November 18, 2009

PVSN Meeting:
Wed, Nov. 18, 2009 
Location: Media Education Foundation, 60 Masonic Street, Northampton MA (next to Woodstar)

Meeting Agenda:
8:00-Breakfast and informal networking
-Formal Networking
9:00 First Class Networking Software Presentation/Discussion
10:15 EPA Project Update–Indicators of Sustainability

Pioneer Valley Sustainability Network
November 18, 2009 Meeting Minutes
Media Education Foundation (MEF) Hampshire Co–Northampton

Present: Catherine Ratté-PVPC, Nancy Hazard-Greening Greenfield and World Sustain, Paul Lipke-Health Care Without Harm, Rich Roth-Earththrives, Richart Keller-new to region, Planner, Craig Marden-HAP Housing, Jono Neoiger-Conway School, Regenerative Design and W. MA Permaculture Guild, Meg Vickery-guest curator of Sustainability show at UMASS, Rochelle Prunty-River Valley Market, Eric Weiss-Hilltown Resource Management Collaborative, Patrick Dufour, Kirsten Bonanza- Earthrives, Rose Zdybel-UMASS, Sue Bridge (Conway Board of Health), Jeff Rosen-PV Eats and Solidago Foundation,  Rick Taupier (UMASS -), Sandhya Sundararagaran (UMASS Graduate Student – Indicators), Tom Rossmassler-now with Energia-new worker owned Energy Service Company in Holyoke

Informal Networking 8-9am:
Following the informal networking between members, network chair Eric called the meeting to order.  The meeting began with each member sharing a brief overview of their organization and their work on sustainability

Member Updates:

Karen Ribeiro-working with Partners for Greener Building-women owned cooperative getting started in Westfield.

Meg Vickery-“Greening the Valley-sustainable architecture in the Pioneer Valey” opens on 2/10, including a “green Lounge” designed by Lorin Starr and another architect to showcase green building materials.

Rick Kellart-moved to Valley from Providence to PV co-housing, has worked as a land use planner among many other professions-securing certification from BPI-Building Performance Indicators, has done energy auditing, worked with low income populations on housing issues, and on solid waste and recycling-also has experience with indicator projects with the Annie E. Casey foundation

Jeff Brown-Ridebuzz-still working to get more people into fewer cars. One empty seat to the sun every 2 days! Promoting individual ride-sharing and also ride-sharing to events.

Craig Marden-HAP Housing The big green affordable housing project funded by MTC is winding done-ends in June 2010. He is teaching an energy efficiency course at UMASS and also working with the Putnam Voc tech school in Springfield showing students how to do energy efficiency retrofits.

Patrick Dufour-psychologist in the Valley committed to collaborative work


Jono Neiger-Conway School of Sustainable Design and W. MA Permaculture Guild and Permaculture Institute of New England (PINE)-starting a demo/training center on a piece of land and it might be in our region…

Sue Bridge-Conway Board of Health and local sustainability activist. Over 3 years has taken 8 scruffy acres and built an off-grid cottage, 1000 sq ft, very light and sunny, electricity and heat from the sun with a little wood back up, radiant heat and 1.5 years in an edible landscape. Town-using a community action fund to help people in lower 1/3 of income scale to make their properties more energy efficient.

Sandhya-mechanical engineering major working on her thesis evaluating potential electricity storage facilities and is working on sustainability indicators for Network. Previously worked with CEERE performing energy audits.

Eric Weiss-Chair of Network-works at Hill Town Resource Management Collaborative (HRMC), 10 towns in Hampshire and Franklin counties collaborating on solid waste and recycling and now branching out to include all sustainability issues. New Hingham school looking at siting a wind turbine at the school

Rochelle Prunty-River Valley Market-open for 1.5 years-working to enhance the local food system with a sustainable business-have solar PV.

Betsy Powers-also with River Valley Market

Kirsten Bonanza-sustainability consultant in the area-just completed Master’s in Sustainable communications and socially responsible business-eager to co-create sustainable solutions

Rose Zdybel-PhD student in Industrial Engineering with a focus on operations research with Professor Erin Baker, working to finish green building decision support tool.

Catherine: spending a lot of time facilitating regional application to Feds for competitive Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) funds and also helping member municipalities apply for state administered EECBG funds. PVPC is working on commuter rail, getting bikes on buses in Hamdpen county, helping Hilltowns apply for CDBG funds, doing Master Plans in member municipalities and promoting smart growth and balanced transportation.


Sustainable Step New England (SSNE) is officially closing its doors

The Network will have its First annual Member’s Only retreat/dinner on 12/2/09-with guest speaker Woody Tasch-one of the founders of the “slow Money” movement.

Network Work:

Presentation on First Class-Patrick Dufour walked members through a demonstration of the capabilities of First Class software to facilitate collaboration. First Class is a tool. Kirsten pointed out that Antioch and Goddard colleges have been using First Class and are moving off them. Goddard is going to use Google groups-it is free. First Class would allow members of the Pioneer Valley Sustainability Network to work remotely together-members present supported the need for the Network to be able to more effectively collaborate between meetings and encouraged staff and volunteers to seek funding to do this (if funding is necessary) Rick Kellart, Jeff Brown, Eric Weiss, Rick Taupier, Kirsten Bonanza and Catherine Ratté volunteered to form an ad hoc IT group to look into the issue.

Rick K. volunteered that in his years of association with the Annie E. Casey foundation they never settled on any collaboration software, but it was and is a perennial issue.

In addition to software to collaborate, the Network wants to look into simulation tools to publish data-all of these ideas are ways to get people to use the web-site, but members present were clear in stating that they do NOT want technology to drive our purpose. We want project-based collaboration.

Possibilities: First Class, Google groups, WiserEarth, Basecamp, Microsoft Project (deemed ‘horrid’ by one member present), Wolfram for simulations, among others….

EPA Deliverables:

Rose Zdybel (UMASS) Update of the Decision Support Tool

Continues to work on tool to make it inspirational and user friendly.

Sandhya Sandararagaran (UMASS) Indicator update

Sandhya presented preliminary data (see powerpoint on web-site)

Member comments:
need to see data description; DEP has muni data on waste-problem is that it is self-reported

If we could it would be great to have previous 10 years along with ‘baseline’ year so we’d have a sense of regional trends

Look into the Sustainable Indicators Network

Town Clerks should have records of “doing business as” to count local businesses???

Catherine (PVPC) update on Skills Bank and Art of Sustainability

Art of Sustainability: at PVPC offices and moving to Shelburne Falls in January.

Next Meeting 01/13/10 at Co-op Power offices in Greenfield


Prior meeting minutes are here Normal 0

Sept 9, 2009

Pioneer Valley Sustainability Network
September 9, 2009 Meeting Minutes
City of Chicopee Department of Public Works

Present: Tony Dover-PVPC, Catherine Ratté-PVPC, Nancy Hazard-Greening Greenfield and World Sustain, Eric Weiss-Hilltown Resource Management Collaborative, Patrick Dufour, Kirsten Bonanza- Earthrives, Rose Zdybel-UMASS, Andrew Glace- Long Island Energy Partners, Sue Bridge (Conway Board of Health), Rudy Perkins (Publisher Sustenance Today website & Project Manager Affordable Housing development organization) Madeleine Charney (UMASS Librarian- Co-host Program ), David Mager (Author-writer), Sara Holmes (recent Environmental Studies Graduate),  Marcia Eagleson (Worcester State University), John Engel (Life Migrations),  Rick Taupier (UMASS -), Sandhya Sundararagaran (UMASS Graduate Student – Indicators), Tom Rossmassler (HAP), Jim Barry (DOER Regional Coordinator)

Informal Networking 8-9am:
Following the informal networking between members, network chair Eric called the meeting to order.  The meeting began with each member sharing a brief overview of their organization and their work on sustainability

Member Updates:

Nancy Hazard: Greening Greenfield- Greenfield has new Mayor who seems to be pro sustainability issues- too early to know for sure. GG applied for EPA “Communities Showcase grant” (not funded). GG website has been updated/completed and ICLEI inventory is now posted and available online.

Jim Barry: met with Greenfield Mayor and the city, along with all the other western MA municipalities he has met with so far, wants to become the 1st green community in commonwealth. Jim is the newly appointed DOER western mass regional coordinator for Green Communities providing assistance/outreach to municipalities.

Andrew Glace (formerly with Constellation Energy)- has started a new ESCO. Located in Amherst.

Sarah: just graduated from Environmental Studies program and looking to get involved.

Kirsten:  working with Earthrives to offer website access to environmental groups; Collecting articles, events, and press releases about sustainability and posting on want to be a clearinghouse for sustainability organizations/ issues/news/events.

Sue:  more of the same: still working on zero energy home and 7-8 acres of Permaculture landscaping.

David Mager: Writing book” Street smart sustainability…” looking for stories on sustainability being cost effective.

Madeleine Charney: works at UMASS library- research – offers her services of research and resources to the network members. She just started a sustainability list serve passed around signup sheet if interested in joining. Co-host of radio program Farm to Fork-about local food and agriculture; broadcasted every other Tuesday 6:30-7:30pm on 103.3 FM- Valley free radio.

Rudy Perkins:  Has published a new website that tackles what it will take to sustain regions for long term.  Researches new experiments and innovative thinking about sustainability.

Marcia Eagelson: significant activity happening at the Worcester State-here to see what’s happening next door.

Catherine and Tony: PVPC facilitating regional performance contract with interested member communities to engage services of an Energy Services Company-11 municipalities are participating with 2 regional school districts. Also providing Green Communities assistance to 10 municipalities to help them meet the 5 criteria to be certified as a “green Community” thereby making them eligible to apply for significant funding from the State to become even more green.

EPA Deliverables:

§         Rose Zdybel (UMASS) Update of the Decision Support Tool

The energy costs have been updated, emissions have not been updated. Currently working on a technical instructions document covering a general overview, usage instructions, and importance of conserving energy and reducing emissions.  Rose passed out a draft for members to review and give feedback. A copy of the draft will be on the PVSN website. She asked that members email her at with comments.   She will be documenting assumptions and link them to citations in Ben’s thesis.

Member comments:
Someone asked when the tool will be available, and was reminded that the tool is up and has been up on our website for a number of months. PVPC needs to do a media release about the availability of the tool as part of the membership drive-outreach and invitation to the Fall/Winter Retreat dinner party/celebration with Woody Tasch.

Someone asked if the tool could be made “real time” with links to data websites updated regularly for actual price of energy etc-and the answer is No! not with the current funding available.

The energy average should be BTU/per square foot. It’s a standard measure.


§         Rick Taupier (UMASS) Indicator update

Rick introduced his graduate student intern who will be working on populating the baseline indicator data- Sandhya Sandararagaran. 18 indicators for 69 communities is very time consuming. Rick underestimated the amount of time needed to collect all the data. It is Important to categorize data by municipality. Some indicators are easily accessible like waste data and others are not- for example “health status” has more than one variable to aggregate and “homelessness rate” is difficult to find statistics.

Member comments:
Combine indicators with the work PVPC is working on for Plan for Progress- contact Molly Jackson Watts. Catherine offered to set up a meeting.

How will network maintain indicators? suggestion- “Adopt an Indicator campaign” – members choose an indicator to help maintain over time.

Once we have baseline send out press release, maybe create competition between regions.  Boston has an indicator project, Austin does too.

§         Catherine (PVPC) update on Skills Bank and Art of Sustainability

She will send out final draft of skills bank inventory to members.

Art of Sustainability: being hosted in Ashfield for month of September and Montague for October.

Network Business:

§         Patrick Dufour gave brief overview of First Class:

It is a networking platform that will give an opportunity to move to a higher level of functionality. There will be a more detailed presentation given at the next meeting-for additional information, members can go to this website: .

Member comments:
The future of the network could be information sharing association not an organization with a specific mission or political stance.

Add bi-line “PVSN an information sharing organization”

Energy falls out between meetings; this software could be a way to keep up the energy.

Function of network is communication. Public facilitation around sustainability.

§         Catherine (PVPC) Update on Fall Retreat:

Woody Tasch of Slow Money Alliance has accepted our invitation to speak at the PVSN’s first annual Fall Retreat.  We’re waiting to hear back on a date (between September – November).  It will be a Cocktail party/dinner for members only. There will be a cost.

Member comments:
Lets plan a meeting before the dinner (Fall retreat) for network business related issues.

Let’s use this event as a membership drive opportunity. “Become a member and attend first annual retreat”.

Membership is on calendar year. Need to finalize membership fee structure.

Next Meeting 11/18/09 (because scheduled date of 11/11/09 is a Holiday) in Hampshire County-may be combined with Retreat dinner…

July 15, 2009

Pioneer Valley Sustainability Network Meeting 7/15/09 notes

Present: Tony Dover-PVPC, Catherine Miller-PVPC, Nancy Hazard-Greening Greenfield and World Sustain, Garth Shaneyfelt- GGEC, Eric Weiss-Hilltown Resource Management Collaborative, Pattrick Dufour, Rich Roth-Tnr Global, Kirsten Bonanza- Earthrives, Rose Zdybel-UMASS, Jeff Brown-Ridebuzz, Paul Lipke- Health Care Without Harm, Stacy Metzger- FRCOG, Larry Ely-PV Relocation Project, Pam Howland-Partners for Greener Buildings, Andrew Glace- Long Island Energy Partners, Tina Clarke- Towns, Joanne Sunshower- Shutesbury

Organizing Documents:
Mission Statement, Guiding Principles, Current Initiatives, and Network Structure:

Reviewed / comments & discussion / edits made to document text and finalized.

View the final document here.

Network Business:

Established fiscal year date – July 1st

Elected position – Chair -Eric Weiss willing to stay another year.

Review/ Discuss proposed budget and PVPC staff work plan for July 2009 – June 2010.

Network annual budget needs – the general consensus – approved.


  • PVSN calendar of events will be distributed in newsletter only, the website calendar will be replaced with links to Earthrives and CET online calendar of events
  • Meeting frequency- could reduce number of meetings to cut costs- members decided meetings/networking one of the most important elements of PVSN. Keep meetings to bi-monthly- 2nd Wednesday of the month. Meeting location on a repeated rotation – Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire.
    • Next meeting in Hampden County September 9th
  • Last hour of meeting should be skills presentation, we could open up to public
  • Working groups could prepare a presentation for the agenda

Tasks for this Year

Develop Member Skills Bank

  • Develop member skills inventory for outreach, education, promoting network, etc.


  • Rich Roth has a skills bank database and PVPC has created a preliminary inventory survey format. Rich’s format can be seen at
  • Need to compile a list of skills- Tony will email out a list of skills that members should add to.
  • Keep focus on mission statement

Fall Event

  • Cocktail party/dinner with a recognized “big thinker” on sustainability issues. Possible invitees are –Elizabeth Kolbert; Ross Gelbspan; William Moomaw; Woody Tash.
  • Members will have to pay to attend event.
  • Possible dates- late September or early October
  • Raise individual member price $5.00 to fund cost of offering sponsorship to members that can afford to pay.
  • Some members recommended the fall retreat should include time to “fill up” and relax, a deeper experience than suggested.

Speaker Bureau/Lecture Series:

  • Wait on speaker series until skills bank populated

Spring Sustainability Event:

  • Coordinate with members and Co-op Power’s Sustainable Energy Summit. Co-sponsorship and active participation.
  • Sub-Committee created to determine criteria for co-sponsorship and benefits of co-sponsoring Sustainable Energy Summit and/or Bioneers. Members of subcommittee- Catherine (lead), Kirsten, Eric, Tina, Patrick, and Pam.
    • If members have a suggested criteria to be considered – contact Catherine Miller at


  • Members discussed about what we put our name on/sponsor

Other items:

Member suggested collaborating with Rob Hopkins of Transition Towns to come up with a useful community tool using PVSN indicators.

Bioneers 2009 conference will be telecast October 15-19 in New Bedford and sponsors are looking to host in Western MA. This could be an opportunity for the network.

Next Meeting September 9, 2009 in Hampden County

May 13, 2009

Pioneer Valley Sustainability Network Meeting #11 5/13/09 Notes

Present: Erin Baker -UMASS, Catherine Miller-PVPC, Nancy Hazard-Greening Greenfield and World Sustain, Pam ,Tom Rossmassler -HAP, Jono Neiger-W. MA Permaculture Guild and Conway School, Eric Weiss-Hilltown Resource Management Collaborative, Bill Baue-Sea Change Radio, Patrick Dufour, Julie Johnson-Hitchcock Center, Rich Roth-Tnr Global, Kirsten Bonanza- Pioneer Valley Local First, Ben Ewing-UMASS, Bill Bickley-Westfield State College Sustainability Coordinator, Jeff Brown-Ridebuzz

Member Updates:

  • Catherine Miller-coordinating regional grant proposal for competitive portion of new Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program
  • Erin Baker-UMASS staff to project; going o sabbatical next year-will be at Stanford but still involved in project remotely, will be working on behavioral study on climate change and energy efficiency—why don’t people invest in what you’d think they would
  • Ben Ewing-grad student in industrial engineering working on decision support tool, will be going to work for ISO New England
  • Jono Neiger-Conway School-teach permaculture and regenerative design. Asks members to consider students for projects in the Fall, will be running a 2-week permaculture design course at the Sirius community this summer
  • Patrick Dufour—
  • Tom Rossmassler-HAP green affordable housing program is winding down, HAP has hired numerous new employees because of demand for affordable housing—working on foreclosure prevention and also  working to educate the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust (MRET) that poor people do not have the money to pay for solar PV up front
  • Nancy Hazard-Greening Greenfield making a lot of progress-has launched 10% challenge and is looking for ways to post information about human behavior
  • Eric Weiss-Chair, Hilltown resource management collaborative, recycling, chair of MRFF advisory Board and works with 10 different towns on their recycling programs—got a lot of publicity on Earth Day
  • Bill Bickley Westfield State college sustainability coordinator-had a very successful Earth Day event
  • Jeff Brown-had a very successful music festival, UMASS students did a lot of work, working to reach out to economically disadvantaged people and elders who could most benefit from ride sharing
  • Julie Johnson-raising funds for new green building for the center, developing K-12 curriculums
  • Rich Roth and Kirsten Bonanza-developing Green Comm to coordinate and organize green efforts in the region

EPA funded deliverables update:

Erin-provided an overview of baseline data available on indicators (see attachment) Group brainstormed additional sources of data

Decision Support Tool

Ben-demonstrated it and group commented. It is an excel spreadsheet right now and team is looking into hiring a graphic designer to “make it look pretty”


  • How changeable is the tool? Answer: pretty easy to update it.
  • Please add in averages—so that users will have a sense of where they stand and how much they could do
  • Please add in a PDF page of assumptions so advanced users can know what designers of tool were thinking
  • Try to make it more “motivational”
  • Is there a plan for marketing the tool? Not yet.
  • Suggest need to stay up to date on zero net energy
  • If region receives EECBG funding—the tool will be a great mechanism for driving demand
  • Consider posting the tool on web using “open office” or perhaps Google docs
  • Make sure there is an explanation of BTU/square foot in dollars
  • Consider reaching out to realtors so there is a green standard for house sales

Sustainability of the Network

Eric presented proposed organizing document (see attachment)


Look at Co op Power language to integrate multi racial and cross class; integrate mention of education in case we ever plan to apply for 501-C3 status; add environmental justice and equity; add activists, educators and professionals; look at Earth Charter for language; like idea of having “Guiding Principles”; add: respect diversity; environmental justice, and sustainable communities; facilitate information exchange; support collaboration; support members programs and projects; encourage development of working groups

Group requested an update on what staff is doing—this will be e-mailed

Reviewed proposed membership fee structure


Have 5 categories-medium: $250,000-500,000-cost $250
Large: $500,000-1,000,000-cost $500
Extra large: $1,000
Include a student member @ $10
Major corporate sponsor-negotiable
Check on regulations for 501-C3—dues may have to be under $1,000 for tax purposes


Are we in a crisis situation or do we have time to get organized so that we can add more value to members and then start charging fees—decision: we are NOT in crisis yet—staff will work on website and we will continue this conversation at future meetings

Other items:

  • Web site-Changes are still in progress—PVPC intern and web committee still have a lot of work to do
  • Skills bank—Hidden Tech has a skills bank structure that we could use—proposal to offer the skills bank for a fee???
  • Fall Event—proposal is to have a cocktail party/dinner with a recognized “big thinker” on sustainability issues. Possible invitees are –Elizabeth Kolbert; Ross Gelbspan; William Moomaw

Next Meeting July 15, 2009 in Greenfield???—idea to have a meeting that is networking only—a real breakfast and lots of delicious, intriguing conversation… what do you think??????

