College Planning & Management

OCT 2012

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Page 23 of 83

5 YEARS OF CLIMATE LEADERSHIP County, the City of Ithaca, the Town of Ithaca, and three ACUPCC signatory campuses (Cornell University, Ithaca Col- lege, and Tompkins Cortland Community College). By mobilizing students to work alongside business leaders and community members, the Initiative aims to involve re- gional stakeholders in a plan to reduce the region's greenhouse gas emissions through renewable energy and energy-effi ciency projects. TCCPI not only exemplifi es the poten- tial effectiveness of town-gown partner- ship, it also represents the logical leader- ship step in a climate process initiated by the ACUPCC; that is, creating long-lasting collaboration between an institution and the larger community which it is part of. Since 2008, TCCPI has co-sponsored 4PMJE 4VSGBDF 4IPXFS 4ZTUFNT GPS MPX NBJOUFOBODF CFBVUZ UIBU T DMFBOFS BOE IFBMUIJFS UIBO UJMF t %PFT OPU QSPNPUF CBDUFSJB NPME BOE NJMEFX HSPXUI t &BTJFS BOE RVJDLFS UP JOTUBMM t .PSF SFOFXBCMF XJUI -&&%¥ RVBMJGZJOH #JP1SJTN NBUFSJBM A Division of InPro Corporation® 877.780.0034 | the Tompkins Energy Conservation Corps (TECC) with the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County, in which more than 60 student interns have been awarded summer internships and received hands-on experience in home energy- effi ciency projects. In return, students provide energy-effi ciency project assis- tance to community residents. Bardaglio points out in the recent TCCPI newsletter in July that, "Rather than focusing on nega- tive messaging about the threat of climate change, the Energy Corps has tapped into the positive aspects of energy effi ciency, such as strengthening community, saving money, making homes more comfortable, and supporting a local green economy, in order to inspire community-wide action." In 2010, through TCCPI's energy-effi ciency initiatives, approximately 17,000 bags with energy-saving products and information were distributed to residents throughout Tompkins County — the largest door-to- door effort of its kind in upstate New York. Most recently, TCCPI is also a co-sponsor of the "Get Your GreenBack Tompkins," a community-based campaign to inspire every household and business in Tompkins County to take action and save energy and money in the areas of food, waste, trans- portation, and heating and lighting. 24 COLLEGE PLANNING & MANAGEMENT / OCTOBER 2012 In 2011, Cornell University honored TCCPI with the "Partners in Sustainability Award" for the infl uential presence of TCCPI programs in Tompkins County. Overall, TCCPI's success in climate ac- tion through multi-sector collaboration makes the initiative an excellent model for integrating community engagement op- portunities into the students' educational experience, while building a clean-energy economy and implementing climate pro- tection in communities. WHAT'S NEXT? FUTURE CHALLENGES FOR THE ACUPCC I N JUST FIVE YEARS, tremendous efforts have been undertaken at signatory institutions of the ACUPCC network, making higher education the only sector in the U.S. with a critical mass committed both to the scientifi cally necessary goal of climate neutrality and to preparing students to develop the solutions for the changing climate. At the same time, there is much work still to be done. As the International Energy Agency recently reported, we have just fi ve years to make major changes to avoid locking in runaway climate change. The ACUPCC is up for the challenge. The network has set bold new goals for the next fi ve years and is preparing new strategies to support the policies needed for success and to ensure graduates are educated to create a healthy, just, and sustainable soci- ety. The progress of the ACUPCC network thus far is an indicator of higher educa- tion's potential to lead the shift toward creating a more sustainable society. CPM Toni Nelson is the vice president of Pro- grams for Second Nature (www.second- She can be reached via email at Second Nature's mission is to create a healthy, just, and sustainable society through the trans- formation of higher education. WWW.PLANNING4EDUCATION.COM

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