Student Green Fee Management and Project Implementation Panel Members Mieko A. Ozeki, University of Vermont Suhail Barot, University of Illinois- Urbana-Champaign Nicole Leung, University of California- Berkeley Cindy Shea, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill Jedd Wilcox, University of Vermont Moderator Amber Garrard, Green Mountain College
What are student green fees? • Revenue collected from comprehensive student fees to fund major, campus wide, sustainability and energy initiatives (CampusIn Power, 2008) • An alternative funding source, ranging $1 to $58 per student per academic term (quarter, semester, trimester, or year). (Bintliff, 2009) • Students propose and run campaigns to create a green fee on campus. • Senior administrators or Board of Trustees approve the green fee.
Student Green Funds in North America
Created in Google Maps
â€˘ More than 70+ colleges and universities listed with student green fees to date. â€˘ The number of institutions starting student green funds is steadily increasing.
Sample of Projects Funded •
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Sustainability director/ coordinator positions Installation of wind turbines and/or solar panels on campus Energy efficiency retrofits On-campus garden Energy competitions Academic courses Student internships Creation of campus energy “dashboard” energy management system Lecture series Weatherization workshops. Renewable energy credits
Granting awards to sustainability champions Installation of composting facilities Feasibility study for for sustainability improvements Funding campus sustainability and environmental resource centers.
List from Bintliff, 2009.
For this session… • We will not discuss “how-to” create a student green fee. • We will discuss: What structures and processes were utilized to: – implement and manage projects, – engage and encourage students, faculty, and staff to participate in green fund projects, – connect projects to academics, – tracking project performance and progress, for the long term? • The take away: Ideas for managing student green fee projects.
Resources • Bintliff, Jacob (2009). Student Green Funds: 1997-2009. • Campus InPower (2008). Raise the Funds: Campus Action Toolkit. Available on AASHE’s Resource page.
Research Plug I am conducting research on best practices implementing and managing student green fund projects in the United States for Harvard Extension School. Research involves: • Survey Monkey questionnaire to develop a comprehensive list and map of student green funds • In-depth interviews to gain analyze best practices from green fund coordinators If you have a student green fee, please send your contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org
Strategies for Supporting Student Sustainability Grant Projects Nicole Leung Grants Coordinator The Green Initiative Fund, UC Berkeley
AASHE 2010 Conference, Denver CO
Framing the Issue
How do you advise students on making their grant projects successful while also being realistic about what they can accomplish in a limited time frame?
Berkeley Campus Culture • ~35,000 students • Over 30 sustainability student groups • Many institutional barriers
Student Sustainability Forum, Fall 2009 TGIF Grantee 2009 - $18,250
• 33 projects granted money since 2008 (over $700,000) • Ongoing Challenges – Realistic expectations – Time and workload
BicyCal Mobile Bike Repair Days TGIF Grantee 2009 - $12,000
The campus as a learning laboratory
Establish Realistic Expectations • Figure out how to start the conversation early • Help students navigate the campus • Continue to follow up and revise expectations Photo: Students help build the Strawberry Creek Native Plant Nursery TGIF Grantee 2008 - $12,865
Encourage students as change agents
The UC Berkeley Dashboard interactive display, Wurster Hall TGIF Grantee 2008 - $76,750
Berkeley Energy Resources Collective (BERC) Energy Symposium TGIF Grantee 2010 - $5,000
Bridge the Administrative Gap â€˘ Facilitate communication between project teams and staff â€˘ Leverage committee membership to inform this process Campus and student groups tabling together, Fall 2009
Continuity Leadership development
Nicole Leung email@example.com 281.702.7133
UC Berkeley TGIF http://tgif.berkeley.edu firstname.lastname@example.org 510.643.2992
Student Sustainability Committee and Green Fees Suhail Barot Chair â€“ Student Sustainability Committee University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
August 27th, 2010
Tremendous Breadth of Student Efforts at Illinois Academic, Extra-Curricular and Activist
More than 10 environmental groups on campus
Green Fee Referendum
Currently, U of I has the largest student green fees (by revenue) in the US
Annual Revenue over $1 Million
Required a year-long campaign:
Collecting over 3000 signatures
Obtaining endorsements from faculty, departments and student groups
Chalking, flyering and getting out the vote
Opposition to doing the University’s job, and to fee increases during a recession
Passed with 77% support
Basic Information University of Illinois – Flagship Institution of Illinois 28,000 undergrad students, 9,000 grad students Two Green Fees created in 2003 and 2007 respectively $2/semester non-refundable – Clean Energy Fee, $14/semester refundable Sust. Campus Environment Fee Fee increase for SCEF passed last spring $5 -> $14 Annual revenue expected at ~$1.05 million Largest Student-Allocated Funding Pool in the US Open to the campus community (units, faculty, staff, students) Administered by the Student Sustainability Committee
Fee Mandates Funding from the $2 Clean Energy Technology Fee, will only be allocated to projects aiming to increase use of cleaner energy technologies on campus including but not limited to solar, wind, hydrogen, and geothermal projects, energy efficiency improvements, and the purchase of renewable energy from non-University producers. Funding from the $5 Sustainability Fee, will be allocated to clean energy projects, as discussed above, and also to other projects that help establish a sustainable campus environment by financing initiatives including, but not limited to, green buildings, engagement of the university community, recycling, soil and water conservation, waste reduction and environmentally responsible purchasing.