March 18, 2009

Pioneer Valley Sustainabitlity Meeting #10 3/18/09 Notes

Meeting at El Mercado in Holyoke

Present: Bill Baue-Executive Producer and co-host Sea Change Radio, Suzanne Bowles-Dev Dir Remineralize the Earth and Real Food, Colin Reid, Bill Bickley-Sustainability Coordinator Westfield State College, Eric Weiss-Hilltown Resource Management Collaborative and Chair of PVSN, Patrick Dufour, Catherine Miller-Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, Rick Taupier-University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Kirsten Bonanza-Earththrives, Tony Dover-PVPC, Ben Ewing-ISO New England, Rose-UMASS, Aron Goldman-Springfield Institute and Policy Development Inc., Lynn Benander-Co op Power, Erin Baker-UMASS Industrial Engineering

Member Briefings:

  • Aron Goldman presented a brief overview of The Springfield Institute:  The Springfield Institute exists to bring fresh perspectives, raise the level of debate, broaden participation in the debate, support community groups, and contribute to urban transformation. We are a think tank with a twist: a central commitment to outreach, inclusion, and community organizing—for more go to: Dr. Manual Pastor speaking on regional equity and social movements-12:30 3/30 at Urban League in Springfield.
  • Lynn Benander discussed the upcoming Co op Power Sustainable Energy Summit, May 1-2 at UMASS-Amherst. Lynn asked members to participate by spreading the word and running sessions.
  • Transition Towns—Pvsustain is collaborating with the US Transition Towns network to host a Transition Training in Amherst on April 25-26.
  • Bill Bickley-Westfield State College is holding their annual Sustainability Fair on April 22-Earth Day
  • Bill Baue-Solidarity economy conference April 7th at the UMASS Eisenberg School
  • 3/22 7 pm First Churches in Northampton—“From oil dependency to local resilience”

Sustainability Network Internal Update:

Tony Dover gave an update on the new pvsustain website—now at

Eric Weiss presented an update on the efforts of the Coordinating Committee to plan for sustainability of the PVSN. Committee is working on a framework for and fee structure for membership and developing an organizing document to explain the PVSN. PVSN will also produce an annual report on each years’ activities. Goal is for $30,000 annual operating budget (increased to $50,000 based on costs to date). There will be a sliding scale of membership dues. Corporate sponsors will be considered. PVSN will NOT incorporate, so as to not compete with members for funding. Fees will be based on size of organization (annual operating budget? Gross income? Net profit? Number of employees?… )not sure yet).

EPA-funded Deliverables Update:

Green Building Decision Support Tool: Erin Baker, Ben Ewing and Rose provided an update on the Decision Support tool—it is targeted at homeowners and small businesses to help people make decisions about energy efficiency and clean energy additions to buildings. The tool will help people better evaluate the impact of potential investments in green energy and energy efficiency and conservation on buildings. The tool not only factors in the costs of improvements, but also consider the health and environmental benefits of possible improvements. The tool will be posted on the website and Erin, Ben and Rose would like members’ feedback.

Sustainability Indicators: Rick Taupier presented results of the working group on the sustainability indicators. Goal is to make the indicators interesting and relevant to the work of the members of the PVSN and to the Pioneer Valley in general. Staff looked at 17 other sustainability indicator projects in the country-learned from the lessons of other projects to keep the list small (12-18 indicators) and to make sure to select indicators for which data is readily available. The final proposal was presented (see website under indicators for list) and enthusiastically endorsed by the members. Additional indicators may be added over time, including a happiness index. This may require additional funding.

Other sustainability indicator projects to learn from:  Hazel Henderson and Calvert Quality of Life; Mark Nielski—BC indicators that supplant GDP; Human Development Index—original alternative to GDP.

It was agreed that Network members and staff should apply for funds over time to develop data sets to add to the current list of indicators.

Indicators left off proposed “final”initial list:

Carrying capacity—overlaps with biodiversity
Carbon footprint
Toxics in newborns
Leadership accountability—don’t know how to measure so voter participation is a proxy
Homelessness—put it back in final list!
Neighbors you know—how to measure??
Land Use change—only measured from time to time and inconsistently
Libraries and other cultural activities—little support in voting
Triple bottom line companies—no good data at this time
Volunteers and giving—don’t know how to collect

Additions (other than happiness mentioned above) may include energy efficiency—comparing energy use to income—if income is going up but energy use stays flat, that suggests energy efficiency. Toxic Release Inventory data—eminently available. PERI at UMASS has air quality data. Local food v. ag land available. Water quality. Occupational safety—OSHA injuries. Triple bottom line companies. Labor union membership data is easily available.

On the website once we post the indicators we must explain EVERYTHING-and make it clear that we would like to add indicators as time and funding allow. Also—don’t just post numbers—have stories with pictures to illustrate what the indicators mean.

Rick will see what he can collect and present preliminary baseline at May 13 meeting

Comments/Questions about presentation of indicators on website:

How will we get at income distribution? And differences between rich and poor—will it be a statistic or comparisons?
Will information be presented community by community and/or the region as a whole?
What is our goal with these indicators? Research shows that flat income distribution makes a healthier community.
Locally owned businesses v. sustainable business models—perhaps look at % of income in the business.
B-corp membership-set of hard indicators, but had to qualify.
BALLE membership v. or in addition to labor union membership?

Rick will send what he has by 5/1/09 so members can review and prepare for discussion at 5/13 meeting.

Members agreed to think about how they can help with data collection for indicators.

Conclusion of Indicator discussion:

Members want the indicators to move the region toward sustainability. Indicators will fit into a story of who we are as a region, where we are now, and where we are going and most importantly-how people and organizations in the Pioneer Valley can plug in to our work and DO something to enhance sustainability in the region.

Members would like to have this conversation in a bigger way with a larger group. Bill Baue is in conversations with WGBY about facilitating this conversation regionally via tv and radio.

Next Meeting—Wednesday, May 13 in Greenfield or Amherst
8-8:30    breakfast and informal networking
8:30-9    formal networking
9-10    PVSN updates
10-11    EPA funded deliverables updates

May 14, 2008

Pioneer Valley Sustainability Network
Meeting Notes—May 14, 2008
El Mercado, Holyoke

Members Present: Erin Baker-Industrial Engineering UMASS; Lynn Benander-Co-op Power; Tom Benjamin-VHB Consulting; Jeff Brown-Ridebuzz; Marijoan Bull, Westfield State College; Patrick Dufour-South Hadley; Larry Ely-Pioneer Valley Relocalization Network; Ben Ewing-UMass, Amherst; Barbara Fingold-River Valley Market and Bart’s Homemade; Dan Finn-Business Alliance for a Local Living Economy (BALLE); Patty Gambarini-PVPC Environmental Planner; Nancy Hazard-Worldsustain and Greening Greenfield; Julie Johnson-Hitchcock Center for the Environment; Paul Lipke-Sustainable Step New England (SSNE); Craig Marden-HAP Green Affordable Housing Program; Jono Neiger-Permaculture Guild and Conway School of Landscape Design; Ethan Roland, Apple Seed Permaculture; Joanne Sunshower-Shutesbury Planning Board, Nonprofit Development Resources; Eduardo Suarez-Holyoke Planning Network; Kathleen Szegda-Pioneer Valley Asthma Coalition; Rick Taupier-The Environmental Institute UMASS; Eric Weiss-Hilltown Resource Management Cooperative

Action Items

  • Work with Paul on shaping June 17th workshop with Roberto Cremonini. (Joanne Sunshower, Eric Weiss, Patrick Dufour, and Nancy Hazard)
  • E-mail art contest flyer to all members. (Patty)
  • Get the word out about the Network’s Art Contest on Sustainability.  Deadline is June 20th.  (All members)
  • Attend June 17th network building workshop with network expert Roberto Cremonini, scheduled tentatively for 10:15-1:15 p.m.  Location tbd, but we’re looking in the central valley, e.g. Hadley/Noho (All members)
  • Attend June 25th Sustainability Art Salon at the Academy of Music in Northampton, 6:30-9 pm (All members)
  • Attend next PV Sustainability Network meeting on Wednesday, July 30th,
  • 8 a.m. to be hosted by Lynn in Greenfield at 324 Wells Street  (All members)
  • Send out e-mail to all members that only has information on how to access indicator survey. (Catherine)
  • Set up series of network meetings for coming year and set agenda for September meeting. (Eric, Erin, Rick, and Catherine)

Summary of Discussion
Following the informal networking between members, network chair Eric called the meeting to order.  The meeting began with each member sharing a brief overview of their organization and their work on sustainability—see pvsustain website for background information.  If you have not yet submitted your information to the web developer, please email for a member input form.

Network Building Workshop—June 17th
On June 17 the PVSN will have a network building workshop with Roberto Cremonini of the Barr Foundation, who also has been working with Boston Green and Healthy Building Network, originally coordinated by Sustainable Step New England.  In shaping the June 17 workshop, Paul asked network members to think about what they’d like Roberto to address.  He said this will be a good opportunity to think about and talk about questions like those that Eduardo had asked during the informal networking: Who are you (the network); and why isn’t there more minority representation?  Paul asked for volunteers who might work to help shape the workshop with him.  Joanne, Eric, Patrick, Larry and Nancy (if she has time) agreed to work with Paul.  Paul then invited members to brainstorm about what issues Roberto might address.  Topics/questions that came up were:

  • What level of product do we want to produce or is the network just about connection?
  • What are decision making processes that go along with the workings of a network?
  • What things can we do to define ourselves?
  • How do we maximize successes of network members as we go forward?
  • What should the goals of a network be?
  • How do we make things easy?
  • In network development, do we expand first and try to be as inclusive as possible from the start or do we invite others once we have been able to deepen our development?  What are the upsides and downsides of these approaches?
  • How do we manage different interests and levels of knowledge within the network?
  • What are some best practices and pitfalls of networks?  Can he tell us some stories about this?
  • What type of participatory process is there, and what kind of weight and respect will our thoughts get?  Who gets to define importance?  Who gets listened to?
  • How do we develop benchmarks to sustain development?

Paul asked for a show of hands of how many thought they would attend the June 17th workshop, including how many others folks they thought they might bring along: 30 total.
Lynn suggested that in advance of the workshop with Roberto she thought it important for the network to push further on the question of who we are.  Paul suggested that subcommittee meeting time could be used, perhaps by combining some of the subcommittees.  After some discussion, the network agreed to form two smaller groups, one group to discuss goals and intent of the network and the other group to discuss messaging (how to talk about sustainability with the larger public). 

Report of goals and intent group (see Appendix A for discussion notes)
Lynn reporting back to the larger network said that the goals and intent group came up with 5 operating assumptions that could serve the network:

1) We are broad network of organizations with many areas of focus related to a common vision.
2) Our network facilitates relationship building, and educates itself and others about what member organizations are doing in support of our vision and mission.
3) We are not aiming to operate by consensus – to all agree on things.
4) We work in self-selecting small groups on specific, concrete projects.
5) The network helps project groups form and function, and also supports and promotes the projects and programs of member organizations.

For a mission, Lynn reported the group had pulled together the following:
The Pioneer Valley Sustainability Network’s mission is to be a broad-based Network that builds mutually beneficial partnerships to promote a sustainable, just, regenerative future for our region. We bring our vision into being through collaborative support and action on specific projects in service to our communities in response to their needs.

Regarding the definition of sustainability she said it had been suggested that rather than spend time coming up with a definition, we draw on existing definitions.  Sustainable Step and the McDonough principles had been suggested.  Ethan suggested including these in the meeting notes (see Appendix B). 
Lynn also reported that the group had brainstormed possible projects for the network to take on.  These entail:

1) Municipal Resources – provide support for municipalities on becoming more sustainable and helping the people in their town – form a group that can review new building/business proposals with the lens of sustainability
2) Support for individuals on becoming more sustainable – a trusted source of information on best practices, action steps, results
3) Policy advocacy – campaigns to adopt sustainable policies at state and local levels – campaign to bring information from people in our communities into the municipal planning process and into the planning commissions
4) Community voice – host conversations with people in our community
about what sustainability means here – educate people – build consensus

Additional things to think about she noted are:

  • Do we need a public persona? If so, what kind?
  • How often do we want to meet as a whole group?
  • How will we expand participation to include and listen to people of color, economically challenged, etc.

Report of messaging group
Reporting for the messaging group, Erin said they had defined three major questions that need to be answered:

  • Who is the audience?
  • What is the message?
  • How do we get the message out effectively?

She explained that the message could be based on what the network defines as values and indicators.  She reported that the group had settled on the idea of working with “economy” and “ecology” as the root derives from the Greek word for “house.”  It provides something good on which to build noted Erin.  The group agreed that the concept of sustainability is complex and that there is a need for something simple.  Ethan noted that they had also discussed the possibility of getting some traditional marketing help. 

Future meeting dates
Erin asked whether the same meeting schedule might work for the network in the coming year.  She explained that typically the group met quarterly on the 2nd Wednesday of the month in the morning.  That would mean a meeting in each September, November, February, and April.  Eric said he thought that as the grant moves on, he can see the need for meeting more frequently to ensure continuity.  He noted that the current challenge is that—aside from the June 17th workshop—there is not meeting until September.  Paul asked, How do we keep the interim conversations going.  Do we need to meet this summer?  Members agreed that a summer meeting would be worthwhile.  A meeting was set for Wednesday, July 30th, 8 a.m. to be hosted by Lynn in Greenfield. 

EPA Grant Effort Updates
Ben Ewing, UMass Masters Student—Decision Support Tools
Ben walked members through a powerpoint showing a decision support tool that is being developed for the Hitchcock Center.  Called the Alternative Combustion Comparison, the tool includes the annualized costs of installation and operation, total costs that factor in environmental damage and educational value, and CO2 emissions.  The Hitchcock Center is planning a new building.
Members had some suggestions.  Paul suggested looking at EPA’s clean air interstate rule for stationery power plants.  He also noted that RS Means is a good source of information for construction cost estimation.  Lynn said that waste is important to consider. Jeff said transportation is another important consideration.  Daniel said that information from the Cambridge Energy Alliance could be very helpful.  Rick asked whether Erin and Ben are trying to determine specific applicability of decision support tools.  Erin said this is a mini-preliminary application of what the larger decision support tool might look like.  It will be important to add uncertainty about carbon prices to this tool as well. 
Ben noted that Carnegie Mellon has a Building Investment Decision Support Tool, which is intended for companies thinking about renovating or purchasing an existing building.  He noted that the CM tool is much more driven by financial considerations such as staff turnover, salary retention costs, etc.  In contrast, he noted, the network’s tool will look more at fuel costs, electrical use, carbon footprint, environmental impact, depending on what indicators are chosen. 
Erin suggested that rather than use “return on investment,” they are using “net present value.”  Eduardo noted that the UN uses “human development index,” a powerful indicator.  Paul said he thought it would be useful to have comparisons between conventional v. net present.  Avoided health care costs would be huge.  Ethan asked if there are any other decision making support tools that are close to what Erin and Ben are producing.  Ben did not know.

Rick Taupier—Sustainability indicators
Rick handed out a list of the indicators that had been selected through the on-line voting (See Appendix D).  Out of the 98 indicators, he explained, these are the 20 that received one-third of the votes.  People were instructed to vote for not more than 18 indicators.  To date, only 14 people have voted.  There was discussion among members that they had missed the opportunity to vote.  A request was made that the information on how to access the survey be resent in an e-mail to all members.  E-MAIL SHOULD INCLUDE ONLY THIS INFORMATION. 
Rick said it will be up to a smaller group to figure out measurability of these indicators.  Biological diversity for example…how will this be measured?  Members suggested that the Fish and Wildlife Service has some good indicators.  Eduardo noted that the list does not include indicators related to poorer, more urban communities such as gentrification, occupational health, workforce development.  Paul noted that the plan for progress has a set of metrics and maybe these ought to be augmented.  Rick noted that the plan for progress has economic indicators, but that it does not address equity.  Rick explained that the list of indicators ought to be regarded as a continual iteration.  As others join the dialogue these indicators could change.  We want these to be equally applicable to urban, suburban, and rural contexts.  Eduardo noted that occupation health relates to all contexts.  In the rural context, for example, there will be agricultural workers who are exposed to the harms of pesticides, fertilizers.  In the urban context, you have 4 blocks from here the demolition of a building where they are not following any OSHA protocols.  Rick said he likes occupational safety.  It’s very powerful, he noted.
Joanne said the voting in the survey seems to contradict what happened at the meeting where we were thinking expansively.  This seems to be a contraction.  Rick said that 20 indicators/data points presents a certain practicality that we can’t have with 98 indicators.  Joanne and Jeff both suggested that the network have all 98 indicators available to them as they talk to their communities to see how they respond.  Lynn noted that the idea is to keep voting in the first round to a limited group and then do a weighting, and perhaps intelligent selection (including urban indicators if they are eliminated), then send the list out to a larger audience. 
Rick noted that in July he will be in Mongolia with herders learning what they think about sustainability.  He offered to present a slideshow to the group when he returns.  Eric said they would add to possible agenda items.

Patty Gambarini—Sustainability Arts/Invention Contest
Patty encouraged members to get the word out about the contest.  She distributed flyers for their use and promised to e-mail flyers to members.  She also asked that all members mark their calendars to attend the contest event on June 25th at the Academy of Music in Northampton. 

