UCM Joins Nationwide Commitment to Reducing Greenhouse Gases
Contact: Jeff Murphy
WARRENBURG, MO (Feb. 14, 2008) - UCM President Aaron Podolefsky has joined higher education presidents and chancellors across the nation in pledging to combat global warming. With the president’s signature, the university is a charter signatory on the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment to neutralize campus greenhouse emissions.
More Than 300 Institutions Support Commitment
More than 300 institutions across the U.S. are supporting this commitment. It calls for higher education institutions to help reduce global emission of greenhouse gases as part of a worldwide effort to avert the worst impacts of global warming and re-establish more stable climatic conditions. This commitment is modeled after the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement. The ACUPCC recognizes that colleges and universities are in a unique position to serve as role models for their communities in training people who will develop the social, economic and technological solutions to reverse global warming.
“This is a good opportunity for higher education institutions to demonstrate leadership in an area that is critical to our future,” Podolefsky said. “Colleges and universities can set the example by taking actions that will not only reduce greenhouse gases, but offer a long-term reduction in energy costs.”
Specific Commitments Made
Those who signed the commitment have agreed that their institutions will take the following actions over time:
- Complete an emissions inventory within one year after the beginning of their implementation period using methodology consistent with the standards of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and the World Resources Institute;
- Within two years, set a target date and interim milestones for becoming climate neutral;
- Take immediate steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by choosing from a list of short-term actions;
- Integrate sustainability into the curriculum and make it part of the educational experience;
- Make the action plan, inventory and progress reports publicly available.
Plan of Action Implemented
The ACUPCC requires signatories to initiate two or more of seven specified tangible actions to reduce greenhouse gases while the comprehensive plan is being developed. Some examples include the adoption of a green building policy requiring new campus construction to be built to at least the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Silver standard or equivalent; free or heavily subsidized public transportation passes to students, faculty and staff; purchasing or producing at least 15 percent of the institution’s electricity consumption from renewable sources; and adopting energy-efficient appliance purchasing policies.
For More Information
ACUPCC is a collaborative effort between Second Nature, ecoAmerica and the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. The climate commitment was publicly launched in June at a university presidents’ summit in Washington, D.C. Individuals who want to learn more can visit the web at www.presidentsclimatecommitment.org.