Tuesday, October 21, 2008

SHOW UP (It's usually a good start.)

President Paul Fonteyn will give his Community Conversation address tomorrow at 1pm in the Gorge. His talk is titled "A Greener View: Sustainability and Regeneration." Folks interested in where GMC is going would do well to get there. The title alone indicates that the address will at least reference and perhaps more strongly emphasize our efforts as Charter Signatories to the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment. The basics of the commitment itself are pasted in below from the website. Look over the info in advance of the President's address if you can, or check back in here if something he says sparks your interest in the commitment. If you want to know more about GMC's progress on the commitment to date, visit their reporting site here.

Accordingly, we commit our institutions to taking the following steps in
pursuit of climate neutrality:
1. Initiate the development of a comprehensive plan to achieve climate neutrality as soon as possible.
a. Within two months of signing this document, create institutional structures to
guide the development and implementation of the plan.
b. Within one year of signing this document, complete a comprehensive inventory of all greenhouse gas emissions (including emissions from electricity, heating, commuting, and air travel) and update the inventory every other year thereafter.
c. Within two years of signing this document, develop an institutional action plan for
becoming climate neutral, which will include:
i. A target date for achieving climate neutrality as soon as possible.
ii. Interim targets for goals and actions that will lead to climate neutrality.
iii. Actions to make climate neutrality and sustainability a part of the curriculum and other educational experience for all students.
iv. Actions to expand research or other efforts necessary to achieve climate neutrality.
v. Mechanisms for tracking progress on goals and actions.
2. Initiate two or more of the following tangible actions to reduce greenhouse gases while the more comprehensive plan is being developed.
a. Establish a policy that all new campus construction will be built to at least the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Silver standard or equivalent.
b. Adopt an energy-efficient appliance purchasing policy requiring purchase of ENERGY STAR certified products in all areas for which such ratings exist.
c. Establish a policy of offsetting all greenhouse gas emissions generated by air travel paid for by our institution.
d. Encourage use of and provide access to public transportation for all faculty, staff,
students and visitors at our institution

e. Within one year of signing this document, begin purchasing or producing at least 15% of our institution’s electricity consumption from renewable sources.
f. Establish a policy or a committee that supports climate and sustainability shareholder proposals at companies where our institution's endowment is invested.
g. Participate in the Waste Minimization component of the national RecycleMania competition, and adopt 3 or more associated measures to reduce waste.
3. Make the action plan, inventory, and periodic progress reports publicly available by providing them to the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) for posting and dissemination.

In recognition of the need to build support for this effort among college and university administrations across America, we will encourage other presidents to join this effort and become signatories to this commitment.
The Signatories of the American
College & University Presidents Climate Commitment

No comments: