The Southeast Sustainability Directors Network collaborates to accelerate the adoption of econmically viable, socially equitable, and environmentally responsible best practices in American Southeastern communities. We do this by sharing information and problem solving together. SSDN is a project of the Chalice Oak Foundation.
   The Southeast Sustainability Directors Network:
   June Update

An Opportunity for the SSDN to Collaborate - USDN Innovation Fund 2014 RFP: $400,000

Let's design and implement an innovative project that advances our regions' sustainability goals and produces products useful for adoption by other cities.  Ideas we could get strong partners and traction with: 

1.) Equity and Energy Efficiency: potential partnership with SEEA 
2.) Stormwater Quality in the MS River basin: potential partnership with TNC

3.) Multi-modal transit: potential partner with the Shared Use Mobility Center

Interested in any of these ideas, or have others? Send Susanna a note so she can gather partners and schedule a brainstorm call.

RFP Basics:

  • This RFP provides financial and technical assistance support and more time for members developing proposals. Since 2009, the Fund has committed more than $1.3 million of funding to 35 innovation projects. A majority of USDN members have participated in one or more Fund projects. The Innovation Fund's 2013 Annual Report is available here.
  • The last informational conference call is scheduled for 2 PM EST July 11. However, any questions may be directed to Fund Managers, Susanna Sutherland and Pete Plastrik.
  • Letters of Intent to Propose (LOIPs) are due on September 24, 2014, but USDN members may submit a first draft by August 15 to receive feedback at the USDN Annual Meeting in Houston. This first draft will not be judged by the Steering Committee and the draft may be revised before final submission by September 24.

SSDN 2014 Annual Meeting Update 

17 members are registered so far for the November annual meeting, and we're shooting for 30 attendees. Please Register here for the SSDN Annual Meeting (Orlando, FL, November 5-7). Registration will be open until September 5. An instruction email will be sent in July to all members with logistics, draft agenda, and call for speakers. Those of you who have already registered should have already received forms with instruction.  If you have registered but not received these from Kim, please let her know.

Connectivity Call: Appointments Coming to those Signed up
16 of you have signed up to get to know your peers, learn from them, and share what's on your mind. Appointments are coming to your calendars in the first week of July for your network call on August 14: sign up here  for small, interesting, slightly moderated conversations. 

June Member Call: Carbon Disclosure Project Presentation here.

SSDN Seeking Member Involvement

No one is too new, and everyone has something to offer and receive.  If you are getting benefit from the network and would like to give back, there are many ways to plug in!  Thanks to Emily Barrett for raising her hand for the Steering Committee this month; she will be replacing Jake Tisinger, who is moving to CA this summer. 
At the annual meeting, we'll be asking for members to consider where they are currently involved and how they can best give and get benefit from our network.  In the meantime, if you would like to pitch in, please let Susanna or the applicable group leader(s) know.  

Top SSDN Posts on USDN:

ICMA Releases Report on Integrating Social Equity and Sustainability
Pay As You Throw Transition Pitfalls
Charlotte Relaunches Sustainability Website

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.

Welcome to John Morgan of Delray Beach, FL.  We're glad you're with us!

Emily Barrett of Cary, NC 

Emily is big on collaboration and sharing to advance southeast sustainability.  She knows how to network, and is part of the SSDN communications team - and the newest member of our Steering Committee.  She is full of words, energy, and life, though she says she’s an introvert.   

Emily has a biology undergrad, and an M.S. in Environmental Science and Engineering from UNC Chapel Hill, where she gravitated towards classes that taught systems thinking.  She ended up in TX working at the State helping small businesses and local governments to prevent pollution and to comply with environmental regulations, and later doing regulatory development, and then air quality work for the Houston area. She consulted on sustainability and compliance for a bit, but knew two things: she wanted to raise her kids in NC, and she wanted to be a city sustainability director.  

Making it Happen:
Emily called Maggie Ullman (Asheville) and introduced herself. Maggie gave her Tobin Freid’s (Raleigh-Durham) info.  Tobin told her about an opening at the Town of Cary, NC.  When she got that job, she found a standing appointment on her calendar called “sustainability therapy”, where she could regularly talk to her NC peers. She loves the profession, and is thankful to be working every day on things that matter. 
Key Challenges:
Emily notes that sustainability is trying to be the 21st century solution to high quality of life but that treated differently than other city departments, who enjoy automatic annual budgets and few reporting requirements. She notes that management has come to expect sustainability to be a generator of free wins, and - even when an initiative is carefully justified - if it costs anything upfront, it’s hard to get it funded regardless of short payback times.  A win for her, though, is to have been placed in the Transportation and Facilities Department, where her budget requests look small by comparison.  
Key Projects:
LED streetlights: Have invested $250,000 to upgrade Duke-owned streetlights to LED fixtures, generating $200,000 in annual savings (payback period of just over 1 year). 

Strategic Energy Plan: This plan outlines a path forward for the Town of Cary to reduce operational energy use in all categories, including fleet,, and includes an energy reduction goal with an associated energy management plan. The plan anticipates a $1.5 million yearly savings.

Chief’s Energy Challenge: Cary started a national challenge for municipal fire stations: a city commits to a 10% energy reduction by the first year and 20% by the third year. So far, 106 fire stations from 18 cities have signed up. 


Southeast Sustainability Directors Network
P.O. Box 27534
Knoxville, TN 37927

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