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Committee Formed to Guide Catawba's Work in Climate Commitment

August 21, 2007

Category: Environmental Science, Staff


Climate CommitmentFaculty and staff members at Catawba College have been tapped to serve on a committee that will guide the institution's work in support of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). Committee members begin their work two months after Catawba joined close to 300 other colleges and universities nationwide in supporting the ACUPCC.

The on-campus committee, chaired by David Najarian, recycling and waste reduction coordinator, includes Dr. Philip Acree Cavalier, dean of general education; Henry Haywood, facilities director; Dr. Joseph P. Poston, associate professor of biology; Dr. John Wear, director of the Center for the Environment and associate professor of biology and environmental science; Dr. Constance Rogers-Lowery, assistant professor of biology; Pam Thompson, chair of the Ketner School of Business and associate professor of business; Dr. Kenneth Clapp, Chaplain of the College and director of the Lilly Center for Vocation and Values; Dr. James Beard, professor of chemistry; Wayne Crowe, Facilities; Jeff Childress, assistant athletic director and head coach of men's and women's tennis; and Jan Gillean, assistant dean for campus activities and programs.

At their May retreat, college trustees authorized President Robert Knott to sign the agreement on behalf of the institution.

The ACUPCC was officially launched June 11 and 12 at the ACUPCC Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C. Participating institutions of higher education agree to "exercise leadership in their communities and throughout society by modeling ways to minimize global warming emissions, and by providing the knowledge and the educated graduates to achieve climate neutrality."

Participating institutions pledge to develop "a comprehensive plan to achieve climate neutrality as soon as possible." Within two months of signing the agreement, they must "create institutional structure to guide the development and implementation of the plan." Catawba's newly appointed committee is the beginning of that institutional structure.
Within one year of signing the document, these same institutions must complete "a comprehensive inventory of all greenhouse gas emissions (including emissions from electricity, heating, community, and air travel) and update the inventory every other year thereafter." The schools also will set target dates and goals for achieving climate neutrality, expanding research into that area, and implementing mechanisms that measure the progress towards climate neutrality.

Additionally, member colleges and universities must "initiate two or more of the following tangible actions to reduce greenhouse gases while the more comprehensive plan is being developed":

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  • 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. ;
  • Adopt an energy-efficient appliance purchasing policy requiring purchase of ENERGY STAR certified products in all areas for which such ratings exist. ;
  • Establish a policy of offsetting all greenhouse gas emissions generated by air travel paid for by our institution. ;
  • Encourage use of and provide access to public transportation for all faculty, staff, students and visitor at our institution.  ;
  • Within one year of signing this document, begin purchasing or producing at least 15% of our institution's electricity consumption from renewable sources. ;
  • Establish a policy or a committee that supports climate and sustainability shareholder proposals at companies where our institution's endowment is invested.
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Catawba, like other participating institutions, will make its "action plan, inventory, and periodic progress reports publicly available by providing them to the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHR) for posting and dissemination."

For more details on the ACUPCC, visit www.presidentsclimatecommitment.org.


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