Event Announcements

  • Balle (Business Alliance for Local Living Economies) Conference in Boston, June 5-7, 2008.  (Daniel Finn)
  • Sustainable Investment Summit, June 11, 2008.  For invited foundations, nonprofits, bankers, investors.  Subscribed with 60 attendees.  (Joanne Sunshower)
  • 2008 Regional Sustainable Energy Summit, June 20-21, UMass Campus Center.  See: for more info. (Lynn Benander)
  • Western Mass Permaculture Guild annual regional gathering on July 4th, 2008, at Tierra de Opportunidades, Holyoke. (Jono Neiger)
  • Ridebuzz looking for office space, preferably in Northampton, Hadley area. (Jeff Brown)

Appendix A
Discussion of Goals and Intent Group
Lynn’s report came out of a discussion that Paul kicked off by saying that the network ought really to be about the coalescing of groups. 
Jeff asked what is it as a group that would be of value, what is the output?  Is it working on projects and attracting outside interests as a group?  Eric said that he thought that the network helps to provide an identity from which to work, but that the network is about the information that we all know about and can get out to the public.  Jeff suggested then that the network is an aggregation of information and support for events. 
Larry indicated that he thought the network should not be about sustainable economics, but rather peak oil and global warming and helping to make the transition.  He noted that sustainability has that mixed connotation between economics and peak oil. 
Lynn proposed an agenda for the discussion.  She suggested that if we define our assumptions, then we could proceed with a definition of sustainability, come up with possible outputs, and then identify communication networking tools.  Paul suggested that working out a definition of sustainability could take up tremendous time.  Instead, he proposed, the network could work from the two major existing definitions, perhaps the Brundtland Commission and Natural Step. 
Paul said that discussion about the network begs the question: how public are we?  What kind of persona do we need?  There may be no reason to have a public presence.  The work to support a presence implies an infrastructure that I don’t think we want to create.  It may be better to support and promote the existing organizations rather than create a new one. 
Joanne noted that the network is already in the process of evolving and that perhaps at the beginning now it is more introverted so that it can go deep and then later it can broaden and not be exclusive.  Eduardo suggested slashing the idea of exclusivity.  Paul said it is worth thinking about how we manage the process of engaging more people.  What are the obstacles?  Is geography an obstacle?  Lynn noted that founding members tend to shape membership.  She and Catherine, with the meeting being held in Holyoke, did some additional outreach.  But it is difficult for people to make room in their schedules to participate.  Lynn noted that it really is about the personal invitations that people get.  She suggested the network put together an outreach subcommittee to work on this.  Eric followed by saying that he sees outreach and education as two different things, and that he senses some hedging about the mission.
Eduardo said he thought the network need not differentiate between economic, social, etc.  Paul agreed and said that to survive he thought the network ought to be loose and organic enough to let people come in and out over time.  He noted the broad label of sustainability does not do enough to bring people in.  It has more to do with working with folks on issues and projects that address their needs.  He explained that his mantra has been, “non champion, no progress.”  You need a champion for anything to get legs, and you need critical mass for anything to get done.  Jono added, so sustainability will be defined by what we do.  Eric agreed, but said it would be good to work from the existing definitions as suggested by Paul.  Paul said he has a disposition toward the Natural Step definition and the McDonough principle. 
Lynn said a proposed a mission might go as follows:
The Pioneer Valley Network is a broad coalition of organizations that works to promote sustainability.  Others suggested that the network promote sustainable development; or a sustainable and just future.  Lynn noted that there are three possible options now.  Jono added that he thought the word regenerative might be used instead of sustainable.  Looking back to meeting notes from November 14, 2007, Lynn said possible outputs for the network might involve:

  • support for municipalities to make decisions about sustainable development (this would include coming up with sustainability reviews for development proposals—along the same lines as wetlands review);
  • serve as a resource for homeowners/residential decision makers;
  • advocate for sustainable policy.
  • Looking back to those same notes, Paul said that the mission might include something about, “collaborative support and action on specific projects in service to our communities in response to their needs.”

Eric suggested sharing these lists with the rest of the group, but then circulating it to the coordinating committee to further refine before using it with Roberto.  I think keeping it small at first with the steering committee and then putting it out for broader comment will work best.
Eduardo noted that he thought there is a political difficulty and weakness in working through PVPC.  How can our communities bring these issues up to PVPC when it is an agency that has an interest in the continuation of the same, the status quo.  Jono noted that maybe the question has to do with “poor leverage points.”  Where can we get the most change for our effort? he asked.  Eric noted that PVPC’s involvement has been supported by the EPA grant and that the grant will end.  It will be up to the members to keep the network going.  Patty noted that she understood Eduardo to be talking about communities in the sense of interests and endeavors throughout the Valley, not municipal governments.  She noted that PVPC’s clients are typically the municipalities themselves and that the work might need to come from two directions.  From the communities to the municipalities and from PVPC to the municipalities. 

Appendix B

Definitions of Sustainability are:

  • The McDonough Principles:
  • Waste Equals Food: make certain the “leftovers” become food for other processes
  • Rely on Current Solar Income: reduce use of hydrocarbons; sip rather than gulp energy
  • Respect Diversity: design for impact on all life forms and parts of the earth, i.e. what will the birds think of this building?
  • Care for All the Children: act as a steward for those of every generation, place and culture.

-William McDonough, Univ. of Virginia School of Architecture

More technically, the Natural Step Framework states:

  • In a sustainable society, nature’s functions and diversity are not subject to systematically increasing:
  • Concentrations of substances extracted from the earth’s crust, e.g. fuels, metals and minerals,
  • Concentrations of toxic and/or persistent substances produced by society,
  • Degradation by over-harvesting or other physical means,
  • And in that society, basic human needs are met equitably worldwide.

Authentic human needs are: physical needs, protection/security, affection, participation, identity/meaning, leisure, creativity, understanding, freedom and transcendence. These are true across culture, time and are non-substitutable: i.e. we cannot substitute leisure for participation.

Karl Henrik Robert and John Holmberg, The Natural Step, based on the work of Manfred Max-Neef

Appendix C

Notes from message group discussion?

Appendix D

List of Indicators—coming soon.

February 27, 2008

PioneerValley Sustainability Network February 27 2008 Meeting #4 Notes

Project Staff: Erin Baker-Industrial Engineering UMASS, Catherine Miller-Sustainability Planner PVPC, Rick Taupier-The Environmental Institute UMASS

Members Present: Paul Lipke-Sustainable Step New England (SSNE), Dan Finn-Business Alliance for a Local Living Economy (BALLE), Lynn Benander-Co-op Power, Eric Weiss-Hilltown Resource Management Cooperative (HRMC), Craig Marden-HAP Green Affordable Housing Prog, Tina Clarke-Clean Water Action, Doug McDonald, City of Northampton Stormwater program, Jono Neiger-Permaculture Guild and Conway School of Landscape Design, Tom Benjamin-VHB Consulting, Larry Ely-Pioneer Valley Relocalization Network, Jeff Brown-Ridebuzz, Karen Riberio-Bank of Western MA and Sustainable investment summit, Pam Cargill-Solarwrights, Nancy Hazard-Worldsustain and Greening Greenfield, Hugh Harwell-Five Rivers Council, Joanne Sunshower

Each member present shared a brief overview of their organization and work on sustainability—see pvsustain website for background information. If you have not yet submitted your information to the web developer, please email for a member input form

Initial meeting and discussion by the Pioneer Valley Sustainability Committee (PVSC)

Newly chosen Network Chair, Eric Weiss called the meeting to order and explained that he had revised the agenda that was originally mailed out to make sure the Network had ample time to discuss what it wants to do with itself aside from assisting UMASS and PVPC to fulfill the obligations of their contract with EPA. Catherine clarified that part of the work EPA is funding is to create and staff the Network and that the hope is that the Network will define its own role and persist long after the project is over, i.e. that it will be sustainable…

Eric Weiss explained that he can’t “do this alone as Chair” and asked for volunteers for an Executive Committee—or Coordinating Committee as it has come to be called.

Lynn Benander summarized the notes from the previous meeting—explaining that this had been the decision previously and that a few people had volunteered to serve in that capacity.

She clarified that there had been a robust conversation about the network with the conclusion that the network should be project based, using CISA as a model.

Tina Clarke suggested the network should focus on public consciousness raising and public policy.

Others suggested a sustainability clearinghouse—to comment on proposed projects in the region.

Others suggested sponsorship of educational workshops-on energy conservation etc.

Jono Neiger threw out a different frame—pointing out that the group is full of organizations—and that we are not so much an umbrella—as a basket. Jono pointed out that in his permaculture and Conway school “world” he has a whole network of individuals and organizations—and that he can take whatever messages the pvsustain network comes up with and get them to his network, and vice versa. He sees the pvsustain network as a support for him in his work.

Paul Lipke offered a slightly different notion of a network-based on his experience with the Green hospitals work he is doing in Boston—he offered to bring a speaker on networks to the next meeting to help the group understand and determine how it wants to grow. Paul will recruit his colleague, Roberto to do a “Networking 201” training at the next meeting. He will also ask Roberto for some basic reading material that all members can read before the meeting.

Members reiterated their desire to “break the tofu curtain” and asked that we hold the next meeting at El Mercado in Holyoke.

Members asked staff to create a monthly calendar of events that will be emailed to all members. People should submit events to Catherine.

Lynn explained the Google groups initiative she tried to create following the last meeting. Members explained their difficulties in signing on, and pointed out that there is a local web-hosting collective in Shutesbury that is an alternative to Google groups. It is called Gaiahost. Members chose to NOT switch to Gaiahost because of the limited functionality v. Googlegroups.

Lynn, Larry, Paul, Jeff, Jono, and Catherine volunteered to serve on the Coordinating Committee.

Tina suggested the need for a sub-group working on what is meant by sustainability. Hugh pointed out that the group has a definition—but Pam noted that the group needs one “that my mother can understand”. Is it “local first”, carrying capacity, …

And so a working group on “Messaging” was formed—members include Dan, Craig, Tina, Larry, Tim, Karen, Eric, Catherine and Pam will chair.

An IT group was also formed including Lynn, Jeff, Pam, Eric and Catherine.

And an ad-hoc committee to organize sessions or tracks for sessions for the Co-op Power Sustainable Energy Summit occurring on June 20-21 2008 at UMASS was also formed including: Larry, Karen, Tina, Joanne, Lynn and Catherine.

