2017 Sustainability Conference Concurrent Educational Sessions

2017 State Of New York Sustainability Conference

November 15-16

SUNY Cortland

Educational Sessions

Wednesday 1:40 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. – Educational Session 1

2016 Energy to Lead Projects 

Presenter:   Lindsay Holle, Assistant Project Manager, NYSERDA.

Laurie Husted, Chief Sustainability Officer, Bard College

Ryan McPherson, Chief Sustainability Officer, SUNY University at Buffalo.

Robert Lofthouse, Associate Professor / Chairperson, SUNY Broome Community College.

Location: Corey Union 209

Overview of the three 2016 Energy to Lead competition winning proposals, including update on any progress so far and summary of next steps. This will include presentations by Bard; Broome Community College; and Buffalo.


Building Resiliency through WaterSense

Presenter: Janice Whitney, WaterSense Liaison, Sustainability Advisor, USEPA Region 2

Location: Corey Union 301-303

New York State is experiencing drought and flooding conditions. Forecasted weather patterns are worsening both the severity and frequency of droughts and flooding, making water scarcity a reality. Water efficiency can stretch our limited water supplies while reducing energy costs. LEED version 4 now requires baseline water consumption for products, Energy Star’s Portfolio Manager now tracks water consumption and NYS’s Climate Change Program has incorporated EPA’s WaterSense program among its available options to meet GHG emission reductions. EPA’s WaterSense program is designed to reduce indoor and outdoor water use, labeling products (which use 20% less water and perform as well as—or better—than standard models) backed by strict water efficiency and performance criteria as well as independent certification. In 10 short years since its origin, WaterSense has saved over 2 trillion gallons of water, 46 billion dollars and 284 billion kilowatt hours, enough to supply a year’s worth of power to more than 26 million homes. WaterSense provides commercial and institutional facility managers, building owners, and designers with a variety of resources to help them save water, energy, and operating costs. Come learn from a number of data-driven water efficiency case studies of college campuses. Select from a number of available options based on your own priorities, e.g. from outdoor water use, benchmarking, enhancement of facility operations and asset management, retrofits/replacement of kitchens and dormitory showers and sinks, to behavior change techniques through outreach and education. Reduce your campus energy costs and enhance your climate resiliency goals by incorporating the promotion of water efficiency and conservation into your campus strategic plans.


Climate and the Art of Storytelling 

Presenter: Peterson Toscano

Location: Corey Union Fireplace Lounge

No story is harder to tell than the one about our changing climate and what it means for each of us. Reciting the facts is not enough to move people to action, in fact, many shut down when they hear even the mention of global warming. How we break through the collective silence in creative and effective ways? How do we connect with people who on the surface seem to have no interest in sustainability, climate change, or environmental issues? Peterson facilitates this engaging and interactive workshop, which helps participants explore practical and effective methods to develop stories that inspire people to be curious about climate change.


Wednesday 2:40 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Mapping our participation in the United Nations Global Compact 

Presenter:   Dan DeZarn, director of sustainability, SUNY Geneseo

Kris Dreessen, manager of editorial services, SUNY Geneseo

Miles Druce, Class of 2017, geography major

Location: Corey Union 209


Since the formation of the Office of Sustainability in 2014, SUNY Geneseo has been working to compile a list of the sustainability efforts of our various departments and community members. As members of the President’s Sustainability Commission for Geneseo, we came up with an innovative way to organize our efforts and communicate them to the public. We are using ArcGIS to tell the comprehensive story of our efforts as a member of the U.N. Global Compact — on campus, regionally and throughout the world. Our storytelling map focuses on how the college and its alumni, faculty and staff address each of the U.N. goals. Dan DeZarn, director of sustainability, will give an overview of the breadth of the sustainability efforts undertaken by the campus community at large. Kris Dreessen, manager of editorial services, will discuss the vision of the storytelling approach and the importance of portraying efforts cumulatively to position the institution as a leader in sustainability. Senior geography major Miles Druce will talk about map implementation and longevity.


