University Sustainability

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Mid-year Energy Summit 2019

The 2019 Mid-year Appalachian Energy Summit was held at the Elliot University Center on the campus of UNC Greensboro.

The 2019 Mid-year Appalachian Energy Summit was hosted by the University of North Carolina Greensboro on Thursday, February 28th. The Mid-year Summit brought together students, faculty, and leaders in academia and business to exchange ideas and share best practices in support of a clean energy economy. Since 2012, the Summit has provided a platform through which UNC System campuses have worked together to avoid almost $800 million in utility costs.

The morning event was free and open to the public in addition to the keynote address by Jeremy Tarr over lunch. After lunch, the Working Groups met to continue the ongoing work from previous Summits, and the future work of sharing knowledge and ideas.

2019 Midyear Agenda


Mr. Charles Schwarze

Director, REPREVE Recycled Business, Unifi

Charlie leads the North American Recycling Business for Unifi and product manages Unifi’s REPREVE brand of recycled fibers and polymers. Prior to joining Unifi, he directed sustainability efforts for Amcor, with a focus on North American recycling programs and use of recycled content in Amcor’s plastic packaging. Charlie holds degrees in engineering, business, and environmental science from the University of Michigan and is focused on improving recycling rates, consumer recycling awareness, and reducing the environmental and social footprint of Unifi’s products.

Mr. Roian Atwood

Director of Sustainability, VF Jeanswear, Workwear, CASA

Roian Atwood is the Director of Sustainability for Wrangler and Lee jeans. Atwood leads brand sustainability strategy, engages suppliers globally to drive greater social and environmental performance, and works cross functionally with product development and marketing to create more sustainable products and share brand relevant stories.

With fifteen years’ experience in footwear & apparel sustainability, Roian has a track record of managing a diverse set of projects and leading teams into an action-oriented, results driven approach to corporate sustainability.

Atwood’s undergraduate work was in Complex Systems at Naropa University, and he holds a Master’s of Environmental Management from the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University.

Dr. Wenliang Li

Assistant Professor, UNCG Geography, Environment, and Sustainability

Wenliang (Will) Li, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of the Department of Geography, Environment, and Sustainability at the University of North Carolina Greensboro. He received his Ph.D. degree in Geography from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2016 and finished his Postdoc at the Iowa State University in 2018. Dr. Li’s teaching and research are in the areas of geospatial analysis, remote sensing, and building energy use. His publications appeared in prestigious journals, such as ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, Energy, Building and Environment.

Jeremy Tarr

Jeremy Tarr is the policy adviser on energy, environment, transportation and natural resources in the Office of North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper. He previously worked at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University. Before joining the Nicholas Institute, Jeremy served as a law clerk for the Honorable Patricia Timmons-Goodson at the Supreme Court of North Carolina. Jeremy is a graduate of Davidson College and UNC School of Law.

This was a great opportunity for students to hear from professionals in various industries who think about sustainability every day in their work. Discussion focused on mainstream and alternative career paths for students in energy and sustainability.

This event was for students only and featured a Q&A Panel Discussion and Networking Mixer" as a second paragraph and then remove those references as stand alone items.

Q&A Panel Discussion, 1:15 – 2:00

Networking Mixer with light refreshments, 2:00 – 2:45


Tori Carle is the Waste Reduction Supervisor of Greensboro, NC. She started in recycling education and outreach in 2015 and began working to bring waste reduction to the forefront of resident’s minds. Through extensive education, outreach, social media, and a new cart tagging program, she and her team have expanded recycling outreach further than it has ever gone before. Tori is also the Chair of the Reconsidered Goods Board. She has been with the non-profit since before it opened its doors in November 2016. RG is a non-profit creative reuse center that promotes creative expression, environmental awareness, and community engagement through education, reuse, and the arts. They supply teachers, makers, crafters, and artisans with affordable goods through donations from individuals and industry.

James Allred is an Assistant Vice President; Bankruptcy Specialist II at Bank of America. Along with the Chair of Bank of America’s My Environment – Triad Chapter, James is on the Board of Directors for Greensboro Beautiful, as Chair of the Clean Community Committee. James served in the United States Navy. James has a Master in Strategic Intelligence, American Military University and a Master in International Relations, University of Amsterdam. James is dedicated to making life easier, and a little more beautiful and green for all of Greensboro.

Daniel Smith is an environmental lawyer and chair of Greensboro Beautiful. Dan uses his scientific training and background to help clients solve complex problems related to environmental laws, frequently working as part of a larger Brooks Pierce team. Dan has represented and advised a variety of industries to help them obtain necessary permits and comply with environmental regulations.  He has advised clients on matters involving CERCLA, RCRA, the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Air Act, asbestos, combustible dust, underground and aboveground storage tanks, private nuisance claims, and groundwater and soil contamination.

Faun Finley is a creative communications professional and sustainability entrepreneur. She uses her expertise to help purpose-driven organizations make genuine connections with their audiences through authentic branding and storytelling. Because of her belief that the craft of storytelling is a critical tool for advancing sustainability, Faun developed the class, “Earth, We Have a Problem: Climate Stories and You,” for UNCG’s Freshman Seminar Series and teaches workshops in the community. Faun also leads the Responsible Business Task Force for the City of Greensboro’s Community Sustainability Council, after serving one term as vice-chair and two terms as chair of the Council. Similarly, Faun played a leadership role in the conception and implementation of Water Resource’s “Water is Life” mural project.