EPA Grant Effort Updates

Erin Baker—on decision support tools.

Erin walked through the powerpoints explaining the web-based decision support tool she and her students are developing as one of the deliverables for this project. Powerpoints are posted on the pvsustain website. The first decision support tool will look at green building and energy technology—to help individual decision-makers, in households and at the municipal level. Erin sought advice from the group and Eric, Lynn, Craig, Jono, Tina, and Paul agreed to serve as her ad hoc advisory group. Paul suggested she look at the Building Investment Decision Support (BIDS) tool that already exists to make sure she is not re-inventing the wheel. (article about ) Others suggested that Erin make sure to look at all “footprint” tools as part of her research in addition to the Global Health Safety Initiatives project . Generally members were pleased with the decision support tool so far.

Rick Taupier—on indicators.

Rick presented a powerpoint of the indicators identified by the UMASS Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning (LARP) studio last semester—see

Then the group reviewed each list and added, commented etc. Project staff will prepare a surveymoney survey to administer to all PVsustain members to rank indicators.

Key criteria used in selection of these indicators over others are:

1) keep list short—because it’s expensive to collect data

2) have to be able to collect the information relatively easily

3) have to be relevant

NEW Indicators—old ones are in PowerPoint
–Maximize Human Health and Safety
drug abuse, car crash injuries/deaths,seatbelt use, DWI, Toxic waste generation, Body burden,Elderly care,Asthma rates, Obesity,TV hours kids watch/week,Life expectancy
Death rate, Suicide rate,Cancer rates,Local proximity to pollution, Recreational participation
Organic farms
-Maximize Ecological health
air quality, toxic energy production, Nox, Sox, Mercury emissions, CO2, VMT/Household, Foods—organic percentages available, How much food is provided within communities?
Food miles, % of economy that is ag, water quality, level of persistent biocumulative toxins in water system, invasive species, major sources of air and water pollution, water balance-stream levels and ground water levels, health of rivers and streams, surface water quality, density of compost toilets/area
-Maximize Cultural Vitality

#times individuals attend a cultural event/year, # of events happening, # of groups people belong to ethnicity in marriages, daily interaction—do people meet and interact with strangers? Degrees of separation, Cultural competence, Isolation along class, race lines—how to measure? Existence of cultural societies, How much do people know their neighbors?

-Maximize Social Equity

access to transportation/mobility, barter economy, gift economy, generosity index, lifestyle indicators, quality of life indicators, cost of living, livable wage-% of population below, pay gap/income gap, happiness index, homeownership rate, house affordability
access to open space—show distribution on map,
show all information on maps.

Flaws of indices—we have objective but not subjective
-Social Connectivity and Stability

town meeting attendance, vacationing—how many people stay in place v. travel outside of region?
Singing groups per capita, Dancing groups per capita,

-Maximize Resource Efficiency

BTU/sq. foot built space, BTUs/person, Ridesharing, Access to clean energy, Carbon footprint/person/household, #of gallons of gasoline purchased, cost of energy, foodshed measurement, impervious surface/population, energy conservation efficiency improvements over time, # of fuel imports—oil, natural gas, coal, etc amount of energy coming from outside, efficiency in technology, # of communities in Energy Star, ICLEI, etc other programs for action

Resource: Jim Merkel Radical Simplicity

Art/Invention Contest

There were no comments on the draft call for submissions. Attached on homepage.

NEXT MeetingMay 14, 2008 El Mercado on Main street in Holyoke

8-8:30 am—informal networking with food and drink.

8:30-9-formal networking

9-11 meeting


September 12, 2007

Pioneer Valley Sustainability Network        September 12 2007        Meeting #2 Notes

Project Staff:    Erin Baker-Industrial Engineering UMASS, Patty Gambarini-Environmental Planner PVPC, Catherine Miller-Sustainability Planner PVPC, Rick Taupier-The Environmental Institute UMASS

Members Present: Paul Lipke-Sustainable Step New England (SSNE), Judy Eiseman-Kestrel Trust, Dan Finn-Business Alliance for a Local Living Economy (BALLE), Julie Johnson-Hitchcock Center for the Environment, Barbara Fingold Bart’s Homemade, Lynn Benander-Co-op Power, Eric Weiss-Hilltown Resource Management Cooperative, Nancy Hazard-World Sustain, Stuart Beckley-Barnes Aquifer Protection Advisory Committee (BAPAC), Brad Campbell-Homebuilders Assoc of W. MA, Maya Winfrey-Co-op Power, Craig ___-HAP Green Affordable Housing Prog, Erica Gees-American Institute of Architects (AIA),

Members Excused: Tina Clarke-Clean Water Action, Kurt Gaertner- Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EOEEA), Dwayne Breger-MA Division of Energy Resources, Bonnie Parsons-PVPC Historic Preservation, Judy Sopenski-Holyoke Health Center, John Laux-Greendustry Park

UMASS Studio members: Megan Mc Donough, Margaret Leonard, Kathleen Cahill, Christine Gale, Stella Lensing, Jayne,

Guests: David Caputo-web designer, Robert Rocheleau-UMASS Research Assistant—working on mapping network

Members who want to stay on mailing list but probably will not come to meetings: Peggy MacLeod-Center for Ecological Technology (CET), David Panagore-City of Springfield Planning and Economic Development, Joanne Campbell-Valley Community Development Council

Members Invited from whom we’ve never heard: Cris Coffin-American Farmland Trust, Claire D’amour-Daley-Big Y, Will Bundy-Eastworks, David Rosenmiller-Solidago Foundation, Penny Burke-Northampton Center for the Arts,  Allan Blair-Western MA Economic Development Council, Russ Denver-Affiliated Chambers of Greater Springfield, Jeff Hayden-Holyoke Community College, Mayor Clare Higgins-City Northampton, David Kielson-MA Municipal Association, Mary MacInnes-Pioneer Valley Transit Authority, Rochelle Prunty-River Valley Market, Jon Weissman-Jobs for Justice, Julie Graham-Popular Economics UMASS, Sharon Genslar-Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA), Francesca Maltese-O’Connell Development Group Holyoke

People we invited but who choose not to participate: Sandy Thomas, Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA), John Walsh-Western MA Electric Company (WMECO), Christian Lagier-Smith College

Networking with Coffee and Treats
Project Overview
Overview of website  HYPERLINK “”
Values Hierarchy
Inflow mapping the network
Schedule Guest Lecturers
Plan future meetings

Introduction/Project Overview
Rick Taupier provided a brief overview of the project. This is the second meeting of the Pioneer Valley Sustainability Network (pvsustain). We had a meeting of an adhoc committee that looked at values hierarchy over the summer.

Overview of website
David Caputo of Positronic Design in Holyoke received the contract to develop the pvsustain website.
Some members expressed concern about being involved with website development and especially content. Catherine committed to email website contents to members prior to posting whenever possible. Members want everything to be very visual—a la Tufte.

Overview of Values Hierarchy—(attached) Erin explained the results of the ad hoc working group on values hierarchy—and members added to the handout.
Comments on handout from 9/12 mtg of pvsustain
Population control (needs to be discussed in way that addresses class and culture-some concerned about this)
Human (why human) connection to nature
Biodiversity—remove invasives
Economy, equity, move up
Ethical consumption
Health prevention more than min
Economic development-provide benchmark
Health care costs-more Honda than Ferrari
Provide baselines overall for many where have data
TINA-there is no alternative
Waste management, links to health etc

Efficiency in processes
Enviro health resource extension preserving resource
Ecological health
Education as means, not FO
Safety from violence
Other fundamental human rights (educ)
Economy-full cost accounting
Human legacy-private land ownership
And use rather than protection
How reconcile with other objectives?

Interdependency of all these elements
Interdependency of all these elements
Switch again!

Max Neef
Human Needs
Looking for best practices (always ask what is missing)
How to bring all together?

Access to transportation mobility
Natural Step-ecological footprint

0 waste, 0 emissions, 0 footprint
Perhaps we need goals, in addition to metrics—so we have a way of describing sustainability in the Pioneer Valley that is more detailed than the Bruntland definition, and yet not so complicated as metrics???
We need to acknowledge inter-dependency among and between all of these issues, i.e. why do people sell land—because they can’t afford their health insurance???
To be sustainable, we have to CHANGE behavior
We want safety from violence
We have to somehow address the issue of private land ownership and American’s notion that they can pass their land on to future generations.
We have to change the way we think and not think in silos
We need a multi-facted approach
We should research best practices from around the world—(people are starting to think of implementation…)
Look at Robert Reich’s book and Max Neef
We are missing government and democracy in the network
Paul Lipke will send information from SSNE to Catherine for distribution to network

Future Meetings: 2.5 hours, from 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

November 14 2007
February 13 2008
May 14 2008

 the UMASS Landscape architecture and regional planning (LARP) studio students will be holding focus groups in November—if you have suggestions for people they should invite in the areas of: land use/farming, business/local enterprise, housing/transportation, or energy/water/waste, please contact me and I will pass your ideas on to them — Catherine Miller 413/781-6045 or  HYPERLINK “”

May 2, 2007

Pioneer Valley Sustainability Network        May 2 2007        Meeting #1 Notes

Project Staff: Erin Baker-Industrial Engineering UMASS, Sarah Dorner-Water Resources Institute UMASS, Catherine Miller-Sustainability Planner PVPC, Rick Taupier-The Environmental Institute UMASS

