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University Circle Green Team - February 2009 Meeting Summary

Chris Bongorno  |  04/07/09 @ 10:52am

The University Circle Green Team held its second meeting on February 25th with 20 individuals from 15 different Circle organizations attending. Seven attendees represented institutions who did not participate in our November meeting, bringing total participation up to 24 organizations. A list of meeting attendees, as well as the full meeting minutes, can be found at the end of this post.

Green Team Communications

After a round of updates from attendees, Chris Bongorno (UCI) and Marc Lefkowitz (GCBL) discussed Green Team communications and gcbl.org. The gcbl.org forum and blog pages were launched in December for private use by members of the Green Team. Anyone who has not yet received a login or has had difficulty using the system should contact Marc. Chris asked if this was a good way to communicate or if there were any other ideas. Marc demonstrated a quick walk-through of the website, including how to login and how to post to the forum and blog pages.

Carbon Footprinting & Cost Savings

Next, Brad Chase (GCBL) gave a presentation on the Museum of Natural History's Climate Change Action Plan, which focused on Carbon Footprinting analysis. The Institute's carbon footprint analysis will look at the seven-county area, as well as their organization. Brad described the process they used, including the Clean Air, Cool Planet climate action toolkit, which can be found online. They are already using the information they gathered to inform future investments, target priorities and determine payback periods.

Brad described a few early efforts, including dimmable LED downlights in various spaces and upcoming meetings with lighting engineers to talk about how their display and other lighting can be improved. They've used sensors and meters to determine and reduce power usage from lighting, vending machines and other areas. Cooperation with the maintenance and facilities staff will be critical as they move forward and seek LEED EB (Existing Buildings) certification for the Museum.

Organizational Culture and Change

Following up on Brad's last comment, Linda Robson from Case Western Reserve University spoke briefly about how to address the change that will need to take place at each of our organizations as sustainability permeates into our daily operations. The concepts she presented go beyond this topic and really apply to any new idea or shift in culture. Linda described stages of "orientation," "differentiation & conflict," and eventually "cohesion" that are likely to take place as this shift occurs. Linda's main points were that this is a learning process for everyone involved and that it will take time, so be patient with yourselves and with others!

The meeting wrapped with announcements for upcoming events, which can be found here.

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