What is the Cool Capital Challenge?
The Challenge is an unprecedented, one-year initiative to produce a one-billion-pound reduction in the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area's carbon dioxide emissions. The Challenge is like a fundraising campaign – only instead of pledging money, Cool Partners pledge to reduce the region’s greenhouse gas emissions. Pledges are measured in pounds of carbon-dioxide (“CO2”).
How to Become a Cool Capital Challenge Partner
Cool Capital Challenge partners (“Cool Partners”) share a commitment to helping the people and institutions of our region combat global warming through a transition to an energy-efficient economy that reduces emissions of greenhouse gases to a sustainable level.
As a Cool Partner, you identify your institution as a leader in this effort and commit to promoting participation in the Challenge and to increasing the energy efficiency of your operations, referred to as “reducing your institution’s carbon footprint.” (Every institution and individual has a “carbon footprint,” which is the amount of greenhouse gases it is responsible for generating.)
A business, agency, membership organization or other institution can become a Cool Capital Challenge partner without calculating its carbon footprint and even before it determines the exact size of its CO2–reduction pledge. First, contact Cool Capital Challenge at email@example.com, take the first three steps below, and commit to quickly take the remaining steps. If you have questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-462-7275.
RECOMMENDED STEPS FOR INSTITUTIONS
Follow steps in whatever order works best
1) Commit to develop an “ambitious and achievable” CO2-reduction pledge.
2) Identify a Cool Leader within your institution as the liaison with the Cool Capital Challenge network. Cool leaders are empowered to approve use of the institution’s name, logo, participation in events and other Cool activities.
3) Link to Cool Capital from your website. Accept recognition as a “Cool Partner” on Cool’s website and in other communications.
4) Optional - Make an initial pledge calculation. Use the Institutional Initial Pledge Estimator. This estimator focuses on the CO2 emissions reduction that the institution itself can make and the emissions that employees and others (clients, suppliers, etc) can make after reaching out to them and promoting the challenge. The estimator will tell you the total pounds of CO2 emitted and pledged that you initially commit to achieve. After filling in this estimator, please send it to email@example.com.
5) Develop or improve a carbon-footprint-reduction plan. Plan to improve the broadest practical scope of operations including buildings, vehicle fleets, procurement and employees' commutes. Step up your institution's existing plan for reducing your emissions or create the outlines of a new plan to do so. Cool partners who consume an insignificant amount of energy (such as a PTA or Scout Troop) can skip this step and focus on step 6. Check the resources to develop a reduction plan.
6) Reach out to your employees, customers and other networks. They will view your institution in a better light knowing you have taken the Challenge. Promote the Challenge at your locations and with your customers, members, suppliers, peers, employees and other networks. Feature the Challenge in your regular newsletters, email messages and events. You can also help your members, employees, customers and others organize one or more Cool teams to help each other save energy and be part of the solution by hosting team meetings, house parties, online forum and email discussion groups.
7) Update your emissions estimate and your pledge. Resources to calculate CO2 emissions and reduction pledge will help you with this step.
8) Commit to execute your plan. Secure all necessary approval (including budgetary approval) for the above plan and commit to execute it. Predict the CO2 savings from your plan that will occur in the Washington region in any one-year period in order to make an ambitious and achievable CO2-reduction pledge.  Provide your plan and calculations to Cool Capital with your updated pledge. Downloadable pledge template spreadsheet.
9) Execute the plans and improve them as needed.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions, need help with carbon emission reduction ideas or want to think about other ways to accomplish your pledge.
Printable version of "How To Become a Cool Capital Challenge Partner
For more information, including links to energy-saving resources for institutions go to Cool's institutional resources page