Delaware State University (DSU) receives Second Nature’s 2nd Annual Climate Leadership Award. Award recipients were recognized at the 5th Annual American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) Summit in Washington, DC on June 23rd, hosted by George Washington University.
Leadership at DSU, inclusive of President Harry Williams down to the Deans of the colleges, has spearheaded the development of a culture of teamwork to change the patterns of past waste and lack of concern regarding the university’s impact on the environment to one of striving to be an example of sustainability stewardship. Staff are encouraged to make recommendations on how to be better stewards of the earth’s resources, and the formation of a 16 member steering committee was just the beginning. Subcommittees quickly followed and teams of faculty, staff and students now assemble regularly to ensure the direction of the University’s green efforts.
DSU staff participate in a variety of sustainable efforts including; climate action conferences, webinars and numerous conference calls with sustainability groups from within the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) and other organizations. Most notably being a participant in a panel hosted by ACUPCC and the UNCF at the United Nations COP16 in Cancun, Mexico, in December 2010.
DSU is proud of the formation of a student organization, the Green Ambassadors. Students were supported in their work towards organizing Earth Day 2011, to attend Power Shift 2011, become ecoAmbassadors as part of the newly launched EPA campus based program, work with the College of Agriculture replacing desolate areas on campus with sustainability gardens, and one student was the national award winner for sustainability efforts on campus by AASHE. None of this would have been allowed without the support of university leadership.
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Green Mountain College receives Second Nature’s 2nd Annual Climate Leadership Award. Award recipients were recognized at the 5th Annual American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) Summit in Washington, DC on June 23rd, hosted by George Washington University.
The story of Green Mountain College’s (GMC) sustainability achievements began in 1995, when it adopted an environmental liberal arts mission. The faculty created a 37-credit general education curriculum that focuses on teaching all students how to take responsibility for the health of their natural and social environments. In 2006, GMC became the first College in Vermont to sign the American College and University President’s Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), embracing the challenge to accelerate the College’s progress towards climate neutrality and sustainability. Its first GHG inventory, completed in 2007, drew attention to the significant emissions from its #6 fuel oil heating plant. That year, students in an honors seminar explored alternatives and paid for a biomass feasibility study using their Student Campus Greening Fund. In 2008, President Paul J. Fonteyn and the College’s Board of Trustees, recognizing the foresight of these students, invested in the conversion of the heating plant into a combined heat and power system powered by woodchips.
Simultaneously, the Campus Sustainability Council (CSC) addressed transportation issues, thermal conservation and waste reduction. Over the past decade GMC has invested an average of $1.2 million/year in projects to improve its energy efficiency, including window replacements, steam line upgrades, and lighting retrofits. The 2009 carbon inventory showed a 19.8% reduction in carbon emissions per student from the 2007 baseline.
This year, GMC achieved climate neutrality using the standards of the ACUPCC. Construction of a biomass plant, multi-year investment in energy efficiency projects, and an innovative partnership with its local utility enabled the College to become climate neutral. ACUPCC guidelines served as a roadmap to the goal. GMC students advanced carbon reduction strategies across the College’s operations; faculty integrated carbon inventories and climate action planning into the curriculum.
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Colgate University receives Second Nature’s 2nd Annual Climate Leadership Award. Award recipients were recognized at the 5th Annual American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) Summit in Washington, DC on June 23rd, hosted by George Washington University.
In 2010, Colgate University reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 17 percent (from 17,323 MTeCO2 in 2009 to 14,451 MTeCO2 in 2010). This reduction is mainly the result of conservation and efficiency projects through a:
- 24 percent decrease in fuel oil consumption (nearly 88,000 gallons less in 2010 compared to 2009)
- 4 percent decrease in electricity consumption (1.3 million kWh less in 2010 compared to 2009)
- 33 percent decrease in paper use (43,000 lbs less in 2010 compared to 2009)
- 4 percent decrease in landfill waste (34 tons less in 2010 compared to 2009)
Combined, conservation and efficiency saved the university nearly $300,000 in operating costs while enhancing its liberal arts education as student participation was integral to these results through academic research, governance, and co-curricular club activities. Additionally, student-driven behavior change programs such as Eco-Olympics and the Green Living Program were designed by students and implemented for the first time in 2010.
In 2010, Colgate used 23,000 tons of locally-grown wood chips to provide heat and hot water to campus. Their wood-fired boiler displaced over one million gallons of fuel oil, avoided over 13,000 metric tons of emissions, and saved the university over $2 million in energy costs. CU is also experimenting with cropped biomass in the form of an 8-acre willow plot in the hopes of cultivating some of its own energy.
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Mount Wachusett Community College receives Second Nature’s 2nd Annual Climate Leadership Award. Award recipients were recognized at the 5th Annual American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) Summit in Washington, DC on June 23rd, hosted by George Washington University.
