About 75% of all colleges and universities have a sustainability coordinator today. Solar installations in Massachusetts have grown from 3MW to 77MW in five years. These are just two statistics that will be highlighted at the second Massachusetts Sustainable Communities Conference which will take place on April 20 and 21 at the Campus Center, UMass Boston, 100 Morrissey Boulevard. The first day of the conference will focus on Sustainable Communities while the second day will be devoted to Sustainable Campuses.
The conference attracts leading experts and peers from municipalities, college campuses, government, businesses and nonprofits. Participants will engage in cross-sector dialogues while learning about best practices, services and products for sustainability.
"The conference is an opportunity to engage in conversation with your colleagues, friends, and neighbors. The panels and presentations will highlight visionary projects and people and will remind us that we all need to be heroic in our efforts to heal the planet," said Susan Jennings, Director of Campus and Community Sustainability, UMass Dartmouth and Co-Chair of Southeastern MA Council on Sustainability, who is also a conference speaker.
Keynote speakers will include Meg Lusardi, Director, Green Communities Division, Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources; Geoff Chapin, Founder & CEO of Next Step Living; Jim Hunt, Chief of Environment and Energy, City of Boston; and Ed Terceiro, retired VP, COO and Resident Engineer at Mount Wachusett Community College.
Topics for the two-day conference include: green business development strategies in communities; sustainable community and campus success stories; Massachusetts clean energy initiatives; sustainable food systems; education’s role in sustainability; college student projects in communities; creating a culture that values sustainability; higher education and community leadership and many more key sustainability-related topics.
In addition to the impressive lineup of speakers on both days there will be exhibitors representing solar, building, energy, recycling, organic farming and more. This year’s conference is sponsored by Next Step Living, The Pare Corporation, National Fiber and UMass Dartmouth.
The conference is the brainchild of Jen Boudrie, an instructional designer and community sustainability leader in the city of Marlborough. “I saw a clear need to connect people and resources. By gathering peers and experts from campuses and communities we can collectively expand our efforts.”
The first Massachusetts Sustainable Communities Conference held in Marlborough in 2011, attracted 350 people from nearly 100 communities and sold out in advance.
According to Boudrie, “Lots of local initiatives are popping up all over the state. Some better known ones might be in Boston, Cambridge, Greenfield and Northampton, but every town and city in the state has something going on. For example, many communities have solar installations – big or small. Most are saving money in energy conservation and efficiency and it’s the same on campuses, too.”
The conference is organized with the support of an advisory group and on-site conference team comprised of professionals from government, business, education and communities.
Speakers and exhibitors this year represent cities and towns across Massachusetts: Acton, Boston, Belchertown, Buzzards Bay, Cambridge, Danvers, Dartmouth, Devens, Dorchester, Easton, Framingham, Franklin, Greenfield, Harvard, Holliston, Lowell, Maynard, Marlborough, Medford, Needham, Newton, Northampton, Pittsfield, Raynham, Roxbury, Salem, Sharon, Waltham, Wayland, Winchester, Worcester and more. Regions represented include Cape Code, MetroWest, Pioneer Valley, and Southeastern Massachusetts.
2012 Conference online registration is at http://masccc.eventbrite.com
For general conference inquiries contact Conference Director Jen Boudrie at 508-481-0569 or firstname.lastname@example.org