Posts Tagged ‘Climate Action Plan’

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By Witold Bujak, Sustainability Manager and Enid Cardinal, Senior Sustainability Advisor to the President, RIT
(This article appears in the November, 2011 issue of The ACUPCC Implementer)


Preparing the first Climate Action Plan (CAP) can be a difficult task.  With this in mind, Witold Bujak, Sustainability Manager at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) offered to approach it in a systematic way by dividing the assignment into separate, easy-to-manage tasks.

Task One – Understand the Assignment.  This was relatively easy, thanks to the vast resources available on the web. The American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) website reveals the Commitment’s protocol and reporting instructions. But the real treasure is in the online reporting system, a quick reading of just a few reports from other universities shows a variety of campus responses to the same challenge of reporting, planning and creating a long term approach that would achieve neutrality and sustain financial resources. 

Task Two – Create the Climate Task Force. To maximize the chances of successfully implementing the Commitment, five champions were selected from the campus community to chair subcommittees of the Climate Task Force (CTF), representing the education, research, community outreach, facilities, and purchasing activities of the campus, with the role of overall CTF coordination performed by the RIT Sustainability Manager. Although these individuals have diverse roles at the University each has been dedicated to the common goal of charting a successful path toward climate neutrality. Each subcommittee was charged with preparing a proposal that fulfilled the following general criteria: (more…)

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Check out the following update from Bowdoin College regarding progress toward their target of climate neutrality by 2020.

The letter from President Mills is an excellent example of ongoing active involvement and communication from the president; a critically important aspect of climate action planning, to ensure the community understands it is an important, strategic goal of the institution.

The animated video from Bowdoin student Maggie Williams is not only impressive, but another great example of a successful climate action process: involving students, and engaging other disciplines (like art and communications) as part of the education for sustainability experience.


“Announcing word of a 16% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions since the College’s carbon reduction plan was adopted, President Barry Mills, in a letter to the Bowdoin community, urges everyone to learn how simple changes can have a significant impact in this ongoing effort.

“Bowdoin is an institution and a community dedicated from its founding to serving the Common Good, and there is no doubt that preservation of our environment falls within this historic charge,” writes Mills.

Read President Mills’ letter, view the summary report and watch the video produced by Maggie Williams ’12.”

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By Wendell Brase, Vice Chancellor, University of California, Irvine and Chair, University of California Climate Solutions Steering Group
(This article appears in the April, 2011 issue of The ACUPCC Implementer)


We’ve relamped practically every fixture on campus, installed occupancy sensors and flow-restrictors, adopted green cleaning practices, increased our landfill diversion rate, made LEED Gold our policy, converted to “thin client” computing and installed power management software, increased our AVR, and completed dozens of other, significant green actions. We “walk the talk,” yet our carbon footprint has only declined about ten percent. What now?

Our progress seems to be slowing down or, worse yet, topping out! We are beginning to understand the necessity for major capital investment in order to attack the remaining nine-tenths of our carbon footprint. We need large-scale changes in the way we consume energy and source it.

How do we make the transition from fast-payback projects and low-investment behavioral changes to projects with sufficient scale to, say, cut our carbon footprint in half by 2020? Such a milestone would surely be consistent with our commitment to attain carbon-neutrality “as soon as possible.”

What can we do to foster the new thinking and ramping-up that needs to occur? (more…)

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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 Niles Barnes, Projects Coordinator, AASHE
(This article appears in the May, 2010 issue of The ACUPCC Implementer)

The ACUPCCAs readers of The ACUPCC Implementer know all too well, signatories are required to report on their greenhouse gas emissions within a year of signing the ACUPCC, and then every other year thereafter. After the Climate Action Plan is submitted, the GHG reports alternate with bi-annual progress reports which provide the opportunity to compare actual results to the initial goals laid out. Many campuses find the task of doing a greenhouse gas emissions inventory fairly straightforward, and there are a number of resources available to assist them, including Clean Air – Cool Planet’s Campus Carbon Calculator, The Climate Registry, and hundreds of other campuses to look to for examples. The process itself typically results in a great final product and a valuable educational experience, particularly when students are involved. Usually, the only area that tends to cause heartburn and anguish is measuring those often elusive Scope 3 emissions sources.

Campuses participating in the ACUPCC are required to include emissions from Scopes 1 and 2 in their inventories as well as two types of Scope 3 emissions: air travel paid for by or through the institution and regular commuting to and from campus by faculty, staff and students – as laid out in the ACUPCC Implementation Guide, which references the current version of the WRI/WBCSD “GHG Protocol.” The GHG Protocol, developed by World Resources Institute (WRI) in partnership with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), is the most widely used international accounting tool for quantifying GHG emissions, and it provides the accounting framework for most GHG management programs and initiatives.


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