With President Daniel Asquino leading the college for more than twenty years, Mount Wachusett Community College (MWCC) was at the forefront of the national climate movement when it converted its all-electric campus to biomass heating in 2002 to save on energy costs and reduce its carbon footprint. The tremendous success of that initiative – implemented at zero net cost to the college through grants and energy rebates – led to other renewable solutions including solar and wind energy.
This year, MWCC activated two new 1.65 MW wind turbines. The Vestas V82 turbines are expected to generate 97 percent of the college’s annual electricity demand, plus return an additional 30 percent of power back to the grid. With the college’s biomass heating, 100KW photovoltaic array, and solar domestic hot water technologies incorporated into the mix, MWCC anticipates operating as a zero net energy campus and nearing carbon neutrality.
MWCC’s wind energy project is an integral component in the Massachusetts Leading by Example Program initiated by Gov. Deval Patrick to achieve statewide goals for clean and renewable energy. The $9 million project, a collaboration between the college and key state agencies, is being funded through $3.2 million in U.S. Department of Energy grants, $2.1 million from a low interest Clean Renewal Energy Bond (CREB); and $3.7 million from Massachusetts Clean Energy Investment Bonds.
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Montgomery County Community College receives Second Nature’s 2nd Annual Climate Leadership Award. Award recipients were recognized at the 5th Annual American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) Summit in Washington, DC on June 23rd, hosted by George Washington University.
Since joining the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment in 2007, sustainability has become a core value at Montgomery County Community College (MCCC). Sustainability efforts are led by a team of faculty, students, administrators, support staff, alumni and community members that comprise the President’s Climate Commitment Advisory Council. Chaired by College President Dr. Karen Stout, the Council developed the College’s first-ever Climate Commitment Action Plan, outlining short and long-term strategies to reach carbon neutrality.
The plan, which is divided into key categories –including transportation, campus operations, curricular and co-curricular activities, and community outreach – was reviewed by the Environmental Protection Agency and was endorsed by the College’s Board of Trustees. The new and current strategic plan, “Great Expectations: Keeping the Promise of Student Access and Success,” focuses on campus renewal and sustainability as one of MCCC’s strategic goals.
The College introduced a new general education core curriculum that shapes students’ experiences through 13 learning competencies. One competency is civic responsibility, which requires students to analyze society’s environmental impact on the non-human world and future generations to better ensure sustainability.
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Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC) receives Second Nature’s 2nd Annual Climate Leadership Award. Award recipients were recognized at the 5th Annual American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) Summit in Washington, DC on June 23rd, hosted by George Washington University.
Mary Fifield, BHCC College President working with the Executive staff have established one of the College’s goals to be “Cultivating College-‐Wide Sustainability Initiatives” in an effort to develop new degree programming, integrate sustainability within existing programs and to promote conservation of natural resources. In addition, the College made another unprecedented commitment to sustainability by establishing an executive cabinet level position, the Director of Sustainability, who has college-‐wide responsibility for integration of sustainable best practices.
The BHCC Board of Trustees has also taken an active role and recently conducted a presentation at the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) annual convention in Toronto, Canada called “Commitment to the Environment: Start a Sustainability Program at Your College” that included a customized Climate Action Planning Template tool to assist other colleges in their climate action planning process.
BHCC has provided large-scale sustainability professional development training for faculty and staff. The trainings were facilitated by Debra Rowe, President of the U.S. Partnership for Education/Sustainable Development and Leith Sharp, founder of Harvard University’s Green Campus Initiative. Learning activities included the “What’s Your Carbon Footprint” quiz, themed workshops, launch of the Climate Impact Decision Assist research tool (CIDAT) and tour of local recycling facilities. BHCC is also a member of AACC‘s Sustainability Education and Economic Development (SEED) Center, a leadership initiative and resource center that provides strategic guidance and detailed resources for community colleges to ramp-up their programs to educate America’s 21st century workforce.
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By Fuzz Hogan, Executive Producer, Planet Forward
(This article appears in the June, 2011 issue of The ACUPCC Implementer)
What if you could start an ongoing dialogue from your office, connecting top scientists, industry leaders and policy makers with your students, administrators and faculty? A 24/7 sustainability seminar, where you could hear what’s on the cutting edge of research, help spur implementation of the best ideas and motivate critical stake-holders to take action.
That’s what we’re creating here at Planet Forward, a project of the Center for Innovative Media at the George Washington University. Created by Frank Sesno, who will keynote the ACUPCC summit in June, Planet Forward is a dynamic public square that allows citizens from diverse backgrounds to engage directly with experts, decision-makers, business leaders and each other. We’re leveraging the power of new media platforms and user-generated content, challenging the conventional top-down format of traditional media and rewarding contributors by giving their ideas increasing levels of public exposure, including broadcast television.
What does that mean? It means we’re creating that dialogue — to help bring solutions from the innovators to the decision-makers, to connect the enthusiasm of our youth with the expertise of top industry leaders.
How does it work? Let me give you two examples.
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