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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The Benefactor Investment Model: a new way for nonprofits to finance clean energy

Although research suggests that sustainability-related giving opportunities grow the pie by expanding giving, development officers have been understandably reluctant to move in that direction for fear of diverting precious donations from pressing operational and capital needs. The Benefactor Investment Model (BIM) solves this tension by creating an investment opportunity for high-net-worth friends of the institution that: provides a reasonable return on their investment, benefits the institution financially, and helps the institution make meaningful progress on its sustainability goals.

On Tuesday, October 13, 2020, GreenerU's David Adamian and EcoMotion's Ted Flanigan and Mark Hopkinson teamed up to present this new financing mechanism. Learn more in the video below.

Community discussion: prioritizing budgets in facilities post-covid

Now that coronavirus restrictions are beginning to lift, schools are beginning to grapple with how to allow students, faculty, and staff to return to campus safely. According to Avasant Research, “universities are preparing for substantial economic fallout, both from less revenue from student tuition and the risk that there will be fewer international—and higher fee-paying—students in their next intake.” Budget cuts are expected across the board on nearly all school campuses, but facilities departments may be looking at additional operating and capital expenses when making accommodations for physical distancing and sanitation measures.

In this interactive panel discussion, we discussed challenges and strategies on campuses to manage and prioritize facilities budgets while transitioning from the coronavirus shutdowns. Special thanks to guest panelists, who included Mary Dukakis, Vice President of Operational Services, Southern New Hampshire University; Bob LaVigne, Vice President for Operations, Nichols College; and Karla Youngblood, Director of Facilities Operations, Amherst College.

Community discussion: managing HVAC in facilities during the Covid-19 shutdown

We don’t know what impact SARS COV-2 has on our HVAC systems. In a letter published in March in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers described how aerosolized coronavirus particles can remain viable for up to three hours in the air, meaning they could infect a person hours after being expelled. Factors such as humidity levels, ventilation, and routine maintenance can help mitigate the spread of Covid-19. In this community discussion on April 24, 2020, GreenerU's building experts share suggested guidelines for operating buildings during the shutdown.

Community discussion: managing water in facilities during the Covid-19 shutdown

Unoccupied buildings on college campuses during the coronavirus shutdown are approaching the summer months, when temperatures are perfect breeding grounds for bacteria that can cause Legionnaires' disease. Do you know the steps to flushing out your building's multiple systems? What are you doing to manage potential contamination in drinking fountains, decorative water fountains, ice makers, and other parts of your campus?

Some of nation's leading water quality experts from Chem-Aqua offer some straightforward, easy advice on testing, flushing, and documenting your campus water systems and answered your questions below.

Online community discussion: managing facilities during coronavirus

Campus shutdowns through the coronavirus outbreak have brought questions and concerns about health and safety procedures and occupancy involving ongoing building maintenance, energy conservation, and ongoing construction. With situations changing on an almost hourly basis, how can campus facilities stay up to speed? How are you managing the forced hibernation of buildings that were designed to be 24/7 operations? How will you transition out of this crisis? Colleges and independent schools in the Northeast met on April 9, 2020, for a facilitated discussion on how to respond to campus facilities challenges during the coronavirus outbreak.

Facilitation for Organizational Change…in a new remote world

For many years, GreenerU has provided workshops on effective facilitation for our clients and annually at AASHE. We want to share with you how you can still use these best practices of meeting facilitation in our brave new world of remote meetings. You don't have to wait until after social distancing to restart your strategic planning, capital planning, or other important meetings. This workshop demonstrates how you can generate ideas as a group and in breakout groups; converge long lists; create a decision-making process; and confirm your next steps.

Transitioning toward effective resource management

For this webinar recording, GreenerU was joined by representatives from Cornell University, University of Vermont, Skidmore College, and Casella Resource Solutions to discuss ways in which they have approached resource management on their campuses.

What is your communication strategy? Tools for marketing sustainability across campus

This webinar addresses tools and examples to creating a communication strategy that effectively markets your sustainability efforts on campus.

Masterful commissioning: creating value through stakeholder collaboration

The webinar addresses the psychology of commissioning, contributed by GreenerU, as well as commissioning best practices as demonstrated by American University.

Energy as an asset, not an expense: undeveloped investment opportunities

This webinar addresses Brown University’s visionary system for financing energy and GreenerU’s involvement in managing building data for the campus.

Energy efficiency and technology integration: meeting energy-efficiency needs and IT security standards on your campus

From lighting controls to energy monitoring, new technology is being developed to help increase functionality, improve the user experience, and save energy on your campus. These technologies may add value to your energy projects—but not all of them will pass your IT department’s security test. Listen in to learn about potential barriers and future best practices when integrating new technology on your campus.

What does it feel like to be in a meeting that doesn’t waste my time?

Learn how to maximize limited time by turning your meetings into productive avenues for communicating, connecting, and accomplishing real work.

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