Posts Tagged ‘Ball State University’

By Sarah Brylinsky, Program Associate, Second Nature
(This article appears in the July, 2012 issue of The ACUPCC Implementer)


Download the 2012 Climate Leadership Highlights PDF

Signatory Presidents at the 2012 Summit

Signatory presidents of the ACUPCC pose for a photograph during the opening reception

The 6th Annual American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) Climate Leadership Summit took place June 21st-22nd in Washington, DC at American University. 53 signatory presidents and senior staff from over 65 institutions gathered to celebrate the first five years of the ACUPCC and to respond to the summit theme of Economic Renewal: jump-starting a sustainable economy through the ACUPCC.  The attendees discussed ways for advancing peer-to-peer learning and support across the ACUPCC, and identified next steps to foster the ongoing sustainability transformation of higher education by preparing students for the 21st century economy, increasing affordability and access through cost savings, and advancing innovation through research, experimentation, and role-modeling solutions in campus operations.

Special Report: Celebrating Five Years of Climate Leadership

Five Year Report

The ACUPCC released a special report: Celebrating Five Years of Climate Leadership | The Progress and Promise of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment

A special report, Celebrating Five Years of Climate Leadership: The Progress and Promise of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, was released at the Summit, detailing successes from signatory campuses across the country and innovation in education, emissions reductions, financing, and more.


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Colleges and universities that sign the ACUPCC become part of a vast network of schools leading society towards climate neutrality by implementing climate action plans that address education, research initiatives, community engagement, and campus operations.

On-campus emissions-reducing efforts benefit the environment, the students who gain hands on experience in the field of sustainability, and the institution’s budget. Below are a few examples from ACUPCC campuses:

  • Ball State University has established a closed geothermal energy system with the capacity to cool and heat 45 buildings on campus, reducing their carbon footprint by 50% and saving the school around $2 million in operations costs.  It is the largest system of its kind in the nation.
  • The University of Southern Maine has committed to switch from oil to natural gas by 2025 as a part of their efforts towards carbon neutrality.  This action will reduce their carbon emissions by 1,048 metric tons per year, the equivalent electricity used by 127 homes for a year.  The switch will save USM around $315,000 this year alone.
  • Butte College recently completed installing 25,000 photovoltaic panels on campus, eliminating the need for outside electricity sources and providing them with the ability to send clean energy back to the grid. The solar panels will generate “6.5-million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year”— enough to power more than 9,000 US homes. The College predicts that this investment in solar energy will save them approximately $50-75 million over the next 15 years.
  • Valencia Community College greatly increased its energy efficiency by establishing new chiller plants and constructing three LEED certified gold buildings, one of which has solar panels on the roof that generates 25% of the buildings energy needs.  It is estimated to save Valencia Community College over $400,000 savings a year.
  • The University of Southern Mississippi established a Climate Action Plan that is expected to save the school $273 million in energy costs over a 40 year time period.
  • State University of New York at Stony Brook is reducing annual energy costs by approximately $2.9 million and carbon dioxide emissions by almost 33 million pounds. The university’s Green Campus Initiative is focused on finding new ways to limit environmental impact and educate the campus community on sustainable practices.

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By Steve Muzzy, Senior Associate, Second Nature

(This article appears in the November, 2010 issue of The ACUPCC Implementer)


The 4th Annual American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) Climate Leadership Summit met October 12-13 in Denver, CO. The nearly 200 participants got right to work sharing challenges and best practices and outlining the future direction of the commitment. Highlights from the Summit follow.

James WoolseyJames Woolsey, former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency under President Bill Clinton, provided the opening keynote address. Mr. Woolsey’s presentation focused on the impending threats to national security that are being posed by an increasingly unstable climate. His perspective creatively threaded the current and future social and environmental implications of our reigning energy policy as well as provided some promising existing mechanisms to scale renewable energy production. Note: Mr. Woolsey’s presentation and all Summit presentations will be available on the ACUPCC website soon. (more…)

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by Rima Mulla, Communications Associate, Second Nature

Last month, Second Nature’s President Anthony Cortese delivered a rousing talk entitled, “Stable Climate: Thriving World?” at TEDx Greenville.

Some of the highlights from Dr. Cortese’s speech:

1:05 Staggering statistics about population growth, energy consumption, declining living systems, and political and economic instability worldwide.

3:57 “How did we get here?”

11:43 Dr. Cortese highlights the measurable impact of several ACUPCC signatory schools’ Climate Action Plans, including those of Ball State University, Los Angeles Community College District, Clemson University, and Greenville’s own Furman University.

View the speech in its entirety here.

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While the US government and the global community have been slow to address severe climate disruption, colleges and universities are stepping in to boldly slash their carbon emissions, research and develop new technologies, and prepare students to create a safer, clean energy economy.

According to a new annual report (PDF) released today by the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), the participating schools are working to cut a combined estimated 33+ million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year.  The ACUPCC, launched in early 2007, is currently comprised of 677 schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia – representing nearly six million students and about one third of the US higher education student population.

David Shi, President of Furman University and Co-Chair of the ACUPCC, noted, “Sustainability is one of the few enterprises that fosters collaboration among institutions.  That so many schools have embraced the climate commitment is unprecedented.  Such bold action on such a broad scale provides a model for the rest of society to emulate.”

Recently, more than 300,000 individuals called their Senators as part of a coordinated effort promoted by dozens of advocacy groups urging the US government to pass comprehensive climate legislation.  But the higher education sector is not waiting for uncertain government action.


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