Applied Sustainability Center Receives Funds to Help Cities With Energy Policies
Grant awarded by Arkansas Community FoundationTuesday, November 27, 2012
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Arkansas Community Foundation’s Sustainable Energy Initiative has awarded a grant to support the Applied Sustainability Center at the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas in its efforts to help cities become more energy efficient and employ renewable energy policies.
“We think cities can play a central role in driving energy efficiency and renewable energy, and stand to reap significant benefits in terms of job creation, retained wealth and attracting new investment,” said Michele Halsell, managing director of the Applied Sustainability Center. “Cities make decisions that impact energy use and have economic ramifications for years to come. This initiative will help cities see the benefits of energy planning at the local level.”
The grant to the sustainability center will fund a program designed to help Arkansas municipalities optimize energy efficiency and renewable energy policy implementation and deployment. The Applied Sustainability Center’s proposal consists of four elements: municipal energy scorecards, a summer institute for municipal leaders, monthly energy round-table calls and energy education for city residents.
The center will recruit four to five cities for a pilot program starting in 2013 and will expand the program to eight to 10 cities in 2014. “Participation in the pilot program will be free to the selected cities,” Halsell said. “Ideally, we are looking for cities that would like to reap the economic benefits of energy efficiency and renewable energy for their local economy and that are geographically dispersed across the state.”
The Arkansas Community Foundation awarded grants totaling $2 million to sustainable energy organizations. The Applied Sustainability Center is one of seven organizations in four states that were awarded grants.
“We are pleased to award these grants to support public policy initiatives designed to develop energy efficiency, renewable energy and otherwise sustainable energy resources in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana,” said Heather Larkin, president and chief executive officer of the Arkansas Community Foundation.
According to the Arkansas Community Foundation, a committee considered several factors when awarding the grants, including the potential to benefit sustainable energy policy and the potential for sustainability beyond the grant period. The foundation makes grants to improve the quality of life in the state and collaborates with individuals, families and organizations to build local communities through philanthropy. The foundation has provided more than $98 million in grants since it began operation in 1976.
Michele Halsell, managing director
Applied Sustainability Center
David Speer, director of communications
Sam M. Walton College of Business
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