegates and almost 200 exhibiting companies from around the globe to discuss opportunities and latest developments in Canada’s wind energy industry.
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CSE NEW YORK
CSE NEW YORK Materiality based on new GRI G4 guidelines and social return on investment introduced in CSE’s Advanced Certified Sustainability Training in New York.
Since entering the international sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR) services market, the Centre for Sustainability and Excellence (CSE) has been assisting clients to achieve higher performance, build brand loyalty, and innovate through the continuous integration of sustainability principles into their culture, products, and/or services. To effectively achieve this CSE has hosted its Certified Sustainability (CSR) Practitioner Training in 5 continents, 25 countries, and has certified more than 5,000 professional from the public and private sector. This past June, when CSE travelled to the city of New York to 14 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
deliver the advanced version of this course, numerous professionals attended with the aim of gaining practical sustainability tools, being inspired with new ideas, and earning the globally recognized certification of CSR-P Practitioners, approved by the leading Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment. A SIMPLE VISION, A GREAT CONTRIBUTION From the early days of the company, its Founder Nikos Avlonas, had a simple vision to provide strategic consulting services to all companies who needed to take their
sustainability strategies to the next level. “Our services and web tools are designed to assist businesses and organizational leaders to understand and meet the evolving international standards and frameworks, such as the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), and other local and international guidelines,” explains Mr. Avlonas. "CSE believes that investment in human capital through education, training, and coaching is the single most important determinant of future value for all organizations." For that purpose CSE has trained and coached more
“OUR SERVICES AND WEB TOOLS ARE DESIGNED TO ASSIST BUSINESSES AND ORGANIZATIONAL LEADERS TO UNDERSTAND AND MEET THE EVOLVING INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS AND FRAMEWORKS”
than 5,000 professionals from five continents through on-site, online, and group training services in areas such as certified corporate social responsibility, carbon footprint analysis, life cycle analysis, and climate change leadership. “Our last training in New York was a great example of the hard work we do to bring executives from different companies together and educate them by providing them with all the latest CSR tools,” says Mr. Avlonas. Companies like Under Armour, Encana, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Delhaize America, Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, or even professionals from other countries like India and Cameroon came together to discuss trending sustainability topics, such as the new GRI G4 Guidelines, the importance of external assurance, and materiality assessment. One of the most important things participants mentioned that they were able to get out of this course was the ability to interact with professionals from other organizations, see what they are doing for their CSR strategies,
and be inspired with new ideas that they will bring back to their own organizations. ROUNDTABLE ON THE SOCIAL IMPACT OF CSR STRATEGIES Right after the first day of the course on June 2nd, CSE successfully conducted a roundtable discussion for sustainability professionals posing a critical question: "How can we measure the social impact of CSR strategies?" Nowadays this is an issue that concerns a vast majority of corporations that wish to plan strategies and suggest solutions which truly cater for society’s needs, thus giving added value not only to society but also to the corporations themselves. The roundtable placed great emphasis upon the challenges which corporations confront in regards to investing in CSR actions and programs as well as upon the use of tools and international strategies like SROI (Social Return on Investment) that could form the framework that measures society's coherent value. Attendees of this event included many well
respected companies such as Ernst and Young, and PwC. CSE would like to thank Bahar Gidwnani, CEO of CSRHub and New York area angel investor, and Richard W. Parlier Jr., Sustainability Project Integration Specialist United States Postal Service for being guest speakers at the event and for sharing their great experience of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability with the attendees. WHAT NEXT? Interested in becoming the next certified sustainability practitioner and finding out new ways to make your organization more successful? Do not wait any longer. Register now for CSE’s next Advanced Certified Sustainability (CSR) Practitioner Training in Atlanta, GA, November 13-14. c For more information, visit : http://www.cse-net.org/article/127/upcoming-trainings and use the 15% discount code 15CSE. Get in touch with us at: firstname.lastname@example.org SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
Sustainable Business Magazine talks to Kathy Abusow, President and CEO of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, about how they’re encouraging sustainable forestry across North America and beyond. Written by Thomas Massey.
The Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc (SFI) is a nonprofit organization which implements the Sustainable Forestry Initiative forest management standard. The SFI standard covers key areas including biodiversity, 16 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
habitat protection, harvest levels, water quality, and regeneration. Despite being the world’s largest single forestry standard with over 100 million certified hectares, the SFI program currently only certifies land in the
United States and Canada. “We are a community that is dedicated to carrying forward, protecting, and improving the future of forests,” explains Kathy Abusow, President and CEO of the Sustainable Forestry Initi-
THE SFI STANDARD COVERS KEY AREAS INCLUDING BIODIVERSITY, HABITAT PROTECTION, HARVEST LEVELS, WATER QUALITY, AND REGENERATION.
ative. “We do that through our standards, research, collaboration, and our grass roots network of community groups.” STAKEHOLDERS The SFI program ensures that wooded areas are managed responsibly. Third party forest certification took off in the early 1990s. The process was part of a response to both customer and market concerns about the way forests were being managed, as well as concerns about illegal logging in developing nations. As part of the U.S. forest sector’s contribution to the Vision of Sustainable Development established at the 1992 U.N. Conference on Environment and Development, the SFI program was launched in 1994 by the
American Forest and Paper Association. The SFI program has grown significantly since then, and in 2007 they became a separate charity; SFI Inc. An extremely wide range of SFI stakeholders have the same objective: to ensure Canadian and American forests are managed responsibly. “Our Community is absolutely diverse,” says Ms. Abusow. “We include land managers, owners, and operators. In the US, one third of the forests certified to the SFI Standard are state forests, so we have both public and private lands. We include indigenous communities. In Canada we have over 30 first nation communities, as well as other U.S. tribal communities that we partner with and who are certified to our standard. Academic institutions such as universities and
KATHY ABUSOW, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF THE SUSTAINABLE FORESTRY INITIATIVE
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SFI VOLUNTEERS FROM SFI AND J.D. IRVING HELPED BUILD A HABITAT FOR HUMANITY HOME IN NOVA SCOTIA. THE HOUSE IS FOR PARENTS NATASHA AND BLAIR SKINNER AND THEIR TWINS.
SFI CONSIDERS LOCAL COMMUNITIES AS INTEGRAL TO OUR WORK PROMOTING SUSTAINABLE FORESTS AND RESPONSIBLE PURCHASING.
conservation groups also use our standard. They are certified to it and are our partners in many of our research projects. We are a microcosm of society; our community is deep and rich.” SFI’s certification process has extremely strict criteria that applicants must meet. Logging techniques and biodiversity concerns are among many variables which are carefully considered before certification is awarded. Strict criteria guarantee high standards and ensure that the SFI program makes a significant impact. SFI certification helps companies assure customers that their quality products are also sourced responsibly, something that market pressure increasingly demands.
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The unique SFI Chain of Custody (COC) certification monitors certified sourcing, the percentage of fiber from certified forests, and post-consumer recycled content. The SFI logo, along with the COC information, provides assurance to customers who are demanding sustainably sourced products that they are making a responsible purchase. COMMUNITY MATTERS SFI considers local communities as integral to our work promoting sustainable forests and responsible purchasing. There are currently 35 grass roots implementation committees involved with SFI Inc. These committees are made up of volunteers,
from across local areas, that are committed to fostering sustainable communities. “The implementation committees are the cornerstone of our community work,” explains Ms. Abusow. “Their role has evolved over the past two decades that we have existed. Their work started with, and continues to involve, logger training. This ensures that logging methods are well managed and loggers are well trained. They have also done a lot of community outreach in the area beyond the forests that are certified. They are almost an extension group to promote responsible forestry and the practical application of it.” While the implementation committees may have originally played only a small role, Ms. Abusow says that they have now become a fundamental part of how SFI Inc operates across the United States and Canada. She explains that they “are the heart, soul, and working hands” behind SFI’s community projects. A prime example of this is the collaboration between SFI program’s implementation committees and Habitat for Humanity. In 2007, the implementation committees helped to provide not just sustainably managed wood
products, but also skilled volunteers to build homes for underprivileged workers in rural communities. Ms. Abusow explains that to this day this partnership continues to be successful and productive. “This partnership was just a natural fit. Our implementation committees provide SFI standard certified wood products and skilled volunteers to help construct these homes. That partnership started in 2007 and to this day, we are one of their leading partners in North America. This year Habitat for Humanity International signed a memorandum of understanding to really grow our relationship. They are looking for SFI wood and volunteers to continue helping them with their important home building efforts.” EXPANSION Organizations certified to the SFI Standard have invested over $1 billion dollars into sustainability related research. This is just one reason why Ms. Abusow believes that everything required to produce substantive changes in the forestry sector is already in place. “I think the combination of a commitment to conservation, strong conservation partners, and a living reality lab of a quarter billion acres can really bring this research to life.” SFI Inc plans to expand into new territories and is due to re-assess its position with
the eagerly anticipated unveiling of the new SFI standard in January 2015. Despite this, Ms. Abusow explains that the real buzz is being created by the current assessment of SFI’s strategic direction, and how they can have the greatest possible impact. “Our influence is at a quarter of a billion acres and beyond. That achievement has led the board to ask: ‘is that the end point? Or
rather the beginning?’ We’re viewing it from the perspective of a fresh start. When you have achieved that kind of scale, you have to ask, what are the kinds of things you can do to greater influence conservation? We want to find the most powerful mechanism to further increase conservation efforts, and our positive impact on the forests of North America and beyond.” c SCOUTS IN MINNESOTA BUILT DERBY CAR RACE KITS FROM SUSTAINABLY HARVESTED WOOD CERTIFIED TO THE SFI CHAIN-OF-CUSTODY STANDARD. THE BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA TREES TO TRACK PROJECT IS SPONSORED BY THE MINNESOTA SFI IMPLEMENTATION COMMITTEE.
