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Second Nature and the Intentional Endowments Network would again like to thank everyone who participated in the year-long 2021 Climate Action Pursuit! Thank you to our planning design committee, sponsors, host institutions, organizational partners, Second Nature & IEN staff and interns, and all of you who "attended"!  

If you are looking for the December session recordings, please note that session recordings from ALL milestone events will be made publicly available after the First of the Year. Stay tuned!

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We also would like to encourage you to sign-up on our "Be in the Know" email list for the virtual Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit taking place April 5-8, 2022! More information forthcoming about the Summit, including registration discounts available to Pursuit participants.

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 - Your Second Nature & IEN Teams
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Thursday, February 25 • 11:00am - 12:30pm
Maximizing Impact of Renewable Energy and Carbon Offsets

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This session will share best practices and latest trends for carbon reduction tactics, focusing on renewable energy, carbon offsets, and biomethane. While many campuses are procuring renewable energy and/or carbon offsets, many do not know the details of how to ensure they are high-quality and having maximum impact. Concrete considerations and case studies will be shared to leave the audience with practical next steps to bring back to their campuses.

The clock is ticking to greatly reduce carbon emissions to avoid the worst of a climate catastrophe. These negative impacts will affect everyone, not just those who are emitting the most carbon, and will have a disproportionately large impact on the most vulnerable communities around the world. Everyone should be asking themselves what they can do to avoid this fate and how they can leverage the resources at their campus to go from being part of the problem to part of the solution. The first step to carbon reduction is energy efficiency. But once your campus is as efficient as possible (with a plan for continual improvements), what can be done next? This session will review the main tools schools can use to greatly reduce their carbon emissions, from procuring the traditional options of renewable energy and carbon offsets, to the more nascent option of renewable natural gas. To begin, key considerations will be reviewed when looking to utilize these different tools to ensure purchasers are having maximum impact. Starting with renewable energy procurement, considerations discussed will include fundamental REC accounting and claims as well as differing procurement strategies. For carbon offsets, topics will include how to ensure emission reductions are real and verified as well as co-benefits to consider. Finally, the nonprofit Center for Resource Solutions will discuss why it is expanding its Green-e voluntary certification program to include Renewable Natural Gas, including the challenges and opportunities for this new resource in the voluntary market. This session will share real life examples from Swarthmore College, Chatham University, and the University at Buffalo sharing their experience utilizing these climate action tools.

avatar for Michelle McGinty

Michelle McGinty

Manager, Program Outreach, Green-e | Center for Resource Solutions
Michelle McGinty is the Program Outreach Manager at Center for Resource Solutions, a nonprofit with a mission to create market and policy solutions to advance sustainable energy.  As Program Outreach Manger, Michelle works to get the word out about the program initiatives at CRS... Read More →
avatar for Mary Whitney

Mary Whitney

Director of University Sustainability, Chatham University
Mary Whitney is the Director of Sustainability at Chatham University, and an Assistant Professor of Practice in Sustainability for the Falk School of Sustainability and the Environment at Chatham University. For over 15 years she has overseen the institution’s many sustainability... Read More →
avatar for Elizabeth Drake

Elizabeth Drake

Climate Action Manager, Swarthmore College
Elizabeth Drake is the Climate Action Manager in the Office of Sustainability, where she leads climate protection activities across the institution in support of the College’s commitment to achieving carbon neutrality by 2035. This includes leading the College’s award-winning... Read More →
avatar for Ryan McPherson

Ryan McPherson

Chief Sustainability Officer, University at Buffalo

Thursday February 25, 2021 11:00am - 12:30pm EST