Understanding Real Time Energy Management (RTEM) 

Presenter:   Michael Reed, Program Manager, NYSERDA;

Thomas Yeh, Willdan

Location: Corey Union 301-303

Real Time Energy Management (RTEM) is an opportunity for universities and colleges to increase the reliability, efficiency, and sustainability of their campus operations. RTEM leverages technology and cloud-based computing to continually monitor energy systems throughout your buildings and provides fault detection and diagnostics, predictive analytics, and performance optimization to help your campus consume energy more intelligently. NYSERDA’s RTEM program provides technical assistance to help you examine if RTEM is the right solution for your campus. If you decide to pursue RTEM, NYSERDA’s program offers a 30% cost share incentive. Come learn more about RTEM and if it is a good fit for your campus.


Creating Sustainability Programming to Engage and Inspire Professional Staff 

Presenter:   Cassidy Drasser, Assistant Sustainability Director, University of Albany

Erin Moscati, Sustainability Education Manager, University at Buffalo

John Pumilio, Director of Sustainability, Colgate University

Location: Corey Union Fireplace Lounge

Developing sustainability programs on campus is exciting—we get to learn about cutting-edge research, engage with young, energetic and idealistic students, and tap into vast resources of staff potential! Unless, of course you aren’t tapping into your staff potential. This panel will explore how to create fulfilling sustainability opportunities to engage staff. We will highlight what has, and hasn’t worked, to provide staff with authentic opportunities for sustainable engagement on our campuses. Instead of a traditional Q&A session, we hope to foster a conversation with the audience.


Wednesday 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Student Driven Sustainability Projects: Planet Manhasset Organic Gardening Internship and Establishing an Apiary and Beekeeping Club at Colgate University (sub ref: 26 & 33)  

Location: Corey Union 209

Presenters: Sara Munjack, student, SUNY Geneseo

At Planet Manhasset, we initiated a grassroots movement to create green spaces on Long Island while educating younger generations about the importance of organic gardening, eating, and sustainable living. Alongside three other college-aged students, I maintained and managed an organic garden by installing several large garden beds behind Manhasset High School and eventually harvested fresh organic produce such as eggplant, squash, lettuce, kale, tomatoes, and cucumber. At the end of the season we donated the produce to local food pantries. During the season, we also gave workshops to local high school students about aspects of sustainable living such as how to compost and why organic gardening and farming is important. We also focused on community integration into the project by writing articles in local papers to spread awareness on what’s going on regarding gardening and sustainability within their own community. Additionally, we started up an online following through the presence of our own Instagram account and email newsletter. This program that Planet Manhasset developed helps overcome the traditional problem that school student-run gardens face, which is maintenance during the summertime. I gardened at the local school gardens instead of near my college campus, thus cross-pollinating ideas and techniques, while at the same time offering my knowledge and expertise to novice learners.


Presenter: Isabel Dove; intern; Colgate University Office of Sustainability

Given the recent and alarming decline in honeybee populations, as well as a desire to engage students and community members in sustainability at Colgate University, the Office of Sustainability decided to pursue establishing an apiary on campus in the Fall of 2016. By the Spring of 2017, two hives were introduced to Colgate’s Community Garden and a Beekeeping Club with over twenty members was founded. Student intern and Beekeeping Club president, Isabel Dove, will explain the need for and benefit of apiaries, outline the process of establishing an apiary on a college campus, and detail how the Beekeeping Club engages students and community members, as well as provide suggestions for other universities or organizations to establish their own apiaries.


Incorporating Resilience into Climate Action Planning and Developing the Resilient Campus: adapt to changes and mitigate risks

Location: Corey Union 301-303

Presenter: Ryan Kmetz, Asst. Director Sustainability and Energy Management, St. Lawrence University

The term “resilience” has increasingly been heard in conferences, project proposals, design charrettes, or from emergency managers. This is an emerging hot topic for those who work within the built environment. But what does “resilience” really mean and how does it apply to your campus specifically? The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) defines resilience as “the ability to prepare for and adapt to changing conditions and withstand and recover rapidly from disruptions.” Simply stated, it’s the capability to return to normal. Over the past five years, various organizations have designed operational and service-related rating systems. These credentials are based on best practices, and the organizations offer resilient-design certifications. Some examples include the U.S. Resiliency Council’s Earthquake Building rating system, the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure’s Envision rating system for civil projects, and the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) v4 pilot credits, which are focused on design and planning for resilience. All of these systems are designed to aid us in adapting to our environments while constructing more suitable infrastructure. Most recently, some of these systems have focused on including sensitivity analysis and modeling projections related to the potential impacts of climate change. There are many different approaches, methods, and programs available to us when thinking about this topic. This session will introduce the concept of “resiliency” in campus facilities and explore important components and processes, such as: a) Identifying hazards b) Developing a plan c) Hardening buildings and infrastructure d)Developing built environment policies e)Writing natural environment policies f)Planning a continuity of operations g)Assessing cost considerations

