Six (6) Colleges and Universities Awarded Pro Bono Consulting to Support Their Campus Climate Efforts

April 6, 2022

The following release is courtesy of Second Nature:

Today, Second Nature – an NGO focused on accelerating climate action in, and through, higher education – announced that six (6) higher education institutions were awarded pro bono consulting services to aid their campus climate projects.

The Round II winning colleges and universities are:

  • Climate Action Planning
    • Dallas College (Dallas, Texas)
    • University of North Carolina Asheville (Asheville, North Carolina)
    • University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh (Oshkosh, Wisconsin
  • Shifting to Renewable Power
    • Northern Arizona University (Flagstaff, Arizona)
    • University of California, Riverside (Riverside, California)
    • University of Maryland, Baltimore (Baltimore, Maryland)

The Pro Bono Consulting opportunity was first announced in Fall 2020, as a new Solutions Center initiative. Provided and sponsored by Brailsford & Dunlavey and CustomerFirst Renewables; two Second Nature partners, ten colleges and universities were awarded in that inaugural round.

Due to the success of that round and the continued generous support of Brailsford & Dunlavey and CustomerFirst Renewables, Second Nature was able to offer this Pro Bono Consulting Round II.

“Second Nature is such a vital resource to the higher ed community – helping to navigate the increasingly complex roadmap to a more sustainable future. B&D continues to be a proud partner of this transformative program,” said Paul Brailsford, co-founder and ceo of Brailsford & Dunlavey. “B&D continues to be impressed with the quantity and quality of the submissions received. We thank each of the applicants for their continued commitment to campus climate action. For the second consecutive year, the range of institutions and specificity 1 of their plans made it abundantly clear that aggressive climate action continues to be a top priority for colleges and universities.”

Through this initiative, technical and advisory support worth up to $10,000 is given to campuses across North America at no cost to them in two areas: (1) Climate Action Planning and (2) Shifting to Renewable Power. Eligible schools – those who are Climate Leadership Network signatories and/or University Climate Change Coalition (UC3) members – could apply for support in either area.

More specifically:

  • Climate Action Planning: to support the drafting of a climate action plan that outlines a technically and financially feasible roadmap towards an equitable, carbon-free future, aligned with the education and research mission of the institution. This service is provided by Brailsford & Dunlavey.


  • Shifting to Renewable Power: to support a transition to renewable power, which includes an assessment of the institution’s energy situation, identification of renewable energy solutions, and recommendations for implementing one or more of the advised energy solutions. This service is provided by CustomerFirst Renewables.

For this round, Second Nature received applications from over twenty (20) higher education institutions. The six awarded colleges and universities come from diverse regions and environments across the United States and are different types of higher education institutions.

“Second Nature’s work has been vital to leading the decarbonization of higher education institutions. CFR is honored to contribute by providing pro bono guidance to three universities poised to make significant reductions in their respective campus emissions. This program is catalyzing real impact,” said Gary Farha, founder and ceo, CustomerFirst Renewables.

“At Second Nature, we’re always working to advance the tools and resources we offer our higher education institutions in support of their campus and community climate efforts. When colleges and universities are able to reach their climate goals, we all win,” stated Tim Carter, Second Nature president. Following the success of the pilot round of the Pro Bono Initiative last year, we were thrilled to be able to offer a “Round II” this year once again in conjunction with Brailsford & Dunlavey and CustomerFirst Renewables; tremendous long-time partners of ours. Congratulations to all of the campuses who were awarded in this round.”

The following is information from each winning institution and their projects:

Dallas College
Dallas College is a newly formed institution, consolidated from seven independent colleges of the former Dallas County Community College District. The consulting services from Brailsford and Dunlavey with Second Nature will enable us to combine, build upon and expand the resilience and climate action planning efforts of our previously independently accredited colleges. The consulting team will help Dallas College facilitate key stakeholder discussion workshops with leaders and sustainability champions from across the organization. Dallas College leaders are eager to achieve carbon neutrality and become more resilient. This planning effort will ensure that all Dallas College employees and departments are collaborating effectively to achieve our common goals.

“Dallas College is honored to be selected for Second Nature’s consulting services initiative with Brailsford and Dunlavey. The mission of Dallas College is to transform lives and communities through higher education. We believe that includes our responsibility to the community to ensure a healthy and sustainable future for Dallas County and its citizens. This Resilience and Climate Action Planning (RCAP) effort supports our long-term goals for equity, economy and environment. I am truly looking forward to this journey ahead to positively impact the future of our students, our employees and our community.”Marisol Romany, Chief Officer of Social Responsibility and Inclusion

University of North Carolina Asheville
At UNC Asheville, the Pro Bono Consulting services will be used to refine our Climate Action Plan. Brailsford and Dunlavey’s expertise will help our campus identify additional carbon reduction opportunities, set climate action timelines, maximize use of budgets, foster stakeholder engagement, and create concise graphic-forward outreach materials. We look forward to applying the resulting increased understanding of climate risk and resiliency as our institution grows and evolves.

