Fundamentals of Sustainability: The Practitioner Perspective -- from Concepts to Transactions
The goal of this course is to understand how sustainability affects the formation, distribution and recycling of capital resources – from concepts to transactions. The focus will be on the concept of sustainability and how it relates to science, technology and business. We will be focusing on the respective role of Government and the motivations of the Private Sector; the role of regulation as the motivator for the private sector; the role of corporate social responsibility or some combination. Emphasis will also be on sustainability opportunities in the marketplace. Most of the case examples will focus on US examples, but occasional reference will be made to international case material.
The course is designed to provide a comprehensive survey platform from which participants can move into more detailed research and participation on each topic. Emphasis on the blocks may vary depending on the professional and educational makeup of the class. Every attempt is made to keep the discussion and research in current, practical, mode. One or two lab sessions with Sustainability Tools will also be included.
Course Outline: (Readings will be provided with each unit)
Unit 1: Sustainability Chronology and relation to natural resource management and the global environment: Air-Energy-Water-Waste-Land
Week 1- 4 Chronology of Sustainability concepts and Energy: The future of fossil fuels, renewable sources, energy efficiency and near market energy technology. Reference point is USDOE-EIA Annual Energy Outlook
- New Jersey Energy Master Plan; New York State Renewed Energy Vision (REV)
- Analyzing an Energy Services Contract for Performance Contracting
- Water: Quantity and Quality : The crisis is here; Desertification , Agriculture; Technology and affordability and infrastructure. How far can desalinzation go without proper efficiency and management? Dangerous Infrastructure: The return of lead and the emergence of PFOA in drinking water. Bottled Water?
- Waste: Solid and Liquid; Poop Recycling: Black and Gray Water; Solid and Hazardous Waste Management:
- 2016 reauthorization of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TOSCA)
- Landfills and Methane emissions:
- Energy recovery -Bio Generators, anaerobic digesters: The Burlington County Resource Recovery facility as a case example. Why bio gas is stalled in New Jersey.
- The Rutgers Eco complex at the Burlington County Resource Recover Complex; a potential innovative platform for refugee settlement: waste management, technology, controlled environment agriculture and resettlement with dignity and social justice.
- Land Cover and Land Use: Urbanization and the aura of the Heat Island. Urban Forestry, reforestation and carbon sinks. International and domestic case studies. Managing urban forests using a public utility business model-why not?
Unit 2- Sustainability Programs
Weeks 5-9 How do the Public and Private Sector define sustainability? What systems are used ? Metrics, Finance and Accounting Practice s Security and Exchange Commission regulations on Climate Change exposure reports for shareholders.
- Sustainability Accounting Standards Board
- Pioneer voluntary programs: Energy Star Buildings, Leadership in Environment and Design (LEED) +Sustainable New Jersey
- The ISO Standards environmental standards how effective?
- Industrial Ecology,
- Supply Chain Management : The Key? Accenture Report Supply Chain Sustainability Revealed A Country Comparison 2014-15.
- Environmental Financing Systems: Green Bonds =State Bond Programs- US Government Grants
- Emission Trading Rules within the US: State and Federal rules ( Clean Air Act+ Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative+ California Emission Trading System +EPA Clean Power Rules. State and Regional trading blocks in the absence of Federal leadership.
- Commitment Accounting: The Real Future of Coal outside the Paris Climate Accords .
- Harnessing and leveraging the power of environmental and economic models into integrated decision making: City, Regional national and international case models.
Unit 3 Emerging Technology propelling Sustainability
Weeks 10-14 Technology overviews
- Remote Sensing, drones and citizen sensor networks.
- Building Design and advanced building performance meters
- Institutional catch up to technology: recasting the concept of a public utility with competitive rates of return. Should we consider re regulation updated to the 21st century to address certain environmental problems as opposed to relying on market driven mechanisms
- Energy services
- Migrating analytical models and analysis into the political sphere: Increasing the scientific footprint in environmental laws and regulations.
Weeks 15-16 Student Presentations
Course requirements: Mid-term examination -take home and completed in mini research paper format. Team Exercise: Class is divided into two teams with a project to be presented to the class at the end of the semester. Potential Field Trip: to PSE&G system control room Newark to see how the PSEG system functions with the PJM Regional and National Electricity Grid.
Reading material will be taken from the following recommended texts:
- Sustainability and the USEPA National Academies Press 2011 ISBN:978-0-309-21252-6
- Kevin L . Lyons A Roadmap to Green Supply Chains Using Supply Chain Archaeology and Big Data Analytics 2015 ISBN 978031135140
- T. Houser et al Economic Risks of Climate Change An American Prospectus 2015 ISBN 9780231174565
Instructor: Edward Linky, Senior Energy Policy Advisor, EPA