Navigating the steps to climate neutrality is like assembling a 7,500-piece puzzle...with no edge pieces. 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.
Climate action planning, which typically includes carbon or climate neutrality targets, benchmarking, and goal-setting, involves several steps and considerations. Institutions are often juggling multiple priorities, such as social justice, equity, long-term financial sustainability, campus growth, and meeting their organizational missions, to name a few. To develop an effective climate neutrality strategy, GreenerU facilitates and engages stakeholder-driven processes and develops clear, actionable, and communicable plans that align with other institutional efforts.
These planning efforts have some of the same basic elements to them:
We’ve worked with several clients on either initial or renewed climate action and sustainability planning efforts, including Swarthmore College, Concord Academy, East Carolina University, Boston Green Ribbon Commission’s Higher Education Working Group, Concord Free Public Library, Portland Community College, University of Massachusetts Medical School, and more.
This engineering phase essentially takes the groundwork laid during the planning phase and gives it additional detail, from project design to sequencing to cost estimating and budgeting. During this phase, we take a look at the feasibility of what the client has prioritized—converting a campus from steam to low-temperature hot water, for example—and provide some more detail around how those elements would be designed.
We also help our clients secure financing and incentives, whether that’s through state and federal programs or utility incentives, or offering financing through programs such as GreenerMass or Boston’s Tax-Exempt Lease Program.
The engineering phase is an opportunity for GreenerU and/or our engineering partners to develop more detailed technical plans for clients, develop large-scale programs and timelines. During this phase, we perform a number of steps:
Examples of institutions we’ve helped with the engineering phase: Southern New Hampshire University, William James College, Wellesley College, Brown University, Brandeis University, Ithaca College, Dean College, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Brooks School, Smith College, The Governor’s Academy, The Fessenden School, and many more.
The implementation phase is where we can provide a seamless transition from planning and engineering into construction, which can include implementation of energy-conservation measures or renewable energy features. Through either turnkey implementation or an owner’s project management model, we act as the primary coordinator and quality control mechanism for our clients, pulling all the pieces together for often complex construction projects.
We first tackle procurement: bidding, qualifying, leveling, buyout for both labor and equipment for projects such as LED lighting, heating and cooling, ventilation, laboratory efficiency, and other energy-efficiency measures. We then go through the construction phase, throughout which we engage stakeholders and get feedback as we frequently work in occupied spaces, minimizing inconveniences for building occupants. Finally, we measure and verify energy savings, feeding that data back to the planning group to gauge progress to neutrality targets and adjust where necessary.
Our implementation work includes the following:
Examples of institutions we’ve helped with the implementation phase: Brown University, Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Brandeis University, Wellesley College, Boston College, Dean College, University of Massachusetts Boston, Yale University, Smith College, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Clark University, and many more.