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Urge your school to sign the University Presidents Climate Commitment

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By urging your school to sign the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment, you're helping to ensure that your school is on the reduced-carbon-emission-path to sustainability. The commitment allows each institution to come up with its own plan of attack while working at its own pace to achieve carbon neutrality.

How to lobby your college or university to sign the Presidents Climate Commitment

If your school is not among the signatories already, there are several steps you can take.

What does the Presidents Climate Commitment mean?

By signing the Commitment, college or university presidents pledge to do the following:

  • Form a task force to begin guiding their carbon neutrality efforts within two months of signing.
  • Complete a greenhouse gas inventory of their campus within one year.
  • Add sustainability classes to their current course offerings.
  • Make an action plan for execution of the Commitment.
  • Immediately take action to reduce carbon emissions via at least two of the following six options: energy conservation, green building construction, improvements in mass transportation, waste management, more sustainable procurement of goods, and the purchase of carbon offsets.[1] More details can be found at Presidents Climate Commitment - Solutions.

Lobbying your college or university to sign the Presidents Climate Commitment helps you go green because...

  • It will cause your school to take immediate action to dramatically cut its carbon footprint.
  • It will implement sustainability into your college's curriculum.
  • It will encourage those businesses who partner with your college to curb their emissions as well.

Though most studies indicate that institutions of higher education generate no more than 3 percent of US greenhouse gases,[2] the more than 17 million college students in the US are large energy consumers.[3] In total, colleges and universities spend $6 billion each year on electricity, and the US Department of Energy estimates that at least 25 percent of those costs could be reduced through greater energy-efficiency.[4]

The institutions that sign onto the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment agree they will devise an action plan within two years of signing, as well as set a target date for making their campuses "climate neutral," which for most schools, will take decades.[5] But with institutions of higher education being a $320 billion a year industry, the signing of the pledge may also send a signal to companies that supply them that sustainability and reduced carbon emissions are important benchmarks.[2]

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