Sustainability Committee Committee is comprised of 10 students and 10 faculty/staff members. Students are the only voting members No direct staff support beyond accounts, though hiring a coordinator this year. Committee solicits projects through RFP – no implementation responsibility Student members assigned responsibilities to advance strategic initiatives and track previously funded projects.
What/Why do we fund? Detailed Project Description
- Discussions with Stakeholders
Budget & Fundraising Timeline For Renewable Energy / Efficiency Projects - Cost/Benefit - Payback - LOANS
Energy, Environmental, Social and Economic Impact
- Greenhouse Gas Impact - Other Positive and Negative Impacts
Outreach and Education
Seek out Tangible Impacts No research, Limited education Should not do the University’s Job Support the iCAP
Examples of Major Projects Wind Turbine LED Lighting at Krannert Center Solar PV at BIF Green Roofs at BIF Prairies Retrocommissioning Student Farm Lighting Student Biodiesel Solar Decathlon Thin Clients
Strategic Impact Try to Change Culture UI Annual Emissions: 575,000 MTEs CO2 UI Annual Energy Costs: $80 Million Get Projects where sustainability might be UI Annual Coal Use: 65,000 – 90,000 tons ignored Consider Scalability Pilot projects very important Find other money Get other campus staff deployed Almost no student projects
Projects from Hell – Wind Turbine Reason for Passing First Green Fee Feasibility study in ‘04-’05 Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation Grant Awarded in ‘05 Put out to bid in mid-’07 Contract finalized in late ‘08 Project unilaterally cancelled in Dec ‘08 Resurrected after student campaign, (and admissions scandal) in April ’10 Just out for bid again…. Committee put in $500k – but only 11% of cost – limited leverage
Projects from Hell – A+D Green Roof Extensive green roof and rainwater catchment proposed for Link Gallery $90,000 Idea emerged – Spring ‘08 Proposal Funded – Fall ’08 Why should we resurface a roof? Delays, Delays, Delays Architectural Approval “Students might fall off the roof” Certify roof load - $15,000 or $2,500? Project completed August ‘10
Tracking and Reporting Little Leverage, except to pull grant Semester reports and final reports due – not always received…. Try to communicate with every project at least monthly Currently assign responsibilities to individuals members - Semester breaks, Summer? University will not provide access to accounting system – cannot monitor expenses No real recourse if loans are repaid – honor system, collective punishment?
