NAELS Project to Provide Signatories with Assistance Developing Their ACUPCC Reports, OR, How to Get $100,000 in Sustainability Services for Free
By Dan Worth, Executive Director, National Association of Environmental Law Societies
Fahmida Ahmed has spent the past five years working to expand sustainability on California’s largest and most prestigious campuses. Currently the Manager for Sustainability Programs at Stanford University, she is one of the new breed of "sustainability experts" - a role that might have confused in 2005, but is now in high demand as campuses, companies, cities, states, and nations look for professionals to save them energy and money while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In 2005, however, one lucky campus got her services - as well as the services of four other young, inspired, visionary sustainability experts - FREE - for an entire year, through a project called Campus Climate Neutral ("CCN"). And you might be able to as well.
CCN is an innovative sustainability consulting model created by the National Association of Environmental Law Societies ("NAELS"). NAELS is a national 501(c)(3) with a presence on more than 100 campuses that works with administrators, faculty, and staff to engage teams of graduate students, like Fahmida, as free, for-credit consultants.
In Fall 2009, thanks to a grant from the V. Kann Rasmussen Fund, NAELS will work with the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment team to provide free support to signatory schools in developing and implementing their Climate Action Plans. Schools will be selected based on interest from their ACUPCC Implementation Liaison and NAELS’ ability to recruit a campus professor and high-level group of graduate students to take on the work. NAELS will be accepting applications from August 15 – August 30 with 10-25 schools to be selected by September 6. Projects are expected to launch September 8.
In 2005, NAELS partnered with the Donald Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, professors Oran Young and Durwood Zaelke, and a diverse cross-section of the UC – Santa Barbara community to recruit, train, and manage five students in a year-long for-credit project to develop a Climate Action Plan for the UCSB campus. Working closely with sustainability leaders on campus, these students:
- Created a Climate Action Plan for UCSB, concluding the school could meet California’s aggressive state targets and save millions in the process.
- Ran a campaign to pass The Green Initiative Fund (“TGIF”), convincing undergraduates and graduates (who voted for it in record numbers) to pay a student fee that went into a fund for green projects.
- Organized a California Climate Neutral Summit that brought together climate, energy, and sustainability leaders from across the country.
- Worked with UCSB administrators to join the California Climate Action Registry.
- Worked with members of the UC President’s Office to replicate the model.
Today, thanks to the ACUPCC and visionary leaders across the country, the climate neutral campus movement has made huge strides, with more than 640 colleges and universities committed to developing Climate Action Plans. However, these commitments have created a whole new set of obligations for administrators, campus planners, facilities managers, energy purchasers, transportation managers, and custodians. These experts in campus planning and management are now committed to drastically transforming their campus systems – figuring out over the next few decades how to provide their 1,000s strong campus communities with the energy, mobility, and lodging they need, all while achieving carbon neutrality goals.
NAELS’ CCN campaigns provide these professionals with the jumpstart they need and the legwork to move projects along, while building the collaborative spirit that is essential to developing and implementing campus Climate Action Plans. Best of all, CCN campaigns train today’s students to become tomorrow’s sustainability professionals, the most critical career path of our generation.
University and college leaders interested in working with NAELS to develop a Campus Climate Neutral project in Fall ’09 should email the Executive Director of NAELS, Dan Worth, at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on NAELS & CCN, please visit: http://www.naels.org/projects/ccn/index.htm. Implementation Liaisons interested in applying to work with NAELS will find an application on this page beginning August 15.
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