Co-Presenter: Enid Cardinal, Senior Sustainability Advisor to the President, Rochester Institute of Technology

RIT recently completed an updated Climate Action Plan and is one of the first schools to incorporate resilience and adaptation into its planning. As university best practices have not yet been established for resilience planning, RIT looked to examples from cities, states, academic literature, and of course, faculty expertise. In this charrette style session, participant will be guided through a mini planning process that draws on examples from RIT’s experience. Through this session, participants will be provided with tools to use in their campus planning efforts.


Pricing Carbon on Campus: Bringing Higher Education into the Carbon Pricing Dialogue

Nathaniel Graf Climate Action Senior Fellow Swarthmore College

Location: Corey Union Fireplace Lounge

This discussion will introduce carbon pricing policy solutions to climate change, and consider the role that higher education can play in that dialog. The lecture will cover different carbon pricing policy proposals (cap-and-trade, fee-and dividend, etc.) and a brief history of past efforts to pass carbon pricing legislation in the United States. We’ll discuss how different carbon pricing policies are working in other nations and the current political landscape for carbon pricing advocacy in the United States. Finally, we will consider the role of institutions of higher education in that dialog, and explore three tactics schools can take moving forward: modeling a carbon price with an internal fee on departments, using a shadow price in campus decision making, and directly endorsing carbon pricing policy.


Thursday 8:00 a.m. – 8:50 a.m.

Magnify the Impact: Engaging Faculty and Students in the Living Building Challenge Design Process 

Presenter:   Matthew Broderick, Principal, Ashley McGraw Architects

Pamela Mischen, Faculty Advisor to the President, Associate Professor, Binghamton University

Current Binghamton University Student (to be selected)

Susanne Angarano, Principal, Ashley McGraw Architects

Location: Corey Union 209

The Living Building Challenge has great power to transform thinking. Meaningfully involving more people in the design process deepens the impact. For Nuthatch Hollow, a Living Building in design at Binghamton University, students and faculty play significant roles, including taking primary responsibility for materials research. Through classroom curriculum and associated internships, students received extensive training on materials research then broke into teams under the direction of a student “CEO” to research materials. This involves contacting hundreds of manufacturers, reviewing extensive chemical ingredient lists, searching for alternatives, and advocating for change in manufacturing processes.


Carbon Reduction & Campus Central Plants  

Presenter:   Tony Gelber. Dir. Admin Sustainability, Pratt Institute

Matt Brubaker, Campus Energy Manager; SUNY Cortland

Kevin Duffy, OBG

Jeff Urlaub, MEP Associates

John Rhyner, MEP Associates

Dan Leonhardt, ecosystem

Location: Corey Union 301-303

Carbon reductions are a key topic in climate change planning. Many campuses, including Pratt, have central plants and district heating/cooling systems. How do these central plants fit into the solution for low carbon campuses? In NY State, we are trying to achieve ambitious carbon reduction goals – 50% X 2030 and 80% X 2050. How do we plan to operate, renovate/retire these central plants? Are they assets or liabilities in the short and longer term. The lecture will lay out the topic and a small panel will detail their work in this area.


