THE SALLAN FOUNDATION ANNUAL REPORT 2007
Executive Director's Report
Attention continues to be riveted on the challenges posed by climate change and the increasing competition for the natural resources upon which all contemporary cities still depend. Concern is growing that long-standing practices, which have made daily life possible since the Industrial Revolution, are rapidly proving to be unsustainable, environmentally, economically, and politically. In the US, cities are proving to be laboratories of innovative ideas and practices for living in a carbon-constrained world. Although there is a long way to go before these emergent models become the new normal, through trial-and-error, urban leadership is making cities critical centers for smart and effective sustainable practices as well as potent broadcasters of replicable new ideas. In short, cities have embarked on a grand experiment.
In 2007, the Sallan Foundation carried out its mission by broadcasting emerging ideas, refining and disseminating useful knowledge in the arena of urban environmental sustainability and cultivating effective advocacy. A key purpose was to make cities into centers of environmental innovation through the efforts of government and the private sector, academics, advocates and professionals as well as engaged citizens.
The Sallan Foundation accomplished the following:
Broadcasting Emerging Ideas
The Sallan Foundation website serves as a crucial communications component of the Foundation's work. Dr. Anderson authored six "Torchlight" columns and she solicited seven "Snapshot" columns written by guest contributors. Contributors brought a wide range of expertise to their columns, ranging from financial services and green engineering to children's environmental health advocacy. When a new column is posted, each preceding column is archived and remains available on the website.
Sallan also sponsored and posted an eBriefing, "Team New York Tackles Climate Change" as part of a presentation co-sponsored by the Foundation, the New York Academy of Sciences Environmental Sciences Section and the New York League of Conservation Voters.
This year, the feature web pages launched in 2006 attracted a loyal and growing readership from more than twenty-five countries and many academic institutions. In this way the Foundation was able to widen its informational scope while enhancing its education impact. Feature pages "Nancy's Subway Reading" Worldwide" and "Climate Change" provided a constantly changing array of press, academic and NGO articles as well as feature reports from around the world. The Events calendar made up-to-date information and registration for happenings around town easy to access. It targeted Foundation-sponsored panels in addition to conferences and other events of importance. The website launched into the multi-media era in 2007 by starting to post Sallan event photos and linked to a podcast produced by the New York City Bar Association related to a Sallan co-sponsored event.
Fostering an Informed Public
As in previous years, Sallan developed and produced public panels. In light of the growing public interest in discussions about effective strategies to combat climate change, Sallan developed and co-sponsored a debate with the New York City Bar Association's Environmental Protection and Energy panels. This debate brought together four of the nation's leading experts on cap and trade and tax policy to engage on the best legislative strategy for rapidly and effectively cutting greenhouse gas emissions. The sponsors decided on the debate format because it was ideal for engaging complex issues with strongly held views.
In 2007, the third annual presentation co-sponsored by Sallan and the New York Academy of Sciences was entitled "The Spitzer Team Tackles Climate Change". This year, the New York League of Conservation Voters joined as a new co-sponsor. Paul Tonko, Executive Director of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority provided a thorough overview of New York's energy and climate policy planning and programs. He emphasized an initiative intended to achieve a "dramatic acceleration" in gains in energy efficiency as the easiest, most cost-effective way to reduce carbon emissions. Another major Authority initiative could speed the transition to renewable energy.
In 2005, New York City enacted a Green Building Law and in 2006, Sallan initiated the Local Law 86 Roundtable, a series of meetings about the new statute. Roundtable membership reflected the constellation of advocates who supported the passage of Local Law 86 in addition to other high performance building experts and advocates. In January 2007, Sallan and other members of the Roundtable presented testimony at public hearings on the rules drafted for implementing Local Law 86. This concluded the work of the Roundtable.
Over the year, Dr. Anderson continued to serve as a member on the Environmental Sciences Section of the New York Academy of Sciences. This membership enabled the Sallan Foundation to advocate for broad agenda setting, develop targeted subjects, and communicate with a wide range of expert speakers. In addition, she was invited to join a planning committee to develop a new panel series presented at the Academy that focused on a wide array of technical and policy issues in the green building arena. Dr. Anderson also helped to develop an Environmental Sciences Section panel on congestion pricing in London and New York City.
The Executive Director continued to advance the Foundation's goal of fostering an informed public by successfully reaching out to the mass media. The Foundation appeared in on-line media outlets including the New York Times Dot Earth blog, the Christian Science Monitor, New York Magazine and the Gotham Gazette.
In a new role for the Foundation, Dr. Anderson had the opportunity to participate in two panels. She spoke about urban high performance building issues at the annual convention of the national Apollo Alliance. As well, she was invited by Citi/Smith Barney to speak on a panel entitled "Green By Design" at the Great Hall of Cooper Union.
In a second new role, the Executive Director was featured on Eco Biz, an original series of short segments about people driving change in a new wave of environmental innovation, which aired during episodes of Big Ideas for A Small Planet on The Green — Sundance Channel's programming destination dedicated to the environment.
In a third new role, Dr. Anderson was invited by the City University of New York/CIUS Building Performance Lab to chair meetings of the Building Performance Consortium, an assembly of major commercial building operators and real estate professionals. The purpose of this Consortium is to develop and refine an understanding of the energy demand concerns of a major sector of the City's economy and explore effective, business-friendly methods to reduce its carbon footprint.
Finally, to develop a new tool for advancing useful knowledge for greener cities, the Sallan Foundation contracted with the City University of New York to undertake research and produce a research report on the role of the 2007 New York City Building Code in helping the City to meet the carbon and energy reduction goals laid out in PlaNYC 2030. The final report will conserve natural resources by its electronic-only format and will be posted on the Sallan website in 2008.
On behalf of the Sallan Foundation, Dr. Anderson continued to serve on the Steering Committee of the New York City Apollo Alliance, an environment-labor-community coalition dedicated to developing a sustainable energy policy for the US and supporting the development of high performance building. This year, she was invited to participate in a working group that examined the feasibility of integrating the analysis of the impact of greenhouse gas emissions of projects subject to review under the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act. Such participation provided the Sallan Foundation with opportunities to work strategically with organizations and professionals dedicated to urban sustainability and to leverage the Foundation's resources for carrying out its mission.