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Rasmussen, Susanne, Track 2


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Partnering with Urban Universities: the Cambridge Compact for a Sustainable Future

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Rasmussen, Susanne, Track 2

  1. 1. P R E S E N T E D A T W O R L D S Y M P O S I U M O N S U S T A I N A B L E D E V E L O P M E N T A T U N I V E R S I T I E S M I T 2 0 1 6 B Y S U S A N N E R A S M U S S E N D I R E C T O R O F E N V I R O N M E N T A L A N D T R A N S P O R T A T I O N P L A N N I N G C I T Y O F C A M B R I D G E , M A , U S A Partnering with Urban Universities: The Cambridge Compact for a Sustainable Future
  2. 2. Orientation to Cambridge AREA 6.26 square miles, highly urbanized POPULATION Total Residents 105,100 College /Grad Students 35,800 DIVERSITY Non-white 37% Foreign Born 26% AGE Median age 30.2 Majority of residents are between the ages of 20 and 44 EDUCATION  76% of residents 25+ years have Bachelor’s or higher degree BUSINESS & JOBS  Businesses 4,400  Number of jobs 107,000 HOUSEHOLDS  44,000 households MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME  Cambridge $70,800 U.S. $51,800
  3. 3. Impetus for Compact: City Perspective  City focus on climate change since late 1990s, but increasing concern about the global climate crisis  Concern that regulation as the only tool to drive action is insufficient  Stakeholder engagement key to accelerating local response to climate change  Mayor Henrietta Davis convened the City, Harvard and MIT to develop collaboration agreement
  4. 4. The Compact for a Sustainable Future • Compact signed May 6, 2013 by the City, the presidents of Harvard and MIT, and 8 large businesses. Membership is growing. • Agreement prompted by increasing concern about the crisis of global climate change and its many challenges. • The Compact aims to generate new collaborative projects that harness the community’s strengths in innovation, entrepreneurship, and partnership. Photo credit: Rose Lincoln, Harvard Staff Photographer
  5. 5. Current Membership Founding Members:  City of Cambridge  Harvard University  Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)  Akamai Technologies  Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc.  Biogen  BioMed Realty  Boston Properties, Inc.  Cambridge Innovation Center  Cambridge Redevelopment Authority  Camp, Dresser & McKee (CDM)  Draper Laboratory  Eversource Energy  Forest City Commercial Group  Genzyme, a Sanofi Company  Google  Homeowners Rehab, Inc.  Novartis  [t]Twining Properties  Whole Foods
  6. 6. Keys Areas of Collaboration  Building Energy Efficiency  Climate Change Mitigation and Preparedness Planning  Renewable Energy Systems  Sustainable Transportation  Waste Management (recycling, composting and waste reduction)  Water Management  Urban Natural Resources  Public Information and Education  Green Tech Incubation and Promotion
  7. 7. Activities to Date  Governance and Funding:  Signatory and Resource membership categories  Board, Steering and Program Committees  Resource plan: Member dues and City part-time coordinator  Working Groups:  Building Energy  Information sharing  Key stakeholder input on Building Energy Use Disclosure Ordinance and Net Zero Action Plan  Climate Change Resiliency and Preparedness Planning  Information sharing  Newly completed 3-year work plan
  8. 8. EDUCATION • Provide a training opportunity on greenhouse gas inventories and management. • Create opportunities to learn more about climate change resiliency and preparedness planning. • Provide opportunities to learn more about building energy reduction strategies. • Discuss sustainable transportation trends in Cambridge and challenges faced by Compact members. RESEARCH • Investigate renewable energy purchase and storage to identify possible pilot opportunities. PILOTS • Assess feasibility of a net zero labs by 2030 goal. • Jointly strategize about business continuity in the face of climate change and extreme weather events. RESPOND & ADVOCATE • Take advantage of opportunities to jointly discuss and advocate for shared interests and new initiatives. 3-Year Work Plan Structure
  9. 9. Looking at Year 1 Research PilotsEducation Responsiveness & Advocacy Organize events on: • Climate change resiliency and adaptation. • Building energy reduction. • Sustainable transportation. • Gather information about members’ renewable energy purchases and interests. • Exploring ways to engage research at Harvard and MIT. • Convene lab working group to explore net zero lab feasibility. • Ongoing and dependent on opportunities, e.g. the need for transit expansion to support sustainable growth.
  10. 10. Research – Renewable Energy City of Cambridge Compile members’ renewable energy procurement interests and experience. Harvard Identify an undergraduate class to work on renewable energy or battery storage research and explore graduate level research opportunities. MIT Explore strategies and practices to connect our research needs with student/faculty research projects, classes, and activities. • Share renewable energy interests in experience. • Serve as a research advisor for student research. • Attend final research presentation. Opportunities to Participate Existing Commitments
  11. 11. Take-Aways to Date  Creating organizational and funding structure across government, academic and business entities was challenging and took (too much) time  Work plan key to keeping member engaged  Success in engaging all stakeholders in community- based response to climate change, not only within own jurisdiction  Commitment to common goal setting and value proposition in terms of outcomes to be demonstrated over time
  12. 12. Thank You! For more information: Website: Contact: Photo credit: Rose Lincoln, Harvard Staff Photographer