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Webinar: Climate Friendly Cooling Pledge and New Regulations Affecting Universities: Opportunities and Implications

June 2, 2021 @ 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm EDT


Action is needed now by college staff in facilities, EHS, sustainability, student life, business offices, auxiliary services, housing, dining, planning, and procurement. Changes within all these staff areas to manage a group of very damaging greenhouse gases is environmentally and legally required. 

In 2016, 170 countries agreed to ratify the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, an international treaty that phased down hydrofluorocarbon (HFCs) refrigerants, a class of potent greenhouse gases. HFC refrigerants are thousands of times more potent compared with carbon dioxide and are among the fastest-growing climate pollutants in the world. 

This treaty spurred a global push for better management of HFCs and a transition to climate-friendly refrigerants.  The United States recently committed to these goals via bipartisan legislative action.

The good news is that Project Drawdown estimates that refrigerant management has the potential to reduce emissions by 57.75 gigatons of CO2eq through 2025, worldwide, and to prevent a crucial .5 degrees Celsius of atmospheric warming. Other groups estimate that improved refrigerant management could generate $39 billion in economic benefits by 2027. (If warming exceeds 1.5 degrees Celsius, scientists predict that over three billion lives will be at risk.)

The webinar will feature experts on integrating refrigerant management best practices into student and staff initiatives, legislation impacting HVAC equipment, buying options for sustainable technologies, and leaders on programmatic responses. 

This webinar on what actions campuses are taking to address this critical topic is brought to you by Higher Education Associations Sustainability Consortium, along with the U.S. Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development, the Yale Refrigerants Initiative, and Society for College and University Planning (SCUP), Campus Safety, Health, and Environmental Management Association (CSHEMA), Association of College and University Housing Officers – International (ACUHO-I), APPA – Leadership in Educational Facilities and Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).

For Members: Watch on Demand For members: archived webinars on-demand   Upcoming webinars


Miranda Gorman Miranda Gorman, PhD – Senior Research Fellow, Industry, Project Drawdown 

Miranda Gorman, Ph.D. is an environmental engineer whose research focuses on the sustainability of material resources. She is currently the Senior Research Fellow for Industry at Project Drawdown. She has published peer-reviewed research papers and presented at international conferences on the topics of material flow analysis, resource availability forecasting, the circular economy, and non-fuel mineral mining. Miranda completed her Ph.D. in the Environmental Engineering, Sustainability and Science Group at Carnegie Mellon University, where she developed a framework for assessing the complete life cycle of a resource as well as future projections for material flows.

Jim Romanski – Power Plant Manager, Yale Office of Facilities

Mr Romanski is the EH&S Manager for the Powerplants at Yale University and responsible for environmental compliance at all three of Yale’s Powerplants. The air compliance program includes over a dozen air permits, ten continuous emission monitors, two Title V permits and a Synthetic Minor permitted facility. Mr. Romanski is the Chair of the CT DEEP SIPRAC (State Implementation Plan Regulatory Advisory Committee). He has also been Chair of CT Air & Waste Management Association and Vice Chair of CBIA Environmental Policy Council. He is an adjunct professor at the University of Hartford teaching Air Pollution Engineering for the past 15 years. Previously, he worked for Pratt & Whitney for 12 years as an Environmental Engineer and for their corporate group as the Senior Air Compliance Officer. Additionally, he has worked in environmental consulting for many years. He has a Masters in Environmental Engineering from the University of New Haven.

Kristen Taddonio, Senior Climate and Energy Advisor at Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development

Kristen Taddonio is Senior Climate & Energy Advisor to the Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development (IGSD), where she focuses on energy efficiency and super polluting greenhouse gases like hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). Prior to joining IGSD in 2016, she spent 12 years working on HFCs, energy efficiency, and public-private climate protection partnerships at the US and US Department of Energy. In her spare time, she built a Solar Decathlon competition home with CU Boulder (1st place, 2020 Solar Decathlon Build Challenge) and serves on the board of directors for Mountain Parks Electric, a rural electricity cooperative in Colorado. She is a member of the SAE International Interior Climate Control Committee, earned her solar PV installer certificate from Solar Energy International, and is a Climate Change Professional (CC-P) certified by the Association of Climate Change Officers.

Laurie Husted

Laurie Husted – Chief Sustainability Officer, Bard College

Laurie Husted joined the staff of Bard College in 2004 and is currently serving as the Chief Sustainability Officer. She has worked for an environmental engineering consulting firm, for the Community Outreach office of the NYC Department of Environmental Protection and for a startup educational technology company. Her undergraduate degree in Biology & Society is from Cornell University and she earned her MBA from Carnegie Mellon. Current volunteer work in the community includes chairing her Town’s Conservation Advisory Council, leading a Sustainable Communities program for the community group Red Hook Together and serving as the Chapter Leader for the Mid Hudson Citizens’ Climate Lobby.

Tilden Chao

Tilden Chao, Student, Yale College

Tilden is a student at Yale College studying economics and the environment, working toward a certificate in the Energy Studies Multidisciplinary Academic Program. He is passionate about climate change economics (emissions trading schemes, carbon pricing, and incentives), Short-Lived Climate Pollutants and refrigerant management, and corporate sustainability. On-campus, Tilden directs the Yale Refrigerants Initiative, a grant-funded project aimed at reducing environmental impact from student mini-fridges and improving refrigerant management best practices in the university. He is an EPA Section 608-certified refrigerant handler, with Universal certification.

Dan Smith

Daniel Smith, Energy Manager, Bard College

At Bard College, Dan has overseen the implementation of campus-wide lighting retrofits, equipment and controls upgrades, building envelop projects, and solar installations. He manages the college’s energy procurement and participation in demand response programs. He also engages in ongoing campus sustainability and climate-neutrality efforts.



June 2, 2021
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm EDT
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