Posted by: climatecollaborative | March 23, 2009

3.16 Meeting Minutes


Todd Orenstein (HBS), Garrett Smith (HBS), Amy Lawrence (HLS), Craig Altemose (HLS), Kevin Banahan (HSPH), Peter James (HSPH), Julai Roos (HSPH), Karen McKinnon (FAS), Lina Swislocki (HGSE), Tiffany Curtis (HDS), Emma Crossen (HDS), Jake Bowman (Extension, in for Nicole Desantis), Gracie Brown (College), Josie McVitty (SEAS), Charlie Allen (HILR), Dave Lewis (GSD), Spring Greeney (College, Coordinator), Aron Chang (GSD, Coordinator)


Guest Speaker:  Mark Orlowski, founder and executive director of the Sustainable Endowments Institute


Progress Report Update – A draft of the Report will be distributed by April 5th for comments from the group, and a final draft will be ready by Earth Day for distribution.


Earth Day discussion – Which schools have events planned for Earth Day?  Possible collaborations between schools to pool resources and plan joint events so that there might be greater attendance


Earth Hour – (  The City of Boston and Harvard University are both taking part in Earth Hour 2009.  Each school has some plan for participation, so students might speak with facilities managers to see if they can help out or help plan events for that evening.  Earth Hour takes place this year on March 28th, Saturday, 8:30 p.m.



HLS student presentation (Craig Altemose, Amy Lawrence)


Environmental Law Society presentation available here.  ELS website here.


         The Environmental Law Society hosts various on-campus events, including movie nights, career panels, and symposiums

         “Green on-campus interviewing”

         Employers spend lots of money and use lots of resources (paper, catering) to visit the HLS, passing out large packets of information, and then paying to have interviewees visit their firms all around the country and sometime internationally

         HLS students working with firms to shift to a less resource-intensive process, including limiting handouts to a single double-sided page and working to minimize the amount of travel required by representatives and students

         firms have found that they can save thousands of dollars by following Green OCI guidelines

         ELS is also involved in advocacy, specifically pushing for 100% Clean Electricity in 10 years



Mark Orlowski presentation

         Mark is the founder and executive director of the Sustainable Endowments Institute, a Harvard Square-based nonprofit organization engaged in research and advocacy to advance sustainability in higher education.

         Harvard has a lot of opportunity to do better … though it’s doing pretty well.

         Unique position to pioneer new initiatives to better campus  that can spread to other schools (ex. Revolving Loan Fund)

         College sustainability report card ( – shows that schools such as Harvard are doing pretty well in regards to on-campus sustainability, but that there is much room for improvement in terms of university endowments

         US & Canadian schools hold about $300 billion (Harvard has about 1 out of every 12 of these dollars) – these endowments are a great source of leverage, by which schools can exert a positive influence on the operations of the companies in which they hold shares in order to encourage more sustainable practices

         Simon Malls case à putting pressure on the endowment.  Shareholder resolution from a small Quaker group resulted in Simon Malls auditing all of their properties and becoming well known for being a “green developer”

         First step is for schools to become more transparent – many schools do not make information about their endowments readily accessible – once there is transparency, then the schools can see how they might affect company policies through shareholder resolutions, which do not require large amounts of capital or other resources on the part of the school, but can nevertheless be quite powerful in their effects

         While at Williams College as an undergraduate, Mark worked with other students and administration while serving on the Advisory Committee on Shareholder Responsibility to institute an endowment transparency policy



Harvard Divinity School student presentation (Emma Crossen, Tiffany Curtis)


EcoDiv presentation available here.


         EcoDiv works with the HDS Green Team on issues such as food, publicity, zero waste, paper, and computers

         EcoDiv provides resources as an official student organization to support various ecological initiatives in the HDS community

         recently obtained permission to start a garden on a quarter-acre plot behind Jewett House on the HDS campus, with the support of the HDS landscaping crew, Facilities, and OEB

         great enthusisasm amongst students, faculty, and staff for the garden

         EcoDiv hosts various lectures and events, is planning Nature Neighborhood Tours, is co-hosting a one day conference on the implications of ecology for the practice of ministry with the Boston Theological Institute and the HDS Office of Ministry Studies, and is looking at increasing its presence during Orientation with environmental campus tours, info sessions, etc. 

         Other ideas for future initiatives include CSA participation for students, Eco Storytelling, Story of Stuff conversation series, and a Eco-liturgy literacy project


HCC  Leadership and Transition into Next Year


Please send Spring and Aron any suggestions you might have for potential leaders for the HCC next year.  We would like to announce the new coordinators by the next meeting, and to have them run the next meeting so that we can ensure that there is a good transition into next fall.  Also, our next meeting is open to all future members of the HCC, so please bring classmates or members of your respective groups that will be involved in the HCC next year so that they can begin to get to know each other and be introduced to the group and how it functions. 





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