Youth Engagement in Climate Justice 

Presenter:   Derek Nichols, Sustainability Engagement Coordinator, University at Buffalo

Rebekah Williams, Youth Education Director, Massachusetts Avenue Project Student, Education and Leadership Fellow in Sustainability, University at Buffalo

Location: Corey Union Fireplace Lounge


On April 12, 2016, seventy youth from Western New York came together at an interactive forum specifically focused on Climate Justice. Co-hosted by the Western New York Environmental Alliance (with strong anchoring support from the University at Buffalo), the Buffalo Public School Child Nutrition Services Department, and the Crossroads Collective, and their member organizations, young people between the ages of 12 and 21 had a dialogue on what they think about climate change and how climate change has impacted their lives. The coordinators engaged youth in answering critical questions on the current conditions of Western New York, social justice, the Black Lives Matter movement, and climate change. After a successful afternoon of communication and relationship building, the youth participants and adult facilitators were energized about future possibilities working in the climate justice movement. Funding was granted through the Overbrook foundation to institutionalize the process of engaging young people in Western New York into the climate justice movement. The Youth in Climate Justice steering committee is tasked to find meaningful training opportunities for the young people in Western New York to become advocates, not just tokens, for sustainability and building socially, economically, and environmentally resilient communities. The second youth forum has been planned for mid-October with facilitation and guidance from University at Buffalo students. The Forum, and the fellowship created afterwards, will provide the skills to future leaders in sustainability. This interactive session will discuss the tactics and tips that higher education can meaningfully leverage to engage with youth of diverse age groups in working with communities that will be unequally impacted by climate change.


Thursday 9:00 a.m. – 9:50 a.m.

Repairing Our Foodshed

Presenter: Marian Brown, director, Center for Sustainability and the Environment, Wells College

Location: Corey Union 209

Wells College has taken action to address gaps within its local foodshed. Responding to area “food desert” conditions, the college initiated the Aurora Farmers Market to provide community residents access to fresh, locally-grown, seasonal produce during summer months and offering small area gardeners and growers with a retail opportunity for their bounty. The Aurora Farmers Market is supported by Wells student interns and a paid student manager. The College is in its third year of offering a free community Seed Exchange program, operated out of the institution’s Library – hundreds of area gardeners and small produce growers have utilized the exchange to obtain free seed, much of it organic and GMO-free. The College’s Introduction to Gardening class offers students in the college’s Sustainable Food Systems program with hands-on learning opportunities. This team-taught course – including faculty from Biology, Chemistry, Sociology, First Nations and Indigenous Studies, and other disciplines – has developed on-campus gardens that supply enhanced learning during the academic semesters and provide produce for sale at the Aurora Farmers Market during summer months.


Carbon Pricing: Regulatory and Political Framework – panel discussion 

Presenter:   Raj Addepalli, Former Managing Director, Utility Rates and Services, NYS Public Service Commission

Aaron Breidenbaugh, Director of Regulatory Affairs, Luthin Associates

Merrill Kramer, Partner, Pierce Atwood LLP

Location: Corey Union 301-303


The panelists delve into the regulatory and political implications of pricing carbon both in the short and long-term in the New York energy market. Drawing upon their vast experience, the panelists will compare existing carbon market designs and how New York can build and sustain a successful market. Come find out who are the key stakeholders and what are the potential impacts to customers especially higher education institutions. What impact will pricing carbon have on the state’s clean energy plan, federal versus state rulemaking, environmental externalities, and grid reliability.


How to create and maintain effective sustainability grant programs

Presenter: Mary Ellen Mallia, Director of Sustainability, University at Albany

Location: Corey Union Fireplace Lounge


The University at Albany has established two recurring grant programs to fund sustainability programming and academic events. The Sustainability Innovation Grant Program for academic events has been in operation for three years. (see http://www.albany.edu/gogreen/5.sigp.shtml) A companion grant program was established this past spring for Residential Life and other co-curricular programs. The establishment, management and sustained operations of these funds will be discussed along with the benefits derived from creating a systemic mechanism for curricular and co-curricular endeavors. This session will demonstrate that it doesn’t take a lot of money or work to reap large rewards!


Thursday 10:20 a.m. – 11:10 a.m.

Fostering Sustainability through Dialogue and Facilitation

Presenter: Pamela Gramlich, Program Coordinator, Colgate University

Location: Corey Union 209

Over the last few years, Colgate has been creating space to hold intentional conversations about sustainability. Programs such as Colgate Conversations and Foundations of Sustainability have utilized Intergroup Dialogue (IDG) techniques and other facilitation strategies to introduce members of the Colgate community to sustainability in a relaxed and judgement-free setting. Throughout the programs, students, staff and faculty explore current topics in sustainability at Colgate and beyond, focusing on themes such as, climate change, the material economy, environmental justice, food, and individual actions. In this session, attendees will learn about Colgate’s programs and IDG principals, while engaging in dialogue and practicing facilitation techniques. (one by students, lead by students. one on and for faculty.)


Ganging Up to Go Big: Campus Collaborations to Achieve Scale with Renewables

Presenter:   Indu Lnu, University Energy Officer, University at Albany

Enid Cardinal, Senior Sustainability Advisory to the President, Rochester Institute of Technology;

Ryan McPherson, Chief Sustainability Officer, University at Buffalo

Location: Corey Union 301-303

Electricity is the single largest source of emissions for most campuses, and renewable energy is the only way to eliminate those emissions. But renewable energy is still unfamiliar territory for many campuses. Large-scale renewables can dramatically reduce GHGs and boost the bottom line but their benefit is also a constraint: scale. Many schools do not have the electricity load required to execute a power purchase agreement from a utility scale wind or solar project of their own. And even if they do, there is safety in numbers and economies in scale. Hear From three campuses who are attempting to gang up to go big on renewables without having to go it alone. Efforts in Buffalo, Rochester, Albany and beyond are underway to bring large scale renewable energy solutions to multiple campuses. Learn how to join their efforts or how to start your own regional renewables collaboration.


Assessing Campus Sustainability-Related Behaviors and Organizational Climate for Sustainability

Presenter:   Sean Vormwald, Director of Sustainability and Environmental Health and Safety, Onondaga Community College

Location: Corey Union Fireplace Lounge


The presentation will describe a current research study related to measuring sustainability behaviors among college and university stakeholders and assessing campus organizational climate (culture) related to sustainability. The presentation will provide an overview of sustainability-related behavior change, discussing factors that lead to behaviors such as energy conservation and recycling, and effective strategies to influence behaviors. The presentation will also discuss measuring organizational climate for sustainability, as it relates to AASHE STARS Credit EN-6: Assessing Sustainability Culture. The presentation will describe how colleges and universities can participate in a research study by administering a survey on their campus that measures sustainability behaviors and organizational climate for sustainability.

Thursday 11:20 a.m. – 12:10 p.m.


Why Artists are Important to Sustainability 

Presenters:        Mary Ellen Mallia, Director of Sustainability, University at Albany

Dan DeZarn, Director of Sustainability, SUNY Geneseo;

Emily Puthoff, Associate Professor of Art, SUNY New Paltz

Location: Corey Union 209

This panel will feature three schools (University at Albany, SUNY Geneseo and SUNY New Paltz) that have used art as a vehicle for teaching and conversing about sustainability issues. The University at Albany’s Director of Sustainability, Mary Ellen Mallia will discuss two projects; “Future Perfect: Picturing the Anthropocene” and “Breathing Lights”. The Anthropocene project featured a semester long exhibit in the University Art Museum that showcased artists’ visions of the future as a result of human impact on the ecosystem. This was supplemented by a series of public talks and brown bag sessions from artists and professors of various disciplines. Embedded in the Future Perfect programs was a large public undertaking; the Breathing Lights Project, which focused on the issue of vacant buildings. This was a community based project spearheaded by one of our art professors and supported by several university entities and connected to campus activities. This project came about due to $1 million Bloomberg Philanthropy challenge grant to create public art installations around critical issues. The Breathing Lights project installed solar powered lights in over 200 vacant buildings across three cities: Albany, Schenectady and Troy. The month-long display was accompanied by a year-long program of workshops, community events and rehab clinics where people learned how to purchase and renovate the buildings. These projects are finalists for this year’s AASHE Sustainability Achievement Award. SUNY Geneseo’s Sustainability Director, Dan DeZarn will discuss how the use of arts based projects create positive dialogue between a broad cross section of campus constituents, connecting with artists as creative problem solvers to address sustainability challenges, and opportunities to communicate sustainability through the arts. In addition, he will highlight collaboration between arts and other disciplines and ways to determine project success. SUNY New Paltz Sculpture Professor Emily Puthoff will discuss how their program supports critical awareness and engagement with sustainability issues. Most recently, Prof. Puthoff and fourth-year sculpture BFA student Lindsay Loforté collaborated to research solitary bees and design and build bee habitat prototypes. Their research was supported by a Summer Undergraduate Research Experience Award. Prof. Puthoff is the Co-Founder of the Hudson Valley Bee Habitat (HVBH), whose mission is to leverage the arts and arts education to help save the bees. The HVBH’s Kingston Bee-Line is a proposed series of artist and community designed solitary bee habitats as public art and arts/environmental programming along the Kingston Green-Line, an emerging network of urban rail trails in Kingston, NY. The Kingston Bee-Line project is a finalist for the ArtPlace America Creative Placemaking Fund.


10-Year Comprehensive Energy Master Plan and Energy Savings Performance Contracts 2.0

Location: Corey Union 301-303

Presenter: Indu Lnu, Energy Officer, University at Albany and Robert Neimeier, Senior Project Manager, OBG

Most campuses have engaged in ASHRAE Level 2 energy audits to identify efficiency opportunities on campus. However, many struggle with prioritizing, funding and implementing the projects that come out of an audit. The University at Albany developed a $35Million, 10-year comprehensive Energy Master Plan that provides a realistic, implementable and cost-effective strategy to achieve high levels of energy efficiency. The plan incorporates resiliency, renewable generation, infrastructure renewal, and stewardship of physical assets in addition to energy efficiency to deliver reliable and affordable facilities operation. The presentation will discuss the process that resulted in the final plan.


Presenter: David Dungate, Honeywell

Tom Lanzilotta, Stoneybrook Energy Manager

Gabe Cowles, NYPA

(How NYPA’s new Energy-Savings Performance Contract (ESPC) Program will support comprehensive energy and infrastructure upgrades on campuses throughout NYS (Incl. SUNY Stony Brook Case Study) More than ever, campus managers are challenged to upgrade campus facilities and to achieve sustainability goals in spite of limited budget and staff resources. The New York Power Authority (NYPA) is helping to address this challenge with a new program that will support college campuses with new financial and technical resources to implement comprehensive campus infrastructure upgrades using Energy Savings Performance Contracts (ESPCs). ESPCs are a proven alternative to traditional capital project funding and are designed to be self-financing through efficiency and operational cost savings. A key component of an ESPC is that the energy services company installing the upgrades must measure and guarantee the energy savings from the project throughout the operating life of the system upgrades. Since 2003, Stony Brook University (SBU) has used an ESPC to implement a variety of energy-efficiency upgrades on its campus. The ESPC contract, which is currently in its ninth phase of implementation, is a testament to the adaptability and enduring value of the ESPC contract model for the campus. It has also allowed SBU the flexibility to use its existing capital upgrade budget to address other campus priorities. This panel’s goal is to explore the lessons-learned from SBU can help other campus’ evaluate if an ESPC could help their campus achieve its sustainability goals. The panel discussion (or facilitated interactive discussion) would help address the following questions: • History and Goals for NYPA’s new ESCP program • Role of ESPCs to support EO88 • Key features of an ESPC vs. other project funding mechanisms • Key requirements and basic procedure for implementing an ESPC • Why SBU decided to use an ESPC • Key Features and lessons-learned from SBU’s 14 years of experience using ESPCs • Customer considerations for selecting an ESPC contractor • How to access ESPC project support available from NYPA and other NY State agencies


Purchase College and the Green Business Partnership A framework to advance sustainability on campus and beyond 

Presenter:   Tom Kelly, Senior Energy Manager, Purchase College – SUNY

Dani Glaser, Program Director, Green Business Partnership

Location: Corey Union Fireplace Lounge

The Green Business Partnership was founded in 2009 in Westchester County (formerly known as Westchester Green Business). The program was recognized by NYSERDA in 2014 as a replicable model for all businesses and institutions across the state to incorporate sustainable practices into operations. In August 2015, Purchase College SUNY became the first college to become certified through the Green Business Partnership (GBP). Senior Energy Manager Tom Kelly will illustrate the college’s path to certification and how faculty, staff and students remain engaged to measurably decrease environmental impacts resulting in improved efficiency, cost reduction and a healthier campus. The GBP program complements the college’s strategic plan and provides a framework to address organizational commitment, energy, materials management, transportation, water and land use. The GBP fosters ongoing learning programs that bring together business and industry peers to collaborate and share best practices. Purchase College SUNY is a leader in this type of community engagement.