In June 2007, Juniata President Tom Kepple signed the American College and University President's Climate Commitment. The cause is an effort by higher education institutions to fight global warming by acquiring commitments to neutralize greenhouse gas emissions and to increase research on the issue. By recognizing the influence higher education has on students and communities, the Commitment offers an outline for campuses to become climate neutral. President Kepple stated at the signing of the Commitment "I believe colleges must be on the forefront of the effort to reverse the path we are on for the health of future generations."
By joining the cause, Juniata has committed to do the following:
Develop a comprehensive plan to achieve climate neutrality as soon as possible.
- Create guidelines to aid the development and implementation of the plan within two months of signing this document.
- Complete a thorough inventory of all greenhouse gas emissions within one year of signing the document, as well as updating the inventory every other year thereafter.
- Within two years of signing the document, develop an action plan for becoming climate
neutral, which will include:
- A target date for becoming climate neutral as soon as possible, and short-term targets for goals and actions leading to climate neutrality.
- Actions to make sustainability and climate neutrality a part of the curriculum, as well as actions to increase research and other necessary means to reach climate neutrality.
- Methods for tracking progress on set goals and actions.
Initiate two or more of the following actions to reduce greenhouse gases while the more comprehensive plan is being developed:
- 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 the purchase of Energy Star(TM) certified products where such ratings exist.
- Establish a policy of offsetting all greenhouse gas emissions generated by air travel paid for by the institution.
- Encourage use of and provide access to public transportation for all faculty, staff, students and visitors at the institution.
- Within one year of signing this document, begin purchasing or producing at least 15% of the 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.
- Participate in the Waste Minimization component of the national RecycleMania competition, and adopt 3 or more associated measures to reduce waste.
Make the action plan, inventory, and periodic progress reports publicly available for posting and distribution.
Learn more about the Commitment at the American College and University President's Climate Commitment web site.
Learn more about Juniata's commitment.