May 24, 2011

University Sets Plan to Become Carbon-Neutral

Earlier this month, Case Western Reserve University submitted its Climate Action Plan as part of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), a national initiative of higher education leaders working together to impact climate change. President Barbara R. Snyder signed the commitment in 2008, in which she pledged to develop a Climate Action Plan to reduce the university’s carbon footprint to net zero within 40 years.

“To say this goal is ambitious represents the height of understatement,” Snyder wrote in the opening letter of the Climate Action Plan. “But this institution will not embrace anything less.”

To reduce emissions, the plan first calls on the university to find ways to avoid demand for additional energy. In addition, the university will work to reduce energy demand in existing facilities and equipment and replace carbon-intensive fuel sources with alternatives. As a last resort, the university will consider purchasing offsets to balance remaining emissions.

To develop the Climate Action Plan, the university engaged expert consultants with experience in creating plans for other institutions. In addition, more than 100 members of the university community took part in working groups and a steering committee that oversaw completion of the final document. Members of the Case Western Reserve community can view the plan online or find more information on the Climate Action Plan site.

Case Western Reserve University is one of more than 675 universities to sign the ACUPCC. To learn more about the organization, visit www.presidentsclimatecommitment.org.

Posted by: Emily Mayock, May 24, 2011 09:23 AM | News Topics: sustainability

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