Energy, Buildings & Transportation


The ABCs of Labs

Lead: Ralph Stuart, Environmental Safety Manager at UVM


  • Steve Lanou, Deputy Director of Environmental Programs Office Massachusetts Institute of Technology at MIT
  • Michelle Smith Mullarkey, Green Building Coordinator at UVM

Laboratory buildings have at least twice the carbon footprint than their share of campus floor suggests they should. In addition, laboratory building operations require striking a careful balance of safety considerations with financial and carbon costs in a rapidly changing setting. This presentation will review major components of the environmental footprint of labs including: energy use, the building design process, and hazardous materials considerations. A variety of techniques for approaching these issues will be discussed, including behavior change campaigns, how the LEED system works in a lab setting, and working with facility and safety professionals to re- and retro- commission building operations.



Culture & Food


Making the Most of Food as a Tool for Teaching Sustainability

Lead: Tatiana Abatemarco, Sustainability Graduate Fellow at UVM


  • Anim Steel, Director of National Programs at The Food Project and Real Food Challenge
  • Amanda Warren, Residential Assistant at Middlebury College
  • Michaela Skiles, Weybridge House Co-Resident Assistant at Middlebury College
  • Samantha Parry, Organic Garden intern & Weybridge House treasurer at Middlebury College


How do you increase the sustainability of your school’s food operations?  How can you measure that? And what’s more, how can schools use food to deepen their whole approach to sustainability?

Participants’ dialog about these questions will be sparked by a quick look at three innovative projects: a house at Middlebury College where students will live and eat sustainable the entire year on a $16,000 budget; a collaboration at Keene State College that links food and food waste to academics, athletics, and student health; and a new tool called the Real Food Calculator that is being piloted by students and dining service operators nationwide.

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Leadership, Service & Community


Financial Strategies for Sustainability
Lead: Deirdre Manning, Sustainability and Energy Manager at Boston College


  • Thomas Balf, Principal, Nexus Environmental Partners
  • Jon Guerster, CEO, Groom Energy Solutions

As universities and colleges attempt to develop long-term strategies for addressing their GHG emissions and obligations under the PCC, the challenges for financing these efforts remain daunting. This presentation will cover the latest trends in identifying projects for renewable, resource and energy efficiencies and how institutions are prioritizing and financing these efforts. Examples of corporate financing strategies for sustainability programs and GHG reductions will also be described.

Moving Beyond Simple Payback: The Language of Financial Analysis

  • Tim Perrin, Business Development Specialist at Efficiency Vermont
  • Richard Donnelly, Planning & Development Manage at Efficiency Vermont

"Simple payback" is the default metric referred to when individuals discuss the viability of energy efficiency and sustainability projects on campus. However, many other investment decisions at an organization are based on different financial analyses. This session will help define some financial terms used by your CFO and Budget Office, and share examples of how to successfully influence decision-makers by communicating project economics in a language they understand.


Planning & Communications

Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS): Guiding Campuses Toward Sustainability

Lead: Barbara Charkey, Professor of Management at Keene State College


  • Paul Rowland, Executive Director of AASHE
  • Jillian Buckholz, STARS Sustainability Coordinator, AASHE
  • Kathleen Ng, Environmental Officer at McGill University
  • Linda Hadden, Professor of Management at Keene State College
STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System), is a comprehensive, voluntary, self-administered campus sustainability performance measurement tool.  STARS  translates disparate sustainability indicators into a single metric that will enable benchmarking within institutions over time as well as comparisons across campuses.  It covers all sectors of the university, including curriculum, research, operations, and administration. 
Since 2006, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) has engaged in a broadly participative process with the higher education and sustainability communities in developing the STARS Program.  After considering feedback from more than 70 diverse colleges and universities that pilot-tested STARS in 2008, AASHE developed STARS 1.0 and launched the Early Release version in September, 2009. In this session, participants will receive an overview of STARS and its significance for higher education, and will gain insight into what higher education can learn from businesses’ experience with similar performance measurement tools.