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CFTN SEAN MCHUGH PRESENTS A FAIR TRADE CAMPUS AWARD WITH FAIRTRADE CANADA TO THE UNIVERSITY OF OTTAWA.
FAIR MARKET An interview with Sean McHugh: Executive Director and Founder of the Canadian Fair Trade Network. By Carl Long. The Canadian Fair Trade Network (CFTN) is proof that the concept of sustainability has become more than a piece of environmental terminology. As an organization, they are working to bring about positive 20 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
social change by promoting awareness of the need for society to become more sustainable. As a whole, fair trade is a social movement which aims to improve environmental standards, trading conditions for
producers, and workerâ€™s rights. Traditionally the movement is mainly focused on making improvements in industries which are based in developing countries and export to developed countries.
Socially inconsiderate economies can be extremely damaging for communities and municipalities. The CFTN brings together stakeholders, from grass-roots level up to the highest public office, so they can work together to facilitate positive change and educate the next generation. They aim to bring civil society together to teach the value of not only operating sustainably, but trading sustainably. The CFTN has focused on connecting a wide range of institutions. The CFTN’s Fair Trade Magazine is distributed to three hundred different national partners and focuses on providing up to date information on social sustainability for consumers and industry stakeholders. Over one hundred civil society groups and organizations from across Canadian campuses and municipalities have been brought together to further the conversation. A number of initiatives aim to work with students to promote green thinking and sustainable trade. Together they are showing that fair trade leads to sustainable production and fair prices. Sean McHugh, Executive Director and Founder of the
CFTN, is proud of how many different stakeholders have been brought together in just three years. “Through our various partners, there is now thousands of people directly engaged with the movement. It’s even been a little shocking at times just how quickly things have moved. Having got involved
with the movement through civil society activism myself, I feel that it has and continues to play a crucial role in the development of the movement; as it is often the source of excitement, innovation and passion. We’ve been able to bring that together to help push on to bigger things.”
(FROM LEFT TO RIGHT) CFTN BOARD MEMBERS, NADIA BERGER AND BRUCE MORTON, AND TORONTO CITY COUNCILLOR MIKE LAYTON CELEBRATE TORONTO’S FAIR TRADE TOWN DESIGNATION ATOP CITY HALL WITH FAIR TRADE TORONTO AND FAIRTRADE CANADA.
THEY AIM TO BRING CIVIL SOCIETY TOGETHER TO TEACH THE VALUE OF NOT ONLY OPERATING SUSTAINABLY, BUT TRADING SUSTAINABLY.
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Everyone who works to promote sustainability understands that there is no end in sight. Increased sustainability will be achieved through continued improvements to processes and behaviours. What Mr. McHugh and his colleagues are doing is laying the foundations for a future economic system where every link in the chain from beginning to end gets a fair price and a fair deal from a sustainable source. Despite still being a long way from achieving many of their goals, some recent changes in corporate attitudes have been recognised. “We [in the West] rely on a lot of products that come from very unsecure sources, and I think a lot of people are starting to see that,” explains Mr. McHugh. People are increasingly aware that the supply of some goods is limited due to either environmental or social factors. GOOD HABITS Working with Fairtrade Canada, the CFTN co-manages the Fair Trade Town and Campus programs. There are now eight desig-
nated campuses and nineteen designated towns that hold Fair Trade Designation, while dozens of others are working towards similar status. The Fair Trade Campus Program in particular focuses on three standards: Availability, Visibility, and Committee/ Policy commitments. Availability centers on 100% Fairtrade certified coffee, plus tea and chocolate options. Generally that is just the start, as designated campuses now source dozens of different products. The second focus is based around education and awareness. Literature and materials is provided to universities to encourage all members of the university community to pro-actively seek to improve sustainability. The third focus is policy, especially concentrating on the longevity of the program and policy commitments. Mr. McHugh explains that the CFTN can not only ensure that standards are met, but that they can also be scaled up, something that reflects the degree to which corporate level thinking has changed in recent years. “Early on,
NATIONAL CONFERENCE: DELAGATES AT THE 2014 CFTN NATIONAL CONFERENCE IN TORONTO.
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probably a year or two ago, there was more of a question of why, but today it’s really a question of how. There is less hesitation around why we are doing things.” Changing attitudes invariably requires education. Canadian children as young as twelve are now attending social responsibility classes at school. “Many teachers take initiative to bring these issues to the table,” says Mr. McHugh. “We are working on a national schools program now.” One of the main reasons why the CFTN directs so much of their attention towards higher education institutions is that university students have repeatedly shown an ability to promote social change. Students, like many grassroots movements and volunteers, are not solely motivated by economic gain. The opinions they voice are based on changing values where social, environmental and economic values receive equal weight” and the CFTN believes that it is important that they are heard.
FAIR TRADE EDMONTON CELEBRATES A SUCCESSFUL FAIR TRADE TOWN CAMPAIGN.
Mr. McHugh is one of the voices promoting the idea of sustainable public procurement as a development mechanism. The idea is to work towards a system where organizations meet their needs for goods and services in ways which benefit society and the economy while causing minimal damage to the environment. Instead of looking for short term fixes to problems, organizations would ideally ask questions such as ‘can we improve the supply chain?’ Mr. McHugh describes the introduction of these ideas as “a really SEAN MCHUGH WITH CFTN BOARD MEMBERS, ZACK GROSS AND NADIA BERGER (FROM LEFT TO RIGHT), AND TORONTO CITY COUNCILLOR MIKE LAYTON (RIGHT) AT THE 2014 CFTN NATIONAL CONFERENCE.
exciting turn point” and is pleased to say that “it’s now a pretty big conversation throughout many institutions.” A SUSTAINABLE MODEL Creating a more direct relationship between consumers and producers increases the scrutiny on production processes. Scrutiny leads to increased transparency, meaning that it’s possible to make sure that all parties are operating in ways that are safe and fair. Safe, fair systems lead to successful and sustainable business. To achieve
this, customers need to have the opportunity to demand these standards, and competitors need to have the opportunity to adopt these standards. This is what the CFTN sets out to do; provide a framework for entire industries to become more sustainable. “A lot of our work is centred on out-reach and programming, campaigning, and education,” Says Mr. McHugh. “The other side is trying to support the movement to stay on track effectively.” The more their network grows, the more fair trade becomes achievable. c SUMMER/FALL 2014 EDITION OF FAIR TRADE MAGAZINE.
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BOMA Henry Chamberlain, President and Chief Operating Officer of BOMA International, talks to Sustainable Business Magazine about the association’s current programs and practises and gives insight into the future of sustainability in the real estate industry. Written by Michael Anjos.
BOMA 360 DESIGNATED BUILDING
ARBORETUM PLAZA I & II, AUSTIN, TX OWNER: STATE TEACHERS RETIREMENT SYSTEM OF OHIO MANAGER: CBRE, INC.
The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International was founded in 1907 and represents members of 93 local BOMA associations in the United States, as well as 17 international BOMA affiliates. BOMA members account for nearly 10 billion square feet of U.S. office space, making them not only the oldest, but also the largest organisation of their kind. Henry Chamberlain has worked for the association for over 29 years, first as Director of Communications, and since 2001 as President and Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Chamberlain explains how the association is working tirelessly to promote sustainability. 24 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
BOMA 360 DESIGNATED BUILDING APEX AT LAS COLINAS CROSSING, IRVING, TX OWNER: NET1 LAS COLINAS LP MANAGER: MEANS-KNAUS PARTNERS, LP
“We’re actually promoting sustainability in a lot of different ways. In our magazine you’ll see green articles all the time. We regularly speak on the topic at BOMA conferences and meetings and other industry venues. Sustainability is a big part of what we’ve been working on. It’s definitely at the core of our partnerships with other groups such as the federal government. We also work very closely with the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), and particularly with it’s ENERGY STAR program. We’re very supportive of performance benchmarking.” BOMA is currently working on a project with the White House called the “Better
Buildings Initiative.” The initiative aims to make commercial and industrial buildings 20% more energy efficient within the next decade. A proposal for the initiative was originally announced back in February 2011 by U.S. President Barack Obama during his State of the Union address. The initiative is just one of many programs BOMA is currently working on in an effort to promote sustainability. ENCOURAGING SUSTAINABILITY One of the programs BOMA has been focusing its efforts on is the BOMA 360 Performance Program, a holistic program
BOMA 360 DESIGNATED BUILDING 77 WEST WACKER DRIVE, CHICAGO, IL OWNER: 77 WEST WACKER DRIVE, LLC MANAGER: JONES LANG LASALLE
BOMA IS CURRENTLY WORKING ON A PROJECT WITH THE WHITE HOUSE CALLED THE “BETTER BUILDINGS INITIATIVE.”
