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All real change is local. You can help provide sustainable projects to Central Coast communities.

Customized Classes and Workshops

The Sustainability Academy can design and deliver sustainability education in a broad range of topics, appropriate for a wide range of audiences, including general sustainability, climate change, energy efficiency, renewable energies, water, sustainable agriculture, urban planning, business opportunity, etc. Please contact us for more information.

Field Study in Sustainability

For the Monterey Institute of International Studies:

Field Study in Sustainability: Sustainable Development is infamous for being difficult to define, even more impossible to achieve, and tough to measure. It can be like a chameleon, changing its stripes to match its surroundings. Students carefully define the opportunity, baseline data, goals, politics, and methods of a community project. They research, experiment, visit other models, think, write, and then present a plan for an innovative sustainable solution to the "client."

Sustainable Agriculture

For the Monterey Institute of International Studies (Full Semester or Weekend Workshop):

Global Sustainable Agriculture This overview workshop explores the role of sustainable and organic agriculture in global efforts at implementing the triple bottom line: economic, environmental, and social health. Technical aspects, such as soils management, anchor discussions of regulatory actions, certification systems, economic competition, and labor issues. The work of international and national development organizations in the agricultural arena, such as FAO, IFOAM, or USAID are evaluated as components of an international alternative agriculture regime.

Sustainable Business Weekend Workshops

For the Monterey Institute of International Studies:

Corporate Social Responsibility introduces students to the challenges and opportunities posed by emerging norms and standards of corporate conduct. The workshop will provide concepts and tools for incorporating emerging issues proactively into business strategies.

Environmental Issues in Business explores how business can benefit from reductions in energy and water use, waste minimization, lower virgin material and energy content in products, innovative business models and management tools, toxics substitution, packaging redesign, and other "green" business practices. We include special discussions of ISO 14000, Eco-preneurs, and the emerging Walmart Sustainability Index.

Metrics for Sustainability covers and utilizes several major metrics, for example, the Global Reporting Initiative, Scoreboard, the GHG Protocol, or EPA Portfolio Manager. We emphasize the necessity of matching the data to the decision-making process, understanding why we measure, what to measure, and the limitations of measurement in sustainability.

Innovation for Sustainability. A natural affinity occurs between some sustainable technologies and markets that serve the poor of the world. This workshop explores the opportunities for business to serve the base of the pyramid, including innovative and appropriate products, services, pricing practices, packaging, sales and marketing methods, and business models.

Investment and Sustainability explores the full spectrum of investments - from socially responsible (SRI) mutual funds to private equities and debt finance for sustainable technologies - how to identify the optimal risk/reward equation, current trends and principles of "triple bottom line" investing, and practical applications of these tools for solving international sustainability challenges.

Business Planning for Sustainability gives students an opportunity to explore the process and tools for creating and launching businesses (for profit or not-for profit) designed around principles of sustainability. Participants identify and assess sustainable business opportunities, evaluate potential markets and how to reach them, and explore strategies for capital formation. Working in teams, participants develop and present a concise business plan and participate in a simulated "investor forum."

Sustainable Construction

With University of California Santa Cruz Extension:

Green Building 101: This one-day workshop covers all the basics of "green building." Whether you are a homeowner, builder, financier, government employee, or just interested in sustainability, come learn about high-performance environmental buildings. We introduce the principles of green building, compare costs and benefits, explore resources and connections, and discuss government policies.

Healthy Home Interiors presents the philosophy of green design and practical advice for finding and using safe, environmentally and socially responsible, affordable and beautiful materials for home and commercial interiors. An overview of the basics about green interiors is followed by a show and tell session on options in fabrics, furniture, flooring, countertops, wall coverings, and more.

With Hartnell Community College, Salinas, CA:

Introduction to Green Building covers Green Building definitions and careers, site selection and orientation, materials and methods, energy, indoor air quality, off site impacts, certification systems, professional accreditation, safety, records and computer tools, financial tools.

Green Building Materials and Methods looks at trends and challenges, green products for the building envelope, interior, doors, windows, siding and decking, fixtures and appliances, innovative materials, charrettes, pre-fab and kits, living roofs and walls, daylighting, ventilation, performance testing, and building systems: mechanical, electrical, water and wastewater, finance and communications.

Managing Off-Site Impacts of Projects explores the concept of off-site responsibility, context of construction, impacts and regulations, engineering solutions, erosion control, roadways and driveways, landscaping, site waste management, deconstruction, reclaimed materials, toxic fluids and aerosols, materials and crew transport, embodied energy, solar generators, biofuels, noise and light pollution.