How One Member Institute Has Looked Beyond Campus to Reduce Emissions
MIT is already 70% of the way towards its stated goal, as part of its Plan for Action on Climate Change, adopted in 2015, to reduce emissions by at least 32% by 2030. More than 600 acres of solar panels have been successfully installed and connected on land in North Carolina and are delivering their power into the nation’s grid, thanks to a power purchase agreement (PPA) with MIT and two other Boston-based organizations.
The agreement that led to the construction of this solar farm, which has a 60-megawatt output capacity, was signed last August by MIT, Boston Medical Center, and Post Office Square Corporation. It is the largest renewable energy project ever built in the U.S. through an alliance among different organizations, and has already spawned interest among other institutions and organizations seeking to emulate the successful aggregation process. “The collective buying power of the three partner organizations made the agreement possible—and the result will be an enormous reduction in carbon emissions,” says Glen Shor, MIT’s Vice President for Finance and TBC Board member. “It is a win-win for our organizations and the planet.”
After many months of study, consultation, and negotiation, the solar farm of 255,000 panels - called Summit Farms - was built, tested, and delivered less than six months after the agreement was signed, creating more than 1,000 jobs at the site during the process. It has so far met or exceeded all specifications. In the process, it is producing clean, renewable energy that is equivalent to 40% of MIT’s total campus electricity use.
A major advantage of the power purchase agreement that led to the construction of Summit Farms is the close two-way relationship to MIT that will enhance engineering and economics research and education. Students and faculty will have access to a wealth of data on many performance parameters at the North Carolina site, as well as comparison data from a set of identical solar panels that will be installed on campus.
AND I'LL TAKE A SIDE OF RISK MANAGEMENT...
Young adults with food allergies are at the highest risk of fatal allergic reactions. There is a difference between a food "allergy" and a food "intolerance."
A food allergy involves a reaction of the immune system (an allergic reaction), whereas a food intolerance does not. Allergies are generally more severe and can be anaphylactic, resulting in death.
- Be aware of potential ADA considerations related to food service operations on campus (see Lesley University vs Justice Dept., December 2012).
- Provide gluten-free and allergen-free food options in dining halls and allow students with known allergies to pre-order allergen-free meals.
- Display notices concerning food allergies and identify foods containing specific allergens.
- Train food service and university staff about food allergy-related issues (cross contact is an important, and often unrealized, exposure).
- Provide a dedicated space to store and prepare gluten-free and allergen-free foods.
- Partner with other campus departments to address concerns, such as Disability Access Services, Food Services, and Student Health Services.
- Make resources and information available online to student and staff about dining options and food allergy/intolerance risk.
Questions? Email Susan Fletcher, Director, Enterprise Risk Management Group
COMMUNITIES OF PRACTICE: SPOTLIGHT ON EM's
Last December, TBC Emergency Managers held their second annual symposium: Emergency Management & Its Evolving Role in Higher Education. Participants from over 25 Colleges and Universities, as well as representatives from DHS, MEMA, and FEMA, discussed the challenges facing emergency managers today. Presentations covered a variety of topics and provided an opportunity to learn from those who had experienced a crisis.
Day one presenters discussed: the meningitis outbreak at UMASS and the process for setting up a mass inoculation clinic; fostering town / gown relationships; how the Cold War shaped emergency management (by author Garrett Graff); and lessons learned from the University of Miami on surviving Hurricane Irma. In addition, the intersection between risk management and emergency management led to an interesting discussion on fostering a deeper understanding of both roles in an emergency.
Day two focused on some controversial topics (campus protests and free speech): Dr. Michael Preston, Director of the Florida Consortium of Metropolitan Research Universities, gave an historical overview of campus free speech and protest (focusing on the balance between free speech and safe spaces on campus); and John Santoro, Deputy Chief of Police at Framingham State University, brought the topic to present day by sharing the bias incidents that have been taking place at the school.
Two additional highpoints were a presentation by ACLU of Massachusetts on protecting freedom of speech and public safety, and remarks by Lecia Brooks of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Ms. Brooks presented on the impact of hate groups on college campuses.
Questions? Email June Kevorkian, Director of Program and Administration
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