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BOMA INTERNATIONAL BOMA 360 DESIGNATED BUILDING
HENRY CHAMBERLAIN, PRESIDENT AND CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER OF BOMA INTERNATIONAL
looking at the management and operations of office and industrial buildings. BOMA 360 deals with everything from management and operations to energy efficiency, and the impact high performance buildings are having on communities. “What we’ve found with the BOMA 360 program is that property managers and their teams are really using it to drive higher and higher performance and it’s creating value in the marketplace,” explains Mr. Chamberlain. “There’s a good business story to tell there about tenant retention, about lease rates being a bit higher in 360 buildings, and about the overall service quality of buildings. It not only highlights sustainability and high performance, but the importance of superior property management as well.” Ac26 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
HOAG HEALTH CENTER - NEWPORT BEACH NEWPORT BEACH, CA OWNER: HOAG MEMORIAL HOSPITAL PRESBYTERIAN MANAGER: CALIFORNIA COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE SERVICES
cording to analysis by Kingsley Associates in 2013, buildings that have achieved the BOMA 360 designation scored higher in all tenant satisfaction rating areas than those without. 94% of tenants who participated in the analysis reported high overall satisfaction, showing just how much difference the program is making within the industry. Another initiative making a difference is BOMA’s annual TOBY (The Outstanding Building of the Year) Awards. The awards focus on recognising the achievements made by building owners and managers who maintain an exceptionally high quality of building management, as well as highlighting businesses which have shown a commitment to sustainability. By focusing on quality of management, the TOBY
Awards recognize the importance of sustainability and overall property management, energy efficiency and high performance as the keys to an award-winning building. “The TOBY Awards really highlight the best in operations and management across a variety of building types and sizes, including office, industrial, medical, corporate and historic. It allows us to highlight the local, regional, national and international building case studies which are meeting energy performance goals. What programs are they using? What does the staff wrestle with? It’s great recognition of the best in sustainability on an annual basis.” The TOBY Awards are recognised as one of the most prestigious awards within the commercial real estate industry and have a well established
BOMA INTERNATIONAL HAS WON SEVEN ENERGY STAR “PARTNER OF THE YEAR” AWARDS AND IS THE ONLY ORGANISATION TO DO SO.
reputation for their thorough evaluation of overall building performance. Since the introduction of the TOBY Awards in 1985, involvement has tripled with more than 200 buildings being recognised as international winners and more than 700 as regional winners. This has resulted in spectacular press coverage for not only the TOBY program, but also for the hundreds of buildings that participate each year. INDUSTRY EXCELLENCE Since being established 107 years ago, BOMA has played a key role in efforts to increase energy efficiency within the real estate industry. For its 100th anniversary in 2007, the organisation issued its “7-Point Challenge” to the industry, to
reduce energy consumption by 30% by 2012. Five years later BOMA documented the success of program participants, leading to numerous case studies and the creation of many useful tools for promoting energy efficiency. Currently BOMA is working with the International Facility Management Association (IFMA), the Green Parking Institute, and the U.S. Department of Energy on a program called LEEP (Leadership in Energy Efficient Parking). “It’s sharing data on use of energy, and much of that is around lighting,” explains Mr. Chamberlain.“ LEEP participants drive down energy usage in parking and then we share those strategies across our different marketplaces. Ultimately, that data helps accelerate change.”
BOMA’s numerous achievements in the name of sustainability, and their overall dedication to promoting energy efficiency within the commercial real estate industry, have not gone unnoticed. BOMA International has won seven ENERGY STAR “Partner of the Year” awards and is the only commercial real estate association to do so. “We’ve won it seven times in the last eight years and that was for all of our work related to energy efficiency and sustainability, as well as educating the industry, and really being an agent of transformation. I think winning it seven times is a terrific accomplishment for the group and hopefully it has woken others up to what’s possible. That’s part of our goal.” c SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
CAMPUSES A foreword by AASHE Executive Director Stephanie A. Herrera.
RAIN GARDENS AROUND THE UNIVERSITY OF DAYTON CAMPUS ARE DESIGNED TO COLLECT, RETAIN AND SLOWER ABSORB WATER RUNOFF FROM SURROUNDING SURFACES OR ACT AS A NATURAL FILTER SO WATER IS CLEAN BY THE TIME IT ENTERS A STORM SEWER.
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BABSON UNIVERSITY CHARGING STATION
SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY TO END COAL INVESTMENTS: THE SFSU FOUNDATION HAS AGREED TO NOT INVEST IN COMPANIES “WITH SIGNIFICANT PRODUCTION OR USE OF COAL AND TAR SANDS.” THE FOUNDATION WILL ALSO SEEK TO LIMIT INVESTMENTS IN FOSSIL FUEL COMPANIES.
The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s (AASHE) vision and mission to lead higher education to be a foundation for a thriving, equitable, and ecologically healthy world is especially relevant today. In order to achieve this mission, AASHE continues to focus on its annual Conference and Expo, its Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System program, publications and professional development webinars, and of course, putting its members first. AASHE’s annual conference is the largest gathering of higher education sustainability professionals and students in North America. Attendees from around the world come together to network and share new innovations, activities, frameworks, learning outcomes, tools, strategies, research, theories and leadership initiatives that are changing the face of sustainability on their campus and in surrounding communities. The annual Conference and Expo is a very important ‘must attend’ event for like-minded higher education sustainability professionals to come together to learn and share best practices which they can then take back to their institutions. AASHE also prides itself on its signature program, the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System (STARS), which allows institutions to access a
transparent, self-reporting framework to measure their sustainability performance. 669 institutions have registered to use the STARS Reporting Tool and are taking steps toward increasing sustainability efforts. Our latest STARS Annual Review was recently released and found notable trends that include an increase in reports submitted from Associate and Baccalaureate colleges this year, and an increase in average scores within subsequent STARS reports. It is an amazing publication, and I feel fortunate to have such incredibly talented people to lead. To date, institutions of higher education in 17 countries have reported their sustainability progress in STARS. This is a major achievement. Members can also expect high quality and relevant publications throughout the year that advance clean energy practices by highlighting thought leadership pieces with accompanying resources and professional development opportunities. This year we have made strong efforts to extend the AASHE footprint even further around the globe. I was honored to provide the keynote address at the International Symposium for the Establishment of Sustainable Campuses at Kyoto University. As AASHE looks forward to celebrating its ten-year anniversary in 2015, we
realize that the organization is vital to the higher education sustainability community and needed by a world where carbon emissions, greenhouse gases and plastic pollution pose serious threats to the global climate and the people of the earth. We applaud publications such as Sustainable Business Magazine for their ongoing coverage of these and other crucial sustainability issues. c DELTA COLLEGE LIVING WALL
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UNIVERSITY OF CALGARY
LEADING THE WAY;
FUTURE An interview with Joanne Perdue, Chief Sustainability Officer at the University of Calgary. Written by Carl Long and Anna Nowaczyk.
STUDENTS LEARN ABOUT INCORPORATING SUSTAINABILITY INTO THEIR DAILY LIVES FROM DAY ONE. PICTURED HERE AN INCOMING STUDENT PLAYS A WASTE AND RECYCLING GAME AT ONE OF MANY SUSTAINABILITY STOPS OFFERED AT NEW STUDENT ORIENTATION. OVER 50% OF DAILY WASTE IS CURRENTLY DIVERTED FROM THE LANDFILL.
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STUDENTS DESIGNED, BUILT AND COMPETED THE CENOVUS TRTL (TECHNOLOGICAL RESIDENCE THAT RESPECTS TRADITIONAL LIVING) SOLAR HOUSE AS PART OF THE 2011 U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY’S SOLAR DECATHLON. IT NOW RESIDES ON CAMPUS AND CONTINUES TO BE USED AS AN EDUCATION AND RESEARCH RESOURCE FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY.
In Canada the position of Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) is a relatively new one but public and private sector organizations are increasingly recognizing the need for a dedicated high-level executive to oversee their sustainability strategy. The University of Calgary recognized this need as a means of reaching its goals of leadership and excellence in sustainability. In 2012, it introduced the position of CSO becoming the first post-secondary education institution in Canada to do so. Joanne Perdue, the university’s former Director of Sustainability, transitioned into this role. “To me it reflects a maturing of the University of Calgary’s sustainability commitment, a recognition of sustainability as a core value that touches the full breadth of institutional practices,” says Perdue. Sustainability is being built into the organizational culture of the university.
“If you look across our suite of governing strategy plans, you will see sustainability clearly embedded,” Ms. Perdue explains. Sustainability is a core value in Eyes HighTM which is the university’s strategic direction
and vision to become one of Canada’s top five research universities, grounded in innovative learning and teaching and fully integrated with the community of Calgary, by the university’s 50th anniversary in 2016.
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UNIVERSITY OF CALGARY
THE URBAN ALLIANCE – A RESEARCH PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN THE CITY OF CALGARY AND THE UNIVERSITY OF CALGARY – SUPPORTS THE TRANSFER OF CUTTINGEDGE RESEARCH BETWEEN THE UNIVERSITY AND THE CITY FOR THE BENEFIT OF ALL OUR COMMUNITIES.
Sustainability is also one of seven academic priorities in the university’s Academic Plan and its Strategic Research Plan addresses its research focus with strong sustainability connections. These governing strategy
plans are backed by an Institutional Sustainability Plan and a Climate Action Plan. “The last piece that pulls all this together,” Ms. Perdue explains, is a sustainability reporting framework. The University of Calgary ap-
pears to be the only university in Canada to publish a Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) compliant report. “In these ways we are maintaining a continuous cycle of improvement. We’ve made good progress. Looking back at our first sustainability plan released in 2010, we accomplished many of our strategies.” This progress isn’t going unnoticed. In 2013 the university received a STARSTM (Sustainability, Tracking, Assessment and Rating System) gold rating. In 2014 Corporate Knights also recognized the University of Calgary in its inaugural Future 40 Responsible Leaders in Canada rankings, ranking them third. Ms. Perdue credits the university’s success thus far to a focus on developing a diversity of leadership across campus. She speaks to a sustainability vision that includes three interwoven and key pillars of leadership. These are academic excellence in sustainability including curriculum and research, engagement to enable leadership competencies, and modeling the way by integrating sustainability into daily campus operations. ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE The university strives to equip its students with the knowledge and skills that prepare
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UNIVERSITY OF CALGARY
THE HASKAYNE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS (HSB) RANKED FOURTH IN THE 2013 CORPORATE KNIGHTS GREEN MBA SURVEY. HSB OFFERS A GLOBAL ENERGY EXECUTIVE MBA, AN MBA SPECIALIZATION IN GLOBAL ENERGY MANAGEMENT & SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, AND AN INTERDISCIPLINARY MASTER’S DEGREE IN SUSTAINABLE ENERGY DEVELOPMENT.
