Ursinus signed onto the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) in 2007. And then we started figuring out how to get to carbon neutral.
Signing onto the ACUPCC committed the College to:
- writing a Climate and Sustainability Action Plan (CSAP) to achieve climate neutrality as soon as possible,
- inventorying the College’s greenhouse gas emissions every other year, and making the action plan, inventories, and
- filing periodic updates publicly available.
The CSAP is a document that helps guide the College toward meeting its mission in the context of achieving carbon neutrality.
Our Sustainability Committee is charged with helping to implement the CSAP. It has members from across the campus who represent all parts of the campus community.
Sustainability Programs Support Implementation
With guidance from the CSAP, the Office of Sustainability provides students with opportunities to get involved at multiple levels, from participating in residence hall energy competitions, to acting independently on self-designed projects centered on lowering the College’s carbon footprint, to integrating sustainability principles into the College community. Our CSAP, and the related sustainability programs encourage students and other community members to be thoughtful about their impacts on their community and the earth, their ability to influence and encourage others to participate in sustainable actions, and long-term solutions to the problems associated with climate change and its impacts.
Getting to Carbon Neutral
In effect the process of becoming carbon neutral will be achieved through a variety of efforts, requiring varying degrees of financial, time and staffing commitments. The ACUPCC organization expects that colleges and universities will fulfill this commitment through a broad spectrum of approaches, depending on the institution’s resources, both financial and personnel. The Ursinus College CSAP is written to accommodate changing institutional priorities and capacities: flexibility in implementing the plan has been written into the document.
The ACUPCC requires that each plan address climate change in four broad areas: