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Looking ahead: beyond BERDO

Boston’s BERDO—the Building Energy Reduction and Disclosure Ordinance—was developed to help the city achieve its climate goals of all buildings reaching net zero emissions by 2050. Building owners need to reach significant reductions to meet five-year incremental goals or face fines.

But some building owners are finding BERDO requirements challenging to meet from a financial standpoint. How will building owners plan for updated standards as they become more stringent down the road? What is the best way to deal with deferred maintenance? What financing opportunities are available? What are the additional benefits that can help justify first costs?

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Leveraging STARS to advance your sustainability goals

AASHE STARS inventorying, analysis, and submission is a lengthy and complex process—one that can be all-consuming for an institution. But one of the purposes of STARS is to provide a baseline of data to help your institution understand the next steps toward implementing sustainable solutions. Meghna Tare, chief sustainability officer at the University of Texas at Arlington, joined us in September 2022 to talk about how UTA took STARS reporting to the next level to make the data accessible and clear to campus stakeholders.

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Ramping up sustainability in K12 schools

A recent study published in the Lancet from a survey of 10,000 young people (ages 16-25) in ten countries, including the U.S., showed high levels of climate anxiety among respondents. K12 schools are responding with more sustainability curriculum, greenhouse gas emissions and other sustainability inventories, climate action planning, and energy-efficiency measures. Watch this insightful discussion with sustainability representatives from three schools that have taken different steps toward sustainability and climate change mitigation efforts at their campuses and find out how they got started.

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Upcoming webinars

From time to time, GreenerU hosts webinars and workshops on topics ranging from climate neutrality and energy efficiency measures to climate action planning and facilitation. Watch this space for upcoming webinar topics featuring stories from your peers, lessons learned, and best practices in sustainability and climate change mitigation.

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Letter from the CEO: people are what makes the GreenerU difference

Climate change mitigation, energy efficiency, decarbonization, construction project management—it all boils down to a simple formula: helping people.

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Museum-quality efficiency upgrades

Isabella Stewart Gardner was famously precise in her vision and oversight of her museum’s creation. GreenerU is helping this masterpiece of an institution in meeting its sustainability goals—both in working toward climate neutrality and in operating the museum in perpetuity.

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GreenerU’s recommended cocktails

An ongoing tradition at GreenerU is the "cocktail du quartier," shared with team trivia winners at company all-hands meetings. Below are some of our recent favorites.

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Resurrected: the electric vehicle (1884 / 2008–future)

If the toughest of customers with the highest standards for vehicular reliability can find satisfaction in the latest incarnations of the electric vehicle, think of what lies in store for other EV types, and furthermore, the future of electric vehicles.

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The future is electric: planning ahead when installing EV charging stations

With the transportation sector contributing to 29% of total emissions in the U.S., alternatives to fossil-fueled vehicles are a critical component of mitigating climate change. Preparing your facilities for an EV future takes additional planning—and we’re here to help you think it through.

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When history meets the future: a 1950s-era building has a plumbing upgrade from the inside out

One of the country’s most prestigious veterinary animal care facilities charts a path to modern plumbing—a challenge not unlike converting to low-temperature hot water systems. And all without missing a beat of regular operations. Here’s how they did it.

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Obituary: the boiler (ca. 1867–2022)

We regretfully announce the passing of an Industrial-Age workhorse that has warmed many hearts, as well as the planet.

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GreenerU helps building owners stay ahead of the BERDO 2.0 curve

A new requirement in 2022, third-party verification of buildings must be completed by a qualified energy professional. GreenerU is here to help you not only with verification, but with preparing your institutions, buildings, and facilities for a climate-neutral Boston.

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Massachusetts participating utility ratepayers get new opportunities to help meet greenhouse gas reduction targets on the path to climate neutrality

Participating utilities to offer incentives for heat pumps in the transition to electrification

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Living in the heart of an historic cultural and educational goldmine—with an eye toward the future of our planet

In Brookline, on the edge of Boston, the Dexter Park apartments are ideally situated for students, museum-goers, movie-lovers, and classical music aficionados. They are also an example of forward-thinking energy-efficiency measures.

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GreenerMass deadline extended; institutions should act now to access remaining funds from unique energy-saving finance opportunity

Deadline extended for the expenditure of remaining funds available through GreenerMass, a program offering capital for energy-efficiency projects requiring no up-front costs to institutions

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New resource available: financing energy projects

Understanding the ins and outs of financing major energy and sustainability projects is not everyone's strength. But getting more familiar with the different, sometimes creative ways you can help your institution figure out how to pay for efficiency and renewables could make a difference. This presentation was designed to help you develop more familiarity with the terms, the pros, the cons, and the contingencies to make conversations with your institution's CFO go more smoothly.

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New resource available: prioritizing and aligning climate neutrality with your institutional goals

With everything else competing for funding, bandwidth, and attention, how do you integrate climate neutrality efforts with other campus priorities?

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New resource available: strategic electrification

As institutional campuses are exploring ways to draw down greenhouse gas emissions, one of the largest sources of ongoing emissions is heat via fossil fuels. Many campuses use steam, a century-old technology that relies on coal, natural gas, or nuclear energy to heat water into steam that is piped through buildings through radiators. But technology has greatly advanced to the point of requiring nearly ambient-temperature water to heat our buildings. Moving toward climate neutral means moving away from these old technologies, specifically to electricity-powered systems that can be fueled by renewable sources.

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Climate neutrality on college campuses: efforts, challenges, and solutions

From college presidents to the U.S. President, there is a growing drumbeat from leadership nationwide to address the climate crisis. The general consensus is that the path to mitigating climate change is clear: achieving climate neutrality. This article is a look at the current state of climate neutrality efforts, challenges, and solutions on college campuses.

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GreenerMass helps The Governor’s Academy save energy, reduce emissions, and prepare for a climate-resilient future

Founded in 1763, the oldest continuously operating boarding school in New England continues to undertake steps to keep its campus operating efficiently. Thanks to GreenerMass, the burden of funding first costs for energy-efficiency projects is alleviated.

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From grassroots advocacy to the power of three: tips and tricks to engaging leadership

What is leadership? You might think it’s your campus President—and you might be right. But campuses are more complicated than straightforward hierarchies, and there are tried-and-true ways to empower and engage supporters of climate mitigation that draw from best practices in grassroots advocacy and strategic communications.

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Battle fatigue, large-institution neutrality, and social justice: tips and takeaways from “navigating the steps to climate neutrality: getting started”

On May 20, GreenerU hosted the first in a discussion series aimed at collaborating to overcome common institutional hurdles to achieving climate neutrality. The following are tips and takeaways from our discussion with representatives from public universities, private colleges, and independent schools.

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Join our discussion series on navigating the steps to climate neutrality

Navigating the steps to climate neutrality is hard. But we're in this together. From big-picture planning and programming to detail-driven project orientation, GreenerU helps institutions navigate the organizational, operational, and infrastructure changes required to reach climate neutrality. Join us for a series of facilitated peer discussions oriented to support each other through the process of achieving climate neutrality.

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How to take a greenhouse gas emissions inventory

Getting started on the path toward climate neutrality means establishing a baseline accounting of your institution's greenhouse gas emissions. Whether you choose to account for Scopes 1, 2, and/or 3 emissions, we have the skills to help you—or you can use these tools to take your own inventory.

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Navigating the steps to climate neutrality

As any sustainability professional is aware, navigating the steps to climate neutrality is like putting together a 7,500-piece jigsaw puzzle with no edge pieces. Technical solutions abound, but the roadblocks are many: financing, technical feasibility, political will, staffing and bandwidth, and stakeholder support are just a few. On April 14, 2021, GreenerU hosted a discussion with representatives from independent schools, public and private colleges, and nonprofits about navigating the steps to climate neutrality.

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GreenerU refines and aligns to help institutions reach climate neutrality

After twelve years of experience in the business of sustainability consulting, energy-efficiency engineering, and construction project management, we are focusing all of those capabilities on tackling a single (enormous) challenge: helping educational and community institutions navigate the steps to climate neutrality.

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When a team gets it done: facilitation training for advancing your agenda

“It is easy to know that your meetings aren’t being productive, but knowing why is much harder. Learning what an effective meeting looks like, and how to run such a meeting, is such a valuable skill that I didn’t even know I needed.” — facilitation workshop participant

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Brandeis gains momentum on finding a path toward climate neutrality through lighting, boilers, and smart financing

“We are now doing capital planning more intentionally than ever, and sustainability has become a default factor in those projects.” —Mary Fischer, manager of sustainability programs

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TELP offers energy-efficiency financing for Boston-based nonprofits

As the coronavirus shutdown has threatened nonprofits’ funding, opportunities to find cost savings are more important than ever. Simultaneously, Boston-based nonprofit institutions are striving to meet the City’s carbon neutrality goals. But installing energy-saving measures can require investments that many nonprofit institutions are unable to make.

Now, Boston nonprofits can take advantage of an affordable energy-savings program with no up-front costs, thanks to the tax-exempt lease program (TELP) of the Boston Industrial Development Financing Authority (BIDFA). As an approved performance contractor of the program, GreenerU can work with museums, universities, healthcare centers, and other 501(c)(3) entities to identify and implement comprehensive energy upgrades.

On Wednesday, December 9, 2020, GreenerU's David Adamian, BIDFA's Bill Nickerson and Gisella Soriano, and the City of Boston's Brenda Pike presented an information session on TELP. You can watch the webinar below or click on links in the additional resources for more information.

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New financing opportunity available for energy-efficiency projects at Boston nonprofits

As the coronavirus shutdown has threatened nonprofits’ funding, opportunities to find cost savings are more important than ever. Simultaneously, Boston-based nonprofit institutions are striving to meet the City’s carbon neutrality goals. But installing energy-saving measures can require investments that many nonprofit institutions are unable to make. The Tax-Exempt Lease Program, or TELP, through the Boston Industrial Development Financing Authority, makes these investments possible.

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