The Southeast Sustainability Directors Network collaborates to accelerate the adoption of economically viable, socially equitable, and environmentally responsible best practices in American Southeastern communities. We do this by sharing information and problem solving together.
View this email in your browser
   The Southeast Sustainability Directors Network:
   March Update
Registration Now Live: SSDN 2015 Annual Meeting
Charleston, SC - June 22-24
The 2015 SSDN annual meeting is in Charleston, SC June 22 - 24 to southeastern communities. The agenda features deep dives into community engagement, lessons about climate adaptation in the south, and fun field trips to tour an eco-district and urban food hub. Registration is here. The registration deadline is May 1, 2015.
Please read the following registration options closely. Because this is the first year we've had dues as a network, the annual meeting registration has four types of registrants:
  • Primary Member: The primary SSDN member from communities who paid 2015 membership dues. Registration covers: travel, two nights hotel and food. No registration fee.
  • Secondary Member: The secondary SSDN member from communities who paid 2015 membership dues. The fee covers: two nights hotel and food during the annual meeting. All travel costs are the responsibility of the registrant. Registration fee is $500.
  • Non Member Community: Individuals from communities who participate in SSDN activities but have not paid 2015 membership dues. The fee covers: two nights hotel and food during the annual meeting. All travel are the responsibility of the registrant. Registration fee is $500.
  • Host City Participant: Charleston participants. No registration fee.
Note: Every participant needs to register for themselves, so we can gather contact information. If you have any questions about registration or membership status, don’t hesitate to reach out to Maggie.  We establish guidelines to enable us to keep to a time frame and budget, but we will consider special circumstances as they arise. 
The agenda is being developed by SSDN members Braden Kay (Orlando, FL), Carolee Williams (Charleston, SC), Jon Ippel (Orlando, FL), and Kerby Smithson (Asheville, NC).

Case Study:
DOE Better Building Challenge
Atlanta, GA and Knoxville, TN
Promoting Energy Efficiency in Commercial Buildings and City Facilities: DOE Lens
In 2012, the President challenged all sectors to commit to an energy savings pledge, a showcase building, and sharing progress. Two communities in the Southeast signed on.

Commercial Buildings in Atlanta, GA
The Atlanta BBC continues to exceed expectations in the private sector. All three of the city’s key business corridors (Downtown, Midtown and Buckhead) are committed, bringing 2014 total square footage commitment to 127 facilities and over 67 million square feet of commercial building space. Atlanta’s playbook outlines how they are achieving success: 1.) Recruiting sponsor support, 2.) Expanding the project territory, 3.) Educating the community, and 4.) Highlighting buildings that reach goals.


City Facilities in Knoxville, TN
The Knoxville BBC focuses on city facilities, committing 99 facilities and over 2 million square feet to a 20% reduction by 2020. One of the most successful retrofits is the downtown convention center.  After improvements, energy consumption dropped 30% avoiding $165,000 on utility bills annually. Knoxville’s playbook provides resources around policy, process, and measurement.

Ease of Replication: Create New Norms 
Remove the DOE BBC program. How can these outcomes be obtained without a federal partner?

Reach out to the Commercial Sector:

  • Make the Case. Highlight the why: energy retrofits can provide reduced overhead, positive press opportunities, and a better grasp on daily operations. Use Atlanta as an example of how powerful an effort like this can be.
  • Develop Program Parameters. Decide what will work in your community. Pick and chose strategies from the DOE database.
  • Form a Team. Gather relevant media and vendors for the program, for publicity and event sponsorships.
  • Start Small. Show success in a pilot area first to raise program demand.
  • Frequently Announce. Make a big deal of businesses working towards a reduction goal.
Energy Upgrades / Tracking in City Facilities:
  • Start Tracking. Understanding monthly utility bills is critical to forming a strategy.
  • Choose Wisely.  Tracking software companies  are aggressive. Check with trusted peer cities, on the USDN website, or call Erin Gill to borrow Knoxville’ RFP to select the proper vendor.
  • Retrofit. Go after low hanging fruit. Start with a pilot building that has high utility bills and long operating hours to get the fastest payback period.
  • Talk. Showing reduced maintenance and costs can build momentum for the work.
  • Adjust. You don’t have to be perfect out of the gate. Starting with a no-cost tracking system (Portfolio Manager) / low cost provider can Step 1 in understanding long term data needs and goals.

April All Network Call 

Jane Gregory, chair of the Establishing Internal Buy-In Work Group invites all interested network members to join the regular call on April 17 at 9 AM central / 10 AM eastern. Click here to add this event to your calendar to learn from Maggie Ullman as she discusses her lessons learned in Asheville, NC. This work group gathers every 6 weeks to explore the following topics:

  • Maintaining internal buy-in momentum by institutionalizing a new program
  • Reinventing a program that has been around and needs an overhaul
  • Building the internal culture to make it more change-proof through administrations

  Funding Opportunities


USDN Innovation Fund Regional Network RFP – Proposals due May 7, 2015
Esetvan Baza (Oldsmar, FL) and Marcus Carson (Mecklenburg County) are leading a network application to the USDN Innovation Fund for adoption of innovation fund product Community Based Social Marketing.  If you would like to learn more please contact the co-chairs. Thanks to Estevan and Marcus for their leadership, and to Robin Cox (Huntsville, AL) for being a reviewer.
USDN Quick Funds RFP - Proposals due June 11, 2015
The USDN Innovation Fund Steering Committee is offering support for innovations that demonstrate momentum and the need for quick funds through this RFP process. 

Top SSDN Members Posts
Please continue to share with us what you're learning or needing to know on We look forward to sharing your posts  in the newsletter next month.

Can't log on to USDN?  Reply to this email or send Susanna a note and we'll fix that. Posters, be sure to tag the Southeast so we can all see.  A tutorial for the site is here.
Partner Meeting Announcement 
Carbon Disclosure Project hosting a Webinar on Municipal Bonds and Climate Change:
The 2014 municipal bond market had a year of low interest rates. It was the hottest recoded year on earth. Climate change impacts present risks for municipalities / municipal bond investors. How can analysts assess the impacts?

Copyright © 2015 Southeast Sustainability Directors Network, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp