Cedar Valley College President Commits to "Climate Neutral" Campus
President Jennifer Wimbish Joins Higher Education Leaders Nationwide to Fight Global Warming
LANCASTER, Texas - Cedar Valley College President Jennifer Wimbish has signed the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), joining more than 250 other colleges and universities in formally committing to significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and education and research on climate change.
The ACUPCC was formally adopted today at a summit of higher education leaders in Washington, D.C. Cedar Valley College signed the Commitment on May 27, making it one of the first community colleges in Texas to become a part of this exciting initiative.
"Global warming is a defining challenge of our time," says Wimbish. "Human activities contribute to the problem, and working together humans have the capacity to solve the problem. That means taking serious action today to stop adding global warming pollution to the atmosphere. Cedar Valley College is committed to leading the way."
As part of Cedar Valley College's commitment, Wimbish will create a comprehensive institutional action plan to move towards climate neutrality. In addition, the college will immediately take or continue to take the following actions:
- Adopt green standards and components for new buildings built on campus;
- Continue the paper recycling program on campus, and expand the program to include other items;
- Recycle groundwater for irrigation of the campus;
- Encourage a greater use of ENERGY STAR certified products;
- Encourage use of public transportation;
- Continue the implementation of a flexible work schedule during the summer.
These efforts build on Cedar Valley's ongoing commitment to sustainability, which include expanding its Energy Efficient Green Building Institute (EEGBI). The EEGBI was created in 2005 by the encouragement of the U.S. Department of Energy Building America program, Residential Energy Services Network and the U.S. Green Building Council.
The inception of the EEGBI made Cedar Valley College one of the first higher education institutions in the nation to offer programming to meet the emerging need for workforce training in the area of green building and energy efficiency. Guided by a panel of experts who serve on the advisory committee, the EEGBI offers a variety of educational programs and resources focused on energy efficiency, healthy buildings and sustainable communities.
Thanks to the leadership of Rep. Helen Giddings and Sen. Royce West during this past legislative session, $50,000 was authorized to support the work of the EEGBI. The EEGBI's efforts are consistent with ongoing work to reduce global warming, and include developing training programs and education, awareness activities and resources that will promote the national and state agenda for the conservation of energy use in buildings, the use of environmentally responsible building technologies leading to improved air quality, and the development of sustainable communities.
The Presidents Climate Commitment is the first such effort by any major sector of society to set climate neutrality-not just a reduction-as its target. This undertaking by America's colleges and universities is inspired by efforts like the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, the U.S. Climate Action Partnership and other collective efforts by states and businesses.
"Colleges and universities must lead the effort to reverse global warming for the health and well-being of current and future generations," says Michael Crow, president of Arizona State University and chair of the ACUPCC Steering Committee.