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NACUBO recognizes Furman for sustainability excellence

Susan Maddux and Laura Bain accept the NACUBO award for Excellence in Sustainability.

Last updated August 15, 2022

By Tina Underwood

More than a decade since its founding in 2009, the Community Conservation Corps at Furman University has weatherized more than 160 homes for low-income residents in the greater Greenville area. At the 2022 annual meeting of the National Association of College and University Business Officers, Furman was honored for its efforts with the Excellence in Sustainability Award, which celebrates institutions for a specific campus program that advances environmental sustainability in higher education or progress toward a more environmentally sustainable future.

Susan Maddux, Furman’s vice president of finance and administration, and past president of the Southern Association of College and University Business Officers, and Laura Bain, Associate Director of Sustainability Assessment at the Shi Institute for Sustainable Communities, received the award on Furman’s behalf. “This award recognizes the impact of strong community and campus partnerships,” Maddux said. “Each partner in CCC is vital in solving real energy problems for lower-income families in Greenville. We are grateful to NACUBO for acknowledging this collaboration.”

CCC is a partnership among local utility Piedmont Natural Gas, the City of Greenville, Habitat for Humanity and Furman University, the institution that manages the program and supplies campus and community volunteers through The Shi Institute for Sustainable Communities.

Qualifying homeowners receive an energy audit by certified technicians who target ways homes can shore up energy loss. Expert contractors working with volunteers then conduct all necessary services and provide residents with the most relevant information for their household.

Some of the services include new or additional insulation in attics and crawl spaces, weather stripping, air-sealing, crawl space vapor barriers, safety checks on combustion appliances, and more. Through the weatherization services, residents can realize up to 25% savings on utility bills, enabling  them to distribute income to their families’ other needs. And as a side bonus, Furman, with a goal to become carbon-neutral by 2026, is able to claim carbon credits from the reduction in home energy consumption.

“At The Shi Institute for Sustainable Communities, we envision a world that meets the needs of all people within the means of the living planet,” said Laura Bain. “True sustainability requires cross-disciplinary work that address both the planet’s finite boundaries and the basic needs of humanity. CCC is a great example of that intersection, applied directly in our community. We hope national recognition of this program inspires others to look for similar opportunities to positively impact people and the planet.”

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