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The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh is among a prestigious group of six colleges and universities awarded up to $10,000 in pro bono consulting services to aid campus climate efforts.

Second Nature, a non-government organization focused on accelerating climate action in and through higher education, announced the award Wednesday. Other winners were Dallas College, University of North Carolina at Asheville, Northern Arizona University, University of California at Riverside, and University of Maryland at Baltimore.

“This pro bono consulting support will help accelerate the work of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Climate Action Committee and provide additional, invaluable subject matter expertise from an outside perspective,” said Chancellor Andrew Leavitt. “It will sharpen the UWO committee’s focus on viable solutions to address each scope of emissions (heating, electricity and commuting). This is just one part of a much larger plan to move UWO forward toward becoming more sustainable and climate neutral.”

Schools applied for technical and advisory support worth up to $10,000 for climate action planning or shifting to renewable power.

UW Oshkosh is working toward its goal of being climate neutral by 2030.

Climate action planning will support the drafting of a plan that outlines a technically and financially feasible roadmap towards an equitable, carbon-free future, aligned with the education and research mission of the institution. The service is provided by Brailsford & Dunlavey.

Brad Spanbauer, campus sustainability director, said the consulting support will fuel an intensive session of meetings focused on next steps toward achieving climate neutrality at UWO.

He said he hopes it will offer a framework that is beneficial to other UW System institutions and similar-sized colleges and universities beyond the state’s bounds.

“The results should represent the beginnings or main tenets of a UWO Climate Action and Resilience Plan, broadly conceived, and a trove of information to help this institution make decisions and pursue solutions for years to come,” Spanbauer said.

The pro bono consulting opportunity was first announced in fall 2020 as a new Second Nature Solutions Center initiative. Provided by Second Nature partners Brailsford & Dunlavey (climate action planning assistance) and CustomerFirst Renewables (for institutions focused on shifting to renewable power).

Due to the success of the inaugural round and continued support, Second Nature was able to offer another round of pro bono consulting.

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