STUDENTS THAT PARTICIPATE IN A SUSTAINABILITY CLUB OR EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITY ON CAMPUS CAN HAVE THIS EXPERIENCE DOCUMENTED ON A CO-CURRICUALR RECORD. THERE ARE MORE THAN 50 SUSTAINABILITY RELATED CLUBS ON CAMPUS.
them for tackling real world challenges by weaving sustainability into its curriculum and research practices. “The challenges of sustainability present wicked problems,” says Ms Perdue, “to be successful our students need both disciplinary depth and interdisciplinary perspective.” The University offers 15 degree specializations related to sustainability with some receiving international recognition. The university’s Haskayne School of Business, for instance, ranked fourth in the 2013 Corporate Knight’s Global Green MBA survey for its integration of sustainability into graduate programs. 34 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
THE FACULTY OF ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGN MAKECALGARY INITIATIVE IS A COMMUNITY-BASED RESEARCH PLATFORM THAT GATHERS TOGETHER ITS STUDENTS, RESEARCHERS, AND INDUSTRY AND COMMUNITY PARTNERS, TO EXPLORE THE POTENTIAL OF MAKING THE CITY WE ALL IMAGINE.
The university’s Academic Committee for Sustainability has also identified over 350 sustainability focused or related courses. On the research side an estimate of more than 50% of academic departments are engaged in sustainability related research. Further, a number of sustainability related research chairs are offered such as the Athena Chair in Life Cycle Assessment, or the Enbridge Chair in Renewable Energy. The university is currently developing a new academic sustainability framework under the leadership of the Academic Sustainability Coordinator.
ENABLING LEADERSHIP This is the pillar Ms. Perdue is clearly most passionate about, explaining, “While most universities begin with operational sustainability practices, universities can leverage far greater societal change by preparing students for sustainability leadership in their future careers. We are focused on building core competences for sustainability leadership and providing opportunities to work with real-world complexities.” The University of Calgary offers a number of curricular and co-curricular service-learning programs to engage students both on campus and in
residence eco-move out program that last spring directed over 6.5 tonnes of unwanted items to local charities or for recycling. Over one thousand students are actively involved in more than fifty student sustainability clubs. In the greater community the university’s Centre for Community Engaged Learning works closely with partners in the non-profit and voluntary sector giving students opportunities for service-learning experience where they travel, learn and serve together in different global communities. These opportunities provide students with a greater understanding of sustainability in practice. Working within both urban and rural communities, students are offered with an insight into the complexities of the practice of sustainability.
local and global communities. The university’s Office of Sustainability engages students through a variety of paid and unpaid positions that immerse students in sustainability event planning, engaging their peers
in positive behavioral changes, and integrating sustainability into operations. Examples of this range from undertaking greenhouse gas inventories, to leading Fair Trade certification of the campus, to organizing a
MODELING THE WAY Modelling the way refers to setting an example through the university’s own operations. “This is about walking-the-talk, practicing a sustainability-based values system, and employing the campus as a learning environment for sustainability,” says Ms. Perdue. Cross functional teams primarily comprised of staff with some fac-
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UNIVERSITY OF CALGARY
THE UCALGARYCARES PROGRAM ENABLES STUDENTS TO FURTHER THEIR UNDERSTANDING OF SUSTAINABILITY COMPLEXITIES, MAKE PERSONAL CONNECTIONS AND DEVELOP LEADERSHIP SKILLS THROUGH SERVICE LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES IN LOCAL AND GLOBAL COMMUNITIES.
STUDENTS WORKED ON AN URBAN FARM IN NEW ORLEANS POST-HURRICANE KATRINA AS PART OF THE UCALGARYCARES FOOD AND JUSTICE PROGRAM WHICH FOCUSED ON CONNECTIONS BETWEEN FOOD INSECURITY AND SOCIAL ISSUES.
ulty and student support work on different aspects of operational sustainability such as energy, purchasing, dining, etc. They are guided by the Institutional Sustainability Plan and supported through the Office of Sustainability. “These teams started with low hanging fruit such as expanding waste and recycling infrastructure. Now they
are working on more strategic leverage points,” says Perdue. An example of this was shifting from a contract for hauling of waste that rewarded large amounts of waste hauling, to a partnership arrangement with a recycling and waste management provider with financial incentives for reducing waste. A 2014 municipal award
for the universities zero waste strategy recognized the initiatives of 10 different departmental and student groups. The results have been noteworthy. Despite the campus growing in size by 30%, daily waste diversion is down 50%, construction waste across all projects is down 75%, and in 2012/13 greenhouse gas
UCALGARYCARES SERVICE LEARNING STUDENTS TRAVELED TO NAMIBIA TO EXAMINE THE CONCEPTS OF POWER AND PRIVILEGE IN LEADERSHIP ROLES, ETHICAL LEADERSHIP AND LEADERSHIP IN AN INTERNATIONAL CONTEXT.
UCALGARYCARES STUDENTS PARTICIPATED IN A CROSSCULTURAL IMMERSION EXPERIENCE IN NICARAGUA TO EXPLORE THE CONNECTIONS BETWEEN PLACE, RESOURCES, POVERTY AND EDUCATION.
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emissions were down 22% across all sites and 31% on main campus largely thanks to the introduction of co-generation. These initiatives are providing over $7.5 million in annual cost avoidance. Seven campus projects have attained LEEDTM certification with eight projects currently registered and on-track for certification. Potable water use has been reduced by 34% since 2008 and several key procurement streams such as desktop computing and cleaning supplies employ sustainable purchasing performance requirements. “When you put it all together, the collective action across campus is inspiring,” explains Ms. Perdue. “We have a fantastic community of practitioners of sustainability that includes students, faculty and our staff. The nature of discourse on campus has really evolved over the past five years, I am really excited to see what the next five years will bring as we embark on our updated institutional sustainability plan.” c SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
UNIVERSITY OF SASKATCHEWAN SCHOOL OF ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY (SENS) STUDENTS LEARN ABOUT SUSTAINABILITY PRINCIPLES AND ECOSYSTEM SCIENCE DURING A FIELD TRIP TO REDBERRY LAKE BIOSPHERE RESERVE IN CENTRAL SASKATCHEWAN. CREDIT: RANJAN DHATTA
WORKING WITH THE
ELEMENTS Sustainability Coordinator Margret Asmuss tells Sustainable Business Magazine about sustainability initiatives at the University of Saskatchewan. Written by Thomas Massey.
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UNIVERSITY OF SASKATCHEWAN KATHRYN THEEDE, ENERGY AND EMISSIONS OFFICER
STUDENTS VIEW THE RAYNER DAIRY BARN WITH MARGRET ASMUSS OF THE OFFICE OF SUSTAINABILITY AND DR. DAVE CHRISTIANSON OF ANIMAL AND POULTRY SCIENCE (FAR LEFT). AS PART OF THE SUSTAINABILITY LIVING LAB, THESE 4TH YEAR ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING STUDENTS DESIGNED AN INTEGRATED APPROACH TO REDUCING THE GHG EMISSIONS ASSOCIATED WITH THE UNIVERSITY’S DAIRY RESEARCH AND TEACHING FACILITY.
The University of Saskatchewan has a long and diverse history in one of the coldest cities on earth. Margret Asmuss, Sustainability Coordinator at the University of Saskatchewan, explains that extreme weather conditions and the substantial age of many campus buildings were not the only challenges faced by sustainability efforts over the last decade. One of the biggest challenges has been defining sustainability in a manner appropriate to the university’s context and developing a strategy for effectively moving forward. “For many years the university had a patchwork of sustainability programs and initiatives that did very little to change the culture of the institution. This has changed with the development and approval of our Campus Sustainability Plan that really provides a unified strategy to move the university towards realizing sustainability as a central organizing principle.” Developing this plan took years and involved extensive research and consultations with the campus community. “It was not an easy task, but it was worth 40 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
it because it provides a solid foundation for moving forward in all areas of campus life – education, research, governance, operations and community engagement.” PILOTING SUSTAINABILITY Despite recent lighting retrofits, changes in temperature set points, and enhanced recycling services at the University of Saskatchewan, implementing large-scale operational change has proved challenging. Ms. Asmuss explains that “Saskatchewan is resource-rich, relatively prosperous, relatively unpolluted and sparsely populated which does not put sustainability on the forefront of most people’s priorities. Combine that with a lack of understanding of the business case for sustainability and it makes some projects harder to sell, especially when they involve older buildings that haven’t got the publicity value of new construction.” To help overcome this issue the Office of Sustainability has come up with an innovative way of moving potential initiatives forward. “Using one of
GRADUATE STUDENTS AND A POST-DOCTORAL FELLOW WORK IN THE NEW OFFICE SPACE OF THE SUSTAINABILITY EDUCATION AND RESEARCH INSTITUTE (SERI). THE OFFICE WAS RECENTLY RENOVATED USING SUSTAINABLE CONSTRUCTION PRACTICES, INCLUDING OPTIMIZING RECLAIMED BUILDING MATERIALS AND A LIVING WALL.
our older existing buildings, the Education Building, we pilot new initiatives. With the resulting data we create a business case to expand and implement the initiatives more broadly across campus.” A recent water conservation pilot project proves how successful this process can be. 63 of the toilets in the building were replaced with newer fixtures, and 10 urinals were retrofitted with home grown sensor technology. These changes resulted in savings of 18.5 million litres of water and $35,000 a year. This equates to a 48% reduction in water usage. Based on this success, plans are moving forward to implement the approach across the campus which will result in estimated savings of 200 million litres of water and $400,000 per year. The university also recently approved a Campus Sustainability Revolving Fund which will provide a dedicated pool of money to help fund initiatives in older buildings. Ms. Asmuss explains that the Campus Sustainability Plan provided the impetus for the approval of the Revolving Fund. “The approval
“WE HAVE DEVELOPED A CAMPUS SUSTAINABILITY PLAN THAT REALLY PROVIDES A UNIFIED STRATEGY AIMED AT MOVING THE UNIVERSITY TOWARDS REALIZING SUSTAINABILITY AS A CENTRAL ORGANIZING PRINCIPLE.”
of the Revolving Fund really reinforces the importance of good planning in tackling complex issues.” In contrast to the difficulties associated with older buildings, most new construction and major renovation projects are LEED – New Construction or LEED – Commercial Interiors. To further support this, the uni-
versity’s design manual specifies standards designed to support sustainability. Any third party contractors working on construction projects must work to these standards, which are based on the university’s experiences with LEED projects. Ms. Asmuss explains that by adopting the principles and standards of LEED, and integrating them
into the university’s design manual, the University of Saskatchewan can continually adjust to changing sustainability expectations and raise the bar on all construction projects over time, not just those that are LEED certified. “The design manual is really a work in progress. It is not a static document. Every time we learn something new, we go back
STUDENTS WRITE SUSTAINABILITY MESSAGES ON SIDEWALKS THROUGHOUT CAMPUS DURING WELCOME WEEK.
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UNIVERSITY OF SASKATCHEWAN THE ANNUAL GRADUATION POW WOW CELEBRATES THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF ABORIGINAL GRADUATES. ABORIGINAL INITIATIVES ARE INTEGRAL TO THE CULTURAL AND SOCIAL DIMENSIONS OF SUSTAINABILITY AT THE U OF S
THE OFFICE OF SUSTAINABILITY PROVIDES LOGISTICAL AND FINANCIAL SUPPORT TO STUDENT SUSTAINABILITY INITIATIVES. HERE STUDENTS COLLECTED PAPER COFFEE CUPS FROM ACROSS CAMPUS AND BUILT A TREE TO COMMEMORATE THE TREES THAT PROVIDED THE CUPS.
MEMBERS OF THE SUSTAINABILITY EDUCATION AND POLICY NETWORK, A RESEARCH PROJECT ADMINISTERED BY SERI, DISCUSS A PUBLICATION AT A WRITING RETREAT.
and ensure that the manual reflects what we’ve learnt so we can continue to aim for higher standards.” ONGOING VIGILANCE Relatively new approaches, like the Campus Sustainability Revolving Fund and LEED construction, build on a culture of building to suit the extreme climate in Saskatchewan. For instance, even though there have been substantial increases in floor space over the last 20 years, the energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions associated with heating the university has remained relatively con42 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
stant. This has been achieved primarily through upgrading of heating systems and continually improving standards for new construction. Ms. Asmuss admits that while university has successfully managed its consumption of natural gas for heating for many years, this has not been the case with electrical consumption. “Our plug load keeps increasing with the addition of new equipment, including computers and lab equipment. This is a concern because electricity in Saskatchewan is primarily coal-based and very greenhouse gas intensive. We have a Climate Action Plan and now that the Revolving Fund is
firmly in place, we are confident that we can tackle our electrical consumption in a systematic way.” NOT JUST ABOUT OPERATIONS Sustainability at the University of Saskatchewan is not just about operations; it is also about academics. The University of Saskatchewan’s School of Environment and Sustainability (SENS), and its Sustainability Education Research Institute (SERI), are both gaining an international reputation thanks to their academic work, research, and experience based learning. “Both SERI and SENS represent the cornerstones
“10 YEARS AGO, SUSTAINABILITY WAS NOWHERE ON THE UNIVERSITY’S AGENDA. NOW IT IS EMBEDDED IN THE UNIVERSITY’S INTEGRATED PLAN”
of sustainability on the academic side of the house at the University of Saskatchewan,” explains Margret Asmuss. “ Their presence has significantly elevated the level of discourse about sustainability on campus. Sustainability is the issue of our time and demands significant academic inquiry. SENS and SERI make sure that happens on our campus.” SENS, SERI and the Office of Sustainability also regularly collaborate on initiatives of mutual interest. For instance, they will be co-hosting the 2015 annual meeting of the Saskatchewan Regional Centre of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development. SENS also
provided guidance in the development of the Sustainability Living Lab which provides students with campus-based sustainability issues and problems for project-based courses. SENS also helped to pilot Work Green, a program aimed at fostering and supporting sustainability champions in workplaces throughout campus. AGAINST THE ODDS Through collaboration and persistence, the University of Saskatchewan is making steady progress on sustainability. While other North American and Canadian universities are currently ahead of the University of
Saskatchewan in regards to sustainability, Margret Asmuss feels that her university is at a turning point. “I believe we will be seeing an acceleration of progress over the next few years.” Of all the achievements, Margret Asmuss is most proud of the progress that the University of Saskatchewan has made over the last decade. “10 years ago, sustainability was nowhere on the university’s agenda. Now it is embedded in the university’s integrated plan, it is an articulated university priority, and is being integrated into all areas of campus life. We still have a long way to go, but we have come an incredibly long way in 10 years.” c SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
UNIVERSITY OF NORTHERN BRITISH COLUMBIA
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Kyrke Gaudreau, Sustainability Manager at the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC), gives Sustainable Business Magazine an insight into the inner workings of the UNBC Sustainability Office as they strive to make UNBC Canada’s most sustainable university. Written by Thomas Massey.
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UNIVERSITY OF NORTHERN BRITISH COLUMBIA
In 2007, UNBC adopted the trademark “Canada’s Green University”. Since then, institutional changes have paid dividends and resulted in various accolades and awards that have recognized their ambition. Over time, UNBC strives to continue showing leadership by engaging the UNBC community and broader region, and developing new sustainability projects, plans and policies.
SUSTAINABILITY AT UNBC UNBC Sustainability Manager, Kyrke Gaudreau, explains that his job involves promoting sustainability throughout the UNBC community. “The role of Sustainability Manager is to help facilitate and empower students, faculty, and staff to undertake sustainability initiatives on campus and in the broader community. These initiatives cover the full spectrum of activities, from recycling
and composting, promoting social justice around food, to participating in university research projects on environmental issues such as climate change.” Dr. Gaudreau works out of the Green University Centre, an office he shares with the Energy Manager and the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions Coordinator and student interns. The main challenge the office faces is prioritizing resources between the many possible
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projects. “We have unlimited opportunity for campus sustainability initiatives. The will and passion are there, both in the office and in the broader UNBC community.” THE UNBC COMMUNITY To expand the reach and impact of the Sustainability Office, student leadership and involvement is critical. Fortunately, the student population is highly engaged, in part due to the intimate campus experience. “Our small size really fosters student engagement, and we have a very tight knit community. Our students are able to work alongside faculty, staff and the upper administration in a manner that is much more difficult at larger institutions,” notes Dr. Gaudreau. Many of UNBC’s sustainability initiatives, and indeed an increased interest from students and staff alike, are a result of the UNBC Green Fund, an initiative started in 2009. The Green Fund has two goals: to fund the Sustainability Manager position at UNBC; and to encourage both the implementation of, and engagement with, campus wide sustainability projects from the
entire UNBC community. The Green Fund is maintained through a levy on parking fees, an initiative to encourage active and alternative transport to and from the campus. All members of the UNBC community are able, and encouraged, to submit project proposals to the Green Fund to develop their sustainability initiatives. Since its inception, the Green Fund has been remarkably successful. Of the 66
proposals submitted to the Green Fund, 30 were successfully approved and have received funding for their implementation. Dr. Gaudreau details some of the approved projects. “The Green Fund has supported a wide diversity of projects, including the University Farmers market, a student-led compost program operated by the Prince George Public Interest Research Group, and a program to promote ecological practices
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UNIVERSITY OF NORTHERN BRITISH COLUMBIA
at our Childcare Centre. Since September 2013 alone, we have funded 12 projects for a total for $47,000.” Some of the new projects this year include expanding UNBC’s bee keeping activities, developing a food waste minimization and reclamation program, and installing smart controllers on the irrigation system. An important component of campus sustainability is taking the time to pause and
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appreciate the successes. For the past seven years, UNBC has hosted Green Day, an annual day to showcase past, present and future sustainability initiatives on campus. Originally a class project, Green Day has become an important symbol of Canada’s Green University. UNBC is planning for an extra special Green Day in January 2015, as this year will coincide with the university’s 25th Anniversary.
SUSTAINABILITY PROJECTS Beyond student engagement, UNBC has found many avenues for success. The UNBC Bioenergy Plant is a model of sustainability, and demonstrates how clean energy can be used to heat buildings, not just in Canada but also worldwide. The Plant heats the Prince George campus using innovative gasification technology from BC-based Nexterra. The biomass input is sawmill residue
ALL MEMBERS OF THE UNBC COMMUNITY ARE ABLE, AND ENCOURAGED, TO SUBMIT PROJECT PROPOSALS TO THE GREEN FUND TO DEVELOP THEIR SUSTAINABILITY INITIATIVES.
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UNIVERSITY OF NORTHERN BRITISH COLUMBIA
THE PLANT BUILDING ITSELF DEMONSTRATES SUSTAINABLE CONSTRUCTION, AND WAS AWARDED LEED PLATINUM STATUS IN 2013, AND THE CANADA GREEN BUILDING AWARD IN JUNE 2014.
