The Presidents Climate Commitment Committee, created last month as a part of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, held its first meeting Oct. 31.
The commitment, which requires its signatories to reduce their carbon footprint, was signed by President Peggy R. Williams in May and officially began Sept. 15.
Ithaca College had two months from the official start date to form a steering committee compromised of students, faculty and staff. The college must submit a formal analysis of its greenhouse gas emissions by next September and a institutional plan to be carbon-neutral by September 2009.
Carl Sgrecci, vice president for finance and administration and chair of the committee, said the group plans to meet every two weeks to discuss plans to improve the college’s carbon neutrality.
“I think it’s going to be a really interesting group to work with,” Sgrecci said. “There’s a lot of excitement and enthusiasm in this group, and I’m looking forward to working with them.”
The committee also includes Rick Couture, associate vice president of Facilities; Marian Brown, special assistant to the provost; Irene Scott, coordinator for desktop technology acquisitions for Web, Systems and Departmental Services; Doreen Hettich-Atkins, coordinator of special services and programs for student affairs and campus life; Cindy Smith, mail processing assistant for mail services; Susan Swensen, associate professor of biology; Marlene Barken, associate professor of marketing and law; junior business and administration major Brooks Lape; and senior biology major Alex Chesney.
At their first meeting, Brown said the group discussed plans to require all future building projects to earn at least silver level
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.
“We thought of the idea because of the new [School of Business] and Gateway Building,” she said. “There were, however, some concerns raised about making the [Athletics and Events] Center to that standard.”
Chesney, who compiled emissions statistics for a project last semester, presented her findings to the committee last Wednesday. Chesney said she hopes the
committee will encourage students to be more conscious of sustainability and how it affects their everyday decisions.
“It’s an exciting opportunity for everyone,” she said. “I’m always looking for student input on this.”
The committee will hold its next meeting Nov. 14 to discuss the specifics of collecting inventory data about the college’s carbon footprint.