Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 86.09
Liaison Jennifer Andrews
Submission Date Aug. 16, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of New Hampshire
EN-10: Community Partnerships

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Tom Kelly
Chief Sustainability Officer
University Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability :
Food Solutions New England

Does the institution provide financial or material support for the partnership? :
Yes

Which of the following best describes the partnership timeframe?:
Multi-year or ongoing

Which of the following best describes the partnership?:
Sustainability-focused

Are underrepresented groups and/or vulnerable populations engaged as equal partners? :
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability:

The Sustainability Institute at the University of New Hampshire serves as the backbone organization for Food Solutions New England (FSNE) which was established in 2010 and provides significant in-kind support through staff time, logistical infrastructure, and fundraising. FSNE is a multi-racial network made up of many different people, organizations, businesses, and groups whose approaches and strategies vary, even as we work toward a common goal of building a just, sustainable and resilient food system that works for everyone. Together, our network is aligned around - and guided by - four shared values. We collectively believe that the food system we are trying to create must include substantial progress in all these areas, alongside increasing the consumption of regionally produced foods and strengthening our regional food economy and culture.
• Democratic Empowerment: We celebrate and value the political power of the people. A just food system depends on the active participation of all people in New England.
• Racial Equity and Dignity for All: We believe that racism must be undone in order to achieve an equitable food system. Fairness, inclusiveness, and solidarity must guide our food future.
• Sustainability: We know that our food system is interconnected with the health of our environment, our democracy, our economy, and our culture. Sustainability commits us to ensure well-being for people and the landscapes and communities in which we are all embedded and rely upon for the future of life on our planet.
• Trust: We consider trust to be the lifeblood of collaboration and collaboration as the key to our long-term success. We are committed to building connections and trust across diverse people, organizations, networks, and communities to support a thriving food system that works for everyone.

Food Solutions New England hosted its 7th version of the 21-Day Racial Equity Habit-Building Challenge from April 5th to the 25th this year. Nearly 9,000 individuals and 900 officially participating organizations joined our shared journey of learning, expanding our knowledge, and charting a course of action to dismantle racism in our food system and our world. See https://foodsolutionsne.org/21-day-racial-equity-habit-building-challenge/

For more information, please see the FSNE website: https://foodsolutionsne.org/


Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (2nd partnership):
The New Hampshire Food Alliance/New Hampshire Farm to School

Does the institution provide financial or material support for the partnership? (2nd partnership):
Yes

Which of the following best describes the partnership timeframe? (2nd partnership):
Multi-year or ongoing

Which of the following best describes the partnership’s sustainability focus? (2nd partnership):
Sustainability-focused

Are underrepresented groups and/or vulnerable populations engaged as equal partners? (2nd partnership):
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (2nd partnership):

The Sustainability Institute at the University of New Hampshire serves as the backbone organization for both the NH Food Alliance (NHFA) and the NH Farm to School (NHFTS) Program. NH Food Alliance, established in 2013, is a statewide network that connects the people, business, organizations, and communities dedicated to growing a thriving, fair, and sustainable local food system in the Granite State. Together we build relationships, learn from each other, and catalyze collaboration to advance our common goals, respond creatively to challenges, and amplify our collective impact. NHFTS was established in 2003 as a pilot program to introduce local apples and cider into NH K-12 schools. Within three years, over half the K-12 schools in the state were purchasing them for their cafeterias. In addition to continuing with this successful program integrating apples and cider, the NHFTS works continuously to expand local food procurement as a community value and a foundation of health and well being.

The NH Food Alliance and NHFTS are committed to centering racial equity in our work. We are working with others to help end racism and inequity in New Hampshire’s food system. We envision an inclusive local food system that actively strengthens the role of people of color at every link in the food chain from field to fork.
see: https://www.nhfoodalliance.org/promote-racial-equity-our-food-system

For more information, please see the NHFA website https://www.nhfoodalliance.org/ and the NHFTS website: http://www.nhfarmtoschool.org/


Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (3rd partnership):
New England Municipal Sustainability Network

Does the institution provide financial or material support for the partnership? (3rd partnership):
Yes

Which of the following best describes the partnership timeframe? (3rd partnership):
Multi-year or ongoing

Which of the following best describes the partnership? (3rd partnership):
Sustainability-focused

Are underrepresented groups and/or vulnerable populations engaged as equal partners? (3rd partnership):
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (3rd partnership):

The UNH Sustainability Institute serves as the backbone organization for NEMS. In 2016, UNHSI developed a partnership with the NEMS --whose members are sustainability staff from nearly 30 communities across New England working to model what community sustainability looks like and to help lead the New England region toward sustainability transformation. UNH provides backbone support for the NEMS Network and pairs NEMS communities with Sustainability Fellows to advance specific sustainability projects in New England communities. For more information see https://www.unh.edu/sustainability/community-engagement/new-england-municipal-sustainability-network


A brief description of the institution’s other community partnerships to advance sustainability:

