Second Nature, a nonprofit organization advancing sustainability in higher education, launched an initiative in partnership with The Kresge Foundation, Advancing Green Building in Higher Education, to assist Minority-Serving Institutions, community and technical colleges, and the US Department of Education’s Title III and V institutions to build green on their campuses.
The mission of the Advancing Green Building in Higher Education Initiative was to build the capacity of under-resourced colleges and universities to construct and renovate campus buildings in ways that save money, reduce negative health impacts, and serve as community models for environmentally sustainable design, construction, and operations.
The Campus Green Builder web portal is one of the principal activities within this Second Nature initiative.
Based on the success of the Advancing Green Building in Higher Education Initiative, Second Nature launched the second phase of its capacity building work. This comprehensive Education for Sustainability Innovation Program continued promoting innovation and leadership among financially strained and minority-serving colleges and universities. The Education for Sustainability Innovation Program aimed to help ensure that graduates are prepared to lead the changes needed to overcome the interrelated social, environmental and economic challenges of the 21st century by driving innovative approaches to Education for Sustainability (EfS).
With a 2-year grant from The Kresge Foundation, Second Nature has recently launched the Sustainability Leadership, Capacity Building and Diversity Initiative (2013-14), to continue building sustainability capacity and leadership among financially strained and minority-serving higher education institutions (MSIs). Under this Initiative, Second Nature will strengthen and build on the success of its previous Kresge-funded initiatives, Advancing Green Building in Higher Education and Education for Sustainability Innovation.
Capacity Building at Minority-Serving Higher Education Institutions (MSIs)
Under the Leadership, Capacity Building and Diversity Initiative, Second Nature engages two full-time staff members for a 2-year period to both provide capacity-building opportunities and implementation guidance to minority-serving institutions of the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) and to expand the network by engaging more institutions in the climate action movement. Read more...
The Kresge fellowships assisted college and university senior managers in acquiring the skills and technical information they need to be effective champions for green building at their institutions. College and university campus planners, facilities directors, and vice presidents of finance or business were eligible candidates for the fellowships. As fellows, they participated in learning and networking opportunities with their peers and industry experts. Funding was provided to fellows for attendance to a national green building related conference.
In partnership with BuildingGreen, we provide discounts to schools wishing to access their comprehensive Building Green Suite. And in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council, we offer discounts to their on-line Green Building Basics and LEED® course. We have also partnered with Bioneers to provide discounts and other special offers to all ACUPCC signatories and Title III & V educational institutions.
Green Building 101 for Building Contractors
Second Nature, with funding from The Kresge Foundation, offered colleges and universities in states with relatively low numbers of green building projects, the opportunity to apply for technical assistance grants of up to $2000 each. These grants funded green building training opportunities for the external building professionals (i.e., construction contractors, architects, designers, engineers) that work with their schools. Minority-serving institutions, community and technical colleges, smaller inner city, rural religiously-affiliated institutions, and public universities in under-resourced states were encouraged to apply. Please click here for more information.
Second Nature offered regional summits for networking and information sharing among under-resourced higher education institutions in regions poor in green building. This program was conducted in tandem with the capacity building institutes offered by the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) to advance the understanding and familiarity of Minority-Serving Institutions with green building practices and issues related to sustainability.
Campus Green Builder Web Portal
This Campus Green Builder on-line portal to green building information for academic institutions provides a one-stop resource on campus green building that is free and accessible to all higher education institutions. The Campus Green Builder aims to level the playing field for all institutions of higher education in terms of accessing funding and technical resources for green building. For more information on the launch of the portal please click here.
Integration of Green Building in the Curriculum
Second Nature partnered with the US Green Building Council (USGBC) to develop a strategy document exploring the role of the built environment in advancing education for sustainability.
Second Nature also works to develop new funders’ collaborative to support high-leverage projects to advance sustainability in higher education.
Second Nature is a Boston-based national non-profit organization that works to accelerate movement towards a sustainable future by helping senior college and university leaders in making healthy, just, and sustainable living the foundation of all learning and practice in higher education. Please visit Second Nature’s website for more information on its capacity-building programs.