July 14, 2008

Case Western Reserve president commits to 'climate neutral' campus

Barbara R. Snyder joins higher education leaders in fighting global warming


Case Western Reserve University President Barbara R. Snyder has committed to reducing and eventually eliminating all of the university's global warming emissions and accelerating the research and educational efforts to equip society to re-stabilize the earth's climate.

The commitment came with Snyder's recent signing of the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment.

This pledge comes as Case Western Reserve finalizes its strategic plan, which will include four areas of interdisciplinary focus: human health; culture, creativity and design; social justice and ethics -- and energy and the environment. As part of the strategic planning process, the university expects to support a new faculty-led sustainability initiative, among other efforts.

Case Western Reserve also will create a more comprehensive overall institutional action plan to move toward climate neutrality.

Leading the list of the university's ongoing green programs is the Great Lakes Institute for Energy Innovation, which is at the forefront of international research and educational efforts to create and encourage use of renewable power sources. In addition, the university's Center for Business as an Agent of World Benefit is foremost in social entrepreneurship.

Even before this most recent commitment, Case Western Reserve has been working to adopt green standards for buildings; some campus facilities already are LEED certified. The university also has promoted public transportation for several years by offering the U-Pass Initiative, designed to give students unlimited rides on Cleveland's RTA system.

In addition to other sustainability efforts already in progress, Case Western Reserve also will work to make ENERGY STAR certification standard for all products purchased by the university, offset emissions due to air travel and purchase energy from renewable sources. The university also may consider to support additional climate and sustainability shareholder proposals through its endowment.

The Presidents Climate Commitment is the first such effort by any major sector of society to set climate neutrality -- not just a reduction -- as its target. This undertaking by America's colleges and universities is inspired by efforts like the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, the U.S. Climate Action Partnership and other collective efforts by states and businesses.

Under the guidance and direction of the Leadership Circle of presidents, the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment is being supported and implemented by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, Second Nature and ecoAmerica.

Learn more .

For more information contact Laura M. Massie, 216.368.4442.

Posted by: Kimyette Finley, July 14, 2008 12:26 PM | News Topics: Collaborations/Partnerships, Energy, Environment, HeadlinesMain, news, sustainability

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