UNH creators of carbon, nitrogen tracking tool are Innovators of the Year

Friday, October 11, 2019
Alley Leach and Jenn Andrews from UNH Sustainability Institute hold their UNH Innovator of the Year trophy

Alley Leach, left, and Jenn Andrews are UNHInnovation's 2019 Innovators of the Year for SIMAP, which is used by hundreds of universities to become more sustainable. Photo by Raya Al-Hashmi.

Jennifer Andrews ’02, ’08G and Allison Leach ’18G of the UNH Sustainaibility Institute (UNHSI) have been named the 2019 J. Brent Loy Innovators of the Year. Andrews, sustainability project director, and Leach, a postdoctoral researcher, developed and commercialized SIMAP (Sustainability Indicator Management and Analysis Platform), a carbon and nitrogen-accounting platform used by more than 500 colleges and universities internationally to track, analyze and improve their sustainability. The honor was announced at the annual Innovators Dinner on Oct. 10.

Logo for Sustainability Indciator Management and Analysis Platform, SIMAP

“SIMAP owes its success to UNH’s commitment to sustainability values, as well as to its culture of practical social innovation and support for collaborative scholarship,” said Andrews. “It is a privilege to be able to do this work supporting campuses around the world in becoming more sustainable, and an honor to be recognized for it.”

An online subscription-based platform, SIMAP allows colleges and universities to measure, calculate and report their carbon and nitrogen footprints. The platform creates opportunities for campuses to understand their waste outputs and to make strategic decisions to increase sustainabilty efficiently and effectively.

“SIMAP owes its success to UNH’s commitment to sustainability values, as well as to its culture of practical social innovation and support for collaborative scholarship.”

The tool merges nitrogen footprint tracking, developed by Leach while she was a master’s student at the University of Virginia and refined while she pursued a Ph.D. in UNH’s Natural Resources and Earth Systems Science program, with the Campus Carbon Calculator, a spreadsheet-based tool originally developed by UNH with the former nonprofit organization Clean Air-Cool Planet, where Andrews worked before joining UNHSI.

Andrews and Leach recently participated in UNH’s I-Corps program, a National Science Foundation-funded initiative that aims to foster entrepreneurship on campus. Through I-Corps, the team explored new business models for SIMAP.

“SIMAP is the only tool of its kind that tracks both carbon and nitrogen and has reached the market through a strategic partnership and licensing agreement with Second Nature, a nonprofit whose mission is to accelerate climate action in, and through, higher education,” said Marc Sedam, associate vice provost for innovation and new ventures and managing director of UNHInnovation. “We’re delighted to highlight Jenn and Alley’s innovation, their success, and to support them in the good work they do for our campus and our world.