As the state’s flagship state university and a public land, sea, and space-grant institution, UNH is engaged in a wide variety of sustainability-focused and related initiatives with local, state, and global communities. The Office of Outreach and Engagement (OE) provides leadership, collaboration, and support, to establish pathways to partnership for citizens, organizations and business seeking assistance, non-credit education or professional development. OE emphasizes public engagement and collaboration to address the state’s most pressing issues, such as workforce development and readiness, K-12 education, environmental sustainability and healthcare. In addition, New Hampshire Cooperative Extension (NHCE) has many ongoing partnerships across the state that advance sustainability. A few examples follow:

• A cooperative agreement with NH Department of Agriculture Markets and Food to deliver pesticide safety education to all licensed and aspiring pesticide applicators in the state. Pesticide safety education focuses on the safe, effective, and environmentally sustainable use of products. Applicators learn how to use products responsibly to control managing pests while protecting lives and natural resources.
• Ongoing collaborations with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) explore sustainable methods of controlling agricultural pests using non-chemical methods. Examples include using netting to exclude pests from blueberry plantings, supporting beneficial insects, and luring damaging insects away from commercial crops. NRCS and UNH Extension financially collaborate on these long-term projects.
• NHCE has a long-term relationship with the NH Vegetable and Berry Growers Association. This association serves as an advisory board, driving our educational programming for produce farmers in the state. The Association participates in strategic planning for program development to address educational needs around sustainability in vegetable and fruit production.

UNHSI's Changemaker Collaborative has developed a number of partnerships with local nonprofits, socially-responsible businesses, with whom it places high-achieving, impact-focused student leaders for the Sustainability Fellows each summer. For more about those partnerships, see https://www.unh.edu/sustainability/changemakers

The Carsey School of Public Policy also has impactful community partnerships including the following:

Financial Innovations Roundtable

The Financial Innovations Roundtable is a longstanding (started in 2014) project of the Center for Impact Finance at the Carsey School with the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and includes community-based institutions from throughout the country. The goal of the Roundtable is to to advance the availability of capital in underserved communities which deliberately focuses on the intersection of finance and sustainability. The most recent Roundtable focused on capital to finance renewable energy in underserved, underrepresented, vulnerable communities.

Health and Community Development in New Hampshire: A Statewide Strategy to Address the Social Determinants of Health

The physical environment and social determinants of health play an important role in wellbeing and sustainable community development and contribute to poor health outcomes for many vulnerable individuals and families The overarching goal of this long-term project is to leverage hospital and community stakeholder financial assets, connections and expertise to develop a fund that will target investments such as housing and healthy food projects, and to establish a shared policy agenda among the partners. The project is a multidisciplinary collaboration between the Carsey School, the Center to Advance Community Health and Equity at the Public Health Institute, the Institute for Health Policy and Practice, and the New Hampshire Hospital Association/Foundation for Healthy Communities.

Enhancing Solar Finance Capabilities among Community-Based Financial Institutions

This ongoing project engages community-based financial institutions in solar finance and is in partnership with Inclusiv, the national trade association for low-income credit unions, CEI, a community based organization based in Maine, and Inclusive Prosperity Capital, a not-for-profit investment fund scaling energy financing solutions that channels investment capital to program partners in communities that need it most. The project’s three pillars are:

1. Training & Support, including accessible online trainings, synchronous peer support workshops, coaching and knowledge sharing.
2. Collaborative Infrastructure Development, which may range from simply encouraging partnerships and collaborations between lenders, to developing and growing investment vehicles or funds, operating platforms, or secondary markets that make it easier for community-based lenders to engage in solar finance.
3. Movement-Building, including an industry analysis of current Community Based Lender involvement in solar finance, a series of cross-sectoral convenings, and identification and collaborative efforts to drive policy change and resource development.

Educational Equity and Engagement in Schools

The Carsey School brings practices of local democracy into schools to support learning, dialogue, and change centered in educational equity and authentic engagement. Since 2016, we have partnered with more than eight New Hampshire public school districts, three districts in Maine, and three districts Massachusetts. In partnership with Everyday Democracy, Great Schools Partnership, the Nellie Mae Education Foundation and/or local school districts. This work designs engagement spaces for families, students, community members, and staff to participate in learning exchanges, coaching sessions, and multi-stakeholder dialogues and leadership groups.

Youth Voice and Leadership in Communities and Schools

For over three years, the NH Listens project of the Carsey School has focused on supporting youth organizing and adults working with youth. One example of a long-term project is the Community of Practice for Supporting Youth Leadership, a project designed to build long term capacity for youth leadership and action. Dover DREAM is one the community youth organizations participating in the community of practice.

Race and Equity Series in New Hampshire

Since, 2018 The Carsey School’s New Hampshire Listens project has supported the Endowment for Health’s Race & Equity in NH series as strategy and planning consultants, advisory group members, and workgroup facilitators. This statewide series includes important convenings of diverse stakeholders as well as ongoing work groups tackling racial justice and equity challenges. The workgroups include government, civic engagement, education, health, criminal justice and law enforcement, and economic development.


Website URL where information about the institution’s community partnerships to advance sustainability is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Other contacts:

Ken La Valley, Vice Provost of Outreach and Engagement/Director, UNH Extension
Phone: 603-862-4343
Email: ken.lavalley@unh.edu

https://www.unh.edu/research/office-outreach-engagement
https://extension.unh.edu/

For general inquiries about community sustainability partnerships, please contact Michelle Fox at the UNH Sustainability Institute.

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