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Funding community sustainable development using zero energy buildings

Funding community sustainable development using zero energy buildings This study aims to provide an example of how higher education institutions (HEIs) can use a successful campus infrastructure project to fund a student- and faculty-led, community-success platform that advances the sustainable development goals (SDGs).Design/methodology/approachThe authors applied conceptual models for systems thinking and creating virtuous cycles to analyze Millersville University’s work to establish a community-impact, micro-grant fund using cost savings and utility rebates associated with a new campus zero-energy building. The analysis provides a case study that other HEIs can implement to create university and community virtuous cycles that advance the SDGs.FindingsThe case study suggests that as HEIs face increasing financial challenges, opportunities exist to capitalize on philanthropic giving and other funding sources to support community prosperity and increase university vitality through a shared responsibility paradigm centered on the SDGs.Practical implicationsThis case study identifies specific funding sources that HEIs can use to fund campus and community sustainability projects using the SDG framework, mechanisms for establishing shared purpose around that impact and a conceptual model for thinking about opportunities to leverage philanthropic giving to create a virtuous cycle that increases university vitality through community impact.Social implicationsConstructing a campus zero energy building funded in part through philanthropic giving provided a unique opportunity to explore how a project’s success can be leveraged to create additional community successes. This case study offers an example for how to convert one success into a platform that funds projects that have direct community impact in one or more of the SDG goal areas.Originality/valueThis paper aims at bridging the gap between theoretical frameworks for community sustainable development and descriptive-only case studies by using a case study to demonstrate a conceptual model or framework for advancing community sustainability (Karatzoglou, 2013). The case study provides a unique model for using utility rebates associated with an infrastructure project that was funded through philanthropic giving to establish a fund for projects that support the community. Utility rebates associated with campus energy efficiency projects are often otherwise overlooked, used to fund additional energy efficiency projects or simply returned to a university’s operating budget. For some HEIs, this model may connect the work of facilities staff to student success in ways that have not previously been explored. For others, this alternative use of utility rebates may offer an opportunity to increase the investment value of utility rebate dollars by creating virtuous cycles within their communities that contribute to university vitality. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education Emerald Publishing

Funding community sustainable development using zero energy buildings

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
1467-6370
eISSN
1467-6370
DOI
10.1108/ijshe-10-2019-0312
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This study aims to provide an example of how higher education institutions (HEIs) can use a successful campus infrastructure project to fund a student- and faculty-led, community-success platform that advances the sustainable development goals (SDGs).Design/methodology/approachThe authors applied conceptual models for systems thinking and creating virtuous cycles to analyze Millersville University’s work to establish a community-impact, micro-grant fund using cost savings and utility rebates associated with a new campus zero-energy building. The analysis provides a case study that other HEIs can implement to create university and community virtuous cycles that advance the SDGs.FindingsThe case study suggests that as HEIs face increasing financial challenges, opportunities exist to capitalize on philanthropic giving and other funding sources to support community prosperity and increase university vitality through a shared responsibility paradigm centered on the SDGs.Practical implicationsThis case study identifies specific funding sources that HEIs can use to fund campus and community sustainability projects using the SDG framework, mechanisms for establishing shared purpose around that impact and a conceptual model for thinking about opportunities to leverage philanthropic giving to create a virtuous cycle that increases university vitality through community impact.Social implicationsConstructing a campus zero energy building funded in part through philanthropic giving provided a unique opportunity to explore how a project’s success can be leveraged to create additional community successes. This case study offers an example for how to convert one success into a platform that funds projects that have direct community impact in one or more of the SDG goal areas.Originality/valueThis paper aims at bridging the gap between theoretical frameworks for community sustainable development and descriptive-only case studies by using a case study to demonstrate a conceptual model or framework for advancing community sustainability (Karatzoglou, 2013). The case study provides a unique model for using utility rebates associated with an infrastructure project that was funded through philanthropic giving to establish a fund for projects that support the community. Utility rebates associated with campus energy efficiency projects are often otherwise overlooked, used to fund additional energy efficiency projects or simply returned to a university’s operating budget. For some HEIs, this model may connect the work of facilities staff to student success in ways that have not previously been explored. For others, this alternative use of utility rebates may offer an opportunity to increase the investment value of utility rebate dollars by creating virtuous cycles within their communities that contribute to university vitality.

Journal

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher EducationEmerald Publishing

Published: Oct 22, 2020

Keywords: SDGs; Sustainable development goals; Community sustainability; Global goals; Positive energy buildings; Zero energy

References