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UW-Eau Claire Commits to Becoming 'Climate Neutral' Campus

RELEASED: Aug. 31, 2007

ACUPCC logoEAU CLAIRE — The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire has joined nearly 350 colleges and universities across the nation in becoming a signatory to the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment.

UW-Eau Claire Chancellor Brian Levin-Stankevich recently signed the commitment to set and attain sustainable energy and environmental goals for the university. By becoming a signatory, UW-Eau Claire has committed to completing and updating annually an inventory of all its greenhouse gas emissions, developing an institutional plan for becoming "climate neutral" and taking other specific actions to reduce greenhouse gases while the institutional plan is developed.

Levin-Stankevich's signing of the commitment was backed by UW-Eau Claire faculty and staff members involved in the university's ongoing strategic planning process. A strategic planning work group charged with identifying ways of enhancing the campus community stated in a recent report that "campus decisions regarding energy, transportation, and buildings should reflect a deep sense of respect for the environment."

The Presidents Climate Commitment is the first such effort by any major sector of society to set climate neutrality — not just a reduction in harmful emissions — as its target, according to information on the ACUPCC Web site.

"UW-Eau Claire is committed to the responsible stewardship of our natural resources," Levin-Stankevich said. "Our campus is an ideal place for people to collaborate in taking thoughtful action to address one of the most serious problems facing our society today."

The chancellor's signing of the ACUPCC is in line with the interests of many UW-Eau Claire faculty and staff members who wish to promote a sustainable philosophy on the UW-Eau Claire campus, said Marc Goulet, professor of mathematics and co-chair of the strategic planning work group focused on enhancing the campus community.

"The Climate Commitment recognizes the importance of taking campus actions that will result in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and it also recognizes the power of education in helping society to better understand our footprint on this earth through the inclusion of sustainability in a university curriculum," Goulet said. "I applaud the chancellor's leadership in signing this commitment and look forward to working with him and many others in helping to make UW-Eau Claire a sustainable place."

According to its Web site, the ACUPCC seeks to address global warming by garnering institutional commitments to neutralize greenhouse gas emissions, and to accelerate the research and educational efforts of higher education to equip society to restabilize the earth's climate. The effort has been implemented and is supported by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, Second Nature and ecoAmerica.

More information is available online.

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JP

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