The President’s Climate Commitment Committee (PCCC) was established upon the signing of the American College & University President’s Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) by President Gitenstein in the Spring of 2007. This agreement calls for the development of a comprehensive plan to achieve climate neutrality for our campus. It gives tangible actions that we will initiate in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. There are many questions and concerns that arise when faced with the daunting task of reducing our environmental impact on the planet.
What is climate neutrality?
- “For purposes of the ACUPCC, climate neutrality is defined as having no net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, to be achieved by minimizing GHG emissions as much as possible, and using carbon offsets or other measures to mitigate the remaining emissions.”
- In order to be considered “climate neutral” we must:
- 1. Calculate our total climate-damaging emissions (a Greenhouse Gas Inventory).
- Emissions are measured in “Carbon Dioxide Equivalents” (eCO2) from burning fossil fuels such as oil for heating and electricity and gasoline for transportation by campus vehicles, students, faculty and staff.
- 2. Reduce emissions where possible.
- Example: increasing building energy efficiency through the use of compact flourescent bulbs (CFLs) and increasing the use of public transportation.
- 3. Balance remaining emissions, by purchasing a carbon offset: paying to avoid or reduce the same amount of eCO2 emissions.
- Example: funding a project to build solar panels or wind turbines for use of clean, renewable energy.
What is a Greenhouse Gas Inventory?
- A greenhouse gas inventory is the calculation of the amounts and sources of emissions of harmful gases (ie. carbon dioxide) that can be attributed to the presence and operations of our institution. It is the first step that we have successfully completed towards our goal of addressing and taking action on our environmental impact.
- Please refer to the inventory by choosing Emissions Inventory under Climate Initiatives.