Members Present: Paul Lipke-Sustainable Step New England (SSNE), Judy Eiseman-Kestrel Trust, Dan Finn-Business Alliance for a Local Living Economy (BALLE), Julie Johnson-Hitchcock Center for the Environment, Andrea Donlon-CT River Watershed Council, Lynn Benander-Co-op Power, Maya Winfrey-Co-op Power, Eric Weiss-Hilltown Resource Management Cooperative, Nancy Hazard-World Sustain, Annie Cheatam-Communities Involved Sustaining Agriculture (CISA), Tim Brennan-Pioneer Valley Planning Commission (PVPC), Jocelyn Forbush-Trustees of Reservations, Jono Neiger-Regenerative Design, Charles Rucks-Springfield Neighborhood Housing Services

Members Anticipated: Peggy MacLeod-Center for Ecological Technology (CET), Scott Reed-Riverland Farm, David Panagore-City of Springfield Planning and Economic Development, James Lowenthal-MassBike, Doug McDonald-City Northampton Water Division, Tina Clarke-Clean Water Action, Eric Hove and Kurt Gaertner- Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EOEEA), Stuart Beckley-Barnes Aquifer Protection Advisory Committee (BAPAC), Dwayne Breger-MA Division of Energy Resources, Daniel Ross-Nuestras Raices, Bonnie Parsons-PVPC Historic Preservation

Members Invited but not yet Committed: Cris Coffin-American Farmland Trust, Claire D’amour-Daley-Big Y, Sandy Thomas, Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA), John Walsh-Western MA Electric Company (WMECO), Will Bundy-Eastworks, David Rosenmiller-Solidago Foundation, Christian Lagier-Smith College, Tom Rossmassler-HAP Inc., Joanne Campbell-Valley Community Development Council, Brad Campbell-Homebuilders Assoc of Western MA, Jay Brienes/Judy Sopenski-Holyoke Health Center, Penny Burke-Northampton Center for the Arts, Springfield Museums Representative, Allan Blair-Western MA Economic Development Council, Russ Denver-Affiliated Chambers of Greater Springfield, Jeff Hayden-Holyoke Community College, Mayor Clare Higgins-City Northampton, David Kielson-MA Municipal Association, Mary MacInnes-Pioneer Valley Transit Authority

Recommendations of additional People to Invite: Rochelle Prunty-River Valley Market, Jon Weissman-Jobs for Justice, Julie Graham-Popular Economics UMASS, Sharon Genslar-Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA), Gary Schaefer or Barbara Fingold-Bart’s Ice Cream, John Laux-Greendustry Park, Francesca Maltese-O’Connell Development Group Holyoke, Erica Gees-Kuhn-Riddle Architects


Networking with Coffee and Treats
Project Overview
Values Hierarchy
Schedule Guest Lecturers
Plan future meetings

Introduction/Project Overview
We opened the meeting with a slideshow of participants (attached at end) and a brief project overview. Tim Brennan of PVPC explained that organization’s commitment to the project and to sustainability. Planners are professional worriers and we have shifted out focus from working to create a “better future” to working to assure a future for all. He reinforced the need to have an agreed upon notion of sustainability and to build a network which can change both attitudes and behavior. Attitudes are changing, but behavior change is harder and slower. He believes that we are creating an all volunteer sustainability army!

-we seem to be very light on the social side of sustainability.
-we should invite the folks from Greendustry, a green industrial park in Holyoke
-we should invite Francesca Maltese of O’Connell Industries in Holyoke
-people are both frustrated and intrigued by the lack of a definition of sustainability and by the project team’s desire to use that word. Everyone around the table has grappled with the power of language and with the decision to use (or not) words that may be “over-used” in popular culture and/or mis-used.

Overview of Values Hierarchy
— Erin Baker will help us structure a framework for making sustainable decisions. We need to understand our fundamental values before we can define sustainability. It’s important to distinguish between values and alternatives and outcomes. Once we understand our values-what we care about—then we can consider alternatives. We will move from values to metrics.

-we need a definition of sustainability or else this is a useless exercise!
-shouldn’t the land-use piece be the foundation?
-there are different categories of sustainability—what is sustainable?
-we need to define each element of sustainability: equity, environment and economy
-don’t use the word sustainable!
-don’t shy away from the word sustainable!
-PVPC has made a start on benchmarks
-Americans demand hot TV dinners and cold beer 24 hours/day –Amory Lovins
-The Natural Step process is one that people have used successfully

Many indicator projects have been completed by similar groups of talented people around the country and the world. And many groups have defined sustainability. The members present want the project team to share their research on different approaches and model projects so they do not feel like they are re-inventing the wheel. NOTE: we will add summaries of our research on sustainability metrics, definitions and indicators to a project web-site as soon as we have a contract—anticipated by beginning of June.

Future Meetings: 2.5 hours, from 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

September 12 2007
November 14 2007
February 13 2008
May 14 2008

Values Hierarchy working group meeting is scheduled for June 13th 8:30-11:00 at a location to be determined in Northampton or Amherst. Please r.s.v.p. for the June 13th mtg to Catherine Miller (413) 781-6045 or we will have call in capacity for details, see invitation enclosed.

January 14, 2009

Pioneer Valley Sustainability Network Meeting #9 1/14/09 Notes

Present: Chris Mason-Northampton Energy and Sustainability Officer, Sue Bridge-Conway Board of Health, Rose Diebel-UMASS , Sherry Metzger-VHB, Erin Baker and Rick Taupier-UMASS, Tony Dover-PVPC, Catherine Miller-PVPC, Larry Ely-Amherst, Lynn Benander-Co op Power, Paul Lipke-Health Care without Harm, Nancy Hazard-Greening Greenfield and World Sustain, Pam Cargill-Solar PV installer, Tom Rossmassler and Craig Marden-HAP, Jono Neiger-W. MA Permaculture Guild and Conway School, Eric Weiss-Hilltown Resource Management Collaborative, Jim Barry-Belchertown Select Board, Joanne Sunshower-Shutesbury, David Starr-Green Northampton, Pam Howland

Member Updates:

  • Chris Mason- The city of Northampton has launched an RFQ for an ESCO and hopes to select a business within a month; Green Communities Act monitoring/advocacy, Energy and Sustainability committee met and meets again next week; Chris also serves on the Montague energy committee-similar. In Noho-looking to help residents and businesses improve their energy efficiency and realizing that there is a gap-so facilitating working group to look at creating a western MA energy alliance along the lines of the Cambridge energy alliance.
  • Sue Bridge- More of the same: still working on zero energy home and 7-8 acres of permaculture landscaping.
  • Erin Baker- UMASS staff to project; looks at energy technology policy-very excited about Obama administration-she knows a lot of people up towards the top; comparing research and dev in solar and looking at models.
  • Lynn Benander- Co op power-sustainable energy summit-May 1-2, 2009-1-Friday all day green job training, Friday night dance with Cuban band, conference all day Saturday at campus center inside and outside. Working with community owned energy services company in Boston getting started with 5 community based organizations-Nuestras Raices-Pathways out of poverty create jobs in conservation efficiency and create jobs for young people. Solar hot water expanding to weatherization “barn raising” expanding to include Cambridge and Somerville-will bring to W. Ma eventually and do PV in the Spring.
  • Ben Ewing- Grad student in industrial engineering working on decision support tool, works part-time at MA municipal wholesale electric power company-implementing  solar pv program for munis throughout the state, starting on 15 mw wind farm on Brodie Mt in the Berkshires
  • Rose Diebel- Taking over Ben’s work
  • Staci Metzger-  Transportation planner with VHB in Springfield working on GHG and air quality emissions for developers and transportation planning doing South Hadley and Adams master plans right now
  • Jono Neiger-Conway School-teach permaculture and regenerative design. Student projects just started-larger scale in winter Shelburne Falls-food systems plan/design 10-11 weeks Will Flanders group and other sponsorship-also teaches a summer permaculture class through UMASS-planning an adult ed permaculture design class next Fall, Design Business-a little quieter in winter
  • Patrick Dufour-
  • Larry Ely- Working with Town of Amherst to change the way they function-starting to get traction and feel some push back
  • Craig Marden- HAP green affordable housing program, affordable housing development has dropped off a bit, taught a class at UMASS in building material on energy efficient housing
  • Tom Benjamin- LED professional and currently working for cellulose installer
  • Nancy Hazard- Greening Greenfield making a lot of progress-joined ICLEI, doing energy audit and report will be presented tomorrow night in Greenfield, big finding that they needed to focusing on identifying $$$ 78% of money spent on energy in Greenfield goes out of the city. 86 million $ spent on energy. 68 million went out of the community. Mayor will be announcing long term goals. Town had  DOER audit and received a $250,000 grant to upgrade the building. Also participating in FRCOG ESCO project. Collaborating with CET and local businesses on greening business workshop; PV array on old landfill
  • Pam Cargill- Formerly of Solar wrights-another merger Alteris Renewables, serving on green region strategy, Board of Directors for Springfield area Sustainable Energy association-interested in educating folks on what green energy is; uphill battle because public is not as receptive to green , meeting next Tuesday with a presentation on residential geothermal energy systems, Springfield green drinks-Theodors’ 27th 4th Tuesday of every month
  • Paul Lipke- Stepping out of role as co-founder of SSNE working on health care without harm, has to run out for an Obama transition team meeting! Making first real in roads into extended care community-MA is first in nation to push that out from public health perspective-so they are training public health staff. If you got to EIC you can enter kilowatt hours and see all the illnesses you are causing! Geared toward institutions and large users-for those of you who want more of this kind of meeting-SSNE does have learning community meetings 3-4 times a year and more teaching oriented-skills building and ask Paul for an invite
  • Jim Barry- Select Board of Belchertown here to keep learning had DOER energy audits done and report is coming back soon-met compliance of GCA-forming a community energy committee
  • Tony Dover- PVPC newsletter-if you are not getting it-let him know, and please submit information every 2 months
  • Eric Weiss- Chair, Hilltown resource management collaborative, recycling, chair of MRFF advisory Board and works with 10 different towns on their recycling programs
  • Tom Rossmassler- HAP, green affordable d]housing and project development in various shades of green, slowed due to tax credit side; home ownership side, state has put the brakes on funding starting the Marlboro MBA
  • Joanne Sunshower- NESFI and consultant for non profits, Pioneer Valley sustainable investment summit, PV ag working group-next meeting is Jan 28th 1-4 at El Mercado in Holyoke-working for diverse participation, main focus has been on networking and trying to build up the value added aspect of food systems in PV; NESFI has a mobile processing unit for poultry, Bart’s ice cream and our family farms is looking at a diary processing, Solidago foundation and western MA enterprise fund are both looking to fund value added; with class action women building bridges for ec dev and justice with Amherst and noho survival centers-to fill gap for women trying to achieve ec stability -begginning of 2 year project; sub-group of people trying to protect water resources in MA have achieved a hearing with joint committee on ag, natural resources and env-Rep. Steve Kulik is sponsoring bill on a moratorium on all bottled water plants while DEP studies resources… why target bottled water plants-because MA has a protective law-water is supposed to re-charge. Kulik sponsoring-ask for a draft handout
  • David Starr- Green Northampton-citizens group encouraging more community and less carbon
  • Bill Bickley- Westfield State college sustainability coordinator-4/22 Earth Day next very big event-Sustainability vendor fair all kinds of businesses to showcase what’s possible this is 3rd year-getting bigger and better spread the word. Team-professors, students, administrators
  • Rick Taupier- Staff/team members who secured seed funding at UMASS Vice Chancellor for research and coordinate international research, international issues of sustainability, proposal to MacArthur foundation to establish a new Masters degree in sustainable dev practice at UMASS, pool of 15 million 10 grant and 100 competitors. Not a new dept but a joint program offered by 5 existing depts. Public Health, Resource Economics, Public Policy, LARP. Work with 4 universities outside of US:  Ghana, China Colombia and Czech Republic.  Also working with a Mongolian university