“Difficult” Lack of trust of students or student priorities Has helped to have be in charge for 2 years Lots of red tape Campus has the ability to make everything very, very expensive - $80 trash can stickers Death by a thousand cuts…. Getting a new strategic framework in place – very helpful Use Committee $$ to build political support Students invulnerable – Programs and Staff – not so much
Current Initiatives Have Deployed members on directly soliciting proposals and assisting in project development Sought areas where Committee involvement most useful Sustainable landscape coordinator Fruit tree planting and other trees Ionized Water Cleaning Equipment Campus Surplus website More solar arrays on campus Energy displays Student Campus Building Weatherization
Eco-Reps Housing Peer Educators Sustainability coordinator within housing Education – Faculty Training Workshop Composting
From Eco-Clutter to Integrated Systems: Student Green Fees as a Learning Tool
UVM Office of Sustainability Mieko A. Ozeki, Sustainability Projects Coordinator James Wilcox, CEF Education & Outreach Fellow
UVM Profile Public, land grant institution founded in 1791 and located in Burlington, VT. Full-time Students: 10,371 Undergrad; 1,516 Graduate; and 460 Medical students Faculty: 1,200 FTE Staff: 2,300 FTE Student body highly engaged in social and environmental justice issues. Number of formal student clubs/coalitions: â€˘ 6 environmental/food related â€˘ 2 social justice + SGA Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Environmental Ethics
Pre-CEF: Renewable Energy Pilot Projects 5-kW Solar array (2001)
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10-kW Wind Turbine (2006)
Intended to raise awareness about the potential for renewable energy on campus. We were opportunistic and not strategic about the solar and wind installations. No clear long-term commitment to integration of projects with academics. Steep learning curve implementing these projects. Lacked coordination No thought about or funding for decommissioning.
Pre-CEF: Context • Students have little experience implementing installation projects. • Faculty have little experience implementing installation projects. • Staff do not have the capacity to integrate installation projects with academics
What is UVM’s Clean Energy Fund? • Sustained by a self-imposed student fee of $10 per student per semester, the Clean Energy Fund (CEF) is designed to advance renewable energy research, education, and infrastructure on campus • Idea for CEF began in 2005, endorsed by SGA in 2007, and approved by the Board of Trustees in 2008 in response to student petitions to fund renewable energy installations and energy education • Estimated annual accumulation to the fund: $225,000
CEF Organizational & Project Selection Process 2009-2010
Fund Oversight and Final Project Approval
VP Finance & Administration
CEF Administration Team
CEF First Round 2009-2010 Fall 2008: Fee collection began December 2008: First committee meeting February 2009: CEF committee bylaws passed April 2009: Committee approves general guidelines for projects October 2009: First RFP is released November 2009: 19 proposals received December 2009: Preliminary approval of 8 proposed projects January 2010: Office of Sustainability repackages project proposals based on interviews with project applicants. • February 2010: Committee made final recommendation to VPFA • March 2010: VPFA approves all 2009-2010 projects
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The Writing on the Wall: the need for an implementation team
• Leveraging CEF for potential match funds • Those submitting proposals lacked the expertise on renewable energy • Identifying the need for dedicated staff to navigate UVM’s complex institutional systems
CEF Organizational & Project Selection Process 2010-2011
Fund Oversight and Final Project Approval
Project Implementation Project Accountability & Outreach
VP Finance & Administration
CEF Administration Team
CEF Education & Outreach Fellow
2009-2010 CEF Projects Installations
• Aiken Solar Trackers at Forest Service Site • Photovoltaic System on Equine Center Roof • Solar Hot Water on Slade Hall Shed
• Certified Energy Auditor and Renewable Energy Retrofit Training Course • Virtual Solar Carport Course
Research & Studies
• Biomass Feasibility Study for Trinity Campus • Solar Power and Smart Grid Research
CEF Program & Outreach
• CEF Implementation, Education & Outreach Program • University-wide Energy Display System
So, What Now? Once the projects were approved, the real work began…. • Distributing the funds was not easy. • Key staff and business managers were caught off-guard when informed about projects. • Recruiting and getting CEF Fellow to start up education and outreach efforts took a few months. • Staff were learning and cobbling new processes while implementing projects.
2010-2011 CEF Program Planning Request for Proposals Request for Ideas
• Activates the collective intelligence of the UVM community to gather the best ideas • Increases student engagement with and sense of ownership of the CEF •Allows for consistent project management of CEF projects in subsequent years (no “ownership” of project proposals)
Education & Outreach • Make connections between curriculum and renewable installations • Move toward campus-wide energy monitoring • Identify and apply for matching funds • Provide status reports to Clean Energy Fund Committee • Public outreach about the Clean Energy Fund
Next step: create online portfolio of CEF projects
Lessons Learned • No projects are headache free. • Know who should be involved & make all roles clear. • Document, document, document – Processes – Key people involved – Project strategy and progress
• Don’t skimp on your management plan!
Contact information UVM Office of Sustainability Mieko A. Ozeki, CEF Manager and Projects Coordinator email@example.com Jedd Wilcox, CEF Education & Outreach Fellow firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.uvm.edu/sustainability
AASHE 2010 Presentation in Denver, CO