Bunker Hill Community College Recognized for Climate Leadership

Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC) receives Second Nature’s 2nd Annual Climate Leadership Award. Award recipients were recognized at the 5th Annual American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) Summit in Washington, DC on June 23rd, hosted by George Washington University.

Mary Fifield, BHCC College President working with the Executive staff have established one of the College’s goals to be “Cultivating College-­?Wide Sustainability Initiatives” in an effort to develop new degree programming, integrate sustainability within existing programs and to promote conservation of natural resources. In addition, the College made another unprecedented commitment to sustainability by establishing an executive cabinet level position, the Director of Sustainability, who has college-­?wide responsibility for integration of sustainable best practices.

The BHCC Board of Trustees has also taken an active role and recently conducted a presentation at the Association of Community College Trustees(ACCT) annual convention in Toronto, Canada called “Commitment to the Environment: Start a Sustainability Program at Your College” that included a customized Climate Action Planning Template tool to assist other colleges in their climate action planning process.

BHCC has provided large-­scale sustainability professional development training for faculty and staff. The trainings were facilitated by  Debra Rowe, President of the U.S. Partnership for Education/Sustainable Development and Leith Sharp, founder of Harvard University’s Green Campus Initiative. Learning activities included the “What’s Your Carbon Footprint” quiz, themed workshops, launch of the Climate Impact Decision Assist research tool (CIDAT) and tour of local recycling facilities. BHCC is also a member of AACC‘s Sustainability Education and Economic Development (SEED) Center, a leadership initiative and resource center that provides strategic guidance and detailed resources for community colleges to ramp-up their programs to educate America’s 21st century workforce.

The College also launched a Sustainability Mini-grant Program that provides incentives to promote and integrate sustainability within existing or new curriculum, or initiatives that benefit the pursuit of climate neutrality. Approved projects include an urban garden, a new Statistics and Sustainability course using BHCC climate action plan data, revised early childcare, psychology and business courses, a print management system pilot and public awareness video integrating soccer and climate action topics. BHCC has also sponsored dozens of faculty and staff participation at conferences such as the Massachusetts Green Career Conference and the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association(NESEA).
BHCC has also created a new collaborative platform called the Sustainability Leadership Forum (SLF) with a goal of using its social and political capital to reduce emissions to create a Massachusetts Green Economy Network. In addition, BHCC is collaborating with the MA Department of Capital Asset Management to negotiate no cost, third-­?party utility assessments and special interest financing for energy conservation measures projected to reduce carbon emissions by 1,345 tons of CO2 in 2011. Finally, BHCC has created a new website that features the work of the President’s Climate and Sustainability Committee. This site also includes centralized climate action planning resources for all MA based colleges.

BHCC is developing new Energy, Sustainability and Environmental Studies programs that will include a Climate Action Planning Certificate of study.