KSC President Commits to 'Climate Neutral' Campus
Giles-Gee Joins Growing List of Higher Education Leaders to Fight Global Warming
KEENE, N.H., 5/17/07 - Keene State College President Helen Giles-Gee has signed the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), joining more than 239 colleges and universities committed to climate neutrality, significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, and education and research on climate change. All three USNH presidents have now signed the commitment.
“I’m very excited about the opportunity to bring the whole campus together around this initiative,” says Mary Jensen, coordinator of Campus Sustainability and Recycling Programs. “I look forward to deepening our commitment to sustainability on campus.”
Scientists say carbon dioxide emissions are the primary way college campuses and businesses heat up the atmosphere, so presidents signing the commitment pledge to eliminate their campuses’ greenhouse gas emissions over time and ultimately to achieve climate neutrality. The pledge doesn’t set a deadline for achieving climate neutrality, but it does set interim deadlines to meet along the way: complete an emissions inventory within one year and, within two, create a detailed plan and set a target date for reaching the goal.
Keene State College began a campus emissions inventory in 2005, which it is currently updating and expanding. The President’s Council for a Sustainable Future includes members from across the campus and has been advancing sustainability initiatives since 1996. These initiatives include the new Pondside III dorm, built to LEED silver standards; the use of biodiesel in all campus diesel vehicles and equipment; Campus Safety and the President’s use of hybrid cars; three electric vehicles; and the Green Bike Program, which since 2002 has offered refurbished free bikes for campus use.
“I believe that the College should model ways to minimize global warming emissions and provide the campus community, especially our students, with the knowledge and skills they need to address the challenges brought by climate changes,” says President Giles-Gee. “We will create opportunities for faculty or student research and economic development initiatives, which, in partnership with the city of Keene and the Monadnock region, should provide mutual benefits in support of our communities.”
Learn more about the ACUPCC at www.presidentsclimatecommitment.org.