Nov. 13, 07
RE: GA Sustainability Task Force
It was nice to have the opportunity to speak with you via conference call today; sorry I could not attend the meeting in person.
Some of you have seen some of these items before (attached & below); if so, apologies for second mailing.
1. Attachment (Chancellor Moeser 10/11 cover letter to Pres. Bowles re final report concerning Energy and Environment in North Carolina [Linked separately. - gj]. It would be nice to have an electronic copy of the report itself.)
2. America Recycles Day announcement. Could GA have promoted this event across the system? Is there still time for President Bowles to publicly endorse the effort?
3. Campuses Joining Green Bandwagon (Article in News & Observer online, 11-13-07)
6. Presentation re Sustainability on Campuses by Cindy Shea (UNCCH) to Faculty Assembly, Sept. 28, 2007
Vice chair, Faculty Assembly
Focus the Nation event (would President Bowles be willing to publicly endorse this event?)
UNC Sustainability Links (draft, by G. Jones. Would GA be willing to take over this page & maintain it? And/or perhaps the page below?)
Sustainability Links, UNC Campuses
1. Attachment (Moeser cover letter to EB, Oct. 2007)
November 15th, 10 am – 2 pm,
The event will include:
~Swap Table ~ Got stuff you don't use? Bring it to the swap table and trade it for something you will use! One person's trash is another person's treasure!
~Bins set up for old disks, cds, dvds, inkjet cartridges, batteries, cell phones, PDAs, etc. for you to recycle!
~Educational information on OWRR's Waste Management and Recycling programs!
Recycle this message – tell your friends!
Come to Recycle, Stay for Fun, Games, and Prizes!
Rain or Shine!
November 15th is America Recycles Day, and to celebrate, we're asking you to take a pledge. A pledge to come together and recycle better, because
it’s easier to make a difference now more than ever.
Recycling is one of the easiest ways you can help stop global warming. For example, one ton of recycled paper saves enough energy to power a three-bedroom house for an entire year. And it all starts with recycling your household paper and magazines once a week.
So this year, take five minutes to reevaluate your recycling routine. See if you can do more. Then get a friend to do the same. Start by letting us know you’re answering the call to recycle by signing our online pledge at AmericaRecyclesDay.org.
Amy Caitlin Alves
Office of Waste Reduction and Recycling
join green bandwagon
Jane Stancill, Staff Writer
The $115 million building has a Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council -- one of 18 Duke projects headed for a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design stamp of approval. Duke said in 2003 it would aim for all new buildings to be green certified.
The biggest building boom in the UNC system's history did not take full advantage of the green building movement. The $3.1 billion in borrowing for higher education construction, approved by taxpayers in 2000, has led to hundreds of new buildings, but most of them lack the latest green advances.
"The first thing that got value-engineered out of every building was the environmentally sensitive, energy-saving devices," UNC President Erskine Bowles said. "I think that's very regrettable."
He said the growing campuses instead looked to maximize space in the new buildings. It's unclear how much money the more costly green features could have saved in the long run. By 2008-09, the new buildings will cost an estimated $90 million a year to operate.
"You think, 'Well, I'll make this tradeoff, you know, I don't have to have this energy-saving device, but I really need this classroom space,' and so they made the tradeoff," Bowles said. "I probably would have done the same thing, but I think we're more sensitive to that now, and we're thinking about return on investment."
The system, the state's biggest user of electricity and water, is working to lessen its impact on the environment, and UNC campuses are starting to rethink the way they operate. Under state rules, campuses can retrofit buildings with better equipment and then plow the energy savings back into improvements. UNC-Greensboro has already done one project, and others are expected.
New UNC facilities are built to state standards for longevity, and though they contain some efficiencies, most aren't designed to higher green standards. Some campuses have pushed farther.
At UNC-Chapel Hill, the new
ultimately, that will be what wins the argument with the town of
UNC-CH has a
43 percent recycling rate. Moeser has
signed the Presidents Climate Commitment, a promise by 427 college
presidents who agree to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and work toward
climate neutrality. Other signers from
Campus leaders say it's the socially responsible thing to do, and going green cultivates an image of universities as innovators. Their students are also prodding them to do right by the planet.
UNC-CH students are putting their money where their values are. A few years ago, they voted to raise student fees by $4 per semester to invest in renewable energy. The first $185,000 paid for a solar hot water system on the top of the newly renovated Morrison Residence Hall, which reopened this summer. Solar panels on the roof provide hot showers for 860 resident
Increasingly, students have been the driving force on environmental issues. A residence hall at Appalachian State will be renovated next year, with the project aimed at a LEED certification.
"I think that's through pressure from students," said Cody Grasty, a graduate student and president of the UNC system's Association of Student Governments. "Students are much more cognizant and realistic about the environmental impacts we all make."
Universities have also caught on to the idea that being green is appealing to prospective students, who are drawn to anything hip and cutting-edge.
and parents are starting to ask about it," said Tavey
Capps, who is a full-time environmental sustainability coordinator at
Duke, which last month was named by the Sierra Club as one of the
nation's 10 "cool schools," along with
Ryan Morra, a senior who grew up in
"When people come and visit me, their eyes open wide, and they say, 'This is your dorm?' " Morra said.
Morra realizes there is more to sustainability than certified buildings. It requires that students take ownership, he said. "It can't just be passive. The people in the buildings have to be active in their use of the features."
Some campuses have so-called green games competitions among dormitories to monitor and reduce energy usage.
At Duke, 10 students will conduct the ultimate green experiment in January when they move into the new Home Depot Smart Home on campus. The $2 million, 6,000-square-foot home has solar panels for hot water and cisterns for capturing and storing rainwater. The house has a steam washer and a trivection oven that cooks a turkey in 20 minutes.
It has labs where the residents, mostly engineering students, will be able to rig up experiments. Removable wall panels make it easy to rewire and reprogram the technological gizmos.
Living there will be work, said future resident Scott Steinberg. But it will also be way cool.
Over morning coffee, students will be able to use voice recognition software to ask the house, "What's the weather?"
Nov. 5, 2007
Last March I submitted a 2-page document to a Faculty Assembly Executive Committee meeting recounting a few of the international headlines concerning the issue of global warming, references selected sustainable-growth responses, and asking what leadership role General Administration might be considering—especially in light of the aggressive and enlightened responses emanating from NC State and Chapel Hill (notably the signing of the Presidents Commitment on Climate Change by Chancellor Moeser).
Specifically, I asked if GA leadership was willing to confront this issue at the system level, if GA was willing to encourage other chancellors in the system to follow Chancellor’s Moeser’s lead, and if not what could Faculty Assembly do to help expedite such encouragement. Second, I pointed out an upcoming national event, scheduled for January 31, 2008 during which hundreds of universities across the country have committed to engage in a national symposia discussing the problem of global warming and potential solutions (“Focus the Nation”). A related resolution, I reported, had been signed by Dr. Douglas Crawford-Brown, Director, Institute for the Environment, UNC Chapel Hill. I asked if GA was willing to encourage the 16 constituent chancellors to follow Director Crawford-Brown’s lead, endorse the “Focus the Nation” resolution, and participate in the January 31 day of national symposia. And again I asked what Faculty Assembly might do to help facilitate such a system-wide endorsement.
As I observed in the March document:
“Sustainability is an issue in higher education not only because of the relatively recent emphasis put on universities to foster regional economic development (and workforce development), but also because managing the threats to sustainable growth—and execution of damage control—will take an enlightened citizenry capable of critical thinking and the ability to integrate knowledge across multiple academic disciplines.”
To this one might also add the connection that potential savings in energy consumption and efficient water usage have to President Bowles’ PACE initiative—and, related to UNC-Tomorrow concerns—the critical connection between economic development and ecologically sustainable development.
It’s not difficult to imagine a few relatively low-cost, high-impact actions the University of North Carolina system could be taking to help engender more sustainable practices, and higher consciousness, at educational institutions across the state. In addition to my memo of last March on this subject, specific suggestions have been mentioned in President Moeser’s Harold Sun article of Jan. 28 (below), President Moeser’s Oct. 11 cover letter to the Energy and Environment in North Carolina report (attached), Cindy Shea’s Sept. 28 address to Faculty Assembly, numerous other articles published by UNCCH Sustainability Office and the UNCCH Institute for the Environment, and annual sustainability reports published by UNCCH and NC State—not to mention recent legislation such as S3 and S668, and recent proclamations from the governor’s office concerning water conservation.
Vice Chair, Faculty Assembly
Rationale and Resources [Memo to GA/FA]
Early this month, March, there
will be a number of international news items generated by the EU Summit on Climate and Energy in
Working Group I of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (a UN-sponsored group) reported last month that there is unequivocal evidence that the climate system is warming as a result of rising greenhouse gas levels, mostly coming from the burning of fossil fuels.
According to the “Stern Report” issued last October, unless drastic action is soon taken some 200 million people worldwide are likely to be displaced by floods by 2050. According to his 600-page report the global economy could shrink by between 5% and 20% over the next two centuries because of the likely disruption to people’s way of life caused by global warming.
The Living Planet Report, released by the global conservation group WWF and the Global Footprint Network last October, concluded that by 2050 humanity will demand twice as much of the Earth’s resources as the planet can supply.
To varying degrees, a wide
variety of other organizations—both governmental and private, expert
and lay citizen—have expressed similar concerns, including the U.S.
Climate Action Partnership, Investors and Environmentalists for
Sustainable Prosperity, the PEWS Center (Global Climate Change), the UN
Division for Sustainable Development, the World Business Council for
Sustainable Development, the World Climate Research Programme, UNESCO, the Union of Concerned
Scientists, and Engineers for a Sustainable World.
Specific predictions emanating from some of these organizations have been challenged, but virtually no one disputes the conclusion of a general global warming trend—or, anymore, that human activity is a significant contributor to that trend. Current human energy consumption patterns are not sustainable.
Sustainability—or “sustainable development” simply means living within the limits of nature, or “meeting our needs while not compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs.” Sustainability is different from the ecology movement in that it recognizes the need for a healthy economy. While global warming trends garner the most news coverage, there is more to the overall issue. In addition to energy efficiency—the primary headline-grabber—two fundamental aspects of sustainability are sensible consumption and prudent waste management.
Sustainability is an issue in higher education not only because of the relatively recent emphasis put on universities to foster regional economic development (and workforce development), but also because managing the threats to sustainable growth—and execution of damage control—will take an enlightened citizenry capable of critical thinking and the ability to integrate knowledge across multiple academic disciplines.
Recently the chancellor of UNC Chapel Hill, James Moeser, described in detail the steps that UNC-CH has taken, under his leadership, to mitigate the campus impact on climate change. Further, as he wrote in the Herald Sun in January, Chancellor Moeser “signed the American College University Presidents Climate Commitment, pledging to develop a comprehensive plan to achieve climate neutrality as soon as possible. Climate neutrality means reducing campus greenhouse gas emissions to the maximum extent possible, and then offsetting the remaining unavoidable greenhouse gas emissions elsewhere.”
Scores of university presidents across the country have signed on to this agreement.
AGENDA ITEM #1 Given the above, is GA willing to confront this issue at the system level? If so, is GA encouraging the other 15 chancellors to follow Chancellor Moeser’s lead? How? If chancellors cannot commit to this document at this time, why not? What can GA and/or Faculty Assembly do to expedite such a commitment?
Secondly, the organization
Green House Network is sponsoring a
educational event called “Focus the Nation: Global Warming Solutions
the Nation is coordinating teams of faculty and students at over a
thousand colleges, universities and K-12 schools in the
Focus the Nation is based in educational institutions, but also is engaging Americans in their churches, mosques, synagogues, businesses and civic organizations. The intent is to focus the growing concern in the country about global warming, and to create a serious, sustained and truly national discussion about clean energy solutions, linking students and citizens directly with our political leaders.
Focus the Nation will culminate January 31, 2008, in the form of national symposia held simultaneously at over a thousand campuses, places of worship, businesses, and other venues across the country. On that day, each Focus the Nation team will invite local, state and federal political leaders and candidates for office to come to campus and participate in a non-partisan, round-table discussion of global warming solutions.
There is a related resolution here:
This resolution has been
endorsed by a number of American university presidents, as well as by
Dr. Douglas Crawford-Brown, Director, Institute for the Environment,
AGENDA ITEM #2 Given the above, is GA willing to encourage the 16 chancellors to follow Director Crawford-Brown’s lead, endorse the Focus the Nation resolution, and participate in the January 31 day of national symposia? How? If chancellors cannot endorse to this document at this time, what can GA and/or Faculty Assembly do to facilitate this endorsement?
p.s. Note: http://www.cep.unc.edu/energy/index.html
Sept 28, 2007
Thank you for inviting me to speak with you today.
As faculty members across the UNC system, you all have a unique and important role to play in educating tomorrow’s leaders on how to achieve a more sustainable future. I can’t imagine how we can advance sustainability within our institutions, our communities, our state, and indeed globally without your help.
You are in the classroom with students on a daily basis, providing the foundation of their understanding about economic, environmental, and social systems. Many students understand the urgency of climate change, and habitat protection, and designing more sustainable communities. What they may not understand is how to work within today’s systems to achieve the results they seek.
They need your leadership to understand the importance of listening and understanding why things are done the way they are now, before they jump in with their ideas on how to change the world. Students need to be empowered by working alongside effective campus change agents. They need to learn how to make the business case for investing in new technologies and business practices. What better place is there to learn these skills than on their own campuses and within their own communities? There are small businesses, and local governments, and organizations across the state that want to learn how to operate more sustainably. Student teams can assist these organizations to identify the steps they need to take to operate more sustainably.
Working on service learning projects, within capstone courses, as part of the general education curriculum, and within their area of specialty, students can learn how to be proactive leaders. To do this they need your help. They need to develop a sound understanding of your discipline and then learn how to apply that knowledge to every day situations. It’s the application piece that tends to be lacking on many of our campuses.
At UNC Chapel Hill, the students are teaching us in many areas. Our students have raised their fees to invest in renewable energy infrastructure directly on campus. If you have time, come take a look at the new solar hot water system on top of the renovated Morrison Residence Hall. (You can view it from the green roof on top of the Rams Head parking deck.) The students are organizing a range of activities in conjunction with Focus the Nation. This national teach-in on solutions to climate change on January 31, 2008, will involve guest speakers, musical and dramatic performances, and tours of innovative, energy-related campus infrastructure. The day will also involve hundreds, if not thousands, of faculty across a broad range of disciplines from anthropology to geography and from business to public health, who will incorporate an aspect of climate change into their lesson plan on that day. The Institute for the environment is even providing a team of students to help faculty who are new to the top to develop their lesson plan.
Our universities are so good at educating students in so many disciplines. What we often fail to teach is that for every unsolved problem out there in the world, there is a life’s work for a gifted professional. We need to stop setting aside our concerns about social justice, and environmental protection, and local economic development when we step onto our campuses and into our offices and classrooms. If we in the academy aren’t smart enough to address these issues, who is?
Our buildings and business practices need to teach just as forcefully as our curriculum. Students who live and study in daylit spaces with fresh air and onsite stormwater treatment understand about respecting natural systems. Especially if there are signs in the building and on the grounds explaining how these innovative systems work and why they are important. Students who study in stuffy, hot, poorly lit rooms also learn. They learn to try to ignore the physical environment and to manipulate it in any way they can to make it better suit their needs.
At UNC Chapel Hill, we’ve still got a long way to go, but we’re starting to understand how to design buildings and landscapes that reduce energy, water, and materials consumption. Spaces that enhance occupant health and productivity and that preserve the trees and sense of place that people value on our campus. Fortunately, these high performance buildings are more efficient and reduce long-term costs, exactly in line with the goals of President Bowle’s PACE initiative. From one Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (or LEED) building in 2005, we now have five in the planning or construction stage. Three of those will seek the highest LEED rating possible and are striving to achieve a platinum rating from the US Green Building Council.
The state of
So what can you, as faculty members, do to put us on a more sustainable path? Some of you are probably bubbling over with ideas for new research, and courses, and capstone projects, and service learning opportunities. Others may be thinking about how to empower students and facilitate the accomplishment of their objectives. Partnering with student government, serving as an advisor to a student organization, or encouraging independent study projects that advance campus greening are several fairly painless ways to advance student goals.
I think it’s also time for a
statewide conference on sustainability that includes faculty and staff
For those of you who might be
thinking, I don’t have a clue how to introduce sustainability into my
course (though I doubt that applies to any of you), I recommend that
you attend the Sustainability Across the Curriculum Leadership
Workshops put on by the Association for the Advancement of
Sustainability in Higher Education or AASHE.
These workshops are held twice each year -- in January at
I also brought a book with me:
147 Practical Tips for Teaching Sustainability. You’re welcome to pass
it around. Peggy Barlett from Emory and
Geoff Chase from
The point is that it’s time to do something to advance sustainability on your campus. We are the first generation capable of determining the habitability of the planet for humans and other species. The UN Millenium Ecosystem Assessment in 2005 found that
“There is no longer any doubt that every ecosystem that life depends on is compromised and in danger.”
We need to think big and act
boldly. If our campuses, with so many thousands of smart people can’t
figure out what types of changes need to be made and how to implement
them, how can we possibly expect anybody else to figure it out? At UNC Chapel Hill, we are fortunate to have a
strong supporter in Chancellor Moeser. He
was an early signatory of the College and University Presidents Climate
Commitment and he has committed our campus to climate neutrality by mid
century. We have also approved a Sustainability Minor. It will
incorporate sustainable enterprise courses from the
2005 to 2014 is the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development. I urge all of us during this important time to do something we will be able to point back to later with pride.
I have brought copies of our 2005 Campus Sustainability Report for those who would like to take one with you. Our 2007 Campus Sustainability Report will be presented to the Chancellor at 9 am on October 26, Campus Sustainability Day. For any of you who will be in town, I invite you to attend. State Senator Janet Cowell will also speak, at noon, about new energy and high performance building legislation passed during the recent legislative session.
And now, if we have time and if any of you have questions, I would be happy to try to answer them.
Jan. 28, 2007
Moeser is chancellor of UNC Chapel Hill
It is clear that minimizing the effects of climate change requires creativity and innovation. Colleges and universities provide the foundation for research and education necessary to meet this challenge. A national commitment to reducing energy consumption by college campuses will significantly reduce emissions that contribute to global warming.
This month, I signed the American College University Presidents Climate Commitment, pledging to develop a comprehensive plan to achieve climate neutrality as soon as possible. Climate neutrality means reducing campus greenhouse gas emissions to the maximum extent possible, and then offsetting the remaining unavoidable greenhouse gas emissions elsewhere. Offset options include investments in energy efficiency, renewable energy systems or even rapidly growing tropical forests. Thanks to excellent efforts by staff, faculty and students, we are well on our way to achieving climate neutrality.
The university has already pledged a 60-percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2050 by joining CRed, the community carbon reduction project, under the guidance of the vice chancellor's Sustainability Advisory Committee.
We require energy-efficient purchasing and construction, encourage students and employees to commute via public transportation and are adopting renewable energy sources whenever possible. Our faculty and students have made sustainability a part of the curriculum and their research provides important insights into understanding climate change.
The Climate Commitment calls on universities to purchase certified Energy Star products. In December 2006, the university approved a new energy-efficient purchasing policy, which was developed by the Sustainability Advisory Committee. The policy requires all energy-consuming equipment purchased by UNC be certified with the Energy Star label whenever possible. UNC has been an Energy Star partner since 2001.
Our long-term partnerships with
We will further trim campus emissions by installing an ethanol-based
fuel station and establishing maintenance shops across campus to reduce
trips by service vehicles. Staff will be able to travel between areas
with electric-powered vehicles. Waste management and recycling programs
also help curb emissions: last year,
New lighting systems, improved motors and adjustments to the air handling systems have reduced energy consumption in existing buildings by 11 percent in the last three years. Energy Services is completing installation of an automated metering system to better track electricity, chilled water and steam usage in buildings. Earlier this month, we opened a new Enterprise Building Management System center for staff to remotely track building energy consumption in real time and make energy saving adjustments to more than 100 buildings.
To reduce environmental impacts associated with new construction, every
project on campus must complete a customized checklist based on the
U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental
Design (LEED) guidelines. Current designs
Anna Wu, facilities planning director, and 14 of her colleagues in facilities planning and facilities services, recently earned the council's LEED accredited professional status. These 15 professionals have demonstrated a thorough understanding of green building practices and principles, as well as familiarity with LEED requirements, resources and processes.
The comprehensive guidelines for Carolina North development also include high-performance building guidelines and sustainable energy strategies -- further evidence of the university's commitment to sustainability.
Our students have twice voted to invest their fees to fund renewable energy infrastructure, including a solar hot water system in the renovated Morrison residence hall, scheduled to open this year. Other projects include the first year of biodiesel fuel use in the Point to Point bus system and geothermal wells at the N.C. Botanical Garden Visitor Education Center. The energy fee will collect $1.2 million over six years.
At student request, the Carolina Environmental Program (CEP) will launch both an honors program and minor in sustainability. The CEP has made the reduction of energy use and carbon dioxide emissions a core aspect of its education, research and outreach activities. Its students, under the guidance of Professor Douglas Crawford-Brown and the Sustainability Office, have completed an inventory of the university's carbon emissions. This is an important first step in developing goals and actions that will lead us to climate neutrality.
I am proud of the extensive and award-winning work the university has
done in bringing principles of sustainability to the campus.
Moeser is chancellor of UNC
Jeanine Rose [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Monday, November 05, 2007 3:57 PM
Subject: Meeting Confirmation - Sustainability - 11/13
Date: Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Time: 1pm - 2:30pm
Conference Room "C"
Jeanine Rose wrote:
Please check your calendars for the dates listed below for your availability for the next meeting on Sustainability here at
For those who will be attending the Building Reserve Meeting we will be scheduling the meetings on the same date for your convenience.
Tuesday - 11/13/07
3:00 - 4:30pm
Wednesday - 11/14/07
3:30 - 5:00 pm
Thursday - 11/15/07
3:00 - 4:30pm
Universityof North Carolina
(919) 962-4608 (Tel)
(919) 962-0008 (Fax)