“UNC Asheville is proud to be selected as a recipient of the Pro Bono Consulting initiative with Second Nature. Our University is a national leader in shaping a sustainable future and we appreciate the opportunity to advance our institutional commitments to model sustainable practices and integrate environmental literacy throughout campus. We are building on our past successes and will utilize this opportunity to create the strategic framework to address greenhouse gas emissions in alignment with the University of North Carolina Asheville’s goals and values.”Chancellor Nancy J. Cable, Ph.D.

University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh
The consultative support will fuel an intensive session of meetings relying on rich historical data and providing a 30,000-foot view of next steps toward achieving climate neutrality at our institution. We also hope this support offers a framework beneficial to other University of Wisconsin System institutions and colleges and universities of our size and classification beyond the state’s bounds. The results should represent the beginnings or main tenets of a UWO Climate Action and Resilience Plan, broadly conceived, and a trove of information to help this institution make decisions and pursue solutions for years to come.

“This pro bono consulting support will help accelerate the work of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Climate Action Committee and provide additional, invaluable subject matter expertise from an outside perspective. It will sharpen the UWO Committee’s focus on viable solutions to address each scope of emissions (heating, electricity and commuting). This is just one part of a much larger plan to move UWO forward toward becoming more sustainable and climate neutral.” – Chancellor Andrew Leavitt

Northern Arizona University
With the technical knowledge of CustomerFirst Renewables (CFR), we will gain a better idea of what are the things NAU should consider as we move forward with scope 2 decarbonization. We will characterize our electricity consumption and demand profile, forecast needs, and choose the best potential way forward. CFR will help us identify what type of projects could be best for NAU to pursue as we seek to transition utilizing renewable energy for powering our Flagstaff Mountain Campus. This project is part of our overall efforts around climate action and sustainability and will help us keep moving forward.

“In the past year and a half, Northern Arizona University (NAU) has been engaged in a planning process facilitated through the cross-campus/cross-community, NAU Climate Action Plan Steering Committee. This committee recently recommended that NAU pursue either a virtual or standard power purchasing agreement (VPPA/PPA) to address NAU’s emissions from purchased electricity. Purchased electricity amounts to 54% of our emissions, and this technical support from CustomerFirst Renewables through Second Nature will help us further evaluate and outline clear action steps for project implementation. NAU will work closely with Customer First Renewables on the identification and review of these actions for NAU to then select the best potential way forward as part of its Climate Action Plan implementation process. We are very grateful to both Second Nature and Customer First Renewables for this generous assistance and we will honor it with full engagement and commitment to this process. We are 4 excited about what is to come!”Bjorn Karlen Flugstad, Senior Vice President, VP University Finance & Business Services

University of California, Riverside
In recent years, the University of California, Riverside has made many strides in advancing its renewable energy portfolio for the campus by installing more than 9 MW’s of onsite solar PV. These installations include three parking lots with elevated systems, 3 solar rooftop installations, and 1 ground mounted solar farm located on the campus’ Agricultural Experiment Station. The support from this program will assist the campus in investigating the next steps toward the UC Carbon Neutrality Initiative goal of being net carbon neutral for Scope 1 and 2 by 2025.

“We appreciate this opportunity to work with CustomerFirst Renewables. Their professional assistance will help us evaluate the different renewable energy options on campus in order to further our scope 1 and 2 carbon neutrality goals. At UC Riverside we are working toward reducing our carbon footprint by 2025, as established by the Carbon Neutrality Initiative, a UC-wide policy goal. We are looking forward to hosting the consultants and we’re interested in their observation on the best pathways to achieving our goals.”Gerry Bomotti, Vice Chancellor of Planning, Budget & Administration at UC Riverside

University of Maryland, Baltimore
As an urban institution in Downtown Baltimore, the University of Maryland, Baltimore recognizes our limited options for on-site solar and unique challenges associated with optimizing our utility infrastructure. We are excited to use the industry expertise of Customer First Renewables to identify projects both on- and off-campus to increase our renewable energy portfolio, reduce our reliance on fossil fuel systems by prioritizing building electrification, and bring us closer toward our 2050 goal of carbon neutrality.

“At UMB, our institution’s core values include well-being and sustainability. This award from Second Nature will help us live out those values as we seek to take significant action toward carbon neutrality and expand our renewable energy portfolio. UMB’s mission is to improve the human condition and serve the public good, and we can do that by taking action to advance sustainability.”President Bruce E. Jarrell, MD, FACS


About Second Nature
Second Nature is committed to accelerating climate action in, and through, higher education. This is accomplished by mobilizing a diverse array of higher education institutions to act on bold climate commitments, to scale campus climate initiatives, and to create innovative climate solutions. Second Nature aims to align, amplify, and bridge the sector’s efforts with other global leaders to advance urgent climate priorities.

About Brailsford & Dunlavey
Brailsford & Dunlavey ( is a Washington, DC‐headquartered national advisory and program management firm with comprehensive in‐house planning and implementation capabilities, dedicated to serving public agencies, professional sports organizations, educational institutions, and non‐profit clients. B&D has more than 120 people in seven offices throughout the U.S. For more information, please contact Doug Kotlove at 202-266-3410 or

About CustomerFirst Renewables
CustomerFirst Renewables (CFR) is a trusted energy and water advisor that partners with impact-oriented clients to develop actionable strategies, implement tailored solutions, and optimize performance over time. CFR advises clients on strategy, procurement, and organizational implementation of renewable energy and resilient water solutions.