Clean Energy Leadership Task Force
The Clean Energy Leadership Task Force started in 2004, and empowers Long Island's local governments to lead by example in the areas of energy efficiency and renewable energy. Three half-day conferences of the Task Force are convened each year at the Molloy Suffolk Center facility. The mini-conferences bring together about 75 people representing local towns, counties and villages, as well as local utilities and clean energy experts to discuss implementation of clean energy projects, policies, and technologies. See the following report that summarizes actions taken by local municipalities.
Task Force Speakers have included:
Michael Hervey, Chief operating Officer, LIPA; Mark Lowery, Office of Climate Change, NYSDEC; State Senator Brian Foley; Carrie Meek-Gallagher, (then at Suffolk County); Todd Stebbins and Walter Hoefer, LIPA; Rita Ebert, Greater LI Clean Cities Coalition; Kevin Law, President, LIA; Supervisor Jon Kaiman, North Hempstead; Sharon Laudisi, NY Power Authority (NYPA) Dave Calone, Suffolk County Planning Commission; Man-shi Low, Project Engineer, NYSERDA; Angela Vincent, ICLEI; Sarah Newkirk, Nature Conservancy; Gordian Raacke, RELI; Councilwoman Trish Bergin, Town of Islip; Peter Caradonna, Architect; Charles Goulding, Energy Tax Savers.
LI Interfaith Environment Network
The LI Interfaith Environment Network is a project of the Sustainability Institute that promotes environmental stewardship as a religious and ethical value to places of worship on Long Island, and helps them identify means of mitigating their environmental impact while saving money. The technologies and practices put in place at the facilities of places of worship can become models for the congregations to follow in their own homes. The LIIEN steering committee met 5 times in 2010 and held its annual event for 100 people of at least 7 different faiths on September, 23, 2010 at the Molloy College Suffolk Center. Keynote speaker was Reverend Fletcher Harper of the New Jersey-based national group, Greenfaith. In 2010, the Sustainability Institute released an updated version of the LI Interfaith Environment Network "Greening Your Place of Worship- How to Tips on Getting Started" booklet: Greening the Faith
LI Green Homes Consortium
This project advances the core values of promoting transformative education in the broader Long Island community, empowering individuals to take action to make their homes and lifestyles more sustainable; and providing positive solutions. This project can have a direct, positive impact on all three dimensions of sustainability — environmental, economic and social equity — on Long Island. The environmental benefits of reducing energy use are apparent. There is also an economic boost to the Island that will result not only from job creation as a result of the increased work in home energy retrofits, but also due to the savings realized from lower energy bills making more money available in the local economy. The social equity component results from the job creation aspects of the project, but also because the financing eligibility formulas will help fill a gap between populations eligible for subsidized weatherization assistance, and those that are either flush with funds or access to more traditional sources of credit. This will help to maintain housing affordability on Long Island for working and middle-income families.
The Sustainability Institute’s participation in the Consortium has resulted in development of an ongoing, working relationship with municipal officials and staff. It has also provided an introduction and greater access to NYSERDA staff that are implementing this project State-wide.
Sustainable Film Series
The Sustainable Film Series is a free documentary series presented by the Sustainability Institute that screens films with a focus on environmental protection and sustainability, and features a different organizational partner for each presentation. Since the series kick-off in August 2010, fourteen films have been screened and more are being planned for this ongoing series. The films to date have been:
- FRESH (www.freshthemovie.com)
- EARTHLINGS (www.earthlings.com)
- CARBON NATION (www.carbonnationmovie.com)
- GASLAND (www.gaslandthemovie.com)
- BAG IT (www.bagitmovie.com)
- NO IMPACT MAN (www.noimpactproject.org)
- THE ISLAND PRESIDENT (www.theislandpresident.com)
- DIRT (www.dirtthemovie.com)
- CAPE SPIN (www.capespin.com)
- MADONNA OF THE MILLS (www.madonnaofthemills.com)
- CHASING ICE (www.chasingice.com)
- A PLACE AT THE TABLE (www.takepart.com)
- SPECIESISM (www.speciesismthemovie.com)
- COWSPIRACY (www.cowspiracy.com)
The films attract between 100 to 200 attendees at each screening and in addition to free admission, free vegan cuisine and organic popcorn are provided as well. This effort is primarily organized to create a fun and inviting opportunity to network with Long Island's social change organizations and to foster unity between the social change community and the Long Island public at large.
Long Island Energy Roundtable
The Long Island Clean Energy Roundtable brings together ten of the most respected environmental organizations working on energy issues on Long Island. The purpose of the project is to enhance the impact of their individual efforts though improved communication and coordination (via meetings, conference calls and email), and to present a united front on important energy related issues to public official, utility management and other decision makers. The Roundtable creates an "internal" forum for issues to be discussed among Long Island environmental groups that may have different positions or strategies on topics such as offshore wind and the 50mw Suffolk solar project.
The academic efforts of the Sustainability Institute staff advance the core values of promoting transformative, values-centered education, to instill an understanding of how to participate as citizens with a sense of social, economic and civic responsibility. The adoption of the new minor in Sustainability Policies and Practices resulted in front page coverage in Newsday and other recognition of Molloy being among the leading edge of institutes of higher education that are offering courses to prepare students for “green” job opportunities in an otherwise difficult employment market. The on-campus, non-academic efforts of the Sustainability Institute focused on organizing the Molloy College Earth Week, which advanced the core values of promoting transformative education within the Molloy community. Earth Week activities served to establish the Sustainability Institute as a resource to the Molloy community, and it provided an opportunity to integrate the values of sustainability into campus life, while providing students with an enriched college experience.
Green Papers published by the Sustainability Institute advance the core values of fostering informed, respectful dialogue and debate on issues; and not just criticizing problems, but advancing positive solutions. The Green Papers were able to identify common ground on policies where making energy codes more stringent and requiring standards and certification for home energy audits could be adopted without opposition. The exercise of circulating Green Papers to the Green Paper Working Group for review and input not only helps to improve the factual content and hone the arguments put forth in the papers, it also provides a forum for discussion of the issue from varying viewpoints. Working with the Green Paper Working Group also provides the Sustainability Institute staff with visibility among and relationships with leaders in various fields throughout Long Island.
LI Green Homes Consortium/Green Jobs Green NY project
The Sustainability Institute was awarded a competitive grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Agency (NYSERDA) which is administering the federal stimulus grant: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The grant amount is $100,000/yr for 3 years. Under this grant, the Sustainability Institute's role is to coordinate outreach and marketing efforts of the LI Green Homes Consortium. The Consortium consists of 7 Long Island towns that are promoting energy efficiency improvements for homes and business. NYSERDA has provided grant funding through CDC of Long Island to the Consortium to promote the Green Jobs/Green New York program, which provides low interest financing and other incentives to encourage home energy retrofits. The role of the Sustainability Institute is to assist towns with streamlining their respective home energy audit programs and getting buy-in from key stakeholders. The Sustainability Institute hosted 7 meetings of the 20+ Consortium members at its facilities in 2010.