PSU Finalizes Climate Action Plan

June 15th, 2010 by Adam

PLYMOUTH, N.H.-
Plymouth State University has proudly released its official Climate Action Plan (CAP).
Prepared by the President’s Commission for Environmental Sustainability (PCES), the plan has been under development for almost two years. The primary goals of the efforts reported in the plan are to:

1. Define and measure the Carbon Footprint of the University

2. Establish an institutional climate commitment

3. Set out a plan for integrating the issues of sustainability across our curriculum

4. Develop a mitigation plan for the campus that will achieve the goal of carbon neutrality.

As an early signatory of the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, PSU joined other institutions of higher learning in recognizing their important leadership role in efforts to address environmental issues, including climate change. As part of this commitment, The President’s Commission for Environmental Sustainability was formed in 2007. The commission is made up of students, faculty, staff and community members who take an active role in improving PSU’s relationship with the environment.

The University carbon footprint for 2009 was slightly over 21,100 metric tons. This is higher than the baseline year of 2001, but much lower than the institutional high of 2004. The commitment the University has made with this report is to reduce its emissions by 50% no later than 2025, and to completely eliminate emissions by 2050.

“We are working on a number of possible solutions,” said Bill Crangle, co-chair of the PCES. “It will require a combination of technologies such as biomass, solar, geothermal and others to achieve these goals, as well as changes in behavior. The University has been and is currently working very hard to make all of our facilities and infrastructures as energy efficient as possible. We can achieve these goals as long as we stay focused.”

A significant part of the Climate Action Plan discusses Plymouth State’s responsibility to increase its focus on issues of sustainability and the environment throughout its curriculum and across all areas of campus life, including cultural programming, student activities, residential life, and dining services. The CAP also provides plans for enhancing research and community interaction.

“Addressing environmental issues requires more than just technology,” asserts Dr. Brian Eisenhauer, incoming Director of the Office of Sustainability. “To be successful our activities need to include a focus on people and the choices we make in our everyday lives, and we must involve diverse people and interests in our decision-making. We look forward to continuing to cooperate with community partners and all members of our campus to improve our relationship with the environment.”

The full report can be found here.

In addition, PSU has been recognized in The Princeton Review’s Guide to Green Colleges, a compilation of the most environmentally-responsible higher education institutions in the United States. As criteria for inclusion, the Guide considers an institution’s commitment to LEED building certification, environmental literacy programs, formal sustainability committees, use of renewable energy resources, and recycling and conservation programs. The United States Green Building Council partnered with the Review in compiling the list.

For more information about this release, contact Bruce Lyndes, PSU Media Relations Mgr., (603) 535-2775 or blyndes@plymouth.edu

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