(called hog fuel) provided by a local sawmill. The Plant has been in operation since 2011, and has produced 180,000 gigajoules of energy, allowing UNBC to offset roughly 85 percent of its natural gas consumption on the main campus, accompanied by a reduction of associated emissions. Furthermore, the Plant building itself demonstrates sustainable construction, and was awarded LEED Platinum status in 2013, and the Canada Green Building Award in June 2014. Dr. Gaudreau notes the Bioenergy Plant has been successful in many ways, “both as a way of improving campus sustainability, as 50 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
well as demonstrating to the North, through our operations and outreach, the potential for a new energy future.” Not content to sit on its achievements, UNBC is pushing ahead with exciting new energy projects. The university is currently installing a low-temperature district heating system that will connect its award-winning pellet heating plant with the university residences (both current and planned) and the daycare. This system will allow UNBC to expand its renewable energy production, as well as experiment with and demonstrate low-temperature energy supplies, such as
geothermal, solar thermal and heat recovery. The future looks bright! THE NEXT GENERATION The incredible work that UNBC is doing is not just an institutional achievement, but also a community achievement. Engagement with the small, tight knit community at UNBC means that students, faculty, and staff are all carrying the sustainability torch for both the university and Canada. Considering the success of its energy systems, the Green Fund, and its wide diversity of sustainability initiatives, it is easy to see the
UNBC’s commitment to being a model for university and community sustainability. This collective success is what Dr. Gaudreau sees as the university’s most rewarding achievement. “We are so proud of our students, faculty, and staff. The level of engagement and innovation is inspiring and it’s because of this that I think UNBC attracts a great number of amazing students who will walk out of here and take on leadership roles in the North and beyond. Ultimately, that’s one of our core missions; to prepare the next generation for the challenges and opportunities ahead.” c SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA SAN FRANCISCO GENENTECH HALL ROOFTOP SOLAR PANELS
SUSTAINABLE MEDICAL RESEARCH
Gail Lee, Sustainability Manager for the Campus and Medical Center at the University of California, San Francisco, talks to Sustainable Business Magazine about the universityâ€™s extraordinary efforts to become more sustainable. Written by Thomas Massey. 52 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
UC San Francisco (UCSF) prides itself on being one of the nation’s top universities exclusively focused on health sciences. Founded in 1873, it opened with a mission to serve as “a public university dedicated to saving lives and improving health.” The same determination that the university has always shown in their efforts to help people, is now being demonstrated in its efforts to help the environment. Gail Lee, Sustainability Manager for the UCSF Campus and Medical Center, explains the aims of the university’s sustainability efforts in a message on the university website: “For
UCSF, sustainability is about protecting the health and safety of our people and the communities we impact. It is about putting a spotlight on our own operations to save money, reduce waste, minimize our carbon footprint, be more efficient, and conserve limited natural resources.” CAMPUS UCSF is a graduate academic research institution and one of the best of its kind in the United States. Two thirds of the enterprise is research driven and one third is the academic medical center which provide state of
the art clinical health care and teaches the next generation of health care providers. The UCSF Sustainability Office has set up ten work groups to tackle specific sustainability issues that the university considers to be a priority consistent with its Sustainability Action Plan. These include achieving carbon neutrality, reducing waste, conserving water, promoting sustainable food programs, reducing toxics, encouraging green procurement, building green buildings, and maintaining sustainable operations. Around campus these issues are being tackled by the UCSF community in various ways. SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA SAN FRANCISCO MISSION BAY HOSPITALS
The UCSF Medical Center has a very strong sustainable food program which offers organic and antibiotic-free meats. Their commitment to saving energy is demonstrated by an electric chiller replacement project which is saving significant energy, water, and money. Across the university there is a strong employee
2014 SUSTAINABILITY AWARD WINNERS
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DOLBY REGENERATION MEDICINE BUILDING
engagement effort which includes two farmerâ€™s markets, and an annual Living Green Fair at which the annual Sustainability Awards recognize the sustainability efforts of staff, students, and faculty. The UC Board of Regents has made green building a high priority. Green building projects aim to achieve self-imposed
ALL NEW BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS HAVE TO BE LEED SILVER OR BETTER. SO FAR WE HAVE 23 BUILDING PROJECTS THAT ARE LEED CERTIFIED OR GOING THROUGH THE CERTIFICATION PROCESS.
goals regarding water and energy conservation. Lee explains that these targets do not just apply to the construction of new buildings on campus. “All new building and construction projects have to have a LEED Silver Rating or better. So far, we have 23 building projects that are LEED certified or going through the certification process. Most of these projects are new builds, but any major renovation that costs more than $5 million has to be a minimum of LEED Silver as well.” UCSF is currently targeting two of the oldest and least energy efficient buildings on campus. The plan is to completely renovate both buildings so that they meet the minimum requirement of LEED silver certification. The completed renovations will result in an estimated 50 percent reduction in energy usage. UCSF recently introduced the Water Action Plan (WAP), which aims to reduce water usage by 20 percent by the year
2020. As well as trying to reduce water and energy usage, the university is using renewable energy sources where ever possible. Lee explains that UCSF’s Medical Center at Mission Bay building project will
have renewable energy, in this case solar power. “We’re building a new hospital at Mission Bay. We already have a 250 KW solar installation on one parking structure and one lab building. When completed,
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UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA SAN FRANCISCO VIEW FROM MISSION BAY HOSPITALS TO ROOFTOP GARDENS
the medical center complex will have a 750 KW system. So when the building opens in 2015, UCSF will have a total of 1 MW of on-site renewable power in place. ”The UC Regents has mandated that the ten UC campuses generate a combined total of 10 MW of renewable energy, the UC system is currently trying to broker a deal which would see them purchase clean, renewable energy at a wholesale rate to further reduce their carbon footprint. MEDICAL FACILITIES UCSF Medical Center is one of the top ten hospitals in the nation, according to US News & World Report. The need for a constant supply of energy and the disposable nature of many types of medical equipment provides a challenge for medical facilities, which are trying to become more sustainable. Despite this, the UCSF Medical Center has had considerable success. January 2013 saw the publication of the UCSF Medical Center’s first sustainability report, which highlights many energy-saving, water conserving and waste reduction activities. Off the back of their successful sustainability report, the UCSF Medical
MISSION BAY FARMERS MARKET
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UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA SAN FRANCISCO Center has recently been recognized at the Practice Greenhealth’s premier event, the Clean-Med Conference in Cleveland, Ohio. The UCSF Medical Center staff were presented with three awards including the Emerald Award for Distinction in Healthcare Sustainability, as well as being recognized as one of the top ten hospitals (from more than 600 applicants) for climate change and green building. Lee is proud of the awards and explains why she thinks UCSF medical facilities have been singled out for special recognition. “With regards to the awards, I think we were recognized in the climate change category because we are one of the few hospitals who actually measure their emissions and have plans to reduce those emissions. By measuring our emissions, and having the goal to reduce them by 2020, we are further ahead of most hospitals. With the buildings, we are currently building a LEED gold hospital and there aren’t very many of those in the world. When it opens in 2015, it will probably be one of only a few in the country,” Lee said. The UCSF Medical Center has also found a way to divert 45 percent of waste from landfill to recycling. “It is unusual for hospitals to try to eliminate waste and divert it from landfills to recycling points, but we have made a very concerted effort to do that in as many areas as possible,” explains Lee. To further help the medical center reduce waste, not only are they recycling, when possible they are switching from disposal to re-usable equipment. Things such as pillows are now cleaned and reused and even equipment such as sharps containers can be re-used thanks to a sterilization process. The medical center has even engaged in a program that allows them to re-use single-use surgical
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UCSF MEDICAL CENTER HAS ALSO FOUND A WAY TO DIVERT 45 PERCENT OF WASTE FROM LANDFILL TO RECYCLING.
ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING STATIONS
equipment. The equipment is processed to manufacturer standards and then sold back to the medical center at a discounted price, saving close to one million dollars per year. A significant portion of the recycling number is food compost. Patient and visitors to the cafeteria are given compostable dishware, which are all later sorted by food service staff to divert 7 percent of the total waste from landfill. A HEALTHY COMMUNITY The extraordinary efforts of UCSF have showcased their commitment to improv-
ing the university and medical center for faculty, staff, students, and patients. Initiatives, such as switching from incandescent to LED lighting in operating rooms, not only make small energy savings, but also improve the conditions for staff and patients, in this case by reducing heat and shadowing. UCSF continues to prove that addressing sustainability issues is not only environmentally and financially beneficial, but can also directly lead to a happier and healthier community. UCSF is the nationâ€™s leading university exclusively focused on health. Now
celebrating the 150th anniversary of its founding as a medical college, UCSF is dedicated to transforming health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care. It includes top-ranked graduate schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing and pharmacy; a graduate division with world-renowned programs in the biological sciences, a pre-eminent biomedical research enterprise and two top-tier hospitals, UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Childrenâ€™s Hospital San Francisco. c SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
PORTLAND STATE UNIVERSITY
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GOING THE EXTRA MILE
Sustainable Business Magazine talks to Jennifer Allen, Associate Professor of Public Administration and Director of the Institute for Sustainable Solutions at Portland State University, about how the Institute has incorporated sustainability into campus life and made it an essential part of the Portland State University mission. Written by Thomas Massey.
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PORTLAND STATE UNIVERSITY
PORTLAND STATE’S INSTITUTE OF SUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS RUNS THE SUSTAINABLE NEIGHBORHOODS INITIATIVE WHICH BUILDS ON DECADES OF EXPERIENCE OF STUDENTS WORKING ON COMMUNITY PROJECTS, THIS TIME TO MEASURABLY IMPROVE NEIGHBORHOOD SUSTAINABILITY IN PORTLAND.
The city of Portland, Oregon, is quickly gaining a reputation as a hub of sustainability related activity and engagement in the United States of America. It has been chosen as the host city for the AASHE 2014 Annual Conference and Jennifer Allen, Associate Professor of Public Administration and director of the Institute for Sustainable Solutions, explains that Portland State University is working to ensure that Portland remains a key location on the American sustainability map. “We try to be comprehensive on sustainability. We have initiatives in place for energy management, water management, how we manage our buildings, and how we 62 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
manage our purchasing policy in terms of the impact our purchases have regarding supply chains and sustainability issues. We also look at waste production and recycling, our food services, and our transportation. We really try to approach our operations as a community would need to.” CREATING A SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITY The Institute for Sustainable Solutions has taken the approach of engaging not just with the university community, but also reaching out to the city of Portland and the surrounding region. Dr. Allen believes
STUDENTS LEARN THE VALUE OF NATIVE PLANTS IN THE CAMPUS ECOSYSTEM WHILE PLANTING GARDENS AT THE NATIVE AMERICAN STUDENT AND COMMUNITY CENTER AT PORTLAND STATE.
