Getting to a Green Light: How to Build Organizational Buy-In for Large-Scale Renewable Energy

Susanne Fratzscher Presenter
Director BD
CustomerFirst Renewables
Ann Erhardt Co-Presenter
Chief Sustainability Officer
Michigan State University
Leah VanWey Co-Presenter
Associate Provost for Academic Space
Brown University
Wed, 10/3: 11:30 AM  - 12:30 PM 
60-minutes presentations 
Session D 
Room: 404 - Energy 
This interactive and action-oriented session will provide insights and tools to update your understanding of renewable energy, map out critical stakeholders on campus, and translate the renewable energy opportunity into their language to get buy-in. Participants will learn how to build and communicate the business case for large-scale renewable energy.

Despite renewable energy technology cost continuously declining, and a growing interest in leveraging renewables to cost-effectively meet carbon reduction goals, many campus leaders struggle to get out of the 'starting block' on procuring renewable energy at scale. Without a mandate from the top, a major challenge centers on building understanding and buy-in among cross-functional colleagues and administrative leadership.

Learn from your peers on how Brown University and Michigan State University began their renewable energy journey, built organizational buy-in, navigated the process through calmer and stormier waters, and ultimately received the 'green light' from leadership.

Like any large energy project on campus, large-scale renewable energy purchasing requires the involvement and 'green light' from multiple decision-makers. While typically not requiring any upfront capital outlay, it still represents a significant deviation from business-as-usual 1-3-year grid power procurement. Equipping campus leaders with tools and language to effectively communicate about large-scale renewable energy is key to build

Audience Engagement

In addition to an interactive discussion with the panelists, participants will be invited to
a) map out critical stakeholders on campus,
b) quantify the GHG and $-savings impact of large-scale renewables through a (free) online calculator, and
c) start building the business case for renewables to convincingly communicate with leadership. 

Primary Topic Area


Secondary Topic Areas

Investment & Finance

Session Level

Intermediate Level

Intended Audience

Other Staff
Sustainability Staff