EPA funded deliverables update

Erin-start on indicators- planned to be bottom up tempered by research on indicators across N America. We came up with categories, long list of possible indicators-we need to prioritize them and narrow them down to a certain degree because we will be able to collect only a certain amount of information. Share results of survey. Originally idea was to survey members and try to get more people to vote. Question-do we want to do that? Or should we stop-agree on what we have and start data collection. It’s up to you, because you will be the ones who have to get people involved.

Results-why narrow-because of data collection challenges– people will get overwhelmed-we need something that people can grasp-too much will be overwhelming.   Turn page-review handout carbon footprint and emissions-may be much easier to measure emissions v footprint

  • Health status popular
  • Voter participation much easier to measure
  • Total waste popular
  • Leadership accountability would be more fun-we have this list…so we have this list-we can use this data for grant proposals-in next 6 months we have to collect data, but we are not throwing any of this information away-some we can act do now-other we will need to wait.

Last page-Erin’s suggestions of prioritization. On right are fundamental objectives-we don’t want indicators that don’t include all 6-all covered pretty weak-one that we are lowest on is cultural vitality-local food production, so she included bottom 2 because they relate to cultural vitality.


a) stop voting and start data collection
b) ask for more votes-
c) both.-we recommend both!

Questions-we need to meet grant goals-does sending it out to wider audience help? Yes-

How do we manage who gets survey? Send it out to public, advertise through members


  • Chris- Do we have money to do presentations on this? Plan was to use intro as is. Problems-website wasn’t working and Chris would like to participate
  • Sue- Social scientists by training and very enthusiastic about this kind of project-understand why we need to simplify, but at the same time, doesn’t understand how we could have a data base that doesn’t include health, size etc of flora and fauna of region
  • Lynn- Wants consensus on these being the right data-wants talk from members so the group officially endorses the measures-have a special meeting on that
  • Jono- Get it out-god idea and can get people involved and market pvsn
  • Patrick- For indicators-have we looked at data sources yet? No-we have no idea how we would collect.
  • Joanne- 12-18 is a number we are shooting for. Erin likes 12; 18 is max from her Joanne – too much on natural and this list looks like a rather conventional list. We need more conversation. If you want a valley wide sustainability indicator, we have to reflect farms of Franklin and cities of Hampden-diversity! We need to do more selling if we want diverse participation in voting
  • Staci- Equity-web survey is skewed to people who have computers
  • Joanne-don’t want to burden us, but…
  • Larry- Jump in second Lynn-we need more buy in as a group
  • Nancy- Original survey too arcane-valuable tool
  • Rick- I agree with Lynn-we should have a meeting to talk about indicators-turning out to be kind of elusive-we are trying to be very broad and democratic in coming up with choices-for god reason not just because its out ethical approach but also because we want community buy in because we want people to believe the indicators actually do assess sustainability., but we keep having this problem-most of us are appalled by the notion that we wouldn’t have a biodiversity measure, AND YET when we poll people, it keeps dropping out! And Erin made a great case for obesity and it’s not there.. so, are there a certain set of things that we as a group of experts say-it has to be in here. Regardless of how people vote!  And what are they?
  • Erin- Summarize-need a meeting on indicators.  Can we do it today? No but yes-Rick can start moving forward with these NOW!!!!
  • Paul- Leery of putting indicator concepts out there if we can’t measure it! Problem of definitions on website-we need definitions-what does it mean? Rick-if we meet in a month, Rick can tell us what is possible to easily measure. We’re starting from pre-filtered list.
  • How many will come?  12 process will be determined later-sub groups or not???
  • Agenda- Process for how we are going to finish this up AND indicators
  • Lynn has a lot of facilitation ideas-she’s volunteering to facilitate.
  • Consensus check-Lynn’s assumption is that there will be a hybrid of democratic voting process and professional expertise.
  • Weds 2/11 9-11 am

Green Building calculator: powerpoint-get this to post on website

Any building-interface will come last-experts on solar PV hot water are invited to contact Ben with input

Goal-to keep what requiring from user to a bare min. user has to fill in information in user data section annual electric load, fuels they use for heat, amount of fuel they use per year, method of water hearing efficiency of heater, annual electric load, size of space, number of floors type red or comm. # occupants, discount rate to evaluate future cots. Having filled all that info is to the best of their ability user scrolls down and can chose to select diff tech to modify their system-solar pv geothermal biomass biodiesel, daylighting- skylights to reduce electric costs, solar hot water and for efficiency measures compact fluorescent switch  to more efficient refrigerator, change windows, update insulation

Output of tool will be 3 metrics financial cost of what you chose. Compare what user selected with what their current set up status quo-show financial cost emissions cost, cost of health impacts data from Paul

Included rebates and incentives. Need to factor in wood heat, pellet stoves and BTU calculators

  • Comments:
  • Pam- This is great-company she works for has an in-house tool similar to this, giving the environmental impact data in terms of tons of CO2 is not very meaningful to them-they are working on making it more manageable to users-more metaphorical and tangible. Analytical data food for some, but others want metaphorical stuff. This is great!
  • Larry- Person needs an average measure-compared to US-add a baseline comparison to Europeans, developing countries, Japans, etc… makes it possible if they can do it, we can.
  • Craig- Can you add stuff? Missing-air sealing a building has greatest payback-not sexy, but essential. Re-order to prioritize high impact. Less sexy put at top-rank by cost effectiveness. HAP has net present value data form New Ecology inc in Boston.
  • Plug the holes then put the solar collectors up
  • Health data is not regionalized for density
  • Stacy will send GHG emissions information to Erin

Network business

Eric- Steering committee met last month:

4 items: organizing document for pvsustain; website; retreat; art of sustainability

  • Sue, Catherine and Eric met to develop content of organizing document-what is network, who are we, how do we function, what are we working on what have we accomplished? We have a web presence and want to solidify members wishes and be clear who we are we need to get organized. Sue-who’s the audience of the document? For us to tell people what we are part of and so that we can explain to potential members who we are and whether or not they want to join. Status-it’s well under way. Draft will be out soon to all for review to steering comm.–Lynn, Larry, Jeff, Patrick, Paul, Jono, Sue, Catherine, Eric
  • Website-we will shift to live interactive website .org  in the coming weeks.  Need .org for grants in the future and current sire static
  • Work committee wants to do: speaker’s bureau of sustainability professional s. Send us your abilities and requirements-searchable data base where members enter their data.
  • Retreat in Fall 09-focus on us. Talk with Hampden co people to make sure they come
  • Educate policy makers? Larry wants us to do this.
  • Outreach to local leaders-we must keep this on agenda.
  • Pam-commenst-1) weekend; 2) need to reach out to professionals yes, but we all spend so much time educating others-this is the sustainability trade organization.
  • Art of sustainability-Bill Bickley will host in April!

Membership framework-

  • 30,000 /year is what we have now
  • 2 tiered system of orgs and individuals-some representing orgs and others individuals-
  • Group needs to won the budget-what do we want to spend money on?
  • We need an itemized budget-how does it get spent and who’s doing what?
  • Have sliding scale fee based on organizations’ operating budget-tithe? ¼ percent of budget
  • Turn into a 501(c)3???
  • Do we want grant $ or do we want independence? A lot of professional orgs has an itemized list of benefits-create a membership benefits brochure.
  • Fundraising?
  • Paul-have sponsorships available to cover scholarships or subsidized memberships-have layers of membership and opportunity to sponsor others
  • Assumptions-Lynn really doesn’t want to incorporate-you have a board and reporting and accounting etc etc  etc she wants a network-don’t incorporate and do the work and stay connected. We should not compete for funding PVPC  is happy to stay as org parent
  • 1-define budget
  • 2 tiered membership-$50 v $250 sliding
  • Need sales pitch-org doc will meet that need

Next Meeting March 18, 2009 in Holyoke