“WE HAVE INITIATIVES IN PLACE FOR ENERGY MANAGEMENT, WATER MANAGEMENT, HOW WE MANAGE OUR BUILDINGS, AND HOW WE MANAGE OUR PURCHASING POLICY IN TERMS OF THE IMPACT OUR PURCHASES HAVE REGARDING SUPPLY CHAINS AND SUSTAINABILITY ISSUES.“ JENNIFER ALLEN
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PORTLAND STATE UNIVERSITY that citywide community engagement with sustainability will ultimately make it considerably easier to become truly sustainable. “I think one of the main problems the world faces in terms of achieving sustainability and advancing it in general, is that we tend to separate things that really are connected. One of the efforts we make here is to not separate our operations from our learning activities and research activities, but really look at ways in which to integrate them. We also make an effort to really integrate and engage with the community outside of Portland State University. A number of programs we have here are aimed at building those bridges.” Dr. Allen, in her role as Director of the Institute for Sustainable Solutions, has helped to show how important sustainability is for a modern university. The changes the Institute has helped to integrate into the administrative structure of PSU are now infused throughout the University—including its leadership. This ensures that all aspects
of the institution act in a sustainable manner while remaining economically viable. Not only does this strategy reinforce the PSU stance on sustainability but it also emphasizes the university’s communal ethos. UNITED FOR SUSTAINABILITY The importance of community involvement in sustainability is something that is stressed heavily in universities across the United States of America. The sustainability mindset has spread to a more national scale as universities are now taking part in the Billion Dollar Green Challenge. The challenge encourages colleges, universities, and non-profit institutions to invest a combined total of one billion dollars in revolving funds to finance and improve energy efficiency and sustainability on their campuses. Dr. Allen explains that PSU has responded to the challenge by establishing the Green Revolving fund. “The idea of the fund is to put money upfront to target and
ON A ROOFTOP OF THE SCIENCE TEACHING AND RESEARCH CENTER, STUDENTS STUDY THE INTERPLAY BETWEEN SOLAR PANELS AND ECOROOF INSTALLATIONS, INCLUDING EXTENSIVE MONITORING OF GROWING MEDIUMS AND PLANT PERFORMANCE.
STUDENTS SORT TRASH GENERATED BY THE MAIN CAMPUS LIBRARY OVER THE COURSE OF ONE DAY AND FIND THAT MUCH OF IT COULD HAVE BEEN DIVERTED FROM THE LANDFILL. HERE THEY ATTRACT THE ATTENTION OF PSU PRESIDENT WIM WIEWEL.
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THE PSU CLEANTECH CHALLENGE, STUDENTS COMPETE FOR A $20,000 GRAND PRIZE OF CASH AND SERVICES.
“THE EFFORTS WE MAKE HERE ARE TO NOT SEPARATE OUR OPERATIONS FROM OUR LEARNING ACTIVITIES AND RESEARCH ACTIVITIES, BUT REALLY LOOK AT WAYS IN WHICH TO INTEGRATE THEM.” JENNIFER ALLEN
invest in green projects, energy efficiency in particular, which will have financial payback for the university. By putting that money down and investing in those projects, the fund is essentially replenished by the payback the investment produces. It essentially pays for itself.” The Green Revolving Fund has been designed to complement PSU’s comprehensive focus on sustainability. The majority of green campus initiatives at PSU were in place prior to the implementation of the Fund, however the extra funds avail-
able for investment, with the guarantee of a return on that investment, ensure that PSU will continue to have the finances available to keep going the extra mile. The idea of “the extra mile” is one that seems to be firmly in place within the PSU approach to sustainability. This is clearly demonstrated by the work it does with regards to major building and renovation projects on campus. PSU is aligned with the United States Green Building Council and strictly adheres to the demanding policies of
the LEED certification initiative. “About ten years ago we made a commitment at PSU to meet the LEED Silver standard, however most of the buildings that we’ve built or renovated recently have achieved LEED Gold or Platinum standard, which is really exciting.” The introduction of PSU’s Climate Action Plan in 2010, and the focus it provides on operational improvements, has been a catalyst for making significant strides towards meeting PSU’s long-term sustainability goals. Initial successes were SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
PORTLAND STATE UNIVERSITY PORTLAND STATE’S GORGEOUS LEED GOLD ACADEMIC AND STUDENT RECREATION CENTER WAS BUILT IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE CITY OF PORTLAND AND FEATURES AN ECOROOF PLAZA, A 160,000-GALLON RAINWATER CATCHMENT SYSTEM—THE WATER IS USED FOR TOILET FLUSHING THROUGHOUT THE BUILDING. IT ALSO FEATURES A RUNNING TRACK AND CLIMBING WALL MADE FROM RECYCLED MATERIALS AND FOREST STEWARDSHIP COUNCIL-CERTIFIED WOOD THROUGHOUT. IT IS ONE OF 8 LEED CERTIFIED BUILDINGS ON CAMPUS.
reflected in the 2013 Climate Action Progress Report. The ambitious goals of the Climate Action Progress Report reflect a staunch devotion to sustainability and have pushed PSU to aim higher with their sustainability efforts. “We’ve been
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discussing using the Living Building standards,” says Dr. Allen. “When you take part in the Living Building Challenge they have much tighter rules on water and energy management and tighter restrictions on what materials you can use in order to
minimize and eliminate toxicity. We’re definitely looking at things that move beyond the LEED framework.” It’s not just in building and renovations that PSU is exceeding standard sustainability practice and green initiatives. The University has committed to adopting a more sustainable purchasing policy. To aid this mission PSU has started to reach out to businesses and organizations, and has initiated two particularly fruitful alliances. The first is with the Healthy Purchasing Coalition, a group that deals with toxics and the health-related impacts of products. In addition to this, a partnership with the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council has given PSU more information on the procurement of sustainable products. Thanks to these efforts many of the products now available or being used at PSU come from sustainable sources.
LEADERS OF TOMORROW While Portland State University can definitely be counted amongst the sustainable leaders of the present, it should not be forgotten that they task themselves with producing the sustainable leaders of tomorrow. Sustainability is seen as a vital issue amongst the student body at PSU, so much so that just after the millennium students demanded that some of their tuition fees go towards developing an office that would handle sustainability issues. Impressed by this action, the board at PSU decided to match the funds that would come from the students’ fees to give sustainability a higher profile. Since then, the Institute for Sustainable Solutions has responded magnificently, providing students with an excellent, if somewhat unconventional, way to engage with sustainability issues.
Through a student-led organization on campus called Community Environmental Services, students have been engaging with the Climate Action Plan by researching and assessing the carbon footprint of campus operations, purchasing, and university energy use. The group also provides services related to waste management and other environmental services to wide array of public and private sector clients. Dr. Allen feels that it is an obligation of universities such as PSU to engrain sustainability throughout the student experience. “We really want to make sure that we effectively communicate all the great things we are doing in these areas to the students. This enables them to see and understand that the university is trying to address issues and create a campus that is more sustainable.” c
THE PSU CENTER FOR PUBLIC INTEREST DESIGN, HOUSED IN THE SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE, SENT A GROUP OF STUDENTS AND FACULTY TO HAITI IN DECEMBER, 2013. THE GROUP DESIGNED AND BUILT A PORCH FOR AN ORPHANAGE THERE THAT PROVIDES SHADE AND HANDLES STORMWATER RUNOFF FROM THEIR DORMITORY.
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RAISING THE BAR Sustainable Business Magazine speaks with Chris O’ Brien, Director of the Office of Sustainability at American University, about their ambitious sustainability targets. Written by Thomas Massey. Chris O’ Brien is Director of the Office of Sustainability at American University. The office, established five years ago, has always done its best to implement environmentally friendly initiatives, however this year they 68 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
are taking this commitment to a whole new level. 2014 marks the first publication of American University’s Sustainability Plan. This plan outlines the many targets and goals that American University will be
working towards, and details their efforts to become carbon neutral by 2020. “The Sustainability Plan outlines a number of goals,” explains Mr. O’Brien. “These include climate goals that were set out in our climate action
plan, as well as goals regarding operations which include greenhouse gas emissions, building and operating our buildings to LEED certified guidelines, our zero waste goal (trying to divert all of our waste from landfill or incineration by 2020), and integrating sustainability into the curriculum.” 2020: THE TARGET YEAR In 2008 American University President Neil Kerwin signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, which began in 2006. The main aims for signatories are to become carbon
neutral and to perform climate change related research. American University has set an ambitious target of achieving carbon neutrality by the year 2020. Mr. O’Brien explains that reaching this target would be impressive not just because of the short time frame, but also because American University is taking on challenges that others often neglect. “Our climate action plan calls for achieving carbon neutral status by the year 2020. An important thing to note is that in our goal of neutrality we even tackle what are called Scope 3 emissions. Scope 3 emissions come from
things such as air travel and commuting. Many people consider those emissions to be “unavoidable” and therefore tend to exclude them from even being counted. We include them within the university’s target of carbon neutrality.” American University is targeting three key areas in order to successfully become carbon neutral by 2020. Firstly, they are reducing emissions at the source by doing things such as retrofitting lighting, investing in energy efficiency assessments, and upgrading metering systems to monitor the energy use of university buildings. Secondly SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
they are producing renewable energy on campus as well as purchasing energy from external renewable sources. Thirdly they’re working to offset any remaining emissions from those unavoidable sources. American University purchases renewable energy certificates for 100% of its purchased electricity. Four years ago American University completed the largest solar installation in the Washington D.C. metropolitan region, and continues to increase the number of panels as new buildings are constructed. The on-campus installations are approximately one megawatt in combined capacity of solar photovoltaic and solar thermal energy. In 2014 American
University partnered with George Washington University, the George Washington University Hospital, CustomerFirst Renewables, and Duke Energy Renewables, to announce the largest non-utility solar power purchase in the United States. The Purchase will be supplied by three sites in North Carolina which comprise the largest solar park east of the Mississippi River. The combination of onsite renewables, purchased renewables, and renewable energy certificates means that all of the electricity used by American University is from renewable sources. This means that in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, American University’s electricity has already been carbon neutral for several
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IN 2013, AMERICAN UNIVERSITY HOSTED THE STUDENT ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATORS DISCUSSION (SEED), THE FIRST ANNUAL MID-ATLANTIC CONFERENCE FOR “ECO-REPS.”
