Articles

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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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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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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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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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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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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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GreenerU announces owner’s project management service, augmenting its existing capabilities

Whether through turnkey energy solutions or owner’s project management, GreenerU’s eye for detail, customer-first service, and communication style keeps the trains running on time.

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Beyond the pandemic: how resilience planning and energy efficiency can help us mitigate climate change now

Wildfires, hurricanes, floods, heat waves, drought, and other severe weather conditions have made life more difficult in nearly every corner of the United States. What can we do now to protect ourselves from the elements during a pandemic?

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Left out in the cold: how the change in seasons can lead to runaway energy bills during the pandemic

COVID-era building operations have included suggestions such as increasing filtration or ventilation rates “as much as systems will allow.” But as the colder weather approaches, how will facilities manage energy use—and costs?

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ENERGY STAR’s Portfolio Manager now easier for campus-wide data collection and benchmarking

The U.S. EPA’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager® provides a platform for benchmarking the energy performance of all kinds of commercial buildings. Energy managers on college campuses, however, often face a challenge in both accurately metering energy at the building level and categorizing buildings under the Portfolio Manager framework of use types. Now the new Higher Education Benchmarking Initiative seeks to collect campus-wide data from colleges and universities across North America—and offer energy scorecards in return.

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Safe behaviors during covid: how behavior change principles may help get campus occupants through a pandemic

Sustainability and facilities professionals are uniquely positioned to lead campus efforts to encourage safe behaviors among campus occupants during this pandemic. What is your plan to keep students, staff, and faculty engaged in prolonged physical distancing and other measures to prevent coronavirus surges?

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Is your campus ready for students to return?

The coronavirus pandemic is the largest global health crisis of the past century. The American death toll hit a terrifying 100,000 milestone on May 27, 2020. While the curve is gradually flattening and businesses are reopening, history shows that resurgences can create new waves of outbreaks, leading to more periods of shutdown and delayed economic recovery. What can schools do to prevent the spread of coronavirus via HVAC maintenance and behavior change initiatives?

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Moving a glacier in sixteen parts: lessons from GreenerU’s own strategic plan process (Part II of II)

Strategic plans do a great job of helping organizations gain alignment and focus on common outcomes. But one of the trickiest parts about developing a plan is actually implementing it. Here at GreenerU, we put ourselves to the test. This is Part II of a two-part article.

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First GreenerMass contract signed to provide energy savings to William James College with no upfront costs

GreenerU to replace an obsolete energy management system for the Newton-based private school for undergraduate and graduate degrees in psychology

Program funds still available for Massachusetts nonprofit institutions

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Campus facilities and coronavirus: how to prevent water and ventilation issues in unoccupied buildings

Coronavirus has left buildings on campus vacant in places that were designed to be operating 24/7. When spring turns to summer and heat and humidity kick in, do you have a transition plan to prevent maintenance issues on campus? Are you staying ahead of potential health hazards associated with stagnant water?

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