President Peggy R. Williams signed a letter of commitment to the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment on May 29, joining leaders from 393 institutions across the country pledging to reduce their carbon footprint.
�In signing this commitment, we are taking another important step in addressing the human causes of global warming and in serving as a model for our students and society as a whole,� Williams said in an Intercom announcement released yesterday.
The Presidents Climate Commitment was created by ecoAmerica, Second Nature and the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education to control climate change and curb the emission of greenhouse gases on campuses across the country. Williams became one of 288 charter signatories of the pact by signing the commitment before June 30, according to Anthony Cortese, president of Second Nature.
Williams signed a letter of intent to join the commitment Feb. 20, but waited to sign the official commitment until late last month because of responsibilities to the Middle States study, Capital Campaign and provost search, she said in an interview before the February signing.
The commitment binds the college to an annual inventory of all greenhouse gas emissions, developing an institutional plan for climate neutrality and creating structures to guide its implementation. Carl Sgrecci, vice president of finance and administration, said the college will formally begin its commitment Sept. 15.
The commitment gives each institution two months to form steering committees and one year to complete an initial inventory of emissions. The college must develop a full institutional action plan by September 2009. Sgrecci said he believes Williams hopes to finalize a committee structure during the next two months so the college can �hit the ground running� before classes resume in August.
�At this point I don�t really know [who will sit on the committees] � most of the committees for this type of thing have the campus constituencies represented,� Sgrecci said. �My expectation is certainly some staff, some faculty and probably some students.