|Submission Date||Sept. 18, 2016|
University of North Carolina, Charlotte
EN-9: Community Partnerships
University Sustainability Officer
Does the institution have at least one formal sustainability partnership with the local community that meets the criteria as “supportive”?:
A brief description of the institution’s supportive sustainability partnership(s) with the local community:
UNC Charlotte is a supporting partner in the Elma C. Lomax Incubator Farm, along with Rowan Cabarrus Community College, Cabarrus County Cooperative Extension, and the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association; the purpose is the training of new farmers to ensure continuation of the agricultural tradition and heritage of Cabarrus County and to meet the growing demand of the local food economy. The university has been a supporting partner since 2011 with a representative on the governing board (currently filled by the University Sustainability Officer). Faculty from Architecture and Engineering have conducted research at the farm with built structures remaining at the facility.
Does the institution have at least one formal sustainability partnership with the local community that meets the criteria as “collaborative”?:
A brief description of the institution's collaborative sustainability partnership(s):
UNC Charlotte Urban Institute leads the Charlotte Regional Indicators Projects in partnership with local non-profit organizations (Council for Children’s Rights; Gaston Together; Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont; MeckEd; United Way of Central Carolinas; the Women + Girls Research Alliance; and CONNECT Our Future). What began as a 2007 Indicators Report is now an online interactive data portal. This is an initiative to form long-term, strategic data partnerships between the institute and community organizations. For each partner, the institute develops and maintains a set of indicators, provides technical assistance, on-demand support for presentations and events, and analytical expertise. Eleven topic areas include social well-being, environment, economy, government and citizen participation, and cultural life.
Does the institution have at least one formal sustainability partnership with the local community that meets the criteria as “transformative”?:
A brief description of the institution's transformative sustainability partnership(s) with the local community:
The Energy Production and Infrastructure Center (EPIC) was established in partnership with industrial companies, non-profits and government agencies engaged in the energy sector. The center opened in 2012 in a major new research building funded by the state. These partnerships have been transformative, including development of specialized teaching and research facilities: Duke Energy Smart Grid Laboratory; Renewable Power Laboratory, and a Photovoltaic Research Laboratory to fabricate solar cells. EPIC also has a partnership with Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District that led to the 2014 opening of the Charlotte Engineering Early College High School next door, with a curriculum focused on STEM with an energy concentration. These partnerships are governed by the university using a model that organizes faculty under research clusters that reflect industry priorities, and in turn industry partners are recognized as founding partners and affiliates categorized by the size of their ongoing contributions. EPIC is frequently cited as a cornerstone of Charlotte's regional identity as an energy innovation hub for the USA.
A brief description of the institution’s sustainability partnerships with distant (i.e. non-local) communities:
The website URL where information about sustainability partnerships is available: