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Posts Tagged ‘Frostburg State University’

The American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) is celebrating five years of higher education’s leadership on the critical issues of our time, with new data from signatories’ public reports showing unprecedented success and innovation in renewable energy, curriculum, energy efficiency, green building, and financial savings. 202 institutions have submitted Progress Reports on their implementation of the commitment in the first five years, showing the following results, which are indicative of progress throughout the network.  While reports are still coming in and numbers are subject to change, preliminary analysis of the latest data shows:

  • Collectively, the ACUPCC represents the 3rd largest purchaser of Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) in the United States, with 156 Signatories purchasing a total of 1,279,765,254 kWh RECs.
  • 175 signatories report current curriculum offerings include 9,548 courses focused on sustainability
  • 67% of signatories affirmed that their Climate Action Plan has saved their institution money.  Generating total savings of $100 million dollars.
  • The 406 institutions that have submitted more than one GHG inventory have reduced cumulative annual CO2e emissions by approximately 384,000 metric tons — an average of 970 tons per year per institution
  • Reporting signatories show a total renewable energy output of 170,000,000 kwh — the equivalent of powering 14,617 American households electricity for one year.

Through the ACUPCC, higher education has become the only sector in the U.S. with a critical mass committed to the scientifically necessary goal of climate neutrality.  During the first 5 years of the initiative, over 700 colleges and universities in the US signed the ACUPCC, representing all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and every type of public and private institution (2-year, 4-year, research university).  6 million students attend ACUPCC institutions – approximately one-third of all college and university students in the United States. International initiatives modeled after the ACUPCC have launched in Scotland and Peru, and similar initiatives are being explored in Taiwan, Australia, and Hungary.

It is a rare example of a voluntary initiative that includes accountability through the ongoing public reporting process, to which all ACUPCC signatories agree.  All public reports are available on the ACUPCC Reporting System at rs.acupcc.org.

Measuring Success

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Frostburg State 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.

Frostburg State University (FSU) President Jonathan Gibralter’s long-time commitment to sustainability has led to leadership roles in organizations at both the state and national levels, including ACUPCC’s Leadership Circle and 2011-2012 Steering Committee, the 2007-2008 Maryland Commission on Climate Change Greenhouse Gas and Carbon Mitigation Working Group and the 2010 Second Nature National Transportation Policy Task Force. His knowledge from these experiences has helped him identify opportunities for FSU, and his advocacy has served as an inspiration and a call to action to the FSU campus.

FSU’s success in making sustainability a central part of its identity and educational mission is best conveyed by the name of its sustainability initiative, “Learning Green, Living Green (LGLG).” The institution has taken a comprehensive, holistic approach to addressing climate change that has involved everything from expanding its academic offerings to helping students understand how their daily activities impact the environment.

LGLG and a faculty-led Sustainability Studies Committee, which oversees FSU’s interdisciplinary sustainability studies minor, have spearheaded a variety of activities that focus on environmental education. Each spring as part of Earth Week, LGLG hosts Focus Frostburg, a day of learning on sustainability that brings together the entire campus community. In 2010, attendance exceeded 1,000, with over 20 presentations and exhibits. Recent events include standing-room-only lectures by environmental activist Julia Butterfly Hill and Ethan Nuss, field director of the Energy Action Coalition, and community screenings of the films “GasLand” and “Shale Gas and America’s Future,” two documentaries on natural gas drilling, an issue that is shaping Western Maryland’s future.

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