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“WE ARE ALSO SEEKING LEED CERTIFICATION FOR ALL OF OUR EXISTING BUILDINGS, THROUGH A SPECIAL PROGRAM CALLED LEED VOLUME, SOMETHING ONLY A COUPLE OTHER CAMPUSES ARE ATTEMPTING.”
years. Not only does the use of renewable power help achieve their carbon neutrality target, Mr. O’Brien explains the positive financial implications for the university. “Our onsite power purchase agreements
are structured to be lower cost than grid-delivered power and gas. When our large scale commercial solar park comes online in January 2016, we estimate we will save about 15 million dollars in energy costs over
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the next 20 years, compared to what we would pay for “brown” power from fossil fuels. Conventional electricity prices will inevitably escalate over time but the price we pay for solar energy will remain flat.”
ENGAGEMENT American University’s sustainability efforts have led to engagement with a number of exterior moderators and certification programs that only enhance their growing reputation. Mr. O’Brien explains that the university’s building policy demands that extremely high standards are met. “All new buildings are required to meet the LEED gold standard. We are also seeking LEED certification for all of our existing buildings, through a special program called LEED Volume, something only a couple of other campuses are attempting.” The LEED Volume program essentially streamlines the certification process by empowering the institution to adopt LEED compliant practices as standard operating procedures. They then score the building according to LEED criteria themselves.
American University has also engaged heavily with the AASHE STARS program. As a member of AASHE’s STARS steering committee Mr. O’Brien helps to guide the program and explains that it provides positives for the entire sustainability community. “AASHE is a third party that establishes a benchmark and allows an opportunity for engagement in conversation with colleagues. That has really helped gather support and provides a catalyst for discussion; it really helps push the team in a unified direction.” American University has had almost unprecedented levels of success with the STARS rating program. “We’ve submitted two reports, each of which has achieved a Gold rating. Our latest report which was published in February was at the time the highest scoring report ever submitted by any school.”
AMBITION AND SUCCESS It’s clear that American University takes sustainability extremely seriously and the level of success they have already achieved is only exceeded by their level of ambition. Key to their success has been the implementation of a plan with written targets to retain focus, and the integration of sustainability initiatives into university policy. Mr O’Brien is proud to say that the university’s commitment to sustainability doesn’t just come from the top down. “What makes me most proud of American University is that it’s a group effort. There’s only so much a small office like ours can do, so the truth is that sustainability efforts require everyone to contribute. I’m fortunate to be working with students, faculty, and staff who have worked hard to make sustainability part of the university’s culture.” c SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND NEARLY 2,700 SOLAR PANELS ON CAMPUS HELP THE UNIVERSITY MEET ITS RENEWABLE ENERGY GOALS
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CULTURE Scott Lupin, Director of the Office of Sustainability and Associate Director for the Department of Environmental Safety, talks to Sustainable Business Magazine about sustainability efforts at the University of Maryland. Written by Thomas Massey.
Founded in 1856, the University of Maryland is a public research university. With over 100 undergraduate majors and more than 120 graduate programs, it is the largest university in the state of Maryland. Its proximity to the nation’s capital, as well as its reputation for academic excellence, has led to projects, ongoing partnerships, and funding from sectors of the federal government that include the National Institute of Health, NASA, and the Department of Homeland Security. Scott Lupin, Director of the Office of Sustainability and Associate Director for the Department of Environmental Safety, is leading an ongoing sustainability drive at the university. The efforts to become more sustainable are gathering momentum and being embraced by the entire university community. “The campus has made enormous strides over the past few years to reduce the environmental footprint of our
operations” explains Mr. Lupin. “At the same time, our faculty have also become more engaged by expanding sustainability-related research and providing real world experiences for our students.” FROM THE TOP DOWN The University of Maryland has focused on embedding a culture of sustainability into their decision-making process. “In 2009 we formed a very high level university sustainability council,” explains Mr. Lupin. “That council’s representation includes all members of the presidents’ cabinet, the presidents’ chief of staff, myself, the director of engineering and energy, four faculty members, and two students. They are advisory to the president on all matters pertaining to sustainability.” The Sustainability Council was formed to help implement long-term changes as the university challenges itself to become ever SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND
more sustainable. In 2007, the University of Maryland became a charter signatory of the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). The commitment is an effort to address global climate disruption by making an institutional commitment to eliminating net greenhouse gas emissions from all campus operations, while promoting research and education
on sustainability. Last year the University of Maryland reached a milestone by successfully cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 15%. This puts them well on their way to reaching their goal; a 50% reduction by the year 2020. To further the university’s efforts, university President Wallace Loh announced 3 new energy initiatives that focus on greater energy conservation, increasing university
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purchases of renewable energy, and preventing growth in the carbon footprint due to campus development. “All of these initiatives were launched to put the university in a better position to achieve our greenhouse gas reduction goals,” Mr. Lupin explains. “We have a very steep hill to climb between now and 2020, but these new initiatives and the formation of a new department of
THE UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND HAS FOCUSED ON EMBEDDING A CULTURE OF SUSTAINABILITY INTO THEIR DECISION-MAKING PROCESS.
WATERSHED – A SUSTAINABLE HOUSE DESIGNED AND BUILT BY UMD STUDENTS – WON THE 2011 SOLAR DECATHLON
engineering and energy were all developed with the goal of creating the infrastructure to help get us there.” As a way to ensure that sustainability remains a priority for the foreseeable future, both environmental stewardship and sustainability were made key themes in the University of Maryland’s Facilities Master Plan that was developed in 2011. The plan essentially provides a blueprint for development of the campus over the next twenty years.
request for sustainability related initiatives. “While the sustainability council is ultimately the body that approves the projects and the funding, we administer the funding through a student majority subcommittee which reviews the proposals and decides which projects to support ,” says Mr. Lupin. The University Sustainability Fund has backed many successful projects including Terp Farm, a new pilot project to grow and supply produce to the university dining halls, a
new water treatment procedure which has significantly reduced the cost of maintaining the university’s campus swimming pools, and a whole host of faculty and student research projects. The success of the program has created a growing need for more education and outreach across the campus. In response, the University of Maryland Office of Sustainability partnered with students to establish the LEAF outreach team. LEAF stands for Lead
STUDENT ENGAGEMENT In April 2007, 91% of undergraduate students at the University of Maryland voted in favor of increasing student fees by $12 per year to create a University Sustainability Fund. Each undergraduate student paid $4 (approximately $100,000 in total) toward the fund when the fee came into effect in 2009. The fee subsequently increased by $2 per year until it reached $12 per year (approximately $300,000 in total) in the 2013-2014 academic year. The original plan was to set the fee aside for the purchase of renewable energy that would offset the carbon footprint of the undergraduate students. It has since however evolved and any member of the University of Maryland community can now submit a funding SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND STUDENTS ON THE LEAF TEAM CATCH UMD PRESIDENT WALLACE LOH ‘GREEN HANDED’ FOR APPROVING AGGRESSIVE ENERGY INITIATIVES
STUDENTS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND HAVE ALSO FOUNDED THE LEAF OUTREACH TEAM. LEAF STANDS FOR LEAD, EDUCATE, ACT, FACILITATE.
Educate, Act, Facilitate and Mark Stewart, the Senior Project Manager in the Office, explains how the team promotes sustainability across the campus. “The idea behind LEAF was to create a team of students who are really fired up about sustainability and for them to go around campus approaching students, faculty, and staff to encourage sustainable behaviors. One thing they A NEW FOOD TRUCK FEATURES INGREDIENTS FROM LOCAL FARMS
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do is what we call being “caught green handed”. When someone is using his or her reusable water bottle, biking across campus instead of driving, or doing anything else we consider to be a pro-sustainable behavior, the LEAF outreach team will give him or her a small prize. The person who has been caught will also have their picture taken with the caption “I’ve been caught green
handed”, which will go up on the university sustainability Facebook page. It’s all about reinforcing positive behaviors.” A COMMUNITY EFFORT The University of Maryland is committed to promoting sustainability at every level. At the senior administration level, the decision making process has been designed
to take sustainability issues into consideration, while students not only participate in that process, but are actively engaged in sustainability learning and outreach. Even the faculty is becoming involved as more and more lecturers are participating in the Chesapeake Project. The Chesapeake Project teaches faculty members about current sustainability issues and how they
can incorporate that information into their lesson plans and curricula. Mr. Lupin explains that the extraordinary efforts of everyone at the institution have been almost overwhelming, and that the university is now set to become even more sustainable in the future. “I’ve worked here for seventeen years and one of the things I am most proud of, and it has
actually surprised me a little, is the change in the campus culture. Now we really take sustainability and environmental stewardship into account during our planning and decision making. It is now at a level that I could not have envisioned we would arrive at this quickly. Sustainability has really become a major part of the University of Maryland culture.” c
UMD SAVES MONEY, WATER, AND CHEMICALS BY USING SPHAGNUM MOSS TO CLEAN POOL WATER
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